Belgian Grand Prix: Driver ratings

By on Monday, August 26, 2013
Red Bull/Getty Images

Red Bull/Getty Images

Rating the drivers for their performance in Belgium

Sebastian Vettel | Infiniti Red Bull Racing | 1st | 10/10

The blonde bombshell came up slightly short in qualifying but his race was pure perfection. A strong run through the Eau Rouge complex enabled him to pass Lewis Hamilton for the lead and from there he was never troubled. He also set the fastest lap, just because he could.

Mark Webber | Infiniti Red Bull Racing | 5th | 7/10

Webber suffered from the snowball effect of a set of circumstances. Qualifying was good but a minor clutch issue at the start dropped him to sixth, from where he was always playing catch up. Fifth place was a good result, but it could have been better.

Fernando Alonso | Scuderia Ferrari | 2nd | 9/10

Thankfully Alonso avoided contact on the opening lap in Spa for the first time in four years. A typically strong start elevated him into fifth and he quickly got rid of Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg. He then got by on Lewis Hamilton at the exit of La Source, but Vettel was always out of reach.

Felipe Massa | Scuderia Ferrari | 7th | 6/10

Massa dropped back at the start in order to avoid Romain Grosjean and his woes continued when he lost communication with the team for a few laps. He was able to climb back up to seventh, but these issues cost him a couple of positions.

Jenson Button | Vodafone McLaren Mercedes | 6th | 8/10

Red Bull/Getty Images

Red Bull/Getty Images

This was a much improved performance from McLaren, even if the basic result was similar to Hungary. The MP4-28 looked much better around Spa and Button briefly fought for the podium, although ‘plan A’ (one stop) had to be abandoned with around 10 laps remaining.

Sergio Perez | Vodafone McLaren Mercedes | 11th | 5/10

Eleventh placed specialist Perez once again finished in his favourite position and missed out on the final point when Daniel Ricciardo passed him with a handful of laps remaining. It could have been better, however, had he not pushed Grosjean off of the track.

Kimi Raikkonen | Lotus | Ret | 7/10

For a driver so renowned for reliability issues early in his career, it seems comical that Raikkonen’s retirement from the race is such a big deal. A non-finish beckoned early on when black smoke poured from the left front brakes; fortunately it happened at the Bus Stop chicane.

Romain Grosjean | Lotus | 8th | 7/10

Another Lotus related statistic is that Grosjean finally completed a racing lap at Spa at his third attempt – in 2009 he crashed out at Les Combes and three years later he caused that first corner shunt. He then went on to complete 43 more and bag a handful of points.

Nico Rosberg | Mercedes AMG Petronas | 4th | 8/10

Lotus F1 Team

Lotus F1 Team

Rosberg admitted that he had to pit earlier than anticipated and perhaps focused too much on Massa behind. He was nonetheless able to hold off the advances of Webber and collect fourth place.

Lewis Hamilton | Mercedes AMG Petronas | 3rd | 9/10

A fourth consecutive pole position came out of nowhere after struggles on Friday. Hamilton’s lead lasted just a few corners and he also lost second place to Alonso through some misjudged DRS tactics. Third place nevertheless a good result.

Nico Hulkenberg | Sauber | 13th | 6/10

Hulkenberg pulled off a strong start to put Sauber in the unusual-for-2013 feeling of running in the top 10. Sadly Hulkenberg soon slipped back and struggled with the balance and high tyre wear.

Esteban Gutierrez | Sauber | 14th | 5/10

It was one of those weekends where initial promise was lost. A woeful qualifying meant he lined up on the back row of the grid and a drive through penalty for exceeding track limits simply compounded matters.

Paul di Resta | Sahara Force India | Ret | 8/10

Sahara Force India

Sahara Force India

Force India should have scored strongly at Spa but it was difficult to fault di Resta for failing to do so. The Brit qualified in fifth place and was battling for points until he was the unlucky victim of midfield squabbles.

Adrian Sutil | Sahara Force India | 9th | 7/10

Sutil seemed to be on the angry juice all weekend as firstly he hit out at three rivals for their conduct in qualifying and then flipped the bird to Gutierrez in the race. He still took a couple of points but you feel that’s fifth place lost to McLaren for good.

Pastor Maldonado | Williams | 17th | 5/10

The incident for which he received a penalty was clumsy rather than rash. Maldonado was far too opportunistic in trying to hang on to Gutierrez and could have taken the inside line sooner. Points were always out of reach.

Valtteri Bottas | Williams | 15th | 6/10

Another difficult race for the young Finn as a lack of speed through sector two meant he was unable to gain any lost positions. The hunt for his elusive first point goes on but he’d bloody deserve it.

Jean-Eric Vergne | Scuderia Toro Rosso | 12th | 6/10

Red Bull/Getty Images

Red Bull/Getty Images

A thoroughly disappointing result for the Frenchman considering his pace through practice. He was on the backfoot following qualifying (albeit not his fault) and a slow puncture during the final stint meant he was unable to close the gap to his team-mate. Strategy, however, was far from ideal.

Daniel Ricciardo | Scuderia Toro Rosso | 10th | 8/10

Red Bull’s likely 2014 driver scored a point that seemed improbable after a miserable qualifying session. He optimised his strategy well and his final stint was more like a string of qualifying laps as he picked off rivals to snatch the final point.

Charles Pic | Caterham | Ret | 4/10

It was a challenging weekend for Caterham’s French chap as he propped up the grid and retired from the race courtesy of an oil leak. Gaining attention at the back is difficult but Pic could do with a magic moment…

Giedo van der Garde | Caterham | 16th | 8/10

...which is exactly what Van der Garde managed. The Dutchman had the guts to stay out on a wet track with slicks and was duly rewarded when a sufficient dry line appeared. Third place in Q1 was a mega result and his race was also strong as he fended off Maldonado during the closing stages.

Jules Bianchi | Marussia | 18th | 7/10

Marussia F1 Team

Marussia F1 Team

Bianchi also made it through to Q2 but soon slipped back to occupy Marussia’s usual position. He had higher hopes than eighteenth place and radio issues simply exacerbated matters.

Max Chilton | Marussia | 19th | 6/10

Chilton was another of the back-row crew to surprise and started a dizzying sixteenth. He was, however, at the back rather quickly and he again finished some way off of Bianchi.


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