Brazilian GP: Driver ratings

By on Monday, November 16, 2015

Nico Rosberg triumphed in Brazil for the second year in a row to collect his fifth win of 2015. Here, F1Zone.net presents its driver ratings.

44 | Lewis Hamilton | Mercedes | G: 2nd | R: 2nd | 8/10

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Hamilton made a couple of mistakes in practice and once again was second best to Rosberg in Brazil in qualifying, albeit only by 0.078s. He slotted into second after an unsuccessful attempt to pass Rosberg at the Senna S and blamed dirty air for his inability to get through, before dropping back in the final stint.

6 | Nico Rosberg | Mercedes | G: 1st | R: 1st | 10/10

Rosberg’s pole streak continued as he bested Hamilton during both Q3 runs, despite a moment of opposite lock exiting Pinhierinho. He defended against Hamilton at the start and from there just had to manage his pace to be sure of his fifth win of the campaign.

3 | Daniel Ricciardo | Red Bull | G: 19th | R: 11th | 6/10

Ricciardo was the recipient of an upgraded Renault engine but it made minimal difference in reality and his grid sanction demoted him to 19th spot. In a comparatively processional race his grid position left him marooned in the lower end of the midfield, though he did well to recover to 11th.

26 | Daniil Kvyat | Red Bull | G: 6th | R: 7th | 7/10

Kvyat’s race was one of many to be slightly processional; he maintained his position at the start, having dropped behind Valtteri Bottas but got through on Nico Hülkenberg. Unfortunately he was overhauled by the German at the first round of stops and lack of straight line speed told thereafter.

19 | Felipe Massa | Williams | G: 8th | R: DSQ | 4/10

Scuderia Ferrari

Scuderia Ferrari

Massa, usually on form at Interlagos, was unusually quiet, as he struggled for grip in his Williams FW37 and was adrift of Valtteri Bottas. The race was much of the same and his exclusion for a tyre breach summed up the weekend.

77 | Valtteri Bottas | Williams | G: 7th | R: 5th | 8/10

Bottas did well to beat one of the Ferrari drivers to claim fourth in qualifying but was demoted to seventh due to a red flag infringement in practice. He recovered most of the positions with a feisty start and from thereafter had a lonely race, quicker than the chasing pack but unable to fight the Ferraris.

5 | Sebastian Vettel | Ferrari | G: 3rd | R: 3rd | 9/10

Vettel was ‘best of the rest’ once more, comfortably quicker than Kimi Räikkönen but adrift of the Mercedes pair. Encouragingly, in a race where both Mercedes drivers were pushing, Vettel finished only 14 seconds behind Rosberg after 71 laps.

7 | Kimi Räikkönen | Ferrari | G: 4th | R: 4th | 7/10

This was a race even Räikkönen called boring, but it probably suited the Finn after his recent woes. He tried a two-stop strategy but it didn’t pay off, albeit he admitted his finishing position would not have altered had he stopped three times.

14 | Fernando Alonso | McLaren | G: 20th | R: 15th | 7/10

Red Bull/Getty Images

Red Bull/Getty Images

Alonso’s qualifying stoppage spawned Internet creativity when he opted to watch the remainder of Q1 slouched in a deckchair, probably the most fun he’s had all season. The car ran reliably in the race, albeit ‘strange’ at times, according to Alonso.

22 | Jenson Button | McLaren | G: 16th | R: 14th | 7/10

Button and Alonso took another Q1 exit with gallows humour as they jokingly climbed atop the podium while negotiating their way to the press pen. Button was able to battle with some midfield rivals in race-trim, though accepted straight line speed difference was ‘scary.’

27 | Nico Hülkenberg | Force India | G: 5th | R: 6th | 8/10

Hülkenberg displayed pace throughout the weekend and did a fine job to line-up in fifth position, behind only the Mercedes and Ferrari racers. A poor start dropped him to seventh but he recovered a spot through the undercut on Kvyat, holding off the Red Bull for sixth.

11 | Sergio Pérez | Force India | G: 11th | R: 12th | 5/10

Pérez couldn’t match Hülkenberg’s one-lap pace but his progress was nullified when he erred in Q2. The race was much of the same as he found himself towards the back of the midfield, unable to find a comfortable balance with the VJM08.

33 | Max Verstappen | Toro Rosso | G: 9th | R: 9th | 9/10

Sauber F1 Team

Sauber F1 Team

Verstappen made a couple of errors in practice but re-grouped and made it through into Q3, comfortably faster than Carlos Sainz Jr. The Toro Rosso lacked straight line speed but it didn’t matter to Verstappen as he pulled off some audacious moves – he has lit up the 2015 season.

55 | Carlos Sainz Jr. | Toro Rosso | G: Pits | R: Ret | N/A

Verstappen has had misfortune, but it’s fair to say Sainz Jr. has had the bulk of the woes in race trim. His car shut off on the way to the grid and once he got going at the start, the rear tyres locked exiting Descida do Lago and that was that.

8 | Romain Grosjean | Lotus | G: 14th | R: 8th | 8/10

Grosjean was the faster of the Lotus drivers but a huge moment exiting Ferradura cost him dearly and left him last in Q2. An aggressive strategy in the race, allied to Mercedes grunt, enabled him to make progress and he was rewarded with a fine eighth place.

13 | Pastor Maldonado | Lotus | G: 15th | R: 10th | 5/10

Maldonado lacked the pace of Grosjean but tried an alternate strategy which left him collecting the final point after Massa’s exclusion. He still, however, found the time to run into Marcus Ericsson, for which he was penalised.

28 | Will Stevens | Manor Marussia | G: 18th | R: 18th | 7/10

Manor Marussia F1 Team

Manor Marussia F1 Team

Stevens was once again lacking in one-lap pace compared to Alexander Rossi but was confident with his prospects in the race. His optimism proved to be spot on as he got ahead of the American and pulled clear to bring home the Manor in 18th place.

53| Alexander Rossi | Manor Marussia | G: 17th | R: 19th | 5/10

In his last Formula 1 outing before returning to GP2 in Abu Dhabi, Rossi had a difficult time. He ran competitively in the first stint but struggled horribly across the remainder of the race, ruing understeer in the MR03B.

9 | Marcus Ericsson | Sauber | G: 12th | R: 16th | 5/10

Ericsson’s grid position promised much but delivered little. He made a dreadful start and dropped back and was then tipped into a spin by the hapless Maldonado. That cost him time and ended any lingering hope of a top 10 result.

12 | Felipe Nasr | Sauber | G: 13th | R: 13 | 7/10

Nasr did a good job to almost make it into Q3 in the Sauber but dawdling on the racing line left him with a three-place penalty, having caused Massa to go off-track. Unfortunately, the car lacked race pace, and he was on the back foot against faster rivals.


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