British GP: Driver Ratings

By on Monday, July 7, 2014
Red Bull/Getty Images

Red Bull/Getty Images

Rating the drivers for their performance in a thrilling 2014 edition of the British Grand Prix.

1 | Sebastian Vettel | Red Bull-Renault | 5th | 6/10

Vettel was, in a way, a beneficiary of misfortune. Having left his first run too late he was forced to abort it when the rain intensified, so he gambled on the second run and ended up on the front row. Start was poor as he was passed by the McLarens and muscled out by Hamilton. He didn’t have the pace of team-mate Ricciardo and his inability to get by on Alonso for several laps – along with his attitude – did not reflect well on him.

3 | Daniel Ricciardo | Red Bull-Renault | 3rd | 8/10

Ricciardo lost out during the final stages of qualifying and eighth was not representative of his pace. Red Bull opted to switch to primes during the red flag period and as a result he slipped behind several rivals. But he made back the positions on options and the team decided to keep him out for the remainder of the race. Jenson Button slashed the gap across the final laps but the Australian hung on for a strong podium.

44 | Lewis Hamilton | Mercedes| 1st | 9/10

Hamilton emphasises his keenness never to give up but it was the opposite of this attitude which saw him tumble from provisional pole to sixth after aborting his final Q3 run. At the start he got through on Nico Hülkenberg and Vettel before rapidly dispensing with the McLarens. Opted to save tyres during the first stint and as soon as he pushed, Nico Rosberg’s W05 developed problems. From there, he had a clear run to a popular win.

6 | Nico Rosberg | Mercedes | Ret | 8/10

Rosberg decided to gamble in the final moments of Q3 and his decision was richly rewarded as he stormed to pole by over a second. He took the lead at the start and hammered out an advantage upon the restart but his Mercedes W05 began developing gearbox problems. Ultimately he had a problem with the upshifts and he was forced to retire for the first time this season.

14 | Fernando Alonso | Ferrari | 6th | 9/10

Scuderia Ferrari

Scuderia Ferrari

Alonso threw in the towel on his slim title hopes after a dismal qualifying session left him eliminated in the first session. He missed his grid spot at the start and as a result was slapped with a five second penalty. Nonetheless, the Spaniard made progress and passed both Red Bulls brilliantly – Ricciardo around Vale and Vettel at Copse. His defence against the German was sensational, even if Vettel eventually got through.

7 | Kimi Räikkönen | Ferrari | Ret | 1/10

Räikkönen’s woeful season continued in qualifying as Ferrari’s inability to read the conditions consigned him to the back of the grid. His race was short-lived as he ran wide at Aintree and hit a bump upon re-joining the circuit, sending his car into the guardrails. He went to the medical centre complaining of ankle injury but departed Silverstone prior to the race ending. A lucky escape but it was an amateurish mistake which could have been worse.

8 | Romain Grosjean | Lotus-Renault | 12th | 7/10

Grosjean missed out on a slot in Q3 following the yellow flags for Esteban Gutiérrez’s stricken Sauber and at the start he was struck by more misfortune as a switch problem meant limited power. Debris from Räikkönen’s accident damaged his visor and the pace thereafter simply wasn’t there, although it picked up a bit on the mediums.

13 | Pastor Maldonado | Lotus-Renault | 17th | 6/10

Maldonado’s qualifying ended by the side of the circuit due to a lack of fuel and he was demoted further for being unable to provide the required sample. Clash with Gutiérrez was more the Mexican’s fault and Maldonado was fortunate to continue despite his airy moment. An exhaust problem truncated his race three laps prematurely.

22 | Jenson Button | McLaren-Mercedes | 4th | 9/10

McLaren Mercedes

McLaren Mercedes

Button’s pace was strong throughout qualifying and a late lap netted him third place on the grid, his highest position since Brazil 2012. He climbed up to second at the start but inevitably he slipped down a position when Hamilton arrived. Came out of the pits behind Ricciardo and while he slashed the gap across the final part of the race, he ultimately fell an agonisingly 0.8s seconds short.

20 | Kevin Magnussen | McLaren-Mercedes | 7th | 7/10

Magnussen ended qualifying just a couple of tenths down on Button to end up in a fine fifth place. A lightening start elevated him to third place, behind Button. Pace on the Option tyres wasn’t so great but matters picked up once he switched to the Primes. Seventh, in the circumstances, wasn’t a bad result.

27 | Nico Hülkenberg | Force India-Mercedes | 8th | 7/10

Hülkenberg had been struggling with the handling of the Force India throughout practice and was particularly affected by changing crosswinds. Fourth place in qualifying was consequently a strong result but he slipped to sixth by the end of the opening lap. Balance issues affected the handling of his car across the remainder of the race and he ended up in eighth.

11 | Sergio Pérez | Force India-Mercedes | 11th | 6/10

Pérez sat pretty in third after the first run in Q3 but he slipped to seventh as rivals improved. Contact with Jean-Éric Vergne at the start scuppered his good track position. From thereon it was a difficult race for the Mexican.

99 | Adrian Sutil | Sauber-Ferrari | 13th | 7/10

Sauber F1 Team

Sauber F1 Team

Sutil managed to drag the recalcitrant Sauber into Q2 but he couldn’t take part in the session after binning it during the final moments of Q1. His race was thoroughly unspectacular – even he admitted so – as once he’d passed Jules Bianchi it was a fairly uneventful time.

21 | Esteban Gutiérrez | Sauber-Ferrari | Ret | 4/10

Gutiérrez made it two Saubers in the wall in qualifying - as a result of the car’s evil handling – and his 10 place penalty demoted him further. He made a little bit of progress in the race but stumbled into Maldonado at Vale, tipping the Venezuelan into the air and causing terminal damage to his own car in the process.

25 | Jean-Éric Vergne | Toro Rosso-Renault | 10th | 7/10

Vergne dropped to the back after a first lap collision with Pérez but inadvertently the situation aided him. “Starting from the back of the grid after the red flag and overtaking the cars in front of me was actually good fun,” he said. “I think today I have found again the aggressiveness I knew I had and it's certainly a boost for my self-confidence.”

26 | Daniil Kvyat | Toro Rosso-Renault | 9th | 7/10

Random fact of the weekend klaxon: Kvyat finally ended his barren run of results as a 20 year old; since leaving his teenage years behind the Russian endured three straight retirements, but in Britain he put in a strong performance as he made Q3 – saving the slide of the weekend – and raced to a fine ninth position.

19 | Felipe Massa | Williams-Mercedes | Ret | 6/10

Williams Martini Racing

Williams Martini Racing

Massa’s 200th race weekend in Formula 1 began badly as he suffered a huge accident at Stowe in practice before Williams’s error left him a lowly 15th on the grid. His race was little better. He made a poor start and was simply a hapless victim of Räikkönen’s accident. He did well to avoid a complete side-on impact, but it was a disappointing end to a celebratory weekend.

77 | Valtteri Bottas | Williams-Mercedes | 2nd | 10/10

The FW36 looked stable on track but stability means nothing when you don’t react properly to the weather. However, Bottas was fired up on race day and made a superb start before picking off rivals with ease, the highlight being a move around the outside of Button into Stowe to take third. Vettel’s stop elevated him to second, where he remained, picking up his best Formula 1 result in the process.

17 | Jules Bianchi | Marussia-Ferrari | 14th | 8/10

Bianchi starred across qualifying as Marussia read the conditions perfectly and for a brief moment it appeared as if the Frenchman would make Q3. He didn’t but 12th – the highest Ferrari-powered car – was a superb result. In the race he hung on for a few laps but ultimately he regressed to the mean position.

4 | Max Chilton | Marussia-Ferrari| 16th | 4/10

Chilton sustained a five place grid drop after a gearbox change and sadly it actually affected him this weekend as he managed to qualify a career-high 13th. His car was struck by part of Räikkönen’s debris and pitted behind the red flag, copping a penalty as a result. He slipped to the back of the field and from there his race was effectively run.

10 | Kamui Kobayashi | Caterham-Renault | 16th | 7/10

Marussia F1 Team

Marussia F1 Team

Kobayashi wanted to make an early switch to slicks in qualifying but an ERS issue consigned him to the pits during the opportune moment. He made a strong start but had to bounce along the grass to avoid Räikkönen’s Ferrari and as a result it affected the already dodgy nature of the CT05’s handling.

9 | Marcus Ericsson | Caterham-Renault | Ret | 4/10

Ericsson’s troublesome time showed no signs of stopping as he spun in qualifying when the CT05’s rear end opted to overtake the front. He remained marooned to the back of the field for the race until he suffered a front right suspension failure, ending another thoroughly miserable weekend.


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