Canadian GP: Driver Ratings

By on Monday, June 9, 2014

Rating the drivers for their performance at the 2014 running of the Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

Red Bull/Getty Images

Red Bull/Getty Images

1 | Sebastian Vettel | Red Bull-Renault | 3rd | 8/10

The reigning world champion bounced back from a few gearbox woes in practice to take a surprise third place on the grid, albeit only fractions ahead of the Williams of Valtteri Bottas. He made a place up at the start but inevitably lost it to Hamilton, while the timing of his pit stop dropped him behind team-mate Ricciardo. He was, however, extremely fortunate to escape the last lap crash.

3 | Daniel Ricciardo | Red Bull-Renault | 1st | 10/10

Ricciardo’s lap on Saturday was just 0.041s slower than Vettel’s but such was the competitive nature of the field that he ended up in sixth, consequently describing his lap as a ‘s**t house’. His mood on Sunday could not have been more different! He made his strategy work to perfection and remained patient behind

44 | Lewis Hamilton | Mercedes | Ret | 8/10

Hamilton was flying throughout practice and qualifying but when it came to the final session, he was unable to usurp Rosberg – and downplayed the significance of a lock-up on his last lap. He was edged out on the first lap but quickly got rid of Vettel and rapidly gained on Rosberg. The German’s chicane cutting was dubious, but in the end meaningless as a brake failure put him out of contention.

6 | Nico Rosberg | Mercedes | 2nd | 9/10

Arriving at a circuit which traditionally suits Hamilton’s style, Rosberg was quick to ignore such statistics and it served him well as he eclipsed his team-mate to top spot on Saturday. He didn’t make the best of starts but retained the lead with a forceful but fair move into the first corner. He showed excellent car control to keep the W05 out of the wall at turn four. The power unit issues affected his straight line speed but circumstances played a big part – nevertheless, he did a fine job to retain second.

14 | Fernando Alonso | Ferrari | 6th | 8/10

Scuderia Ferrari

Scuderia Ferrari

The competitiveness of the F14T was aptly shown in qualifying when Alonso described his lap as ‘very good’, yet it was still only good enough for seventh – a position he described as Ferrari’s limit. On Sunday he struggled with the balance of the car for much of the race and said that his points were ‘lucky’. Ferrari faces a long road ahead.

7 | Kimi Räikkönen | Ferrari | 10th | 4/10

Räikkönen got much closer to the walls than many of his rivals but even accounting for his extra risk he still rounded out the Q3 runners, although part of that was down to running just once. In the race he was anonymous, aside from a spin at turn 10. He salvaged the final point for Ferrari, but this was a dismal event for both him and the team.

8 | Romain Grosjean | Lotus-Renault | Ret | 6/10

Lotus had expected the low downforce/high speed characteristics of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve to seriously hurt them but Grosjean’s 14th place on the grid was higher than they anticipated, especially considering his small gap to the top 10. His pace in the race wasn’t superb and ultimately he was halted by a damaged rear wing, ending a weekend in which Lotus was always unlikely to score points.

13 | Pastor Maldonado | Lotus-Renault | Ret | 5/10

Maldonado picked up his first reprimand of the year – astonishingly, given his record – but it was for the rather banal failure to reattach his steering wheel after pulling off at turn three for which he received the penalty. That power unit issue which triggered his stoppage in qualifying reared its head in the race and the Venezuelan was unable to reach the finish.

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

McLaren Mercedes

McLaren Mercedes

The McLaren MP4-29 was probably the least competitive of the four Mercedes-powered cars at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve but the Brit did a fine job in the circumstances. Button struggled on the option tyres initially and the resultant early stop left him mired in traffic. But from there he recovered admirably and completed a fine move on Alonso and Nico Hülkenberg to take a big haul of points for fourth.

20 | Kevin Magnussen | McLaren-Mercedes | 9th | 6/10

Magnussen acquitted himself fairly well on his first voyage to the circuit – save for a wild spin at the second corner – and was just a tenth shy of Button in Q2. But the result was that the Dane ended 12th, four positions behind his more experienced team-mate. Magnussen lamented having to save tyres in the race and was unable to get past Jean-Éric Vergne during the closing stages.

27 | Nico Hülkenberg | Force India-Mercedes | 5th | 8/10

Hülkenberg had been sitting just outside of the top 10 throughout the weekend so it was little surprise when he qualified in 11th on the grid. He started on the prime tyres but the duration of the early safety car didn’t help him as it allowed rivals to stretch their stint on options. He held back Vettel for several laps and eventually claimed another points’ finish, even if he was a little behind Sergio Pérez before the accident.

11 | Sergio Pérez | Force India-Mercedes | 11th | 8/10

Pérez had a bit of a messy Saturday with two spins at turn nine – one in practice, the other in qualifying – and was a little fortunate to escape Q1 following his faux pas. He ended up in 13th on the grid. In the race he tried a one stop strategy and was performing well, albeit unable to close the gap to Rosberg in the first two sectors. In the end he jinked left and was deemed to have caused the accident with Massa, for which he was penalised.

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

Sauber F1 Team

Sauber F1 Team

Q2 was a fairly competitive affair, with just a few tenths between eighth and 15th on the grid. But then came Sutil, who was six-tenths shy of even gaining a single position, such was the ill-handling nature of the C33. Sutil stayed out of trouble but the potential of the car was only good enough for 13th; his difficult season looks set to continue

21 | Esteban Gutiérrez | Sauber-Ferrari | 14th | 6/10

Gutiérrez has improved as a driver this season but a few minor mistakes have really hindered such progress from being seen publicly. His error in FP3 was only small – and fairly forgivable considering the awful handling of the Sauber – but it had far-reaching consequences. In the race he was a fairly anonymous figure, before returning with energy store problems.

25 | Jean-Éric Vergne | Toro Rosso-Renault | 8th | 10/10

Vergne traditionally runs well at low grip circuits and the French driver duly made it through to Q3 where he finished in a fine eighth place. He made a good start to move ahead of Alonso, before losing the position during the first round of stops. Nonetheless, he maintained strong pace and eventually beat Magnussen to record a cracking result for the team.

26 | Daniil Kvyat | Toro Rosso-Renault | Ret | 5/10

Kvyat was a few tenths shy of Vergne in qualifying but it was still a credible time on his first visit to the track. He made a good start but dropped several positions when he spun at the first corner soon after the restart. From there his race was ultimately compromised, before it came to an early end with a transmission failure.

19 | Felipe Massa | Williams-Mercedes | 12th | 8/10

Williams F1 Team

Williams F1 Team

Massa led the Williams charge early on in qualifying but on his last lap he fell just fractions shy of making it into third place on the grid. But as ever for Massa in 2014, something went wrong and in Canada it was at his stop. The right front wouldn’t come off instantly and the time delay cost him two positions. But worse was to come. After charging to the back of the lead group, he hit Pérez and suffered a horrifying impact into the wall, in which he was fortunately uninjured.

77 | Valtteri Bottas | Williams-Mercedes | 7th | 7/10

Bottas was noticeably riding the kerbs more aggressively than his rivals across practice and he nearly matched his 2013 effort in qualifying, but fell just 0.002s short. He was one of the challengers in the second leading group in the race but slipped back when his tyres went off, a predicament exacerbated by a couple of engine issues.

17 | Jules Bianchi | Marussia-Ferrari | Ret | 6/10

After his Monaco heroics, Bianchi’s qualifying result was a little underwhelming – the combination of an average first lap before a problem starting his car denied him a second flyer. But his race lasted only a few corners as he was tipped into the wall by Chilton; the impact was heavy although thankfully the only injury was to Marussia’s bank balance.

4 | Max Chilton | Marussia-Ferrari | Ret | 4/10

Chilton set a strong first lap in Q1 but the red flag for Marcus Ericsson’s accident scuppered any hopes of Q2 progression, which he was just a tenth from achieving. But his Sunday performance was the worst of his career as he started sliding at turn three and clipped Bianchi – the resulting impact causing terminal damage to his left front side. A retirement for the first time in his Formula 1 career.

10 | Kamui Kobayashi | Caterham-Renault | Ret | 6/10

Caterham F1 Team

Caterham F1 Team

The Caterham CT05 looked like a woeful car to drive throughout the weekend and it showed in the times, with Kobayashi almost a second behind usual rivals Marussia. The Japanese trailed around at the back for a few laps before an apparent suspension failure pitched him into a spin at the first corner.

9 | Marcus Ericsson | Caterham-Renault | Ret | 5/10

Ericsson’s difficult debut season continued as he crashed out of qualifying for the third time this season, damaging the left rear of his tardy CT05. He pulled into the pits soon after the race restarted due to a problem with a pipe connected to the turbo; Caterham opted to retire the Swede to avoid further damage to the Power Unit.

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