Hungarian GP: Driver Ratings

By on Monday, July 28, 2014
Red Bull/Getty Images

Red Bull/Getty Images

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

1 | Sebastian Vettel | Red Bull-Renault | Q: 2nd | R: 7th | 6/10

This was the first weekend all season where Vettel looked comfortable with the RB10. He almost claimed pole in qualifying while he was all over Valtteri Bottas throughout the first stint. Timing of the Safety Car completely scuppered his strategy and he played dare with the exit kerb of the final corner one time too many. Did well to avoid an enormous shunt though.

3 | Daniel Ricciardo | Red Bull-Renault | Q: 4th | R: 1st | 9/10

Like in Canada, Ricciardo took the win after passing an ailing rival with three laps of the race remaining. But unlike Canada, this was a race he won not just because of a mechanically restricted rival. The timing of the first Safety Car played perfectly into his hands, but he still had to manage his strategy and make the crucial moves to collect a fine victory.

44 | Lewis Hamilton | Mercedes | Q: Pit Lane | R: 3rd | 9/10

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Hamilton’s miserable Saturday luck continued as his car caught fire during qualifying, with the subsequent chassis change consigning him to a pit lane start. First lap spin almost eliminated him but from there he stayed out of trouble – including putting an outstanding move on Jean-Éric Vergne - and managed his strategy well to claim an unlikely third position and close the gap to Nico Rosberg.

6 | Nico Rosberg | Mercedes | Q: 1st | R: 4th | 8/10

Rosberg’s path to pole was cleared by Hamilton’s demise and in the wet he romped away, pulling a gap of almost two seconds a lap. Timing of the first Safety Car completely screwed his strategy and afterwards he was mired in traffic, albeit lacking aggression to pass Vergne. Another stop dropped him to seventh but he recovered and with one more lap, he could have taken Hamilton.

14 | Fernando Alonso | Ferrari | Q: 5th | R: 2nd | 9/10

Once again Alonso dragged the maximum out of the machinery at his disposal. He moved up to fourth at the start and while he didn’t profit from the timing of the Safety Car, he stayed out of trouble and Ferrari gambled. He stopped just once more and hung on despite his Options being past their best, although Ricciardo eventually got through. Second still a mighty result - to get within three laps of victory in the current package offered by Ferrari is some achievement.

7 | Kimi Räikkönen | Ferrari | Q: 16th | R: 6th | 7/10

Ferrari’s mistake in Q1 was embarrassing, although had Räikkönen put in a quicker lap, he wouldn’t have been in that predicament. He made progress in the race but from 16th on the grid in a car lacking pace, he was always playing a game of catch-up. Sixth place still his best result of the season, astonishingly.

8 | Romain Grosjean | Lotus-Renault | Q: 14th| R: Ret | 4/10

Lotus F1 Team

Lotus F1 Team

Lotus’s woeful 2014 season continues as Grosjean lost a lot of running due to a cooling issue in practice, before he managed just 15th in qualifying, leading to his exasperated ‘we couldn’t even beat [Adrian] Sutil?’ message. Race was little better and he embarrassingly shunted behind the Safety Car.

13 | Pastor Maldonado | Lotus-Renault | Q: 20th | R: 13th | 4/10

Maldonado’s qualifying session ended on the side lines and his race day started little better as he explored the run-off on his way to the grid, and then blundered comically into the Marussia of Jules Bianchi. Power Unit problems also slowed his progress.

22 | Jenson Button | McLaren-Mercedes | Q: 7th| R: 10th | 7/10

Slippery conditions? Check. Hungaroring? Check. Therefore it was no surprise to see Button surge up to fifth at the start, however McLaren believed it was going to rain again and kept Button out on Inters when the Safety Car came out. The rain never arrived and Button had to pit, effectively losing a pit stop and ruining his day.

20 | Kevin Magnussen | McLaren-Mercedes | Q: Pit Lane | R: 12th | 5/10

Magnussen was always facing an uphill challenge following his pit lane start (a result of his Q3 accident triggering a chassis and gearbox change) so McLaren’s gamble on Inters didn’t really affect his chance of a result. But his promising practice pace was ultimately not built upon and it was his qualifying shunt which was costly.

27 | Nico Hülkenberg | Force India-Mercedes | Q: 9th | R: Ret | 4/10

Sauber F1 Team

Sauber F1 Team

Hülkenberg has been impressive all season and in qualifying he again exceeded expectations by making it into Q3. But in the race he made a crucial error as he tagged team-mate Sergio Pérez, with the resultant contact putting him into the wall and into retirement for the first time this season.

11 | Sergio Pérez | Force India-Mercedes | Q: 12th | R: Ret | 4/10

Pérez was just ahead of team-mate Hülkenberg when the German hit him, but it was a few laps later when Pérez took himself out. The Mexican dipped a wheel onto the wet kerb, lost control of his car and slammed heavily into the pit wall. Fortunately he was uninjured.

99 | Adrian Sutil | Sauber-Ferrari | Q: 11th | R: 11th | 7/10

Sutil did well to qualify in 12th place, which became 11th, and once the rain came he recognised this was Sauber’s chance. But he was held back in the pits by Gutiérrez, inadvertently, and while he was all over the back of Button’s McLaren, he was unable to make a move. 11th was agonisingly close…

21 | Esteban Gutiérrez | Sauber-Ferrari | Q: 13th | R: 7/10

Gutiérrez’s qualifying performance was sub-par but in the race he made excellent progress and timed his first stop perfectly to vault into the top 10. It looked as if he was about to end his barren run but his C33 developed a problem and he had to stop. Another opportunity missed.

25 | Jean-Éric Vergne | Toro Rosso-Renault | Q: 8th | R: 9th | 8/10

Sahara Force India

Sahara Force India

As expected, Vergne thrived in damp conditions and surged up the field to run as high as second following the second Safety Car period. He raced well from there, albeit ultimately he regressed once the conditions dried. Nevertheless, this was a fine performance from the Frenchman.

26 | Daniil Kvyat | Toro Rosso-Renault | Q: Pit Lane| R: 14th| 6/10

Kvyat spun during the final moments of Q2 but still lined up in 10th place after Magnussen’s demise. Unfortunately he had no power at the start and had to start from the pits, which completely compromised his race and scuppered his chance of points.

19 | Felipe Massa | Williams-Mercedes | Q: 6th | R: 5th | 7/10

Massa was a little bit off the pace of team-mate Bottas all weekend but the timing of the Safety Car played into his hands as he moved up the order. From there he simply had to manage his pace to collect a good result for the first time in several races.

77 | Valtteri Bottas | Williams-Mercedes | Q: 3rd| R: 8th | 7/10

Bottas arrived in Hungary off the back of three straight podiums and while he played down the chance of claiming another rostrum, third on the grid put him in prime position. He leapt up to second at the start but the timing of the Safety Car, allied to a slow stop, scuppered his chance of a good result.

17 | Jules Bianchi | Marussia-Ferrari | Q: 15th| R: 15th | 7/10

Caterham F1 Team

Caterham F1 Team

Bianchi made it through to Q2 at the expense of Räikkönen and further showed his credentials for a Ferrari drive. In the race he was minding his own business when a Lotus hit him (guess which one) and the resulting damage compromised his balance and left him playing catch-up thereon.

4 | Max Chilton | Marussia-Ferrari | Q: 18th| R: 16th | 5/10

It was a bit of an underwhelming weekend for Chilton. Problems in the first practice session put him on the back foot but even so, he was unable to match Bianchi in qualifying and couldn’t take advantage of Bianchi’s damage in the race. Needs a better run out at Spa.

10 | Kamui Kobayashi | Caterham-Renault | Q: 17th | R: Ret | 7/10

Considering the machinery at his disposal, Kobayashi enjoyed a comparatively strong weekend. The Japanese driver made progress in the race and profited when Maldonado hit Bianchi, but unfortunately an issue with the fuel system slowed his progress and he was forced to retire the car.

9 | Marcus Ericsson | Caterham-Renault | Q: 19th| R: Ret | 3/10

Ericsson had a thoroughly horrible weekend in the recalcitrant Caterham CT05 as he was off track several times in practice and qualified a country mile behind team-mate Kamui Kobayashi. In the race, he got a little bit sideways at turn three, couldn’t hang on to the car and suffered a heavy impact with the tyre wall.

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