Hungarian Grand Prix: Driver Ratings

By on Monday, July 29, 2013

Rating the drivers for their performance at the Hungarian Grand Prix...

Red Bull/Getty Images

Red Bull/Getty Images

1 | Sebastian Vettel | Infiniti Red Bull Racing | 3rd | 8/10

After Friday practice, few would have bet against a Red Bull victory but Vettel missed out on pole and was then stuck behind Button for a considerable amount of time. The win was possible, but it was one of those weekends where a few minor issues limited Vettel to third place.

2 | Mark Webber | Infiniti Red Bull Racing | 4th | 8/10

Just about everything that could go wrong, did go wrong during qualifying, leaving Webber a distant tenth. He nonetheless bounced back courtesy of a strong start and maximised his alternative race strategy, eventually settling for fourth place.

3 | Fernando Alonso | Scuderia Ferrari | 5th | 8/10

Alonso continues his relentless optimism despite another weekend in which Ferrari was unable to compete for the win. Alonso made up one place at the start – although still found time to criticise Romain Grosjean – but rapidly lost ground to the leading trio.

4 | Felipe Massa | Scuderia Ferrari | 8th | 6/10

Massa’s difficult run continues as he was hampered by damage received during a first lap collision with Nico Rosberg. A mistimed move on a Force India allowed Kimi Raikkonen through, but his overall pace was limited by the damage. The balance of the car was affected, exacerbating its weaknesses and causing more tyre wear than anticipated.

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

5 | Jenson Button | Vodafone McLaren Mercedes | 7th | 7/10

Button spent most of the race being used as a target but he did well to hold off Vettel for so long. Eventually Button’s tyres hit the cliff and he was forced to concede the positions. He recovered to seventh place, showing that McLaren is making some progress.

6 | Sergio Perez | Vodafone McLaren Mercedes | 9th | 6/10

Perez recovered from a practice accident to qualify as the highest McLaren on the grid. He bagged a couple of points but it could have been better had he not made a poor start. Being dropped back into the midfield following his stops simply made matters worse.

7 | Kimi Raikkonen | Lotus F1 Team | 2nd | 9/10

For the fourth time, Raikkonen finished as runner-up to Hamilton in Hungary. The Finn looked the weaker of the Lotus drivers across the weekend but managed his strategy to perfection to secure another podium position.

8 | Romain Grosjean | Lotus F1 Team | 6th | 8/10

Surely this was Grosjean summed up in one race: flashes of brilliance and potential, ultimately undone by a silly error. His move on Button was clumsy but being penalised for his sublime pass on Massa was unjust.

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

9 | Nico Rosberg | Mercedes AMG Petronas | 19th | 5/10

It was again one of those anonymous races that still plague Rosberg. He cut in front of Massa at Turn 5 and paid the price, dropping outside of the top 10. He fought back into the points but his engine gave up with a handful of laps remaining.

10 | Lewis Hamilton | Mercedes AMG Petronas | 1st | 10/10

It has been coming, but few would have expected Hamilton’s first win for Mercedes to be at the Hungaroring, where track temperatures edged above 50*c. Hamilton’s race was perfect, executing a perfect start, brilliantly decisive passes as well as managing his tyres well. A title challenge isn’t out of the equation.

11 | Nico Hulkenberg | Sauber F1 Team | 11th | 7/10

Hulkenberg rubbished speculation that he was about to walk away from Sauber ahead of the summer break and the C32 appeared much improved around the twisty circuit. Gear selection issues led to speedy pit exit and a drive through penalty, costing him a point.

12 | Esteban Gutierrez | Sauber F1 Team | Ret | 5/10

Gutierrez’s season took a nosedive in Hungary as engine problems in practice left him with a mountain to climb. He made a positive start to the race and was on the fringes of the top 10 when a gearbox problem forced him into the garage.

14 | Paul di Resta | Sahara Force India | 18th | 3/10

Lotus F1 Team

Lotus F1 Team

A thoroughly miserable weekend for the British driver. He struggled for pace in practice, was knocked out in Q1 and retired from the race with a hydraulics problem. The only positive was a good start that almost elevated him into the top 10.

15 | Adrian Sutil | Sahara Force India | Ret | 6/10

Sutil’s 100th race didn’t pan out as the German hoped for as a hydraulics issue saw his race curtailed early on into the 70 lap affair. He did, though, have the measure of di Resta all weekend.

16 | Pastor Maldonado | Williams F1 Team | 10th | 7/10

Finally, after 10 races, Williams has chalked up their first point of the season. That such milestones are celebrated is a damning indictment of just how woeful their year has been; they have two quick drivers and 2014 cannot come soon enough.

17 | Valtteri Bottas | Williams F1 Team | Ret | 6/10

Bottas didn’t quite have the measure of team-mate Maldonado across the weekend but it mattered little as his race ended in a smoky heap at the final corner. Fortunately, the marshals were able to remove his car without the race needing to be neutralised.

18 | Jean-Eric Vergne | Scuderia Toro Rosso | 12th | 7/10

Williams F1 Team

Williams F1 Team

Vergne began the weekend having been effectively ruled out of the vacant Red Bull seat and was again sub-par in qualifying. He beat team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in the race but conceded that such achievements mattered little.

19 | Daniel Ricciardo | Scuderia Toro Rosso | 13th | 7/10

Once again Ricciardo pulled a rabbit out of the hat in qualifying by making it through to Q3. An ineffective strategy, combined with the heat, made for a difficult race and Ricciardo could only struggle home in thirteenth place.

20 | Charles Pic | Caterham F1 Team | 15th | 7/10

Pic beat team-mate Giedo van der Garde in qualifying but opted for a two stop strategy in the race that was ultimately inferior. The timing of Pic’s stop also meant that he lost time trying to get past both Marussia drivers.

21 | Giedo van der Garde | Caterham F1 Team | 14th | 8/10

Van der Garde utilised a three stop strategy in Hungary to record his best result of the season. Another good start meant that he was briefly ahead of Bottas and his race pace shows that he is combatting his biggest weakness, which is tyre management.

22 | Jules Bianchi | Marussia F1 Team | 15th | 7/10

Marussia F1 Team

Marussia F1 Team

It was quite a nightmarish weekend for Marussia; the car was nowhere near the pace of the Caterham – 0.8s shy in qualifying – and Bianchi described his race as ‘a bit of a battle’.  It could be a tough second half to the season.

23 | Max Chilton | Marussia F1 Team | 16th | 6/10

Not only was Marussia struggling with poor pace, but tyre wear also forced them to change to a three stop strategy. Chilton described the race as the toughest of his career and he did a competent job in difficult circumstances.

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