Hungarian Grand Prix: Driver ratings

By on Monday, July 27, 2015

Sebastian Vettel took his second win of 2015 as Mercedes faltered. Here, presents its driver ratings from an incident-packed Hungarian Grand Prix.

44 | Lewis Hamilton | Mercedes | G: 1st | R: 6th | 4/10

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Hamilton was on another level throughout the weekend as he topped every practice session and all three segments of qualifying on his way to an emphatic pole position. Unfortunately, it soon deteriorated. In his words, he chose the wrong option every time and put in one of his worst performances, though fortunately for him he still took sixth. Positives were his outright pace plus pass on Sergio Perez.

6 | Nico Rosberg | Mercedes | G: 2nd | R: 8th | 5/10

Rosberg was scratching his head for answers as he was adrift of Hamilton, unable to provide his team-mate with a challenge. It was a similar story in the race, as Rosberg couldn’t stay with the Ferraris and then wanted the same tyre choice as Hamilton – reactive rather than proactive? Contact with Ricciardo could have been avoided but it was a poor weekend even before the clash.

3 | Daniel Ricciardo | Red Bull | G: 4th | R: 3rd | 9/10

The real Daniel Ricciardo turned up after a few sub-par weekends and very nearly emerged as ‘best of the rest’ in qualifying. His race was an eventful affair though none of the three bouts of contact were his fault as he salvaged a stunning podium – dives into Turn 1 were superb!

26 | Daniil Kvyat | Red Bull | G: 7th | R: 2nd | 9/10

Kvyat looked set to continue his fine form but didn’t hook it up in qualifying and could manage only seventh. He maturely allowed Ricciardo through early on and stayed calm, surviving a shower of debris from Nico Hülkenberg’s shattered front wing, picking up second when his rivals hit trouble.

19 | Felipe Massa | Williams | G: 8th | R: 12th | 5/10

Williams Martini Racing

Williams Martini Racing

Massa was a couple of positions down on Valtteri Bottas on the grid and he didn’t help matters by triggering an extra formation lap when lining up incorrectly, thus earning himself a five second penalty. Massa then struggled with the Prime tyre and hopes of a point were gone.

77 | Valtteri Bottas | Williams | G: 6th | R: 13th | 7/10

Bottas was fourth early on but slipped back at a worrying rate of knots for the team but was still on course for a good haul of points until he was slowed by the ailing Hamilton and ended up clipped by Max Verstappen. That gave the Williams driver a puncture and from there he tumbled down the order.

5 | Sebastian Vettel | Ferrari | G: 3rd | R: 1st | 10/10

Vettel was wayward in practice with a lack of pace exacerbated by two spins and minor technical issues but he re-grouped and clocked the third best time in qualifying. The recovery continued as he surged into the lead at the start and simply kept his head while the rest behind lost theirs. His maturity shone through with poignant dedication to Jules Bianchi.

7 | Kimi Räikkönen | Ferrari | G: 5th | R: Ret | 8/10

Räikkönen missed his qualifying simulation during final practice due to a water leak and cited that lost track time as a contributing factor in his pace later on Saturday. He muscled his way into second place at the start and was cruising towards a podium until a loss of power intervened. Cruel.

14 | Fernando Alonso | McLaren | G: 15th| R: 5th | 9/10

McLaren Honda

McLaren Honda

Alonso’s effort at pushing his McLaren back to the pits in qualifying was admirable, and perhaps a metaphor for the season, though the regulations deemed it worthless, even before the squad identified a problem which prevented him from re-joining anyway. Crazy race meant Alonso was able to take fifth – a throwback to the Ferrari days!

22 | Jenson Button | McLaren | G: 16th | R: 9th | 8/10

Button enjoyed driving the MP4-30 in Hungary but a lack of power deployment in qualifying left him out in Q1 yet again. However, whereas most of his rivals seemed to find trouble, Button kept his head down and drove to ninth place, despite having to spend the final 35 laps on Prime tyres.

27 | Nico Hülkenberg | Force India | G: 11th | R: Ret | 8/10

Hülkenberg made one of the finest starts of the campaign as he rocketed from 11th position up to fifth, though Force India’s bad luck in Hungary returned when the front wing failed spectacularly on the pit straight. Hülkenberg was sent straight into the barriers, though fortunately he was uninjured.

11 | Sergio Pérez | Force India | G: 13th | R: Ret | 6/10

Perez’s accident during practice wasn’t necessarily enormous but circumstance made it look dramatic, and it was with relief that a shaken Pérez emerged unscathed. Pérez was one of many who could have scored but being spun by Pastor Maldonado scuppered his progress while he retired when his brake pedal went long.

33 | Max Verstappen | Toro Rosso | G: 9th | R: 4th | 9/10

Red Bull/Getty Images

Red Bull/Getty Images

Verstappen’s STR10 was hit by electrical gremlins in practice but he bounced back to progress through into Q3. In the race he kept a calm head as despite contact with Bottas and a penalty he collected fourth place, Toro Rosso’s best result since 2008.

55 | Carlos Sainz | Toro Rosso | G: 12th | R: Ret | 8/10

Sainz Jr. was a surprise contender during practice but slipped back in qualifying and was disappointed with 12th position. However, Sainz Jr. largely stayed out of trouble - an early kerfuffle with Romain Grosjean aside – and was set for fifth until reliability intervened for a third successive race, robbing the youngster of a top result.

8 | Romain Grosjean | Lotus | G: 10th | R: 7th | 7/10

Grosjean was one of several drivers to have an action-packed race as he was edged into the gravel by Sainz before getting stuck behind a McLaren. A time penalty for an unsafe release cost him time but at the end he managed to hang on to seventh under pressure from Rosberg.

13 | Pastor Maldonado | Lotus | G: 14th | R: 14th | 3/10

It’s fair to say Maldonado probably had the least straightforward 14th placed grid slot to 14th place finish in Formula 1 history. Contact with Pérez, speeding in the pit lane and passing Will Stevens under the Safety Car meant he undid a lot of his good work in 2015 by revering to type and collecting three penalties.

28 | Will Stevens | Manor Marussia | G: 20th | R: 16th | 5/10

Manor Marussia F1 Team

Manor Marussia F1 Team

Stevens didn’t have the pace of team-mate Roberto Merhi in qualifying but they continued their typical battle, while not getting out of the way of rivals, until Stevens had to retire late on due to a vibration on the right rear.

98 | Roberto Merhi | Manor Marussia | G: 19th | R: 15th | 6/10

Merhi gave up his first practice session as Manor Marussia opted to run Fabio Leimer and because of this it made the Spaniard’s advantage over Stevens in qualifying even more impressive. A loose head rest early on in the race put him off strategy and he collected 15th position.

9 | Marcus Ericsson | Sauber | G: 17th | R: 10th | 7/10

Sauber expected to struggle in Hungary but it occupied a lonely slot as firmly the ninth best team, though Ericsson at least got the better of Nasr in qualifying. Sauber’s pace was fairly non-existent in race trim, but Ericsson survived the chaos around him to salvage a point for the team courtesy of 10th.

12 | Felipe Nasr | Sauber | G: 18th | R: 11th | 6/10

See above, but with marginally less pace.

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