Indian Grand Prix: Driver Ratings

By on Monday, October 29, 2012

Sebastian Vettel | 1st | 10/10

The fact that Vettel has never been outside of the top two in any session in India shows just how he excels at the track. He was never troubled in the race and claimed the 26th victory of his career. Title number three there for the taking, but not yet assured.

Mark Webber | 3rd | 8/10

Webber made a good start but it wasn’t enough to take the lead into the first corner. Pace dropped off rapidly as the tyres wore down, but more importantly was a KERS issue that allowed Alonso to close in and pass.

Jenson Button | 5th | 7/10

Button’s start was strong but the pace on the option tyres was never there. A switch to the prime tyres brought the car alive but he was stuck behind the yet-to-stop Grosjean and ended up in fifth.

Lewis Hamilton | 4th | 9/10

Hamilton absolutely pushed to the limit in his pursuit of Webber and said that it was one of his best drives. A poor start meant that challenging the Red Bulls was going to be difficult, but he didn’t give up.

Fernando Alonso | 2nd | 9/10

Undoubtedly one of Alonso’s best drives of the season. His battle with the McLaren drivers on the opening lap was exquisitely judged for someone with so much on the line and his relentlessness showed through again. He can still win it.

Felipe Massa | 6th | 7/10

A difficult race for the newly renewed Brazilian. For much of the race Massa had to conserve fuel and ultimately this hampered his lap time; he nonetheless kept Raikkonen behind to take valuable points for Ferrari.

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Michael Schumacher | 22nd | 4/10

What can you say? Qualifying effort was fairly dismal and contact with Vergne at the first corner wasn’t really his fault. Puncture condemned him to a race at the back.

Nico Rosberg | 11th | 5/10

Rosberg failed to complete a lap in the two previous races and the gods of irony put him between Maldonado and Grosjean on the grid. He did survive the first lap, but considering the pace of the car, probably wishes he didn’t.

Kimi Raikkonen | 7th | 7/10

Raikkonen’s race was hampered by going in the wrong direction with regards to the set-up prior to qualifying. Firmly out of the title hunt now, but at least he knows what the back of the F2012 looks like.

Romain Grosjean| 7th | 7/10

Another race in which Grosjean managed to avoid any contact as he adopted an alternative strategy by starting on the prime tyres. He couldn’t quite catch up to Nico Hulkenberg, but a couple of points was a good reward.

Paul di Resta | 12th | 4/10

It really wasn’t a good weekend at Force India’s home race for di Resta as he put in one of his most uncompetitive showings since his arrival in the sport. He was limited by balance issues all weekend and finished outside of the points.

Nico Hulkenberg | 8th | 7/10

After his heroics in Korea, Hulkenberg gave the home fans something to cheer about courtesy of eighth place. Although whether they’d be fully cheering Force India considering Vijay Mallya’s position recently is anyone’s guess.

Sahara Force India

Kamui Kobayashi | 14th | 5/10

In Japan he was brilliant, in Korea he was hopeless and in India he was distinctly ordinary. Qualified in a miserable seventeenth position and he made some progress but not enough.

Sergio Perez | Ret | 5/10

McLaren will have watched Perez’s Indian race with concern; the Mexican struggled with his tyres early on, ran too deep at Turn 4 and then misjudged his road position when trying to pass Ricciardo. A very scrappy race.

Daniel Ricciardo | 13th | 6/10

An indifferent result after a few decent races. The car was always going to struggle in a congested midfield, while contact with Perez was avoidable but he wasn’t the biggest offender in that party.

Jean Eric Vergne | 15th | 4/10

The first corner at the Buddh Circuit is a tricky ninety degree right hander and it was Vergne who was the guilty party this time around. He hit the back of Schumacher, ruining both of their races, although points were always a long shot.

Pastor Maldonado | 16th | 3/10

This may seem a little harsh, but again it’s a seemingly minor mistake that ruins Maldonado’s race. Moving back in front of Kobayashi so prematurely was pointless, it gave him a puncture and it cost him a point.

Bruno Senna | 10th | 8/10

In comparison to his team mate, Senna perfectly judged his moves and earned a point for his efforts. Pass on Maldonado was plotted well, while going around the outside of Rosberg was a great move.

Caterham F1 Team

Heikki Kovalainen | 18th | 6/10

It was a difficult weekend for Kovalainen, whose position in the sport is under threat. He spun off in qualifying and then had to contend with a KERS issue that left him behind Petrov.

Vitaly Petrov | 17th | 7/10

He was comfortably ahead of Kovalainen in qualifying and raced with aplomb. He did benefit from Kovalainen’s KERS issue but was nonetheless up to 15th until the final moments when he was passed by Vergne and Maldonado.

Pedro de La Rosa | Ret | 6/10

For the second successive race HRT suffered a brake failure. Both Korea and India feature heavy braking zones, but so does the Yas Marina Circuit and, probably, Austin. They need to get this fixed, because it’s dangerous.

Narain Karthikeyan | 21st | 6/10

He qualified just 0.001s shy of his team mate’s time and ahead of Pic, which was a good showing. The race was less simple as he sustained front wing damage at the start and had to contend with overheating brakes throughout.

Timo Glock | 20th | 6/10

Glock’s race was one of misfortune and he seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time regarding blue flags. Got stuck behind Petrov’s Caterham early on and pace that was there on Friday had disappeared.

Charles Pic | 19th | 8/10

Qualifying was dismal but he made up for it in the race. He claimed several positions at the start but couldn’t hold off the charge of Petrov. Blue flags cost him time at the end of the race, but he was within range of Kovalainen.  

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