Italian Grand Prix: Driver ratings

By on Monday, September 7, 2015

Lewis Hamilton extended his championship lead to 53 points with a commanding victory in the Italian Grand Prix. Here, F1Zone.net presents its driver ratings.

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

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Hamilton appeared serene all weekend, keeping Rosberg at bay prior to the German’s engine change. He cruised away in the race and was never troubled, though post-race tyre pressure brouhaha was tense – many feel he escaped lightly.

6 | Nico Rosberg | Mercedes | G: 4th | R: Ret | 6/10

Rosberg was left on the back foot when Mercedes detected an engine problem and had to revert to an old specification, costing him performance. Rosberg lost ground avoiding Räikkönen at the start but fought back and was running third when he suffered a rare engine failure.

3 | Daniel Ricciardo | Red Bull | G: 19th | R: 8th | 8/10

Red Bull’s mechanics did a stellar job to change Ricciardo’s engine and get him on track but penalties left him on the back row of the grid anyway. Ricciardo nonetheless fought back through the pack to get in the points and snatched eighth from Ericsson on the final lap.

26 | Daniil Kvyat | Red Bull | G: 18th | R: 10th | 6/10

Kvyat was one of several drivers to sustain a grid penalty and lined-up a lowly 18th. Kvyat was always marginally adrift of team-mate Ricciardo throughout the race and had a relatively uneventful run en-route to the final point.

19 | Felipe Massa | Williams | G: 5th | R: 3rd | 9/10

Williams Martini Racing

Williams Martini Racing

Massa made a spot at the start but lost out to Rosberg through the pit stops; Bottas became an increasing threat late on having stopped after the Brazilian, but Massa defended well to collect the podium by just 0.3s.

77 | Valtteri Bottas | Williams | G: 6th | R: 4th | 8/10

Bottas couldn't quite match Massa's pace in qualifying or the race but made a valiant attempt at fighting for the podium by extending his stint on Options and having fresher Primes for the final stint. Unfortunately, it didn't quite pay off as Massa held on to the podium spot.

5 | Sebastian Vettel | Ferrari | G: 3rd | R: 2nd | 9/10

Vettel led the fight against Mercedes on Friday but a mistake in Q3 left him behind Räikkönen on the grid. Vettel profited from Räikkönen’s costly start to move into second, where he remained thereafter, resisting pressure from Rosberg prior to his demise.

7 | Kimi Räikkönen | Ferrari | G: 2nd | R: 5th | 6/10

Räikkönen qualified on the front row of the grid for the first time in two and a half years and even briefly managed a smile to mark the occasion. However, it lasted mere moments before he tumbled down the order. He was able to recover, but a podium position went begging.

14 | Fernando Alonso | McLaren | G: 16th | R: Ret | 7/10

McLaren Honda

McLaren Honda

The quirky nature of the penalty system meant that both McLaren drivers started higher than where they qualified despite the pair receiving grid drops. He adopted a different strategy to Button and was closing on his team-mate when he retired to the pits.

22 | Jenson Button | McLaren | G: 15th| R: 14th | 7/10

Button made a rocket-like start to race in the top 10 briefly and he put up a defence, rather than just letting his rivals past. Such a feat was admirable and he even tried to return the favour against Max Verstappen, but it was always going to be a tough race.

27 | Nico Hülkenberg | Force India | G: 9th | R: 7th | 7/10

The VJM08B was competitive during practice but another loss of power, this time in qualifying, left Hülkenberg a slightly underwhelmed ninth. He was involved in contact at the start and later on struggled with tyre wear, but hung on against Ericsson initially before pulling away to take seventh.

11 | Sergio Pérez | Force India | G: 7th | R: 6th | 9/10

Pérez admitted he tried to get a tow off of Räikkönen in qualifying but misjudged the situation, albeit conceding it didn’t cost him any positions. In the race he largely ran at his own pace and put in another strong performance, though was unable to resist Räikkönen towards the end.

33 | Max Verstappen | Toro Rosso | G: 20th | R: 12th | 7/10

Red Bull/Getty Images

Red Bull/Getty Images

Verstappen was sent out in qualifying with only 50% of the bolts on his engine cover attached and such a gross misjudgement should have resulted in a team fine, not a driver sanction. A drive through penalty in the race therefore left him on the back foot so he did well to recover to 12th.

55 | Carlos Sainz | Toro Rosso | G: 17th | R: 11th | 7/10

Sainz’s weekend began problematically as he spun off under braking for Parabolica, but he recovered to at least make Q2. Pace in the race was as expected though a five second time penalty for exceeding track limits didn’t aid progress and was obviously unavoidable.

8 | Romain Grosjean | Lotus | G: 8th | R: Ret | 6/10

From the highest of highs to one of the low points of the year. Lotus’ problems have been well documented but Monza should have suited the E23 Hybrid. Unfortunately for Grosjean, a first corner collision ended his hopes.

13 | Pastor Maldonado | Lotus | G: 10th | R: Ret | 5/10

Maldonado was the only Mercedes-powered driver unable to make Q3 but he started from the top 10 anyway following Ericsson’s sanction. However, contact with Nico Hülkenberg at the start ended his prospects and he retired for the eighth time in 2015.

28 | Will Stevens | Manor Marussia | G: 13th | R: 15th | 7/10

Manor Marussia F1 Team

Manor Marussia F1 Team

Penalties for rivals enabled Stevens to start the race from the giddy heights of 13th position but obviously retaining such a position was difficult – even if he did end the first lap ahead of Red Bull’s Kvyat!

98 | Roberto Merhi | Manor Marussia | G: 14th | R: 16th | 6/10

Merhi held the upper hand over Stevens across recent weekends but in Italy the Briton turned the tables and had a pace advantage throughout. Merhi nonetheless did his usual competent job and brought the car home.

9 | Marcus Ericsson | Sauber | G: 12th | R: 9th | 7/10

Ericsson did well to haul his Sauber into the top 10 but was demoted to 12th after silly driving during Q1, when he impeded Hülkenberg. Ericsson raced well inside of the points throughout proceedings to finish in the top 10 for the third successive race and display his improved form.

12 | Felipe Nasr | Sauber | G: 11th | R: 13th | 6/10

Nasr was adrift of Ericsson pace-wise and didn’t help matters further when contact at the first corner left him out of sequence in terms of pit stops. From there, it was a relatively lonely race and an opportunity missed.


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