Mexican Grand Prix: Driver Ratings

By on Monday, November 2, 2015

Nico Rosberg returned to the top step of the podium as Mercedes clinched another 1-2. F1Zone.net presents its Mexican Grand Prix driver ratings.

44 | Lewis Hamilton | Mercedes | G: 2nd | R: 2nd | 8/10

Red Bull/Getty Images

Red Bull/Getty Images

Hamilton appeared subdued throughout practice and qualifying but remained confident that focusing on race set-up would pay dividends. However, he remained marginally adrift throughout the race and could never get close enough to Rosberg to even attempt a move.

6 | Nico Rosberg | Mercedes | G: 1st | R: 1st |10/10

Rosberg collected his fourth straight pole position but denied that he was driven by anger, simply posting a quicker lap than Hamilton. Rosberg got his approach right into Turn 1 and from there kept Hamilton at bay to notch up his first win since the summer.

3 | Daniel Ricciardo | Red Bull | G: 5th | R: 5th | 8/10

Ricciardo’s practice pace deserted him during qualifying and after securing fifth he conceded he feared a Q2 exit at one stage. Ricciardo made contact with Sebastian Vettel at the start but it was simply a racing incident, while lack of top speed later hindered him against the Williams. He got ahead of Felipe Massa, but felt switch to Options was the incorrect call.

26 | Daniil Kvyat | Red Bull | G: 4th | R: 4th | 9/10

Kvyat held the advantage over Ricciardo throughout the weekend and spent the bulk of the race in third position, ahead of the chasing pack. Unfortunately the deployment of the Safety Car, and subsequent restart, left him helpless against Valtteri Bottas.

19 | Felipe Massa | Williams | G: 7th | R: 6th | 7/10

Williams Martini Racing

Williams Martini Racing

Massa couldn’t match the pace of his team-mate and ultimately slipped back, enabling Ricciardo to muscle his way past at Turn 1 as he struggled with rear tyres. That cemented sixth place for the Brazilian.

77 | Valtteri Bottas | Williams | G: 7th | R: 3rd |9/10

Bottas suffered a frightening high-speed off during practice when a DRS stall pitched him wide at Turn 1 but he recovered to qualify sixth. He was forceful in the race up against Kimi Räikkönen and was rewarded with a fine third place.

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

Occasionally a great driver has an awful race and this was one such example. Vettel’s start was sub-par and that left him exposed at Turn 1, at which he closed the door on Ricciardo and sustained a puncture. A mistake at Turn 7 followed before another error at the same corner truncated his race.

7 | Kimi Räikkönen | Ferrari | G: 19th | R: Ret | 5/10

Räikkönen’s dismal run continued as practice stoppage hindered his qualifying effort and left him mired towards the back of the pack. He was playing the long game on Prime tyres but contact with Bottas, which could have been avoided, proved terminal.

14 | Fernando Alonso | McLaren | G: 18th | R: Ret | 6/10

McLaren Honda

McLaren Honda

McLaren is making progress, as demonstrated by Alonso’s Sector 2 and 3 times in qualifying, but a tangible development won’t come until pre-season. Problem pre-race meant McLaren knew his race would be brief, but it turned out to last just one lap.

22 | Jenson Button | McLaren | G: 20th | R: 14th | 6/10

Button endured a miserable time as problems left him in the garage while new components resulted in him accruing a record haul of grid penalties. The race was little better, as he trundled around trying not to get hit and came 14th.

27 | Nico Hülkenberg | Force India | G: 9th | R: 7th | 8/10

This was a fairly non-descript race from Hülkenberg but after a sequence of difficult races it was a welcome relief. Hülkenberg was adrift of the Red Bull/Williams drivers throughout but was faster than those behind, and seventh was duly his reward.

11 | Sergio Pérez | Force India | G: 10th | R: 8th | 8/10

Unsurprisingly the majority of the crowd cheered for the home hero, with the fans creating an electric atmosphere when he drove through the Foro Sol Stadium. Unfortunately his prospects in the race were always fairly limited though he performed well to defend against drivers with fresh tyres during the final stint.

33 | Max Verstappen | Toro Rosso | G: 8th | R: 9th | 8/10

Red Bull/Getty Images

Red Bull/Getty Images

Verstappen was rapid out of the blocks but his progress was stunted when he put the STR10 in the wall in second practice. His recovery was competent as he made it through to Q3, where he qualified in eighth spot.

55 | Carlos Sainz | Toro Rosso | G: 11th | R: 13th | 6/10

Sainz had been battling on the fringes of the top 10 across the race but suffered several lock-ups and appeared to be ill at ease with the handling of the STR10. He later shot wide at Turn 1 and was perplexed by a sudden loss of lap time which cost him several positions.

8 | Romain Grosjean | Lotus | G: 12th | R: 10th | 7/10

Lotus lacked pace in Mexico and was towards the back of the midfield, as the circuit layout and altitude didn’t suit the E23 Hybrid package. Grosjean nonetheless collected a point to end a barren run.

13 | Pastor Maldonado | Lotus | G: 13th | R: 11th | 6/10

Maldonado was in a similar situation to Grosjean but was always slightly behind his team-mate. He could have got ahead, but mistake at Turn 12 cost him time.

28 | Will Stevens | Manor Marussia | G: 17th | R: 16th | 6/10

Manor Marussia F1 Team

Manor Marussia F1 Team

Stevens’ one-lap effort was scuppered initially by a stuck throttle and latterly by a call to the weighbridge, a situation exacerbated by lack of practice running. Stevens was running ahead of Alexander Rossi in the race but a strategy switch to a one-stop left him helpless in the final stint.

53 | Alexander Rossi | Manor Marussia | G: 16th | R: 15th | 7/10

Braking issues hindered FP3 progress but they were repaired in time for qualifying and Rossi once more got the better of Stevens. Rossi struggled across the opening stint but was far more comfortable across the next two and finished ahead of Stevens once more.

9 | Marcus Ericsson | Sauber | G: 14th | R: 12th | 6/10

Ericsson may not be the quickest driver in history but he has been faster than Nasr across recent events, albeit a statistic masked by the limitations of the Sauber. Brake woes hampered progress in what was a trying race.

12 | Felipe Nasr | Sauber | G: 15th | R: Ret | 5/10

Nasr struggled with brakes throughout the race to the extent that even the pursuing Jenson Button could see there was a problem. Fortunately for the Brazilian they let go at slow speed and his demise was low-key, rather than the result of an enormous accident.


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