Monaco Grand Prix: Driver Ratings

By on Monday, May 25, 2015

An ill-judged pit stop cost Lewis Hamilton victory and it was Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg who profited in Monaco. Here, we reflect on the performance of each driver at the Monaco Grand Prix.

44 | Lewis Hamilton | Mercedes | G: 1st | R: 3rd | 10/10

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Hamilton looked confident throughout Thursday practice but his confidence waned during the final session. He rediscovered it emphatically in time for Q3 as he clocked two laps quick enough for his first Monaco pole. Controlled proceedings in the race in a fashion not seen for years until that pit stop…

6 | Nico Rosberg | Mercedes | G: 2nd | R: 1st | 7/10

Rosberg bounced back from a sub-par practice initially on Saturday but he lost his rhythm in Q3 and wasted his final lap with a huge lock-up into Sainte Devote. Rosberg was comfortably second best in the race but was handed victory on a plate by Mercedes’ strategist - something he duly recognised.

3 | Daniel Ricciardo | Red Bull | G: 4th | R: 5th | 7/10

Red Bull performed far stronger in Monaco but Ricciardo was frustrated after an incorrect engine setting hindered the start of his flying lap in Q3. He dropped down at the start and spent much of the race battling with Kimi Räikkönen. He bulldozed the Finn out of the way before being allowed a go at Hamilton. When that didn’t work out, he dutifully handed fourth back to the deserving Daniil Kvyat.

26 | Daniil Kvyat | Red Bull | G: 5th | R: 4th | 9/10

Kvyat had not enjoyed a strong start to the 2015 campaign but he was on form in Monaco as he jumped ahead of team-mate Ricciardo into Sainte Devote before comfortably having the better of the Australian. He allowed Ricciardo through to have a chance at Hamilton, before getting fourth back at the end of the race.

19 | Felipe Massa | Williams | G: 12th | R: 15th | 6/10

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Williams looked off the pace all weekend so it was little surprise to see Massa exiting Q2. His weekend was ultimately unlikely to improve, though a first corner collision left him with tyre damage and resulted in the Brazilian needing to make an unscheduled stop.

77 | Valtteri Bottas | Williams | G: 16th | R: 14th | 6/10

Bottas struggled with traffic in Q1 but even accounting for the difficulties in warming up tyres, it was a lowly effort from the Finn. That effectively ended his hopes for the race while the timing of the Safety Car didn’t aid his decision to switch to a two stop strategy, leaving him out of the points.

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

Vettel admitted that Ferrari was hit by the cooler, cloudier conditions during qualifying but he still managed to emerge as ‘best of the rest’ once more. Vettel hung on to the back of Rosberg for much of the race and profited from Mercedes’ error to claim second position.

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

Räikkönen crashed out of final practice – albeit a light touch with the wall – while he blamed traffic and tyres for his inability to qualify higher than sixth. Räikkönen was unable to get by on either Red Bull at the start but jumped Ricciardo in the pits, until the Australian’s aggression paid off at Mirabeau. Räikkönen complained, but no further action was taken.

14 | Fernando Alonso | McLaren | G: 13th | R: Ret | 6/10

McLaren Honda

McLaren Honda

Alonso had been eager to make it through to Q3 but his car entered anti-stall mode just as he was starting his first flying lap in Q2, knocking him out of the session early. He nudged Nico Hülkenberg out of the way at the start – for which he was harshly penalised – and was behind Jenson Button for much of the race until the car shut down.

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

Button cut an agonised figure over the team radio as he narrowly missed out on a berth in Q3, which he attributed to yellow flags caused by Rosberg’s off at Sainte Devote. In the race he got the better of Alonso and collected eighth position in order to secure McLaren’s first 2015 points at last.

27 | Nico Hülkenberg | Force India | G: 11th | R: 11th | 6/10

Hülkenberg clattered into the wall during Q1 but recovered to progress into Q2, where he went no further. He ended up as the loser on the first lap as he ended up in the barriers after a tap from Alonso and then promptly ran over his own front wing. Not the best race.

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

Pérez had spoken about the ability of a driver to make a difference at Monaco and he was one of the stars of qualifying as he not only made it into Q3, but he managed to beat both Toro Rossos and one Lotus. In the race it was more of the same as he maintained seventh place and bagged a good haul of points for the Silverstone-based team.

33 | Max Verstappen | Toro Rosso | G: 9th | R: Ret | 7/10

Red Bull/Getty Images

Red Bull/Getty Images

Verstappen starred in the opening practice session but expressed disappointment with his grid position (despite it being his first Monaco experience) as he blamed tyre issues on a lack of pace. A slow pit stop in the race cost him time but he was superb in getting them back, until making a rookie error and suffering a large accident after hitting Romain Grosjean.

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

Sainz Jr. managed to set the eighth fastest time in qualifying but not stopping for the weigh bridge meant he was sent to start from the pit lane. It was a rookie error, but one for which he was harshly penalised. From there he drove a fine race and while he didn’t grab the attention compared to Verstappen, he was the one who collected a point.

8 | Romain Grosjean | Lotus | G: 15th | R: 12th | 7/10

Drivers are always unhappy to cop penalties but in Monaco they hit particularly hard – Grosjean’s sick gearbox in Spain left him with a five place sanction here. He made minor progress in the race and was defending the final point from Verstappen until the Dutchman’s error. That left him off-track briefly and with a damaged car as he claimed 12th place.

13 | Pastor Maldonado | Lotus | G: 8th | R: Ret | 6/10

Maldonado for once got the better of Grosjean in qualifying and moved up a spot when Sainz’s performance was deemed irrelevant. However, while initially looking on for points his Lotus developed a brake problem which put him out of action for the fifth time in six races.

28 | Will Stevens | Manor Marussia | G: 18th | R: 17th | 6/10

Manor Marussia F1 Team

Manor Marussia F1 Team

Stevens continued his qualifying form against Merhi on Saturday, though was hindered by a small problem with the car. Stevens collected front wing damage at the start and allied to the lack of pace in the car, it left him adrift of the pack.

98 | Roberto Merhi | Manor Marussia | G: 19th | R: 16th | 7/10

Merhi was again unable to trump Stevens in qualifying though the gap was smaller than it had been in recent races. Merhi took advantage of a few problems for Stevens in the race to finally beat the Briton in a fight and become the first Manor Marussia home for the first time.

9 | Marcus Ericsson | Sauber | G: 17th | R: 13th | 5/10

A lack of downforce hurt Sauber in Monaco and made it even more difficult to get temperature into tyres. Nonetheless, Ericsson was off the pace of team-mate Felipe Nasr when it mattered. His lowly grid slot left him compromised and progress was few and far between in race trim as he managed to finish down in 13th place.

12 | Felipe Nasr | Sauber | G: 14th | R: 9th | 8/10

Nasr was evidently afflicted by the same absence of downforce as Ericsson, though nonetheless beat his team-mate by the tune of four tenths of a second. Nasr made progress in the race and reacted to the Safety Car to switch back to Option tyres, collecting two valuable points for Sauber.

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