Monaco Grand Prix: Driver Ratings

By on Monday, May 26, 2014

Rating the drivers for their performance in the 2014 edition of the Monaco Grand Prix

Red Bull/Getty Images

Red Bull/Getty Images

1 | Sebastian Vettel | Red Bull-Renault | Ret | 6/10

Vettel appeared to lack the confidence of team-mate Ricciardo throughout most of the weekend, although he blamed his qualifying deficit down to an ERS problem in his RB10. He profited from a poor start from Ricciardo to move up to third but his race was done when he encountered another mechanical problem.

3 | Daniel Ricciardo | Red Bull-Renault | 3rd | 8/10

Ricciardo was hustling his Red Bull across the weekend but expressed disappointment with his qualifying time – even if it was ‘best of the rest’ behind the Mercedes. He made a poor start in the race but benefited from problems striking Vettel and Räikkönen to move into third – an aspect he candidly admitted in the press conference. Nonetheless, it was a fine drive from the Australian.

44 | Lewis Hamilton | Mercedes | 2nd | 8/10

The contrast in the demeanour of the Mercedes drivers post-qualifying could not have been more different, with a morose Hamilton sulking into the press conference. He maintained second at the start and hustled Rosberg throughout most of the race but dropped back when he complained of getting dirt in his eye. He nonetheless kept Ricciardo at bay, but this was a difficult weekend.

6 | Nico Rosberg | Mercedes | 1st | 10/10

Was it deliberate? Many gave Rosberg the benefit of the doubt, even if a few suspicious were raised. He finally made a decent start – and at the right circuit – and was never headed as he controlled the race to win in Monaco for the second successive season, joining an illustrious list of double victors.

14 | Fernando Alonso | Ferrari | 4th | 8/10

Scuderia Ferrari

Scuderia Ferrari

Alonso claimed his qualifying effort was his best of 2014 as he came pretty close to beating reigning champion Vettel. The Spaniard made a poor start and slipped to sixth but was a primary beneficiary of Vettel and Räikkönen hitting trouble. He had a lonely race as he tried to get the gap down to Ricciardo but in the end settled for fourth position.

7 | Kimi Räikkönen | Ferrari | 12th | 5/10

The Finn expressed disappointment with his qualifying performance as despite finishing a place behind Alonso, he was seven-tenths down on his team-mate. A fine start saw him rocket up to fourth, which became third following Vettel’s demise. But he was hit by a Marussia exiting the pits and he had to pit again, dropping him down the order. His recovery was scrappy and the collision with Magnussen was amateurish.

8 | Romain Grosjean | Lotus-Renault | 8th | 6/10

After an encouraging upwards trajectory across the duration of the season, Lotus returned to earth with a bump as neither driver made it through to Q3. He pitted during the opening safety car period and that left him at the back for much of the race – but such was the rate of attrition that he ended up in eighth place for more points.

13 | Pastor Maldonado | Lotus-Renault | DNS | N/A

Maldonado made it through practice and qualifying without hitting anything – for the first time in a while – but the pace of the car was not good enough for Q3. He hoped for a clean start but sadly for the Venezuelan he never made it that far as his car didn’t move on the formation lap and his day was done.

22 | Jenson Button | McLaren-Mercedes| 6th | 7/10

McLaren Mercedes

McLaren Mercedes

Button was lacking compared to team-mate Magnussen throughout the weekend and while he was hindered by traffic in Q2, he admitted his effort simply wasn’t good enough. He also struggled in the race but he eventually closed the gap to Magnussen and passed him during the closing stages. After a couple of dismal events, it was at least a good result for the Brit.

20 | Kevin Magnussen | McLaren-Mercedes | 10th | 8/10

Magnussen immediately looked at home around the streets of Monte Carlo despite it being his first experience in a Formula 1 car. In the race he excelled, despite having to concede a spot to Vergne after overtaking him before the safety car line. He also lost out to Hülkenberg, but he was on course for a bigger handful of points until Räikkönen’s intervention.

27 | Nico Hülkenberg | Force India-Mercedes | 5th | 7/10

Hülkenberg missed the cut for Q3 but was relatively pleased with his effort. In the race he profited from staying out of trouble to collect yet another points finish and added 10 to his tally – continuing Force India’s strong start to 2014.

11 | Sergio Pérez | Force India-Mercedes | Ret | 6/10

Pérez typically excels at Monaco – in effort anyway – and progressed to the top 10 shootout, where he conceded he erred and ended up slowest. Camera angles at the start weren’t overly helpful, but he appeared to be an innocent victim of a lap one collision and his race was finished before it got started.

99 | Adrian Sutil | Sauber-Ferrari | Ret | 5/10

Sauber F1 Team

Sauber F1 Team

Sutil believed that the timing of the yellow flags hindered him in Q1, although the recalcitrant nature of the Sauber C33 meant that progression was always improbable. He pitted early and scythed past rivals in beautiful fashion during the early stages but he made a crucial error. He lost control under braking and wiped the front from the car – game over.

21 | Esteban Gutiérrez | Sauber-Ferrari | Ret | 5/10

Unlike Sutil, Gutiérrez avoided the barriers in the practice but the car still looked utterly terrible to drive. Q1 exit was little surprise in the circumstances. In the race he fared well for much of the encounter but a mistake at La Rascasse was costly as he caused terminal damage to his C33 and lost Sauber’s best chance of points in 2014 – as well as ninth in the championship to Marussia.

25 | Jean-Éric Vergne | Toro Rosso-Renault | Ret | 8/10

Vergne typically excels at circuits where grip is at a premium and the trend continued during qualifying as he lined up a fine seventh and not far behind Räikkönen’s Ferrari. The Frenchman started strongly but sadly he was released into the path of Magnussen and duly copped a drive through penalty. His misfortune continued when smoke appeared from his STR9, triggering his retirement.

26 | Daniil Kvyat | Toro Rosso-Renault | Ret | 8/10

Kvyat had what he described as the ‘messiest’ qualifying of his career as he crashed in Q1, impeded a rival and yet still qualified ninth on his Monaco debut. He ran strongly in the top 10 early on but his car slowed rapidly and he lost several seconds a lap before calling it a day.

19 | Felipe Massa | Williams-Mercedes | 7th | 7/10

Marussia F1 Team

Marussia F1 Team

Massa has had a spate of bad luck in 2014 and it continued during qualifying when the Brazilian was minding his own business, only to find a Caterham spearing across its trajectory. That left him on the sidelines in qualifying and a lowly 16th on the grid. But the Brazilian ran deep during the first stint and gained a heap of positions before pitting and benefitting from the problems which hit rivals.

77 | Valtteri Bottas | Williams-Mercedes | Ret | 7/10

Bottas was the only man to venture out for the first 40 minutes of an interminably dull second practice but even he only bothered for a single lap. Pace was absent in Q2 – more the car than the driver – and he lined up 13th. He stayed out of trouble for the most part but had to cut the chicane to stay ahead of Gutiérrez – a task proved redundant when his engine expired on the following tour.

17 | Jules Bianchi | Marussia-Ferrari | 9th | 10/10

Bianchi was one of the stars at the back of the grid as he put his Marussia higher than it should have been in FP3 and saw off Chilton by a comfortable six-tenths in Q1 – albeit the Sauber drivers remain out of reach. However, a gearbox issue dropped him two spots. In the race, however, he starred. His move on Kobayashi at La Rascasse was superb and he drove maturely to finally collect Marussia’s maiden points in the sport.

4 | Max Chilton | Marussia-Ferrari | 14th | 6/10

Chilton was always some way off Bianchi across the duration of the weekend but started ahead of his team-mate after Bianchi’s penalty. In the race he drove well but was consistently slower than the Frenchman and eventually came home three laps down – nonetheless maintaining his finishing record.

10 | Kamui Kobayashi | Caterham-Renault | 13th | 7/10

Caterham F1 Team

Caterham F1 Team

Kobayashi made a blinder of a start and profited from the problems of rivals to move up into 14th place – as others fell out of the race there was a moment when ‘what if’ was suddenly asked of the Japanese driver. But he was passed by Bianchi and from there he slipped back, ultimately coming home in 13th – a good result but not with a Marussia in ninth.

9 | Marcus Ericsson | Caterham-Renault | 11th | 7/10

Ericsson, rocking a Ronnie Peterson helmet, made a big mistake in qualifying as he approached Mirabeau way too quickly and hit the barriers, taking Massa with him. Cue a pit lane start and a couple of penalty points. He learned his lesson as in the race he kept out of the way of rivals and recorded his best finish in the sport – 11th place, agonisingly just outside of the points.

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