Singapore Grand Prix: Driver Ratings

By on Monday, September 24, 2012

Sebastian Vettel | 1st | 9/10

Vettel became the first back-to-back winner in Singapore although his victory owed a lot to the retirement of Lewis Hamilton. Managed his tyres well but misses out on full marks for a less-than-perfect qualifying lap and a mistake during the race that caused him to run wide.

Mark Webber | 11th | 5/10

Ever since his contract was renewed after Silverstone, Webber’s pace has gone missing. Even before the Safety Car scuppered his strategy, he was only on course for a handful of points. Post-race penalty was harsh, but it was a trying weekend.

Lewis Hamilton | Ret | 9/10

From Hamilton’s perspective, he did everything right. Pole lap was brilliant, while he maintained a gap to Vettel and was quicker than Button throughout the weekend. Gearbox failure was cruel and seriously dents his title aspirations.

Jenson Button | 2nd | 8/10

Button crucially passed Pastor Maldonado at the start, but didn’t have the pace to challenge the top two. Profited from his team-mate’s demise to finish as runner-up in Singapore for a second successive season.

Fernando Alonso | 3rd | 8/10

Another race, another podium for Alonso: the 81st of his career. It was an uneventful race for the Spaniard as he was the main beneficiary of retirements ahead of him. Nevertheless, he stayed out of trouble to add more points to his tally.

Felipe Massa | 8th | 7/10

Massa put himself in danger by only qualifying in the midfield and he paid the price on Lap 1 with a puncture. Fight back was exemplary, albeit assisted by the Safety Car. Move on Senna was brave and exquisitely handled.

Michael Schumacher | Ret | 4/10

Yet again Schumacher misjudged the braking point of a rival and clattered into the back of them: he did it in Singapore in 2011 and to Bruno Senna in Spain earlier this year. Cops a grid penalty for Suzuka after any issues with the car were ruled out.

Nico Rosberg | 5th | 7/10

It was a typical Rosberg race in that there was nothing to shout about and nothing spectacular, yet he still comes home with an almost unnoticed ten points. That it was his best result since Monaco says a lot about his and Mercedes’s season.

Kimi Raikkonen | 6th | 7/10

Raikkonen described Singapore as a “boring race” and it was difficult to argue from the Finn’s perspective. Quietly made his way up from twelfth and was right behind Schumacher when the Mercedes driver hit Vergne. More points, but nothing to shout about.

Romain Grosjean | 7th | 7/10

A similar story to Raikkonen. Managed to avoid a collision at the first corner, although it was close with Webber and Rosberg. Allowed Raikkonen through for the sake of the championship, but it made little difference.

Paul di Resta | 4th | 9/10

Undoubtedly one of the best drives of his career. The Brit qualified in a strong sixth place but after the second safety car period, he kept Alonso in his sights and pulled away comfortably from Rosberg.

Nico Hulkenberg | 14th | 5/10

A fairly unlucky weekend. Felt a bad team call in qualifying left him out of Q3, while his strategy was hampered by Raikkonen, Schumacher and then the Safety Car. Late race collision with Kobayashi added to general misery.

Kamui Kobayashi | 13th | 5/10

Kobayashi made a bad start but was always unlikely to progress. Car simply didn’t have the pace and Kobayashi lacked confidence. Contact with Hulkenberg was avoidable but made little difference to the result.

Sergio Perez | 10th | 6/10

Had a fairly scruffy Friday and Saturday and made minor contact with Hulkenberg in the race. Nevertheless, he stayed on the road and picked up a point when Webber was penalised. Always expected Singapore to be a struggle: Suzuka should suit the car perfectly.

Daniel Ricciardo | 9th | 7/10

Ricciardo admitted that the timing of the Safety Car was beneficial, although it was a slice of luck richly deserved after his woes at Monza. Surprisingly, he managed to keep Webber at bay to record his third points finish of the season.

Jean Eric Vergne | Ret | 7/10

Vergne was running well and most likely on for eighth place or possibly seventh when he was the innocent victim of Schumacher’s error. After his Monza shunt, the best part of the accident was that he escaped unharmed.

Pastor Maldonado | Ret | 9/10

For all of Maldonado’s failings in his race craft since his Spanish Grand Prix victory, this was a cruel blow to a Williams team that had a quick car this weekend. A bagful of points was on the cards but the team slipped further behind Force India.

Bruno Senna | 18th | 5/10

A disappointing weekend for the Brazilian as he hit the wall three times, terminally in qualifying, while his team-mate fought near the front. He was running on the fringes of the top ten when his KERS failed with sixteen laps remaining, a problem that caused him to stop with two laps to go.

Heikki Kovalainen | 15th | 6/10

Tony Fernandes believes Kovalainen’s recent lack of pace is down to external issues but in Singapore it was a woeful strategic call that left him struggling. Kept him out when the safety car emerged for the second time, by which time the tyres had gone and he needed to stop again.

Vitaly Petrov | 19th | 6/10

A bit of a messy affair in general. Made contact with Massa at the start, for which he apologised, and then had a wheel nut issue during his second stop. Also felt that the team didn’t get as much out of the tyres as they should have done.

Pedro de La Rosa | 17th | 7/10

Did all he could in what was the toughest race of the season. Managed ailing brakes with aplomb but couldn’t hold off faster rivals towards the end of the race as his tyres had reached the cliff.

Narain Karthikeyan | Ret | 4/10

A fairly poor race for the Indian driver. Car problems limited straight line speed, but mistake at Turn 18 was clumsy and largely of his own doing. Nevertheless, he should be thanked for his error as it spiced up the race for spectators.

Timo Glock | 12th | 9/10

A stellar race for Glock, a renowned Singapore specialist. Clattered the wall early on but continued and managed his tyres well. A little fortunate that the race didn’t go the full distance, but it was a result richly deserved after a difficult year for Marussia.

Charles Pic | 16th | 6/10

A good race for Pic although he was always unlikely to trouble Glock around the city streets. He spent too long on the option tyre in his final stint and eventually finished fifteenth, which later became sixteenth when his penalty was applied.

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