Singapore GP: Driver Ratings

By on Monday, September 21, 2015

Sebastian Vettel secured an emphatic victory while Mercedes struggled for pace for the first time in the V6 era. Here. we present our driver ratings from the Singapore Grand Prix.

44 | Lewis Hamilton | Mercedes | G: 5th | R: Ret | 7/10

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Hamilton and Mercedes struggled throughout the weekend but in race trim it was looking better, with the Briton holding fourth position despite being on the Prime tyre. However, he then lost engine power and tumbled down the order and into retirement.

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

This was a poor weekend from Mercedes but Rosberg was always adrift of Hamilton when it mattered. Fortune elevated him to fourth but with Vettel’s win it makes Rosberg’s title prospects even tougher to back.

3 | Daniel Ricciardo | Red Bull | G: 2nd | R: 2nd | 9/10

Ricciardo trailed Daniil Kvyat in practice but a stunning final sector solidified his second place on the grid in qualifying. In race trim he remained a lurking threat to Vettel but he was never truly going to pressure the Ferrari driver.

26 | Daniil Kvyat | Red Bull | G: 4th | R: 6th | 8/10

Kvyat led the second practice session but had to settle for fourth on the grid, albeit his best Saturday result. He maintained the spot but lost out due to the timing of the Safety Cars and came home sixth, not representative of his performance.

19 | Felipe Massa | Williams | G: 9th | R: Ret | 7/10

Scuderia Ferrari

Scuderia Ferrari

Massa was fortunate to escape without a penalty (or indeed damage) for his moment with Nico Hülkenberg exiting the pit lane but then it was his turn for bad luck with a mechanical gremlin, putting him on the side lines.

77 | Valtteri Bottas | Williams | G: 7th | R: 5th | 9/10

Singapore proved to be an unhappy hunting ground last year for Bottas while similar circuit layouts earlier in 2015 did not suit the Williams. However, he had the legs on Massa and used the undercut against Kvyat to slot into fifth, keeping Rosberg in check for a while as well.

5 | Sebastian Vettel | Ferrari | G: 1st | R: 1st | 10/10

This was vintage Vettel. He stormed to pole position, flicking his SF15-T between the walls with the assurance that he was comfortable yet on the limit. He romped away at the start, managed his pace and delivered a 2013-style victory.

7 | Kimi Räikkönen | Ferrari | G: 3rd | R: 3rd | 7/10

Räikkönen couldn’t match the pace of Singapore-specialist Vettel and that lack of confidence exacerbated the pace between them further. Tyre wear was also higher in the race but with Ferrari’s pace he was almost guaranteed third place.

14 | Fernando Alonso | McLaren | G: 12th | R: Ret | 8/10

McLaren Honda

McLaren Honda

Alonso was dragging the maximum out of the MP4-30 throughout the weekend and was performing with aplomb in the race. Unfortunately another gremlin – this time gearbox related – forced him out of a probably points result.

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

This was a thoroughly disappointing race for Button as he was on course for points until a collision with the hapless Maldonado was followed by an overheating gearbox. Will he stick around for 2016?

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

Hülkenberg made a good start from 11th and was looking for points until he was tipped into the wall by Massa. Hülkenberg was ahead at pit exit and ended up out of the race, but the stewards made a strangely rapid decision to sanction him for Japan.

11 | Sergio Pérez | Force India | G: 13th | R: 7th | 9/10

Pérez’s gradual, understated climb up the standings continues and he now occupies a fine ninth place courtesy of another solid midfield drive. Pérez jumped ahead of Alonso and Grosjean at the start before defending expertly against the faster Toro Rosso pair to collect seventh.

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

Red Bull/Getty Images

Red Bull/Getty Images

Probably one of the least straightforward eighth place on the grid to eighth at the finish. Verstappen dropped a lap but recovered it courtesy of the Safety Car and charged through the pack, showing his steely nature by questioning and defying a late team instruction.

55 | Carlos Sainz | Toro Rosso | G: 14th | R: 9th | 7/10

Sainz felt that he deserved a shot at Sergio Pérez during the closing stages of the race and said that if he was unsuccessful, he would have allowed Verstappen back through. “It’s something we need to talk about,” was his conclusion of the incident.

8 | Romain Grosjean | Lotus | G: 10th | R: 13th | 7/10

Grosjean was initially hindered by having to swerve around Verstappen’s stalled car and in trying to get the undercut against Alonso, it left him stopping earlier in both stints and being skewered by the Safety Car. He ran out of tyres and once out of the top 10 parked up to preserve the gearbox.

13 | Pastor Maldonado | Lotus | G: 18th | R: 12th | 5/10

Maldonado couldn’t find the grip which Grosjean had but points were a possibility until he was hit by Button, albeit having exceeded track limits himself and re-joined without much consideration for others.

28 | Will Stevens | Manor Marussia | G: 19th | R: 15th | 5/10

Manor Marussia F1 Team

Manor Marussia F1 Team

This was a desperately difficult weekend for Stevens and up against a debutant team-mate he struggled. Crash in second practice left him on the back foot but excessive tyre degradation in the race resulted in a lack of pace and his hopes disappeared.

53 | Alexander Rossi | Manor Marussia | G: 20th | R: 14th | 8/10

At what seemed like the umpteenth time of asking Rossi finally made his Formula 1 debut and, a practice shunt aside, he acquitted himself well. He coped with an arduous race in an unknown car to finish ahead of Stevens, in spite of no radio communication for the final half.

9 | Marcus Ericsson | Sauber | G: 17th | R: 11th | 6/10

Ericsson’s run of points came to an end but he only missed out by one position and seven seconds after 61 laps. Ericsson trailed Felipe Nasr throughout and was compromise further when a brake balance setting error left him with a big tyre lock up after his stop.

12 | Felipe Nasr | Sauber | G: 16th | R: 10th | 7/10

Nasr got the better of Ericsson for the first time since Austria and gained significantly in the first stint courtesy of the Safety Car, though following the second Safety Car he consequently lost tyre temperature. Nonetheless, he recovered and passed Grosjean late on for 10th.

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