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Italian Grand Prix: Driver Ratings

Italian Grand Prix: Driver Ratings



Italian Grand Prix: Driver Ratings

Italian Grand Prix: Driver Ratings

The Italian Grand Prix went the way of Ferrari for the first time since 2010 as Charles Leclerc announced himself as a bona fide star of today, and not just a leading light of years to come.

Leclerc held off stiff competition from both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, as Mercedes tried desperately to spoil a party that was at risk of being pooped after Sebastian Vettel's latest comedy of errors.

Matt Scott has run the rule over all 20 drivers in action. Let us know if you agree, or not, with the scores on Facebook and Twitter!

Carlos Sainz (Qual: 7th - Race: DNF) 5/10

Consecutive DNFs for Sainz, who was the only driver to get himself together in the farcical Q3, only for an unsecured wheel to end his race immediately after his pit-stop.

Daniil Kvyat (Qual: 13th - Race: DNF) 6/10

Could have secured a good chunk of points, having raced with Alex Albon's Red Bull, but an oil leak saw him pull over shortly after pitting.

Kevin Magnussen (Qual: 12th - Race: DNF) 4/10

Another race spent largely going backwards before a hydraulic problem put him out of his misery.

Robert Kubica (Qual: 19th - Race: 17th) 4/10

Got a decent launch, but struggled to keep up the momentum, and gradually filtered back through the field. Kubica's efforts were hampered further as he was forced into an extra stop after damaging his tyres while battling Magnussen.

Romain Grosjean (Qual: 16th - Race: 16th) 3/10

The Frenchman was involved in a Turn 1 collision that also affected Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen. While they recovered to finish in the points, such results seem beyond Haas at the moment and a huge spin at the Ascari Chicane was fortunate to only result in flat-spotted tyres.

Kimi Raikkonen (Qual: 10th - Race: 15th) 3/10

Started from the pit-lane after crashing in qualifying and then had to take a 10-second stop-go penalty because Alfa Romeo did not realise he had to start on his Q2 tyres, having made Q3. In his own words "a sh*t weekend".

George Russell (Qual: 18th - Race: 14th) 6/10

Very nearly held off Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari, which – regardless of the German's likely low mood – would have been some achievement in this Williams. Russell kept up his qualifying whitewash over Kubica and has more suggested he could sneak big results if the car underneath him improves.

Sebastian Vettel (Qual: 4th - Race: 13th) 1/10

An entire weekend full of disappointment for Vettel, whose position as Ferrari team leader looks shaky at best, and extinct at worst. He could be rightly frustrated at the qualifying chaos robbing him of his best chance at pole, but Vettel can only look at himself for the race. Having failed to make an impression at the start, even dropping a place to Nico Hulkenberg's Renault, a downright dangerous re-entry which resulted in contact with Lance Stroll was deservedly punished.

Disqualification was the only harsher sanction the stewards could have meted out. Maybe they ought to have, to save him from the further embarrassment if little else.

Lance Stroll (Qual 9th - Race: 12th) 6/10

Kept up an impressive record of reaching Q3 every year he has raced at Monza – it's something Stroll has not achieved at any other track. He was desperately unlucky to be taken out by Vettel's senselessness, although the Canadian was guilty of doing the exact same thing to Pierre Gasly as he looked to get going again and duly took his own punishment to drop out of the points.

Pierre Gasly (Qual: 15th - Race: 11th) 5/10

Lost crucial time in having to crawl through the gravel as Stroll spun back onto the track in his path, undoing some positive work done with Honda's new power unit on-board. As it is though, Toro Rosso remain without a point in their home race in the V6 Hybrid era.

Lando Norris (Qual: 14th - Race: 10th) 6/10

Norris' start from the 'back' of the grid ended up being in 16th thanks to other penalties, but his progress was somewhat checked by an unfortunately timed VSC period just after his pit-stop. Another point to McLaren in a weekend that Renault scored big haul could still be crucial.

Antonio Giovinazzi (Qual: 11th - Race: 9th) 7/10

Giovinazzi became the first Italian to score points at Monza since Jarno Trulli and Giancarlo Fisichella each did so in 2006 with an assured if slightly unspectacular drive, although points are never to be sniffed at, especially after missing out on the last lap a week prior.

Max Verstappen (Qual: 20th - Race: 8th) 6/10

A start from the back of the grid, broken front wing at Turn 1 and poorly timed VSC all conspired to leave the Dutchman short of his target of taking fifth place. Singapore in a fortnight's time will give him plenty of opportunities to make up for two disappointing weekends on the spin, however.

Sergio Perez (Qual: 17th - Race: 7th) 7/10

Perez was perhaps the biggest winner when the VSC was triggered by Kvyat's retirement as it allowed him to stop and grow a gap to Verstappen, in particular. Red Bull's straight-line struggles also helped the Mexican take back-to-back points finishes after an eight-race drought was broken in Belgium

Alexander Albon (Qual: 8th - Race: 6th) 7/10

Ran wide while battling Sainz and was then penalised for not giving a place to Magnussen afterwards, but Albon once again showed decent powers of recovery to climb into the top six. He was also the big loser of the Q3 farrago as his first time was curtailed by Raikkonen's crash and the subsequent red flags, before the phantom set of second runs.

Nico Hulkenberg (Qual: 6th - Race: 5th) 7/10

Perhaps with a contract to race for from elsewhere, Hulkenberg started brilliantly to jump both Daniel Ricciardo and Vettel, although he was never going to keep the Ferrari behind for long and his team-mate eventually got back through with the use of DRS. Whether we would have seen an all-yellow battle is uncertain, but Ricciardo gained ground by stopping under the VSC anyway, to leave Hulkenberg matching his best result in Renault colours.

Daniel Ricciardo (Qual: 5th - Race: 4th) 7/10

Ricciardo also matched his best result at Monza and was quick to praise the work done by Renault's engine department in Viry. He was just a bit of contact up front away from taking a podium, but he still contributed to Renault's best points haul from a single grand prix since Japan 2008. Having closed to within 18 points of McLaren, the battle for fourth in the constructors' standings may be on.

Lewis Hamilton (Qual: 2nd - Race: 3rd) 8/10

Mercedes' race pace might have been superior to Ferraris but the SF90s top speed was enough to give Leclerc his fighting chance against Hamilton. The world champion was dogged and persistent, pushing Leclerc all the way, and even forcing a mistake out of the Monegsque, albeit on a spot of track where he could just about recover. Unfortunately for Hamilton, it also pushed his tyres too far and they gave up the ghost 11 laps from the end, leaving Hamilton to settle for third, with a fastest-lap bonus point ensuring his championship lead is only trimmed to a still mighty 63 points.

Valtteri Bottas (Qual: 3rd - Race: 2nd) 7/10

As Bottas was told over team radio: "This is your win." Unfortunately the Finn could not capitalise on some extremely strong Mercedes strategizing. Given essentially one shot to get by Leclerc after Hamilton had fallen away, he nervously locked up at the first chicane and could not quite make the ground back up by the time the chequered flag was welcoming the home crowd's hero. The win would not really have changed much in the title race, but it might have paid back some of the faith shown by Mercedes to offer Bottas another year in the seat.

Charles Leclerc (Qual: 1st - Race: 1st) 10/10

Composed. Accurate. Stern. Leclerc's ability has never really been in doubt, but this was as well-rounded a weekend performance as we've seen from somewhere other than the #44 car in some time. Leclerc has moved ahead of Vettel in the standings for the first time and might have even taken third from Verstappen had he not scored points. Ferrari may not be as comfortable on some of the tracks to come, but we now know that it is Leclerc they will look to in order to maximise results. His racing with Hamilton was hard, but ultimately fair, and his ability to maintain pace in the face of Bottas' charge likely pushed the Finn into a desperation-laced mistake of his own.


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