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Russian Grand Prix: Driver Ratings

Russian Grand Prix: Driver Ratings

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Russian Grand Prix: Driver Ratings

Russian Grand Prix: Driver Ratings

For Formula 1 fans, the one thing we all want to see is a bit of drama. Thankfully for us, then, the Russian Grand Prix was full of it - battles were being held on the pit wall, on team radio, and even on track.

What's more, these battles won't be finished in Sochi - wounds were opened here that will need more than time to heal.

As with any battle, some come out of them looking better than others. Mistakes are made by some, whilst brilliance shown by others.

Tom Jeffries has run the rule over the 20 drivers in action and assessed whether they've come out looking battle-hardened or battle-weary. Let us know if you agree, or not, with the scores on Facebook and Twitter!

Romain Grosjean (Qual: 9th – Race: DNF) 5/10

Grosjean, despite having a definite seat for next season, is in desperate need of a good result; the Frenchman has scored points in one of his last 10 races, but his ninth-place start suggested he’d perhaps be able to put this run behind him. Unlucky for him then that his Russian Grand Prix lasted just four corners, coming to an end at the hands of a three-into-one move.

Daniel Ricciardo (Qual: 10th – Race: DNF) 5/10

Dare we say that the sheen is starting to fall away from the Honey Badger? A mixture of frustration from a lack of decent finishes and the lack of ability in the Renault compared to the Red Bull is seeing his trademark late-braking manoeuvres more often than not coming a cropper. Contact in turn four and another DNF cap a disappointing Russian Grand Prix for him.

Sebastian Vettel (Qual: 3rd – Race: DNF) 9/10

Well look who we have here. Just one week on from his somewhat surprising win, the Vettel of old is back and fighting for his place in Ferrari. In a move reminiscent of the infamous Multi 21 incident Vettel flew past his team mate and argued against letting him back. Reliability stopped the race between Vettel and Leclerc from developing, but he was practically flawless before he broke down.

George Russell (Qual: 17th – Race: DNF) 6/10

Russell is doing what he can with the underperforming Williams. Russia saw his car fail and Russell, for the second time in a week, ending his race in the barriers.

Robert Kubica (Qual: 18th – Race: DNF) 6/10

Kubica recorded his first DNF of the season in Russia, though it was a precaution following Russell’s brake failure.

Antonio Giovinazzi (Qual: 13th – Race: 15th) 6/10

Giovinazzi was the unfortunate meat in the turn four Grosjean – Ricciardo sandwich and, to his credit, he seemed to try to get out of it before the pinch came. It didn’t work, but it wasn’t his fault. He was the last of the finishers in Russia.

Pierre Gasly (Qual: 11th – Race: 14th) 7/10

It was a day of returns to form for former Red Bull drivers, with Gasly putting his troubled past behind him and getting down to some hard racing. He fought with Albon, he fought with Kvyat, he fought with anyone he could. It didn’t quite work out for him, but the fighting spirit was there.

Kimi Raikkonen (Qual: 16th – Race: 13th) 4/10

The Iceman had an embarrassing start to the race, jumping the lights by a few seconds, stopping, then getting away from the grid in dead last. As if that wasn’t enough, he had to serve a drive-through penalty for that poor start. Things didn’t particularly improve for him either.

Daniil Kvyat (Qual: DNS – Race: 12th) 6/10

The Russian had a reasonable home race, fighting with – and beating – team mate Gasly. Still wasn’t enough to come home in the points, though.

Lance Stroll (Qual: 15th – Race 11th) 6/10

Lance was part of a five-car battle for the points. He came home fourth of those five cars, and was the first car to miss out on those points.

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

The Hulk is without a seat for next year and needs to start putting in some strong performances to secure something on the grid. He did that, to a degree, fighting his way through the grid, however he still lost three places on his qualifying position.

Kevin Magnussen (Qual: 14th – Race: 9th) 7/10

For all Magnussen’s hard driving, late braking and aggressive overtaking, this was only his fourth points finish of the year. It was a good one too, seeing him fight through the grid before making a mistake at turn one and picking up a harsh penalty - "bullshit" in his own terms, even - for not re-joining correctly.

Lando Norris (Qual: 8th – Race: 8th) 8/10

Lando continues to impress with mature, confident driving. Finishing in his qualifying position doesn’t tell the full story here, as the real heroics come from the young Brit holding off Magnussen, Hulkenberg, Stroll and Kvyat for an eighth-place finish.

Sergio Perez (Qual: 12th – Race: 7th) 8/10

Perez put in a solid day’s racing to secure his sixth points finish of the year, regularly catching the eye of the camera and gaining some valuable points for Racing Point.

Carlos Sainz (Qual: 6th – Race: 6th) 7/10

Sainz eclipsed team mate Norris in Russia, coming home 12 seconds ahead of the Brit. He spent a lot of the race at the front and, though he did all he could, just fell to Albon at the end.

Alex Albon (Qual: 19th – Race: 5th) 9/10

Albon once again showed why he’s been entrusted with the 'other' Red Bull seat. From a pit lane start he fought his way through the grid, didn’t get tangled up with anyone, and kept his head to take Sainz for fifth at the death.

Max Verstappen (Qual: 4th – Race: 4th) 7/10

Quiet race for Verstappen who struggled to make any headway on any of the cars in front, then couldn’t secure a safe gap to his team mate behind to allow him to pit and go for fastest lap. Red Bull are increasingly falling behind the pace of Mercedes and Ferrari.

Charles Leclerc (Qual: 1st – Race: 3rd) 6/10

Two races ago, Charles Leclerc was the unflappable future face of Formula 1. Now, post Singapore and post Russia, he’s very much shown a different side. He moaned on radio for most of the race and couldn’t match the pace of either Vettel or Bottas.

Valtteri Bottas (Qual: 5th – Race: 2nd) 7/10

What happened to Bottas 2.0? He grew a beard and looked to be a challenger to Hamilton. Now he’s being outclassed and finding himself unable to close any gap. Perhaps the effort has gone into his defending abilities, which were on point in Russia, and allowed Mercedes to secure a surprise 1-2.

Lewis Hamilton (Qual: 2nd – Race: 1st) 9/10

Lewis kept his head at the start, matched the pace of the Ferraris at the start (whilst on slower tyres), and was able to make the most of Ferrari’s failure. He then controlled the race following the safety car, put in the fastest lap, and won. Textbook.

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