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Austrian Grand Prix: Driver Ratings

Austrian Grand Prix: Driver Ratings

F1 News

Austrian Grand Prix: Driver Ratings

Austrian Grand Prix: Driver Ratings

The Austrian Grand Prix was surely the finest race of 2019 so far, with Max Verstappen taking a home-race win for Red Bull for the second year in succession in a pulsating encounter.

Verstappen overcame Charles Leclerc, and survived the stewards, to end Mercedes' winning run as the Silver Arrows wilted in the Styrian heat.

With the entire field seeing the chequered flag, there's a bit more work than usual in judging each performance!

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!

Robert Kubica (Qual: 20th - Race: 20th) 3/10

A "technical error" saw Kubica come out on top in F1's Driver of the Day poll, but there's no such confusion here. The Pole actually made up a few places with a committed effort through the opening few corners, but he had lost them by the second tour of the Red Bull Ring and finished three laps down.

Kevin Magnussen (Qual: 5th - Race: 19th) 6/10

Bonus points for K-Mag for his stunning Q3 laps, which was enough for P5. Things began to unravel from there, though, as the Dane served a five-place grid drop, then was penalised for jumping the race start, and made steady backwards progress, so typical of Haas this year.

George Russell (Qual: 19th - Race: 18th) 6/10

Pulled off a very smart double move on his team-mate and Daniil Kvyat as he made progress from a pit-lane start. Russell has now finished with at least one car between himself and Kubica in three of the last four grands prix.

Daniil Kvyat (Qual: 18th - Race: 17th) 4/10

Kvyat's weekend unravelled at Turn 10 in Q1 as a slow-moving Russell forced him to run wide and eliminated him at the first hurdle. The Russian said he was a "sitting duck" in the race as he was running high-downforce, not the way to go on this track.

Romain Grosjean (Qual: 11th - Race: 16th) 4/10

Lost out in a big way on the opening lap and was unable to make any progress afterwards.

Alexander Albon (Qual: 13th - Race: 15th) 4/10

Unable to make much of an impression as he was hampered in early traffic, which in fact prevented much of those from outside the top 10 making progress towards the points.

Lance Stroll (Qual 17th - Race: 14th) 4/10

Penalties actually promoted the Canadian to 14th on the grid after a usual qualifying failure, but any opportunity was kyboshed by the need to manage a power unit issue.

Nico Hulkenberg (Qual: 12th - Race: 13th) 5/10

Dropped to 15th on the grid by a penalty but made the places back on the opening lap. That was about as good as things got for the German, though, and he was overtaken by Daniel Ricciardo in the closing stages to finish a scoreless race for Renault behind his team-mate.

Daniel Ricciardo (Qual: 14th - Race: 12th) 5/10

Ricciardo started on the fringes of the points, but lost positions at the start and then embarked on a mammoth 46-lap stint on soft tyres which only did as much as to put him back where he started.

Sergio Perez (Qual: 16th - Race: 11th) 5/10

Spent much of the race on the gearbox of Antonio Giovinazzi after a smart start, but the Mexican was just unable to get through.

Antonio Giovinazzi (Qual: 8th - Race: 10th) 6/10

A first point in F1 arrived for Giovinazzi, who was able to consolidate a fine qualifying performance, unlike in France a week prior.

Kimi Raikkonen (Qual: 7th - Race: 9th) 6/10

Led a double points-score for Alfa Romeo, having ran as high as fourth after a brilliant launch. The Finn made life incredibly difficult for Pierre Gasly, who struggled to get through despite driving what turned out to be the car of the day in a Red Bull.

Carlos Sainz (Qual: 15th - Race: 8th) 9/10

Came into the weekend knowing a backrow start was guaranteed, but drove superbly and could have even taken more points than the four that he banked. If not for Verstappen up top, Sainz's drive – which featured just as many impressive passes – would have been the drive of the day for sure.

Pierre Gasly (Qual: 9th - Race: 7th) 4/10

Another race to forget for Gasly, who was tentative in the extreme behind Raikkonen, who had been compliant as Lando Norris and Verstappen had got by him in the early stages. Was unable to make an impression on the McLaren man ahead, and might have finished behind the other papaya car of Sainz if not for some damage. Questions regarding his future continue to grow.

Lando Norris (Qual: 6th - Race: 6th) 7/10

Had absolutely no qualms whatsoever racing Lewis Hamilton at the start, and then got the better of Raikkonen in more bullish wheel-to-wheel action. Norris' star is on the rise in a big way right now, as he, Sainz and McLaren continue to cement their best of the rest status.

Lewis Hamilton (Qual: 2nd - Race: 5th) 7/10

Delivered a brilliant front-row lap in Q3, but was later demoted to P4 for blocking Raikkonen earlier in the day. Hamilton seemed to push the limits throughout and broke his third front wing of the weekend in the race, forcing a change and dropping him out of podium contention.

Sebastian Vettel (Qual: 10th - Race: 4th) 7/10

Made excellent progress from ninth on the grid with a brilliant launch undoing some of the damage done by missing Q3 due to a pneumatic issue. Ferrari pitted the German for fresh tyres as Verstappen charged past him, and he ran out of laps before he could catch up with Valtteri Bottas for third place.

Valtteri Bottas Qual: 4th - Race: 3rd) 6/10

Made up some points on Hamilton and finished on the podium, but Bottas was far from satisfied with his work. Off the pace again in qualifying, things fell into Bottas' hands a bit as Hamilton's grid penalty and in-race damage made him the lead Mercedes on a day of damage-limitation for the overheating Silver Arrows.

Charles Leclerc (Qual: 1st - Race: 2nd) 9/10

Leclerc couldn't have done a whole lot more to take his maiden race win at the Red Bull Ring, and was the man to beat through practice and qualifying, where no one was able to do so. Raced brilliantly with Verstappen to cling onto the lead as the Dutchman charged at him, but was guilty of leaving the door open a tad too much at Tun 3 on lap 69, perhaps thinking that stewards would punish Verstappen were he to jump into the gap. Of course, they did not - thankfully.

Max Verstappen (Qual: 2nd - Race: 1st) 10/10

Verstappen came into the weekend dodging questions about his future, and it looked as though they would rear up again when a brilliant qualifying performance was undone by anti-stall at the launch. But Verstappen, Red Bull and Honda's doubts were blasted away in a scorching drive. Gasly, Raikkonen, Norris, Vettel Bottas and Leclerc were all passed by Verstappen en route to home success again for Red Bull. One of the great performances of recent years.


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