British Grand Prix driver ratings

  • 17 Jul 2017 15:45
  • comments 1
  • By: Chris Soulsby

Lewis Hamilton: (qualified 1st, finished 1st) 

As perfect as a home Grand Prix as the Brit could wish for. He was utterly dominant in qualifying, pulling out the largest gap between first and second all season for pole position, and managed to successfully navigate the tricky conditions in Q1 and Q2 on a drying track with damp patches.

In the race he was pretty much unchallenged from the getaway, comfortably clear ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in second place for the whole race. His dominance was such that he scored his fifth ever Grand chelem, getting pole position, fastest lap and the race win whilst leading every lap. Even better perhaps was the fact Sebastian Vettel only finished seventh, leaving him only a point behind in the championship.

Rating: 9.5/10

 

Valtteri Bottas: (qualified 9th, finished 2nd) 

Perhaps as good a recovery drive as you could wish for from the Finn. Qualifying was a disappointment for Bottas, a long way off his teammate in Q3 when he knew he needed to qualify as well as possible to not be out of range of his main rivals for the podium with the grid penalty to come. But fourth place and a whole 0.776 seconds away from a flying Lewis Hamilton was nowhere near good enough and put him 9th on the grid.

The race however was a different story, expertly using his soft tyres to bring himself into play strategically, slicing his way through the midfield to be on the back of Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen by the time the pit stops were underway. This meant he was in firing range to take on Vettel on the faster super softs later in the race, and expertly took third place away from a struggling Vettel because of his contrary strategy. He may have been able to pass Raikkonen before the end as well, but because of his puncture the battle never truly unfurled.

Rating 9/10

 

Kimi Raikkonen: (qualified 2nd, finished 3rd)

Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne had labelled Raikkonen a "laggard" after the Austrian Grand Prix, but the Finn proved this was not always the case in qualifying with a burst of speed that secured him second on the grid alongside Hamilton. He would keep this for the majority of the race, even as the Briton pulled away ahead of him, and only briefly fell back when he made his pit stop on lap 25.

As the race drew to a close, Bottas was gaining on the Iceman, but it looked as if Raikkonen had just enough in hand to retain a solid second place. With just five laps to go, however, he slowed dramatically as he approached Copse, and it became clear that his front-left tyre was falling apart. The resulting pit stop momentarily brought his podium spot into question, but Vettel's matching woes and a precautionary stop for Vettel luckily returned third place to an unamused Raikkonen.

Rating: 9/10

 

Max Verstappen: (qualified 5th, finished 4th)  

Verstappen set good lap times in qualifying but could not match the superior pace of the Mercedes' and Ferrari’s and so had to settle for starting fifth. He was, however, elevated to start fourth as Valterri Bottas had a grid penalty. The Dutchman got away very well, passing Vettel who kept attacking, however, Verstappen made his car as wide as possible but lost out after Ferrari used the undercut.

After sitting in fifth after the first pit stops, he had a good gap to those behind him and used that time to tactically pit for a fresh set of tyres. He used his time wisely as some driver’s tyres did go at the end and solidified fourth as a driver ahead had a puncture and had to pit and lost time.

Rating: 8.5/10

 

Daniel Ricciardo: (qualified 19th, finished 5th)

The Aussie showed good pace heading into qualifying, however, mechanical issues struck and meant the Red Bull driver had to pull over in Q1. Ricciardo got a good start and worked his way through the field during the race. He was able to pull off some incredible moves at corners like Stowe. He charged his way showing his speed but was unable to get close to fourth position and settled for fifth.

Rating: 9/10

 

Nico Hulkenberg: (qualified 6th, finished 6th)

Perhaps the race of the season so far for Hulkenberg at Silverstone. In qualifying he impressed throughout, setting some extremely impressive laps in the tricky conditions, and had qualifying remained damp would have been a serious contender for pole position on the basis of his pace. In the end in the dry, he qualified as well as he could have hoped for, ahead of everyone not in a Ferrari, Red Bull or Mercedes.

The race was very impressive from Hulkenberg as well being well clear of the Force India’s who have usually been quicker than the Renault by some margin this season but Hulkenberg was on top form. He wasn't quite able to hold off the much quicker Ricciardo by the end of the race, who was closing on him at over a second a lap in the closing moments, but Vettel’s misfortune meant that he held on to take his joint best result of the season so far, and certainly his most impressive.

Rating: 9/10

 

Sebastian Vettel: (qualified 3rd, finished 7th)

Having finished a close second to Valtteri Bottas last time out in Austria, Vettel arrived at Silverstone looking to go one better and steal a victory away from Mercedes on his rival Lewis Hamilton's home turf, but he unfortunately never quite showed the pace to do so.

He was beaten to a front row start in qualifying by Hamilton, who flew to pole position, and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, who stole second, and the race wouldn't be any more promising. At the start he found himself passed by Max Verstappen's Red Bull and demoted to fourth, and until his first stop, he could not find a way past the Dutchman. It was only an undercut in the pits that helped Vettel leapfrog him - but his race would be marred thereafter by significant blistering on the tyres.

This provided a dramatic climax when a tyre deflation that had already plagued Raikkonen sent him in for a late stop too, turning fourth place into seventh and cutting his championship advantage over Hamilton to just one point as Hungary looms. We can only hope that there will be no further setbacks there and that the battle can continue to be just as close as it has been all season.

Rating: 7/10

 

Esteban Ocon: (qualified 8th, finished 8th)

Silverstone marked another strong performance from the impressive Frenchman, whose eighth place at the start actually became a momentary fifth on lap 1 as he rocketed away from the grid. Ocon was unable to keep this momentum as the race went on, although he spent little or no time outside of the top ten and - as an added bonus - led his teammate Perez, who had out qualified him, past the chequered flag. The race may have been quiet for Ocon, but he showed his pace yet again, continuing a remarkable season that has only seen him fail to score once.

Rating: 8/10

 

Sergio Perez: (qualified 7th, finished 9th)

Since his arrival at the team in 2014, Perez has proved a valuable asset to Force India - and never more so than in 2017, alongside Ocon. At Silverstone he was faster than his team-mate in qualifying, making it to seventh on the grid, but their positions would be reversed on Sunday as Ocon pulled some extra pace out of the bag to get ahead of the Mexican. Perez, although solidly holding his ground, could not respond to this, and he was forced to settle for ninth - his nearest challenger being a distant Felipe Massa.

Rating: 7/10

 

Felipe Massa: (qualified 15th, finished 10th)

Another disappointing qualifying for the Williams team saw Massa fail to escape Q2, although just as he had in Austria, the Brazilian veteran was able to make up several places at the start to be tenth, the position in which he would ultimately finish after a somewhat unremarkable race. At times - thanks to the presence of cars such as Stoffel Vandoorne's McLaren - it looked as though he would not be rewarded for these efforts, but Vandoorne and his fellow challengers eventually fell back, allowing Massa to retake the place.

Another lacklustre weekend for the Williams team was ultimately rewarded with only one point, meaning that it was unable to close the gap any further to fourth-placed Force India in the Constructors' Championship. Massa can take consolation from the fact that its drivers only extended their team's advantage by six points, and look forward to improving in Hungary.

Rating: 5/10

 

Stoffel Vandoorne: (qualified 9th, finished 11th)

Heading to Silverstone following a difficult Austrian Grand Prix, Stoffel Vandoorne was looking to finally kick start his 2017 Season for McLaren after a difficult start. In practice, Vandoorne failed to match the performance of his team mate, with Fernando Alonso being faster in two of the three sessions. Come qualifying however, Vandoorne impressed to put his McLaren into Q3 and qualify in ninth place. 

In the race, Vandoorne was consistently on the pace for McLaren and ran inside the top ten with merit. A slow pit stop from McLaren caused Vandoorne to lose a place to Felipe Massa, rejoining in 11th place. The Belgian then remained there, just missing out on a points finish. This weekend was by far Vandoorne's best so far this season.

Rating: 7.5/10

 

Kevin Magnussen: (qualified 16th, finished 12th)

Magnussen was unable to get the maximum out the car and could only qualify sixteenth on the grid. He was eight-tenths of a second away from getting into Q2 but Q1 was hectic with the track drying. The Dane was very lucky not to get taken out on the first lap but the spinning Carlos Sainz. The Haas was tapped from behind which caused a bit of the car to fly off, potentially affecting the car and may have limited Magnussen on how much he could push. Points seemed to be out of reach but he beat his team mate.

Rating: 7.5/10

 

Romain Grosjean: (qualified 10th, finished 13th)

Grosjean appeared to struggle with the tyres as he only went backwards position wise. He admitted after the race that he could not switch either compound of tyres on and just did not have the pace. He complained about being stuck in traffic a lot and just appeared to struggle the whole weekend despite getting into Q2. Despite the issues the Frenchman had, he appeared to give it all he had, however he was beaten out right during the race by his team mate.

Rating: 6.5/10

 

Marcus Ericsson: (qualified 19th, finished 14th)

It was a fairly decent qualifying for the Saubers in the drying conditions, although they were again the slowest cars they weren't far away from Stroll and Magnussen. Ericsson was again out qualified by Wehrlein but the gap was extremely small between the two. It would have perhaps been an idea to send one of the two out on slick tyres to attempt to get through to Q2 as Alonso and Ocon proved the pace of the super soft tyre at the very end of the session.

The race went well for Ericsson despite not having the best pace in the car to utilise. He stayed on the conventional strategy as opposed to his team mate, which ultimately saw him finish ahead of Wehrlein. He also managed to finish ahead of the penalised and damaged Kvyat and Stroll who had an extra pit stop to sort out his own damage, but essentially finished ahead of nobody in terms of pure pace.

Rating 6.5/10

 

Daniil Kvyat: (qualified 12th, finished 15th)

Daniil Kvyat had a difficult weekend in Austria which saw him nicknamed "Torpedo" earlier in the week by Daniel Ricciardo. At Silverstone, the young Russian was aiming to improve and put the Austrian Grand Prix behind him. In practice, Kvyat's pace was strong, and was faster than his team mate in two of the three sessions. This performance continued into qualifying where he out qualified Sainz, despite being knocked out in Q2. 

In the race, Kvyat once again ruined his own race, colliding with his team mate in the Maggots and Becketts complex. This forced Sainz into retirement and resulted in Kvyat being handed a drive through penalty. He limped home in 15th place. Another average weekend for the Russian, with an accident in the race ruining his chances.

Rating: 4.5/10

 

Lance Stroll: (qualified 16th, finished 16th)

Stroll has been on a roll of late, with three consecutive points finishes in the last three races, but sadly he was not to make it four in a row at Silverstone. On Saturday he fared even worse than team-mate Massa, failing to progress beyond Q1, and despite making progress alongside his partner he was never able to provide Williams with a double-points haul. He spent the majority of an uneventful race in the bottom half of the field, eventually coming home as the penultimate finisher ahead of Pascal Wehrlein's Sauber - which was some two laps behind.

The race bore all of the hallmarks of the Canadian rookie's difficult start to the season - we can only hope that this is a temporary blip, and does not affect his confidence and performance next time out.

Rating: 4.5/10

 

Pascal Wehrlein: (qualified 18th, finished 17th)

Qualifying went as well as it has done recently for Sauber despite the Intermediate conditions. It was somewhat of a surprise that Sauber put neither driver on the super soft tyres at the very end of the session; gambles like that are the only thing that can propel the Saubers up the grid currently. It did after all put Alonso top in Q1 but in any case Wehrlein did have an okay performance, getting very close to Magnussen and Stroll who are in quicker cars and out qualifying his team mate.

The race was the tail of a strategy gamble not working for Wehrlein. Pitting twice under the safety car to get his mandatory pit stop out of the way, the aim was for him to run to the end on the soft tyres, but the tyre life wouldn't quite allow that length of a stint, having to pit again later in the race. It, in the end, meant Wehrlein was the last car to come home, though not much of his own fault

Rating: 6/10

 

Fernando Alonso: (qualified 13th, retired)

Being taken out of the race by Daniil Kvyat in Austria, Alonso headed to the British Grand Prix aiming for a good result. A flurry of grid penalties worth 30 positions however, guaranteed that he would start at the back of the field. 

Alonso's pace in practice was encouraging, being faster than Vandoorne in two of the three sessions, however, in qualifying the pace wasn't there and the Spaniard was out qualified by his team mate for the first time this season.

In the race, the only way was up for Alonso and this is something that he did, making up four places on the race start and holding off Daniel Ricciardo for as long as he could. A loss in power meant that Alonso could not finish the race, and retired. A mixed weekend for Alonso despite an encouraging start to the weekend.

Rating: 6.5/10

 

Carlos Sainz: (qualified 14th, retired)

Sainz went to Silverstone aiming for a top seven finish in the points having run well around the circuit in recent years. In practice, Sainz was not on the pace and was slower than Kvyat in two of the three sessions. A disappointing result in qualifying saw Sainz down in 14th place, out qualified by his team mate.

In the race, Sainz's race didn't make it past the first lap, being forced to retire from the race through a collision with Kvyat. This brought about the end of an average weekend for the Spaniard - a one that he will want to forget.

Rating: 6/10

 

Jolyon Palmer: (qualified 11th, did not start)

Another weekend to forget for Jolyon Palmer. He couldn't quite get it all together in qualifying to get into Q3, but a commendable enough performance put him ahead of Alonso, Massa and both Toro Rosso’s which on paper seems like a good performance. However, he was ultimately overshadowed at his home Grand Prix in qualifying, with Nico Hulkenberg having extremely impressive pace in the tricky drying conditions again putting his car around a second clear of Palmer.

Nonetheless, it did put Palmer in a position to perhaps gain his first points of the season, but a hydraulics failure before even reaching the grid scuppered any ambitions he may have had. Although he has been unlucky, his lack of pace may see him out of a drive sooner rather than later.

Rating: 4/10

Replies (1)

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  • I would give Riccardo -1 point for his overtaking against Maqgnussen which forced him out of track - lost plenty time there. He would finish better without that.

    • + 0
    • Jul 17 2017 - 15:52

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