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Driver Rankings: 2017 Monaco Grand Prix

In all honesty, the Monaco Grand Prix wasn’t all that exciting. It certainly had tough competition with the riveting and nail-biting Indianapolis 500 coinciding AND if you haven’t watched the last 20 minutes of the Nurburgring 24hrs, I suggest you do.

With that said, the lackluster Grand Prix did still provide one very interesting insight. With this year’s tougher cars, it certainly separated some of the top drivers from the ones who need to do some work. So, here’s our rankings for the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix that was controversially won by Sebastian Vettel.

Lewis Hamilton – 10/10

Although Lewis Hamilton may not have committed any ‘majestic’ or ‘incredible’ overtakes, I’m not going to falter his performance. It. Was. Hard. To. Overtake. There’s no other way to put it. What he did was superb: He kept the car out of the trouble and thus made it from P13 to P7 rather well – outstanding drive.

Valtteri Bottas – 9/10

I’ve just realized without many overtakes it’s hard to do these rankings… However, Valtteri Bottas did similar to Hamilton; he kept what looked to be a difficult car to drive (he even admittedly comically over the radio he wasn’t comfortable!) on the track and brought it home for a mediocre P4. He was simply outsmarted by Red Bull – but’s that the fault of the team, not Bottas’ driving.

Sebastian Vettel – 10/10

From memory, I don’t think I’ve ever given Vettel less than a 10 this season. The man is incredible; even when Kimi Raikkonen looked to have the race in game, set. match – Vettel pulled what I strongly believe was a brilliantly executed overcut. Although some will always believe it was a team order – I’m not convinced. Tops, for me, go to Vettel.

Kimi Raikkonen – 8/10

Personally, I was rather surprised by Raikkonen’s performance at Monaco. He did everything he needed to in the first stint and pulled a decent enough gap. Although Vettel had blinding pace after Raikkonen had pit, it just looked like he didn’t want it bad enough. That’s somewhat proved by the +10 second gap he had to Vettel before the safety car on lap 57. I, too, would’ve liked to have seen a long overdue Kimi Raikkonen victory.

Max Verstappen – 8/10

Max Verstappen drove pretty much as he needed too in the Monaco Grand Prix. It was certainly a superb effort for him to almost catch Valtteri Bottas off guard for what was then effective P3. Had it not been for a slight fumble in the pit stop, the well-fleshed-out undercut may have been a reality. Unfortunate for Max that factors out of his control cost him the battle.

Daniel Ricciardo – 10/10

Out of all the drivers at Monaco, Daniel Ricciardo earned the highest praise from me. He brilliantly executed the overcut and was aptly rewarded with his second podium of the season. He banged in two fastest laps after Valtteri Bottas had pitted and it was absolutely exceptional – should have gotten Driver of the Day.

Sergio Perez – 6/10

To me, Sergio Perez’s lunge on Daniil Kvyat was just stupid. Although he felt the team were telling him to much, he still ultimately made the move. In a race with arguably little racing, it wasn’t a pretty sight to see. Franz Tost has since said it was Perez’s fault, and I 100% agree with him.

Esteban Ocon – 6/10

Ocon must be kicking himself! After an unfortunate crash in FP3 that then affected his qualifying (his ranking has been affected here given FP3 and qualifying affected his race massively), Ocon might have found himself in the points (he was behind Massa at the time, who eventually finished 9th) had it not been for a puncture, that forced a second pit stop, on lap 39 – unfortunate for him.

Felipe Massa – 8/10

Williams have always struggled here and 2017 was no different. However, this year Massa may have struggled, but with finishers falling like flies at the end (only 13 took the chequered flag), Massa stayed out of trouble and took home two valuable points in P9.

Lance Stroll – 7/10

It was ironic how Lance Stroll reported he couldn’t keep the brakes hot behind the safety-car, even asking the team to “please help me.” Just three laps, he was in the back of the garage with overheated brakes. Hmm. It’s more likely a car issue, but either way, I think Stroll did a fantastic job to keep the car on the road and out of the barriers (especially since confidence would’ve been dented after Thursday’s shunt) – full credit to him for that.

Carlos Sainz – 10/10

Get this boy in a Ferrari! Carlos Sainz’s race was quiet, but it was importantly quiet. He brought home a stunning P6 for the little Italian team, and even resisted late race pressure from Lewis Hamilton. Not much more to be said, fantastic drive really.

Daniil Kvyat – 9/10

With Daniil Kvyat’s career arguably hanging in the balance, an incident, which wasn’t his fault, to punt him out of the Monaco Grand Prix points with just eight laps left would’ve likely hurt him. He had driven extremely well and kept the car out of the wars to earn a deserved P9. Sergio Perez won’t be in Kvyat’s good books after losing that one…

Stoffel Vandoorne – 8/10

Honda, Honda, HONDA! McLaren had P10 in the bag and for them it was game, set, match (sorry for using that reference twice, it’s Roland Garros at-the-moment). But one of their engines hadn’t blown yet, and yet it had to happen. But with just under 20 laps to go was really hard to take. Given Kvyat’s later retirement, McLaren could’ve had two valuable points if they could just survive one race.

Jenson Button – 5/10

It wasn’t the return Jenson Button had hoped for. He spent the entire race at the back behind Pascal Wehrlein’s Sauber as they ran identical strategies. But on lap 57, Jenson decided he’d had enough and made a somewhat foolish lunge up the inside of Wehrlein at Portier – ending both their races. He’ll enjoy his three-place grid penalty if he ever gets back in his car…

Nico Hulkenberg – No rating

Hulkenberg retired with a “serious gearbox issue” just 10 laps into the Monaco Grand Prix. Considering like literally nothing had happened in the race by that point, he doesn’t receive a ranking.

Jolyon Palmer – 7/10

Jolyon Palmer stayed out of trouble and finished his first Monaco Grand Prix, but he failed to make any real progress. He finished only ahead of the two stricken Force India’s, so he’s got a lot to work on for the next race as the court of public opinion sways against him further.

Romain Grosjean – 8/10

After struggling with brake issues all weekend, Romain Grosjean seemed to somewhat overcome them (thought he did go straight on at the Nouvelle Chicane on lap one !) in the race to bring home a stunning P8. Nothing more or nothing less was expected from Grosjean as it was a typically calm, controlled and professional drive from the Frenchman.

Kevin Magnussen – 7/10

Kevin Magnussen did pretty well to finish P10 and bring home a solitary point considering he had to pit an extra time to fix a puncture. Before the issue, Magnussen was running behind Grosjean, and in the end only Felipe Massa split them, so the time loss at least wasn’t as costly as first thought.

Marcus Ericsson – 6/10

Honestly, these are hard to do when there’s no overtaking. Ericsson did clumsily crash his car under the safety car and that certainly wasn’t very good. It just goes to show how important brake heat is in this sport.

Pascal Wehrlein – 8/10

You can’t fault Pascal Wehrlein for holding Jenson Button up for as long as he did. Unfortunately Button got impatient and their subsequent contact led to Wehrlein’s car lying on it’s sidepod with the drive trapped in the barriers. Comical, but completely not his fault. Not a strong weekend either way for Wehrlein and Sauber.

Be sure to tell us in the comments whether or not you agree with our ratings!

By Steven Walton

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