The Hungarian Grand Prix is always interesting because it’s the last round of Formula 1 before the infamous summer break. With three weekends of no Formula 1 just ahead, all drivers want to ensure they go into it smiling. And after a stunning performance, which included a lot of car nursing, Sebastian Vettel will be one of those people with anything but a frown.
And, that’s what these Driver Rankings are here for: to determine which drivers will consider their Hungarian Grand Prix a success, and which ones will be hungry (pun intended) for success when we head to Spa in four weeks’ time.
Lewis Hamilton – 9/10
Fourth wasn’t a true representation of Hamilton’s overall pace in today’s Grand Prix. It was more that the Brit looked somewhat uninterested in being aggressive during the extra crucial start. He may not have realized it, but that old saying which calls the Hungaroring ‘impossible’ to overtake on came true, and from the start onwards, Hamilton was always playing catch up. Tops go to him for his respectable decision to let Bottas back through. That has earned a lot of my respect.
Valtteri Bottas – 7.5/10
Poor old Valtteri Bottas just didn’t look like he had the car underneath him today. This is probably because when he was previously at the circuit with Williams, the team was always uncompetitive. Either way, Bottas just didn’t have Hamilton’s pace today, but his third place was still a good drive which brought him valuable championship points. In the end, the start and qualifying proved just as important.
Sebastian Vettel – 10/10
The fact that Sebastian Vettel was driving a damaged Ferrari virtually from lap 1 only makes this dominant victory all-the-more incredible. After controlling the start, the German perfectly controlled the pace in the first and second stint. He didn’t panic, even when both Mercedes were catching at a sizable rate. It doesn’t get much more impressive.
Kimi Raikkonen – 10/10
Like Hamilton, Raikkonen earned a lot of my respect today for his professional approach to the Vettel situation. Instead of attacking his team mate and jeopardizing a 1-2 finish for the team, Raikkonen bit the bullet and brought home a well-deserved P2, which, on another day, could’ve easily been his first Grand Prix win since Australia 2013.
Max Verstappen – 6/10
Once again, It was’ a bit of no man’s land for Max Verstappen. Couldn’t truly fight the Mercedes ahead, but was comfortably in front of Alonso’s McLaren-Honda in P6. As most of you saw, his memorable moment came on the first lap, which was a clumsy, amateur and unprofessional crash with Daniel Ricciardo which ultimately cost him a proper shot at the podium. Not impressed with Verstappen for the first time in about ever, I think.
Daniel Ricciardo – No rating
See above. Nuff’ said.
Sergio Perez – 9/10
After qualifying P14 on Saturday, it looked as if Force India’s Hungarian Grand Prix curse had returned. In the last three years, the Pink Panthers had only amassed a mere point at the Hungaroring, virtue of Hulkenberg’s P10 in 2016. But Perez put his head down, had a clean race and took his car six spots up from his starting position, finishing in a strong P8.
Esteban Ocon – 9/10
With Ocon delivering an equally impressive drive in comparison to his team mate, the Hungarian Grand Prix turned out to be a happy race for Force India. His P9 finish meant the team secured their ninth double points finish in the last eleven rounds – more than impressive stuff. Ocon, like Perez, was mature and calm throughout the race. He was aptly rewarded.
Paul di Resta – 10/10
Although his pace might not have been convincing, Paul di Resta’s performance was literally incredible. When you’ve been asked to drive a car on Saturday morning, qualifying respectably, not causing any incidents in the race and not spinning the car once is an achievement worth noting. Hope to see him back in F1 soon, truthfully.
Lance Stroll – 8/10
Williams were never going to be strong in Hungary, purely due to the tight and twisty layout in Hungary, which doesn’t suit their chassis. Thus, 14th isn’t half bad for the team, and more crucially, the young Canadian kept it out of the wall and brought the machine home. Very impressed, once again.
Carlos Sainz – 8/10
It hasn’t been a good few rounds for Carlos Sainz, but Hungary looks to have changed that. As he heads into the summer break, his P7 finish will be something to keep him happy. Amidst all the contractual issues with Red Bull, the Spaniard kept his composure throughout the race and managed to overtake both McLaren’s on the first lap. Rating is somewhat impacted because he fell into Alonso’s Turn 1/2 trap and subsequently lost what could’ve been P6.
Daniil Kvyat – 6/10
Danill Kvyat’s rating has been majorly affected by his grid penalty. Although I don’t usually include qualifying as a factor, the lack of overtaking opportunities in Hungary means it’s more important than usual, and when he needed to deliver, Kvyat didn’t. Disappointing, in my opinion, despite his ability to stay out of trouble on Sunday. Race ban could be looming too, I bet Gasly is hoping it happens.
Stoffel Vandoorne – 8/10
Vandoorne may have finished in P10, four spots behind Alonso’s stunning P6 – but don’t let this fool you. Vandoorne was properly on it today and he was rewarded with a one point, but Alonso was just inhuman. So, despite his team mate’s finishing position, I was still impressed with the maturity and cleanliness present within Vandoorne’s brilliant drive.
Fernando Alonso – 10/10
Who thought we’d see the day? Fernando Alonso setting the fastest lap in a McLaren-Honda? Well it happened, and just as surprisingly, his aggressively measured driving style rewarded him with a stunning P6. Highlight of the race was his pass of Carlos Sainz around Turn 2. Although the Toro Rosso fell into Alonso’s trap, his pass around the outside of T2 was something special, which proved the strength of the McLaren chassis.
Nico Hulkenberg – 6/10
Hulkenberg’s day wasn’t all that good, and it wasn’t entirely his fault. The pit stop mistake which ultimately cost him a strong shot at the points was Renault’s complete fault – but his race was headlined by an exchange with Kevin Magnussen. The antics of the Haas driver seemed motivated by revenge; Hulkenberg had earlier punted Magnussen’s team mate Grosjean off on the opening lap. Although I’m not going to judge who caused the incidents, I will say Hulkenberg’s decision to confront Magnussen in the paddock in front of media was unprofessional and sloppy.
Jolyon Palmer – 7/10
It was, sadly, a slow and boring race for Palmer. He spent most of it in P12. The finishing position was low partially because of the strategy, which was out of his hands. Renault oddly decided to run long on the supersoft, begging for a safety-car most likely. When it didn’t pan out, it left Palmer with another disappointing performance, this time, through no fault of his own.
Romain Grosjean – No rating
Sadly, Romain Grosjean’s race was ruined by the first corner after Hulkenberg made contact with him. He never recovered and retired his car on lap 20.
Kevin Magnussen – 6.5/10
It was a bit silly of Magnussen to literally and clearly force Hulkenberg off the track. We have, however, seen worse incidents go unpunished. It is a bit sad that Magnussen copped a penalty for this clash, as the FIA have said they were going to let drivers race in 2017. It’s hard to say Magnussen shouldn’t have done what he did, to be honest. Don’t blame him, but it ruined his race none-the-less.
Marcus Ericsson – 7/10
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Sauber = class of their own. They aren’t competitive, even at a track where their 2016 spec power unit doesn’t play a major role. Ericsson finished as the last classified finisher in P16 and notably took a set of softs from lap 3 to 63. The stint seemed unnecessarily long in my opinion, but I’m no race engineer.
Pascal Wehrlein – 7.5/10
The only victory Wehrlein can take from the Hungarian Grand Prix was that he beat his team mate. As the only two cars to drop two laps to Sebastian Vettel, Wehrlein managed to finish ahead of his Swedish team mate. Good performance I guess, these races are annoying to write about when Sauber literally does nothing notable.
Be sure to tell us in the comments whether or not you agree with our ratings!
By – Steven Walton