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2017 F1 Driver Rankings: British Grand Prix

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The recent British Grand Prix was a stark, but extremely welcome change of pace to last week’s Austrian Grand Prix. Although it may have been a lights-to-flag victory and Hamilton’s finest Grand Slam ever, the race for 2nd behind the Brit still provided drama, controversy and most importantly, brilliant racing.

So, which driver got it right? Some left Silverstone on Sunday night with big smiles whilst others left wishing the summer break could come around a little bit quicker…

Lewis Hamilton – 10/10

How can you fault a performance like Hamilton’s? Mansell always reckoned the home crowd was worth an extra second; that infamous quip was proven correct beyond doubt this weekend. Hamilton won the start and immediately bridged an unconquerable gap to Kimi Raikkonen. He controlled the race with ease and brought home a well-deserved, home Grand Prix win.

Valtteri Bottas – 10/10

One day, I’m wanting to be cheesy and give a driver an 11/10 rating – but that would be for an extra special performance. Valtteri Bottas’ charge from P9 to a sensational P2 was by far the closest any driver has got to this honor in 2017. He kept his head down and refused to be flustered by any drivers ahead of him, especially Sebastian Vettel, who Bottas fought extremely hard through Stowe. Some drivers might have found themselves frustrated in that situation, but, Bottas kept his typically calm head and waited till the following lap to execute the awesome overtake. Kudos to the Finn for his best drive at Mercedes yet.

Sebastian Vettel – 9/10

I was more-than impressed with Vettel’s driving in Britain. He provided two of the best pieces of wheel-to-wheel action in recent Formula 1 history with battles alongside Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas. Though, I can’t help but feel it was this aggression that ultimately caused his untimely tyre failure on lap 50 of the British Grand Prix… We wait to hear from Pirelli on the impending investigation.

Kimi Raikkonen – 9/10

A lot of people like to criticize Raikkonen, especially his own team. *Cough* Sergio Marchionne *cough*. But, the British Grand Prix was not a case of a ‘slow Kimi’ – merely Hamilton could pull away because his pace was from another dimension. Raikkonen drove perfectly, and his soft tyre stint of 25 laps was not too much to ask in terms of degradation. It was bad luck that robbed Raikkonen of a well-deserved second place.

Max Verstappen – 9/10

Young Mr Verstappen continued to set the world on fire in Britain with aggressive, punchy and decisive overtakes. Red Bull clearly did not have the pure pace to challenge those ahead of them, but Max fought extremely well throughout to keep the considerably quicker Vettel behind him for so long. In the end, it was an aggressive pit stop which allowed Vettel to get past, not an on-track manoeuvre. But in the end, we all saw the long-term consequences of Sebastian’s aggressive pit strategy…

Daniel Ricciardo – 7/10

Ricciardo may have charged from 19th to finish 5th – but his drive was, in my mind, not quite as impressive as some may think. Firstly, his pace was only good enough for 7th, Vettel’s tyre issues and Hulkenberg’s late issue handed him an extra couple of places. But, that whole sentence in itself wouldn’t have had to been written if the Australian hadn’t made an uncharacteristic mistake when exiting the Luffield corner early in the race. Dropping from 12th back down to 18th cost Ricciardo oodles of time, which if he had in hand, would’ve seen a far more impressive result. From this point onwards it was an extremely good drive, but not great.

Sergio Perez – 8/10

It was a bit of a lackluster day for Sergio Perez as he spent most of the Grand Prix behind team mate Ocon. Unfortunately, it was made clear Force India don’t use team orders as they missed an opportunity to really attack Nico Hulkenberg’s Renault early in the race. Perez’s team mate Ocon won the start, but his pace for the first stint was inferior to that of Perez. Even still, the team wouldn’t let the Mexican through, which could’ve allowed him to attack the Renault ahead. Perez himself described the race as “difficult.”

Esteban Ocon – 6/10

Ocon’s pace in the British Grand Prix, as aforementioned, wasn’t too impressive. The start was about the only thing the Frenchman did that was better than Perez. From that point forward, Ocon was a mere mobile-chicane for his far quicker team mate. In the end, Ocon didn’t himself realize the potential points available for the team, as he clearly couldn’t catch Hulkenberg. Too bad really. He admitted post-race: “the team let us race.”

Felipe Massa – 8/10

P10 isn’t really where Williams want to be finishing their home Grand Prix; but this was literally the maximum they could achieve today. Felipe Massa admitted this himself, telling media after the result, “I’m definitely happy with the race.” Again, Williams just didn’t have the pace in qualifying and that’s why they couldn’t achieve better things in the race. Still, Massa kept it out of the barriers, avoided the first lap calamities and finished ahead of both Haas cars.

Lance Stroll – 7/10

Stroll’s pace in the British Grand Prix was acceptable and the timing sheets don’t do him credit for the race he did run. He was running in P14 when he had to take an unplanned second pit stop for what was a suspected damaged bargeboard. For most of the second stint, Stroll was effected by this problem and ultimately that led him to a disappointing P16 finish. Not his fault. More crucially, he didn’t make any major mistakes.

Carlos Sainz – No rating

With speculations that Sainz is off to Renault dominating headlines heading into the British Grand Prix, having his team mate crash him out on the opening lap only added fuel to the already heavily burning fire. No rating for Sainz as the crash was not his fault. Interesting to see what materializes.

Daniil Kvyat – 3/10

A silly and amateur mistake from Daniil Kvyat in Britain. His excuse post-race was pathetic and a touch arrogant. Formula 1 is supposed to be the best drivers in the world and Kvyat’s driving looked straight out of Formula 4. Although Christian Horner is adamant they’re keeping Kvyat for the next season, I honestly can’t understand why.

Stoffel Vandoorne – 7/10

Considering the power demands possessed by Silverstone, Stoffel Vandoorne’s P11 finish is an encouraging sign for the Spec 3 Honda power unit. The McLaren driver finished just 3.930s behind Felipe Massa’s Mercedes powered Williams. This, in-of-itself, is a brilliant testament to the continued progress made by McLaren and Honda. Didn’t see much of Vandoorne today really, but that’s more of a good thing generally.

Fernando Alonso – No rating

For the fifth time in ten races, Fernando Alonso failed to finish a Grand Prix. A fuel pressure problem is what caused his premature exit from the Grand Prix on lap 32. “Hopefully, it hasn’t done any damage to the engine and we’ll be able to keep using it in the future,” he told media after the race.

Nico Hulkenberg – 10/10

After a brilliant qualifying session left Nico Hulkenberg P5 on the grid; his race result was just as impressive. A decent start, which kept both Force India’s behind, was a key element in picking up his sensational P6 finish. Had it not been for a frustratingly untimely issue on the penultimate lap, Hulkenberg might have been able to hold Daniel RIcciardo behind to finish P5. In the end, the most impressive thing for me was his decision not to engage in fights with Valtteri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel. Hulkenberg realized almost immediately he wasn’t racing these guys, so fighting them would’ve just wasted time. Expert driving from Hulkenberg I must say.

Jolyon Palmer – No rating

Bad luck and unreliability played Jolyon Palmer yet another visit, this time on the formation lap of the British Grand Prix. With a promising starting position of P11, the Briton was looking keen to impress in front of his home crowd. But his race was gone before it had even begun, unfortunately. Though, his retirement caused an aborted start, which probably majorly affected the race result… lol…

Romain Grosjean – 7/10

“Tough day in the office,” Grosjean said post-race about his P13 finish. And, for once, it wasn’t brakes that caused the lowly finishing position. Instead, Grosjean and Haas just couldn’t extract sufficient performance from both compounds of tyres. Traffic was the cherry on top of a disappointing race for Grosjean, which was dominated by lack of car performance more than lack of pace from himself.

Kevin Magnussen – 8/10

Magnussen’s day was pretty much a carbon copy of Grosjean’s. He finished in 12th though, one spot and 14 seconds ahead of his team mate. He tried the alternate strategy in the race and started on the soft tyre. This provided a spectacle when Magnussen held off the far superior Force India’s after their first pit stops. It was unfortunate that Magnussen’s role as a road block couldn’t benefit Grosjean.

Marcus Ericsson – 8/10

It was an impressive race for Marcus Ericsson in Britain as he finished 14th, ahead of his team mate, Daniil Kvyat, and Lance Stroll. Most impressive was his gap to team mate Wehrlein, which was sitting comfortably at 20 seconds by the race end. Silverstone’s equally important demands of chassis and engine performance meant Sauber in general were never realistically looking at points scoring pace. Therefore, 14th is definitely a good run from Ericsson.

Pascal Wehrlein – 6/10

It was a pretty dismal race for Pascal Wehrlein. He used the safety car to change tyres twice. This meant he had a free choice of compound for the rest of the race. Though, it didn’t make much of a difference in the end as he ran soft and supersoft to the end. It’s unclear if this was Wehrlein or Sauber’s decision. Either way, it certainly didn’t help with putting Wehrlein into a strong position. He finished P17, last of the classified finishers.

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

By – Steven Walton

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