Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings
Yeah, the race was a bit boring. Some say it's going to rain in twelve minutes.
NOTE: If you are viewing this within the Facebook app, please click the link 'see what everybody else thinks' at the bottom of the page to view the ratings properly.
After a couple of entertaining races in Austria, the time had to come for a bit of a boring one. We had a pretty exciting qualifying session on Saturday and rain was forecast for the race, so the Hungarian Grand Prix did not look like it was going to be the boring race that it turned out to be.
This does not mean that there were no standout performances though, and there is still plenty to talk about. From Red Bull's sudden lack of pace to Haas' brilliant strategy call, we leave Hungary with a few more questions than we arrived with.
Let's get into it.
Credit: Racing Point Media Site
1st Place: Lewis Hamilton
Where do I begin with Hamilton? The six-time world champion seems to be in a class of his own at the moment. Coming from a weekend where he wowed everyone with his wet weather driving, he dominated at the Hungaroring. He now has eight wins at the circuit, equalling Michael Schumacher's eight wins at Magny Cours to jointly hold the record for the most wins at a single venue.
The British star was on great form in qualifying, but it was the race where he really stood out for me. He was able to lap three-quarters of the grid on his way to his 86th win in the sport. He also managed to pull a big enough gap to pit for fresh tyres at the end of the race to set the fastest lap and bring home the full 26 points for Mercedes.
2nd Place: Max Verstappen
Verstappen was not happy after qualifying, but rightly so. The Red Bull lacked pace all weekend, and the team were at a loss to explain how this happened when they looked so strong in Austria. The Dutchman started the race from seventh, although he nearly didn't start the race at all.
He crashed on the way to the grid, damaging the front left suspension on his car. Many would have doubted the team's ability to fix this in the 20 minutes they had on the grid, as it was a job which would normally take double that time in the garage. However, against the odds, the mechanics managed to repair it with only seconds left before the race began.
Verstappen once again drove the arse off his RB15 to split the Mercedes drivers, a car which is considerably slower than what the Silver Arrows have to offer. These ratings are about how well the driver was able to do in the car they had, and that Red Bull he was given was capable of no more. If it had not been for the silly, and nearly race ending, error before the race I would have given him a perfect 5/5.
3rd Place: Valtteri Bottas
Bottas will leave Hungary kicking himself for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the Finn was not able to put the lap together to challenge his teammate Hamilton in qualifying, with his best effort being a tenth down on the Brit. This is neither here nor there though when it comes to the race, as it seemed as if he was a class below his teammate.
Bottas (debatably) jumped the start, costing him a number of places on the first lap. He quickly worked his way back up through the field, but could not get remotely close to Hamilton. He was over a pitstop behind in equal machinery, and could not get past the much slower Red Bull of Verstappen in the closing stages of the race to take second place so had to settle for third.
4th Place: Lance Stroll
After all of the hate he has received for being placed into the team thanks to his father (I wasn't too kind to him in my last article either), Stroll proved a lot of people wrong with his performance this weekend. He seemed to have his much more experienced teammate Perez covered off in qualifying, then went on to extend his advantage in the race. He was one of only four cars that finished on the lead lap with Hamilton, crossing the line 21 seconds ahead of Albon in the Red Bull.
I really hope we see more of these performances from Stroll in the coming races, as it will help to prove that he does deserve to be in that team. He obviously would not be there if it was not for his father, but if he keeps performing like this then I don't think anyone can should have a problem with it.
5th Place: Alex Albon
As George Russell put it, Albon was made to look like a bit of an idiot after qualifying on Saturday. It was made to look as if he couldn't put a lap together, but as Christian Horner later admitted it was due to a combination of setup and tactical errors by the team. He started down in thirteenth but fought hard in the race to score another top-five finish.
I think that Red Bull really need to work with Albon to improve how they set up his car, because we all know he isn't a slow driver. He has won in every category that he has entered up until Formula 1, and there is no reason he should be struggling as much as he is at the moment. I think the problem could be down to the team designing the car around Verstappen, but there is no way I can prove this to you.
6th Place: Sebastian Vettel
After a couple of races that Vettel would rather everyone forgot about, the four-time world champion really needed a good result to kick start his 2020 season. Now, as you are probably aware the Ferrari is not the fastest car on the grid, but Vettel made the most of what he had to work with.
He out-qualified his teammate Leclerc, and then made a great call to switch to the medium instead of the soft tyres at the first round of pitstops. This call saved his race from ending up like his teammate's, but he seemed to have a pace advantage over Leclerc regardless.
7th Place: Sergio Perez
With all of the rumours circulating about his future at the team, Perez did not really have a great weekend in Hungary. He never looked to have the pace to trouble his teammate Stroll, a phrase which I don't think I have said before.
Granted, the Mexican driver was unlucky in the pits to lose out due to traffic, but he never really had the pace to make up the lost ground after starting the race from fourth. He will be hoping to bounce back stronger at the team's home race at Silverstone.
8th Place: Daniel Ricciardo
Ricciardo is a driver who has raced a bit under the radar this weekend, with the TV cameras not really giving him the airtime he deserved. The Aussie had a pretty good qualifying session but was unlucky to miss out on reaching the top ten.
He made a good start, and then had a mammoth first stint on the medium tyres, taking them longer into the race than anyone else. This strategy paid off for him and the team, as they were able to push more in the latter stages of the race to score some good points. He finished less than a second behind Perez in front, unable to pass the Racing Point before the chequered flag.
9th Place: Carlos Sainz
Sainz doubted McLaren's chances of even getting into Q3 after their lack of pace in Friday practice, but the team managed to find a bit of this lost speed in setup changes overnight. He qualified just behind his teammate Norris, but had a much better start than the Brit to challenge the cars in front.
He raced well but lost a bit of time in his first pitstop with all the traffic, although with the pace that McLaren had you have to say that this is as much as they could have really hoped for.
10th Place: Kevin Magnussen
After a pretty decent qualifying from Magnussen where he just missed out on making into Q2, he would not have had many hopes for a points finish going into the race on Sunday. However, Haas pulled a blinder in pitting their two drivers for slicks at the end of the formation lap. They were later penalised for instructing the drivers to do this before the race start (it's technically a driver aid - a bullshit rule I know), but it was still a moment of genius.
This meant that the Danish driver found himself running in the top five after the first few laps, having to defend from the much faster cars behind from then on. He crossed the line in ninth, but had ten seconds added onto his race time due to the penalty. It was a great drive from K-Mag to score his, and the team's, first point of the season.
11th Place: Charles Leclerc
If there was a race that showed how slow the Ferrari is this season, it was this one. Leclerc was a victim of a bad strategy call by Ferrari, as the team put him on the soft tyres at his first stop instead of the mediums. If this had happened last year, we would have seen him charge back through the field to score at least a top-five finish. This year, he was battling his future teammate Carlos Sainz for a single point and came out the loser. The Monegasque driver did have a good battle with fellow Twitch streamer Lando Norris, with the pair showing off their wheel-to-wheel skills in tricky conditions.
He will be desperately hoping that the team can bring some engine upgrades soon, as they are consistently the slowest cars in the speed traps. This could really hurt them at the fast-flowing Silverstone circuit in a couple of weeks time.
12th Place: Daniil Kvyat
Kvyat was a driver who had a quiet weekend at the Hungaroring, but he didn't necessarily have a bad one. He was slower than his teammate Gasly in qualifying, but had an alright race to keep Ocon at bay.
He wanted to change to the slick tyres at the start of the race, but the team was not allowed to reply to him so he changed on lap one instead. Had he have come in as he wanted, he would have found himself much further up the field.
13th Place: Lando Norris
Coming off the back of the two races in Austria, many people would have put Norris at the top of their list when it came to performances this season. However, the young Brit did not have a great weekend in Hungary.
McLaren knew that they were off the pace after Friday practice, but it seemed like the team had recovered some of that lost lap time on Saturday. He did well to out-qualify his teammate Sainz, but a bad start meant that his race was ruined after lap one. He managed to pass Ocon on the final lap but this was only for 13th place.
This is completely unrelated to his performance this weekend, but a photo was put on social media of Norris helping his mechanics strip down his car. I thought it was worth mentioning as this is something that we rarely see happening, and it really shows his character. He is not only learning the ins and outs of how the car works, but also showing that he is a proper team player.
14th Place: Esteban Ocon
When Ocon came back into Formula 1 this season, we had high expectations for him. I know he may still be adjusting to the car and the team, but I don't feel he has lived up to these expectations. It's not like he has done a bad job in the first three races, but he has been quite far back from his teammate Ricciardo.
He also seemed to struggle to get to grips with the car this time around, as he was off the pace all weekend. He also got overtaken by last-lap Lando Norris after not being able to get past Kvyat for most of the race.
15th Place: Kimi Raikkonen
Alfa Romeo seems to have been hit hard this season by the loss of power from the Ferrari engine, as both Raikkonen and Giovinazzi have been propping up the timesheets. The Iceman had a bad qualifying to finish last of the twenty drivers for the first time in his career. He did make up some ground in the race, with his experience contributing to some pretty good strategy calls to finish ahead of his teammate.
I'm sure that Raikkonen's seat is safe if he wants it, but if the Alfa Romeo car doesn't improve, it isn't hard to imagine Kimi calling it a day at the end of the season.
16th Place: Romain Grosjean
it was not a great weekend from Grosjean, as he qualified a few tenths down from his teammate Magnussen. He also missed out on the golden opportunity that Haas gave him at the start of the race, unable to capitalise on the great tyre call by the team in the same way that Magnussen was, missing on what could have been his first points of the season.
There are rumours floating around that this might be the Frenchman's last season in the sport, with Grosjean himself adding fuel to the fire on Thursday. He said he was getting 'bored' of not fighting at the top, so read into that as much as you want but it suggests to me he's looking elsewhere for 2021.
17th Place: Antonio Giovinazzi
Giovinazzi had another weekend to forget at the Hungarian Grand Prix, as although the Italian driver did well to beat his teammate Raikkonen in qualifying he slipped back in the race.
Giovinazzi will need a few stand-out finishes if he is to convince the Ferrari leadership that he deserves his place in the team. As per Alfa Romeo's engine agreement with Ferrari, the Scuderia get to choose one of the team's drivers for the season. His seat is currently at risk to both Callum Ilott and Mick Schumacher, who are currently fighting for the Formula 2 title.
18th Place: George Russell
It was another race weekend, which meant we were treated to another amazing qualifying from Russell. He put the Williams in twelfth place on the grid, ahead of the Red Bull of Alex Albon (although as Russell stressed, this was more the team's fault than Alex's). He also out-qualified his teammate by nearly one second, a mighty effort given that Latifi is no slouch.
However, although it was a great qualifying, it was another weekend where Williams fell apart in the race. The team made the wrong strategy call to swap to the soft tyres instead of the mediums, costing the British driver a lot of time as he was forced to make an extra pit stop.
19th Place: Nicholas Latifi
Latifi had a good qualifying as he was able to get into Q2 for the first time, but he was also nearly one second down on his teammate Russell. He did have a very good start to the race to get up to P10, but an unsafe release by Williams ruined his race. He sustained floor damage from this incident and went a lap down, with the rest of the race effectively just a test session for the team.
The Canadian rookie will be buoyed by the fact he has already been announced as a Williams driver for next season, easing the pressure of having to fight for his seat. He has been improving every weekend so far and will be hoping for better luck next time out at Silverstone.
As you might know by now if you've been following this series, I don't give a rating to drivers who retire from the race. I do sometimes give them an honourable mention though if they have done a good job.
This week's honourable mention goes to the only non-finisher, and that was Pierre Gasly. He did a great job in qualifying to nurse a broken AlphaTauri to the top ten, beating his teammate Kvyat by 0.8s.
What do you think?
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