2014 Chinese Grand Prix Driver Ratings

2014 Chinese Grand Prix Driver Ratings

There were plenty of strong performances up and down the field over the Chinese Grand Prix weekend, but just how well did each driver do? Here are Richland F1’s ratings:1050758_2085218_1024_683_F12014GP04China-HZ8923

Sebastian Vettel

He was out-performed by his less experienced team-mate over the course of the weekend, especially in the wet qualifying session where he was six tenths slower in equal machinery. The car wasn’t quite to his liking and he struggled in the closing stages of the race, but he still got the car home in a strong position. Rating: 7

Daniel Ricciardo

The Aussie had an almost faultless weekend and was fast throughout, out-qualifying his team-mate on Saturday and finishing 25 seconds ahead of him in the race. It was another impressive performance from the Red Bull Racing driver. Rating: 9

Nico Rosberg

It was a scruffy start to the race weekend for Rosberg and he missed out on a higher grid position in qualifying due to a late spin in Q3. He recovered well from a poor start to finish second, particularly due to the fact that his team had no telemetry from his car, but he was in the shadow of his team-mate all weekend. Rating: 7

Lewis Hamilton

It was another perfect weekend for the Brit. He wasn’t too happy with the set-up of the car on Friday but put in another stunning wet-weather qualifying performance to take pole position. He was then unchallenged in the race and made it look easy to finish 18 seconds clear of his nearest challenger. Rating: 10

Fernando Alonso

The Spaniard secured Ferrari’s first podium of the year, punching above his weight at the wheel of the tricky F14 T to put in a stand-out performance. It was another error-free weekend for Alonso and he finished well clear of his team-mate. Rating: 9

Kimi Raikkonen

The Finn struggled throughout the Chinese Grand Prix, qualifying in a lowly 11th and putting in a rather quiet drive to finish in eight place – 25 seconds down on his countryman Valtteri Bottas. It was a poor weekend overall for Raikkonen, who will be hoping for a turnaround in fortunes at the next race in Spain Rating: 6

Romain Grosjean

He may not have finished the race, but it was still a very positive race weekend for Grosjean. The stand-out moment was in qualifying; where he easily progress through to Q3 and give the Lotus E22 its first top 10 grid position. A gearbox issue caused his retirement, but a good result was possible. Rating: 8

Pastor Maldonado

Following a disastrous Bahrain Grand Prix, the 2014 season didn’t get much better for Maldonado. He spun in first practice after getting distracted by his steering wheel and then crashed at the pit entry in FP2. Failing to qualify wasn’t his fault (it was a power-unit problem) and he got to the chequered flag, but it was another poor weekend for the Venezuelan. Rating: 3

Jenson ButtonJenson Button on track.

The cooler conditions in China didn’t suit the McLaren MP4-29 and Button struggled with graining during the 56-lap race. After a poor qualifying performance, he failed to score a point and finished a disappointing 11th after a very average weekend for the Brit. Rating: 6

Kevin Magnussen

Like his team-mate, it was a disappointing and rather anonymous weekend for Magnussen as he struggled for front end grip. He qualified down in 15th and he didn’t manage to make much progress in the dry race, eventually finishing in 13th place. Rating: 6

Nico Hulkenberg

Force India knew that they wouldn’t be challenging for podiums – like they were in Bahrain – at the Chinese Grand Prix, so sixth for Hulkenberg was probably the best they could have hoped for. It was another good weekend for the German as he continues to consistently pick up points. Rating: 8

Sergio Perez

After a disappointing qualifying result, where he set the slowest time in Q2, Perez put in a strong recovery drive to score two points. He completed some good overtakes en route to ninth place, but the result could have easily been better had he started higher up on the grid. Rating: 6

Adrian Sutil

Sutil moved to Sauber in the hope of securing the first podium finish of his career. However, his disappointing start to the 2014 season continued in China after he registered another DNF. This was thanks to a power-unit problem that he discovered before the race had even got underway. Rating: 5

Esteban Gutierrez

Gutierrez managed to reach the chequered flag – unlike his team-mate – but he struggled throughout the race with rear tyre grip, which forced him to switch to a three-stop strategy. With the current pace of the car, not much more was achievable. The team hopes to make progress in Barcelona, but scoring points will certainly be a challenge. Rating: 5

Jean-Eric Vergne

Verne performed well in the wet qualifying session to secure a top 10 grid position, but a dismal start and first lap compromised his race. He was then stuck behind slower cars, eventually finishing in an underwhelming 12th place. Rating: 6

Daniil Kvyat

The rookie impressed once again to score his third top 10 result in four races. The Russian was disappointed to qualify in 13th, but he made up for that with a strong drive to 10th place after a good start. He battled with Button throughout, before eventually winning and pulling away from the McLaren driver in the closing stages. Rating: 7

Felipe Massa

The Williams FW36 looked strong throughout the race weekend and Massa looked on course for a possible top six result. His car managed to emerge unscathed from a clash with Alonso on the run to turn one, after a storming start, but a disastrous first pit stop dropped him to the back of the pack. He eventually recovered to 16th. Rating: 7

Valtteri Bottas

Like his team-mate, Bottas also survived contact on lap one (this time from Rosberg), which lost him a few positions. He put in a strong recovery drive – despite Williams team losing his car’s telemetry – to finish in seventh place, just a few tenths behind Hulkenberg. Rating: 7

Jules BianchiMotor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Chinese Grand Prix - Race Day - Shanghai, China

A mistake on his final qualifying lap meant he started the Chinese Grand Prix behind Kamui Kobayashi. The two drivers enjoyed a race-long battle, with Kobayashi overtaking the Frenchman at the penultimate corner of the final lap. However, thanks to the chequered flag being waved one lap early, Bianchi was officially classified in 17th. Rating: 7

Max Chilton

Chilton was well off the pace of his team-mate in qualifying thanks to balance issues, and he was no match for him in the race either. However, he did secure the his 23rd consecutive Formula 1 race finish, just one day prior to his 23rd Birthday. Rating: 5

Kamui Kobayashi

The Japanese driver finished the 56th lap of the Chinese Grand Prix in 17th place after a fantastic overtake on Bianchi two corners earlier. However, he was officially classified in 18th after the chequered flag was waved one lap too early, meaning the results were declared from lap 54.  Rating: 7

Marcus Ericsson

The Swedish rookie finished the fourth race of his career in last place, just over 15 seconds behind the nearest car. He suffered balance and understeer issues throughout the rather lonely race to cross the line two laps down in 20th. Rating: 5

Images courtesy of Mercedes AMG Petronas, McLaren Mercedes and Marussia F1 Team

Jack Leslie

Jack Leslie

Jack Leslie is a freelance motorsport and Formula 1 journalist. He has been part of the Richland F1 team since the very start and made his F1 paddock debut for the website at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. Jack also writes for Car Throttle, RumbleStripNews, Formula1Blog, PureF1 and F1 Plus, as well as running a popular blog.