F1’s return to Austria after eleven years away was an unmitigated success, with the fans, drivers and teams all enjoying a feast of racing put on by Red Bull. As cringeworthy as Bernie’s message for Mr. Mateschitz was, we do indeed have to thank him for a wonderful event.
The race itself was an interesting one, with Mercedes facing some opposition for the first time this season. Here are the driver ratings for the race at the Red Bull Ring.
Sebastian Vettel – 4/10
It’s difficult to judge a driver whose race was ruined after just two laps, but all weekend long, Vettel was anonymous. Poor in qualifying, and then unlucky on Sunday, it just wasn’t to be for Red Bull at its home event.
Daniel Ricciardo – 6/10
Dan didn’t do a huge amount of note, but sticking his car fifth on the grid was certainly commendable. He had a smaller version of Vettel’s problem on his car, making his eighth place finish pretty good, all things considered.
Nico Rosberg – 9/10
A solid race from the German driver who managed to work his way past the Williams drivers and fend off his teammate in the final few stages. Docked one mark for his mistake in Q1 that meant he was only third…
Lewis Hamilton – 8/10
Like Nico, Lewis fought well in the race, making a rocket start to jump from P9 to P4 in the first two laps. He could not quite catch Rosberg at the last, proving that his mistakes in qualifying were very costly. For the first time this year, the Briton was beaten – no excuses or questions of foul play; he was simply slower.
Fernando Alonso – 7/10
He should really change his name to Fernando “Fifth Place” Alonso. Again, he did great things with the so-so F14 T in Austria, picking up some more solid points for the team.
Kimi Raikkonen – 5/10
Is Kimi really that bothered? He seems quite pleased to finish 10th week in, week out. Just a very “meh” race, again.
Romain Grosjean – 5/10
Qualifying was poor for the Frenchman, and he didn’t make much progress in the race after an early pit stop. The lack of power for the Renault-powered teams was particularly harmful in Austria.
Pastor Maldonado – 6/10
12th place might not be much to shout about, but it did mark Pastor’s best finish of the season. His mistake in qualifying was as expected (#ClassicPastor should be a thing), so his run to P12 earns him a good mark. Progress is being made.
Jenson Button – 5/10
Like Kimi, Jenson just doesn’t seem to have his heart in F1 any more. The Briton dallied around P10/P11 for much of the race, but finished outside of the points as Raikkonen finished two seconds up the road.
Kevin Magnussen – 8/10
K-Mag went about his business in Austria and did very well. The Dane qualified sixth on Saturday, and came home a solid seventh after being passed by Sergio Perez late on. All things considered though, it was a good result.
Nico Hulkenberg – 6/10
Only two points for the Hulk may seem like a disappointment, but he fared okay. His fight with Ricciardo was entertaining, even if he was on the losing side, but he remains just one of three drivers on the grid to have scored points in every race.
Sergio Perez – 9/10
Checo righted the wrongs of Canada in Austria. Once again, Force India executed the reverse strategy well, but this time the Mexican didn’t go too far. Massa came up behind him twice on track, but never made a pass as it coincided with Perez’s stops – which was probably for the best.
13th wasn’t that bad…
Esteban Gutierrez – 3/10
19th. Didn’t see Vettel in his mirrors. In a word: rubbish.
Jean-Eric Vergne – 5/10
Quiet race, was running okay until his was forced to retire.
Daniil Kvyat – 7/10
I’m not mad about giving drivers high marks for qualifying, but the Russian rookie was doing a sterling job until his tyre failed. Points were certainly on the cards despite a bad start, so it was a shame that it ended as it did.
Felipe Massa – 8/10
It was great to see Felipe Baby stick it back on pole, and he ran well in the race. Williams’ strategy smacked of settling for less, and he simply lacked the pace to beat his teammate. Nevertheless, P4 – well done Felipe Massa.
Valtteri Bottas – 9/10 (Driver of the Weekend)
The first of many podiums for Bottas came in Austria, and he was unlucky not to secure pole on Saturday. The Finn pushed the Mercedes drivers hard during the race, and secured his best finish in F1 with third place. He gets my vote for Driver of the Weekend.
Jules Bianchi – 6/10
The best of the backmarkers once again after a race long battle with Kobayashi. Little more to say.
Max Chilton – 5/10
Again, ahead of Ericsson in the second tier of the backmarker battle (if that’s a thing?), but not much more.
Kamui Kobayashi – 5/10
Definitely an improvement on Canada, with a incorrect strategy call costing Kamui in the battle with Bianchi.
Marcus Ericsson – 5/10
Quiet race in the battle with Chilton, but couldn’t quite match the Marussia. Again though, definite progress has been made at Caterham.
Images courtesy of Octane Photographic