2014 Belgian GP Driver Ratings
There were some spectacular performances up and down the grid during the thrilling Belgian Grand Prix, but just how well did each driver do? Here are Richland F1’s ratings from Spa-Francorchamps.
Sebastian Vettel – 7/10
The dominant winner here in 2013, this time around Vettel’s weekend was rather low-key. Third on the grid was impressive enough, and he started well before a failed attempt to pass Hamilton on lap one and a mistake dropped him behind his team-mate, the eventual winner.
Daniel Ricciardo – 9/10 (Driver of the Day)
A small mistake on his final qualifying lap aside the Australian was practically faultless all weekend. Offered the sniff of a third win of the season after the Mercedes clash he snatched at, producing a controlled performance to take the most convincing victory of his career.
Nico Rosberg – 5/10
A weekend to forget for the German. Outqualified Hamilton on Saturday, but would likely have missed out on pole if not for his team-mate’s glazed brake. A slow start on race day saw him drop to third. The clash with Hamilton was avoidable, and cost him a stop for a new nose. Later locked up attempting to pass Vettel, losing a place to Bottas, losing more time which probably cost him a chance at the win.
Lewis Hamilton – 7/10
Hamilton did not do a lot wrong all weekend but still left Spa with no points. He was fast in qualifying and unlucky to miss out on pole due to a glazed brake. Off the start he took the lead and defended from Vettel into Les Combes. Contact with Rosberg dropped him to the back of the field where he struggled with a badly damaged car before ultimately retiring.
Kimi Raikkonen – 8/10
Without question the Finn’s best weekend since his return to Ferrari. Qualifying was scrappy but in the race he was excellent. Lost out on a first podium of the year to Valtteri Bottas late on, but fourth is still Raikkonen’s best result of the season.
Fernando Alonso – 8/10
Mighty in qualifying to take fourth on the grid ahead of Ricciardo. A starter motor issue led to his mechanics being caught on the grid before the parade lap which meant he picked up a five-second stop/go, which was a setback. Lost out in a late battle with Kevin Magnussen which saw the Dane penalised to come home seventh.
Romain Grosjean – 6/10
The Frenchman’s miserable season continued in Belgium. Qualified ahead of his team-mate once again to start 15th but broke his front wing on the opening lap. A late retirement summed up his season.
Pastor Maldonado – 3/10
Crashed on the run down to Pouhon during practice in what was a silly accident. A spin during Q1 meant he started just 17th, behind Jules Bianchi’s Marussia. An exhaust problem saw him retire from the race. More disappointment for the Venezuelan.
Kevin Magnussen – 8/10
Was a fine seventh on the grid ahead of his team-mate Jenson Button in qualifying. Came home sixth after a fighting drive, only to be penalised after the race for running Fernando Alonso off the road on an intense which dropped him down to 12th. A shame after what was a fine performance across the weekend from the Dane.
Jenson Button – 7/10
A mistake in qualifying saw the Englishman finish bottom of Q3, a disappointing 10th. It was a different case in the race, when he was excellent, seeing off fellow champions Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel to finish sixth at the chequered flag, one spot behind his team-mate, only to be promoted to fifth after Magnussen’s penalty.
Sergio Perez – 5/10
Started just 13th after an uninspiring qualifying performance but bounced back to finish eighth in the race after a solid if unspectacular performance to sneak four points.
Nico Hulkenberg – 4/10
Staying out on old intermediate tyres while complaining of a glazed brake cost him a place in Q2. Starting 18th the German drove a quiet race to come home 11th. Fortunate to pick up a single point after Magnussen was penalised.
Esteban Gutierrez – 4/10
Beset by issues throughout the weekend which meant he completed just 26 laps ahead of the race. A power issue caused him to stop in Q1 before the switch over to the intermediate tyres, miring him down in 20th place. Finished 15th just behind his team-mate in what was another forgettable race for the Mexican.
Adrian Sutil – 4/10
As has often been the case this season Sutil was anonymous throughout the weekend. Qualified 14th, coming home in the same position. Beat his team-mate to the flag by eight second, not much more to say.
Jean-Eric Vergne 6/10
Kept his team-mate Daniil Kvyatt honest on Saturday with 12th in qualifying, but a slow start dropped him down the field where he failed to recover. A missed opportunity for some well needed points for the Frenchman who now faces uncertainty over his future with Max Verstappen confirmed at Toro Rosso for 2015.
Daniil Kvyat – 7/10
A comical spin in qualifying aside the Russian had a strong weekend at Spa. Beat his team-mate to 11th on the grid, and for unfortunate not to make it into Q3 for the … time this season. Drove a solid race to ninth, picking up two points, as well as beating his team-mate.
Felipe Massa – 5/10
Ninth in qualifying was a decent return from a Williams car that was struggling to put heat into its tyres on a damp track. In an incredible act of misfortune Massa managed to collect a piece of debris from Lewis Hamilton’s shredded tyre early in the race which required two pit stops to clear. Once the debris was clear he was up to speed but his race had already been ruined, the Brazilian finishing 13th and out of the points.
Valtteri Bottas – 9/10
Suffered with a similar issue as his team-mate on Saturday which meant he started sixth. Come race day he was excellent, producing a faultless drive from sixth on the grid to come home third, passing his compatriot Kimi Raikkonen as well as Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg on the way to his fourth podium finish in five races.
Max Chilton – 4/10
Dropped on Thursday for Alexander Rossi, only to return following opening practice at the American’s expense with the earlier ‘contractual issues’ apparently sorted. Beat Marcus Ericsson to 16th in the race, but it is clear now that his future relies on funding rather than results.
Jules Bianchi – 8/10
A stunning lap in Q1 saw him progress through in 14th position. 16th in Q2 was and excellent return for the Frenchman, only for his race to be ruined early on after he picked up a puncture at turn one. He made it back to the pits and had reeled in Chilton by the time his race came to an end with a gearbox issue late on.
Marcus Ericsson – 3/10
Embarrassed by the pace of his stand-in team-mate Andre Lotterer throughout the weekend, with a gap of a second in qualifying simply unacceptable. Finished as the last of the classified runners after losing out to Chilton late in the race.
Andre Lotterer – 9/10
Despite no experience of contemporary Formula 1 machinery Lotterer was instantly on form. Progressed throughout the weekend as he became more comfortable with the car, and out qualified his team-mate by a whole second on Saturday. In a cruel twist he lost power late on the second lap which saw him retire from what may be his one and only F1 appearance.
Images courtesy of Octane Photographic
Dan Paddock is an FIA accredited freelance motorsport and Formula 1 journalist and the recently appointed Grand Prix Editor of Richland F1. Dan joined the site in July of last year as a Staff Writer, fresh off the back of completing a master’s degree in journalism. He has since gone on to represent Richland F1 at the 2014 British Grand Prix, his debut in the Formula 1 paddock. Aside from Richland F1, Dan also writes for Rumble Strip News, as well as maintaing his own modest blog.