F1: Eifel Grand Prix Driver Ratings

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Lewis Hamilton holds aloft Michael Schumacher's helmet during the podium ceremony at the Nurburgring. © AP

Drama, DNF’s and a tenth different podium sitter this season, let’s take a look at how everyone performed.

Race Rating: 8/10 

A typically crazy race at the Nurburgring filled with overtakes, differing strategies and reliability issues which saw just 15 cars cross the finishing line. 

 It was inevitable then that the Safety Car would be deployed and it was, which bunched the pack up for a sprint-race style finish and the field hashed it out for the final 11 laps. 

This resulted in a familiar two standing on the top two steps of the podium but joined by someone gaining his first podium since 2018, does anyone know any good tattoo places? 

Nine out of the ten teams scored points, with Williams being the only team not to score in an enjoyable race. 

MERCEDES

Valterri Bottas: N/A

Started: P1 / Finished: DNF

Title race over? This one must’ve hurt for the Finn. 

Defended brilliantly from Hamilton on the opening lap to keep a hold of P1 and had pulled out nearly a second on his teammate by the end of the first lap. 

From there it all went a bit downhill, on lap 12 Bottas locked up into turn 1 and flat-spotted his tyres.

This allowed Hamilton to take the lead resulting in Bottas having to pit to replace his square tyres. 

Bottas then had a loss of power and was forced to retire the car on lap 18, putting the final nail in the coffin for his weekend and potentially, his title challenge too. 

Lewis Hamilton: 8.5/10

Started: P2 / Finished: P1 (+1) 

A record-equalling 91 wins, tied with the legendary Michael Schumacher, history. 

Hamilton went on the attack into turn 1 but couldn’t get past his teammate. 

Instead of opting to manage his tyres and wait for his opportunity, which came on lap 12 when Bottas locked up into turn 1 allowing the 6-time champion to take the lead. 

After Bottas retired Hamilton had built a 7-second gap to Verstappen, before pitting under the VSC.

A 4 second stop put him under pressure from the Red Bull but Hamilton continued to keep him behind. 

Pitted again under the Safety Car and timed his getaway perfectly to keep Verstappen from challenging him into turn 1. 

Hamilton pulled away and from there, his 91st win never really looked in doubt. 

RED BULL

Max Verstappen: 8/10

Started: P3 / Finished: P2 (+1)

Looked destined for another P3 until Bottas retired, won the fastest lap and keeps up his 100% podium finishes in every race he has completed this season. 

Maintained P3 at the start and built a large gap to Leclerc behind. 

During his first stint, he was the fastest car on the track until he pitted under the VSC, with a beautiful 2-second pitstop to reapply the pressure to Hamilton.

Didn’t have the pace on the mediums and faded away but had no pressure from Ricciardo, who was over 50 seconds behind. 

Pitted under the Safety Car but struggled at the restart on cold tyres and never really had an answer to Hamilton’s pace. 

Crossing the line in P2, managing to steal fastest lap off Hamilton on the last lap by just a few thousandths.  

Alex Albon: N/A

Started: P5 / Finished: DNF

Albon’s Red Bull woes continue, with this weekend raising more question marks over his seat. 

A terrible start for Albon saw him drop to P6 in the first few corners and even tagging Daniel Ricciardo.

Eventually found his rhythm and started to gain on the Renault until he locked up into turn 1 and flat-spotted his tyres, forcing him to box on just lap 8. 

It went from bad to worse for Alex as during his battle with Kvyat he moved over too quickly, completely taking off the Alpha Tauri’s front wing and resulted in a 5 second time penalty. 

He then had another horrible lock-up into turn 1 trying to get past Gasly causing another horrible flat spot on his tyres.

Albon boxed the car on lap 23 to retire due to a suspected radiator issue. 

RENAULT

Esteban Ocon: N/A

Started: P7 / Finished: DNF

Another casualty of reliability issues. 

Had a poor start dropping to P9 by the end of the first lap. 

Slowly started making his way back up the field and a top 6 finish looked possible.

That was until he came onto the radio complaining of no brakes, no steering and no power before pitting the car on lap 23 to retire due to a hydraulic issue.

Daniel Ricciardo: 10/10 – Joint Driver Of The Day

Started: P6 / Finished: P3 (+3)

“Is that a ******* podium?” It is! His first podium since Monaco 2018 and Renaults first since Spa 2010. 

Quickly dispatched Albon and found himself stuck behind the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc but managed to get past him on lap 9 after an excellent battle by both drivers. 

Bottas’ retirement breathed life into his podium aspirations, moving up into P3.

At the halfway point in the race he was 14 seconds clear of Leclerc in P4. 

Perez moved up into P4 and started to threaten Ricciardo’s podium place on the final few laps, catching up by 7 tenths a lap, until the Safety Car came out.

At the restart and on fresh Soft’s Ricciardo managed to fend off Perez’s challenge into turn 2 and 3, before pulling away to finally get that podium.

The only question left now is: What tattoo is Cyril getting?

FERRARI

Sebastian Vettel: 5/10

Started: P11 / Finished: P11 (0)

Another pointless race for the Aston Martin bound driver. 

Vettel had a poor start to the race, losing a place to Giovinazzi on the opening lap.

Span into turn 1 after trying to swap sides to overtake Kimi Raikonnen and nearly ended up in the gravel. 

This completely flat-spotted his tyres and boxed for a set of Hards on lap 12, the first driver all weekend to use this compound

The hards fell off very quickly and lost two places in two laps to Gasly and Hulkenberg before pitting just before the Safety Car. 

Vettel found himself in P13 for the restart and quickly got past Latifi before an aggressive scrap with Kevin Magnussen which Vettel came out on top. 

Vettel finished in P11, less than eight tenths off P10.

Charles Leclerc: 7.5/10

Started: P4 / Finished: P7 (-3)

Troubled Verstappen into turn 1 but retained P4 on the opening lap.

fended off Ricciardo early on with some fantastic defensive driving until lap 9 when Ricciardo made his move stick. 

There was no respite either for Leclerc, who had Perez and Norris right on his tail.

had an excellent battle with Perez for P4 for a few laps until Perez eventually got the better of him.

Stayed out under the Safety Car and was P6 on the restart before Gasly, on fresher and softer rubber, did a lovely overtake to relegate Leclerc to P7 where he ultimately finished.

MCLAREN

Lando Norris: N/A

Started: P8 / Finished: DNF

A big chance at a podium wasted, let down by reliability issues. 

Had a fantastic battle with Perez for P4 and moved up to P3 once Bottas retired.

A few laps after Norris came on the radio complaining of no power and was losing 8 tenths a lap to Perez behind.

 The team tried a remote workaround which temporarily fixed the problem, he then pitted after doing an incredible 29 laps on the Softs, joint most with Hulkenberg. 

Got quickly dispatched by Perez on his out-lap and came back on the radio to say the issue had gotten worse.

Lando incredibly still managed to keep up with those around him.

Eventually pulled over to the side of the road on lap 44 to retire from P6, prompting the Safety Car to be called into action. 

Carlos Sainz: 7/10

Started: P10 / Finished: P5 (+5)

A solid race for the Spaniard after two DNF’s.

Struggled to make up places at the start, only gaining one place in the first 10 laps. 

Sainz showed consistency throughout the race and was up to P5 for the Safety Car restart after pitting. 


Couldn’t keep up with Perez and Ricciardo in front but did enough to keep Gasly out of DRS range to come home in P5. 

RACING POINT

Niko Hulkenberg: 10/10 – Joint Driver Of The Day

Started: P20 / Finished: P8 (+12)

What a story!

No practice except for 10 laps in qualifying in which he couldn’t alter the setup due to Parc Ferme rules. 

then hopped in on race day, pulled off some fantastic overtakes and didn’t miss a beat. 

made up 3 places on the opening lap and before long was having an excellent tussle with Leclerc for P10. 

Extended his first stint and did an incredible 29 laps on the softs, the most of anyone who used the softs tied only with Lando Norris.

Pitted under the Safety car for a fresh set of Softs and aced the restart, quickly dispatching Romain Grosjean to take P8 where he ultimately finished.

Sergio Perez: 9/10

Started: P9 / Finished: P4 (+5) 

Another brilliant performance by Perez, but did the Safety Car cost him a chance at a podium? 

Quickly dispatched Ocon for P8 and extended his stint on his Soft tyres doing an impressive 28 laps before pitting from P4.

Took advantage of Norris’ loss of power and swiftly moved past him to move up to P5 just after the halfway mark. 

Perez then followed it up with a fantastic back and forth with Leclerc for P4 in which Perez came out on top after a few laps of intense action. 

After finding himself in clean air, Perez started to hunt down Ricciardo in P3, putting in consecutive personal best laps. 

Lapping around 7 tenths quicker than the Renault, Perez looked set to catch him until the Safety car was brought out.

Perez pit under the Safety Car and on the restart put Ricciardo under pressure.

Ultimately his challenge faded as he fell out of DRS range, but still came home in a still fantastic P4.

ALPHA TAURI

Danil Kvyat: 5/10

Started: P13 / Finished: P15 (-2)

After a solid race in Sochi, Kvyat would’ve hoped for a lot better this weekend. 

dropped two places on the opening laps but managed to recover to P10 and showed good pace.

Until lap 17 where Kvyat went too deep into the penultimate corner defending against Albon and cut across the grass.

Albon tried to slip past and cut back onto the racing line but it was too soon and took out Kvyats front wing.

This meant the Kvyat had to do a whole lap with no front wing as the collision was past the pit entry.

This effectively ended Kvyats hopes of any points as the collision had also caused damage to his floor and other parts on his car. 

After his forced pitstop to change the wing he came out in last place by quite a distance. 

The Safety Car allowed him to catch up to the rest of the pack but ultimately could not get past Latifi in P14 to finish last of the runners. 

Pierre Gasly: 8/10 

Started: P12 / Finished: P6 (+6)

Some fantastic defending and overtakes on his way to a respectable P6. 

Gasly dropped 2 places at the start before working his way up through the grid.

Did some fantastic defending to keep Albon behind until the Redbulls eventual retirement. 

Pitted under the safety car on lap 44 for a set of Softs and rejoined in P8 for the restart.

Took advantage of his fresher and softer tyres, getting past Grosjean and Leclerc to finish in a brilliant P6. 

HAAS

Kevin Magnussen: 6.5/10

Started: P15 / Finished: P13 (+2)

Aggressive and racy, but it didn’t quite pay off for him this weekend. 

Made up 2 places on the first lap, and looked like a top 10 was potentially on the cards.

Stayed out when the Safety Car was deployed to maintain track position in P11. 

Kept Vettel behind for 5 laps after the restart, but a lunge from the Ferrari driver into turn 1 put them wheel to wheel quite literally as they both touched wheels into turn 2 and K-Mag had to go off the track. 

This compromised him into turn 3 and Raikonnen capitalized, dropping Magnussen down to P13 where he ultimately finished. 

Romain Grosjean: 9/10 

Started: P16 / Finished: P9 (+7) 

Grosjean’s highest finish of the season and first points since Hockenheim 2019.

A poor start to the race saw Romain drop to the back of the grid after the first few corners.

To make matters worse Grosjean got hit by a stray piece of gravel from Kimi Raikkonen going wide which hit his hand and there was worry he had broken his index finger. 

Grosjean was okay to carry on and extended his first stint on his Mediums which saw him climb the field to P11.

quickly rose after his first pitstop to P10 and for the Safety Car restart found himself in P7 after deciding not to pit.

Unfortunately dropped 2 places almost immediately to Gasly and Hulkenberg, who were on softer and newer tyres.  

Grosjean, in the end, did an excellent job to keep Giovinazzi out of DRS range and came home in P9. 

ALFA ROMEO

Kimi Raikonnen: 6/10

Started: P19 / Finished: P12 (+7)

The new record holder for most race starts would’ve probably hoped for some points commemorate his new record.

Made up a few positions into turn 1 but was forced off the track to avoid a collision and fell back to P19.

He then struggled to move back up the field so pitted early on lap 10 from Softs to Mediums and did a fantastic 34 laps on them, the most out of anyone on a set of Mediums.

Had an entertaining battle with Vettel and Russell for P18, but locked up hitting Russell sending the car through the air causing the Brit to retire. 

This resulted in Kimi being handed a 10-second penalty, which he served on lap 44. 

Upon the Safety Car restart, he was in P14 but quickly dispatched Latifi and Magnussen to move up to P12 where he ultimately finished the race, just 1.5 seconds behind his teammate in P10. 

Antonio Giovinazzi: 8.5/10

Started: P14 / Finished: P10 (+4)

Drove a calm race and kept his nose clean to finish in the points for the first time since the season opener in Austria.  

Started in a typically positive fashion, making up 3 places on the opening lap and had decent pace all race. 

The Italian found himself in P10 for the Safety Car restart after staying out.

With cars squabbling behind him, he managed to bring the car home in the final points position. 

WILLIAMS

https://twitter.com/WilliamsRacing/status/1315288645805445120?s=20

George Russell: N/A

Started: P17 / Finished: DNF

Another day to forget for George, when will he catch a break? 

A positive start saw him move up to P15 and proceeded to keep up with the chasing pack.

Sandwiched between Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen after his pitstop, he had a great battle with both drivers.

That was until the Alfa Romeo locked up going into turn 1 and hit the side of Russell. 

This caused a puncture and suspected suspension damage to his Williams. 

Russell tried to nurse his wounded car back to the pits but the damage was terminal and he pulled over.

This Brought out the Virtual Safety Car on lap 14 and caused a premature end to his Grand Prix. 

Nicholas Latifi: 6/10

Started: P18 / Finished P14 (+4)

Another quiet race for the Rookie in which he lacked overall pace in comparison to rival teams: Alfa Romeo and Haas, who both scored points today. 

His race got interesting when the Safety Car was deployed on lap 44 and found himself up to P12 for the restart after choosing not to pit.

bt quickly fell to P14, losing places to Vettel and Raikkonen, who were on fresher tyres. 

Had a fun battle with Kvyat for the last 5 laps which saw him fend off the Russian and come home in 14th place. 

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