Australian Grand Prix – Driver Ratings

My opinion of Driver Rating’s for the 2018 Australian Grand Prix in result
order.

Sebastian Vettel – 8

Sometimes you make your own luck, staying out longer than others certainly
paid off and with high chances of a safety car at the compact track, a win
was always a possibility. The German was out-qualified by his teammate on
Saturday but kept Hamilton behind him.

Lewis Hamilton – 8

It looked good for the reigning World Champion on Saturday, an amazing lap
by the Brit, he was a whopping 0.6 seconds quicker than anyone else, which
is a lifetime in the sport. He can’t be blamed for the error resulting in
Vettel taking the lead. He may have had the pace but a silly mistake cost
him in sector 2 which also cost him a possible chance at the end.

Kimi Raikkonen – 8

The Finn looked like he had adapted well to the 2018 car, with consistent
speed throughout the opening weekend. He managed to out-qualify his
teammate too. He must have felt a bit hard done by with the bottom step of
the podium, but you can never tell by his facial expressions, can you?!

Daniel Ricciardo – 7

Daniel did well to recover from his silly mistake of not slowing down
under red flags in practice. He seemed to lack the outright speed of
teammate Verstappen but luck may have been on his side to enable him to
finish so high up. He performed one of the few overtakes on track with his
trademark lunge early on.

Fernando Alonso – 8

It was nice to see Alonso back at the top end of the field, although not
competing for wins just yet. The Mclaren doesn’t seem to be the finished
article, the more they work on it the more tools it gives Alonso, who is
regarded as one of the best on the grid. We saw a very good race from the
Spaniard, after starting 11th after an average qualifying. Frustrated
Verstappen late on with his speed.

Max Verstappen – 6

A weekend to take a deep breath and forget about for Max, it was a what
could have been weekend for the Dutchman, Errors cost him a front row
start in qualifying and a spin in the race damaged his tyres and dropped
him places on Sunday. You could say he overdrove the car, he has the out
and out speed as we all know.

Nico Hulkenberg – 7

One of the most consistent drivers on the grid in modern Formula 1, again
delivered points for his team. Quiet throughout the weekend but knuckled
down and got on with it. Things look promising for him this year with a
better car at his hands.

Valtteri Bottas – 5

The pressure was already piled on his young shoulders, he certainly didn’t
do himself any favours. His error in Q3 resulted in a penalty and heavy
work for the team. He struggled to make his way through the field and
didn’t pick up a single place at the start. Only a points scorer due to
others misfortune.

Stoffel Vandoorne – 6

Stoffel has one of the best teammates, much like Bottas with whom he can
easily be compared too. He was within two tenths on Saturday but didn’t
take advantage of the virtual safety car hence why finished further down
the field. Solid weekend for him but nothing to shout about.

Carlos Sainz – 6

Carlos is a great talent to have on your team, so much so he is on a
technical ‘loan deal’ from Red Bull. He was battling with his idle Alonso
for the majority of the early stages of the race after a poor start. He
ran wide which gave Alonso the place and he never really recovered
thereafter.

Sergio Perez – 6

Perez was on the cusp of points for the majority of the race, a veteran in
his eighth season in the sport, comfortably out-qualified his teammate but
not much action on Sunday. A track which might not suit his car well, so
watch out for future races.

Estaban Ocon – 5

The Frenchman struggled to get into his groove in Australia, he didn’t
really seem with it. A relatively new car which might be a bit difficult
to instantly get to grips with. Completed the race, more miles for him to
understand the car.

Charles Leclerc – 7

A strong performance by the highly rated Ferrari academy driver. Looked
confident with what he had available after many spins in testing.

Lance Stroll – 5

In his second season for the historic team, the pressure is on the
Canadian. He did well in qualifying with P14, separating the Force India
drivers. A poor race though, with lacklustre pace from him resulting in a
quiet and dull afternoon.

Brendan Hartley – 4

We saw Honda’s true pace in Australia which still doesn’t seem to be great
but the gap is closer than ever, which resulted in the Kiwi dropping out
at the first stage of qualifying. A heavy lock-up at turn 1 ruined his
race as he had to pit. Finished a lap down.

Romain Grosjean – 7

Heartbreak for Romain, a failure with the wheel gun brought an
unexpectedly early end to his race when solid points were possible. He
turned the whole race on his head where he parked his car.

Kevin Magnussen – 9

Heartbreak again! The same issue albeit on the rear tyre for him, great
start to jump Verstappen, taking advantage of him being boxed in on the
inside of turn 1. He kept his cool as he followed, points should come
next round.

Pierre Gasly – 4

The Frenchman had a weekend to forget, a poor qualifying resulted in him
starting last due to two mistakes on his fast laps. He had to retire the
car with mechanical issues. Great raw talent, just hope his car doesn’t
overshadow that.

Marcus Ericcson – 5

Quiet weekend, retired with car failure, out-qualified his teammate, but
with his many years behind the wheel, you’d expect him to be more than a
tenth ahead of his rookie teammate.

Sergey Sirotkin – 4

It may have been overheating that resulted in the Russian’s failure to
finish, but it looks concerning for him. 0.5 off his teammate and P19 on
Saturday. Did Williams make the right choice picking him over Kubica?

The driver of the Weekend Award

No outstanding performances which resulted in a perfect 10, but the driver
of the weekend goes to Kevin Magnussen. Out-qualified his teammate and
frustrated a fast Red Bull. Could have walked away with no points but Haas
does look like they have the fourth best car with one of, if not smallest
overall team.

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