Ratings: What grade did the drivers get for the Austrian GP? (11-20)

01-07-2019 12:06
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
Ratings: What grade did the drivers get for the Austrian GP? (11-20)

We've graded the drivers that ended in the points this morning, and now it's time to be less nice - here are our grades for the ten drivers that didn't end in the points at the Red Bull Ring!

Sergio Pérez - 7 (P11)

Within the context of Racing Point, Sergio Pérez did well. The Mexican was competitive all the way through and was driving within the points for stretches, but the Alfa Romeo was just too quick. 

Pérez himself said some big upgrades are coming after Silverstone which should thrust the team forward, but for now, this is as good as it gets for the Canadian team.

Daniel Ricciardo - 5 (P12)

Honestly, starting from P12, we expected a driver of Daniel Ricciardo's stature to be well within the points in a matter of minutes. However, the Renault really struggled with the heat, both on Saturday and on Sunday. The strategy of running extremely long on the first stint didn't work.

It was more of a car issue than Ricciardo himself driving badly, so we can't be too harsh on him.

Nico Hülkenberg - 5 (P13)

Same story as Ricciardo, really. The Hulk started from P15 after a grid penalty and made up two places, but the German got no realistic whiff of a points finish at any point. The first pointless weekend for Renault since Spain and the first pointless race for Nico Hülkenberg since Monaco.

Like we said with his teammate, it was more the car than his driving.

Lance Stroll - 4 (P14)

No excellent start, no Sunday masterclass from Lance Stroll this time. Yet, the woeful qualifying streak continues, as he hasn't made it out of Q1 in qualifying 13 straight times now, dating back to Japan 2018.

A frustrating race for the 20-year-old, who saw his teammate fighting for points while he was stuck at the back of the midfield. Tough times at Racing Point, tough times for Stroll.

Alexander Albon - 6 (P15)

Starting from the back, Alex Albon was always a bit doomed for his team's sort-of-home race. Still, he managed to finish ahead of his teammate Daniil Kvyat, which is always a good sign.

Race pace didn't quite match the pace in qualifying, but as I said, beating your teammate is all you can do in these races where points aren't on the cards. Solid drive from the rookie, albeit one to forget in the grand scheme of things.

Romain Grosjean - 7 (P16)

You might think a seven is really high as Romain Grosjean started 11th and finished five places below that, but within the context of Haas, finishing 16th is actually quite impressive. The American team's race pace has been horrible compared to the impressive qualifying pace, mainly because they can't seem to get tyre temperatures under control.

Every race, the Haas cars drop like a stone after being well-positioned on the starting grid. 'Just' losing five places, as weird as it sounds, is actually quite decent. The problem lies at the team, not the driver.

Daniil Kvyat - 4 (P17)

After frustratingly qualifying in 18th because his last flying lap got hindered, Kvyat should've been a man on a mission on Sunday. However, the Russian ended up fighting Williams cars at the back, which is never a good sign.

It's been an impressive comeback season so far from Kvyat, but we hope drives like this can be eliminated. It's not good enough, frankly.

George Russell - 8 (P18)

It feels weird giving such a high grade to someone who finished in 18th, but it really was a hell of a drive from George Russell. He showed signs of life from Williams as he was able to fight other cars in front, highlighted by a sweet double overtake on both teammate Robert Kubica as well as Kvyat. 

Eventually, things got back to the norm as Russell got lapped twice, but at least he held the Haas of Kevin Magnussen behind him. A really good drive from the reigning F2 champion, who is making the most of things at Williams.

Kevin Magnussen - 3 (P19)

Haas have woeful race pace, but Magnussen had already ruined his race before it started. The Dane lined up out of position on the grid and got a drive-through penalty for it, which, on top of his bad start, saw him dropping down the order and even driving in last place for a while.

Eventually, he overtook Kubica for P19, but his race pace was equal (or worse!) than the Williams cars, which is truly alarming if you're Haas. He had the fifth best time in qualifying, and he finished 19th! It's something we've never seen before, such a big difference between a car's one-lap pace and its race pace.

Robert Kubica - 4 (P20)

It must be a bit depressing for Kubica at this point, always losing to his teammate and always finishing last. To his credit, he has finished every race, and he was even voted Driver of the Day in Austria, but as an obvious joke.

Lapped three times, including once by his own teammate, it was a performance which just underlined the Pole is not at Russell's level. We doubt he'll be on the grid next season, which is a sad realisation, but at this point, it's hard to watch the Pole.

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