Canadian GP Driver Ratings

The Canadian GP was somewhat overshadowed by a controversial, and race-losing, penalty for Sebastian Vettel – but there were still several star performances, particularly from the duelling multi world champions and the Renault drivers…

Lewis Hamilton
Qualified 2nd, Finished 1st

This was not his finest weekend by any means – a mistake on his final lap in qualifying was costly and uncharacteristic – but you have got to hand it to Lewis Hamilton. Unlike Sebastian Vettel, and closest championship rival Valtteri Bottas this season, Hamilton has been able to deliver when it matters most.

After crashing out on Friday and making that error on Saturday, Hamilton said he was more determined than ever on Sunday, partly to thank his team for all their hard work in repairing his car after a reliability glitch. And Hamilton could not have done much more in his hunt of Vettel, staying close before really putting the pressure on after the first pit-stops – and you can see why the Englishman felt he forced the mistake from his great rival.

After that, Hamilton – described as an “instinctive winner” by Martin Brundle in his latest column – looked to capitalise on what would possibly be his only passing opportunity until he was closed off by Vettel, and you cannot really blame him for asking Mercedes on team radio to look into that. Hamilton did nothing wrong in that situation, nor did he deserve any boos afterwards.

“All I did was just race my heart out,” said Hamilton, who will take some stopping in the championship now.
Rating out of ten: 9

Sebastian Vettel
Qualified 1st, Finished 2nd

A deserved pole position, a deserved Driver of the Day and Sebastian Vettel probably deserved to claim his first victory of the season at the Canadian GP.

But while the penalty imposed on Vettel was certainly questionable, the German will instead be ruing another mistake when under pressure from Lewis Hamilton.

It was clear Vettel was at least trying to give Hamilton room after running onto the grass at Turn Three and Sky F1’s pundits agreed there was not much more he could have done once in that position. But Vettel was in that position for a reason, and if he did not make that error then race stewards would not have had a decision to make, while Vettel would most likely have kept Hamilton at bay for 22 more laps considering Ferrari’s straight-line speed advantage.

A precious win was there for the taking and before Lap 48, Vettel was absolutely perfect – his qualifying performance and control of the race was vintage Seb. But right now, the four-time world champion just is not getting it right in F1 2019’s critical moments.

Let’s hope he returns in France with the same fire we saw here.
Rating out of ten: 9

Charles Leclerc
Qualified 3rd, Finished 3rd

Considering this was one of Charles Leclerc’s least competitive weekends of the season, the youngster was rather lucky to equal his best F1 result.

The 21-year-old endured another sloppy qualifying, finishing six tenths off his team-mate, and usually he would be punished for that kind of gap with a grid slot behind another Mercedes and possibly even a Red Bull or two. On this occasion he lined up third but despite getting close to Hamilton at the start, he never really troubled the two in front of him.

But would he have pushed more to take second place of Vettel had Ferrari informed him of his team-mate’s five-second penalty? Leclerc finished seven seconds behind Vettel in the end.
Rating out of ten: 7.5

Valtteri Bottas
Qualified 6th, Finished 4th

“Ultimately I lost the race in qualifying.” Too right, Valtteri Bottas. Leclerc was lucky, but you cannot expect to finish more than seven tenths behind pole and get away with it.

Bottas made a miss of his first Q3 lap before several mistakes on his only timed effort and that meant he started behind a Renault and a Red Bull on the grid. It took him a while to clear that traffic in the race and although Bottas was quick once in clear air, collecting a fastest lap point, this was a disappointing weekend for the man who now trails Hamilton by 29 points.

“Hopefully he can recover from that and not spiral down like last year,” said Brundle.
Rating out of ten: 6

Max Verstappen
Qualified 11th (started 9th), Finished 5th

You have to wonder how high Max Verstappen could have finished on Sunday if his qualifying was not ruined by Kevin Magnussen’s crash. Even though Red Bull’s pace was not quite there in the race, there’s good reason to think Verstappen might well have got on the podium. Instead – and this stat shows how consistent the Dutchman has been – this was his worst result of the season.

After starting ninth, fifth was about the best he could have expected – especially after being passed by a McLaren early on when on hard tyres. Verstappen did put pressure on Bottas at one stage but this was not Red Bull’s day, and when push comes to shove that Honda engine still does not have the beating of its rivals.
Rating out of ten: 7.5

Daniel Ricciardo
Qualified 4th, Finished 6th

What an exceptional performance from Daniel Ricciardo. Although the Australian has three F1 poles this was arguably his best-ever qualifying – not just finishing ahead of a Mercedes but also the man who replaced him at Red Bull to line up fourth on the grid.

Staying in that position was always going to be an impossible task but Ricciardo did battle with Bottas with some admittedly questionably defensive manoeuvres. In the end, sixth was the maximum he could have managed and this was a superb weekend for a rejuvenated Renault.
Rating out of ten: 9.5

Nico Hulkenberg
Qualified 7th, Finished 7th

Nico Hulkenberg was not in the limelight as much as Ricciardo at the Canadian GP but the German’s race day was just as impressive in the other Renault. Hulkenberg’s first stint on the softs was incredible, keeping pace throughout, and the German pushed right up to Ricciardo in the closing laps. Renault, understandably delighted with their haul of points, then issued a team order to keep Hulkenberg behind Ricciardo – but without that Hulk may have fancied an overtake to finish ahead of his star team-mate.
Rating out of ten: 8.5

Pierre Gasly
Qualified 5th, Finished 8th

It’s just not going Pierre Gasly’s way. Gasly finally got the qualifying duck off his back by beating Verstappen on a Saturday – though his team-mate was unlucky to be knocked out in Q2 – but rightly felt hard done by in the race after his first pit-stop left him behind a long-running Lance Stroll.

That “pretty much ended his race”, according to Red Bull boss Christian Horner, and Gasly had to settle for eighth behind two Renaults.

While he qualified fifth and ahead of Verstappen, Gasly still missed an opportunity by failing to beat Ricciardo and hasn’t yet got to grips with that RB15.
Rating out of ten: 6

Lance Stroll
Qualified 18th (started 17th), Finished 9th

Lance Stroll’s qualifying form deserves criticism – that’s now 11 sessions in a row where the Canadian has failed to make it out of Q1 – but boy, is he great on race day.

He started down in 17th and going long on the hard tyre certainly helped in terms of strategy, but Stroll was able to make some, in his words on Sky F1, “bold” overtaking moves throughout the race – notably on Antonio Giovinazzi, Sergio Perez and then Carlos Sainz for ninth place.

Considering he only finished a tenth off Perez in qualifying, this was a competitive weekend for Stroll and he walks away with two precious points.
Rating out of ten: 8.5

Daniil Kvyat
Qualified 12th (started 10th), Finished 10th

Daniil Kvyat continues to dominate the Toro Rosso head-to-head battle – he now leads team-mate Alex Albon 6-1 in qualifying and 5-2 in the race.

The Honda-powered team struggled for pace here so Kvyat did well to get into the points, executing what was possibly the overtake of the race on Sainz into Turn One.
Rating out of ten: 8

Outside the points

Carlos Sainz’s run of three points finishes came to an end and he can pretty much squarely blame that fact on a pesky visor tear-off. The tear-off got stuck in his McLaren’s brake duct and triggered an unwanted early pit stop on lap three, which put Sainz on an endurance run to the end on hard tyres.

It nearly worked – he was ninth as late as lap 66 – but the tyres ultimately gave up on him, allowing Stroll and Kvyat to relegate him back to where he started after his Saturday night grid penalty – 11th.
Rating out of ten: 7

A weekend that never came together for Sergio Perez, despite starting ahead of team-mate Stroll, who finished in ninth. Frustrated not to make Q2, the Mexican was up to 12th by the end of the first lap but it was his team-mate’s long first stint, and not Perez’s short one, which ultimately turned into a points-scoring strategy. Traffic and (high) temperatures made it a tricky afternoon.
Rating out of ten: 6.5

Alfa Romeo’s loss of form since the early-season flyaways certainly is not doing anything for Antonio Giovinazzi’s hopes of scoring his first F1 points. He was quicker than team-mate Kimi Raikkonen here, outqualifying and outracing the veteran Finn, but a messy spin into the grass at Turn Two was never going to help the Italian improve on 13th.
Rating out of ten: 7

That cloud of misfortune is hanging over Romain Grosjean again. On an ultimately depressing weekend for Haas, Grosjean missed out on a stronger qualifying when his team-mate brought out the red flags at the end of Q2 and he then sustained car damage on lap one of the race. From last place, he soldiered on to the flag and 14th at the finish.
Rating out of ten: 6

The-ever straightforward Kimi Raikkonen was straight to the point after finishing 15th in the race: Alfa Romeo simply do not have the pace of their rivals right now. Sixth-fastest in opening practice proved wholly misleading as Kimi was knocked out in Q1 to set the tone of a forgettable weekend.
Rating out of ten: 5.5

Beating a Haas car that originally had the pace to qualify in the top 10 made this a pleasing result for George Russell. Ok, Magnussen was experiencing a whole world of pain with his rebuilt chassis, but Russell beat the Dane by nine seconds. Williams remain adrift, but both Russell’s 100 per cent record over Robert Kubica and race finishing sequence remains intact.
Rating out of ten: 8

A huge qualifying crash left him with a pit-lane start, and he finished two laps down. The highlight of Kevin Magnussen’s race was an entertaining radio exchange with Haas boss Guenther Steiner.

“This is the worst experience I have ever had in a racing car, ever,” said Magnussen. Steiner responded: “Enough is enough.”

Steiner later admitted a set-up change on the car, which was rebuilt for the race, backfired.
Rating out of ten: 5

Robert Kubica’s comeback story isn’t quite going to plan – not just because he is in an uncompetitive Williams car but also as he is being outshone by rookie team-mate George Russell. Kubica has yet to finish ahead of Russell in qualifying or the race this year.
Rating out of ten: 5.5

Did Not Finish

A weekend filled with bad luck for Alex Albon. He may well have finished ahead of Kvyat in qualifying if it was not for Magnussen’s crash in Q2 while he was then squeezed into Turn One in the race and lost a front wing. He ambled around after then, before retiring from the race once it became obvious that points were out of the question.
Rating out of ten: 6

This looked like it was going to be a very strong weekend for Lando Norris after beating his McLaren team-mate to start eighth, before then passing Verstappen at the beginning of the race. Unfortunately, a mechanical issue ended his afternoon.

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