Driver Ratings: Italian Grand Prix 2019
(Photo credit: Charles Coates, Getty Images) 

Driver Ratings: Italian Grand Prix 2019

After being renewed, prolonging its tenure in Formula One, Monza managed to produce a controversial and action-packed event in a race that will go down in Ferrari history. 

charlie-fox
Charlie Fox

Charles Leclerc scored his second win of the season, making that back to back victories for the Monegasque.

However, not all drivers seemed to be as lucky as him, with Carlos Sainz, Daniil Kvyat and Kevin Magnussen all failing to finish the race on a weekend to forget. 

It's fair to say it was a mixed weekend across the grid, so let's have a look at the driver ratings for the Italian GP. 

Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton – 3rd

Hamilton managed to give a strong account of himself in the race, despite not holding on to second position. Hamilton was all over the back of Leclerc for most of the race until he made the mistake that cost him second position and let his Finnish counterpart through to challenge the Ferrari. However both of the Mercedes drivers put on a strong spectacle for the race and pushed the young Monegasque to his limit.

8/10

Valtteri Bottas – 2nd

After securing his new contract recently, Bottas put in a commanding performance that saw him finish the first of the silver arrows and push the Ferrari to the limit, although to no avail. After inheriting the position towards the end of the race, Bottas managed to hold off Hamilton to confirm a second-place finish despite being less than a second in front of the Brit as they crossed the line. The strong showing will help in the team’s pursuit of yet another constructors championship, which is all but confirmed.

9/10

Ferrari

Charles Leclerc – 1st

Winning in a Ferrari at Monza is probably the best way to be indoctrinated into the hearts of Italian fans everywhere and Charles Leclerc is the latest entrant. This was the first Ferrari win at Monza since 2010 and many would argue that it was long overdue. Leclerc showed his maturity and kept his cool as the Mercedes cars swarmed him for long periods of the race. With performances such as this it is easy to see why people are debating who is the number one driver for Ferrari and if he can continue to perform this way, it would be a great way to stake his claim.

10/10

Sebastian Vettel – 13th

Questionable is one of the best words to use when describing the race that Vettel had today. To see one of the Scuderia do so well and the other to do so poorly is rare. However, the fact that it was due to yet another error by the four-time world champion will lead to further questions on the dying love he seems to possess for Formula One. Losing the car is forgivable, but driving back halfway across the track as other cars are coming? Dangerous and amateur. From then on the only way was down and finishing 13th was all the German could manage in the end. 

2/10

Red Bull

Max Verstappen – 8th

Considering that Max Verstappen started dead last in Qualifying due to his engine losing power in Q1, 8th place isn’t too shabby as the Dutchman got on with what he needed to do to make his way through the field. Especially when you consider the trip that he had to take into the pits at the end of the first lap, after finding the back of a Racing Point following the long breaking zone into turn one. Overall the weekend was a bit of a write off for Verstappen who couldn’t have done too much better given the circumstances.

6/10

Alexander Albon – 6th

It was an unfortunate turn of events in the first few laps for the Thai driver, being ousted out of a then top ten place after battling Carlos Sainz for 7th. The fight ended with Albon in the gravel trap on the outside of Curvagrande, as the McLaren forced him wide. To fight back from there and have an uneventful race from that point is exactly why he was promoted to the seat in the first place, with his ability to gain positions in the midfield and make crucial overtakes against weaker cars. Considering it’s only the second race weekend that the British born Thai driver has spent in his new drive, he seems to be getting to grips very quickly.

7/10

McLaren

Carlos Sainz – DNF

This weekend must have been one of the most disappointing in recent memory for the McLaren team. Sainz’s race was ended shortly after a pitstop as he went to re-join the track, only to realise that the front right wasn’t fitted correctly. Up until that point it looked like a comfortable drive for the Spaniard, placed 7th he was fighting against the Racing Point and Red Bull cars. However, that was all put to an end rather quickly. Overall a victim of a poor pitstop.

6/10

Lando Norris – 10th

Another one of the copious number of drivers confined to the back of the grid due to penalties, but Norris still managed a respectable points finish despite the start. And much like his sim racing teammate Verstappen, who also started at the back of the grid, consistency was key, as he managed to take away one-point from Italy. Norris benefitted from the retirements of both Sainz and Kyvat, but still managed to make up places against cars on track.

7/10

Renault

Daniel Ricciardo – 4th

Renault finally seem to be finding their feet after struggling for the first half of the season and one man who will no doubt be glad to see this turn of fortune will be Ricciardo. The weekend started well with both Renault’s making it into Q3 and managing to get in solid laps before the commotion started and it seemed the performance wasn’t going to end there. The Aussie was almost in a race of his own, having to only battle his teammate for the most part, amidst a couple of tangles with the Ferraris and Mercedes after the pit window. Other than that he managed to keep his nose clean and finish in a strong position.

8/10

Nico Hulkenberg – 5th

This race captured why Nico Hulkenberg should have teams queuing up to offer him a new contract, given that he has been forced out of his Renault seat by Frenchman Esteban Ocon. The German’s smooth driving and ability to stay clear of danger was key in a race where danger was at almost every corner. The Renault’s were a good few seconds down the road from the charging Mercedes, but they still had the job of stopping the rest of the midfield behind them. This job was made easier by the absence of Sainz, however the job needed to be done none the less and with a great display of defensive driving towards the end, he managed that.

7/10

Toro Rosso Honda

Daniil Kvyat – DNF

Kvyat’s weekend seemed to go up in smoke rather literally after his car came to a halt with what looked like an engine issue of some kind, which put an end to a fairly average weekend in Italy for the Junior Red Bull team. Before the retirement, the Russian was having quite a quiet race. Having qualified 13th, he didn’t manage to climb too much higher before his day unexpectedly came to an end.

4/10

Pierre Gasly – 11th

Topping off the mediocre weekend for Toro Rosso was Gasly. The Toro Rosso car isn’t exactly made for the power hungry Monza track that favours the likes of Ferrari and this was shown in qualifying as Gasly only managed to put the car on 15th place in qualifying and climbed to 11th during the race. The Frenchman’s race was hampered in the early stages, however when he was greeted by a Racing Point that had positioned itself side-ways on the track, he was forced into evasive action. From that point on it was reasonably quiet for the ex-Red Bull driver.

5/10

Racing Point

Sergio Perez – 7th

Following his strong showing last week at Spa, Perez managed to replicate some of the skills that make him such a sought after driver. Starting the race in 17th position, it could have been a tricky day for the Mexican, but truth be told he went about his work quietly with little fuss, managing to avoid errors that others couldn't. Like many a driver in the midfield, his job of moving through the pack was made easier by the copious amounts of penalties that were given to cars ahead, none the less it was still a good showing.

8/10

Lance Stroll – 12th

Stroll’s weekend started very promisingly making his way into Q3 and starting in the top ten on the grid, despite being one of three cars who was unable to complete a lap as consequence of idiocy. However, Stroll was to become part of the Idiocy. After being hit by Vettel as he re-joined the track the Canadian was left in a similar situation and acted in the same way. As he pulled back onto the track he was millimetres away from making contact with Gasly and was consequently slapped with a drive through penalty. A silly mistake that scuppered what could have been a great race.

5/10

Haas

Kevin Magnussen – DNF

The first of the two Haas drivers had his race ended via a suspected hydraulic issue late in the race and up until that point the Dane was anonymous. His Spa experience last weekend was hardly the best springboard into Italy this week, having been passed by pretty much every car. Starting the race in 12th it looked like the weekend had potential, however it devolved into what must feel like a regular weekend for Haas. 

4/10

Romain Grosjean – 16th

In his own words, this race weekend was a complicated one for Grosjean. Failing to get out of Q1, Grosjean started 16th which given the engine in the car was probably a little bit of a shock. He was hit in the back coming into the first corner and the car “went into anti stall” according to the Frenchman. Follow this up with a spin shortly after, which confined Grosjean to the back half of the grid. To finish below a Williams will be something that Gunther Steiner and Gene Haas will not take kindly to and will take performances like this into consideration for picking next season's driver line up. However, it is still up in the air if there will be one or two of the Haas drivers out of a drive.

4/10

Alfa Romeo

Antonio Giovinazzi - 9th

The one native Italian on the grid managed to put on a great show for the home crowd, as he managed to place in the top ten. He was yet another beneficiary of the spins and penalties awarded to other drivers further ahead of him and the retirement of Sainz. Donning the special Italian flag livery on the Alfa Romeo for its home race, Giovinazzi managed to navigate the midfield well and in a rare occurrence place above Raikkonen.

7/10

Kimi Raikkonen – 15th

In contrast to his teammate, Raikkonen had a pretty disastrous weekend in Italy. Spinning into a wall in FP1 and causing the red flag to come out in Q3, his car had already been in pieces long before the race had even started. When the race did start however, he found himself starting in the pit lane due to the gearbox having to be changed. Things got even worse when the Finn was hit with a penalty for starting the race on the wrong tyre. Overall it was over before it really began for the most experienced driver on the grid, who will be looking forward to getting out of Italy.

3/10

Williams

George Russell – 14th

Qualifying 18th may have looked like the start of a very ordinary weekend for the young Brit, but he managed to move his way up into 14th by the end of the race, yet again demonstrating that he is not destined to be at the rear of the field. Despite being ruled out of the Mercedes drive for the time being, there is definitely no doubt that he has the capabilities to get there one day.

7/10

Robert Kubica – 17th

After getting one point in Germany which seems like a long time ago, the last few races have been back to normality for Kubica. Not much can be said for his performance unfortunately, seeing as he was the final finisher on the grid, 2 laps behind the leaders. Whether he will be able to retain his seat next year is yet to be seen, but based on this season, you would think a Formula One drive is unlikely. 

3/10

 

 

 

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