July 31st, 2012 (F1plus / Grace Cunningham).- The Hungarian Grand Prix weekend just reminded us that Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen are still part of the elite, while also letting us know that above them all is Fernando Alonso enjoying the momentum and getting a bit closer to that elusive third championship title.
Each driver is out there to prove they are the best in the world and each performance throughout the year totals to create their overall evaluation much like a school exam in which several modules create the final result which brings us on to create this format for a race weekend review: the RACE GRADE REPORT.
Driver's score ranges from A+ to D- and they relate more to their driving and a bit less to the support of their vehicles. For us driving for a Toro Rosso and having a great race might give the driver a A score while driving for poorly in a McLaren my render a C-.
Drivers are listed as they finished the Hungarian Grand Prix at Hungaroring (race result in parenthesis).
Lewis Hamilton (1st) | A+
What a weekend from the Brit who was desperately in need of a dominant weekend to stay in the
championship battle. Topping the time sheets in FP1, FP2, Q1, Q2 , Q3 and winning the race is total
dominance and great conservation by the Brit in the latter stages of the grand prix enabled him to
keep the win.
Kimi Raikkonen (2nd) | B+
Kimi struggled once again in qualifying failing to make it higher than p6 but the Finn continued to
fight throughout the race including an incredibly gutsy overtake on his team mate earning him 2 nd
place with the potential for the win had the track been more susceptible for overtaking manoeuvres.
Romain Grosjean (3rd) | B
A strong qualifying performance saw Romain drop down into third position and after being beaten
by Vettel into the first corner a breathtaking battle mid race with his team mate Raikkonen saw the
Frenchman maintain into 3rd position making it a double podium for the Lotus team with Raikkonen
Sebastian Vettel (4th) | B
Sebastian placed himself on the 2nd row of the starting grid for the race and after gaining a place into
Turn One things looked promising for the reigning world champion but the wrong strategy call and
becoming stuck behind Jenson Button left Sebastian with 4th position.
Fernando Alonso (5th) | B
Alonso gained some valuable points in his WDC title bid over nearest rival Mark Webber in a
weekend that the Ferrari’s expected to struggle in. The weekend yet again proved why Alonso is
rated as one of the best in the world, outperforming the car seems to one of his dominant qualities.
Jenson Button (6th) | B
An improved qualifying pace for Button saw him in 4th lining up next to Vettel and was looking strong
in the race however a strategy call by McLaren saw him stuck behind traffic leaving him 6 th by the
end of the race, a frustrating day for JB.
Bruno Senna (7th) | A-
What a weekend for Bruno Senna! Making it into Q3 for the first time this season and eventually out
qualifying three other drivers to end up 7th on the grid. He maintained his position and beat his team
mate collecting valuable points for the Williams team.
Mark Webber (8th) | B
A tough weekend for the Aussie after missing out on Q3 and starting in 11 th. His race pace was
promising and at one point was lying 5th but a strategy decision to go to a 3 stop hampered his race
ending up 8th for the second race in a row.
Felipa Massa (9th) | B
Felipe Massa had a tough weekend after qualifying 7th , a strong performance from the Brazilian, he
lost two positions at the beginning of the race and with the difficulties of the Hungaroring circuit for
overtaking prevented him from overtaking those ahead who he felt he had a faster pace than.
Nico Rosberg (10th) | C+
10th place was a consolation prize for Nico Rosberg who along with his team struggled throughout
the entire weekend after qualifying 13th . Scoring a point in a track known for its overtaking
difficulties after qualifying outside of a points scoring position should be commended.
Nico Hulkenberg (11th) | B-
Nico impressed by making it through to Q3 once again started in p10 but struggled in the race and
was frustrated to finish out of the points due to tyre degradation.
Paul Di Resta (12th) | C+
After qualifying in 12th the Briton lost positions into the first corner and struggled to recover from
there due to the limited overtaking opportunities that the track offers. He is looking to resolve the
issue with his starts over the summer break ahead of the second half of the season.
Pastor Maldonado (13th) | C-
After qualifying 8th Maldonado looked like he would gain further points but a poor start and an
incident involving Di Resta which resulted in a drive through for the Venezuelan which hampered his
race as he limped in in P13.
Sergio Perez (14th) | C
Sauber had a shocking weekend and Perez after failing to make it into Q3 the Mexican had a lack of
overall pace and even with a change in strategy could finish no higher than 14 th… where he started.
Daniel Ricciardo (15th) | C
Toro Rosso continued to struggle in the mid field battle with Daniel becoming the Q1 victim along
with the Caterham’s, Marussia’s and HRT’s and in the race had a good start making up several places
but couldn’t quite keep up with the pace of Paul Di Resta ahead.
Jean Eric Vergne (16th) | C+
Jean Eric Vergne had a slightly better weekend after making it into Q2 ahead of his teammates and
followed it with a great start however after being pushed off the track he ended up further back in
the field eventually coming in 16th just behind his teammates.
Heikki Kovalainen (17th) | B-
The Finn once again out qualified his team mate and had a strong race to come home in p17 and
goes into the summer in a positive frame of mind ahead of the second half of the season.
Kamui Kobayashi (18th) | C
Kamui had a weekend very similar to his team mates’ as he struggled for pace throughout the
weekend and after qualifying in p15 could only finish 18th after retiring on the last lap with a
hydraulics leak it sums up the weekend that the team had in general. One to forget.
Vitaly Petrov (19th) | B-
Vitaly followed his teammate in p19 for qualifying and a great start saw him up into p16 and shared
the same sentiments as his team mate with regards to how his team performed and is looking
forward to the break and the rest of the season.
Charles Pic (20th) | B-
A strong weekend for Charles Pic with him out qualifying and out racing his team mate may be the
strong performance to live up to his hype ahead of the season. Now heading into the next chapter of
the season it will be his time to prove his worth and ability in F1.
Timo Glock (21st) | C
Timo Glock had a weekend to forget just like his Hockenheim weekend and is looking forward to the
break to start afresh for the races ahead.
Pedro De La Rosa (22nd) | C+
HRT were feeling confident after the race that their pace was matching and potentially challenging
the Marussia’s and Pedro continued to be the more consistent and higher finisher in the HRT team.
Narain Karthikeyan (RET) | C-
Karthikeyan was disappointed to collect another DNF after his steering broke into Turn 3 towards of
the grand prix. He is a driver who will certainly be feeling the pressure to impress in the next part of
Michael Schumacher (RET) | C-
Another tough weekend for the German who crashed for the second race weekend in a row during
FP2 followed by qualifying 17th and then a complication at the start procedure saw Schumacher turn
off his engine, have to be pushed to the pit lane and as a consequence picked up a slow puncture.
His race went from bad to worse as he received a drive through penalty for speeding down the
pitlane before the race even started! From there on in it was a struggle for Schumacher who
eventually retired after losing all telementary on his car.