2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Star Performers

2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton and Lance Stroll were F1 Fanatic’s stars of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend. Here’s why.


Max Verstappen

Verstappen was in scintillating form around the streets of Baku. Fastest in both sessions on Friday – despite a largely spin into the barriers at the end of the second – he hit trouble with his car on Saturday morning which persisted throughout the rest of the weekend.

Power delivery problems plagued him during qualifying and in his view cost him two places on the grid. Nonetheless he was well-placed in the race and was among a clutch of drivers who could have been potential winners, had his power unit not failed again.

Lance Stroll

Third was a massive result for Stroll
It would be wrong to write Stroll’s third place off as a lucky result in a crazy race. All weekend long he’d looked more assured and mature at the wheel. He seemed to have far fewer, if any, off-track moments than his rivals, and out-qualified Felipe Massa for the first time this year.

True, he gained several places in the race through fortune. But again he kept the Williams out of the barriers – something which would have seemed very unlikely just a few weeks ago. Being pipped to second at the line was unfortunate but hardly his fault.

Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton also didn’t put a wheel wrong around Baku, though for much of practice it seemed as though he wasn’t quite on top form. His qualifying effort was sensational – more than three-tenths of a second quicker than anyone through the middle sector.

There’s no doubt he was exploiting the rules to the letter of the law in trying to make life difficult for Sebastian Vettel during the restarts. However the stewards ruled he did nothing illegal.

He eventually lost a near-certain win because his headrest material needed to be replaced. Dropping behind Vettel added insult to injury.

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Sebastian Vettel

Until that already-notorious incident Vettel was driving very well indeed. His wheel-to-wheel racing was arguably the best out there as he repelled attacks from the Force Indias and Massa at restarts.

Then he skidded into Hamilton during a restart, let his temper get the better of him, and swerved into his rival in retaliation. This would have been bad enough had he had the grace afterwards to admit his error, but many of the remarks he made afterwards were fatuous and do him no credit.

Romain Grosjean

It was a painful weekend for Grosjean
The combination of repeated heavy breaking zones, a low-grip surface and hard tyres brought out the worst in the Grosjean-Haas combination. At one point in the race he urged his race engineer to retire his car if its braking capabilities degraded too far.

Unfortunately for Grosjean, this came on a weekend after he’d suggested he was well-positioned for a promotion to Ferrari should the team dispense with Kimi Raikkonen’s services. Not great timing.

And the rest

Daniel Ricciardo pulled off a thrilling pass at the restart of the race to capture an improbable win from tenth on the grid. He had, however, been edged on pace by Verstappen up to that point and binned his car in qualifying.

In the space of 51 laps Valtteri Bottas went from second to twentieth to second again, his day spoiled by a 50-50 clash with Kimi Raikkonen on the first lap. The latter’s day was ruined by damage from debris later in the race.

It was a huge missed opportunity for Force India
A host of drivers belong in the ‘could’ve won’ column including the two Force India drivers. Esteban Ocon really should have given Sergio Perez a little more room – the resulting contact ruined both their races. And had it not been for suspension failure Massa could’ve taken his first win in nine years. Nico Hulkenberg squandered an opportunity for Renault by hitting the wall.

Kevin Magnussen again seemed untroubled by the problems which dogged his team mate and banked solid points for Haas with seventh. Carlos Sainz Jnr came away with seventh despite a peculiar ‘sympathy spin’ when his team mate ran wide at the start. Daniil Kvyat didn’t see the chequered flag due to more Toro Rosso maladies.

McLaren took their first points this year courtesy of Fernando Alonso but the car was woeful in a straight line, only able to keep the Saubers behind. Stoffel Vandoorne ended up behind them and couldn’t power his way past.

Given the furore over alleged driver favouritism at Sauber it was deeply ironic the final point should be decided by team orders. Marcus Ericsson, who had floor damage, obeyed an instruction to let Pascal Wehrlein though which meant his team mate took tenth place.

Over to you

Vote for the driver who impressed you most last weekend and find out whether other F1 Fanatics share your view here:

2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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    Author information

    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    113 comments on “2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Star Performers”

    1. I think Magnussen belongs to Star Performers category. He humiliated his team mate and never put a foot wrong in the entire weekend. He was also my pick for DOTW.

      Don’t think Bottas-Räikkönen collision can be called a “50-50 clash”. Räikkönen left enough space for Bottas. There was nothing Räikkönen could’ve done to avoid the collision.

      1. nelson piquet
        28th June 2017, 11:23

        it was the kerb and an optimistic move from raikkonen imo. race accident imo. both left enough space but the kerb ruined it

      2. Agree, Bottas made a mistake and ate the curb. Raikkonen’s day was ruined at that moment, not later…

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          28th June 2017, 14:22

          Kimi’s race was ruind a little when Bottas hit him. He did suffer a little damage and fell back 2 places. But no worse than that. Bottas suffered much more at the time. Kimi’s race was over when he hit debris on the track later on. His pace was fine until he hit that and that debris wasn’t related to Bottas. It was just unlucky that he hit it. Bottas paid the price of his first contact far more than Kimi and the stweards decided to take no action as they decided Kimi’s move was speculative, meaning it coud have been a high risk or loss if he attmpmted to do what he did. So he certainly played a part in it. Another reason why they won’t have peanalised Bottas. But yes, Bottas was more at fault.

          1. I’d like to see description for what counts as “speculative” move. There is always at least a small chance of collision when overtaking in a corner, be it on the inside or the outside. What aspects made Kimi’s move “speculative”? Was, say, Ricciardo’s move to turn one speculative too? I mean it could’ve ended in a crash as well.

            1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
              28th June 2017, 19:42

              If you look up the definition of the word, it says this “involving a high risk of loss”
              They wouldn’t have said what Kimi did was “speculative” if they didn’t have didn’t have proof of what he did. And as I keep saying, they will always have far more evidence to back them up for their decisions that we will ever get to know. I sometimes think their decisions are strange but I actually agree with this one. With the ones I don’t agree on, I still have to accept that they will have much more evidence than we have to back up their reasons to either give a penalty or not.

          2. @thegianthogweed Kimi suffered with debris because he was put on that position after the incident.

            1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
              28th June 2017, 20:14


              I can party agree with what you are saying. But you can’t confirm that he will have been ahead of the Force India’s even if the incident hadn’t happened with Bottas. He could possibly have hit debris on the next lap. So in that case, even if he hadn’t had that crash with Bottas, it was hardly guaranteed for any driver that they wouldn’t have bad luck as so many did. You also can’t make it sound like Bottas controlled where he chose to drive after the incident. We don’t know that is was totally down to Bottas that Kimi happened to be behind the Force India’s at that moment in time.

              My main point is that Raikonnen’s day wasn’t ruined by the 1st corner incident. It got ruined much more by the Force India drivers which. And that incident wasn’t anything to do with Bottas.

              The decision on the penalty also explained that the stewards thought that what Kimi did was making a speculative pass on the outside of car Bottas. So if they have enough evidence to note this, then Kimi could have also prevented this from happening at all. I think that is a bit to far as I think it is far more Bottas’s fault but I think the fact that no penalty was given was fair.

            2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
              28th June 2017, 20:20

              On the 3nd line, I mean he could possibly have hit debris on lap 21 (the one after the Perez/Ocon crash)

              I didn’t make this very clear.

              On the 5th line down, I mean Bottas isn’t controlling where Raikonnen is going, So we can’t reall blame Bottas fully for something that happened 20 laps later. As those 2 drivers coming together was nothing to do with him. This was more just extremely unlucky.

            3. Sorry but Kimi’ days started to be ruined at the first corner and the position that it putted him. The next lap was under SC to get a puncture there it would be extremely unlikely.

              I don’t think I missed another penalty for Kimi @thegianthogweed, I’m pretty sure he was penalised because the Ferrari mechanics worked on his car out of the garage, same for Checo

      3. I agree there, not sure how much more K Mag could of done

      4. K Mag maximised the car in the race, and the double move on Hulk and Massa was rather nice too.

      5. Sundar Srinivas Harish
        28th June 2017, 13:36

        Aye, Magnussen was superb. And about the Bottas-Kimi incident, I think the latter still had a fighting chance until he got caught out by the two FIs.

      6. Really agree with you – KMAG was a star. Even up as 3th until the pack of fast drivers got him. And now he is in front of his 7 year older teammate… think we have a star starting to rise here!!

      7. Agree. Scrolled down to write the exact same thing!

      8. The way I see it is that it is a typical Bottas incident.

        Räikkönen was not overoptimistic, darting past on the entry of the corner. He would easily have made the corner if Bottas had not hit him. So his speed was right.
        So, Bottas was slow, braking early. But instead of taking his loss he releases the brake somewhat to keep on a level with Kimi, but that also means he then carries too much speed to make the corner without hitting the car on the outside.

        It may be a simple error if this was the first time it happened.
        But it is the same as the first corner incident in Spain, and going back you will find more examples.

        Bottas does not commit to a corner like he should. He brakes early, then messes up, releasing the brake too much.
        When you brake early your first goal must be to cleanly round the corner and get to a position where you can get on the accelerator as early as possible.
        If you are overtaken while braking early, take your loss; try to get a better exit and recover.
        This is basic race craft. I am disappointed that a Mercedes driver falters on it.

        1. I don’t necessarily agree about Bottas not committing to the corner, he was heavily baulked by Hamilton chopping in front of him on the lead up to the corner and had to get on the brakes to avoid running into the back of him.

          Kimi left a big gap. If Bottas hadn’t gone for it he would’ve been criticised for being too timid. He went for it (as he should have) but stuffed it because of the kerb. Error on his part … Definitely but not because he braked too early and not committing to the corner.

          1. But they still had a long straight and were side by side until Bottas half surrendered.

    2. nelson piquet
      28th June 2017, 11:21

      i think the vettel bashing has now reached an ridiculous extent. he got his deserved penalty so just deal with it. y’all acting like he murdered lewis “the greatest driver of the universe” hamilton

      1. Nah, it needs to keep going as long as it takes for the FIA to dish out the proper penalty for acting how he did.

        1. nelson piquet
          28th June 2017, 13:59

          he got 30+ seconds penalty and it cost him the win. i think you just want him banned so that hamilton has an easier time winning the championship

          1. I don’t want him to serve a penalty, I want him to acknowledge that he should not drive into other cars on purpose.

            1. Then he shouldn’t get extra race/license penalty.

      2. Not really. The FIA is looking to sue Vettel at the international sporting tribunal according to F1today.net.

        After the leniant penalty following the Mexico incident Todt has supposedly said that a next incident by Vettel would be punished more severe. In that light Todt aparently isn’t happy with the leniant penalty Vettel got this time again.

    3. I bet you Keith that when you started doing this feature at the beginning of the year, you never though after the first few races that Stoll would be on your star performers!?

      The STR drivers apart from the unfortunate reliability are making mistakes every single race, it is costing them points.

      I would have chosen K-Mag as a star performer and Alonso too

      1. nelson piquet
        28th June 2017, 11:26

        at least sainz is fast while kvyat is stuck in 2016. sainz is overdriving the car because he’s clearly frustrated to waste another year in the toro rosso

        1. he needs to get on top of that then. it won’t help him find other seat if he keeps doing it.

          The best part is that at the start of the season the team had big hopes because this was the most experienced driver line-up in their history. It is not paying off

        2. Seems like he’s in a similar situation to Perez – is trying to prove he’s worth a top seat so much he’s overdriving the car and making a few uncharacteristic mistakes (although Sainz moreso than Perez)

          1. What mistakes has Perez done during the time that matters, which is race and quali?
            Not playing best friends in Canada wasn’t a mistake, and being taken out in Baku surely isn’t a mistake either, the only thing you can point at him is Monaco. Apart from that he has been on the money every single weekend

            1. A S (@aminsarur)
              30th June 2017, 17:48

              Bad vibes against Perez as usual. Such a great driver

        3. Sundar Srinivas Harish
          28th June 2017, 13:40

          I don’t believe that Sainz is showing up Kvyat in any manner. All of the latter’s DNFs have been due to mechanical failures, while Sainz has had 2 incidents where he trashed his car while in points-paying positions.

        4. GtisBetter (@)
          28th June 2017, 16:46

          Being fast is useless if you can’t bring home the car. And there is always pressure in F1. Nobody doubts his speed, but he has lot of mental errors in last years. Speeding in the pits and quite a few of do or die passes. For some reason he isn’t growing fast. Maybe he needs a nice team like Williams.

        5. @nelson piquet. Agree that Sainz is frustrated at Toro Rosso. I mean, Kvyat was beaten on points by Vergne and got a move to RB straight away, while Carlos has been there 3 seasons, with no RB opportunity available until 2019 (think Ricciardo and Max are contracted to the end of next year?).

          But there is surely going to be a vacant Ferrari seat next year….

      2. @johnmilk Nope, I was worried I was going to find it hard to find reasons not to put him under the other heading after every race. I’m relieved to discover that hasn’t been the case!

    4. Carlos Sainz Jnr came away with seventh […]

      Sainz finished 8th. ;)

      I also think that Magnussen’s good performances are often overlooked. I’m glad to see that he seems to get more and more comfortable with his car and within the team.

    5. I think Baku 2017 has to be one of the most unjust final results I can recall:

      1. Every driver on the podium was outperformed by their teammate and landed there by sheer luck.
      2. Bottas not only rewarded by being the lesser driver in the team actually ruined another driver’s race and set off the chain of events that ruined his teammate’s race.
      3. Vettel’s total display of poor sportsmanship though punished, still wasn’t severe enough to prevent him extending his championship advantage of his rival, who also happened to be the target of his disgraceful behaviour.

      It was entertaining to watch, but I’m left with a bad taste in my mouth by the fact that the chaos was largely orchestrated by the use of the wrong type of safety car which I have to believe is motivated by spicing up the show. It makes it contrived.

      1. +1 I think that perfectly sums it up!

      2. Every driver on the podium was outperformed by their teammate and landed there by sheer luck.

        Except for Lance Stroll ;)

        Vettel’s total display of poor sportsmanship though punished, still wasn’t severe enough

        I agreed until a few minutes ago. But since @keithcollantine demoted him from Star to Struggler (probably the harshest penalties of all) it now seems just right to me ;)

        1. Except for Lance Stroll ;)

          Stroll was outperformed by Massa in the race until the moment his damper failed. In fact with all the drama around, Massa could have gathered his 12th career win (fortunate nevertheless) without that unfortunate damage to his car.

          1. Massa overtook Stroll at the start; Stroll overtook Massa at the restart (we do not know when the damper problem set in).
            But Stroll beat Massa during quali.
            Still an ‘outperform’ for Stroll IMO.

            1. @f1-liners

              Stroll overtook Massa at the restart (we do not know when the damper problem set in)

              I think it’s obvious that the damper problem already affected the restart. The fact that Stroll was able to pull an easy, DRS-free, overtake on Massa in an identical car is already rather unusual. The fact that Massa’s car was bottoming out and striking sparks on the main straight when Stroll’s wasn’t, is also pretty telling.
              Add to that the fact that the Safety Car interruptions and red flag repeatedly negated Massa’s advantage over Stroll, costing him at least 7 seconds on aggregate that he had gained in the few laps of green flag racing until his damper failed, and it’s rather obvious that Massa was indeed outperforming Stroll in the race, so that the Brazilian’s assertion that he might’ve won the race without the failure doesn’t sound too far-fetched.

            2. Massa had a problem since he had left the pit. Confirmed by Lowe. Massa did overtake on track Raikonen, Ocon, Perez and Stroll. Stroll just gained their positions by luck, he would have finished behind both Force Indias, Massa even without Hamilton/Vettel problem would still be on the podium. That pretty much says everything, Massa is the star performer here. Stroll had an average race and some luck.

          2. Massa just got lucky at the start. It was not a superior move that landed him ahead, just being in the right place or maybe taking more risk than Stroll and getting away with it this time.

            That said, Stroll drove very cautious indeed. Just like in Canada he might have finished further up ahead by taking a little more risk. But I fully understand his holding back a bit given all the DNF’s he already encountered.

            1. I really thought that “being on the right place” is something that involves skill and experience. And at the restarts is astonishing that he was on the right place again. He almost did overtake Vettel by accident after overtaking Perez.

        2. @f1-liners

          I know you’re kidding, but partially quoting:

          Vettel’s total display of poor sportsmanship though punished, still wasn’t severe enough

          Gives an entirely different meaning than what I actually said:

          …wasn’t severe enough to prevent him extending his championship advantage of his rival

          1. Also to correct myself it should read:

            wasn’t severe enough to prevent him extending his championship advantage over his rival

            1. @philipgb that quote doesn’t make a lot of sense if I’m honest. It is not Vettel’s fault nor the stewards that Hamilton’s head rest came undone.

              It is not like the penalty was so lenient that he still managed to challenge his rival under a normal situation.

              You can argue that the penalty wasn’t severe enough, but that is a bad argument as to why.

            2. @johnmilk

              I’m not saying the penalty wasn’t severe enough. I said the race result was unjust.

              Vettel outscored Hamilton despite being unsporting towards him. I stated as a fact, not an opinion that the penalty wasn’t severe enough to prevent that from happening not that I think it should have been. As I replied to another comment I believe a penalty should be based upon the infraction, not how it can manipulate the outcome.

              Hamiltons problem is unquestionably unrelated to Vettel’s lack of sportsmanship.

            3. In thay case @philipgb I completly miss understood you, sorry about that

          2. yes I was kidding; hence the ;).
            And I certainly didn’t want to diminish or laugh away a serious comment.
            I quoted only part to keep my joke short; it would have worked just as well/poorly had I quoted the whole sentence.

            But as we are now on this topic; I do disagree with what (I think) you are saying.
            To me a penalty should be awarded purely based on the seriousness of the offence, and ‘totally blind’ to the position in the WDC/WCC.

            1. @f1-liners

              I agree a punishment should be based upon the seriousness of the offence, not with the intent of manufacturing a result.

              We can then complain that there has been an injustice such as Vettel still beating Hamilton despite his poor conduct afterwards :)

      3. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
        28th June 2017, 12:54

        @gopejgo A nice perspective! I really enjoyed the race, but Vettel didn’t deserve to outscore Hamilton; I hope the FIA disqualifies him from the results and moves everyone behind him up one place, much better than penalising him going forward. It would be really weak if they just fined him.

      4. @philipgb How is Bottas responsible for Hamilton’s headrest coming loose?

        1. @retardedf1sh

          Indirectly. His collision with Raikkonen set off the chain of events leading to the red flag. You can’t be certain Hamilton getting out and into the car again for that period caused it, but it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume it played a part.

    6. Season Star Performers:
      +5: Vettel
      +3: Alonso, Perez, Hamilton, Verstappen
      +2: Hulkenberg
      +1: Bottas, Wehrlein
      0 : Giovinazzi, Ricciardo, Massa, Ocon, Kvyat, Button, Sainz
      -1: Magnussen, Ericsson, Grosjean
      -2: Raikkonen, Vandoorne, Stroll
      -4: Palmer

      1. @f1-liners Are you german? Feels like your list is biased by personal opinions.

        1. No I’m not, @orchide.

          And neither is @KeithCollantine ;)
          (I simply add/subtract his Star/Struggler ratings and keep a season tally)

          1. I would’ve thought anyone that usually reads the comments in this site would already know this, yet you have to explain it every single race. Thanks for keeping that season tally btw :)

        2. nelson piquet
          28th June 2017, 14:01

          my brain hurts

      2. Think you have to Change MAG to a +2 at least… judge him and not his car…

        1. Read my comment above.

      3. @f1-liners i think you will have to start explaining what ypu do every single time ypu post this, otherwise you will have the same sort of responses

    7. This is really becoming a joke forum. Verstappen barely completed 10 laps of the race but through the power of grey skull, or something, is the Grand Prix star performer according to this website.

      Whereas the drivers that actually completed the race and even won the race are not considered worthy.

      Thus continues F1fanatics utter bias against DRicc.

      1. continues F1fanatics utter bias against DRicc

        Is this DRicc family of the DRicc voted Driver of the Year by F1fanatics in both 2014 and 2016 ;)

        1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
          28th June 2017, 12:56

          Despite Verstappen deserving it in 2016! :-D

      2. I’m beginning to agree..
        He couldn’t even pass the force india.

        1. nope, too bad you need an engine to pass someone

      3. Why is that a bias against Ric? Apparently the fact that Ver outqualified Ric again is such an achievement, that this alone is worth an outperformer status to Keith. As a Ric fan I would consider this to be a huge compliment to Ric

        Apart from that, if finishing positions are the only things that matter making this articke would be no use. You could just look at the results…

    8. repeated heavy breaking zones

      OK, this is my version of apostrophe abuse that so many seem offended by.

      It’s break and brake confusion. The former is what the race had during the red flag, the latter is what Romain Grosjean was apparently having problems with.

      The key discussion point of the weekend has brought the repeated spelling errors to front and centre for me. I can accept it from many for whom English is clearly not their first language, but in the header article, nah, that breaks the rules :-)

      1. And I thought that people mentioning ‘break-test’ were referring to the Red Flag period as a test for Liberty to include some advertising in the GP broadcast ;)

    9. So, what happened to Hamilton’s headrest? was it damaged? was it not secured properly after red flag?
      Did we get the official line form Mercedes? after all this is the only factor in why Ham didn’t win Baku GP.

      1. nelson piquet
        28th June 2017, 14:03

        in my biased opinion karma happened, same as in malaysia 2016

      2. that is racing mate… others would say he would only have won it if he did- because he had the fastest car. a race with drama in f1 makes for an exciting race… in other racing series we have exciting races because they are spec series… but in f1, these kind of little technical failures by billion dollar teams makes for great entertainment.

        1. “that is racing mate” – Such a broad term that could be applied to EVERY single question about F1, he’s asking for an answer to a perfectly reasonable question. Why bring up what people would say in circumstances that did not happen? I agree it makes it more entertaining but again it has nothing to do with what he asked.

    10. Can’t believe Magnussen didn’t become a star performer. He came 7th in a Haas. And was faster then gro for the whole weekend.

      Keith u disappoint me :-(

      1. I agree.
        With the Haas this was the absolute maximum plus he had a great overtake on both Massa and Hulkenberg at Turn 1.

      2. @melmgreen Fair point, he definitely deserved consideration.

    11. Fukobayashi (@)
      28th June 2017, 13:01

      I have always liked Danny Ric but this streak of underperforming compared to Max and then lucking into a higher finishing position is starting to irritate me. Yes I know it’s F1 and reliability is part of the sport blah blah but he has almost double the points of Max without driving as well. Just doesn’t seem fair.

      1. its only been like 3 of the last 4 races… geez… overall in the last 2 years Ricciardo has still been the better and faster driver.

      2. nelson piquet
        28th June 2017, 14:05

        max gets his 2016 karma. he’ll still overtake him in the standings by the end of the year

        1. Fukobayashi (@)
          28th June 2017, 14:20

          I think the 2016 WDC proved that mechanical karma does not exist unfortunately.

        2. Judging by Lauda’s final year, I’ll believe it when I see it.

        3. If this is Karma for what Max has done during the races, I don’t even want to know what Alonso did…

    12. Massa did overtake on track Raikonen, Ocon, Perez and Stroll. Stroll just gained their positions by luck, he would have finished behind both Force Indias, Massa even without Hamilton/Vettel problem would still be on the podium. That pretty much says everything, Massa is the star performer here. Stroll had an average race and some luck.

      Magnussen also had a great race. He is doing better than I expected.

    13. Verstappen did not have a long enough race to be a star of the grand prix, maybe a star of the weekend, but in the grand prix he couldn’t get past a slower Force India. who knows how he would have went for the rest of the gp if he finished, but he didnt drive long enough to be judgable in the context of the whole grand prix.

      1. maybe a star of the weekend

        Might want to re-read the first sentence :-)

    14. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      28th June 2017, 14:05

      It is amazing that Verstappen got a star performer rating. Even if he was fast in practice, he had a very heavy crash which the team didn’t blame on any issues with the car. Then, he didn’t think he got the most out of qualifying. And he just did 13 laps of the race. While I admit that Verstappen is having rotten luck, a crash and barely doing any of the race weather it was his fault enough isn’t enough for him to be close to a star performer. That is my opinion.

      There have now been 2 or possibly 3 times where Verstappen has been a star performer when he’s barely done any of the race at all. I know this hasn’t been his fult but we don’t kow if his race will have turned out to be great or dreadful. This would be like rating a driver that was in one of the worst cars that did a decent job in qualifying as well as having a good start to the race. Bit if they retire early in the race, I don’t understand how they can be concidered as one of the best performers.

      1. Consider Verstappens Renault engine was limited before quali and still beat his team mate in every session.
        Also consider Verstappens Renault engine jumped to safety modus in Q3 which otherwise would have brought him P3
        Verstappen also was faster than Hamiiton and Vettel in a few laps, eventhough he was stuck behind Perez (who never was faster than Ham and Vet).

        The way Verstappen keeps on beating Ricciardo, they way he performs in races is undeniable star quality.
        DNF-ed from P4, 3, 2 and 4… he was already all over Perez when DNF-ed in Baku, Verstappen is fighting Ham and Vet, while Ric is fighting FI and Williams

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          28th June 2017, 23:02

          I don’t want to say he wasn’t better than many others in the time he was on track. The fact was, he crashed in practice and hardly did any of the race. That is why I can’t understand why he could be a star performer. As we don’t know if he’ll have had a great or terrible race later on. I know very good is more likely but we didn’t see it. So I personally think a driver needs to complete over 75% of the race at least with a good performance earlier on in the weekend too to be a star performer.

          And if he was faster than Hamilton and Vettel, but slower than the driver in front of him, he must have been a fair gap behind Perez or else it wouldn’t be possible to be faster than him as well as the leaders without overtaking Perez. Especially if you say Perez was never as fast as the leaders on any lap. He certainly was good, but I still personally don’t think a good start, a crash in practice and retiring in the race can give you a really impressive weekend when you have missed virtually all the most important part.

        2. Martijn (@)
          29th June 2017, 16:09

          Fully agree… he just screems potential but we (and foremost Max himself) are constantly denied the spectacle

    15. Mr Squiggle
      28th June 2017, 14:19

      In F1, several races can pass by without an on-track pass for position. Sometimes, a whole year can pass by before there is an on-track pass for the lead.

      In Baku, Danny Ric took three cars in one single move.

      Its not gonna happen
      for Max Verstappen

      1. It was a brilliant move indeed, but don’t forget Massa had a damaged car already at that moment.

        I don’t really understand what Max has t

        1. … to do with it though

          1. Mr Squiggle
            28th June 2017, 23:33

            This article calls Max a Star and relegates DanRic to ‘The rest’.

            It reminds me of when Webber would find a way to win against Red Bulls wishes. Barely a smile on the red bull pit wall on those days too..

    16. I like Grosjean, but his grumpy start to the season is now looking more like a pattern and it’s not doing him any favors. For me there was little to choose between the podium finishers, Verstappen’s been more than unlucky but it’s difficult to rate DNFs. With Hamilton I still have a hard time believing there was no false move at all and Vettel just drove into the back of him for no reason, it’s in the realm of possibility, but something just doesn’t quite ring true for me there – I like the suggestion a cotd made the other day to look at how Indy does restarts.

    17. Haallloooo you forgot MAG as starperformer… wake up!

    18. Antoon van Gemert
      28th June 2017, 21:50

      Max Verstappen drove like a modern gladiator through the Streets of Baku, not only in the Grand Prix, but also in free practice and qualifying. But on lap 13, oh irony, his RB13 came to a halt. Max Verstappen is without a doubt the most unlucky driver out of the top 6. The half of the races so far he DID NOT FINISH! Max delivers but Red Bull does not, at least not at one side of the garage. In a German interview with Helmut Marko he tells that Max had exactly the same problem as Daniel Ricciardo, with picked-up debris in the coolingsystem from the incident between Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen. After just three laps the engine-temperature went too high. Where the team called Ricciardo immediately in to free the coolingsystem, they apparently did not with Max. At the moment that they decided to call him in, the debris-part got loose on his own, the oil-pressure dropped immediately and Max was out of the race. Conclusion: they waited too long! Why did Max not got the same treatment as Ricciardo, freeing the coolingsystem as soon as possible? No wonder Max was so gutted and angry that he refused to talk to the media and went to his hotel. Even on the airport he was ‘gutted and angry” according to Martin Brundle in his collumn. On monday-evening he gave his first interview after the race on Dutch tv in a program called “Peptalk” in which he said that he still didn’t know the exact reason of his DNF, but that it was ‘something with the engine’. If the version of Helmut Marko is correct, we now know! Today he was in Milton Keynes to do some simulator-work , ‘and there my engine can’t fail’ said Max with a little smile on his face. He told also that he gets a new engine in Austria. After 8 races he only finished the half of them and his teammate has more than two times as much points than Max. Helmut Marko said about this bad luck that Max ‘his time will come’ and that he had to be patient. Well Dr. Marko, THIS IS HIS TIME and why should he be patient and waiting while his ever smiling teammate pickes-up the fruits of succes? The next two races, before summer holiday, are very important for the relationship between Max and Red Bull Racing. Yet more DNF’s due to all kind of issues wil be devastating. Red Bull Racing (and Renault) is under huge pressure to give Max a car in which he can at least finish the race for once. Especially in Austria where thousands of Dutch fans will cheer him on! Red Bull Racing must do there job better and give there drivers equal attention, otherwise they will loose Max for sure at the end of this season. Loyalty has his limits as one side doesn’t deliver, contract or no contract!

      1. On the contrary, Verstappen is an extremely lucky driver. During his racing career he never had to face any serious adversity. So now he has a few DNF’s. It’s new to him and he doesn’t know how to handle it. Maybe he’s smart enough to learn and adapt, or maybe not and he’ll continue to be the intolerable pric he is in those Dutch TV interviews.

        1. Antoon van Gemert
          29th June 2017, 13:25

          Don’t worry he knows how to handle it, wait and see…….!

        2. Antoon van Gemert
          29th June 2017, 19:31

          No need to call Max Verstappen a ‘intolerable pric’, that’s so cheap and easy. My original post is about the 2017 season and not about the history of Max his racing-career which started in 2005 and believe me he had his ups and down during his many years of karting and his one year in F3. DNF’s are not new to him and he knows how to handle them. Back to 2017: every topdriver out of the top 6 would react exactly the same as Max, if they where hit with so many reliability-problems in such a short time. Remember Lewis Hamilton, not so lang ago, when he threatened to leave Mercedes when he had his realiability-issues? It’s the pure instinct of a true winner, a winner made of championshipmaterial!

      2. The debris stuck in RIC’s car was in a brake cooling duct.

        1. Antoon van Gemert
          29th June 2017, 13:15

          Doesn’t matter, the should have checked the car sooner!

    19. On french tv Grisjean actually convinced me : “I’m a young father and i get the risk with (driving in) f1. But not knowing how a 300kph car will brake or if it will brake is more than needed”

      1. But it’s a pity Kmag seems to do trouble free or at least without moaning all the time.

    20. Following from my comments towards the beginning of this forum, Dr Marko has confirmed over at motorsport.com that DRicc was running in engine ‘safe mode’, while MaxVer was not. So that would help explain why MaxVer is fast in qualy but his power train keeps going bong bong.

      So again, only by the power of grey skull could you think that MaxVer was the driver of the GP having completed only 10 laps. Any driver could turn their engine up to elevens and do 10 fast laps without regard for their engine.

      1. Danny’s engine was set to safe mode only after the red flag and because of the engine problems of verstappen.

        Verstappen has been faster the whole year, and this has nothing to do with a engine mode but is thanks to racecraft.

      2. Anxiously seekin for answers… how come Verstappen is faster, how come so many DNF’s strike Verstappen.

        Adrian, like many Ric fans you look for every excuse to explain why, despite being beaten on track, Ricciardo doesn’t win by luck. Even Verstappen can not turn his engine up for as many laps you suggest…that’s all limited.. your suggestion even implays Verstappen knew he was going to DNF. Being harde on the engine is sheer impossible… to be 0.1-0.5 sec faster over a fw laps doesn not strain an engine more than doing 40+ laps more.

        The truth is Verstappen’s Renault engine was already limited before quali (the only out of 6 Renault engines), the alledged debree stuck in his radiotor may be an explenation, but if the engine was already limited RBR must have know it wasn’t ‘fit’ anyways.

        Engines are a teams concern, the driver needs to go as fast as he can, that’s his job. Verstappen prooved he’s faster in both quali and race, it’s just a matter of accepting things as they are… points hardly make a difference when the truth is so obvious.

    21. Guybrush Threepwood
      29th June 2017, 9:40

      After only a handful of races last year people were also saying how much better Verstappen was compared to Ricciardo. Look how that turned out…

      1. It turned out like it is now, Max is still faster…

    22. I realise that there’s a lot of people who consider Max to be the second coming but has anyone considered that he may actually be contributing to his lack of luck.

      One of the things that I have noticed is that he seems to spend more time and more laps glued to the gearbox of the car in front of him that other drivers. Yes that takes incredible talent, given the impact that would be having on downforce, butbitbalsonplaces huge stress on brake and engine temperatures.

      I’m sure there may also be some other driving style issues (like was suggested about Lewis last year) that similarly could be placing stress on components that provide great time gains yet increase the risk of failure.

      Yes it’s possible that it could all be just bad luck but he’s not the first driver to seemingly have bad luck – but if his car is the only one of two experiencing it, there’s a fair chance that something else may be contributing to it.

      Flame away people.

      1. Martijn (@)
        29th June 2017, 16:21

        Then build him a better car!

    23. Think Stroll and Hamilton are the two stars from Baku, although Ricciardo and Bottas should deserve some credit for their drives. Reckon we won’t find another podium as surprising as this one for a while, particularly in this modern era, which is a shame. The new regulations were a good step, but more needs to be done (and Honda removed). However, I did find a great t-shirt on drive tribe – here

    24. My Performers:

      Stroll – 5/5
      Hamilton – ⅘
      Magnussen – ⅘
      Ricciardo – ⅘
      Bottas – ⅘

      The Rest:

      Alonso – ⅘
      Ocon – ⅘
      Sainz – ⅘
      Wehrlein – ⅘
      Verstappen – ⅗
      Vandoorne – ⅗
      Ericsson – ⅗
      Perez – ⅗
      Massa – ⅗
      Hulkenberg – ⅗

      THe Strugglers:

      Raikkonen – ⅖
      Kvyat – ⅖
      Grosjean – ⅖
      Vettel – ⅖
      Palmer – ⅕

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