2017 Italian Grand Prix Star Performers

2017 Italian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton, Esteban Ocon, Daniel Ricciardo and Lance Stroll were F1 Fanatic’s stars of the Italian Grand Prix weekend. Here’s why.


Lewis Hamilton

There’s no doubt both Mercedes drivers enjoyed a substantial performance advantage at Monza but it was Lewis Hamilton who exploited it most ruthlessly. He dazzled in qualifying, conjuring up lap times few could approach. It meant he started the race from a position of strength and as a result he never looked in danger.

Esteban Ocon

From the tightly-knit midfield Esteban Ocon emerged as the ‘best of the rest’ by incredibly fine margins. He beat team mate Sergio Perez into Q3 by just two-thousandths of a second. He narrowly out-braked Lance Stroll’s Williams at the start and spent the race of the race eyeing the threat from behind. The FW40s looked quicker than the VJM10a at Monza, making this an especially impressive drive.

Daniel Ricciardo

Ricciardo produced a string of fine passes
Demoted towards the rear of the field by engine penalties, Daniel Ricciardo patiently climbed up the order to take an excellent fourth place. His last pass, on Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari, was a gem of a move.

Lance Stroll

Should have beaten Ocon to sixth but gets a nod on account of his superb qualifying performance which handed him a front-row start.


Kimi Raikkonen

He managed to out-qualify Sebastian Vettel in the rain-hit qualify session. But he had a poor race, unable to make the same quick progress through traffic as his team mate and struggling with his car’s balance. Despite Vettel having to cope with a steering problem for 20 laps Raikkonen still finished 23 seconds behind him.

Romain Grosjean

It would be easy to be too hard on Grosjean for his qualifying crash: In those conditions someone in one of the lower-downforce cars was inevitably going to aquaplane off and it happened to be him. But the first-lap incident which ruined his race was completely unnecessary: Why was he risking so much with Max Verstappen, in a car the Haas was never realistically going to be able to keep behind?

And the rest

Bottas didn’t have anything for Hamilton last weekend. Third was as good as it was ever going to get for Vettel, who was fortunate his unseen turn one error didn’t prove more costly.

Massa and Verstappen clashed
Felipe Massa made contact with his Williams team mate at the end of the race as he tried to find a way through into seventh, but had to settle for eighth. Perez ran a long first stint on his way to ninth.

Verstappen should have been higher than tenth but picked up damage while trying to pass Massa early on. The stewards took no action on that and also on Verstappen’s latest incident with Kevin Magnussen which left the Haas driver fuming.

Daniil Kvyat finished 12th, two places ahead of Carlos Sainz Jnr, having out-paced his team mate in qualifying too. The pair were separated by Nico Hulkenberg, who found his Renault couldn’t get much grip out of the intermediate tyres in qualifying.

The other Renault didn’t see the chequered flag. Jolyon Palmer had already enraged Fernando Alonso by passing him off the track, for which he received a penalty which would have kept him in front of the McLaren. Alonso let everyone know what he thought of that before inevitably stopping, this time with a gearbox problem. The other McLaren of Stoffel Vandoorne dropped out with a power unit problem having run inside the top ten for 16 laps.

The Saubers could only watch the rest of the field pull away from them. Marcus Ericsson was passed by his team mate and then retired anyway.

Over to you

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

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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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17 comments on “2017 Italian Grand Prix Star Performers”

  1. Vandoorne should be a star. Will recycle my post on DotW
    Q3 in the McLaren, would’ve qualified higher but had an engine problem that limited him to do 10th. Then engine penalties meant he started 18th, but worked his way back up to 10th and in the points and looked like he would stay there. Outperformed Alonso all weekend.
    And all this, in a McLaren-Honda

    1. Let me add, without whining like my toddler while teething, or his team mate.

    2. I’d agree @hugh11, but for the fact that he was out of the race before it was halfway. He did well, and is certainly over the initial struggle he seemed to have had with the car in the first races, but it is just very hard to judge a driver who only was able to do 2/3rd of the race.

      1. Yeah, and that’s probably why he isn’t in the star performers. But he was comfortably 10th, and the car failed on him, so he couldn’t have done any more than I did. I feel like his performance this weekend went unnoticed, but it was very good.

        1. @hugh11 That’s the case with Vandoorne all year long, same goes for Sainz basically. I’m not saying Sainz has had a great year, but both are performing in the shadow of the media attention their team mates are getting for better or worse. Alonso is a great driver and everyone has his eyes on him regarding 2018 and the possible Honda-Renault swap. Kvyat was especially in the beginning of the year constantly questioned regarding his Red Bull/Toro Rosso situation, with nobody expecting him in 2018. Sainz tried to make headlines for himself, but that went south quickly.

    3. @hugh11: suppose verstappen would’ve passed vandoorne, doubt he’d have been much ahead of magnussen, so no points still.

  2. Mag did the job – starperformer in my book… perfect drive

  3. Correct lists IMO.

    To me Riccardo was the DotD (if we had one).
    He’s still behind Verstappen on Saturday. But only comparing his pass on Raikkonen with Verstappen’s failed pass on Massa shows me who was the better and smarter RBR driver on Sunday
    (with the notable exception of Verstappen’s start moving from 13th to 8th)

    1. Completely agree. DotD Saturday is without a doubt Hamilton. DotD Sunday was Ricciardo. If you count both days, it’s Stroll. Stroll wasn’t better than Hamilton in qualifying nor better than Ricciardo on race day, but extremely close in both cases. Hamilton didn’t impress on race day (he didn’t to) and Ricciardo didn’t impress in qualifying either, he only had one good lap and luckily for him it was the final Q3 lap.

      Stroll however was very strong on both days, did not make any mistake whilst never having qualified in the wet in an F1 car before. Conditions went from appalling to good to very poor again, all the while Stroll held his own and then some. Same goes for the race, even though he was quickly passed by significantly quicker cars, he didn’t let that get the best of him, held off Massa and consequently Perez in the end and finished P7 in a Williams that probably should’ve finished P9/10 when he wouldn’t have started all the way in P2.

    2. You seem to forget the very luck Danny had during the start stage. He received a lot of debris but by pure luck ( probable the amount VER mises) he survived.

  4. I think Ricciardo’s double switch-back overtakes are also worth mentioning @keithcollantine

    I also agree on his pass on Raikkonen, reminded me of Hamilton on Raikkonen in 2007 (back in days before DRS)

  5. Desperatly waiting for the tally up :)

  6. With so many cars out of position, this race could’ve been so much more interesting if it wasn’t for DRS.

    Ocon and Stroll really could have tried to hold on to their early positions at the front, but knowing they can’t keep the faster cars with DRS behind, they basically had to wave by the Ferraris, Mercs and Red Bulls.

  7. This is the prob with Grosjean it would seem, he swings from good to bad a little too often.

  8. Every time a driver says “Ya” I lose a brain cell. I estimate (not easy with the few I have left) that I’ve lost at least 29 IQ points since I started watching F1. I’m in the upper thirties now.

    1. With 100 billion brain cells it’s gonna sound like a Wham! Doing ;)

  9. Massa didn’t cause contact with Stroll. Stroll moved across on him…

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