Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit of the Americas, 2017

2017 United States Grand Prix Star Performers

2017 United States Grand Prix

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Carlos Sainz Jnr, Esteban Ocon, Lewis Hamilton and Daniil Kvyat were F1 Fanatic’s Star Performance of the 2017 United States Grand Prix. Here’s why.

Stars

Lewis Hamilton

There’s just no stopping Hamilton at the moment. Particularly at the Circuit of the Americas, a track he’s always gone well at and now considers one of his favourites. With five wins from six races it’s not hard to see why.

Hamilton dominated practice and headed all three stages of qualifying. His win only looked in doubt twice. Once when Sebastian Vettel got ahead at the start, though Hamilton was quickly able to pass him. And again after his pit stop when the Ferrari got too close for comfort.

He was clearly conserving his pace and wasn’t made to work too hard for this one but it was a completely emphatic performance.

Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon, Force India, Circuit of the Americas, 2017
Unwell Ocon was ‘best of the rest’
This was a characteristically unflashy performance from Ocon. His illness during qualifying was widely overlooked but it didn’t stop him qualifying as ‘best of the rest’.

He delivered the same result in the race after wisely, if unexcitingly, choosing not to get caught up in fights he couldn’t win against the likes of Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen. He led Sergio Perez home again too, keeping his more experienced team mate under pressure in the drivers’ championship.

Carlos Sainz Jnr

The biggest disappointment of Sainz’s first race at Renault was that his team mate’s car was so unreliable we never got a read on their relative performances. But that takes nothing away from the newcomer, who produced the overtaking move of the race on Perez to claim an eventual seventh.

Daniil Kvyat

Kvyat’s return to Toro Rosso appears to have been a one-off: Pierre Gasly will be back in the car in Mexico. Nonetheless, Kvyat gave a good account of himself, qualifying within a tenth of a second of what the car was capable of (according to the team) and grabbing what may prove to be his final point in F1.

Strugglers

Valtteri Bottas

Vettel knocked Valtteri Bottas off the front row of the grid in qualifying and the other Mercedes driver never looked like a contender for victory in the race.

He spent the first stint watching his mirrors as Ricciardo and Raikkonen prowled. The latter, running the same strategy, eventually passed him. Once the two-stopping Verstappen and Vettel got by as well there was nothing left to do but take a punt on a new set of tyres for the final laps. He finished half a minute in arrears.

Lance Stroll

An engine problem in qualifying didn’t help Stroll’s cause but he was nowhere in the race. He pitted twice and tried all three tyres in a fruitless search for rear grip.

And the rest

Hamilton suggested Vettel over-stressed his tyres in the first stint but the Ferrari driver insisted he didn’t have the pace to keep the Mercedes behind. Switching to a two-stopper was optimistic but he did the best he could with it, particularly thanks to his opportunistic pass on Bottas. Raikkonen had one of his better runs, too.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Circuit of the Americas, 2017
Verstappen charged through the field to third fourth
It was a pity Verstappen’s charge to third place ended with a penalty. The stewards’ decision was tough but ultimately fair. Qualifying was a rare blip for him, as he admitted. Ricciardo was going strongly in the team’s other car before it let him down.

For the second race running Perez complained about his team mate holding him up but Force India revealed the truth of the matter by pointing out to Perez that Ocon was running to the pace the team had dictated. He did well to keep Massa behind, however, as the Williams driver had a tyre advantage at the end of the race thanks to his failure to reach Q3.

Another battling drive by Fernando Alonso was spoiled when his power unit failed. Stoffel Vandoorne brought the team’s other car home 12th. Hartley acquitted himself well on his debut though his inexperience of the unfamiliar Pirellis was telling.

It was an unhappy home race at Haas. Romain Grosjean warned the team about the state of his tyres ten laps before the end and was eventually told to keep quiet as he urged them to retire his car. Kevin Magnussen picked up a penalty in qualifying which was largely due to the team, then got hit by Marcus Ericsson in the race. The other Sauber of Pascal Wehrlein went out following a tangle with Magnussen which was deemed a racing incident.

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 United States 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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85 comments on “2017 United States Grand Prix Star Performers”

  1. I personally think it is a bit much saying Bottas was a strugger. Sme of his defending was brillient. Especialy with Riccirdo. Even when Kimi got past him, he did do a smart move. People said he looked like he forgot Kimi was there, but he did pretty much allow him through, hardly cost himself any time as he took the faster line throgh the corner and then very nearly got the place back again. Bottas managed to hld both Ricciardo and Kimi for ages and it was partly his deending that did affect his tyres. Fair enough his pace wasn’t that good, but there wasn’t a huge gap between him and those up ahead at all. Until the team decided to pit him. I have a feeling he may have been 4th if left out because of Verstappen’s penalty. I also think Mercedes pitted him a little too early. I think Bottas is a very good defender and if he had pitted 5 to 8 laps later than he did, I think heOll have managed to hold on to a podium. I really think it is harsh to call him a struggler. Especilly since the only other Struggler was Stroll. He was just not comparable to Bottas.
    I did think Kvyat did well enough to be a star performer this weekend. Verstappen had a very good race but a messy end and not a good qualifying. I think Sainz did great for his first drive with the team, but nnothing outstanding. Concidering the ability of the car, I’d say he did no bettter than his old team mate this weekend. Very solid though. Just hope he can stay consistent. I gree Ocon and Hamilton both did a really good job this weekend and were probably who stood out most. But I actually think there were hardly any drivers that were actually poor this weekend. I think Ericsson could also have ben a star performer until his clash. P16 in a Sauber ahead of 3 faster cars and only 0.007 off Q2. He was also heading to finish in the same position he started until the clash. This was pretty much exactlly what Vergn did on Grosjean in 2014. Was worth a try, but didn’t wrk out. Still was a solid weekend by him.

    1. Sorry for all the words that look like they have a letter or two missing. My bluetooth keyboard constantly has delays which makes it skip them out!

      1. Bluetooth can still be a bit buggy, I have an old Logitech K350 2.4 GHz combo still works well.

    2. Bottas went backwards the entire race and then rolled out the red carpet for Vettel. He’s a struggler.

    3. Verstappen had a very good race but a messy end and not a good qualifying.

      Oh, come on, what does “a messy end” mean? He passed RAI on the outside, correct, but if he didn’t try that he just didn’t have any other chances and he would have finished 4th anyways. He didn’t lose anything by trying the move and that’s what a real F1 driver does, goes for the pass, even if it’s on the limit. This time he was a few inches outside the lines but you can’t blame him for trying and made the race so much more exciting.

      @KeithCollentine – not sure how VER is not a star performer, he started 16 and finished ahead of Bottas or Raikonen (on track) who started so many places ahead. Also, this was done in a dry race, without Safety cars, in a car that was probably slower than Mercedes and Ferrari on raw pace.

      1. Messy was prbably the wrong word. But doing something against the rules is worse than not trying in my view. And this is star performers over the weekend. Verstappen just Keith described admitted he didn’t do well in qualifying. His race was very good but as he did something to warrent a penalty that was his fault, i think it lets it down enough. As for drivers of the day, he could certnly would be one of them.

      2. @gechichan

        not sure how VER is not a star performer

        I gave a reason in the article.

        1. no sure what your reason was?

          The ilegal overtake? He was penalised for that and even so came within 1 sec of Raikkonen! And in my book he should be admired for at least trying to overtake in the last corners. More star than struggler.

          Or was it the quali ‘blip’ that cost him a Star rating. Interestingly he lost less in quali to his teammate than Star performer Hamilton between the start and first corner!

          1. He lost out to his team mate who had problems which affected his performance. And yet Ricciardo was still quicker. Kieth did mention this. The reason really was quite clear from the description.

    4. There was some impressive race craft I’ll grant you. But the fact he needed it was down to his lack of pace. Hamilton looked like he was in an entirely different car to Bottas. He he came fifth thanks to Ricciardo’s retirement in a weekend he should have been 2nd at worst.

    5. I’m a big fan of Bottas and have been for some time, but even I can’t deny he struggled this weekend. He was nowhere. He’s gone well in Mexico in the past so hopefully he will be able to turn it round next weekend.

      1. All it is is that I thought Bottas was a huge amount better here than he was in Singapore and yet he wasn’t a struggler there. I should respect that these are just opinions though. Bottas was no way a star performer in either, but in my view, he was far closer to a struggler in Singapore than here.
        I still can’t agree that he was nowhere this weekend. His 2nd pit stop made it look like he was far furthr behind than he would have been. He was only a few secnds behind Vettel before this point. Pitting just a few laps before the end made his time gap look way worse than it was. He was pretty close to all drivers but Hamilton. But yes, verstappen did a brillient job at recovering from near the back. But his 2 stop strategy seemed to work out better for him thn Bottas. The pit stops were done at much mre sencible times. Bottas was pitted too early in my view and then the last stop was nly worth doing to try and get fastest lap. It was not Bottas’s best weekedn, but I stll can’t concider him to be a struggler personally. Both China and Singapore were worse weekends fr him and he wasn’t a struggler there either.

        1. His 2nd pit stop made it look like he was far furthr behind than he would have been. He was only a few secnds behind Vettel before this point. Pitting just a few laps before the end made his time gap look way worse than it was.

          @thegianthogweed dude, he wasn’t meant to pit again though. He was meant to mirror Kimi’s strategy but he shot the rubber to bits. Conversely Hamilton kept his rubber in better nick than the Ferraris so which one is it, the Merc was hard on its tyres or just Bottas was? I think you already know the answer.

          1. I still do wonder why they pitted Bottas before Hamilton though. As the car in the lead does’t suffer as much, I would have thought they would make Bottas’s 2nd stint shorter than Hamilton’s as it was right near the end that Bottas got overtaken, I think a pit stop just a few laps later will have made a fair difference. Will very likely have saved him at leased 1 place to me anyway.

    6. @thegianthogweed Regardless of whether he could have finished on the podium, Bottas has been nowhere in comparison to Hamilton recently in both qualy and race trim and it was plenty evident in America too. The fact that he couldn’t even manage the fastest lap even after pitting ages after Vettel and hence on lower fuel, says a bit about his current predicament. Mercedes seemed to be the best overall car this weekend, and yet he qualified on the second row, four-tenths behind his teammate and in the race struggled to keep Ricciardo behind in the first phase. Red Bull is slightly inferior to the Merc in race pace.

      Since the only real benchmark for comparison is one’s teammate, I’d definitely put him in the strugglers’ list.

      1. 2 resons why he could not really manage fastest lap will have been because he hardly had any time left to do it in at all. The tryes take one or two laps to warm up in and there was loads of traffic in his remaining laps anyway. I can’t argue that he wasn’t very good, but I still don’t get why this weekend he’s been listed a struggler when he has appered to be far worse in at leased 2 others without being in this list.

  2. Keith subtly letting F1Fanatic readers know he doesn’t agree with their DOTW.

    1. At least he’s man enough not to cook the books. ;)

    2. Well I personally think that many don’t understand the definition of driver of the “weekend” ;)

      I’m pretty cetain Keith would have had him as a star performer if it wasn’t for his weaker qualifying. Both that and his illigal move at the end of the race to me makes it enough for him not to be a star performer. I know they may be small things. But that is one mistake as well as something else that he could have done better in so it is understandable that that stops him standing out as much compred to the other star performers.

      1. @thegianthogweed

        I don’t hold qualifying against him that much since qualifying one or two spots higher didn’t really matter, due to the engine penalty. The one thing that really mattered, getting safely into Q3 with the super softs, was what he did. I don’t understand why that keeps getting overlooked, as the speed difference between the compounds was substantial, so that wasn’t that easy.

        I also don’t hold the illegal move against him, since it doesn’t cost him anything. It’s especially silly since he got the penalty because he didn’t risk crashing into Kimi, but stayed safe by moving to the curb. Furthermore, since the track limits were not enforced before, there was a definite chance that he had gotten away with it. So it was a low risk move with a potentially high payoff. It also has long term strategic advantages, as the stewards were made to look like they have it in for Max, only enforcing the track limits on him. So they may feel the need to be more lenient on him in the future.

        Ultimately, sports is about performing when it matters. He did that in spades by fighting back from 16th to 4th. At the end of the day, what matters is whether a driver got close to the maximum result that could have been expected and I don’t see how he didn’t.

      2. @thegianthogweed

        I’m pretty cetain Keith would have had him as a star performer if it wasn’t for his weaker qualifying.

        I’d say so, even with the penalty. I don’t think it was a cynical move, it’s a shame it had to have a penalty but that’s how these things go sometimes.

      3. @thegianthogweed I personally think that people don’t understand that drivers with penalties tend to not bother with a qualifying setup and go for setup with maximum race performance. They tend to perform less optimal during qualifying, but this is made up during the race. Hamilton, Bottas, Vettel, Verstappen, Alonso, Hulkenberg they’ve all shown this.

        So it’s indeed not very useful to look at Q3 results for drivers with (large) penalties.

        Especially if with that sub-optimal quali setup, they were beaten by a whopping margin of only 0.08s anyway.

        1. Verstappen wanted to do better than he did and he atmitted he didn’t do a good job and he could have done better in qualifying. That is probably the negative point Keith was poointing out when saying he had a blip in qualifying. He also mentions that Ricciardo had problems so that makes it even more clear that Verstappen did not do a lap as close to the time he could have done even with the setup he had. So my main point is, his qualifying was not outstanding at all and he himself though it wasn’t good. The race was very good, but then illigal move at the end is another negative point. Everything Keith describes to me makes it clear enough as to why he isn’t a star performer.

          Everyone can agree or disagree with drivers being placed as strugglers, or star performers. I disagree with the fact Bottas is a struggler, but I think I can agree with virtually everything else.

  3. I am sorry but how come Max Verstappen is not a star performer?! Penalty or no penalty, that was an incredible drive.

    1. I think Verstappen was a Struggler.
      Struggling for @KeithCollantine‘s admiration.

    2. He was poor in qualification. He started behind and worked his way through the field, like all the good drivers in one of the fastest cars. So yes, he was excellent in the race, but not unexpected. He had projected 6th minimum, so that’s what he and Red Bull. Subtract Ricciardo, out with the engine failure, and you’re left with one more place than expected, getting past a struggling Bottas. These ‘mega drives’ through the field occur just about every time a driver from one of the top three teams ends up at the back. I mean, it takes huge skill and speed still, but nothing really out of the ordinary for these drivers. His Brazil drive last year was a lot more special.

      And I’ve (conveniently) revised my opinion of his pass on Raikkonen, the penalty was right ;o)

      1. Yeah and I guess the pole lap by Hamilton going outside the track was no problem?

      2. “Poor” as in 0.08s behind Ricciardo?

        When he clearly had his setup tweaked for the race.

        1. @patrickl
          Verstappen admitted it wasn’t very good and he wasn’t very pleased at all with his lap. Keith mentioned that Ricciardo’s car let him down as he had problems. Ricciardo’s car with it’s issues at that point will have made it slower than Verstappen’s setup and yet he still marginally beat him. I think this shows that on this occasion, it certainly wasn’t good. But I wouldn’t use the word poor no.

        2. Didn’t Verstappen have an engine upgrade as well?
          I think ricciardo just had a good qually and was on target for a top three finish until the failure, thems the breaks.

  4. When a driver’s race performance is so sublime that it erases all memory of a poor qualifying, he is the driver of the weekend. In a couple of years’ time you’ll probably have forgotten who won the race. But you’ll remember Max’s drive forever.

    1. I might recall it for a few years, but only because of the penalty, post-race drama and resulting outbursts. Didn’t think the drive itself was anything higher than ‘very good’, though.

      1. I’ll bet you also remember a drenched Brazilian GP when a ridiculously young new driver gave a master class of overtaking, inventing totally new lines through corners and passing everything in sight. I’ve forgotten who won that one but I can still see Max doing the impossible.

        Understand, I still think Hamilton the best driver of the lot. But Max scares me. I can see the time coming when we’ll all have to admit that he’s more than special. USA 2017 is a case in point, yes, because of the miraculous pass that ultimately proved illegal, but much more for the ground he made up to be in a position to do that. Halfway through the lap I shook my head and admitted it was impossible for him to get close enough for a pass. A few corners later he does exactly that.

        For all those who hate seasons in which the best driver has the best car (and that means most seasons in F1), better start praying that Max never gets the best car. He’ll bore the pants off yer. :D

        1. Seriously, I had forgotten who won that Brazilian GP. I’m old – these things happen when you’re my age! By your remarks I guess it was Hamilton and that doesn’t surprise me.

          I agree that in years to come this drive won’t make the top ten of Verstappen’s races. But that’s only because he will continue to amaze us as time goes on.

        2. Here’s a different way to look at the 2016 Brazilian GP.
          About half of the race was run behind the Safety Car.
          [If] the race had been run under green for the full distance
          [and if] the drivers had done exactly the same as they did in the laps that were run at pace,
          [then] the race-winner-you-don’t-remember would have lapped Verstappen.
          [end]

          (I know, big ifs)

          1. Ah yes, the NotBrazilian GP of 2016 – I remember it well. The point is that the final positions are not the point (and nor is the incredible skill of Hamilton in the wet). It’s what you do on the way to wherever you finish that really matters when it comes to the memory. And no one entertains like that young Dutchman.

        3. Unless you are a fan of either Hamilton or Rosberg than most of their victories o ver the last 3-4 years have been unforgettable. Bahrain 14 and the races that decided the championships are the only one i recall.

        4. @clive-allen Not sure about ‘inventing new lines’ in Brazil lol, iirc Verstappen said that Hamilton was using the same lines as he was and was faster so he wouldn’t have got past him.

          Max has a lot of potential, but honestly it was the same for Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso when they came into the sport.

  5. I don’t agree with DOTW either, but not a star performer is harsh. He got one for China…

    Maybe the lack of a star for Austin is to compensate Canada, which makes it okay then I suppose

  6. Verstappen is an obvious star performer. Ericsson also. The Sauber should not battle with other cars. It did, and Ericsson’s overtake on Magnussen was a good one. Stewards were really not on point there, Ericsson had the line and Magnussen turned in.

    Ericsson is a star performer for me this weekend.

    1. @chrischrill
      I thought Ericsson was very good this weekend. But to me that incident looked extremely similar to what Vergne did on Grosjean at that very corner in 2014. And Vergne was deemed at fault for that. I personally think both should have been a racing incident as I wouldn’t really have blamed either driver on both occasions.

      But Ericsson qualifying P16 and being faster than 3 quicker cars and being 0.07 seconds off Q2 is pretty impressive. I think his qualifying performances have been looked down on a little personally this season. He’s managed to get through to Q2 twice this season and been incredibly close quite a lot of times. In Spain he was 16th and 0.005 off. And the average time gap between him and Wehrlein is tiny too. He crashes quite a bit more often but I think their race pace is about as good as each others on the whole.

    2. Just noticed on top of the 5 second penalty that Ericsson has got his first penalty points of the season. 2 penalty points for that seems very harsh indeed. Don’t remember Vergne getting penalty points for his very similar incident with Grosjean.

      When I looked at the penalty points for all the drivers, the only 2 drivers that don’t have any are Ricciardo and Bottas. Surprising that every single other driver has penalty points. And Stroll is the only one who just has 1 too. Every other driver has more than that.

  7. That last minute penalty was hard on Verstappen, but either P3 or P4, Verstappen did the best race possible.
    In just 10 laps overtaking 10 cars, in these 10 laps he only lost 0.3 sec to Ricciardo… who was on a softer compound tyre! Verstappen was on fire and rapidly closed in on Raikkonen and Bottas, on top was a real threath to Vettel who was actually leading the race for some laps.

    Hamilton may be the hero of the race, but in fact Verstappen overall had better pace, better pace than all on track.
    If it wouldn’t have been for grid penalties, Hamilton would have had one very serious problem in the US.

    1. Well, Hamilton would have had a real fight on his hands; provided Max actually qualified well, otherwise he’d have to first get around his teammate, Bottas, Raikkonen and Vettel, on the same strategy/tyres. Hamilton didn’t need much more pace, so he kept distance and held it there.

  8. Consider the utterly crappy car Ericsson is driving i wonder What he have to achieve to get mentioned at all. He was at the same pace and even better sometimes with Stroll, Hartley and Kevin “Manglesson ” etc before the collission with the Danger Dane…. funny enough he got a 5 sec penalty for IT when “Kevlar Manglesson” didnt for the excact same collission with Wehrlein at the beginning of the race.

  9. Controversial, but I actually agree with Verstappen not being a Star Performer for this race. For any front-runner starting from the back of the grid, it’s important to remember the speed differential between the Top 3 cars and the rest. In truth, he was guaranteed a Top 6 place from anywhere on the grid. Then Ricciardo retired, Bottas had one of the worst Mercedes performances of the hybrid era and finished next to Raikkonen.

    A very good performance, but by no means one of his best and in my opinion no better than any of those drivers mentioned in the article.

    1. I agree with you. If you compare Verstappen’s race to the one Vettel had in Malaysia, he did climb through the field a bit quicker, but eventually, the top three teams are simply so much faster that getting up to P6 is a matter of when, not if.

    2. Indeed, I really like verstappen, but this year there’s A series teams (mercedes, ferrari, red bull) and B series teams (rest of the grid): just look at the gap they showed towards the end of the race, before bottas did his final, precautional stop: he was the last of A series and he had 1 minute margin on the first of the B series (ocon), so one who had a terrible race in a mercedes was still miles ahead of one who had an awesome race in a force india.

      There’s several cases where the speed difference of these 3 teams has been proved this year: verstappen started towards the end of the grid in china and with the help of a wet track went back to 3rd; ricciardo started at the bottom of the grid in silverstone and went back to 5th since vettel had a puncture in the end; verstappen started towards the end of the grid at monza, was back to 7th in a couple of laps, got a puncture due to massa, lost almost a lap and went back to 10th in the end of the race, meanwhile in the same race ricciardo started even further back, climbed back slower but also accident free and ultimately reached 4th place and almost caught vettel; vettel tangled with verstappen in canada, broke front wing and was dead last, went back to 4th and almost got past ricciardo; vettel started last in malaysia and went back to 4th and again almost got past ricciardo; raikkonen after a mistake ended up 14th at suzuka at the first lap, and despite a quite slow performance even by his standards he got back to 5th and there’s probably more.

      Having said this, getting past raikkonen who had stopped 1 less time (I think 1 stop was still best strategy) was great considering how far back he started.

  10. My only disagreement with that list is that I would switch Verstappen’s and Kvyat’s places.
    Kvyat’s race was a really good one considering his season so far, finally a bit of a silver lining. But was it really outstanding? Would Sainz be considered a start driver after finishing tenth and beating his underprepared rookie team mate? I doubt it.
    Verstappen, on the other hand, put in a true star performance. He was outqualified by Ricciardo (in a qualifying session that was largely irrelevant for him due to his engine penalties), but in the race, his pace was jaw-dropping. The penalty at the end was a little setback, but finishing 4th after starting 16th in an interruption-free race is about as impressive as it gets.

    1. put in a true star performance

      He was outqualified by Ricciardo

      I love how with no hint of irony you point out the reason he is not a star performer in your very next sentence. Lets not forget Ricciardo was running the less powerful engine too and still beat Verstappen.

      his pace was jaw-dropping

      Was it really though? For the first stint until the US started to fade he was almost always slower than both the Mercs, both the ferrari’s and his teammate. In the second stint he did have much better pace but it isn’t really comparable when the other 4 cars are running for a 1 stop and so trying to preserve their tyres, his teammate has retired and so removed a base line comparison, and his later pitstop meant he had between 4-8 lap newer tyres for the entire stint depending on who you compare against.

      In the third stint he was regularly outpaced by Vettel (the only other car with a comparable strategy at that point).

      He was good, but I don’t see a justification for “jaw-dropping”

      1. I don’t didn’t see quite enough to call Verstappen’s race jaw-dropping either. Many drivers in quick cars have made recovery drives like that that didn’t seem to get as much praise as this. Bottas did several in 2014. Such as Britain from 15th to 2nd.

        1. You only have to look at Ricciardo at Silverstone. Started last and still finished fourth without his team mate retiring… Verstappen had a good drive but he didn’t have to really battle many cars through the field, most of them waved him through.

          1. He started one place higher and finished one place lower than you said but I get your point. His race was pretty much as impressive as Verstappens, but again, not that outstanding. Even Kvyat in Spain who started last recovered to 9th and within about 5 seconds of Sainz. That surely has to be considered good for the ability of his car by those people who called Verstappen’s performance last race “jaw dropping” But that performance hardly seemed to get any praise at all.

      2. @martin Go to James Allen’s F1 analysis, and then come back argueing his pace was not jaw dropping. Especially the first stint when he was on the SS and the rest on US. The middle stint a bit hard to compare (He was the fastest on track tbh) And in the final session he could simply keep up with Vettel, managing the gap smoothly. There is a reason why most journalists and f1 insiders think he drove a cracking race.

        And for those people talking about DR in Silverstone, it took him 23 laps to get to the 6th position, Max needed 9. Just saying.

        1. Care to link to an actual article? There is a lot on JA’s site about the US GP and from what I have read so far nothing states anything about Verstappen having unexpectedly good pace. If you want me to “come back arguing” it would be nice to know what I am arguing against

      3. @ Martin:
        I do not appreciate the tone of your reply, and especially not the fact that you quote two seemingly contradictory statements while dropping my very next statement that provides an explanation for that. (Can I at least say as much without my reply being deleted again? That’d be much appreciated.)

        Verstappen, … put in a true star performance. He was outqualified by Ricciardo (in a qualifying session that was largely irrelevant for him due to his engine penalties), but in the race, his pace was jaw-dropping.

        That’s the whole statement. Feel free to disagree with it, I can live with that. But I fail to see how irony would be appropriate in this context. It’s a typical “yes, but” situation. There is an aspect that diminishes Verstappen’s performance, but I feel it’s comparatively insignificant. Why? For three reasons:
        – The gap was minimal (0.08 seconds)
        – The fact that he had a new engine spec doesn’t have to mean that he had a sizable advantage. Vandoorne had a new engine spec, and commented that he didn’t feel any difference – the team later confirmed that the improvement was indeed too small to notice
        – His qualifying position didn’t really matter anyway, as he was bound to lose 15 places due to penalties. He qualified 6th and started 16th – by outqualifying both Vettel and Ricciardo, he would’ve started 15th. Therefore, it is likely that his qualifying performance, which wasn’t even bad, didn’t affect his race.

        For the first stint until the US started to fade he was almost always slower than both the Mercs, both the ferrari’s and his teammate.

        Well, duh. He was on the somewhat slower, somewhat more durable tyre. In that case, I’d expect him to be slower at the beginning and faster later on. Additionally, the first 10 laps of his race were affected by traffic. He emerged in clear air after overtaking Ocon on lap 10, and immediately started gaining time on the cars ahead of him (at a stage where the team radio suggests he was primarily managing his tyres):
        – 0.7 seconds per lap on Ricciardo (1.4 seconds from 11-12 before Ricciardo’s early pit stop)
        – almost 0.6 seconds per lap on Räikkönen (4 seconds from 14-20, not counting the laps during which Räikkönen was stuck behind Ricciardo)
        – 0.6 seconds per lap on Vettel (3.6 seconds from 11-16)
        – 0.3 seconds per lap on Bottas (2.6 seconds from 11-18)
        – 0.3 seconds per lap on Hamilton (2.9 seconds from 11-19)

        But that’s not necessarily the most “impressive” part that I had in mind. However, it is wort mentioning that he was only 3.1 seconds behind Räikkönen at the end of the Finn’s first stint, despite starting 12 places lower.

        The most impressive part was his second stint (laps 26-37), where he gained on average:
        – almost 7 tenths per lap on Räikkönen
        – 0.85 seconds per lap on Bottas
        – 1.1 seconds per lap on Vettel
        – 8 tenths per lap on Hamilton

        All of that was done on the Soft compound. Yes, there were differences in tyre age (Vettel 8 laps, Bottas 6 laps, Hamilton 5 laps, Räikkönen 4 laps). But the degradation was nowhere near enough to explain the differences in lap times. Verstappen’s tyres were 4 laps fresher than Räikkönen’s – he was almost 7 tenths faster. Same difference between Räikkönen’s and Vettel’s tyres – lap time difference just 4 tenths.
        On lap 5, Vettel was leading the race – Verstappen was 16 seconds and 8 places further back. On lap 39, Vettel barely managed to stay ahead when he emerged from the pits. My take on this is that Verstappen must’ve done something right during those 34 laps. I expected him to catch up mightily in the race, but I definitely wasn’t expecting him to be a threat to every other driver bar Hamilton. That’s why I found his pace jaw-dropping.

        In the third stint he was regularly outpaced by Vettel (the only other car with a comparable strategy at that point).

        I don’t really see that in the lap charts. Vettel was 1.5 seconds ahead at the beginning of the stint, and the gap was 2 seconds, give or take, when they caught Bottas. That’s pretty much the normal gap you’d expect between two cars with similar pace and identical tyre strategies. Any closer than that, and the disturbed air negates your advantage.
        Verstappen did lose a massive chunk of time behind Bottas, though. Vettel was able to overtake quite spectacularly with his first try, while Verstappen had to wait for two more laps during which he lost 5 seconds. The laps after that are meaningless, as Vettel apparently wanted to give Räikkönen a tow, so I’m not going to say that he was much quicker in the last 5 laps. That’s just what it looked like on the surface.

        He was good, but I don’t see a justification for “jaw-dropping”

        Okay. That’s an opinion I can definitely live with. Mine is a bit different, but so what? But I have to reiterate: The way you started your reply was unnecessarily (and inappropriately) arrogant. You could’ve done without that, that way it would’ve been a perfectly acceptable reply.

  11. “Keith subtly letting F1Fanatic readers know he doesn’t agree with their DOTW.”

    With his choices, recaps and the very suggestive poll (totally ignoring the main issue that only VER was punished for what many others did, incl LHM in qualification) Keith makes clear that he is far from impressed by VER.
    Of course his good right, but not objective journalism in any way.

    1. No others did exactly what Verstappen did in that same area. They sometimes have different rules for different partsof the track. Many went wide, but I don’t think anyone else cut a corner to archive an overtake anywhere near as much as Verstappen.

      1. @thegianthogweed Nonsense, there is no distinction in the rules between exceeding track limits on the inside or the outside of a corner. Just as it doesn’t make any sense saying: He travelled more distance, so he must have gone slower.
        Going wide means being able to maintain a higher speed= going faster thus gaining an advantage
        And in this case there were no rules applied for any part of the track, until the last round.

    2. @rebelangelfloyd I think you’re spot on, and it basically degrades the entire purpose of his website.

  12. Missed the mark leaving Verstappen out. F1 is about entertainment and courage. That move in the last lap was massive commitment and Max made it stick. Worth DOTW on it’s own.

    The whole penalty soap is irrelevant. That move was legit. As a racing fan this is why I watch this sport.

    1. It would have been even better if it had been legal..

      1. @baron It would have been best had everybody been punished equal from the start of the weekend. It was fairly disgusting to see imo.

        1. Murph – you’ve been arguing this point endlessly since Sunday as if Max just lost out on a world championship. Noone else actually overtook someone off track, I don’t know why that’s so difficult for you to grasp. Get over it man, Max will have many many more podiums in his career I am sure.

  13. “Sainz on Perez the overtaking move of the race?” My eyesight may be failing, but didn’t Sainz have all four wheels off the track in the corner? To my mind, he was way lucky not to get a similar penalty as MV.

    1. @baron Sainz overtook Perez at the penultimate corner, mate. That photo was taken near the beginning of the third sector. I thought the driver in pink was Perez, but someone corrected me, clarifying that it was actually Ocon. I didn’t check, but it’s 100% certain that Sainz did not overtake the pink car in that photo at that corner. So, no illegal overtake.

      1. @neutronstar But still, exceeding track limits and gaining a lasting advantage. +5 sec and a penalty point.

        1. Penalty point for Max was ridiculous.

          However, regarding the penalty itself, you have take into account that the stewards had decided to be lenient on track limits last weekend. When you do that, you can’t take the phrase “gaining a lasting advantage” too seriously i.e. they neglected the cases where advantage gained by going off-track was infinitesimal.

          But Max’s offence was clearly worse in comparison to not only Sainz’s, but also every other instance of track-limit infraction last weekend. Being lenient doesn’t mean that you’ll treat a comparatively severe offence the same as other benign ones i.e. your “inconsistency of stewards” argument doesn’t quite work here. Corner-cutting and overtaking is a step too far, in my opinion.

          The most important part is, that Verstappen didn’t even get the penalty for his illegal overtake, but only because given the circumstances, there was no other way to give 3rd position back to Kimi, which Max would have had to do had the overtaken not taken place on the final lap, and thus he would have avoided the penalty in that case.

          Great attempt at overtake, but it was illegal…so bad luck for him.

  14. Hamilton was certainly the best driver. Brilliant qualification and great race management, with two passes for the lead. I guess if he’d had a better start than Vettel, he would actually have had fewer votes because he wouldn’t have needed to pass Vettel.

  15. Nice one mr Keith.

    Considering that Lewis had the best car and Vettel did a better qualifying and a better start from the dirty side i don’t see him looking that much better than Verstappen to the point that the young driver isn’t even mentioned.

    And if the penalty is why he isn’t even mentioned i remind you Lewis gained a massive advantage last year when cutting the track in Mexico and Monaco and this year didn’t get a penalty at Silverstone for slowing the haas driver during Q.But I forget that stewards and C are always right only when supporting Lewis because in case of Rosberg in Monaco 2014 they are wrong of course.

    You proved that you are verry biased just like the likes of Brundle.Just one ex would be: (Mr B hated that a driver at Usgp 86 didn’t look in he’s mirrors when he crashed B’s car but when Vettel pessed Stroll it’s the other way around ).

    Like i told you last year it is trully remarcable Rosberg won considering all the media bias and pressure against him.

    1. i don’t see him looking that much better than Verstappen to the point that the young driver isn’t even mentioned.

      And if the penalty is why he isn’t even mentioned

      Did you read what Kieth wrote? Do I need to quote that too? Read the 2nd paragraph below “And the rest” Virtually that whole paragraph is about the driver you appear to be saying Keith didn’t mention.

  16. I actually like Lewis it’s just the media bias and the fan’s bias that makes me write against him.

    This is the most ridiculous article i’ve ever read and i can read in three languages.
    Not even mentioning Max.Next i’ll hear Bottas was a star.Certainly the last time i visit this 12 year old fanboy site.

    1. Not even mentioning Max

      See paragraph 13.

      1. And one of the big obvious eye-catching pictures of Verstappen saying even more about him below it.
        Knight does seem to have missed a little bit.

    2. Oh come on, Max was voted driver of the day after the race through the fan vote. Keith chose to shed some light on other drivers, instead of stating the obvious ;). He can’t win em all.

  17. Some guy on a Dutch F1 forum has looked this up, so I don’t know for sure if it’s correct but if it is, it puts Horner’s and Verstappen’s post-race remarks in context.

    Since Abu Dhabi 2015 Verstappen did 39 races. In 28 races Connely wasn’t among the stewards on duty and Verstappen received zero penalties. In 11 of those races Connely was a race steward. He failed to finish 2 of them and in the other 8 races Verstappen recieved 5(!!) penalties

    1. That’s certainly at least curious, not to say suspicious. As goes with the old saying, “to my enemies, the law”…

    2. For goodness sake there are 20 stewards involved in a race weekend!

      There are four individual signatures on any penalty!

      Do you really think that just because there is one chap in the team who is not even the driver rep, somehow it’s all because they dislike Max? He really really is not that important and has been involved in an astounding number of questionable moves that were always going to bite him at some point.

      What annoyed me is that Max and his dad know this full well, they know how the system works and they know it is not a single person making the decision. They also know it has to be reported to CW and referred to the stewards, yet they chose to play to the gallery insulting one single chap who (rightly) was involved as part of a team in penalising (correctly) a blatantly illegal move.

      MV and the clan know full well cutting a corner and taking a short cut to overtake someone defending the line is absolutely a no no.

      It has always been that way at any level of racing.

      And for the “but but look what x did” or “but but Hamilton followed by any number of first lap inconsequential and totally unrelated incidents”

      No one else overtook anyone on the inside by cutting a corner without later either giving up the advantage or losing out. In fact no one overtook by making a shortcut at all. It was blatant pre mediated and what was saddest of all, he knew it was wrong.

      What is more any time such an overtake has happened for some years now either place was conceded or a penalty given.

    3. and in the other 8 races Verstappen recieved 5(!!) penalties

      Maybe its because he is black?

  18. Bottas’ late season form has been really poor. There was glimpse of a recovery a few races back, but things haven’t changed, really lacklustre. He’s become Merc’s very on Kimi.

    I guess he wasn’t that good after all. Its either that or Lewis is just too bloody good, which means that Nico Rosberg deserves a whole lot more credit that most people used to give him.

    1. I bet Mercedes are kicking themselves signing Bottas up for another season. With hindsight, going all out to poach Verstappen (which they may have done) or Sainz or even Ocon would be brilliant for next season.

      1. Yeah Bottas came with the same reputation as a Sainz or Ocon. Williams were certain that he is a future WDC.

        What would be said if Sainz or Ocon turned in similar performances to Bottas?

        “That Nico Rosberg was a jolly good racing driver”?..haha

  19. I think Verstappen should have made the list, regardless of the penalty. He was again THE star, totally stealing the show. I also believe Vettel deserves the overtake of the race award, running outside of Bottas on Turn 1 and going between him and another car. Just brilliant stuff. I jumped on the couch when it happened!

    Cheers

    1. I would replace Ocon with Verstappen as one of the stars. Also thought Alonso needed an honourable mention. He was as good if not better than Sainz this weekend.

  20. VES wasn’t a starperformer at all! New tyres and a cheating overtake with 4 wheels over the line do not make him a star! And in a fast car like the RB even Palmer would have crawled up the grid… nothing star worthy there…

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