Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso, Hungaroring, 2018

2018 Hungarian Grand Prix Star Performers

2018 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Pierre Gasly, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso were RaceFans’ Star Performers of the Hungarian Grand Prix. Here’s why.


Pierre Gasly

Pierre Gasly scored his best finish since the Bahrain GP by maximising the car’s potential on a track and in conditions which masked its deficiencies. In qualifying, he was quicker than Verstappen and six tenths quicker than his team mate.

The high track temperature and the low power sensitivity of the track were promising for the race. At the start, Gasly took advantage of Sainz running wide and maintained his position to finish best of the rest.

Lewis Hamilton

On a dry track Mercedes were clearly slower than Ferrari, and maybe even Red Bull, but rain in qualifying turned them into favourites. Hamilton was last to cross the line and went three tenths faster than his team mate in second.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2018
Pole in the rain won the race for Hamilton
The Mercedes front row lock out was critical in the race as Bottas kept the quicker Ferrari’s behind for the majority of the race. Hamilton had a mistake free weekend that was vital to extending his championship lead before the summer break.

Fernando Alonso

Alonso was unable to find the pace to get into Q3, but he did handily outqualify his team mate yet again. He didn’t make up any positions on the start and inevitably lost out to Ricciardo as he charged through the field.

Alonso started on the soft tyres and ran long at his pit stop to jump Hulkenberg, Sainz, Hartley, and Grosjean. He went to the end of the race on medium tyres to take eighth.

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Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2018
Bottas lost it in the final laps
Bottas looked in decent shape prior to qualifying, but in wet conditions Hamilton got away from him. He didn’t have Hamilton’s pace in the opening laps of the race, then was dealt a tough strategy.

Having clung on until the final five laps on increasingly worn tyres, he made two significant lapses of judgement when the race got away from him in the final laps. His clash with Vettel was deemed a racing incident, but Bottas had left himself in a position where he clearly wasn’t going to win the corner. The tangle with Ricciardo was worse: Bottas was plainly over-committed while off-line with worn tyres and a damaged wing, and was fortunate not to take both of them out of the race.

Romain Grosjean

A wet qualifying didn’t help either Haas driver, but Grosjean was slower than his team mate throughout all three stages and ended up seven-tenths down on him. He was pushed out of the points after a 29-lap stint on the ultra-softs. He was running 12th after his pit stop and moved back into the points thanks to retirements ahead over the course of the race. Although he picked up a point, it was gifted to him by Stoffel Vandoorne’s retirement.

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And the rest

The Ferrari drivers lost what seemed a certain front row lock out thanks to the rain in qualifying. Raikkonen out-qualified Vettel for the first time since Australia, but Vettel took advantage of his team mate’s typically indifferent starts. Both Ferrari drivers were on alternate strategies as Raikkonen went on a two stopper and Vettel did a 39 lap opening stint on the soft tyres. The latter lost time in traffic and a slow stop meant he came out behind Bottas which ruined his shot at chasing down Hamilton.

Carlos Sainz Jnr, Renault, Hungaroring, 2018
Sainz deserved more after qualifying well
Both Red Bull drivers were left frustrated by a surprising lack of grip in the rain which left Ricciardo 12th and Verstappen seventh. The team chose to put Ricciardo on soft tyres on a drying track in Q2 while everyone else was on ultra-softs. Verstappen retired on lap 5 with an MGU-K failure while Ricciardo recovered to fourth at a track Red Bull were expected to be victory contenders.

Magnussen had a strong weekend, beating his team mate by a substantial margin in qualifying and the race. However, he was unable to challenge Gasly for the top spot in the midfield. Hartley reached Q3 for the first time but a questionable strategy left him out of the points.

Sainz equalled his best ever starting position and got off the line well despite being on the harder soft-compound tyres. Had he not been hung out wide at turn one, losing several places, he could have had a much better race. He lost out to Gasly at the start and then the McLarens on strategy. Hulkenberg lacked pace all weekend at a track that didn’t suit the RS18.

There was little respite from Force India’s tough weekend on the track, where both drivers were knocked out in Q1, Esteban Ocon suffering brake problems. Neither driver made it into the points.

Marcus Ericsson scored a rare victory over Charles Leclerc in qualifying, but both collided with other cars at the start. Leclerc retired, Ericsson continued, but points never looked likely. Lance Stroll gave briefly Williams cheer by reaching Q2 – then crashing. That meant he had to change front wing specifications and start from the pit lane, and both FW41s were lapped twice by the end.

Over to you

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2018 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Author information

Josh Holland
USA-based Josh joined the RaceFans team in 2018. Josh helps produce our Formula 1 race weekend coverage, assists with our social media activities and...

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30 comments on “2018 Hungarian Grand Prix Star Performers”

  1. “Pierre Gasly, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel were RaceFans’ Star Performers of the Hungarian Grand Prix.”
    No…you change great four times Vettel for Singapore crash man Alonso…
    That tell a lot abou you, guys…

    1. Seb Vettel was quite unremarkable in the Hungarian GP. Heshould have won the race but didn’t. Poor quali to begin with. Then he should at least have caught Bottas at the start but didn’t, and lost plenty of time behind him. And near the end he risked needlessly his right rear tyre by closing the door on Bottas when an inch of his (VB’s) left front wing was already alongside. Seb was lucky there, it could have been a DNF for him, when he already had the position. Maybe in compensation for his slow pitstop, which was unlucky, or at least not his fault.

      And Alonso had a near-perfect weekend, he couldn’t have done much more with what he got. Anyway I am assuming we are talking about last weekend’s top drivers, not about some weekend about a decade ago.

    2. The ‘man with the camera’ still not over his Alonso Syndrome :P

    3. No…you change great four times Vettel for Singapore crash man Alonso…

      No, the fact you reference something that happened a decade ago orchestrated by the team says a lot about you.

      Poor losers the Sebfosi are.

  2. RIC was on softs in Q1 and went out on full wets in Q2.

    1. And had a Star-like Performance on Sunday (similar to Hamilton in Germany).

      1. He did a good job

        I’m responding to the error in the article.

  3. The team chose to put Ricciardo on soft tyres on a drying track in Q2 while everyone else was on ultra-softs.

    This was in Q1 and didn’t affect his starting position at all.

  4. Pierre Gasly, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel were RaceFans’ Star Performers of the Hungarian Grand Prix. Here’s why.

    That looks like a typo. Can’t disagree about putting ALO there though.

    1. When I saw that I though “well, this will be fun”, what a disappointment

  5. Stars: Hamilton, Ricciardo, Gasly, Magnussen, Alonso, and the Mclaren strategists.
    Strugglers: Bottas, Grosjean, and Renault.

    1. Ahh dont write Magnussen – this is the forbidden driver name in Josh Hollands driver ratings.. Even if he won the race he wouldnt be a starperformers..

      But agree why the f… Isnt MAG on his list? OR how can he be no. 8 half season on the driverslist without doing a good job – thats better than ALO

  6. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    1st August 2018, 18:30

    I will start ff by saying, I am certainly a fan of Bottas. Many will know that now. But I get the feeling that there is something heavily against him from who writes the star performers now. Sorry to say. We know, and I will admit, Hamilton is one of the best, or the best at wet weater driving. Bottas wasn’t behind the god of these conditions by that much was he in qualifying? And he beat Both Ferrari’s and Red Bulls. Red Bull clearly were struggling, but beating the Ferrari’s here was quite something. Hamilton was just better, but Botas was still really good. Nothing negative about his weekend at all here.

    The race. Mercedes certainly were a bit to optomistic with Bottas’s stratagy. Again. Bottas was a fair bit slower, but not like he had been several races last year, nowhere close to that. He was later in the race only about 8 seconds behind Hamilton. Not that bad really. Then his tyres and defending Vettel won’t have helped. He did start to struggle and fall back here. But that was understandable. The first incident was clearly decided as a racing incident. From the stewards verdict, it was pretty clear that neither were predominantly to blame. Whiting even said if Vettel had suffered a puncture, It still likely will have been the same decision. On this opinion on this page, there is clearly far more against Bottas which given the outcome and stewards verdict, I don’t think is fair.

    The next incident, I certainly can blame Bottas. But it was partially an outcome of the incident before, which wasn’t his fault more than Vettle’s. He didn’t have the grip due to his lack of front wing, therefore should have known this. but at the same time, he likely would’t have had that level of understeer if not for this.

    Just a comparison agianst one of Vettels races. Vettel finished 5th in france, like Bottas here. he had a much worse collision. He caused Bottas a lot of damage as well as himself. He made himself have to climb up again, which he did well. He wasn’t a struggler here from what I remember. Bottas was good in qualifying in Hungary, had a tough strategy and 1 mistake that was clearly his fault. But it wasn’t huge. Without his mistakes, 4th will have been certain anyway. And the reason for him falling back to Ricciardo was as much Vettel’s fault as his really. That race weekend of Bottas’s just was’s bad enough for him to be conciderd a stuggler. Really don’t get the reasoning.

    If you look at last weekend for example before this. Germany. It must take something really bad for drivers like Leclerc to be a struggler. He had lost out dut to the strategy. But when he was back on suitable tyres, he spun twice. Eventually losing over an entire minute behind Vandoorne. How can this not be seen as a poor drive? Even if he had been in the points at the stage he spun and lost this amount of time, he would have still been last.

    A bit too much focus maybe goes onto the drivers at the front. But how on earth was Bottas’s race weekend more messy than Leclerc’s last weekend? Nothing like as bad. The incidents may have just involved Leclerc himself, but to be that slow, I think he had to have caused his car some damage. Don’t want to be against Leclerc, but it is just a comparison describing why i think some of the ratings on this site recently have been rather unfair.

    You will get some, But I don’t think there will be that many agreeing Bottas was this bad this weekend. If Hamilton was great, which he was, I don’t think Bottas was bad at all, until makign some small mistakes near the end of the race. Even during the race, Him holding up Vettel basically left Hamilton unchallenged. So Bottas was being a good team player there even if this isn’t what he was trying to do. Even the rating of Vettel seems generous IMO. he qualified behind Kimi. This is unusual. And he didn’t beat either mercedes. His race was solid, but Bottas managed to keep him behind for ages on far worse tyres. And the incident as I said was as much Vettel’s fault as Bottas’s. I would say Vettel has only been a little better than Bottas this weekend. Especially when taking qualifying into account. It was only the last 5 laps that Bottas’s race went downhill. But he barely lost any more positions than he would have done even without the mistakes. I woulnOt rate vettel a star performer and wouldn’t rate Bottas a struggler. Both seem unrealistic to me.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      1st August 2018, 19:50

      Apologies for me not seeing things correctly. I must have thought I saw Vettel’s name in the list for star performers. Now given i’m against the article, me missing this is poor from me. Sorry for that. I must have thought I saw his name as a star performer and then read the part highlighting his race further down. But regarding Bottas, given his qualifying efforts and the early stage of his race, I still don’t think the last moments were enough to consider his weekend as poor.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        1st August 2018, 20:29

        ok…. Did my mind not play tricks on me? Maybe it did say Vettel at the time. But it has since been corrected, so fair enough.

      2. @thegianthogweed Heh yes, the opening like says:

        Pierre Gasly, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel were RaceFans’ Star Performers of the Hungarian Grand Prix. Here’s why.

        And then goes on to explain why Gasly, Hamilton and Alonso were the Star Performers.

        Agree that Bottas gets an unfair amount of flak. If you see the Mercedes debrief they explain they felt they had to stop Bottas to cover Raikkonen after he was sacrificed by Ferrari:

        Unfortunately they didn’t explain if in hindsight if they felt this had been a good call or not. I personally didn’t understand why they didn’t keep Bottas out a few laps to see what would happen with the gap. Although the gap wasn’t that big to begin with so I also understand why they didn’t feel like taking that risk.

        From that first stop on on his race was compromised and a finish for P3 was the highest attainable. It was a bit of amazing driving that he actually managed to grab P2 away from Vettel/Ferrari who were caught napping while trying to stretch out Vettel’s first stint.

        Bottas set a fastest lap when he saw Vettel’s tyres were dying and he found himself closing up on the pit window. Vettel went too long and caught traffic. Bottas gained 3 seconds on that last lap alone. Even if Ferrari had done a perfect stop I doubt Vettel would have come out in front.

        Still, crashing into Ricciardo was bad. Not acknowledging that it was bad is even worse.

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          1st August 2018, 20:58


          Good comment. I know we have disagreed in the past about certain things, at least we agree on something! :D And I do admit to being a fan of Bottas, but I do think the reasoning on this article is a bit unfair. It is basically mentioning the stewards verdict and conclusion, but twisting it towards being more Bottas to blame for the first incident which wasn’t the case. I do agree it was Bottas’s fault with the 2nd one. And in his frustration in the race, it did show at first that he didn’t admit to it. However after, I think he did accept responsibility.
          It is mainly qualifying description that is strange to me. Over emphasizing Hamilton’s gap by saying it was 3 tenths, rather than nearly that. It was infact closer to 2.5 tenths as he was 0.260 slower. We know Hamilton is great in the rain, so Bottas only being that far behind who many think comes into a league of his own in these conditions must still be impressive. The article just seems to be trying to emphasize a lot of negatives towards Bottas and not mention the positives of his qualifying or race.

          1. Yes, and I think the cars might actually have something to do with wet weather performance unfortunately, so mercedes > ferrari > red bull in those conditions.

            If hamilton is so great on the wet, then why did bottas beat both ferraris as well and why did he look faster than both ferraris the little it rained in hockenheim as well?

            Why were ferraris so slow particularly at monza qualifying 2017?

            Why was verstappen, a proven strong wet weather driver, so slow this time around, maybe red bull is no longer a good wet weather car?

            Ferrari particularly has been underwhelming since ages on wet track.

    2. i agree with you, Bottas did a great weekend, of course he have one serious mistake and other 50-50, but to me wasn´t a struggler either; if mercedes pit him 3 laps later i believe he would still be infront of RAI and could make it with one stop and finish second

  7. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    1st August 2018, 20:32

    Now, I know this isn’t a true indication of the drivers performance this year, but it is an interesting way to look at it for a bit of fun. This is counting out all the star performers and strugglers over the season for each race. If this is easy enough to follow, a + means star performer and a – means a struggler. This is just for fun and it may seem like a waste of time to many as we need to watch the drivers to actually judge their true performance. This just is something I though I could do now it is the mid season break.

    Lewis Hamilton + Australia + Spain + Britain + Germany + Hungary
    Sebastian Vettel + Bahrain + Britain – Germany
    Kimi Räikkönen – Canada
    Valtteri Bottas – Australia + China + Azerbaijan + Canada – Hungary
    Daniel Ricciardo + China – Azerbaijan + Monaco
    Max Verstappen – Australia – Bahrain – China – Azerbaijan – Monaco + Canada + Austria + Britain
    Nico Hulkenberg + China + Germany
    Fernando Alonso + Austria + Hungary
    Kevin Magnussen + Australia + Bahrain + Spain
    Sergio Perez + Azerbaijan
    Esteban Ocon + Monaco + Germany
    Carlos Sainz + Spain + France
    Romain Grosjean – Bahrain – Azerbaijan – Spain – France + Austria – Britain – Hungary
    Pierre Gasly + Bahrain + Monaco + Hungary
    Charles Leclerc + Azerbaijan + Spain + France
    Stoffel Vandoorne – Austria – Britain
    Marcus Ericsson + Bahrain – Canada – Britain
    Lance Stroll – Monaco – Germany
    Brendon Hartley – Spain – Austria
    Sergey Sirotkin

    Sergey Sirotkin is the only driver who hasn’t been mentioned in either. Verstappen wins for being on it most (8 times), although 5 times as a struggler! Grosjean also has been counted as a struggler 6 times. Though has only made up for that once. Although I really think he should have been considered a star performer in Germany.

    In the list below, I’ve added up and taken away points if they have been considered a star performer or a struggler on this site over all the races so far this year. It doesn’t give a true indication, but a rough one.
    I still don’t think Verstappen has undone his dreadful start to the season enough for anyone to be able to say he’s had a good season so far. He only had 1 perfectly clean weekend in the first third (7 races) of the season. At least 4 of them were extremely poor. For the ability of his car, and the fact he’s only had one retirement that wasn’t his fault at all, he should be a lot further up in the championship.
    Seeing Hamilton at the top was questionable at first. Because he certainly has had several races where Bottas clearly got the better of him. Bottas for that matter did have a poor first race, but the way these numbers work, having several not so good races (like hamilton) obviously won’t count towards 1 bad weekend where as one bad race will probably have you listed as a struggler on this site. For the way it works, that is fine though. I’m just not sure if Hamilton has had the best season of anyone.

    I also feel some of Vettel’s performances possibly haven’t been recognised when comparing them to the races Hamilton got mentioned as a star performer in.
    Leclerc and Magnussen look to be doing really well from this. Was really surprised that Leclerc wasn’t a struggler in Germany though. If his team mate was in Canada, then he surely has to be here. He was under 10 seconds behind Vandoorne when he got put back onto ultra soft tyres (same as his team mates, but newer). Vandoorne was already slower than the drivers at the front but even so, he eventually ended up losing over an entire minute from Vandoorne. I feel some people are thinking the strategy cost him most. It was his mistake that will have cost him as much or more than this anyway. Other than that, I think his ratings have been fair this year and most of his races have been very good. And he is impressing me more than Verstappen did in his rookie year. Looking at this now, it looks like Bottas isn’t doign well at all somehow. But I do not believe that all 8 of the 8 drivers which are higher up this rating have done better than Bottas this season. In my opinion, the only obvious drivers I would rate above Bottas would be Hamilton and Vettel. Possibly ricciardo and Alonso too. Despite Bottas’s mistake in the first race weekend of the year and this latest event, this list makes him look worse than he’s really been.

    +5: Lewis Hamilton
    +3: Kevin Magnussen – Charles Leclerc – Pierre Gasly
    +2: Nico Hulkenberg – Esteban Ocon – Carlos Sainz – Fernando Alonso
    +1: Daniel Ricciardo – Valtteri Bottas – Sergio Perez – Sebastian Vettel
    0: Sergey Sirotkin
    -1: Kimi Räikkönen – Marcus Ericsson
    -2: Max Verstappen – Lance Stroll – Brendon Hartley
    -5: Romain Grosjean

    1. Hamilton has never been a struggler this year, huh? Nice one, china? Slow qualifying, slow race; canada? Ok some engine issue during the race but slow qualifying, slow race, really don’t get it, mistakes shouldn’t be the only thing that makes you a struggler, underperformance should too!

      1. These rankings are very open to interpretation, basically vettel wasn’t considered a star performer in canada, tell me what else he should’ve done, but hamilton was in spain!

        As to the drivers who had the best season so far, hard to say, I think overall hamilton had a better season than bottas, same goes for vettel, ricciardo, alonso, magnussen, hulkenberg who have been consistently strong.

        Less so for leclerc, he had great but also bad races; ocon and perez have been pretty much equal and not necessarily better than bottas.

        And yes, verstappen was terrible early season, he will have to work till the end of the season to get a decent ranking.

        1. Check also this: hamilton was considered star performer for all his wins except france where he wasn’t star performer and he also was in australia where he didn’t win.

          Vettel was considered star for gb and bahrain where he won, he wasn’t considered star in australia and canada where he won and wasn’t considered star in any race he didn’t win.

          Ricciardo was considered star for monaco and china where he won but wasn’t considered star in any race he didn’t.

          Verstappen was considered star for austria where he won, and canada and gb where he didn’t.

          Bottas never won but was considered star for baku, china and canada, while raikkonen also never won and was never considered star.

          I understand australia, but canada looks weird, and I’m wondering if vettel should be star performer in any race he didn’t win, or ricciardo, for example this weekend he did the best he could (ricciardo) and vettel wasn’t that bad, it was all about the rain (imo bad rain car) and the strategy, it’s not like he chose to stay out longer and let bottas jump him again.

  8. Ok Josh holland (writing this article) im getting so tires with you. Now its the 5th time in a row you “forget” Magnussen in your starperformers. He is driving the Haas steady as a rock in the points evert f…. Race. Beating his teammate in qualify (9-3 now) and doping a superb job. Is the Mainreason why Haas is allmost best of the rest. And still you dont even mention his performance??? Come on… Open your fu….. Eyes – even My mom could write it better.
    Hint: take a look on the driver ratings from other pages first -since you Are 3 dayes late anyway. And maybe start watching F1

    1. Matteo (@m-bagattini)
      2nd August 2018, 8:48

      I think a star is someone who performed better than you would expect from him, given all the conditions (car, shape, competitors, etc). I like KMag, but he qualified 9th and finished 7th. Not a bad performance per se, just in line with what you would expect from him. Certainly not on par with the aforementioned Hamilton, Gasly, Alonso.

    2. The strength & weakness of these articles is that there are (a maximum of) 3 Star performers. Therefore a Star like performance by Ricciardo & Magnussen will not make the list if there are 3 other drivers doing just a tad more of the Star stuff.
      I agree with the (corrected) top 3 this time; @josh5holland deserves better than comments with expletives.

      The bit I am more concerned about is that the race winner normally earns an automatic Star Rating. But in most races that means he only has to beat one other driver (now we know that the Fins are wingmen).
      IMO the Star Performance rating should only look at what exceptional stuff the driver did with the equipment given to him, and that is not automatically the race winner.

  9. A little harsh to call Bottas a struggler when the team’s awful strategy left him in a position he should never have been in.

    Coupled with the constant “are you too nice” comments and you can see why he fought tooth and nail to overcome yet another weak Mercedes strategy.

    I would have left him in the ‘and the rest’ section, like Hartley where you acknowledge he was in a bind due to a poor call from the team.

    1. The crash into Ricciardo’s sidepod alone earns him a Struggler rating in my opinion.

  10. There are a lot of people here getting very angry about the ratings.

    Can we all please keep this civil?

    As with any other news and journalism article it is always going to be an opinion piece, opinions are not always the same.

    I would imagine Josh evaluates and writes this in his view, maybe taking input from Keith, Dieter et al.

    There will always be disagreements but rather than getting angry please can we use these comment areas for what they are intended, discussion and conversation.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      2nd August 2018, 15:01

      I was one who did disagree, but I wouldn’t say i came accrss as angry:D One or two certainly have though.

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