Start, Sochi Autodrom, 2018

Vote for your 2018 Russian Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend

2018 Russian Grand Prix

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Which Formula One driver made the most of the Russian Grand Prix weekend?
It’s time to give your verdict on which driver did the best with the equipment at their disposal over the last five days.

Review how each driver got on below and vote for who impressed you the most at Sochi Autodrom.

Driver performance summary

Vote for your driver of the weekend

Which driver do you think did the best job throughout the race weekend?

Who got the most out of their car in qualifying and the race? Who put their team mate in the shade?

Cast your vote below and explain why you chose the driver you picked in the comments.

Vote for the best driver of the 2018 Russian Grand Prix weekend

  • Max Verstappen (41%)
  • Valtteri Bottas (33%)
  • Charles Leclerc (19%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (4%)
  • Kevin Magnussen (2%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (1%)
  • Sergio Perez (0%)
  • Fernando Alonso (0%)
  • No opinion (0%)
  • Marcus Ericsson (0%)
  • Stoffel Vandoorne (0%)
  • Romain Grosjean (0%)
  • Brendon Hartley (0%)
  • Pierre Gasly (0%)
  • Carlos Sainz Jnr (0%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (0%)
  • Sergey Sirotkin (0%)
  • Lance Stroll (0%)
  • Esteban Ocon (0%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (0%)
  • Sebastian Vettel (0%)

Total Voters: 273

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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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67 comments on “Vote for your 2018 Russian Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend”

  1. Can’t wait for Hamilton to win this despite team orders.

    1. It looks like he is going to be 4th with less than 10% of the votes. How can we feed that fact in the narrative that Ham is upped by the British media and fans and that racefans.ney is a Hamilton loving Brit biaised website I wonder @hahostolze ?

      1. Down to 5% by now @tango, @hahostolze pretty clear Lewis will not be winning this one. Why bother with such a remark, you’ve been here long enough to know that is now how ppl vote on here.

    2. Go check the history of this site not having such bias and then go away.

  2. Verstappen drove like a monster possessed. The skill of ths 21 year old frightens me

    1. I was kind of waiting for a loud “BAAAANZZZAIII”, that kind of suited the situation…well maybe in Japan

    2. True, but the final result, which was finish just ahead of his teammate it was disappointing. His lap times os hypersofts were lame. I was expecting a fight with Raikkonen. Leclerc also drove really well. The maturity he is showing in his debut year is unbelievable. But my vote still goes to Verstappen because of the spectacle.

      1. Just ahead his teammate? Really, you think a difference of nearly 50 seconds is just ahead? And after he had pitted it was very obvious both he and Ricciardo took it very easy, but you thought it was lame?

        LOL

        1. According the Christian Horner, Danny Ric lost 30 poionts of downforce. Would that impact on his car performance viz a viz Max?

          1. Doesn’t explain the losses after he changed his wing.

      2. His lap times os hypersofts were lame.

        @mauromori No surprise because (during the race) he never drove on the hypers ;-)

      3. This is not because of Max, but because they had to manage the engine…I know…lame.

  3. Bottas for sure. He got pole and did everything he needed to in the race. Including letting Hamilton past. Verstappen had an extremely good race as well, but Bottas was perfect.

    1. Certainly he did what team wanted… But that wont win him a fan vote.

      Max meanwhile started like his pants were on fire and managed to lead most laps of anyone… After starting from the back.

      1. I agree. If Max was in the other Mercedes, there would be a big “NO” on the radio. Might not be wise but it sure wins you a fan vote.

    2. Not a big Max fan but what a drive, he made everybody else look like they were standing still.

      1. Reminiscent of his Brazil drive some years ago in the extreme wet.

  4. Has to be Charles. Best of the rest with a Sauber, on true pace, and great overtaking.

    Poor Danny Ric, he is being destroyed by birthday boy.

    1. I didn’t see Leclerc.

      His result was stellar though; on both days.

      1. Leclerc started 7th end finished 7th, Verstappen started 19th and finished 5th. So who’s result was stellar?

    2. I also voted for him @magon4. With the car he had he did a great job in qualifying and even improved on that on sunday.

      Max did a great job passing and running ahead, but I suspect the car was just so much better than many of those he passed. And Botttas deserved to win for both his speed on saturday and his racing on sunday. Right until Mercedes called that off.

    3. It’s Leclerc for me as well. Great qualifying run, awesome start and that overtake on Magnussen was just epic – mind that he was driving a Sauber.

      Verstappen was equally entertaining, but he had a far superior machine at his disposal that helped him blitz through the field. It was quite expected as far as I am concerned.

    4. Doubly so given he’ll be racing back of the midpack next year with Renault. I still don’t understand his choice. That RBR chassis is just so phenomenal.

  5. It’s Bottas. He was better than Hamilton this weekend when it mattered. Lost the win due to team orders. Verstappen, Leclerc and Vettel because of staying so close to Merc in the race are honourable mentions.

    1. Hmmm, I’d say it was only Lewis’ qualy 3 mistake that let Bottas get pole. He had purple sectors 1-2 until then. Had that not happened, Lewis would not have needed Bottas’ help.

      But saying that, Bottas certainly gets an honourable mention (pun intended). He wasn’t asked to do anything a team doesn’t have a right to do, but given the pints at stake, it was a harsh ask.

      Despite my not blow smoke up Max’s backside like some, that was some stellar driving and get my vote.

      1. Hmmm, I’d say it was only Lewis’ qualy 3 mistake that let Bottas get pole. He had purple sectors 1-2 until then. Had that not happened, Lewis would not have needed Bottas’ help.

        With the start HAM had, I am not so sure of that @invisiblekid, my guess is that in that case BOT still would lead after turn 2.

    2. Agreed. Think it’s done Mercedes and Hamilton no favours that switch by Toto. Poor decision, Vettel would never have got back past. Shame for Bottas, he should have won today.

  6. Max Verstappen, most places won, not far of fastest lap while saving his tyres to make the strategy work.. 19th to 9 in 4 laps., The guy was on fire today.

  7. Race weekend so it has to be Bottas.

    If it was just the race then Verstappen.

  8. DOTW: Bottas.
    DOTD: Verstappen.

    1. Bottas would have gotten my vote had he parked his car in the P1 spot after the race.

    2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      1st October 2018, 21:52

      This is how i see it. I have to factor in the fact Verstappen didn’t do much in qualifying due to the penalties. But what he did do was break the rules and give himself 2 penalty points and a grid penalty which meant nothing. For that I couldn’t give him DOTW. I’d give that to Bottas. But for a single DOTD vote, Verstappen would be the one I’d pick.

  9. How is Hamilton even in contention?! This is not a favourite driver poll, it’s a best driver poll. An undeserved and unneeded win.
    Verstappen drove amazingly today but has to be Bottas over the weekend. He deserves to win something…

    1. He’s not.

  10. Bottas of course. No other driver had a weekend like him, only ruined by the disgusting unsportsmanlike attitude of the team to steal the race to give it to his teammate.

  11. Bottas, got pole by a margin, flawless during the race only to play the teams game.

    1. I get the whole Bottas thing.
      But Lewis was faster than him, both in Qualy (where he had an error, but had been faster in all other sessions, inlcuding FP3) and in the race.
      So, no Bottas for me.

      1. But Lewis was faster than him, both in Qualy (where he had an error

        so he was NOT faster!
        Some F1 insight for you: To get pole you need the fastest time and HAM did not succeed in that dept. two purple sectors is nice but not enough. Bottas did it and got pole.
        During the race Bottas was faster and the lap before he was ordered to let HAM pass his speed increased and he set a faster lap again.
        He then defended against VET and was not allowed to increase his speed.

  12. Has to be Leclerc – perfect qualifying, perfect race, beating what we’re arguably faster cars in the form of Haas and Force India. Honourable mention to race-winner Bottas.

    Now about Verstappen who will probably win this – nothing special. In this 2-tier formula, and his teammate having taken damage, 5th was the very least he should have achieved. None of his overtakes were special – overtaking cars that get out of the way, with DRS, in a car 2+ seconds quicker is not that impressive. Good performance but not special, or exceeding expectations like Leclerc.

    1. Do tell Ricciardo, who even couldn’t follow Verstappens apparently mediocre pace.

      1. Can you read Peter? I said ‘and his teammate having taken damage’. His teammate is Ricciardo. Ricciardo had major front wing damage from the first lap.

        1. Even after he changed his frontwing he kept losing. Besides that, if Max were the one that had damaged his wing, it would crashtappen all over. Not so when RIC damages his’, how come?

          1. Danny Ric took a very sensible approach. He knew 6th was the target for today, especially after the damage he was not going to catch Max. So the Aussie took laid back approach and cruised to his 6th spot instead of cutting through the field like a maniac…

            And this is from a Dutchman. Leclerc deserves it for best performance or perhaps Bottas for consolation and outperforming Hamilton. Max only provided some highlight footage for TV. It’s not ‘most entertaining driver of the day’. To me F1 is still a sport more than it is a show.

          2. In Spain Max damaged his front wing and he lost part of it (the endplate). That didn’t stop him. At that point in the race he was 19.161 seconds ahead of RIC. He drove 24 laps with the damage at the end of the race. He finished 23.185 seconds ahead of RIC.

            And now we can argue about the differences in the damage, which of the two was more capable of adjusting the car or driving style to the damage…. Let’s not do that. The only people who can have an educated opinion about it are the people at Red Bull, behind closed doors.
            I only wanted to give this example because of your supposition that Max would crash with this kind of damage.

            But I feel for RIC. To me he seems to be suffering from ‘battle fatigue’, which is quite understandable. And knowing that he is going elsewhere has an effect on his performance. He didn’t make the decision lightly. And now the gap between him and Max is rapidly growing. Check the racedata from all the races and you can see that for yourself.
            So he is going through some hard times.

            I can understand you want to support him, but it doesn’t mean you have to deny or downplay the driving skills or achievements of his teammate. RIC is a good driver and Renault was willing to put a lot of money on the table just to get him to drive for them.

        2. Verstappen fans don’t need to read! They skipped reading lessons and went straight to uni.

    2. You seem to have missed the simple fact VER passed most cars without DRS ( drs was not even enabled by then)
      RIC made a bad start and made some mistakes. (even according to RIC!)
      He seemed to have hit Hartley according to Hartley himself, so the damage probably was caused by his own actions.

  13. I think that Verstappen did a great job, but, 5th was about where he should have expected to finish (ie. beating his teammate) and he did, so the final result isn’t all that great for all his effort. Perhaps my disappointment that he couldn’t get anywhere near Raikkonen, let alone Vettel, is unfairly diminishing his efforts though. Still, I decided to give it to Leclerc, who we saw a whole lot less off, but his qualifying, and that early move on Magnussen were both great, for the best result imaginable at 7th.

    I feel Hamilton did a solid job, apart from his mistake in Q3, and he got a better result than he probably deserved after that. Vettel didn’t shine on Saturday either, but seemingly that was due to the car; in the race he was quick, but again, car not fast enough to challenge – apart from the well done strategy by him and the team (which Mercedes let slip too), but Vettel did get spooked by Hamilton and got overtaken. Like last race, both RAI and RIC had nothing on their teammates either on Saturday or the race. Magnussen had a great race, even if he was probably again looking at the limits of what’s decent in overtaking and defending, which I don’t really like. The force india’s also both were solid, if not spectacular.

    1. Since he started from the last row, the only fair comparison one can make is with his teammate. He totally crushed Ricciardo and you were dissapointed?

  14. Verstappen or Leclerc?
    Verstappen’s race was very obviously spectacular, absolutely flawless drive that looked like it could carry him all the way to the podium at one stage.
    Leclerc, on the other hand, was a mostly quiet champion of the midfield. He had to bootstrap himself into that position, though, by performing a gutsy overtake on Magnussen, who didn’t let anyone else get past him (except Verstappen). And he did it with a car that had a pace advantage of half a second per lap, at best.

    Verstappen’s showing was aided by two factors:
    Aside from Mercedes and Ferrari, there isn’t a single car on the grid that would stand a chance in hell against a charging Red Bull. When he finally overtook Magnussen and Leclerc to slot into 5th, he had a pace advantage of 3 seconds per lap in hand. 3 seconds! And those were the very best of the midfield …
    The other factor was Ricciardo’s poor race, which offered a striking contrast to the ease with which Verstappen cut through the field. The problem with that is the fact that Ricciardo’s race was significantly affected by front wing damage. There’s no way to tell how bad it was and whether he would’ve been able to match Verstappen’s pace without it, but it’s a consideration.

    Compare that to Leclerc, who outclassed his team mate yet again, this time by over a minute and without any mitigating factors on the other side of the garage. The downside to that argument, obviously, is Ericsson being in the same role as Ricciardo, which makes for a very shaky comparison.
    And let’s not forget that Leclerc came tantalisingly close to putting his Sauber in the best of the rest position in qualifying.

    All in all, I’d favour Leclerc slightly. Verstappen’s race was absolutely spectacular, but I suspect that Leclerc’s job behind the wheel may have been just as good, if not even better. I can’t wait to see him take place in the second Ferrari and kick some backside.

    1. Agreed. It looked spectacular bc of the overtaking. But just like @tflb pointed out, it’s a 2-tier Formula. And like you said, when having a car with a 3s/lap advantage over the next best car, how impressive are these overtakes? You can also add that the RB may be the easiest car to drive, especially behind other cars and of course the mindset of the drivers sitting in those midfield cars. MAG told media yesterday after qualifying best of the rest, he was going to let the RBs past as quickly as possible in order not to lose any time to his true rivals. Such is his and all of these drivers’ mentality, and rightfully so btw.

      We all expected the RBs to come in 5th and 6th. But how impressive were they in doing so? A good measure would be in seeing what ‘the other guy’ did. Now I don’t board this instigated by the orange-propaganda-machine VER-hype-train. The likes of peter like to use words like “crushed” and “destroyed” to affirm their blind love for their semi-half-countryman when they compare him with his teammate. They completely ignore that RICs race was significantly affected by the sustained damage to his FW. This would be enough for an unbiased person to come to the conclusion that a meaningful race long comparison is impossible, just like you said.
      @gnosticbrian said something about RIC losing 30 points of downforce. I don’t know in how much time this translates but there is however a way to avoid being unable to say anything about their relative speed. When RIC came into the pits and got a new FW, he was able to set the FL in his first lap. VER came in 4 laps later and he too set his PB in his first lap. Both of them had clean air at the time and both of them encountered traffic in the next few laps. Both of them didn’t come close anymore to that very first lap. The difference was 0.062s in Max’ favour. Not significant at all and it doesn’t even come close to the average deficit RIC had prior to the FW change, which was around 0.55s once the overtaking of the RBs had settled down. After RIC lapped Stoffel, Sirotkin and Sainz he was in clean air and after he realized that Stroll was a long way ahead, he turned the engine down and was lapping 3 or 4s down on his PB. VER did about the same thing, just a little bit less extreme. After he did his PB, he was reeling Grosjean and Hulk in by lapping about 1s slower than his PB and continued doing so after he had lapped them.

      The thing with these oranges and their propaganda, is that they’re so desperately looking for acknowledgement of an impeccable status of their hero, they don’t bother with what is actually going on and will lie, hide, interpret, bend and twist facts so it suits their cause. They already have the outcome in their minds, namely that Max “destroys” and “crushes” his opponents. They already have @bosyber convinced RIC had nothing on VER on saturday (and sunday) while I clearly remember RIC beat VER in qualifying in their first, and probably only intended run. But bc VER couldn’t stand that, he went on it another time while RIC came back to the pits. VER still lost the ‘battle’ though, bc of VER ignoring yellow flags. RIC started 18th, VER 19th.

      1. And come to think of it, there are even more indications to believe RIC was just plain faster than VER. When VER set his aforementioned PB, he was 4L lighter than when RIC set his. Lets say they were packing 100kg of fuel for the 53L-race. With all the buzz that’s going on about next years reg’s concerning the ‘nullifying’ of the disadvantage heavier drivers have, I’ve read somewhere that an extra 25kg translates into a time loss of 1s/lap. So simple arithmetics show that RIC was actually about 0.3s faster in that first full lap after their respective pit stops.
        That plus VER was still fighting Kimi for 4th, while RIC had nothing to fight for: he was forty seconds behind VER after both made their stops. So Max was at his max, all the way untill the last lap (I didn’t realized that in my comment above: he only lapped about a second slower than when his tyres were fresh), while RIC, once he had cleared those 3 backmarkers, cruised at a pace of 3s slower than his PB, saving his car.

        I see VER is gonna win this ‘fan vote’, so the orange-propaganda-factory clearly has done its work. And why not? If a bunch of people seemingly can troll and influence the us presidential elections into their desired outcome, why not have a dutch television network have their minions spread this false belief that their employee is the best thing ever in F1, while all the data suggests that he has been outperformed by his teammate alone, each and every year of their three years together?

        Bye bye dreamers, I’m having myself a nice glass of orange juice, hahahahahhahahhahaha.

        1. @ krxx
          I’m sorry but your story sounds very frustrated, are you? Ric faster than Max, you surely still believe in fairy tales? or, in any case, you believe yourself….and that is pretty frightening.
          Question? The front wing of Ric was already damaged at the start, because the first corners were already worthless?

          1. Frustrated? No, not at all, I’m having a great time with you lot. And when will you people come with actual data that will disprove my data backed comments? The only thing you oranges ever come up with is drivel driven by misplaced, nationalistic sentiments. My comment wasn’t just a story, it’s an account of actual events regarding the driving of the two RBS.
            And what are you trying to say in your last two questions?

            Matn, still haven’t had enough?
            1.: a lie (the blocking bit) + even your premise is false, hahahahha + where did you see me saying anything about the start? = dumba** comment
            2.: “Ricciardo took damage, usually Verstappen sees all hell breaking loose when he takes damage, on top Ricciardo went of track as well” – I’d love to comment, but I don’t your drivel.
            Again, I’ve never said anything about the start, yet you dedicated half of your ‘response’ to it. And now you did come up with it, I immediately caught you on a lie, once again. You claim that the FW was damaged at the end of the lap, yet Gasly has said he got debris bc of that FW on his visor, and he threw it away out of his cockpit in turn 4, indicating the FW was already damaged in the first three corners (or less likely on the straight), most likely in turn 2.
            See, this is so typical to you oranges. It’s part of your MO. Spreading lies.
            3.: Hahaahhahahahahahhhahah. Keep wearing those orange glasses.
            4.: I’ve never said Max did a bad job. But I can’t exactly say he did an extraordinary job, knowing he has a superior car in comparison with the midfield and less. The 14.2s he drove away from RIC can be perfectly explained by the FW-damage, sensible cautious driving of RIC bc of it and RICs tactical driving, him knowing that he can comfortably get to 6th.

            Last but not least. I’m not talking VER down, nor have I ever done so. I’m merely putting things in perspective, something apparently impossible to do when having orange glasses on.

            Cheers.

        2. Again talking down Verstappen with all excuses you can find… is getting poor, very poor.

          1.
          Verstappen was in front of Ricciardo on the grid and despite verstappen got blocked by a TR he overtook his team mate within the first 100 meters.
          2.
          Ricciardo took damage, usually Verstappen sees all hell breaking loose when he takes damage, on top Ricciardo went of track as well…. Though it happend somehwere near the end of the first lap, not the first corner. Verstappen already overtook aroung 7 cars while Ricciardo was still on 18th.
          3.
          Ricciardo’s pace was compromised, fine and ok…but after he changed the frontwing his pasce was still down between 1.1 and 1.9 sec/lap.
          4.
          When Ricciardo is underperforming doesn’t automaticly say Verstappen is doing a normal day at the office.
          Verstappens first lap was brilliant and getting from p19 to P5 is just 8 laps is an absolute killer job, in 8 laps Verstappen gaines a massive 15 second on his team mate.

          1. The very last thing I wanted my comment to devolve into, was Verstappen haters and Verstappen fanatics bashing each others’ heads in. I can’t stand either side in that debate, and it frustrates me to no end that these ‘sides’ are even a thing.

        3. You want data? here it is
          http://en.mclarenf-1.com/index.php?page=chart&gp=1012&graf=3&dr1=Max Verstappen&dr2=Daniel Ricciardo

      2. @KRxx, it’s good to see RIC still has die hard fans.
        I really like the way you mix fiction with parts of facts to build a very own story. Nice.. maybe you should look for a publisher?

        1. @seth-space
          You do know my piece of work would be standing at the non-fiction section, right?
          I’m sure RIC still has die hard fans, why wouldn’t he, but he won’t find them over here. Thanks though for confirming the perception that whenever Max’ performance doesn’t get an unanimous DOTW-vote, his adherents always come back with mendacious comments without any actual substance.

          1. I think Max is an exciting driver, love the dynamic of the current RB team. Not sure how the new boy will fit in next season but as you say the language of the Max trolls have basically made BTL a frustrating place to visit. Mendacious indeed.
            Driver of the weekend for me was Leclerc. Looking forward to seeing how he goes in the red.
            One of the things highlighted by the RB’s passage through the field is how wide the gap is between the ‘so called’ A and B teams.

    2. There is something that goes against Leclerc though. The Sauber were visible the fastest midfield car in the race and not because Leclerc were the one driving it. You point out he out-performed one of the slowest drivers in the entire formula 1 circus by more than a minute. Ericsson had been in traffic for the most part and screwed his tires so he had to do a second stop, that’s -30 seconds alone on the pitstop (and then the added extra lost time for being lapped twice). But the reason to why the Sauber was the fastest this sunday came down to four indicators. Ericsson putting pressure on Grosjean and overtaking him in the early stages on Hypersofts where the Haas isn’t performing all too well. The pure difference in driver skills between Grosjean and Ericsson tells us that the Sauber had a clear advantage. The other thing that told us that the Sauber were better was LeClerc going on the outside of Magnussen even though Magnussen had him taking a tough line all the way around. It was pure speed against speed and the Sauber prevailed even without getting too much drag and running in the dirt line.
      Another thing is that Ericsson, put in the fastest midfield time. Yes that was on fresh tires, but it was also done 13 laps before Magnussen, LeClerc, Hulkenberg and Ocon put in their fastest time with less weight. LeClerc was just shy of Magnussens best time, but were at no point pressured, so he could most likely push it even more if needed. And speaking of lap times, Ericsson were able to match some of LeClercs laptimes despite being in traffic during the soft stint.

      So with those circumstances I believe the Sauber were the faster car on the day, because of the difference between how they fit better with the Hypersofts compared to the Haas. The rest of the race becomes rather theoretical as Magnussen had to defend against the Force Indias, but Grosjean put in some lap times that on soft that would suggest they were very close in terms of speed at a later stage.

  15. Charles Leclerc. Out-paced his team-mate by quite a gap in both qualifying and the race.
    Scored a good bunch of points for Sauber, that is just a few points from Toro Rosso in 9th now.
    A great overall weekend for the Monegasque and the team that’s finished in last place last year.

  16. Leclerc for me. Sure he finished where he qualified, but in the end he got ahead of Magnussen and Ocon in the race. Verstappen and Ricciardo got him but they’re in superior cars. Leclerc was the head of “tier 2” and probably in a car that didn’t deserve it.

    Bottas is the sentimental favorite but I think Leclerc outperformed his equipment.

  17. Surprised to see so less votes for Leclerc. He was by far the best driver this weekend. 13 seconds clear of Magnussen! What more do people want him to do?

    Reg. Bottas and Verstappen, both did well. Difficult to judge how good Verstappen is as although he did light work of everyone up to P5, his pace on ultras was too slow and Ricciardo carried a damaged car since lap 1. In fact, it calls into question whether Ferrari was really the 2nd fastest car today? Looking at Ricciardo’s progress, it seems that they were probably faster than Ferrari today, hampered by the penalties.
    Bottas did everything asked of him. So, he in my books is closer to Leclerc than Verstappen is. But still mid-field performance is more notable than beating just 1 other driver in other car (even through the driver in question is Lewis Hamilton, no less).

  18. Leclerc for me: ballsy move on Magnussen what proved to be for the lead in Formula B-class. Sauber is in a much better state than last year and Leclerc extracts the maximum out of it. Looking forward to seeing him in red next year. Honourable mentions to Magnussen (who fend off the FI’s to finish 8th), Bottas and Verstappen.

  19. First, normal caveat applies—everyone votes how they want based on the criteria that they believe are important. Not saying anyone is wrong for voting how they did.

    I don’t understand how people are that impressed with a drive from the back in a season where the top 6 cars are demonstrably uncatchable by the 14 backmarkers. Of the 16 races so far, only 4 include a top 6 driver finishing outside the top 6 positions.*

    Australia, Bottas finished 8th after crashing out of Q3 and having to change gearbox, starting 15th.
    Monaco, Verstappen finished 9th after starting last due to a crash in practice.
    China, Vettel finished 9th after being pushed off the track and damaging floor.
    France, Bottas finished 7th after being hit on the first lap and falling to last.

    It is a good thing that points extend beyond the top 6 drivers, if not there would be only 15 with any points. And everyone after the top 6 would be in single digits.

    *Top 6 drivers were classified in 2 additional races (BOT-Azerbaijan and VER-Great Britain) but both failed to finish due to damage (debris) and brake failure, respectively.

  20. Yet again Leclerc impressed, achieving best of the rest in the race, it will be interesting to see how he gets on next year at Ferrari where expectations are higher and where he will be up against a multiple world champion.

    Verstappen was one of several drivers who knew coming into the weekend that they would be starting at the back due to engine change penalties, so it was always on the cards that we would see him charge through the field on a recovery drive, however the speed of the progress he made was very impressive and that first lap will probably go down as the best of the season. However he made a mistake by not lifting under yellow flags in qualifying which earned him a needless penalty.

    In practice and the early part of qualifying it looked like Hamilton was on course to dominate again, Mercedes seemed to be once more the fastest car and it didn’t look like Bottas was going to challenge Hamilton, but when it mattered most in Q3 Bottas put in a lap to seal pole, come Sunday he maintained the lead at the start and was in control of the race, but it was always a question of would the call come from the pit wall to move over for Hamilton.

    Bottas seemed certain before the race that he would be allowed to win but sadly the bosses at Mercedes had changed their mind and believed the situation meant that they had to switch their drivers around. Bottas duly complied and was the professional team player

    My vote went to Bottas, without the team orders which denied him the win I think he would have been my choice and I don’t view his decision to obey the team and move aside as reason enough to change my mind, also my thinking was partially similar to the previous race in that I don’t like to vote for the same driver two races in a row so that had a bit of an impact on my choice as well as I voted for Verstappen last time out.

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