Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Suzuka, 2018

2018 Japanese Grand Prix Star Performers

2018 Japanese Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez, Carlos Sainz Jnr, and Lewis Hamilton were RaceFans’ Star Performers of the Japanese Grand Prix – here’s why.

Stars

Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen capitalised on Ferrari’s strategic error in Q3 to beat the pair to third. He kept both behind in the race after incidents with the pair of them. He tangled with Raikkonen while rejoining the track at the chicane – the stewards ruled he rejoined in an unsafe fashion. He was fortunate to survive contact with Vettel at Spoon without significant damage.

He spent the remainder of the race chasing down Bottas, who was on mediums in the second stint. Verstappen filled the Mercedes’ mirrors on the softs but never got close enough to attempt an overtake.

Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez made it into Q3 but failed to set a representative time after running wide at the exit of Spoon curve, and qualified tenth. He got by one of the Toro Rossos off the line and then the other through the pits.

Having narrowly failed to jump ahead of Romain Grosjean he used the VSC period to pass the Haas. A well-timed restart gave him a run on Grosjean, who he passed around the outside of the chicane on his way to finishing best of the rest.

Carlos Sainz Jnr

Carlos Sainz Jnr, Renault, Suzuka, 2018
Sainz worked hard for the final point
On a weekend when the Renault was not competitive – Nico Hulkenberg crashed in final practice and went out in Q1 – Carlos Sainz Jnr snatched a point through sheer tenacity.

He made the difference by running a long opening stint on the soft tyres and, in the final laps of the race, forcing his way past Pierre Gasly. Team principal Cyril Abiteboul hailed his outgoing driver’s “important” achievement.

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton was fastest in all three practice sessions and qualifying on his way to the top step of the podium. He didn’t have to deal with the threat of the Ferraris in Q3 and easily beat Bottas by three-tenths. Mercedes made all the right strategy calls during the rain showers to set him up perfectly to grab pole.

He got off the line well, in the race, and led comfortably into turn one. Bottas never had the pace to challenge the championship leader and Hamilton led from start to finish. He had the fastest lap of the race until Vettel stole it on the penultimate lap.

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Strugglers

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Suzuka, 2018
Vettel’s qualifying slip-up left him with too much to do
His problems began when the team sent him out on the intermediate tyres on a dry track at the beginning of Q3. After switching to slicks he only had one chance to set a clear lap which he spoiled with errors at Degner and Spoon curve.

His race began well: he out-dragged the Toro Rossos into turn one, going wheel-to-wheel with Gasly through the double right hander, then braved it out with Grosjean at Spoon. But an attempt to lunge down the inside of Verstappen at the same corner following the Safety Car restart was optimistic, and led to contact. Vettel spun, dropping to 19th, from where he could only recover to sixth.

Kevin Magnussen

While Grosjean was able to get through Q2 on softs, Magnussen was out-qualified by six-tenths and failed to make the cut. His race ended after a contentious block on Leclerc which the stewards deemed a racing incident but provoked strong criticism from Leclerc and Sauber. He suffered a puncture and damage to his floor and rear diffuser so the team chose to retire his car.

Marcus Ericsson

Ericsson’s qualifying was over by the time he reached Dunlop where he ran wide at the exit and made heavy contact with the wall. Starting from the back, he gained two places by the time the Safety Car came out but made contact with Leclerc as racing resumed. He was forced to come in for a new front wing and switched to the medium tyres for the remainder of the race, eventually finishing 12th.

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And the rest

Romain Grosjean, Haas, Suzuka, 2018
It was a trying race for Grosjean
Aside from Q2, Bottas spent the whole weekend behind Hamilton but was good enough to help Mercedes secure a one-two in qualifying and the race. He faced constant pressure from Verstappen in the second stint but was able to hang on until the chequered flag.

Ricciardo didn’t make it out of Q2 thanks to an engine problem. He quickly made his way through the field and was able to get by Raikkonen, who was affected by the damage from his earlier collision with Verstappen.

Grosjean qualified best of the rest on Saturday but had a difficult race: a fire damaged several sensors and left him without tyre information throughout the race and a suspension fault left the car pulling to the side on the straights. Despite this his only significant mistake was when he lost out to Perez after the VSC, and he was ahead of Magnussen the whole weekend.

Esteban Ocon made it into Q3 but received a three-place grid penalty for failing to slow under red flags during practice three. He started 11th but was able to make it back into the points, finishing ninth.

Toro Rosso displayed the power of their upgraded Honda engine as Hartley qualified sixth and Gasly seventh. Hartley had a poor start in the race and Gasly complained that a long first stint cost him points.

Leclerc had a shot at points after Ocon’s penalty promoted him one place to 10th on the grid. But contact with Magnussen ruined his race. He came in for a new front wing under the safety car and had worked his way back towards the points until a mechanical failure forced him to retire and brought out the VSC. Hulkenberg was also among the race’s retirements.

McLaren beat Williams in the race to stay out of last as Alonso continued to prove his dominance over Vandoorne while fuming over being given a (deserved) five-second penalty. Stroll qualified well in 14th but finished behind Sirotkin in the race after making an early stop under the safety car. Both Williams drivers tried something different to gain an advantage and ran a two-stop strategy that didn’t work.

Over to you

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

2018 Japanese 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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61 comments on “2018 Japanese Grand Prix Star Performers”

  1. I know it is hard to put Vandoorne as a strugler, because that’s what he is been doing for the season, and at this point it just feels like he is consistent, but it feels again that he should be on the list.

    Then again it will be repetitive to have always the same guy there.

    Basically this is a pointless comment really

  2. Verstappen rather than Ricciardo?
    He didn’t really outqualify his teammate and made up fewer places during the race.

    And Perez rather than Ocon, even though he finished behind him in Q3 due to a mistake similar to Vettel.

    1. Surely it is harder to even stay put right at the front then driving through the pack until you hit cars that you have to fight. And while Ricciardo did not even get the chance to fight the Ferraris for gird position, he hadn’t looked like able to do so for most of the weekend anyway, while Verstappen had been @coldfly.

      1. Yeah for me Max is driving beyond what his third place WCC car appears to be in the standings…a distant and sole third. He often has one Ferrari and one Mercedes behind him. To qualify third and hold that spot with a damaged floor was impressive, even with the penalty from contact with Kimi. Max is going to be incredible, even unstoppable imho, when he was a WCC winning car one day. Imagine Max at one with a car like LH is with his, and he won’t have to flail around so much like earlier this season, and instead be more like on rails, and with fewer cars ahead of him. So glad we have this incredible talent in F1 for a long time yet.

        1. Yeah, we all know what you think of Max. Always saying the same old thing talkin about 3rd place WCC. Why don’t you take a closer, non-orange look then at what the other guy’s doing in the same machinery? Winning on merit in Monaco and battling his way through victory in China where VER couldn’t.

          “He often has one Ferrari and one Mercedes behind him” – Define often. Twice a season? And besides this ludicrous statement, RB has a number of circuits where they go on very well, where they are stronger than Mer/Fer. Look out for Mexico.

          “..even unstoppable imho..” – ROFL. Shamelessly

          “..he won’t have to flail around so much like earlier this season..” – Did anybody force him to do so?

          Unbelievable. I just hope you’re still eight years old, tops. Hahahahahahahahahah.

          1. Max can do without yor sympathy and we can do without your obsessive and fact free rants. Get a life.

          2. Why don’t you take a closer, non-orange look then at what the other guy’s doing in the same machinery? Winning on merit in Monaco and battling his way through victory in China where VER couldn’t.

            From Canada onwards the other guy has led Verstappen 19 laps when they were racing together…. of the 470… (quick calculation: that means that Verstappen has led the other guy for 451 laps!) That’s exactly what the other guy is doing in the same machinery. Yes, I know… DR has been subject to a lot of misfortune, which made him qualify behind MV but still…. 19 laps (and all of them when Verstappen pitted). You can have orange glasses on or not, but it shows the kind of slump Daniel is going through. It can’t be all down to bad luck…

          3. @krxx You only need to look at the standings to see that RBR are in a sole third in the standings, which is an indication of where the car is, obviously, in spite of it being strong at a few tracks. Quite relevant since you need the WCC car in F1 to win the WDC. Ie. the car matters hugely.

            And so when Max has a WCC car, which he will because he will continue to be very highly sought after, yes that car will be more like on rails, not down on power, starting from the front row more often, and then Max won’t have to throw the car around and fight for every inch, and take nearly the risks that someone the likes of LH in a WCC car that fits him like a glove has to do.

            Max is simply bound and determined to fight to win. When he doesn’t have the car to do it then extraordinary measures sometimes are required. Not saying he didn’t blow it several times, but then what did he really have to lose? There they sit solely in third, and that has been their destiny this year since pre-season testing where they saw they were still going to be quite down on power.

            Btw, in case you don’t realize it, when you add the ha ha(s) to your comment it is you that looks like the 8 year old.

          4. racefan – Ironic name, isn’t it? Very devious to call my comments fact-free while you know mine are (one of) the most fact-driven out there and here.

            MCBosch – You act like having to start from (nearly) at the back of the grid for 6 times in 10 or 11 GP has a minimal effect on who’s leading who. It’s kinda impossible to lead your teammate just one lap if you qualify at the back (bc of no fault of your own), having to work your way through traffic, losing seconds every lap, being more at risk of getting hit, tyre wear etc, and your teammate is right there at the front. “It can’t be all down to bad luck…” – Hahahah, nice try.
            Also very convenient for your narrative to start counting from Canada onwards. Season started in Melbourne.
            And on top of this all, it’s not about leading your teammate as many laps as possible in the first place.

            Robbie – You only see what you want to see in my comments, do you? RB is clearly team nr 3 yeah, but were they also number at, for example, Monaco? Well, then RIC did a truly remarkable job. I could also mention other tracks but Monaco is the most blatantly obvious.

            And what he had to lose? The possibility of a Championship, that’s what. RB didn’t stop thinking of it until at least june/july. You can make up all the excuses you want, as if you were right with the knowledge we have today, but everyone at RB were fighting the first 1/3 or 1/2 believing they could clinch titles, that’s the management and both of their drivers. You falsely keep claiming that they had conceded pre-season. People who follow the sport know the very opposite is true and people can look it up. And in fact, pure pace-wise they could have been right up there with Ferrari had it not been for Max’ crashes in the first 1/3 and the terrible fragility of RICs car in half of the season. You’ve actually been claiming almost all season long that MV is just cruisin’ around and stuff bc of not having a good enough of a car, and that’s why he sometimes just stuffed it, as if he didn’t want to win Monaco, China or whatever race. Sure, have a nice time believing that. The only reason why anybody would claim such a thing, is to have it suit his narrative, and that’s exactly what you do.

            Rest of your comment is just your ususal personality cult.
            @robbie

      2. Surely it is very convenient for an orange to just spray and spray, all in favour of VER. What exactly gave you the impression that RIC was off the pace? The fact that he was very happy with his friday and VER was totally not? Or was it maybe bc RIC finished L52 just 4.4 sec behind VER after an initial deficit of 10.9s on lap 13 after RIC had to work himself up to 5th, having to start the race in 15th, and this all despite being on the worse tires? Or perhaps bc both set their FL in the 50th and RICs was 0.2 quicker?

        Can you say orange blinkers? Hahahahahahhahahah

    2. @coldfly

      I actually don’t understand why Perez is in that list either. He was out qualified by Ocon and only inherited a position on his teammate because he got a penalty. Additionally, he dropped the ball in quali. It didn’t take much to get in front of the Toro Rossos during the race as they were moving backwards anyways. The only smart thing he managed was overtake Grosjean with the VSC loophole. Hardly the makings of a star of the weekend.

      Ricciardo was far more impressive than Perez this weekend. To finish in front of one of the Ferraris despite starting P14 on the grid is no small feat.

      1. This is funny. Ricciardo started 15th but in reality 13th because the Toro Rossos always let him pass. With that car, getting pass the midfielders is a must.

        Ahead of one of the Ferraris ? you mean Vettel that spinned and waited for all the cars to go (including Ricciardo) ? I don’t what race you watched. Perez passed on track a direct competitor (the Haas), unlike Ricciardo and Ocon.

        It seems to me that most of you guys have something against Perez. He’s not the most likable guy but he’s achieved far more than any other drivers in the same conditions. If you doubt it we can talk about it.

        1. He’s not the most likeable guy but he’s achieved far more than any other drivers in the same conditions.

          Dear Christian,
          This is not a likability contest or what drivers have achieved over their career, but solely focussing on their drive this weekend; and quali is an important part of the weekend.
          PS – Ocon overtook Leclerc, or do you only consider Haas a direct competitor :P

        2. Christian, what’s even far funnier is your lack of joke sharing when Max did his overtaking in Russia. He didn’t pass a direct competitor neither, he only did what one has to do in that car.

          It seems to me, no scrap that, it’s clear to me that you orange lot have something against VERs teammate. First SAI, now RIC. Next stop GAS? Or is it a prerequisite he first has to beat your boy?

          1. The Dutch like Daniel so the orange lot has Nothing against Daniel… Sai is different his side use politics and backstab tactics.

      2. @todfod
        P15 and in front of both Fer’s.

        1. @krxx and behind number 33 since Monaco. I love Daniel but he is not performing as good as Max since Monaco. That is just a fact and you can say what ever you want, Daniel has less points then Max. Last year it was the other way arround and everybody was saying that only the results matter. So point taken and also made.

          1. @Eric Exactly. The number of times I have heard (read) how DR keeps beating Max because points is all that matters in spite of the qualifying differential, including the start of this season, and now that Max has more points than DR, well there are now all kinds of reasons for that.

            As I have argued throughout last year, in general the formula for beating one’s teammate is not to be outqualified by him usually, out lead in races by him vastly, and finish behind him twice as often when they both finish, and hope that the reliability lottery sees you through. This season the law of averages has seen that DR’s formula for ‘success’ over Max last year has not translated this year, and that is with a big head start when Max was making mistakes early on.

            We can either talk about reasons why things fell into place as they have throughout each season, or we can just say things like DR beat Seb in 2014, Kvyat beat DR in 2015, (Kvyat > Seb therefore?) Nico beat LH in 2016, Max is beating DR this year. Full stop.

          2. @Eric In quali yes, in the race no. At least mention the facts right, however skewed they already are.
            You state Max to be the better performer ever since Monaco. You simply claim it to be a fact, yet fail to give any (link to) data on which I could base a similar conclusion. You can ignore all the (rest of the) facts bc it suits you, but that doesn’t change the fact that you were pointing out bad luck of Max last year. And now he’s leading DR in the points table you say it’s fair game? Hahahahahaha, your typical FBoy-rhetoric. So in theory, if a scenario would occur in which driver A beats driver B every quali by a margin of 10 secs, would lead him every lap in every race, lap him 10 times, but would stop in the very last straight in the very last lap by some mechanical fault by no fault of his own, and driver B would take home the points, your take on this would be driver B did the better job?
            I don’t think you would. You would agree you’d have to look at the (whole) context to assess the true relative performances. So if you and @robbie read that DR was beating MV just bc he had more points, then you either read it wrong, or you have been reading misinformed comments. The reason why DR has beaten MV in the past 2.5 seasons however, is bc he scored the better results (and as a consequence more points) despite having to deal with a lot more tech-DNFs or races that were heavily disadvantaged by tech-issues. @robbie is trying to equate, like he always does, driver errors from Max with tech-issues for RIC.

            @robbie continues portraying this fictional world in which MV has had more(, even far more, bc boy o boy, RICs only hope for him is VER to DNF bc he himself is powerless to stop VER, hahahahaha) tech-DNFs than RIC, while in the non-orange reality it’s RIC who’s had by far more tech-issues. So how does that add up, that RIC had more tech-issues, yet still scored more points than Max? How?

            Like always, I back my claims up with data. I’ve added scored points by the two in there period together. I’ve started to count after the summer break of ’16 bc some, just some, of the MV-FBoys astonishingly actually do acknowledge RIC was the better one in the first half that year(bc Max was new to the team), but they all agree that RIC was “racing history” as soon as the summer break was over.
            I’ve also counted the times they DNFd through no fault of their own, mentioned in parentheses.

            Here are the figures: RIC 469 (12) VER 430 (7 or 8). So, not only has DRIC scored more points, he also had 50-72% more DNFs than Max had. Add to these heartbreaking reality, I know it hurts, the horrible bad luck RIC has had in a couple of FPs and qualis this year (also two more than Max last year), and the fact that RIC isn’t being invested in by RB anymore bc he is leaving for Renault, and you’ll come to the conclusion that the only ones who have been defeated, are your boy and your ongoing attempts to paint an orange, distorted, twisted version of reality.

            You can argue all you want robbie, point is, it’s ill-founded, it doesn’t make any sense.
            Regarding your last paragraph. I actually seriously think VET wasn’t fully with RB anymore, even though he himself said that “RIC clearly did the better job”. But me thinks he wanted to go to Ferrari and can think of some kind of clause to “breach” whatever contract he had with RB.
            I don’t think you can talk about beating someone just bc you end up 3 points clear of him. Like I said before, context context context. The average quali-gap was hugely in favour of DR, the biggest I think he’s had with any of his teammate. So why he ended three points behind Kvyat I don’t know, didn’t hold track, but can’t imagine bc of race pace, bc else they wouldn’t have lost faith in Kvyat.
            Nico beat HAM. Yes, so what? Not the first time Ham got beaten by a teammate who he had beaten before. That’s just an indication how close several drivers are to one another and why you can’t just simply say: “That’s the better driver, so he will beat him everytime.” Outcomes depend on many, many things, just like you can’t say Max is better than DR bc he debuted at a much younger age, like you did earlier this week. In fact DR was young by all F1-standards, the same age as HAM, half a year younger than MSCH, two years younger than Senna, 3.5 than Prost and so on. Different times, cars, breaks etc. And for Max to have this opportunity to debute at such young age, will only benefit him in comparison with his competitors. But don’t equate that as being thus superior to others. Ever heard of Alguersuari or Tuero for instance?

  3. For me the race was marred when a driver was unable to maintain his position on merit and chose to force his competitor off the track. Star Performer? I wouldn’t say so.

    1. @maichael
      Yeah, I have trouble with it too. That was lousy, but it ended up working for him. I can’t consider someone who drives like that a star.

    2. Indeed. The penalty didn’t fit the crime at all. Again. Even a drive-through wouldn’t be sufficient. Stewards nowadays hardly give 10s-stop-and-go-pen’s.

      VER effectively got away with no penalty at all, bc VET took himself out (racing incident) and Kimi had to drive a crippled car from lap 1 onwards bc of VER, making it impossible to get/keep in front of the RBs.

      1. Kimi drove a crippled car? Crippled from the non-existing contact with Max or crippled by the driver behind the wheel?

        1. Crippled by the very existing contact with Max after he rejoined the track safely and crashed into Kimi.

    3. This. I could never call a driver who Maldonado’d someone from off track a star performer, no matter what they did for the rest of the weekend.

  4. i could live that list but would add Daniel as his qualiflier was engine problems not of his creation.

    1. I agree, after all the frustration he went through, not only in Japan, he showed he still is a great overtaker and brilliant racer. I do hope he will be at the top of his game in the last few races.

  5. Verstappen gets lucky in Q3, makes contact twice while defending, one in which he is deemed culpable, and the other is a 50/50, and he gets top rating? I don’t understand that at all.

    1. Well the perspective on his abilities and performance vary widely on this forum. Partly coloured by people’s perception of his personality and their liking or not liking him. I guess that has been true with all talents that seem to bring slightly more than the average driver making it to F1

      1. “Partly coloured by people’s perception of his personality..” – Can’t recall a comment reflecting that. You obviously can, so mind sharing?

        I see only oranges justifying him being a ‘star performer’ of this gp. Everybody else has another take on it. So “..and their liking or not liking him.” is partly true. You and the rest of the armada are fully coloured by your liking of him, which on it’s turn is solely based bc he’s ‘dutch’.

        1. I see only oranges justifying

          You seem a little bit obsessed with Dutch F1 (= Max V) fans. Do you want to talk about it?

        2. Well, I’m British, not Dutch, and I’ve been watching F1 since the 1989 season (when I was 11).

          I rate Max more highly than most of the drivers I have seen throughout that time, and of the current crop of drivers, he is as good as Hamilton and Alonso.

          Sorry for those who don’t agree, but he’s far superior than Ricciardo, and he is certainly superior to Vettel, who is being exposed as lacking in some areas now he is no longer in a Red Bull.

          I accept that the stewards imposed a penalty when Max rejoined the track, but looking at it the other way, he was trying to avoid cutting the chicane and therefore getting penalised for “gaining an advantage”, because you can bet your life that he would’ve been told to give the place to Kimi, even though Kimi deserved absolutely nothing from that.

          This anti-Verstappen bias from certain contributors to this site is tiresome.

          1. @nvherman If a driver cuts a corner due to a driver error, he should pay a price, shouldn’t he? I don’t think what the pursuing driver might deserve is relevant.

            In this situation, with a driver leaving the track on the inside of a corner, it makes perfect sense for the driver behind to go around the outside. Surely Verstappen must have been aware of that, in spite of the excuses he made on the radio.

            I’m a neutral viewer of races; I appreciate people being a fan of Verstappen’s for his speed. But you wouldn’t support him for his sportsmanship. Pushing drivers of the track when all else fails has been a matter of course for him.

          2. In this situation, with a driver leaving the track on the inside of a corner, it makes perfect sense for the driver behind to go around the outside. Surely Verstappen must have been aware of that, in spite of the excuses he made on the radio.

            Did Verstappen actually make contact with Räikkönen, or was Räikkönen just failing to see what Verstappen was doing, which he should’ve been able to given that Verstappen was in front of him all the way through the first part of the chicane.

            Surely everyone knows by now that Verstappen never, ever backs out, and given that he was on full steering lock, and did not open the steering to push Räikkönen off the track, don’t see what your issue is.

            In any case, despite receiving the 5 second penalty, he was STILL in front of the Ferrari’s after his pit stop.

          3. @nvherman
            Yes, he was still in front of RAI bc he crippled his car and was awarded a far too lenient ‘penalty’ which didn’t hurt him one bit, none at all, while it took away the chance for Kimi to get a podium.
            And yes he did make contact, you can clearly see that if only you put those orange goggles off, just like you could see Max clearly force Bottas off track in Monza, and making yet again contact in the process, and just like you’d be able to see Max changing lane three times in Baku before he DNFd the whole RB team, t-boned Vettel in China and the list still goes on. And this is just talking about 2018.

      2. I hardly think anyone can question Max’s driving abilities. His racecraft, however, seems more questionable, specially when it seems like he’s involved in at least an incident every other race.

  6. I feel Ricciardo should be a Star Performer as well. He drove a flawless race after being let down in qualifying, and finished remarkably close to Verstappen despite that advantage. He did lose a bit of time against Verstappen in the final stint, but that may be due to the different tyre compounts they used, with Verstappen finding a lot of grip on the Soft tyres. Nevertheless, Ricciardo’s pace was really good if we compare it to the other Medium-shod cars in the top 6. I don’t think there’s anything he could’ve done better.

    1. Yeah hard to argue with that. Well said.

    2. This ^^ Wholly agree. The fan votes back it up as well.

  7. Wow……bizarre choice to leave Ricciardo out of the star performers list…..Qualifying out of his control while every pass of his was clean while finishing just behind his “star performing” teammate who received a 5 second penalty for dangerous driving!

    1. Exactly, Ricciardo out of the list is unbelievable as is listing his teammate there for maintaining a position through the fortune of knocking his competitors off the track.

  8. Josh- I think you missed Daniel Ricciardo as star, but his team-mate that got a penalty did?

      1. Josh who?

        Josh Holland, the author of the article.

        1. Btw, I really hope Josh’s last name doesn’t give you a hissy fit! ;)

  9. As Peter Windsor put it, Max’s ‘move’ on Kimi Raikkonen was simply ‘inelegant’. Precisely what I felt. It wasn’t finely tuned audacity this time, just a clumsy and highly dubious trolley cart push across the aisle to see if he could block Raikkonen still after making a pig’s ear of the corner. No kudos either for ‘outperforming’ Raikkonen after he’d caused damage to the latter’s car. I look forward to voting Max star performer on many future occasions, but not for his Japan outing.

    1. well said and fully agree: +1

  10. Stars: Hamilton, Ricciardo, Perez, and Sainz.
    Strugglers: Vettel, Haas, STR, Sauber, and Verstappen to a certain extent.

  11. What?!! Verstappen’s acting like a complete maniac on the track, never understands what he did wrong and then he’s somehow a star performer?

    1. A complete maniac bringing the fight to a totally dominant Mercedes while driving a damaged 3rd best car with engine issues

      1. Lol, you can’t argue with that.

        1. LOL, yes you can, hahahahahahhahaahaah.

  12. Oh I didn’t know about Grosjean’s car problems. Makes Perez’s overtake even more annoying for him !

    1. Grosjean not being listed as a star performer baffles me. The Force Indias were clearly quicker given how close they were behind him. Yet he qualified 5th admittedly would have been 7th and best of the rest if not for Vettel and Ricciardo, but still, that was impressive. And he will have finished 6th if not for the safety car. But given he had a fault with his car makes this even more impressive. While Perez qualified 10th, 5 places down on Grosjean and was lucky enough to close up to Grosjean and get past because of the safety car. Admittedly he did a good job here, but that is it. Perez’s “star performer” description mentions his “failure” to do a decent qualifying by running wide. THen mentiones how he got past a Toro Rosso at the start (well, that driver had an awful start) Then the other driver got jumped in the pits. Then also mentions how he didn’t quite get past Grosjean by pitting and then used the VSC to do so. There is barely anything mentioning an outstanding weekend for Perez. Making the negatives look liek they stand out more. Grosjean may have done his usual moaning, but his weekend was very, very good and much better than Perez’s.

      Grosjean should be the star performer here. And I would say the same for Verstappen. We can’t conclude how good he was in qualifying as he had no team mate to fight with. And he made a silly mistake in the race with a penalty and penalty points. Ricciardo’s recovery drive was very good and hasn’t got enough credit.

  13. Screech! Bang! Star!

  14. DR finish fourth in a RB. He did what he had to do after both ferrari’s were gone. Anything else was a failure and even fourth i consider already as a failure. Merc, Ferrari’s and MV started on SS tires. They had to nurture there tires. DR could pass the team from midfield with ease on softer tires and when he drove behind MV there was the safty car and the whole pack was close again. After the safty car periode DR lost time to MV while MV had lost 20 points of downforce. After MV pit with a extra 5 sec penalty DR still not could passed MV and had to accept fourth place.
    MV really had to battle for third place with two faster ferrari’s. He always out performed his car and put it on podiums and places the car don’t belong. That is the big different between MV and DR and for me MV was a star driver. If MV was not in the F1 we had heard DR saying. 5 placed was the best we could do.

    1. Hahahhhahahhahaahahha

  15. ‘He had the fastest lap of the race until Vettel stole it on the penultimate lap.’ This had me scratching my head for a while. If he was so fast why did he arrive so late to the party?

    1. Probably annoyed hamilton is getting everything this year and prevented him from getting his 6th grand chelem, hamilton after all got the fastest lap very late in the race.

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