Formula 1

Edd Straw’s Tuscan GP driver ratings + reader debate

Sep 14 2020
By Edd Straw

Some of the drivers who fought for the final points are among the highest scorers in Edd Straw’s Tuscan Grand Prix driver ratings, and there’s a dramatic fall for one of last week’s heroes.

Agree or disagree with Edd’s assessment? You can debate his scores with him in the comments section at the bottom of the article at 5.30pm UK time today.

Hamilton Mug

Started: 1st Finished: 1st

Qualifying

Practice laps: 71
Gap to team-mate: -0.059s
Gap to ‘ideal’ lap: +0.009s

Hamilton wasn’t at his most comfortable at Mugello, but methodically chipped away at it both in terms of set-up and the approach to corners to the point where he nosed ahead of Bottas for the first time in Q2.

His first Q3 lap was a good initial attempt and proved enough for a 95th F1 pole position on what he described as a tough weekend.

Race

Penalties:
Positions gained/lost lap 1: DOWN 1
Strategy: soft/medium/hard/medium/soft

The eventual winner didn’t have a great start and slipped behind Bottas, which is where he might have stayed but for the first red flag, which gave Hamilton the chance to take the lead at the standing restart.

He then made a decent start at the third time of asking while Bottas struggled. That ensured Hamilton maintained the lead – and he added fastest lap for good measure.

VERDICT: Made a good recovery after early struggles but did need the first red flag restart to regain the lead he lost at the original start.

Bottas Mug

Started: 2nd Finished: 2nd

Qualifying

Practice laps: 78
Gap to team-mate: +0.059s
Gap to ‘ideal’ lap: +0.047s

Having been fastest when it didn’t matter in every practice session and Q1, the tide started to turn against Bottas in Q2 when he was 13-thousandths off Hamilton.

While he was confident of finding time on the second Q3 attempt that he had to abort because of yellow flags, it was the first runs that decided pole (Hamilton didn’t get the yellows but failed to improve on his second lap). Bottas just came up short when it mattered.

Race

Penalties:
Positions gained/lost lap 1: UP ONE
Strategy: soft/medium/hard/medium/soft

Bottas had control of the race after the first start having taken the lead from Hamilton, but lost the lead at the second start then couldn’t make the most of the opportunity of the third one and dropped to third. He then repassed Ricciardo to ensure he finished second.

VERDICT: Another typical Bottas weekend – a big threat in qualifying but not quite at Hamilton’s level in the race and a little soft in battle.

Vettel Mug

Started: 14th Finished: 10th

Qualifying

Practice laps: 81
Gap to team-mate: +0.534s
Gap to ‘ideal’ lap: +0.215s

Vettel never looked entirely comfortable with the car on corner entry for the long turns at Mugello, meaning he both struggled to carry the speed Leclerc did and also suffered from greater inconsistency.

He scraped through Q1, but could go no further despite the pace being in the car at least to have been a few places higher.

Race

Penalties:
Positions gained/lost lap 1: DOWN 3
Strategy: soft/medium/soft/hard/soft/soft

Vettel dropped to the back having picked up front wing damage when he clipped Sainz’s spun McLaren on the first lap.

From there, he could make little progress, beating Grosjean’s damaged Haas and jumping Russell at the final standing restart to nick a point that he wouldn’t have taken without the second red flag.

VERDICT: Unable to get near Leclerc on single-lap pace, but his race drive was better than it looked on paper.

Leclerc Mug

Started: 5th Finished: 8th

Qualifying

Practice laps: 69
Gap to team-mate: -0.534s
Gap to ‘ideal’ lap: +0.138s

Luck was on Leclerc’s side in Q3 given he was one of only two drivers to have the chance to improve without their laps being ruined by yellow flags caused by Ocon.

But he still had to nail the lap, moving up from eighth to the fifth by hooking up a strong run, although he was slightly off his theoretical best lap.

Race

Penalties:
Positions gained/lost lap 1: UP 2
Strategy: soft/soft/hard/medium/soft

Leclerc ran third early on but was a sitting duck in battle and slid down the order thanks to a combination of a lack of overall pace and struggles keeping the tyres working.

A gamble on running hards didn’t pay off, but the free tyre change under the final red flag helped to ensure he could salvage ninth on the road, which became eighth thanks to Raikkonen’s penalty.

VERDICT: Made the most of some luck in qualifying and was powerless to do more in the race despite driving well.

Verstappen Mug

Started: 3rd Finished: DNF

Qualifying

Practice laps: 67
Gap to team-mate: -0.445s
Gap to ‘ideal’ lap: +0.067s

Third was the limit of the ambition for Red Bull and Verstappen duly delivered, one of only two drivers to have the chance to improve on his second Q3 run. That said, his first-run time was more than enough to be sure of third.

He couldn’t repeat his mighty Q2 time thanks to not benefiting from the same kind of tow.

Race

Penalties:
Positions gained/lost lap 1: N/A
Strategy: soft

Verstappen was set to retire with an engine problem after going backwards at the start before the Gasly/Raikkonen/Grosjean collision eliminated him at Turn 2.

VERDICT: At his usual high level in qualifying, but never had a chance in the race given the problems.

Albon Mug

Started: 4th Finished: 3rd

Qualifying

Practice laps: 73
Gap to team-mate: +0.445s
Gap to ‘ideal’ lap: +0.051s

Having to have a second go in Q1 due to being too marginal on pace meant Albon opted not to have a second run in Q2. He reckoned that gap played a part in being a little slower on his first Q3 run, losing time in first corner San Donato and into the following Luco bend, then had to abort his second attempt for yellow flags.

The gap to Verstappen was therefore slightly exaggerated and Albon legitimately said “the potential was better than the result”.

Race

Penalties:
Positions gained/lost lap 1: DOWN 1
Strategy: soft/soft/medium/soft/soft

With Verstappen in trouble, the way was clear for Albon to take an easy maiden podium from fourth on the grid. This didn’t quite pan out, as he slipped as low as seventh at the second standing start and had to fight his way through.

After briefly dropping behind Perez at the final restart, he battled back past the Racing Point then overtook Ricciardo to lay claim to third place.

VERDICT: Qualifying was reasonable but yet again didn’t quite reflect the underlying pace before he nailed the best possible result in the race.

Norris Mug

Started: 11th Finished: 6th

Qualifying

Practice laps: 58
Gap to team-mate: +0.118s
Gap to ‘ideal’ lap: +0.104s

Norris wasn’t quite able to get the same pace out of the McLaren as Sainz on a weekend where he suffered a setback with a Friday afternoon crash. But he still came close to Q3 and put the McLaren roughly where it should have been on pace.

Race

Penalties:
Positions gained/lost lap 1: UP 3
Strategy: soft/soft/medium/soft/soft

Norris was one of the few drivers not to get involved in much of anything during such a dramatic race, keeping out of trouble and picking up the pieces when things went wrong for others.

He jumped three places on the first lap thanks to Verstappen’s problems and Sainz spinning with Ocon going wide in avoidance. His other gains were down to passing the struggling Leclerc and Stroll’s crash.

VERDICT: Just behind Sainz on pace, but drove a sensible, solid race to bank a decent result.

Sainz Mug

Started: 9th Finished: DNF

Qualifying

Practice laps: 84
Gap to team-mate: -0.118s
Gap to ‘ideal’ lap: +1.438s

Sainz struggled to find the right balance with the McLaren, which was also sensitive to tailwinds, but did a good job to make Q3.

His time was set on an old-tyre sighting run, with yellow flags preventing him from having a proper go on his fresh rubber at the end of the session.

Race

Penalties:
Positions gained/lost lap 1: DOWN 5
Strategy: soft

Sainz was sixth when a brush with Stroll, who was attempting to go around his outside, led to him spinning on the first lap.

He stayed out and took the restart, piling into the Giovinazzi/Magnussen/Latifi accident that he had no hope of avoiding.

VERDICT: Made the most of the machinery but was desperately unlucky with both in-race incidents.

Ricciardo Mug

Started: 8th Finished: 4th

Qualifying

Practice laps: 69
Gap to team-mate: -0.094s (Q2)
Gap to ‘ideal’ lap: +0.336s

Ricciardo had the pace to have been fifth in qualifying having made good progress since the Saturday practice session. That came after he added wing having previously tried to make a lower-downforce set-up work.

But a combination of the loss of his second Q3 run to Ocon’s off and a difficult first attempt with the rear stepping out early in the lap then time lost in the final sector meant he was down in eighth when repeating his Q2 time would have put him ahead of Leclerc.

Race

Penalties:
Positions gained/lost lap 1: UP 2
Strategy: soft/soft/medium/soft/soft

Ricciardo made a great start in a car that’s often strong off the line but had to check up several times for other cars. That meant he ran sixth under the initial safety car.

After the first standing restart he picked off Perez and Leclerc, then undercut his way past Stroll to hold third place. Although Stroll was close, Ricciardo was able to keep him out of DRS range before the Racing Point crashed.

Despite briefly running second after passing Bottas at the final restart he inevitably slipped to third then to fourth behind Albon’s faster Red Bull.

VERDICT: Qualifying should have been better, but drove a superb race and realistically couldn’t have held off Albon.

Ocon Mug

Started: 10th Finished: DNF

Qualifying

Practice laps: 70
Gap to team-mate: +0.094s (Q2)
Gap to ‘ideal’ lap: +0.044s

Until the rear came round on him at Poggio Secco on his sole Q3 run and he spun, this was destined to be Ocon’s strongest dry-weather qualifying performance of the year.

While beating Ricciardo was a big ask, he could easily have been on near as makes no difference the same pace. But ultimately the promise went unfulfilled through his own error.

Race

Penalties:
Positions gained/lost lap 1: NONE
Strategy: soft

Ocon avoided the first-lap chaos, but some debris became caught in a brake duct and led to overheating that led to the brake line failing.

The brakes were done for, so he was unable to restart after the red flag having participated in the initial safety car restart.

VERDICT: Pace was promising but he failed when it mattered in Q3 before bad luck ruined his race early.

Gasly Mug

Started: 16th Finished: DNF

Qualifying

Practice laps: 74
Gap to team-mate: +0.197s
Gap to ‘ideal’ lap: +0.000s

The Monza winner flew in practice and looked destined for Q3, but struggled with understeer in Q1 that, combined with running out of electrical energy on the run to the line at the end of the lap and some minor damage to aero parts that was later discovered, led to his unexpected elimination.

Race

Penalties:
Positions gained/lost lap 1: N/A
Strategy: softs

Gasly was on a mission to make up places at the start, but trying to squeeze between Raikkonen and Grosjean out of second corner Luco was unwise and inevitably led to contact that put him out of the race.

VERDICT: Didn’t string it together in qualifying then took a risk that was never likely to pay off on the first lap.

Kvyat Mug

Started: 12th Finished: 7th

Qualifying

Practice laps: 81
Gap to team-mate: -0.197s
Gap to ‘ideal’ lap: +0.101s

Kvyat had a shot at ending his Q3 appearance drought but instead failed to make it for the 12th time in succession thanks to carrying too much speed into the Savelli left-hander and heading into the gravel.

He escaped, but the lap was ruined and he had to fall back on his first-run time.

Race

Penalties:
Positions gained/lost lap 1: UP 3
Strategy: medium/soft/medium/soft/soft

Kvyat kept clear of the incidents at the first start to run ninth, then had a relatively straightforward race aside from his involvement in the first restart crash when he left a gap to Norris ahead in the hope of getting a run then had to get on the brake.

Fortunately for Kvyat, he wasn’t directly involved in the accident and drove a well-managed race to bank seventh.

VERDICT: A decent weekend’s work, although he never quite showed the same underlying single-lap pace of his team-mate despite outqualifying him.

Perez Mug

Started: 7th Finished: 5th

Qualifying

Practice laps: 77
Gap to team-mate: -0.045s
Gap to ‘ideal’ lap: +0.080s

Perez didn’t have the best of laps at the first time of asking in Q1, meaning he had to use a second set of tyres in the first part of qualifying unlike team-mate Stroll.

He made Q3 with just one set of softs let, running out-of-phase and capitalising on a quiet track to shade Stroll’s first-run time despite running the older car spec that put him at a 0.2-0.3s disadvantage.

Unfortunately, hitting Raikkonen at the first corner after coming out of the pits on Friday meant he had a one-place grid penalty.

Race

Penalties: +1 grid (causing FP2 collision with Raikkonen)
Positions gained/lost lap 1: NONE
Strategy: soft/soft/medium/soft/soft

Running the older-spec Racing Point meant Perez was a little slower than Stroll in the race so couldn’t get involved in the podium battle.

He held seventh early on, which became sixth when he passed Leclerc then fifth when Stroll crashed. He briefly passed Albon at the final restart before slipping back to bank fifth place.

VERDICT: Bearing in mind he was missing a few tenths thanks to running the older-spec Racing Point, a very effective weekend’s work.

Stroll Mug

Started: 6th Finished: DNF

Qualifying

Practice laps: 70
Gap to team-mate: +0.045s
Gap to ‘ideal’ lap: +0.273s

Stroll described his first Q3 run as a “banker lap” then had to abort his second attempt thanks to Ocon’s spin, albeit after a mediocre run through the first corner before doing so.

He was unfortunate that Leclerc was able to jump him thanks to getting a second lap in, although Perez, running slightly offset with just a single set of tyres, did outpace him on his sole run.

Race

Penalties:
Positions gained/lost lap 1: UP 1
Strategy: soft/soft/medium

A suspected puncture (the team still isn’t sure exactly what happened, although it wasn’t driver error) struck at the entry to the fast Arrabbiata 2 and pitched Stroll heavily into the wall while running fourth.

Prior to that, he had passed Leclerc for third early on then lost a place to Ricciardo’s undercut and was chasing the Renault driver while under pressure from Albon.

VERDICT: Underachieved a little in qualifying, but drove a good race and still had a shot at the podium before crashing through no fault of his own.

Kimi Mug

Started: 13th Finished: 9th

Qualifying

Practice laps: 76
Gap to team-mate: -0.161s
Gap to ‘ideal’ lap: +0.048s

Nailed good, tidy laps both at the second attempt in Q1 and in Q2 to take 13th on the grid.

And while he could have beaten Kvyat, given he was only behind thanks to setting his identical time second it’s hardly that big a missed opportunity.

Race

Penalties: +5s (illegal pit entry)
Positions gained/lost lap 1: DOWN 3
Strategy: medium/medium/medium/hard/soft/soft

Plenty went against Raikkonen in this race – notably the first lap contact with Gasly and the resulting damage that was only partially patched up under the red flag and the five-second penalty for cutting into the pit entry too late.

But he showed real determination to hang onto his first points of the season in the final part of the race despite how difficult the car was to drive. His most tenacious race drive of the season. But the pit entry error and mistake that let Russell by early on count against him

VERDICT: Good qualifying and showed a determination that wasn’t always there early in the season in a damaged car to take points.

Giovinazzi Mug

Started: 17th Finished: DNF

Qualifying

Practice laps: 78
Gap to team-mate: +0.161s
Gap to ‘ideal’ lap: +0.018s

Giovinazzi was on target for a Q2 place having set the 12th-fastest time on the first runs in Q1, but only improved by 0.073s on his second run thanks to some small errors over the second half of the lap.

This prevented him getting the most out of the car and left him a tenth-and-a-half slower than Raikkonen.

Race

Penalties:
Positions gained/lost lap 1: UP 3
Strategy: soft

The few seconds of racing Giovinazzi did before the safety car went well. He battled through the first corner effectively then avoided the two collisions that happened ahead of him.

Then he got sucked into the restart crash, which was the result of a concertina effect in which he looked far more culpable than he really was.

VERDICT: Disappointing in qualifying then had little chance to make up for it in the race.

Grosjean Mug

Started: 15th Finished: 12th

Qualifying

Practice laps: 49
Gap to team-mate: -0.279s
Gap to ‘ideal’ lap: +0.201s

Grosjean made it to Q1 having outpaced team-mate Magnussen but couldn’t do better than 14th in the second part of qualifying.

The lack of a tow on his first run then a moment coming through the second part of San Donato, which he blamed on a crosswind, led to the rear end hanging out and ruined any chance of doing better.

Race

Penalties:
Positions gained/lost lap 1: DOWN 2
Strategy: medium/soft/hard/soft/soft

Grosjean did a decent enough job in the early seconds of the race before Gasly’s doomed attempt to squeeze between him and Raikkonen sent him into the wall.

Astonishingly, he continued despite the damage with a car missing a massive 60 points of downforce. He was never going to do better than last, but did jump to ninth briefly with a superb final restart.

VERDICT: Qualified decently then hauled round a damaged car surprisingly quickly in a race of heroic futility.

Magnussen Mug

Started: 20th Finished: DNF

Qualifying

Practice laps: 74
Gap to team-mate: +0.279s
Gap to ‘ideal’ lap: +0.000s

Despite being last, Magnussen was surprised at the lack of pace given he was happy with the feel of the car.

He did have to lift a little when Russell went off ahead, potentially costing him a couple of places, but didn’t have the pace of Grosjean and appeared to be constrained a little more by understeer than his team-mate.

Race

Penalties:
Positions gained/lost lap 1: UP 8
Strategy: soft

Magnussen’s race didn’t last long as he was one of the victims of the first restart accident, although he’d done well to avoid the chaos of the first lap to run 12th.

VERDICT: Qualifying was disappointing, the race brief and unlucky, so there was little chance to recover.

Latifi Mug

Started: 19th Finished: DNF

Qualifying

Practice laps: 79
Gap to team-mate: +0.088s
Gap to ‘ideal’ lap: +0.097s

Latifi had the edge over Russell on the first two runs in Q1, but failed to improve on his final run as he was battling understeer, which the team put down to the fact that it wasn’t following the track evolution at this unfamiliar circuit and didn’t put enough front end in as the session progressed.

But this was his best qualifying session in terms of the deficit to Russell, even though Latifi didn’t deliver his full pace.

Race

Penalties:
Positions gained/lost lap 1: UP 5
Strategy: medium

Latifi made a good start and was 12th when the safety car was deployed thanks to a fighting run into the first corner and escaping the first-lap accident through a combination of luck and judgement.

But his fortune didn’t last and he was eliminated in the restart crash as, despite being among the drivers warned, there was little he could have done to prevent what happened.

VERDICT: Decent progress in qualifying and feisty in the brief moments of racing he got to do.

Russell Mug

Started: 18th Finished: 11th

Qualifying

Practice laps: 63
Gap to team-mate: -0.088s
Gap to ‘ideal’ lap: +0.100s

Having lost Saturday morning practice to a loss of hydraulic brake fluid then been outpaced by Latifi on his first two Q1 runs, Russell looked set to be outqualified for the first time in 30 F1 weekends when he ran wide at the Savelli left-hander and put the right side of his car into the gravel.

But he kept his foot in and despite losing 0.1-0.15s to the moment and picking up minor floor damage, improved by enough to jump Latifi.

Race

Penalties:
Positions gained/lost lap 1: UP 7
Strategy: medium/medium/hard/soft/soft

Russell didn’t have a great start, but made up ground on the outside line into and through the first corner then managed to avoid the Raikkonen/Gasly/Verstappen collision that happened in front of him to run 11th.

With Ocon then Stroll retiring, he was on course for ninth place before the second red flag, where he went wheelspinning down to 12th place despite hitting the parameters the team wanted to execute the start. He was only being able to pick off the hobbled Grosjean in the remaining laps.

VERDICT: Would have scored points thanks to a superbly-executed race but for wheelspin at the final restart that, at worst, he can only be held partly responsible for.

Mugello crash 2020
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