British Grand Prix

Formula 1's Driver Power Rankings After 2014 British Grand Prix

Neil JamesFeatured ColumnistJuly 14, 2014

Formula 1's Driver Power Rankings After 2014 British Grand Prix

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    The 2014 British Grand Prix featured Formula One racing at its finest.

    There were great drives all the way through the field, with Valtteri Bottas' excellent run to second the standout performance.

    Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel had one of the best duels we've seen in recent years, Jules Bianchi showed admirable fight in his Marussia and Lewis Hamilton's race-craft continues to impress.

    But his qualifying does not. Quite the turnaround from what we might have expected before the start of the year.

    Reliability finally caught out Nico Rosberg, while Daniel Ricciardo chalked up his fourth podium in five races.

    Read on to find out if he's still top of the pile in my fourth set of power rankings.

     

    Note on Power Rankings

    These rankings should not be confused with the actual championship table.

    Rather than looking solely at points, they also take into account race results, qualifying, overall performance of each driver and how they stack up against their team-mates. The relative pace of each driver's car is factored in.

    Only performance at the last six races is considered, with equal weight applied to each one.

    The previous rankings, based on the six races up to and including the Austrian Grand Prix, are here. All position changes are relative to positions in that article.

Honourable Mentions

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    Felipe Massa drops out mostly due to good work from those around him. Of course the crash wasn't his fault, but he can't be given any credit for a race he didn't really take part in.

    Jenson Button drove superbly at Silverstone, but he hasn't done as much in the last six races as the men who made the Top 10.

    And Jean-Eric Vergne's recovery from the rear of the field to finish 10th is also worthy of a mention.

10. Jules Bianchi

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    New Entry

    Jules Bianchi qualified a brilliant 12th in his Marussia, and it could have been even better.

    He lost time to yellow flags on his last flying lap after Esteban Gutierrez crashed at Luffield. Without that loss, he might have become the first Marussia driver to ever reach Q3.

    But it was still the best-ever qualifying performance for the team, and though the MR03 lacked race pace, Bianchi still put on a great Sunday showing.

    He was 10th at the restart and slowly slipped down the order as a succession of faster cars got through. Bianchi fought every one of them, never looking out of place in the duels, and clung to the rear of the midfield battle for the entire race.

    He finished 14th, just 30 seconds down on the midfield proper.

9. Sebastian Vettel

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    Up One

    Sebastian Vettel got used to the front row during the four years of Red Bull dominance, but this was only the second time he'd started there in 2014.

    He made a mediocre start and was passed by the two McLarens. This effectively ended his chance of a podium, as he lost time behind them and made an early stop in an effort to jump ahead.

    But it did set him onto a collisionalmostcourse with Fernando Alonso.

    Alonso passed Vettel on the German's out-lap from his second stop. Vettel then set about trying to get back past, giving fans at home and at the circuit one of finest battles in recent memory.

    The Red Bull man eventually prevailed, and he came home in fifth.

8. Sergio Perez

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    Up One

    Sergio Perez's ill-fated season-long stay at McLaren might have harmed his reputation a little, but he's rapidly proving the Woking team may have been wrong to ditch him so soon.

    He qualified a respectable seventh in a tricky qualifying but was hit by Jean-Eric Vergne on the opening lap and pushed off the track. When the red flag came out, he was last.

    His Force India had poor race pace, but Perez made the most of his one-stop strategy and good straight-line speed. He made his way back through the field, circulating at speeds comparable to team-mate Nico Hulkenberg.

    But he couldn't quite recover enough.

    The Mexican finished 11th, narrowly missing out on a point.

7. Daniil Kvyat

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    No Change

    Daniil Kvyat qualified in the Top 10 for the fourth time in 2014, posting a lap one-tenth of a second quicker than team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne.

    He made a decent start and slotted in behind Nico Hulkenberg's Force India. Though clearly quicker, the Toro Rosso could not get by, and his race was compromised further when he made an early pit stop in an effort to move ahead.

    Hulkenberg and many of those around him went for a different (one-stop) strategy. When Kvyat came out from his second stop, he was again staring at the back of the Force India.

    Again he tried to get by, and again he didn't have sufficient straight-line speed to get the job done.

    But it was a good race for Kvyat, and he equalled his best-ever finishing position of ninth.

6. Nico Hulkenberg

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    No Change (Just)

    Nico Hulkenberg and his team read the conditions perfectly in qualifying. The German lined up a season-best fourth. He now has a 7-2 lead in the qualifying battle with team-mate Sergio Perez.

    But in a reversal of their recent form, Force India were painfully slow in the race at Silverstone.

    Hulkenberg gradually dropped back through the order and soon lost touch with the fight at the front of the midfield.

    He came under late pressure from Daniil Kvyat in the Toro Rosso but held on to finish eighth and maintain his 100 percent scoring record in 2014.

    But he simply hasn't been performing as well as we know he can, and he needs to get to grips with the VJM07.

5. Valtteri Bottas

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    No Change

    Valtteri Bottas is looking more and more like a true star of the future.

    Williams made a hash of qualifying, and Bottas could only manage the 17th-fastest time. Team-mate Felipe Massa was one place back in 18th.

    But starting 14th after others received penalties, Bottas put himself into contention right from the off. He was ninth after one lap, sixth after four, and on Lap 15 he passed Jenson Button for third.

    By then the two Mercedes' were half a minute ahead of anyone else, so Bottas settled in for a race to be best of the rest.

    It was less a race, more a nice, leisurely Sunday drive. The Finn was elevated to second when Nico Rosberg retired, and he remained comfortably clear of the rest of the field to score his best F1 result to date.

    Third in Austria, second in Britain.

    A visit to the top step will surely come along sooner or later.

4. Fernando Alonso

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    No Change

    The British Grand Prix was yet another race in which Fernando Alonso got about as much as anyone could expect to get from the Ferrari.

    The team were caught out badly in qualifying, going out on the wrong tyres at the wrong times. Alonso qualified 19th, which became 16th after the various grid penalties were applied.

    The one big stain on his weekend was missing his grid slot. The five-second stop-go penalty he received for the offence took away any chance he had of jumping Jenson Button in the pits.

    But it also put him right behind Sebastian Vettel after the German stopped, giving us the highlight of the race. Alonso brilliantly passed Vettel around the outside at Copse, but the Red Bull man was quicker after that.

    The two embarked on an epic duel, running inches apart on more than one occasion. Alonso defended like he was fighting for the world title, but sadly for the two combatants it was a battle for fifth.

    Vettel eventually prevailed, and Alonso came home sixth.

3. Lewis Hamilton

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    No Change

    Lewis Hamilton messed up qualifying for the third race in a row, misjudging track conditions on his final attempt and ending up sixth.

    But he made up for it on Sunday.

    He made his customary good start and was running fourth after one lap, and he quickly dispatched the two McLarens. Toward the end of the first stint he was catching Rosberg at around three-tenths of a second per lap, and it looked like we'd be treated to another great fight between the pair.

    It wasn't to be.

    Rosberg retired and Hamilton sailed by, slowing considerably thereafter and cruising to the line for his fifth win of the season.

    In the races he's better than he has ever been, but he really needs to sort out qualifying.

2. Nico Rosberg

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    No Change

    The bad-luck fairy finally caught up to Nico Rosberg at Silverstone.

    He'd produced an excellent performance in qualifying, snatching pole in the dying seconds. With Lewis Hamilton down in sixth, Rosberg looked nailed-on for the win. It turned out he wasn't, but we were robbed of what might have been an epic scrap.

    A good start saw him convert pole to the lead, but after his stop he began to experience gear-shift problems. His pace dropped off, allowing Hamilton to catch up quickly.

    His W05 got stuck in fifth gear at the start of the 29th lap, coasting to a halt half a lap later. Rosberg tried to get it going again but couldn't, so recorded his first retirement of the season.

1. Daniel Ricciardo

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    No Change

    Daniel Ricciardo and his Red Bull team contrived to stuff up qualifying. Thinking conditions were too poor for an improvement in lap time; he stayed in the garage.

    Eighth was his reward.

    When the race got going on Sunday, a decent start saw him seventh after one lap.

    Ricciardo stopped on the 15th lap and emerged in ninth. A one-stop might have initially seemed unrealistic, but the tyres proved more durable than expected and the Australian managed them well.

    As most of his rivals made their second stops, Ricciardo rose to thirdthe position in which he finished.

    Eighth to third, while team-mate Sebastian Vettel went from second to fifth.

    Red Bull couldn't ask for more. Ricciardo remains on top.

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