Grading every Formula One driver ahead of the summer break


That time of the year is upon us.

Formula One’s mid-season summer break is here where teams take a well-earned few weeks off.

The break will be a rewarding one for some, where they can be satisfied with the season so far, but for others, it will be a break which they wish had come sooner.

No more action now until the Belgian Grand Prix in August where Lewis Hamilton comfortably tops the drivers’ standings and his team Mercedes are succeeding in the Constructors’ Championship.

Along with Hamilton leadings the drivers’ standings, and the mid-season summer break underway, it is the ideal time to assess the drivers and give a half-term grading report.

A: Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes

If nothing miraculous happens on the track, Hamilton will claim his sixth – and third successive - world drivers’ title. If he continues the fine form he has shown so far at the half way point, it could all be decided in October. He has taken eight victories so far in the season, even though he hasn’t been 100% his best in qualifying.

A: Max Verstappen – Red Bull

Going into the summer break, Verstappen is the man in form right now. Since an incident with his Red Bull car in Monaco in 2018, his performances have been outstanding. Even though dispatching Daniel Ricciardo from the Red Bull team, he battered Pierre Gasly and is quickly in pursuit of Valtteri Bottas in the title race. It may be a thin chance to say that he could compete against Hamilton right now, but at 21, he seems to be the only one likely to do so.

B: Charles Leclerc – Ferrari

An impressive start with Ferrari for Leclerc, but he sorely needs to stop the errors in the second half of the season. A few races ago it was questioned that he might have been up there with the top five or six drivers.

F1 Grand Prix of Hungary

B: Lando Norris - McLaren

Whilst lagging behind his teammate in races a little, Norris has excellent qualifying pace. He will be looking for that kind of form going into the second half of the season. If it does continue, then eighth place in the championship is possible and a sensible target.

Other drivers graded B

Carlos Sainz – Points: 58 (7th)
Kimi Raikkonen – Points: 31 (8th)

C: Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso

A C grade for Kvyat. With 27 points mid-way through the season, Kvyat will be optimistic when the Belgian Grand Prix comes around.

Other drivers graded at a C

Valtteri Bottas – Points: 188 (2nd)
George Russell – Points: 0 (20th)
Alexander Albon – Points: 16 (15th)
Lance Stroll – Points: 18 (12th)
Segio Perez – Points: 13 (16th)

F1 Grand Prix of Hungary - Practice

D: Daniel Ricciardo – Renault

He has not enjoyed the best of seasons so far. For his first season at Renault, again, a lot of this is down to the car's performance and reliability issues. However, as a driver, Ricciardo has to take responsibility as he was the one who chose to move in the first place.

Other drivers graded at a D

Robert Kubica – Points: 1 (19th)
Pierre Gasly – Points: 63 (5th)
Nico Hulkenberg – Points: 17 (14th)
Romain Grosjean – Points: 8 (17th)
Keven Magnussen – Points: 18 (13th)
Antonio Giovinazzi – Points: 1 (18th)

F: Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari

Given a grade F, Vettel is probably the one driver who wanted this mid-season break than any other driver. His team Ferrari are further behind their rivals this year than last, but Vettel has not rediscovered his form that may have warranted a challenge with Hamilton for the title. The question is, will Vettel be the driver he was at his peak.

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