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Commentary

F1 Power Rankings: Spain

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Throughout the season, POPULAR OPEN WHEEL will rank the top-10 drivers in Formula 1 following each event. 

Team Rankings

2018 Constructor’s Championship After Spain

1. Mercedes – The Silver Arrows now hold a commanding 27-point lead over Ferrari and now only need to maintain it.

2. Ferrari – Their inconsistencies have kept them out of the Constructor’s lead, but they’ve had fewer problems than third-place Red Bull.

3. Red Bull – This team has the most exciting drivers with Daniel Ricciardo who has won Fastest Lap in three out of five races and Max Verstappen who is becoming the Paul Tracy of F1. That’s not a good thing.

4. Renault and McLaren Renault  – They each have a driver who consistently scores points and one who does not. Who knows what kind of team Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz could accomplish.

6. Haas and Force India with 19 and 18 markers respectively. As with the two above, Haas has Kevin Magnussen scoring points and Roman Grosjean for not earning them. Force India has a podium through Sergio Perez and points, but Esteban Ocon is having a bad year so far.

8. Toro Rosso and Sauber are the nearly identical scoring.

10. Last place is Williams. It’s hard to imagine that a generation ago, this was a World Championship group.

Driver Rankings After Spain

  1. Lewis Hamilton won his second race of 2018 and leads the Driving Championship. Consider if you will that he has a humongous point lead (17) with only two poles thus far, and no fast laps. So, a tough year so far.
  2. Hamilton’s teammate, Valtteri Bottas’ has managed to be in P3 in the Driver’s standings without earning a pole, a race, and got the two fastest lap honors that Ricciardo didn’t.  Pretty incredible, which is why we rank him second.
  3. Sebastian Vettel didn’t do as well as expected in Barcelona but we’re still moving him up three ranks because he didn’t shoot himself in the foot either.
  4. Daniel Ricciardo set the all-time race lap record in Spain – amazing. But then has a dumb spin under the VSC, which kept him from finishing any better than fifth.
  5. Kimi Raikkonen is fourth in the points and had a DNF in Barcelona due to an engine expiration, but we rank him slightly lower because he doesn’t make the most of his opportunities. While often out-qualifying teammate Vettel, he seems reluctant to challenge the German on race day.
  6. Fernando Alonso remains in sixthplace according to us and his seventh spot in actual points shows that he’s still a credible driver, but we don’t see him winning any time soon. If ever again.
  7. Carlos Sainz moves up three spots to seventh because he passed Alonso at his home race to place seventh in the competition. He’s tenth in actual markers, though.
  8. Max Verstappen podiumed in Barcelona and stands sixth in official standings. We rate him lower because of previous misbehavior.
  9. Kevin Magnusson’s results still do not reflect the tremendous driving talent displayed this year. He’s currently ninth among the drivers.
  10. This is our most difficult rank to determine. We don’t rate Nico Hulkenberg in our index, but do think that Sergio Perez, with his one podium this year, is most deserving as of Spain.

We will resume the rankings after the Monaco Grand Prix.

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularOpenwheel.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

 

Lisa Davidson

Lisa Davidson is a graduate of the University of Arizona and spent her corporate career as a Controller. She is a lifelong writer who has been covering open wheel racing since 2000 and is the author of historical articles and co-author of one book She and her husband, photographer Jeff Davidson, have two daughters and make their home in Murrieta, CA.

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