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Mid-season report card: We rate Hamilton and co on their year so far

Richard Marsh | 11 July 2018

It’s been an intriguing season

The 2018 Formula One season is approaching its midway point, so it’s high-time for a mid-season report.

Sebastian Vettel leads the standings from Lewis Hamilton, but in Formula One, results can often be deceptive.

The Coral News Team have cast their eye over the season so far, and given their verdict on how the drivers have performed so far…

Sebastian Vettel – A-

The championship leader has won four races and generally had an edge of Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.

Has won four times this year but a first corner error to wipe out Valtteri Bottas in France may yet prove costly, however.

Lewis Hamilton – A-

The four-time champion has won three races this season, and has always been there or thereabouts. Hasn’t made mistakes like Vettel, but has struggled to extract the most from his Mercedes at times.

Valtteri Bottas – B+

He has largely driven excellently, but is currently carrying the burden of the unluckiest driver. Valtteri Bottas could easily have won three or even four races this season.

That would have put him in the championship fight, instead, he’ll be playing second fiddle to Hamilton soon unless he can find some luck.

Kimi Raikkonen – B-

The Finn is still seeking a first race win in five years, but has been right on Vettel’s pace this season.

Should have had at least two pole positions in 2018 but often finds a way to undo his good work. Could yet make things interesting if he wins a couple of races soon, which he’s shown more than enough speed to do.

Daniel Ricciardo – B+

Red Bull’s Aussie ace took superb wins in China and Monaco, but has seen Max Verstappen lead the Red Bull fight on a number of occasions.

Question marks remain over his outright pace, while his overtaking prowess was blotted by a disastrous collision with his team-mate in Azerbaijan.

Max Verstappen – B

Errors have blighted Verstappen’s season. They’ve come in all parts of the race weekend with a particularly disastrous time in China where he hit Vettel and Hamilton.

Ricciardo showed him the way that day, but in recent races it’s been the Dutch sensation who has had the upper hand in the fierce Red Bull scrap, winning in Austria.

Selected others:

Fernando Alonso – B+

Fernando Alonso boasts many great skills, but choosing the right team at the right time isn’t one of them.

The Spaniard has again been forced to haul the maximum from another underwhelming McLaren. The move to Renault power hasn’t brought the push up the grid, but Alonso is picking up every point he can, no matter how unlikely the chances.

Charles Leclerc – A+

Sauber’s Charles Leclerc might be the driver of the season so far. The 20-year-old has collected six points finishes and reached Q3 on a couple of occasions.

Started off with a ropey debut in Australia, but has come on song beautifully since, and is now letting his huge talent shine through. A Ferrari seat next season has been widely touted.

Romain Grosjean – D

From being tipped as Ferrari’s next driver, Romain Grosjean could soon be fighting for his seat in Formula One.

The Frenchman has endured a miserable season, littered with incidents. His spin behind the safety car in Azerbaijan was particularly embarrassing. Haas should be fourth instead of fifth in the constructors’ championship, and Grosjean’s continued errors are hurting them dearly.

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