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Singapore GP driver ratings

Applauding those who starred and castigating those who wilted under the lights of F1's night race...

Look no further for the driver of the day and the driver of the weekend. From first to last, Sebastian Vettel was in sublime form in Singapore, delivering one of the laps of the season for pole position - incredibly, he was seven tenths quicker than team-mate Kimi Raikkonen on Saturday - before stamping his authority all over the race.

First there was the trademark quick getaway, then there was the shenanigans of holding up Daniel Ricciardo, but all the while there was a driver in complete control with plenty of speed up his sleeve - as evidenced by the sudden burst between Safety Car periods which took him three seconds clear of Ricciardo over the space of just two laps when he apparently tired of his own dallying. Now third in the all-time list of F1 victors, Vettel has rarely looked better than he did this weekend.
Rating out of ten: 9.5

Daniel Ricciardo

A strong but successful weekend for Daniel Ricciardo in Singapore yielded his best result since winning in Belgium twelve months ago. Having seen team-mate Daniil Kvyat steal the headlines on Friday by topping P2, the Australian delivered when it mattered on Saturday to secure his highest starting position of the year - he had previously been no better than fourth on the grid in 2015.

Could the race have been better too? Ricciardo felt the two Safety Car periods robbed him of the chance to challenge for the lead at the end of his stints and it would have been fascinating to see if he could have put pressure on Vettel. Nevertheless, this was a classy drive and his Singapore silverware was thoroughly deserved.
Rating out of ten: 9

Kimi Raikkonen

Strange to report of a driver who registered his second best result of the season in Singapore, but Kimi Raikkonen wasn't particularly impressive this weekend. Indeed, compared to team-mate Vettel, a class apart throughout, the Finn actually looked rather average as he struggled with reoccurring handling issues.

Despite being there or thereabouts throughout the race, he nevertheless felt a peripheral figure - never appearing capable of challenging Ricciardo for second, never mind tackling Vettel for the win. While the idea that Hamilton, but for his mechanical failure, could have emerged to joust for victory sounds a tad fanciful, it would have been fascinating to see if the Mercedes driver could have challenged Raikkonen for the final podium spot in the closing stages.
Rating out of ten: 6

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Nico Rosberg

After topping opening practice on Friday morning, Nico Rosberg and Mercedes' weekend rapidly went downhill. The German was at a loss to explain his lack of pace and looked genuinely worried after the race that it might continue in Japan next week. Even with both cars further down the order than normal, Rosberg still had no answer to the pace of team-mate Hamilton who drove away from him in the opening stint, leaving the German in damage limitation mode as he struggled to stay in the top six.
Rating out of ten: 6

Valtteri Bottas

Courtesy of his fifth place in Singapore, Valtteri Bottas has snuck ahead of Felipe Massa in the World Championship standings, a position that he needs to keep for the rest of 2015 if the season isn't to end with his reputation regressing. The Finn had the bit between his teeth this weekend, securing a fifth place that exceeded pre-race expectations by nursing an ailing gearbox over the line as the luckless Daniil Kvyat harried him to the chequered flag. On a poor weekend for Williams, it was a small consolation - but a valuable haul for their driver.
Rating out of ten: 7

Daniil Kvyat

Fate conspired against Daniil Kvyat in Singapore, with the timing of the Virtual Safety Car and then the first actual Safety Car costing him a chance to challenge for the podium. Having pitted early, the Russian had a great chance to leapfrog Raikkonen, but instead found himself behind both Mercedes cars after they visited the pits behind the VSC.

Lady luck certainly wasn't on Kvyat's side on Sunday, with a delay at his second stop costing him a spot to Bottas, but he deserves credit for performing admirably in practice and qualifying with fourth amounting to his highest grid slot of the year.
Rating out of ten: 8

Sergio Perez

Is Sergio Perez the most under-rated driver in F1? With his textbook move on lap 35 past the Lotus of Romain Grosjean his race's undoubted highlight, the Mexican once gobbled up a valuable haul of points in Singapore to extend his recent run of outstanding form. Totally out of kilter with the credit he generally receives, Perez's last defeat at the hands of Hulkenberg occurred as long ago as July at the British GP. Time for a rethink?
Rating out of ten: 7.5

Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen's stock just continues to rise. After falling a lap and a half down having failed to get away from the grid, the Dutchman fought back to take eighth at the flag and once again demonstrated his impressive overtaking skills. The Safety Cars certainly helped by boxing the field up, but this was an impressive drive whichever way you looked at it.

With a reputation for a gung-ho approach, Verstappen also showed signs of maturity in the race with some more measured and patient moves than we had seen earlier in the season, Perhaps the only blot on his copybook came when ignoring team orders to let Carlos Sainz past - but that sort of racey defiance is only likely to bolster his reputation.
Rating out of ten: 9

On the one hand, Carlos Sainz's ninth place was an excellent result given his recent bad luck - the Spaniard arrived in Singapore after seven races without a top-ten finish - and the malfunction which plunged his Toro Rosso into neutral before the first Safety Car. On the other, he was beaten to the finish by team-mate Verstappen and any relief at finally troubling the scorers again will have been wiped out by the end-of-race team orders row and the public declaration from team boss Franz Tost that he hadn't been quick enough.

"At the end of the race, we thought that Carlos would catch Max faster, because he had new option tyres on, while Max had fitted used options," said Tost in the team's own press release. "Therefore, we calculated that Carlos could've had a better chance to attack Perez, but he didn't close the gap to Max well enough to really demonstrate that he could do this, so there was no reason to end up swapping their positions."
Rating out of ten: 8

Felipe Nasr

With so many retirements Sauber always had a chance of picking up a point in Singapore despite being a long way off the pace and Felipe Nasr duly delivered. Having been outperformed by his team-mate in the last three races and out-qualified at the last four, it was important the Brazilian halted Marcus Ericsson's momentum. Finishing over a tenth clear in identical machinery on Saturday and comfortably ahead in the race amounted to a solid and creditable performance from Nasr.
Rating out of ten: 7

Marcus Ericsson

After a series of creditable displays through the summer period, Singapore saw a step back from Marcus Ericsson as he played second fiddle throughout to Felipe Nasr. With fifteen laps to go, the Swede found himself directly behind his team-mate on the road and their battle for Sauber supremacy very much in the balance. But while Nasr quickly found a way past Maldonado, Ericsson found the Lotus hard going and had fallen almost ten seconds behind Nasr when the chequered flag fell.
Rating out of ten: 5.5

Pastor Maldonado

It is never dull when it comes to Pastor Maldonado and the Lotus driver was once again impossible to ignore in Singapore. A country mile behind his team-mate in qualifying, the Venezuelan was a Q1 casualty while Romain Grosjean was in the top-ten shootout and in the race he continued to struggle for pace, with his fight against Button an indication of how slow the Lotus driver was. The pair made contact when the McLaren driver ran into the back of Maldonado exiting a corner, with Button making plain his disdain for the South American on team radio. "I should have known he was mental," said an irate Button. The collision caused diffuser damage and Maldonado limped to the line to complete another ignominious weekend.
Rating out of ten: 5

Romain Grosjean

If, as believed, Romain Grosjean is giving serious thought to leaving Lotus at the end of 2015 even if they are bought by Renault, this was hardly a weekend which would have inspired second thoughts. His latest qualifying defeat of Maldonado, bringing his season tally to 12-1, brought barely a flicker of acclaim and another defiant display in adversity on race day ended in points-less fashion when his tyres surrendered to Nasr with two laps to go. Tough times for a driver who deserves better - is it any wonder that he is apparently on the verge of trying something different at Haas?
Rating out of ten: 7

Alexander Rossi (right) arrives in the Singapore paddock

After a disappointing qualifying, Alexander Rossi bounced back in the race, finishing nearly 15 seconds ahead of team-mate Will Stevens. The small print was even more impressive - the American's task was made even harder as he had to complete much of the race without a radio after communication with the pit wall failed. Having not driven the car before Friday practice Rossi did a commendable job, with the only blemish on his record the contact with the barrier in the opening session.
Rating out of ten: 7.5

Will Stevens: 2015 Singapore GP

Over half a second clear of new team-mate Rossi in qualifying, it certainly looked as if Will Stevens' extra experience was going to show in the Manor fight this weekend. However, the race proved to be a disappointment with a mistake on the first lap dropping the Englishman behind Rossi before his pace fell away towards the end of the race. In his own words, "it hasn't been a good weekend for me".
Rating out of ten: 6

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Ted Kravitz brings you all the latest news following the Singapore Grand Prix.

Don't miss the F1 Midweek Report on Wednesday night at 8.30pm when John Watson and Maurice Hamilton join Anna Woolhouse to discuss the Singapore GP

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