FormulaY Round 3 Power Rankings : Red Bull 3s Running Wild in a China Shop

Last Power Rankings Red Bull was dropped to 20th, hoping to scare the fear of Senna into them. Well, it apparently worked. The team came out like they got kicked in the can at Bahrain-because they did. Unfortunately for Vettel Max the Bull saw too much red.

Missed Round 2 Power Rankings? Right this way.

 

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1 – Sebastian Vettel  pufferfishemoji evenemoji

Seb puffed up after Max smacked his sidepod, and deflated down the grid. Even taken that all into account, the German is still atop the Driver’s championship, in the top car, and two garages doing everything to cater to his strategy. If Max never came barging in and instead, beat out Seb in China on merit…would Vettel still be #1? For many reasons, Sebastian survives. Bonus Points for Power Move off the race start squeezing out his teammate. Unnecessary but that makes it better.

2 – Daniel Ricciardo  honeyemoji    badgeremoji upemoji6

Driver of the weekend. Danny proved he still is the best overtaker on the grid and the Renault powered Red Bull can compete when it can finish. The future lies ahead for the champion-in-waiting (Ferrari next year?) but the Aussie’s ability to live in the moment and power the paddock with his smile and personality is the real reason he’s so high on all of our rankings.

3 – Lewis Hamilton  blessedemoji downemoji1

Hamilton isn’t on his A game, or he’d be higher on the list. Much like Seb, Lewis’s week wasn’t an overt display of power that kept him high in the rankings. But on Monday, he is 9 points back from the Title Lead and arguably has the most reliable drive. Lewis also broke a Kimi Raikkonen record over the weekend with his 28th consecutive points finish; a testament to his lasting power. He just needs to flip the switch for this year.

4 – Valtteri Bottas mooseemojiupemoji2

Bottas is picking up his Qualifying form–besting his teammate this weekend–and was the Silver Arrow once again tasked with grabbing the bread winner’s share of the points. The quiet Finn doesn’t get much respect towards keeping his seat at year’s end. Funnily enough, it’s the other Mercedes driver who sometimes appears to have his mind elsewhere this year.

5 – Ferrari prancinghorse-emoji downemoji2

Ferrari found a way to take the fight to Mercedes in qualifying. Will it last? Who knows. But it gives them a fighting chance to win the Driver’s. But once again, strategy purposefully hurts their second car’s ability to finish higher in the points.  But why is Ferrari rounding out the Top 5 this round? Danny Ricc to Ferrari rumors have started, and it only makes too much sense. Why wouldn’t he want to be in the best car? Ferrari’s car (and not just their heritage) is drawing driving talent, a returning market power missing last few years.

 

6- NicostopwatchemojifranceemojiraceremojitrophyemojiHulkenberg upemoji4

Tied for 6th in the Championship with Fernando Alonso, Nico has spent the last two races in front of Fernando in this very same P6. Hulk has continued to dominate his teammate, Sainz. Sainz isn’t Jolyon Palmer snailemoji , so its impressive. He can’t go much higher without standing on a podium. When can Renault deliver it, or will it take a ridiculous plot twist?

7 – McLaren sexypeachemoji downemoji3

Not for lack of trying, McLaren finds themselves a few spots back. But that’s ok. Others have been good to date. Alonso has been tampering expectations as the drivers wait for aero upgrades that unglue them from the track and allow them to compete down the straights with the other Renaults more consistently. But let’s keep this in perspective: McLaren look to have the pace to finish 4th in Constructors and are hoping to copy Red Bull’s yearly late podium rush after the break. If they can do that the Board will be happy uplinechartemoji .

 

8 – Kimi Raikkonen  iceemojicoolguyemoji  upemoji1

You have to feel for the Iceman, used as a blockade like that. The Hartley-Gasly Yellow blew up any chance of working but not sure that strategy stood a chance. Raikkonen means business this year. At some point Maurizio Arrivabene  smokingemoji  needs to deliver a car and strategy that does not require the racing sacrifice of a Finnish legend to win. Bwoah…Kimi bags another podium, 93 total, with a little luck.  100emoji will be madness for all Kimi fans (Alonso has 97 podiums… he types forlorn, not knowing if he will ever be able to type 98).

9 – Red Bull Racing bullemoji upemoji11

What a response. The good, the bad, and the ugly – it all impacted the outcome of the race. The double, Double Pit Stops by the crew were insane and overshadowed the quick thinking of Horner and team to get them in under the yellow. It’s invigorating that RBR picked up a win before Mercedes could, and so early in the year (hence beating Mercedes to the top step). That’s a moment that can catapult a team forward. We all want a new challenger and for Red Bull to finally stop pretending.

10 – Kevin Magnussen loudmouthemoji  upemoji4

Magnussen finished in the points again (10th) and was relatively well behaved but provided quality team radio volume-riseremoji on Sunday with the calm quip (2:45 in below video), “Yeah, but there is no lapped cars behind me is there.” Magnussen is Haas’ #1. I don’t care if Grosjean qualified ahead this weekend. KMag has the Race Pace and by Lap 6 in China, Haas was asking Romain to obey team orders (also in video below).

 

11 – Max Verstappen  mccaulcaulkinemoji upemoji1

The emoji fits, it really does. From the open lap salvo to the final fireworks and the *shit-eating-lucky to not DNF-grin* P5 finish, he entertains every weekend. But the shock and awe of it is wearing thin and then what? A string of Kvyat memes and Pascal gifs as a promising star explodes in ardor three wide through a turn.

 

12 – Haas   rollercoasteremoji downemoji7

Is the Ferrari replica team starting to balance out and find their middle ground? Grosjean is carrying a little extra metaphorical weight this year and Haas could be higher in these rankings without it. Outperforming the learning curve this year is key. Everyone knows they are new to F1 but they aren’t so new that they can’t start taking leaps early in the year. They shouldn’t have trouble jumping over Toro Rosso (a point behind due to Gasly’s mega drive) but they need to continue to scavenge for points to keep up with Renault and McLaren.

13 – Pierre Gasly ghostemoji downemoji6

China never held any hope for Honda as far as points. Outqualified by Hartley and mesmerized by him in Turn 14, Pierre had adversity. Radio later explained that Hartley was told to give up the place to Gasly and Gasly confirmed it moments before the turn.The rookie saw the opening Hartley gives heading into the hairpin and acted. But does that excuse him? FIA gave him a 10 second penalty (same as Verstappen). Despite the bad weekend, I still feel Gasly has overperformed expectations this year and never been in danger from Hartley.

 

Turn 14 – Hairpin  pinemojinewemoji

Not only was it center stage for the final and most fantastical of Max Verstappen’s Whatya-doing overtakes, it also was the crime scene of the Toro Rosso teammate paint swap that setup the Red Bull Double Pit Stop under the Safety Car to get fresh tires and mount the comeback that led to … you get the point. It was a big deal on these here rankings.

*Check out the highlights of the Indy and Formula-e races that had hairy- turns themselves.*

Indy at Long Beach

 

Formula-e in Rome

 

15 – Sauber  artemoji downemoji4

Sauber still has a great livery. Marcus Ericsson is off to a much better start. Leclerc (off the Power Rankings) has a bit of Little Red Hiding Hood syndrome. Too young to know better, Leclerc has been getting himself lost, frequently away from the safety the track provides.  If he is the racer Will Buxton tvemoji  and others hype him to be, this will be a short term growing pain. The only 5 points for Sauber last year came at the next two tracks, Azerbaijan and Spain. That bodes well.

16 – Liberty Media  flyingmoneyemoji downemoji

With only until April 30th to pass meaning Overtaking Regulations, the blokes in suits need to roll up their sleeves and put some concrete ideas to paper. After April, F1 would require all ten teams’ approval. For now, they only need a majority. What else, what else has Liberty overpromised and undelivered on… oh yes, F1TV will happen at some point. That point in time is like some technical upgrades–said to be appearing one weekend but taken off the flighting schedule in the 11th hour. This time Liberty seems to be lowering expectations around the immediacy of their product, a refreshing change of pace.

17 – Renault Power Units greenbattery upemoji1

The little engine that could did and Renault has wrestled the midfield away from Ferrari (Haas) and Mercedes (Force India). The reliability and qualifying ability need more improvement but despite that they are up 53 (McLaren+Renault) to 13 (Haas+Sauber) and 1 (Force India+Williams). Not astonishing given the team budgets respectively but impressive enough.

18 – Esteban Ocon alienemoji downemoji2

Ocon is paying the price for tasting momentary bliss last year. Clawing up to and hanging onto P10 seems like the strategy for the first three races, a severe blow to the Frenchman’s lofty heights achievable only months ago. Even without a better car, Ocon needs to start putting distance between himself and Perez.

 19 – Lance Stroll mapleleafemojinewemoji

A highlight weekend in what could be a long year for the sophomore entrant. Stroll flashed some racecraft with a good start off the line. Stroll has certainly always been ambitious and he dove down the right through the stretch elbowing back towards the middle in the braking zone of Turn 1. He was able to keep those places but unable to move the car further than its new home, P14/P15. Williams fans hope Lance comes alive. Any success he has will only funnel more money (from all sources) into the team.

20 – Robert Kubica trainemoji newemoji

The train is back in the station. Williams must certainly use Kubica more in the coming FPs, setting up the car through any upgrades (and you hope Upgrades are coming). But let’s get silly (season) and think bigger. Brandon Hartley, sorry mate, I don’t see it. Romain Grosjean, times ticking, Haas needs to move forward. Both Grosjean’s and Hartley’s raison d’être in F1 would be their experience and feel of the car and setup for their younger, more gutteral drivers (Gasly and Magnussen). Well, Kubica also has that. Can Nico Rosberg suit-guy-emoji use his new media darling status to pump his client Kubica’s perfectly managed tires on and off air? Can Robert’s increased ‘okay let’s put someone in the cockpit who knows how to talk to a car’ role with Williams land him a seat at Haas, Toro Rosso, or hey Sainz might not be at Renault forever… It’s always Silly Season at FormulaY.

 

 Off List:

Romain Grosjean croissantemoji – Last Seen: Rd2 – Talked about with Haas; Starting to wonder how much is left.

Carlos Sainz JR horseemoji – Last Seen: Rd2 – Brought up in negative contexts; Needs to be better relative to Hulk or more exciting.

Charles Leclerc springchickenemoji – Last Seen: Rd2 – Talked about with Sauber; Where’s the Wonderkid?

Toto Wolff  wolffemoji – Last Seen: Rd1 – A trio of P2s isn’t Toto approved Power.

Will Buxton  tvemoji – Last Seen: Rd1 – Shoutout in P15; F1TV launch whenever should help Will.

Nico Rosberg  oldmanemoji – Last Seen: Rd1 – I like the new business guru Rosberg emoji used in Kubica blurb.

Christian Horner horneremoji – Last Seen: Rd1 – Smash up job with the team so he’s celebrated with them.

 

 

penemoji KRU