Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo
Well, that wasn’t the most thrilling Grand Prix ever to grace the planet, was it? It promised so much for the first lap and then, well, nothing much happened. There were individual moments of interest – Lewis Hamilton seemed to be undergoing some sort of divine test – but the moments didn’t really hang together as a coherent or interesting race narrative.
that said, there were some good performances. A notable mention to Sebastian Vettel for a drive that puts him squarely in pole position to win another World Championship. Fernando Alonso did enough to guarantee that he remains well in the title hunt which, given the paucity of upgrades on his car, isn’t to be sniffed at. Felipe Massa continued his revival. Nico Hulkenberg came home to his third best finish of the year. Romain Grosjean didn’t hit anyone.
However, the best candidates for Top Dog both come from one team, Toro Rosso, and it’s not often we find ourselves saying that.
Both Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo started down the field, 16th and 21st respectively, but drove beautifully in cars that looked they had real race pace.
They were, for long periods, the only cars worth watching. Vergne would pass someone and then Ricciardo would follow him through. Perez and di Resta were both dealt with early on in such a manner.
Indeed, it was all looking rosy until Ricciardo developed a problem in the last 10 laps or so, which meant that his car lunged to the left under braking. Thankfully, the only place he lost was eighth to his team mate, but it must be galling to think the bragging rights could have been his.
So it is that we find ourselves in the strange position of awarding a joint Top Dog. We could choose, but it doesn’t seem fair. They each had aspects about their races that make them more than worthy of Top Dog status.
Well done both – enjoy it.