I honestly do think there a couple of candidates this week, but I think two particularly stood out:
1. George Russell
- Honestly, I wasn't considering giving Russell ROTR nomination given the crash was mostly a racing incident. But his reaction to the crash has given me enough justification to put him atop this list, and here's my justification for it:
While Russell did drive a good race up until this point, I fail to realize how he could not see that Bottas didn't do any significant movement that caused him to crash. Russell had DRS open and he touched the (wet) grass, and he became an instant passenger. I know that inside the car it's possible that Bottas moved an inch or two and that was enough to hassle Russell - that's honestly the only explanation I can think for his reaction.
And the thing is, that while his reaction could have been justified on the spot, with the adrenaline rush, the fact that Russell double down on blaming Bottas was not particularly... a good attitude. I like George, but his whole attitude after the crash revealed a whole lot of hidden frustration. Toto Wolff himself did notice this, and he did quite a bit of burying of George in the press. Russell wasted potential points again with his mistake, but I think his attitude after the crash was truly rejectworthy - Mazepin is supposed to do this, not you George.
2. Sérgio Pérez
and Valtteri Bottas
- Going to give out this shared between the number two's of the top two teams, as I think both deserve a mention, for different reasons.
While Pérez did start the weekend quite nicely, and he did beat Verstappen in qualifying (something that hadn't happened since Ricciardo's day at RBR), his race was really troublesome, sadly. I expected him to finish in the top four even with the rain, and while he did run there, his SC shenanigans were truly
and then binning it on your own in the corner Albon spinned last year wasn't particularly a good display. No points while your team-mate won is not a good show mate, sorry.
And Bottas, well... Qualifying in 8th place was a terrible performance, and I don't fully buy the excuses given by Mercedes about tyre temperatures causing Bottas' to struggle for rear grip. He was .4 off Hamilton overall, which isn't totally unlike his gap at previous rounds. But if his struggle in qualifying were bad, in the race it was even worse. He barely did any progress during the opening stint, and by the time he crashed with Russell, he had been re-overtaken by Stroll (running a fairly damaged car) and was about to be overtaken by a Williams on pure pace. Bottas 4.0? Don't know about that.
Now, into the proper honorable mentions:Haas
- I wanted to nominate Mick only for crashing under the SC, as I do think that would be an instant ROTR. Problem was, he finished a full minute ahead of Mazepin and beside the SC crash, he ran a quite decent race. So, I'll just put Haas here, as I do think that both drivers deserve it for different reasons.Williams
- Gets both cars into Q2 and then both cars retire by mistakes of their drivers into creating gaps that didn't really exist or closing ones that did.Yuki Tsunoda
- His first half of the race was rather decent, but his second half of the race was quite bad. That lame spin in the restart cost him a chance at points and he never recovered. Imola does bite rookies, doesn't it?Lewis Hamilton
- Can't remember many Hamilton silly mistakes in the last four years, but that one was proper silly. Fortunetelly for him, the racing gods continue to be by his side. But for how long?