Ratings | Maximum Verstappen, Hamilton makes it difficult for himself

27-09-2021 08:19
by GPblog.com
F1 News
Ratings | Maximum Verstappen, Hamilton makes it difficult for himself

The 2021 edition was arguably the best ever Russian Grand Prix. It was another Mercedes win, but with rain in the closing stages of the race, it was a real spectacle. Over the whole weekend, GPblog gives a rating to each driver.

Hamilton: 9.5

Lewis Hamilton looked set to throw away his weekend after making contact with the wall in the pit lane during qualifying. A weekend that looked easy to win for Mercedes, suddenly became a terribly difficult task. Even more so after Hamilton made a poor start to the race that has caused us to drop him by 0.5. Hamilton eventually won the race, and drove well to move through the field. 

Verstappen: 10

Max Verstappen did everything he was supposed to do this weekend. From P20 he eventually climbed all the way to P2. In the rain, Max judged the situation perfectly, allowing the change to intermediates to earn him five spots. With that, he still moved up to P2 and limited the damage in this Mercedes weekend.

Sainz: 8.5

Carlos Sainz briefly got angry over the radio when his team's goal was P5, but Carlos did a great job and calmly drove to third in the rain.

Ricciardo: 8.5

Daniel Ricciardo finished a fine fourth. The gap to his teammate was huge again this weekend but most of this time lost came down to a poor McLaren pitstop.

Bottas: 5.5

Valtteri Bottas was unlucky with Hamilton's mistake in the pits and then also had to endure an engine change before the start of the Grand Prix. He received several cheers during the race, but the Finn didn't really seem to want to attack during the race. That he finally drove to P5 was due to a good call in the rain.

Alonso: 8.5

Fernando Alonso proves that age is just a number. Although the Spaniard is already 40 years old, he still races like he did when he was young. He can simply get more out of a car than many other drivers, and he showed that again in Russia.

Norris: 9.5

Yes, Norris still gets a 9.5. Despite a bad call in the rain, Norris drove a perfect weekend. Pole in the rain and then leading the race for so long. He couldn't have done better. The extenuating circumstances are that his team didn't inform him about the heavier rain that was coming. In that respect, his choice to stay out can be explained.

Raikkonen: 9

A strong weekend from Kimi Raikkonen, who performed very well in the rain at Russia. In qualifying he finished in Q2, and in the race he scored more points than his entire team has scored in the previous races.

Perez: 7

He looked to be on course for P3 in the dry, but in the rain, Sergio Perez threw away another good result. Where Valtteri Bottas took the gamble to go to inters, Perez and his team did not. In itself understandable at P3, but the Mexican stayed out until lap 50, so the damage was huge and Red Bull still lost points to Mercedes.

Russell: 7

Another point for George Russell, who is now managing to do so regularly. 

Stroll: 4.5

He spun, nearly drove his teammate into the wall and looked nothing like the Lance Stroll we normally see in the rain. The Canadian had qualified well in seventh place, but just like in Turkey last year, he wasn't able to keep the same pace in the race.

Vettel: 5

Sebastian Vettel fell short of his teammate again this weekend. With four world titles under his belt, you'd expect Vettel to be taking the reins at Aston Martin, but that's still not the case.

Gasly: 5

Pierre Gasly blamed his team for a lesser qualifying performance and outside of holding up Bottas was not a shadow of his former self this weekend. So are these the dip weekends they're aiming for at Red Bull?

Ocon: 5

Esteban Ocon must be worried after the Russian Grand Prix. Yes, he has a victory in his pocket, but Fernando Alonso is increasingly taking the reins at Alpine. Ocon should ask Felipe Massa what his future will be within the team.

Leclerc: 6.5

Charles Leclerc also took a wrong turn in the rain. The Monegasque stayed out way too long and also got varying information from his team. It was a good performance from Leclerc though, who had come from the back of the grid all the way to the front. The last gamble, however, turned out to be wrong.

Giovinazzi: 4.5

Antonio Giovinazzi didn't do himself any favours in Russia. He made a mistake in Friday's practice at the Sochi track, and didn't get anywhere near Kimi's times for the rest of the weekend.

Tsunoda: 3

Yuki Tsunoda continues to deliver mediocre performances. Despite a new contract, the Japanese driver can't deliver the performance expected of him on a track he already knows from Formula 2.

Mazepin: 4

The difference between Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher in the rained out qualifying session in Russia was almost four seconds. If men are separated from boys in the rain, then it's safe to say in this is an example. 

Latifi: 4

With a grid penalty, it was always going to be tough for Nicholas Latifi to come back in the Russian Grand Prix, but you would at least expect that he could have finished ahead of a Haas.

Schumacher: 4

Mick Schumacher did what he could with the Haas, but had to abandon his race early on. Not that it matters much, because there's not much honour to be gained with the car.

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