Portuguese GP Driver Ratings – Lewis Hamilton extends championship lead

Lewis Hamilton won an exciting race in Portimao to maintain his lead in the drivers championship. Max Verstappen finished second with his last lap attempt at fastest lap deleted due to track limits. Valtteri Bottas returned to the podium in third.

Lewis Hamilton – 8.5

Hamilton seemed to struggle in qualifying, and that was evident at the start of the race when he was jumped by Verstappen and dropped to third place. It was Hamilton’s superior driving to ensure he got the win, making no mistakes throughout the race, allowing him to capitalise when he needed to. Two overtakes into the first corner on Bottas and Verstappen saw Hamilton cruise to victory.

Valtteri Bottas – 8.5

Bottas scored his maiden pole position of the season by just seven thousandths of a second. He led off the line brilliantly and was able to defend against Verstappen and Hamilton until the latter got close with the DRS. Bottas was undercut by Verstappen which allowed him to get past on warmer tyres, but an exhaust sensor issue caused him to slow and was not able to then challenge Verstappen for second, although, he did secure the fastest lap.

Max Verstappen – 7

Verstappen quite clearly had the fastest car over the weekend, but his issue this weekend was track limits. Verstappen should have had pole position by two tenths, but his lap was invalidated for going wide at turn 4. Max got in Bottas’ dirty air at the final turn, which meant he was a sitting duck for Hamilton to overtake. A smart undercut got him past Bottas in the end, but his final lap charge for fastest lap ended due to track limits. Verstappen should have got the hattrick of pole, race win and fastest lap, but got neither.  

Sergio Perez – 6.5

Checo struggled on the opening laps with tyre temperatures, which saw multiple cars overtake him. Whilst he led a few laps at the end of the race, he was a pitstop away from the front runners, allowing Bottas and Verstappen to duke it out for fastest lap. Perez was not fast enough, although, the pace is coming.  

Lando Norris – 8

The McLaren clearly did not suit Portimao, but somehow Lando still pulled the car to a fifth-place finish making it best of the rest. The Brit made ballsy moves in the opening laps and was able to gap the Ferrari of Leclerc to come home to record his best start to the season of his career, even with a tyre disadvantage.

Daniel Ricciardo – 5

Granted, the McLaren did not suit the Portimao circuit, but a Q1 elimination should not even come under consideration. By extending his stint, he was able to run in fifth at one point. The wheels fell off towards the end, as Alonso was able to gap him by 10 seconds, and Ricciardo was nearly overtaken by Gasly at the end of the race who was running on much older tyres.

Lance Stroll – 4

The Aston Martin is struggling. A Q1 exit is poor from the Canadian who has been excellent so far this season. During the race he never seemed to be making an impact, the only notable part was an overtake on his struggling teammate at one point.

Sebastian Vettel – 5.5

The German showed that he has not lost any of his star qualities, dragging the Aston Martin to Q3, his first in 16 attempts. It is clear that he outperformed his car, as he fell back in the race outside of the points, but did beat his teammate.

Fernando Alonso – 7.5

The two-time champion was absent in qualifying, finishing nearly a second off his teammate. That was much the case in the opening stint of the race, but the Spaniard on the hard tyre was to be reckoned with. The Alpine made some steady improvements over the weekend, and is showing signs that it can battle at the top of the midfield.

Esteban Ocon – 9

The Frenchman drew everything he could from that car, outperforming his car all weekend. Starting sixth is the best that the Alpine has achieved all season, and he was just three thousandths off fifth. In the race he was able to leapfrog cars starting on the medium and was tussling with the front runners. The Alpine did not have great race pace, but Ocon got everything he could from this weekend.

Charles Leclerc – 7

The Monegasque driver had a poor Saturday, only managing to put his car eighth, three tenths behind his teammate. However, in the race he showed that Ferrari is in a battle with McLaren. But it is the same result as it has been throughout the season, every lap dropping slowly off the back of Norris. It was a good recovery drive for the Ferrari star.

Carlos Sainz – 6.5

Sainz has jumped into the Ferrari and showed that it is not the boat it once was. Sainz had a great qualifying session, starting fifth just a tenth off the second row. However, Sainz tried to take the medium tyre to the end with an early pit stop, and it backfired. Towards the end his pace dropped rapidly, showing Ferrari’s incompetent strategy, especially as Norris did the same strategy and finished fifth whereas Sainz finished outside the points.  

Pierre Gasly – 6.5

Another weekend, and another tough race for the AlphaTauri that is yet to reap the rewards for their improvement. Whilst he qualified again in the top ten, the decision to go onto the medium tyre early instead of the hard meant he was in an aggressive tyre management stint, which hindered his progress.

Yuki Tsunoda – 3.5

Poor in qualifying and had no race pace at all. The young Japanese star has got all the potential but is yet to deliver. Story of AlphaTauri’s season. For a part of the race he was battling with the Haas and the Williams, when Gasly was fighting for points.

Kimi Raikkonen – 2

This is just because he got out of Q1. He qualified six tenths off his teammate, and then crashed into him on the opening lap as he was looking at his steering wheel changing a dial. Rookie error from the 20-year veteran.

Antonio Giovinazzi – 6

A good race from the Alfa Romeo driver, who was on the fringe of points all race. Ultimately the Alfa did not have the pace to challenge for points, and required other cars to falter to climb higher than where Giovinzzi finished.

Mick Schumacher – 8

Easily his best race for Haas, but finishing ahead of another team would make that an easy accomplishment. He was two tenths away in qualifying from Nicholas Latifi and then throughout the race was battling the Canadian. Schumacher looked much quicker in the race than Latifi and finished well ahead of him, which is valuable experience for the young German.

Nikita Mazepin – 2

Over a minute behind his teammate in the race and cannot obey blue flags. Still waiting for him to prove his worth.

George Russell – 5.5

Mr Saturday, as Ted Kravitz calls him, strikes again. Qualifying eleventh in the Williams is a mighty achievement. But that was the highlight of the weekend for the Williams team. The car struggles to heat up its tyres which saw Russell fall behind quickly and the windier it got, the more it struggled.

Nicholas Latifi – 3

Nearly got outqualified by a Haas, and then got beaten by them in the race. A poor weekend for Latifi who never really looked comfortable.  

DriverAverage ranking through season
Lewis Hamilton9
Valtteri Bottas6.2
Max Verstappen8.5
Sergio Perez6
Lando Norris8.4
Daniel Ricciardo6
Lance Stroll5.7
Sebastian Vettel4.4
Fernando Alonso6.5
Esteban Ocon6.4
Charles Leclerc7.9
Carlos Sainz6.7
Pierre Gasly6
Yuki Gasly4
Kimi Raikkonen4.2
Antonio Giovinazzi5.5
Mick Schumacher5.2
Nikita Mazepin1.4
George Russell6.5
Nicholas Latifi3.4

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