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2021 F1 Driver Power Rankings Hungarian GP Edition: Ocon rises to the top, Bottas drops down

(Sam Donsig/TIS)

By: Sam Donsig

Well, that was undoubtedly an entertaining race. Drivers like Ocon, Vettel, and Alonso made some significant jumps in the rankings, as they drove with a pure masterclass from start to finish. You couldn’t have asked for a more drama-filled race from beginning to end. So here are my driver power rankings for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

1. Esteban Ocon - (9.8/10)

Esteban Ocon, from start to finish, had a fantastic drive. He was cool, calm and collected on track. Ocon managed to avoid the T1 carnage, which ultimately resulted in earning him the race victory. He also worked his tyres near perfectly and didn’t have too much competition other than Sebastian Vettel. It was great to see someone other than Verstappen or Hamilton up on the podium’s top step.

2. Sebastian Vettel - (9.5/10)

Like Esteban Ocon, Sebastian Vettel avoided the carnage at T1 to make a quick jump from 10th on the grid to third. Despite being disqualified, I still feel he finished second place in my books. Vettel showed great pace on the track and was able to keep everyone else behind him. Including Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso, who both were relatively quick around the way. Overall, a great race from Vettel. I think we will see some more great racing from him after the summer break.

3. Lewis Hamilton - (9.3/10)

Wow, what a race from Lewis Hamilton. After the race restart, the decision to not pit when everyone else did was a bold move. Although he dropped down to the last place, he somehow managed to move up to third by the end of the race. He was then given second place after Sebastian Vettel was disqualified for failing to provide a proper fuel sample. Pure masterclass driving from the seven-time world champion, and things continue to be engaging in the battle for the drivers’ championship. As Lewis Hamilton stated on Monday that he is feeling the long-term effects of COVID-19. Who knows what this might mean for the champs’ health in the future? All I will say is that I hope he stays in good health and is fully healthy for the Belgium Grand Prix three and a half weeks from now.

4. Fernando Alonso - (9.1/10)

You couldn’t have asked for a better race from Fernando Alonso. He managed to hold up Hamilton for several laps. In what I considered to be the best battle on track, all race. This hold-up by Alonso was important because had Lewis gotten past Fernando a lap or two sooner, Ocon would have been caught by Lewis and lost the race. The two-time champ showed why he is a two-time Formula 1 World Champion and why he is still racing in F1 while in his early 40s.

5. Carlos Sainz - (8.9/10)

An excellent performance from Carlos Sainz Jr. He did everything that you wanted if you were Ferrari. Sainz Jr. made a nice jump from 15th on the grid up to third, which led to him scoring several points. An incredible drive from start to finish from Sainz Jr. helped Ferrari tie Mclaren in the third in the Constructors Championship standings. He was also able to keep other drivers at bay, such as Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda.

6. George Russell - (8.5/10)

Now you are probably thinking to yourself, how is George Russell, who finished P8 ahead of other drivers like Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda and even his teammate Nicholas Latifi. Well, for starters, Russell made multiple overtakes to help position himself into the points. Russell was also able to maintain his position during the entirety of the race and didn’t let too many cars overtake him. Plus, you cannot forget that George Russell scored his first points in Formula 1 on Sunday, and I think that has to mean something special for himself and fans watching.

7. Nicholas Latifi - (8.2/10)

Similar to his teammate, Nicholas Latifi drove a great race from start to finish. He showed great pace, which helped him move from 18th on the grid to finish seventh. In addition, Latifi showed a tremendous amount of composure during the race, as he was unfazed by anything and didn’t let anything affect his race. Plus, you cannot forget that Russell and himself are in a Williams car and finishing the points.

8. Pierre Gasly - (8.0/10)

For Pierre Gasly, it was an okay race. He showed some excellent pace all weekend and finished high in the points. However, he wasn’t able to take advantage of the situation of not having a top car in his way other than Lewis Hamilton. So it wasn't enjoyable to see that he couldn’t use the opportunity better to score a podium for himself and the team. Regardless, he still put up a valiant effort and was able to finish fifth. It will be interesting to see how he does at Spa in a few weeks.

9. Yuki Tsunoda - (7.9/10)

When you consider how Yuki Tsunoda has performed since the season opener in Bahrain, he hasn’t had the best luck during races this season. However, this moment was a significant turning point in his rookie career, where he can most likely use this excellent finish to propel himself to win rookie of the year. As well as prove to Red Bull that he could be driving for them in a few short years.

10. Max Verstappen - (7.5/10)

I think when you acknowledge the fact that Max Verstappen was missing a significant chunk of his car during the race on Sunday. Then you focus on where he finished, which was 9th, just inside the points. Verstappen proved that he had matured so much since his early days in Formula 1. As he didn’t focus too hard on the incident, he just moved on and focused on the race. He was trying to make up as many places as possible. Overall, it was a great race from Max Verstappen, and I cannot wait for the season to resume at Spa in a few weeks.

11. Kimi Räikkönen - (7.2/10)

Well, there isn't too much to say about Kimi Räikkönen's race. He showed some solid pace on track, and it seemed that he was comfortable on the track. He avoided the T1 carnage, which was a boost, and stayed out of the wreckage. This makes sense, as Räikkönen did start the race near the back of the grid. Regardless, he ran a good race and gave it his all.

12. Daniel Ricciardo - (7.0/10)

Well, it wasn't the best weekend and race for the Aussie. First, Ricciardo struggled in qualifying again. This then led to an inadequate grid starting position, which ultimately led to Ricciardo battling for 10th or 11th place all race long. So when you look at things from the grand scheme, it seems it's a mixture of his fault and the teams' fault. It will be interesting to see how Ricciardo treats himself these next few weeks and see how things pan out.

13. Mick Schumacher - (6.8/10)

Wow, for Mick Schumacher finishing just outside the points in his 11th career F1 Grand Prix. It doesn't take that long to get there. However, I feel that he deserves some special consideration. He showed some great composure throughout the race and was calm, cool and collected. I am excited to see how he will do during the second half of this season.

14. Antonio Giovinazzi - (6.5/10)

For Antonio Giovinazzi, he ran a good race. He was pretty quick around the track. However, of course, it is near impossible to overtake on the track. Regardless, he still showed that he was comfortable on track and could stay out of the walls or tyre barriers. Overall, a great race from Giovinazzi.

15. Nikita Mazepin - (5/10)

It was a sad day for Nikita Mazepin, as he was looking good and in a position to score some points for Haas. But, unfortunately, he collided with Kimi Räikkönen in the pitlane and had to retire his car. Hopefully, when F1 resumes at Spa, we can see Mazepin score some points for Haas.

16. Lando Norris - (2.5/10)

For Lando Norris and the following bunch of drivers, there isn't much to say. Other than that, it was an unfortunate situation to be included in. Accidents happen. It's racing. Nothing much else to say about Lando Norris' race; he looked outstanding all weekend. He had some solid pace. It was sad that we couldn't see him out on the track.

17. Charles Leclerc - (2.2/10)

Similar to Lando Norris, Charles Leclerc was running quite well. However, until Lance Stroll destroyed his panelling on the right side of his car, it was sad to see. As it seemed that Leclerc was at that point of getting close to being in podium distance. Nothing much else to say, the low rating warrants how other drivers did amongst them in certain situations. I feel that some drivers would have done a better job in the same car and problem.

18. Sergio Perez - (2.0/10)

For Sergio Perez, he didn't have a great race. Yes, even though he was taken out by carnage from Lando Norris. Sergio Perez was up running for easily a podium this past Sunday, as he started 4th on the grid. But of course, that didn't happen. Instead, he retired from the race and moved on to other things. Like helping his teammate beat Verstappen's rival driver.

19. Lance Stroll - (1.9/10)

It was not a good day regarding the number of accidents that happened from start to finish. Lance Stroll being the author of one of the two crash sequences, and of course, the blame is more on Mercedes. Unfortunately, it isn't all on Lance Stroll and company to fix that. Lance Stroll tried to stick his nose where it didn't belong, and it caused Charles Leclerc's race to end early.

20. Valtteri Bottas - (1.0/10)

To begin with Valtteri Bottas, he made a simple little mistake that became an extensive storyline by the end of the Grand Prix. Bottas had a prolonged getaway which caused him to fall behind Lando Norris. From there, he braked way too late, which ultimately caused the T1 carnage. Overall, not a good weekend for the Finnish driver, and I am sure he will spend the summer break getting back into the right headspace.


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