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2021 F1 Driver Power Rankings Styrian Grand Prix Edition: Bottas shines, Ricciardo disappoints

(Sam Donsig/TIS)

By: Sam Donsig

The Styrian Grand Prix demonstrated that for some drivers, they had made improvements with their team. Like Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz, both have become comfortable in their respective cars and looking quite quickly. Compared to some other drivers like Daniel Ricciardo, who is still taking some time to hit his stride. Here are my driver power rankings for the Styrian Grand Prix.

1. Max Verstappen - (9.5/10)

A pure masterclass drive from Max Verstappen. He showed a strong pace from start to finish and was in a world of his own. Despite having a couple of minor issues during the race, Verstappen was able to maintain his lead even after pitting. Overall, you couldn’t have asked for a better race from the Dutchman.

2. Lewis Hamilton - (9.3/10)

For Lewis Hamilton, it was a great drive. His car lacked the pure pace around the Red Bull ring that Verstappen’s car had. Hamilton was having some issues with his tyres management, which was the issue that ultimately lost him the race. Regardless, Hamilton still had a great race and collected some important points to fight for the Drivers and Constructors championship battle.

3. Valtteri Bottas - (9.0/10)

I was genuinely impressed with Valterri Bottas' race performance this past Sunday at the Red Bull ring. He did everything that Mercedes asked him to do. He made up positions and held up Sergio Perez, which prevented Red Bull from getting back-to-back double podiums. He deserves to be high up on the list because he had a great race and showed some great pace. Overall, Finn did a great job, and I am excited to see if he can repeat his success next Sunday for the Austrian Grand Prix.

4. Sergio Perez - (8.7/10)

Despite not being able to overtake Valtteri Bottas to get back-to-back podiums. Sergio Perez still did a great job. He scored a handful of points to help Red Bull maintain their lead in the Constructors championship. Perez is also finding his footing in Red Bull and understands how to extract the most out of the car. Something that he does a great job with, even before joining Red Bull. I am excited to see if he can exact his revenge against Bottas next weekend at the Austrian Grand Prix.

5. Lando Norris - (8.5/10)

For Lando Norris, it was a good race. Simply because he was able to keep the Ferrari’s of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz at bay. Doing so allowed them to keep their lead ahead of Ferrari for third in the Constructors midfield battle. As well, Norris was able to extract a decent pace out of the car around the Red Bull ring. The track where he earned his debut podium for McLaren. Overall, a good race from Lando Norris, and I think Norris has the potential to finish on the podium a couple more times this season.

6. Carlos Sainz Jr. - (7.9/10)

Wow, talk about a great drive from Carlos Sainz Jr., after starting from P13 on the grid. He showed some great pace all during the race and really proved that he is getting comfortable in the Ferrari car. It was weird to see that Sainz Jr. did not win Driver of The Day despite having an amazing drive from start to finish.

7. Charles Leclerc - (8.2/10)

After a tough French Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc had a good bounce-back race. The Monegasque driver showed some strong pace around the track, despite only qualifying in 7th. He was also able to keep both Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso at bay in eighth and ninth. Overall, Leclerc was able to rebound quickly and put on a great performance for the Scuderia and Tiffosi.

8. Lance Stroll - (7.7/10)

When looking at Lance Stroll’s race, it was hard to pick out bad points. He was able to sneak into the points with some great driving, which added to the season total for the Aston Martin team. Another thing that Stroll exhibited is that the Aston Martin has the pace to score points consistently. Overall a good race from the Canadian, and I am excited to see how things go for him next week for the second part of the doubleheader at the Red Bull ring.

9. Yuki Tsunoda - (7.5/10)

Yuki Tsunoda showed a large amount of control not only with his car but also his temper. He remained calm all weekend, leading to a great race and scoring important points for Alpha Tauri. Tsunoda reminds me of a young Max Verstappen, as he has this high ceiling in Formula 1 with an immense amount of talent. He needs to learn how to control it, similar to how Verstappen did it.

10. Fernando Alonso - (7.3/10)

He had another good weekend for the seasoned veteran Fernando Alonso and is looking faster and faster each weekend. It seems that he now has a good understanding of the Alpine car and can extract as much as possible out of the car. Alonso is like fine wine. He gets better with age. As time has progressed in his career and he has gained more and more experience, the better he has gotten as a racer. Now, of course, he isn’t the same young gun that he once was. Regardless, the Spaniard still has lots left in the tank and will fight right to the end of the season.

11. Kimi Räikkönen - (7.1/10)

Not too much to say about Kimi Räikkönen’s race this past Sunday. He showed some decent pace but didn’t challenge the midfield at all and was near the back for most of the race. It makes sense, Räikkönen admitted that for him, this job is more like a hobby. Overall, a good race from the Finn and excited to see if he will score any points next weekend.

12. Sebastian Vettel - (6.9/10)

When looking at Sebastian Vettel in comparison to his teammate, he didn’t have the best race. Just purely looking at the driver to driver, he just lacked the pace that his teammate could find. Despite having some strong finishes at Monaco and Paul Ricard, Vettel seems to be going back to the same old Vettel. That same old Vettel, being someone who will have a few good finishes to give fans some hope. But then, he drops back down the rankings and struggles to find a strong pace again.

13. Daniel Ricciardo - (6.6/10)

It seems like for Daniel Ricciardo. It has taken some extra time for him to hit his stride at McLaren. After now eight rounds of racing and his recent string of poor qualifying and race performances. It is now becoming clearer that Ricciardo could struggle all season and not be able to finish on the podium once this season. Not saying that will happen. With lots of racing left to be held, it is still a high possibility. Regardless it seems that week in and week out, the chances are becoming slimmer and slimmer.

14. Esteban Ocon - (6.4/10)

For Esteban Ocon, it seemed like it would be a good weekend for himself and the team, considering how they were running in practice. However, it seems that Saturday and Sunday just fell off the map. It has become a consistent issue for Esteban Ocon that needs to get resolved quickly. As with lots of races left in the season, there is still time for Ocon to improve. Which is important for him to do, even though he signed a three-year contract extension with Alpine. Drivers need to improve throughout the season, even if you are a seven-time drivers champion like Lewis Hamilton.

15. Antonio Giovinazzi - (6.2/10)

Not too much to say about Antonio Giovinazzi’s race. He struggled to find a decent pace all weekend, which led to poor qualifying performance and a poor race result. I feel bad for Giovinazzi because he appears to be a good driver with lots of potentials. He doesn’t have the best car for him. Overall, it was a decent drive from the Italian, but there are still many areas where he can improve.

16. Mick Schumacher - (6.0/10)

When looking at Mick Schumacher’s race, not much can be said. It seems like he is slowly becoming more and more comfortable in the car, which is allowing him to be more aggressive on the track, specifically with teammate Nikita Mazepin. As he becomes more and more aggressive, we might see some good overtakes to move into the points. Which is highly unlikely when considering the car he is driving.

17. Nicholas Latifi - (5.8/10)

It seems like Nicholas Latifi will always be at the bottom of this list, as he never seems to improve his pace on a week-to-week basis. Latifi was similar to Lance Stroll where he came into Formula 1 with not enough experience, which has led to this poor start in his career. As well, Latifii seems to struggle in competing against his teammate. Same car, but it is obvious that George Russell is a much faster driver than Latifi. Overall, it will be interesting to see how his career pans out and finish among the other drivers.

18. Nikita Mazepin - (5.7/10)

For Nikita Mazepin, I think he has made some improvements from the season opener, which was a disaster. He had a decent pace around the Red Bull ring and managed his tyres well from start to finish. Despite having a poor finishing result, he still exhibited a good amount of pace, considering his driving car.

19. George Russell - (5.5/10)

Despite having to retire and not finishing the Grand Prix. While he was still running, George Russell showed a great amount of pace and was so close to scoring points for Williams. He has shown great improvements throughout this season. It will be exciting to see if he is given the Mercedes seat for 2022. If the rest of the season goes like the first half of the Styrian Grand Prix, he could be looking at racing alongside Lewis Hamilton as teammates.

20. Pierre Gasly - (5.3/10)

Not much to say about Pierre Gasly’s race, as with his early incident with Charles Leclerc. That led him to retire from the race. He was unable to score points and show his true race pace. During qualifying, Gasly looked quite quick and was looking strong for Sunday. Unfortunately, that hard work was washed away. Regardless, there is always next week, and we will see how he does.


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