By: Sam Donsig
You couldn't have asked for a better race, hands down one of the best this season. Lots of intrigue, drama and, of course, some last-minute overtaking. Here are my F1 driver power rankings for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
1. Sergio Perez - (9.5/10)
Wow, what a chaotic race win for Sergio Perez, getting his first win with Red Bull to go along with his second career victory. From start to finish, Sergio Perez looked utterly comfortable in the Red Bull car. He held off a seven-time World Champion in Lewis Hamilton from snagging some significant points while helping his teammate. Overall, an excellent race from Perez.
2. Sebastian Vettel - (9.3/10)
It's time to recheck the date and make sure we have travelled back in time to the 2010s. Sebastian Vettel is back, baby, and better than ever. Vettel has regained his old form in the past two races and shown that he still has lots left in the tank. I am excited to see if this string of good performances will continue for Vettel or only a short streak.
3. Pierre Gasly - (9.1/10)
Talking about good performances, Pierre Gasly had himself quite the race finishing home in third place. After an outstanding performance from beginning to end and having a good strategy from the team. Gasly was able to slice his way through the field and up into third place, which was good to see.
4. Max Verstappen - (8.8/10)
Even though he did crash on lap 47/51 and didn't finish the race, no one can deny that Max Verstappen ran an excellent race and deserved to get the race win. It wasn't his fault. Thus, he is still high up on the list compared to other drivers. Overall, he did an excellent job and excited to see how he does next race.
5. Lando Norris - (8.6/10)
Lando Norris's weekend wasn't great to start with, but after an eventful Sunday race, the Brit found himself finishing fifth. Norris showed great pace and poise as he whistled around the streets of Baku and was able to move up the grid nicely. Overall, a good race from start to finish and excited to see how he does the next race.
6. Charles Leclerc - (8.0/10)
For Charles Leclerc, it was a bit of a roller coaster race. It was filled with many emotions and ended up going quite nicely for Leclerc in the end. He made up for some earlier mistakes to score some significant points for Ferrari to help with their battle against Mclaren. He showed some excellent pace near the end of the race and made an incredible recovery drive.
7. Lewis Hamilton - (8.2/10)
Now considering he made a last-lap mistake that cost him the race win and a significant amount of points. Lewis Hamilton still had a better drive than the others listed below him. He made some great strides early on in the race, which included passing the race leader Charles Leclerc. He was able to maintain his position for most of the race and hold his ground. Overall, it was an okay race from the Brit, but it still showed why he is a seven-time world champion.
8. Fernando Alonso - (7.8/10)
Like Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso seemed to have turned back the clock and has shown his old form. Alonso has been able to find another gear around the Baku City Circuit as he came home sixth place. Showing some strong pace and good ole fashioned overtakes. Overall, an excellent race for the Spaniard and excited to see how he does the next race.
9. Carlos Sainz Jr. - (7.7/10)
Carlos Sainz did not have a great race. He struggled with the pace and keeping the car on the track. He couldn't get entirely comfortable with the way and seemed to be just a bit out of it. Hopefully, next race, we will see his race form return to how he did in Monaco just two weeks ago.
10. Daniel Ricciardo (7.6/10)
Daniel Ricciardo did not have a great race. It is evident that he was struggling to find a strong pace and could not get past anybody. Baku is a place that usually Ricciardo does well at, as he won the race in 2017. Ricciardo struggled to find grip and wasn't his usual self. I have a strong feeling that Ricciardo will bounce back and do well at the next race.
11. Yuki Tsunoda (7.5/10)
For Yuki Tsunoda, his race was pretty good. He showed some excellent pace throughout the race and made a few nice overtakes to make his way up the grid. Tsunoda is showing some improvement after several lacklustre races over the past few weeks. Overall, I am excited to see if this upward trend continues.
12. Kimi Räikkönen (7.2/10)
Not too much to say about Kimi Räikkönen's race, as he was able to keep the car out of the wall. He showed some excellent pace and had a good strategy. He did everything he could, considering the car he is in and the weekend. Overall, it was a good race from Räikkönen.
13. Antonio Giovinazzi (6.9/10)
Similar to his teammate, not too much to say about Antonio Giovinazzi's race. He was able to show some strong pace and run a clean race around the streets of Baku and avoid the walls. Giovinazzi made little to no mistakes, but regardless he did finish in a low position considering the car he is in and when you include his qualifying session went.
14. Lance Stroll (6.8/10)
Lance Stroll had a perfect race, and if it weren't for a tyre failure, he would be higher on the list. Stroll showed that he was comfortable on track and found a strong pace. He could move up from 19th on the grid to 4th at one point in the race. Stroll showed that he is a pay driver and can still bring in big sponsors and get good results.
15. Valtteri Bottas (6.7/10)
It was a disappointing race for Valtteri Bottas, not much else to say. He struggled all weekend to find a strong pace and make his mark. However, what he did do is open the door for Mercedes to shop a second driver. Now I know there have only been six races, and if it weren't for some bad luck, then it would be a much different season. However, Bottas is the second driver for one of the best teams in Formula 1 since the beginning of the hybrid era. So he should be doing a bit better each weekend as he has been given a tremendous opportunity.
16. Mick Schumacher (6.4/10)
Not much to say about Mick Schumacher's race; he stayed out of the walls and finished the race. This may seem like it's an easy thing to do, but in actuality, the Baku City Circuit is one of the narrowest circuits on the calendar. Hence the difficulty to stay out of the walls. Schumacher was able to show some decent pace, and I am excited to see how he fares the rest of the season.
17. Nikita Mazepin (6.2/10)
Nikita Mazepin did not have a great race. He struggled to keep it on track as he locked up going into a turn and had to reverse out. Regardless he also cut it a bit close with his teammate Mick Schumacher as they almost made contact during the race. It seems that Nikita Mazepin does things that people don't like while on the track or even off. Not much else to say about Mazepin's race.
18. Nicholas Latifi (6.0/10)
Nicholas Latifi struggled with the pace and couldn't get comfortable on the track. Latifi couldn't make his way up the grid, and it is evident that he wasn't enjoying his race. It seems that Nicholas Latifi's potential is limited compared to his teammate George Russell. It may be the case that Latifi will be staying at Williams for multiple seasons.
19. George Russell (5.8/10)
Not much to say about George Russell's race. He struggled with the pace and didn't threaten any other drivers close to him, including his teammate Nicholas Latifi. Russell will continue to want to try and finish the highest possible each race weekend if he wants a chance at the Mercedes seat for the 2022 season.
20. Esteban Ocon (5.5/10)
Unfortunate events for Esteban Ocon, and it was sad to see him running a good race until he retired the car. Ocon showed that he had some decent pace and made a few nice overtakes when he was on track. Overall a good race from the Frenchman, and excited to see how he does at his home Grand Prix.