(GETTY IMAGES/FERRARI PRESS OFFICE)
By: Sam Donsig
Wow, what a race that was! For a track that usually has little to no overtaking, we saw quite a bit on Sunday. As Perez made his way up the grid, Vettel and Stroll made it double points finish for Aston Martin. With that in mind, here are my driver power rankings for the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix.
1. Sergio Perez - (9.5/10)
Sergio Perez had an amazing drive around Monaco. Starting from eighth on the grid and moving up to fourth by the end of the race was just something else. He had great control of the car and was able to find a good amount of pace to help propel him into a high finish position.
2. Max Verstappen - (9.2/10)
You couldn’t have asked for a better race from the Dutchman, as from start to finish, Max Verstappen was on a different level in Monaco. Like his teammate Perez, he showed some great pace and ability to manage his tyres well, which helped him stay in Lewis Hamilton. Overall, Verstappen and Red Bull had a great weekend as they took the lead in the Drivers’ and Constructors’ championship.
3. Carlos Sainz Jr. - (8.9/10)
Wow, did the Spaniard ever have a better race than this? I don’t think so. From start to finish Carlos Sainz was on the hunt for some serious points and wanted to secure a podium. After Valtteri Bottas' pit stop failure, it was confirmed that Carlos Sainz would get his first podium with Ferrari. He was still a ways away from Verstappen but was able to hold off former teammate Lando Norris. Overall, a great race from Sainz Jr., and I cannot wait to see what he has in-store for Baku.
4. Lando Norris - (8.7/10)
Take a bow Lando Norris, wow. Finishing third in the race in Monaco, only a number of drivers have been able to get on the podium at the Circuit de Monaco. But for the young British driver, it seemed like a piece of cake. He showed good pace from start to finish and held his ground to help secure his place on the podium. Overall, it was a good race from Norris, and I'm excited to see how he does in Baku.
5. Sebastian Vettel - (8.5/10)
What a race from the four-time World Champion. Sebastian Vettel showed some amazing pace on Sunday and was on a mission. From starting in P7 after getting bumped up one position due to Charles Leclerc’s car troubles. Vettel was able to run a clean race for 78 laps and made some nice overtakes, one that we didn’t even get to see when he overtook Pierre Gasly for fifth place.
6. Pierre Gasly - (8.2/10)
Speaking of Pierre Gasly, he had himself quite a race around the streets of Monaco. Showing some strong pace from start to finish, holding his ground as much as he could. While also, keeping the seven-time World Champion Sir Lewis Hamilton behind him for the entirety of the 78 lap race. Gasly proved on Sunday that he deserves to be in a top car, maybe he makes the switch to Ferrari or Aston Martin. Overall, it was a good race from the Frenchman and excited to see how things go for him in Baku.
7. Lewis Hamilton - (7.8/10)
Well, it wasn’t his finest race. Hamilton said it himself that “we can’t afford another weekend like Monaco.” This is true, as, with Hamilton's lacklustre performance in Monaco, Red Bull started leading both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships. Nonetheless, everyone had a bad weekend and it was quite obvious that Hamilton was his usual self. He lacked pace in qualifying, and his race pace was quite slow compared to his teammate Valterri Bottas.
8. Lance Stroll - (7.5/10)
Well done Lance Stroll, a great weekend from the Canadian driver and an even better weekend for Aston Martin. From start to finish Lance Stroll was comfortable on track and had a strong pace. For a guy who gets a lot of hate for being a pay driver or just someone there because his dad owns a major stake in the team. You're mistaken. Lance Stroll has the skill and lots of it, he just hasn’t always been in the best car, and now we are starting to see his true skill.
9. Valtteri Bottas - (7.3/10)
Well, for the first bit of the race, Valtteri Bottas was having himself a good race. He was keeping up with race leader Max Verstappen. If it wasn’t for a nut getting cross-threaded on his tyre, Valtteri Bottas could have very well taken a podium in Monaco and spiced up the drivers’ championship even more. Overall, it was a good race from the Finn. Hopefully, his luck will be better in Baku.
10. Esteban Ocon - (7.2/10)
Esteban Ocon has been slowly getting more comfortable driving the Alpine car, and it is showing. Ocon's performance was good, but not great. He had some decent pace, but Monaco is all about strategy and the bottom line is that Alpine didn’t have the best strategy. Ocon did all he could with the car he has, and hopefully, he will have a higher finish in Baku.
11. Antonio Giovinazzi - (6.9/10)
Not much to be said about Antonio Giovinazzi’s performance, as most drivers are below the top ten. They are placed here simply because of their car and where they finished. Now saying that it must be applauded that Antonio Giovinazzi did have a great race and could finish above his teammate and other drivers considered to be in a faster car.
12. Kimi Räikkönen - (6.7/10)
Similar to his teammate, Kimi Räikkönen did have a decent race. But like I said above, not much is going to change considering the car they are driving. Räikkönen’s prime is well gone, but the “iceman” can still go around Monaco 78 times without putting it in the wall. That is an accomplishment on its own.
13. Daniel Ricciardo - (6.4/10)
This past weekend was not good for Daniel Ricciardo. Finishing near the bottom outside the points, his teammate lapped him and got onto the podium is never a good look. However, I am sure the “honey badger” will bounce back and come back stronger in Baku in two weeks.
14. Fernando Alonso - (6.2/10)
For the two-time World Champion, Fernando Alonso’s performance in Monaco was less than perfect as Alonso struggled with the pace and failed to move his way up the grid. However, this is Monaco, and overtaking is near impossible. So it makes sense that most of the overtake was made through strategic moves and pit stops. Overall, Alonso had a few good moments but not much more to say than that.
15. Yuki Tsunoda - (5.9/10)
Well, not too much to say about Yuki Tsunoda’s race. Other than the fact that the Alpha Tauri strategy team ruined his race. By performing the bold strategy of leaving him out till a safety car came out. Of course, one never did come out which led to Tsunoda being stuck at the back of the grid collecting no points. Overall, it was a tough weekend for the rookie, but he managed it well.
16. George Russell (5.7/10)
George Russell did not have a good Monaco Grand Prix. He struggled to find grip and his pace was slightly lacklustre when comparing him to other drivers in similarly paced cars like the Alfa Romeo. Not much else to say, really, other than good luck in Baku.
17. Nicholas Latifi - (5.4/10)
Similar to his teammate, Nicholas Latifi’s race weekend in Monaco wasn’t the best either. Being unqualified by his teammate and not gaining any positions throughout the race. I know it’s Monaco, but overtaking is still possible. Overall, it was a poor weekend for Nicholas Latifi and the entire Williams team.
18. Nikita Mazepin - (5.2/10)
It was a good race for Nikita Mazepin, even though he didn’t finish in the points. He was still able to keep it out of the wall for 78 laps, and that is something not every driver can do while going through the streets of Monaco. It was a good experience for the rookie driver, and he learned a lot about F1 just from racing at Monaco.
19. Mick Schumacher (5.0/10)
Similar to his teammate, Mick Schumacher also had a good race. Despite not finishing higher up in the standings. Schumacher still put in some good work and got lots of practice driving at Monaco, which will help him. Overall, a decent weekend for the two Haas cars.
20. Charles Leclerc - (RATING N/A)
I can’t really say much about Charles Leclerc’s race, as he didn’t even get a chance to compete. However, he was able to stick it on pole position and run fastest in Practice two. So when looking at the grand scheme of things, Charles Leclerc had a mixed bag of a weekend. It started well and then just ended terribly.