2021 F1 Driver Power Rankings Portuguese GP Edition: Ocon and Alonso move up, Sainz Jr drops down


By: Sam Donsig


Well, it wasn't as exciting as the first two races of the season, but the Portuguese Grand Prix still had its exciting moments. Here are my driver power rankings for the Portuguese Grand Prix.


1. Lewis Hamilton - (9.5/10)


Lewis Hamilton had an exemplary drive from start to finish, making no errors and showing why he is a seven-time world champion. He was able to pull away well from Max Verstappen at the beginning of the race and keep close with his teammate Valtteri Bottas. He showed a strong pace throughout the race and made some key overtakes when necessary to take the race to win. He now leads the battle between him and Verstappen with a score of two to one.


2. Max Verstappen - (9.2/10)


A close second for the Dutch driver, as Verstappen showed some strong pace on Sunday. Even though he did overtake Hamilton at the race restart after the early safety car, he couldn't keep second place. However, after an overtake on Bottas and moving into second place. It was a quiet and easy race for him as he cruised to second place. With his second-place finish, he was able to keep the battle between him and Hamilton close. Only nine points eight points separate the two.


3. Sergio Perez - (8.9/10)


For Sergio Perez, he had a great race. He was able to come home in 4th place after having a clean race with no errors. Unfortunately, his strategy team kind of ruined his race. Perez stayed out with medium tyres till lap 51 out of 66 and then finally pitted. It was too little too late, as he dropped down from first to 4th. Overall, he maintained his position and helped score some big points for Red Bull in the Championship title fight with Mercedes.


4. Lando Norris - (8.7/10)


Lando Norris had a good race. He showed a strong pace from start to finish and made some nice overtakes to come home fifth place. Norris was lucky for not receiving a penalty for not exceeding track limits on the start/finish straight as he went all four wheels off the track when overtaking another car. Overall, Norris has had a fantastic start to this race season and currently sits in third place in the drivers' championship, five points ahead of Valtteri Bottas.


5. Valtteri Bottas - (8.4/10)


Oh Valtterii, Oh Valtteri, what is going on? He seems to have continued his struggle to finish in a high position when given the best chance. Bottas gets pole position and cannot capitalize and score some major points for himself in the title fight. Now, he performed much better and scored a decent amount of points. However, he failed to collect the race win and tighten the race between Verstappen, Hamilton and himself. Overall, it was a good race from the Finn and hopeful to see what pace he brings next weekend in Barcelona.


6. Charles Leclerc - (8.2/10)


It wasn't the best race from Charles Leclerc, and he seemed to have a decent pace. However, he failed to move past Lando Norris to tighten the gap between Ferrari and Mclaren in the battle for the midfield. However, you can't blame him considering how well Mclaren put together their 2021 car and how much pace it has, compared to the Ferrari. Overall, a good race from the Monegasque driver.


7. Esteban Ocon - (7.9/10)


For Esteban Ocon, he showed some good pace in the Alpine car. When you consider how the first two races went for him, round three was good to him. He was able to make some nice overtakes and score a small number of points for Alpine. I am excited to see if he can build off this weekend and look to finish within the top five, even though that might be a bit unrealistic. Overall, it was a good race from Ocon, and I'm excited to see what pace he will show in Barcelona.


8. Fernando Alonso - (7.6/10)


Similar to his teammate, Fernando Alonso also had a good race in Portugal. With him finishing just inside the points for Alpine, it showed that he has still got it. Alonso has proved doubters like myself wrong, as I thought he would be more at the back of the grid for most of the races this season. However, he has shown some decent pace, and I look forward to how the rest of the season pans out for him.


9. Daniel Ricciardo - (7.2/10)


Compared to his teammate Lando Norris, Daniel Ricciardo did not have a great race. However, he was able to make up quite a few positions and score some points for Mclaren. For me, it just wasn't enough to put him higher up in the rankings. When you look at his race, he did do a good job moving through the field. However, it wasn't enough of him to score significant points for Mclaren in their hopes for fighting for the championship.


10. Pierre Gasly (6.9/10)


For Pierre Gasly, it was not a great race. He struggled to move up the grid and showed that he wasn't entirely comfortable on the track. Since the Bahrain Grand Prix, it seems that Gasly has slowly decreased in pace and form. At the start of the year, it appeared that Gasly could turn heads and get on a few podiums. Even though we are still very early on in the year, things are going well for the Frenchmen.


11. Carlos Sainz Jr. - (6.5/10)


Compared to his teammate, Carlos Sainz Jr. did not have a great race on Sunday. He struggled to make any noise and move up the field. Although Sainz is still early on in his career with Ferrari, he has had an up and down start to the year. With more time, he will slowly become closer to Charles Leclerc in terms of race pace and where he finishes on the grid.


12. Antonio Giovinazzi - (6.2/10)


Other than his incident with his teammate on the opening lap, Antonio Giovinazzi had a pretty clean race. He showed some good pace in the Alfa Romeo car and was minding his own business without bothering anyone else. It seems like this is a trend that will continue for the rest of the season, as the Alfa Romeo car isn't showing too much pace on the race track.


13. Sebastian Vettel - (5.9/10)


Like Antonio Giovinazzi, Sebastian Vettel had a reasonably quiet race as well. He seemed to show some strong pace from start to finish. However, he was unable to capitalize on his excellent qualifying performance. Overall, a good race from the German driver.


14. Lance Stroll - (5.7/10)


Like his teammate Sebastian Vettel, Lance Stroll too had a boring race, and not much happened. He sat at the back half of the grid for most of the race, not challenging any other cars ahead or behind him. Overall, a somewhat good race for the Canadian driver. Hopefully, he has a better performance in Barcelona.



15. Yuki Tsunoda - (5.4/10)


Compared to the first two races of the season, Yuki Tsunoda did not have a great showing on Sunday. He struggled to have strong pace from beginning to end and did not make many moves on the track. Tsunoda still looks like a promising talent in F1, and I am excited to see what he will accomplish.


16. George Russell - (5.2/10)


When comparing this weekend to last weekend, George Russell had a much better race. He was able to stay out of trouble this week and had a decent race. He is in a Williams, so his finish position in the race doesn't surprise me. I thought that he showed some good pace, but it simply came down to the machinery he was driving.


17. Mick Schumacher - (5.0/10)


For Mick Schumacher, like many drivers at the back of the grid, he had a quiet and boring race, which is reasonable considering how the first two races went for the German driver. He showed some good pace in a car that wasn't even developed and finished above his teammate and fellow rival Nicholas Latifi.


18. Nicholas Latifi - (4.8/10)


Speaking of Nicholas Latifi, he did not have a good race. It seemed that he is still getting used to the car and wasn't entirely comfortable out there on the track. He struggled to move up any positions, and his pace was much slower compared to his teammate. Overall, not a great race from the Canadian, but we will see what he can do in Barcelona.


19. Nikita Mazepin - (4.7/10)


Nikita Mazepin, although he has gotten lots of hate from F1 fans. I believe that he had a decent race on Sunday. Even though he finished in 19th, pretty much 20th after Raikkonen DNF'd on the opening lap, Mazepin started to look like he was getting comfortable with the car and showing some good pace. I believe that with enough time, he might turn a few heads in Formula 1.


20. Kimi Raikkonen - (4.5/10)


Not much to say about Kimi Raikkonen other than that, he seems to be struggling this season, and I think age is starting to hit the Finnish driver. It may be Raikkonen's last season in F1, as I think it's time for him to retire and move on to other things. As he said, it's more of a hobby for him. Overall, it will be a sad day when he does retire, as we will no longer get to hear those legendary radio conversations between his race engineer and him.