Lewis Hamilton may have been the man to beat in Formula 1’s return to France after a decade away, but who else starred at Paul Ricard? Crash.net F1 Editor Luke Smith brings you his driver ratings.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes - 10

The word ‘flawless’ can be used fairly to describe Lewis Hamilton’s display at Paul Ricard. He topped every session bar FP3, which was a washout, and while he had little to do for much of the race, he nevertheless remained in complete control of proceedings at the front, never looking like he would lose the race.

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes - 7

Bottas was the only driver who ever looked even slightly capable of beating Hamilton at Paul Ricard, finishing just one-tenth of a second off pole in qualifying. His hopes were ended in the first-corner clash with Sebastian Vettel, with his recovery drive through the field being compromised by a damaged floor, as well as losing more time due to a rear-jack failure at his second pit stop. Did well to get P7, all things considered.

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Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari - 6

Sebastian Vettel didn’t ever look to be in the mix for victory at Paul Ricard as Ferrari once again struggled to get on top of the thinner-tread tyres. He know his only real chance came at the start, perhaps explaining his eagerness, but the lock-up was a big mistake. His recovery to fifth was impressive, but far from the damage limitation race he needed in the face of Hamilton’s dominance.

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari - 7

A tale of two Kimis at Paul Ricard. He was poor in qualifying, with his struggles at the end of Q3 being such that he believed he had a puncture on his car at one point. A poor start cost him a chance to benefit from the Vettel/Hamilton tangle, taking evasive action, but he then came alive with a long first stint before taking Supersofts for the run to the flag, allowing him to catch and boldly pass Daniel Ricciardo. A decent podium on a weekend where his future was question.

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull - 7

Ricciardo may have been overshadowed by Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen throughout the race weekend in France, but he did well to come home with a fourth-place finish. He passed Carlos Sainz Jr. early on after losing out in the first-lap chaos, and looked to have the legs for a podium until Raikkonen made inroads late on, with Ricciardo hindered due to chassis damage. P4 is a good reward all the same.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull - 8

Following all the criticism he faced in the early part of the season, Max Verstappen has put in some really solid displays the last two weekends. He was a cut above teammate Ricciardo in qualifying before pulling clear in the race. While he couldn’t stay in touch with Hamilton - let’s face it, who could? - he was in a class of his own otherwise, taking a well-earned second place.

Sergio Perez, Force India - 6

Another difficult weekend for Force India after its planned update package was delayed due to its ongoing financial struggles. Perez recovered from his wheel failure in FP2 to qualify 13th, and made a good start to run ninth before slowly slipping back and ultimately retiring from the race due to a water leak.

Esteban Ocon, Force India - 5

Much like Perez, Ocon didn’t really have the pace to get up into the points, starting 11th before making contact with Romain Grosjean on the run to Turn 1. An erratic cross-track move contributed to the crash with Pierre Gasly that ended both their races.

Lance Stroll, Williams - 6

Another rough race for Stroll and Williams, whose hopes of scoring any meaningful points once again in the coming races appear to be growing ever-slimmer. Stroll made a good start and picked through the carnage ahead to rise from 19th to 14th, but from there, all he could do was try and protect his position. HIs race was ended with three laps to go after a tyre failure at Signes.

Sergey Sirotkin, Williams - 6

Little to separate Sirotkin and Stroll once again. Sirotkin had the upper hand in qualifying, yet Stroll made the better start and looked more comfortable in the race. A bold one-stop strategy was about all the team could do to try and salvage something, with Sirotkin ending up as the last running car in P15.

Nico Hulkenberg, Renault - 7 

A decent weekend for Nico Hulkenberg to deliver Renault a double-points finish on its first home race for 10 years. Hulkenberg was shocked his Q2 lap wasn’t enough to get through to Q3 on Saturday, but he fought well in the race to clinch P9, making up three positions.

Carlos Sainz Jr, Renault - 9

A mega weekend for Sainz, arguably his best of the season so far, even if the result didn’t reflect it. He did well to outqualify both Haas and doubted he could sustain it in the race, only ot make a flying start and run third after the Turn 1 tangles. While the expected runners got back through, Sainz was nailed on to be ‘best of the rest’ in P6 before a late MGU-K issue caused him to slow, leaving him P8 at the flag. A tough break that should not sully an otherwise-excellent weekend.

Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso - 6

It wasn’t a good day for the home drivers in France as Gasly crashed with Ocon at the start, having done very well on Saturday to make it through to Q2 and get everything he could out of the Toro Rosso car to get P14 in qualifying. A weekend the team will want to bounce back from quickly in Austria. 

Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso - 6

Brendon Hartley could really do with some luck. Following such a positive display in Canada prior to the Lap 1 crash with Stroll, Hartley’s hopes of returning to the points in France were really dashed on Friday after a power unit issue meant he had to start from the back of the grid. Toro Rosso tried keeping Hartley out longer than planned in case of rain, with the decision backfiring and limiting him to 14th as the race remained dry. Good to get to the finish without any major race issues, though.

Romain Grosjean, Haas - 5

Romain Grosjean may have finished his home race as the top Frenchman, but this was another difficult weekend in reality. A crash in Q3 denied him a likely fourth-row starting spot before a clash with Esteban Ocon at the start resulted in a penalty. Grosjean took 11th at the end of the race, but even with the penalty would not have been in the points. Another opportunity missed as his point-less start to the year continued.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas - 8

Magnussen was impressive in his charge to be the best of the rest for Haas, ending the team’s two-race run without points. Magnussen was unlucky to lose his lap in qualifying to a dawdling Kimi Raikkonen, but made up places on the first lap to sit fifth. The Dane didn’t have the pace to beat Sainz, only getting past after the Renault man’s late issue, but did well to keep back a charging Bottas on fresh tyres.

Fernando Alonso, McLaren - 6

One week on from his 24 Hours of Le Mans victory for Toyota, Fernando Alonso came back down to earth with a bump at Paul Ricard, suffering his first Q1 knockout of the season. Alonso was one of the few drivers not to gain any places through the early incidents, with McLaren opting to bring him in early and try to one stop. It only resulted in adding to Alonso’s frustrations, though, with a suspension failure ultimately forcing him to retire.

Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren - 6

For all of McLaren’s struggles on a weekend to forget in France, Stoffel Vandoorne put in a pretty solid display. Following a Q1 knockout behind Fernando Alonso, Vandoorne rose up to 12th early on, and was then able to work into the points thanks to a long first stint. The ability for the early-stopping cars to go so long hurt Vandoorne, though, with P12 being all he could muster at the chequered flag.

Charles Leclerc, Sauber - 8

Sauber’s shining star continued his stunning start to life in F1 with another points finish in France, taking 10th place. But perhaps the most impressive part of Leclerc’s weekend came on Saturday when he reached Q3 for the first time, blowing away teammate Marcus Ericsson. An error in the race cost him a place to Hulkenberg, but it was all pretty good besides that from Leclerc.

Marcus Ericsson, Sauber - 6

Marcus Ericsson did well to make it through to Q2 for the first time this season on Saturday, but as teammate Charles Leclerc took the plaudits in the race with another points score, the Swede was less impressive. Balance struggles meant he could not maintain his 11th-place position after the early crashes, dropping back quickly before finishing 13th.

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