Who have been the stand-out performers in Formula 1 so far this season? We crunch the numbers from our regular driver ratings and see who comes out on top.

1. Max Verstappen, Red Bull - 8.83

He may not be leading the F1 standings, but Max Verstappen stands out at the top of our driver ratings for the first half of the season. Three maximum scores and with just one score lower than a nine since China, Verstappen has been in metronomic form so far this season, far outstripping the capabilities of his Red Bull RB15 car. A richly deserved #1 spot.

2. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes - 8.41

Eight wins from 12 races make this statistically Hamilton’s strongest start to an F1 season, but there have been a couple of low moments. Most notable was his difficult raceday in Germany that dropped his average rating for the season, but he remains well on his way to clinching a sixth F1 title this year.

3. Carlos Sainz, McLaren - 7.83

F1’s resident smooth operator has been the breakout star of the midfield this year. After some hard luck through the opening run of races, Sainz has kicked on since Baku, recording two 10/10 scores turning in a rating of eight or higher at all but one race since Spain, often beating faster drivers ahead.

4. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes - 7.50

An impressive start to the year for Valtteri Bottas made him look like a possible title threat to Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, only for his form to tail off in recent months. While there has been misfortunate (most notably at Silverstone), Bottas has also made some big errors, the biggest coming in Germany when he crashed out of podium contention and missed a good chance to cut into Hamilton’s points lead.

5. Lando Norris, McLaren - 7.33

Sainz may have been the man leading McLaren through the first half of the season, but rookie teammate Lando Norris hasn’t been far behind. Norris hit the ground running in Australia with a run to Q3 and hasn’t looked back since, showing experience beyond his 19 years. His run to P6 in Austria with a bold tyre strategy stands out as the high point, but there are so many positives for him to take away from his first half-season in F1.

6. George Russell, Williams - 7.25

George Russell may be the only driver yet to score a point this year, but he has routinely impressed at the rear of the field with Williams. He has put Robert Kubica in the shade and even taken the fight to the midfield on occasion, narrowly missing out on a place in Q2 in Hungary despite the car’s obvious limitations. An impressive start to his F1 career.

7. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso - 7.00

Daniil Kvyat has returned to F1 in 2019 having ironed out so many of the issues that set him back towards the end of his first stint on the grid. The shock podium in Germany is the obvious high point, but there has been so much to shout about through his comeback so far, showing a level of consistency and a cool head that pre-2018 Kvyat did not show regularly.

8. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari - 6.92

Racing for Ferrari is no easy business, yet Charles Leclerc has taken to life at Maranello with relative ease, matching four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel closely for the most part. Leclerc came close to victories in Bahrain and Austria, and has been quick to make changes after identifying weak areas - his qualifying form being one in particular. Having acknowledged he is a step behind Vettel for race pace, expect the Monegasque youngster to make that a focus point through the second half of the season.

9. Alexander Albon, Toro Rosso - 6.83

Alexander Albon’s excellent start to life in F1 has led to a shock call-up to the senior Red Bull team for the second half of the season, proving himself to be a consistent performer in the opening 12 races. Albon has not scored lower than a six in our ratings, with his stand-out moments coming in China - when he charged from the pit lane to finish in the points - and Germany, where he was in the mix at the front until the final stint.

10. Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo - 6.75

Even with a step down the grid from Ferrari to Alfa Romeo, Kimi Raikkonen has continued to put in a solid shift. The Finn started the season strongly and has continued to feature in the points regularly despite Alfa being surpassed by McLaren and Renault in the midfield fight - his contribution being made all the more valuable given teammate Antonio Giovinazzi’s struggles.

11. Daniel Ricciardo, Renault - 6.58

It’s not been the easiest of seasons so far for Renault, prompting many to once again question Daniel Ricciardo’s decision to quit Red Bull for the French manufacturer. But the affable Aussie can take some comfort in his own displays, leading Renault’s charge regularly. P4 on the grid in Canada before finishing sixth was a stunning result, all things considered - albeit one he may struggle to match again this year if the team’s recent slump continues.

12. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari - 6.50

Hopes were high for Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari heading into the new season following such an impressive display at winter testing, only for them to quickly fall flat. Vettel may sit ahead of Leclerc in the championship, but has been culpable for some big errors - Bahrain, Canada and Great Britain all standing out - that leave him with work to do entering the second half of the year.

13= Sergio Perez, Racing Point - 6.42

Racing Point may have expected to struggle through the early part of the year before bringing more updates to its car, but Sergio Perez’s season has been quite the opposite. Impressive outings in China and Baku have been the high points so far, with his run to P6 in Baku still standing as his most recent points finish.

13= Nico Hulkenberg, Renault - 6.42

Renault’s struggles have not been limited to Ricciardo, with Nico Hulkenberg frequently trailing his teammate. The big black mark on Hulkenberg’s season so far came in Germany when he genuinely looked capable of ending his podium drought - only to then throw it all away by sliding off the track and into the wall. Big questions may need to be asked of Renault, but arguably, they also need to be asked of Hulkenberg.

15. Kevin Magnussen, Haas - 6.16

It’s been a rollercoaster ride so far this year for Haas as it continues to toil with the troublesome VF-19. Magnussen managed to bag three decent points hauls, but his stand-out result arguably came in Austria qualifying when he provisionally stuck his car P5 on the grid (before a penalty was applied). Haas may seem adrift from the main midfield fight, but Magnussen looks the more likely driver to lead it forward.

16. Romain Grosjean, Haas - 6.08

It’s fitting given how close (often too close) Magnussen and Grosjean have been this year that they are next to each other in our ratings. Like Magnussen, Grosjean has starred on occasion but has been largely underwhelming for much of the year. He appears to be more comfortable with the Australia-spec car, with an upturn seen since Silverstone, but more progress needs to be made.

17. Lance Stroll, Racing Point - 6.00

While his qualifying form remains a big question mark, having made it out of Q1 just once this year, Lance Stroll has impressed on occasion through the races. His fightbacks in Australia and Canada were particularly solid, while his roll of the dice on strategy in Germany so nearly yielded a surprise podium. Stroll is still a big step behind Sergio Perez, but much of that lies with his Saturday form.

18. Robert Kubica, Williams - 5.42

Robert Kubica’s comeback may be one of the most remarkable stories in F1 this year, yet there has failed to be a huge amount to shout about on-track. He’s trailed teammate George Russell at pretty much every point, and while he was able to fluke a point in Germany, Kubica has struggled to do much more than make up the numbers so far this season.

19= Pierre Gasly, Red Bull - 5.25

You may be fighting a losing battle when Max Verstappen - especially in his current form - is your teammate, yet Pierre Gasly has struggled to get anywhere close to the Dutchman. Except for Silverstone, Gasly has been far behind all year, being lapped by Verstappen on more than one occasion. Hungary proved to be the breaking point, resulting in his demotion to Toro Rosso as of Spa.

19= Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo - 5.25

Gasly isn’t the only driver to have firmly been put in the shade by his teammate so far this year. Antonio Giovinazzi always faced a tough task returning to F1 after two years without any single-seater racing, but his weekends have rarely been smooth. A breakthrough point arrived in Austria, and he was in the points in Germany before a post-race penalty, but Giovinazzi hasn’t delivered the kind of form he would have liked to return with.

F1 2019 Driver Ratings
PositionDriverAverageAUSBAHCHNAZEESPMONCANFRAAUTGBRGERHUN
1Max Verstappen8.83981099105999910
2Lewis Hamilton8.4289989108107959
3Carlos Sainz7.8367687969108810
4Valtteri Bottas7.5010781089577946
5Lando Norris7.337968566910868
6George Russell7.25777688769769
7Daniil Kvyat7.00866798865795
8Charles Leclerc6.926107565699947
9Alexander Albon6.83679678666777
10Kimi Raikkonen6.75787756577778
11Daniel Ricciardo6.585685681076855
12Sebastian Vettel6.50657668957487
13Sergio Perez6.425791067566646
14Nico Hulkenberg6.42877647886646
15Kevin Magnussen6.17866686467566
16Romain Grosjean6.08757589555476
17Lance Stroll6.00855755865585
18Robert Kubica5.42565556555675
19Pierre Gasly5.25656657543844
20Antonio Giovinazzi5.25655644657564
 

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