Each driver is scored out of ten with the rating being heavily weighted on their race day performance. Qualifying performance holds less weight when deciding the ratings

Lewis Hamilton (Qualified 1st, finished 1st) - 10

While Mercedes had the fastest car in Barcelona, it was an exemplary performance from man and team. Hamilton’s lacklustre start at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya meant we had a race on our hands as Max Verstappen’s late lunge gave him the lead. Hamilton’s superior pace advantage was apparent quite quickly as he was able to run so close to the back of Verstappen’s Red Bull. His ability to pressure Verstappen forced the Dutchman into the pits early, and from then on, Hamilton and Mercedes held all the aces. A second stop on Lap 42 meant it was a repeat of Hungary 2019 - where Hamilton on fresh tyres had to hunt Verstappen down and overtake him - which is exactly what he did. The faster car won on Sunday but the execution from Hamilton and the team was to perfection.  

F1 2021 | Spanish GP 2021 Race Review | Hamilton vs Verstappen AGAIN!

Max Verstappen (Qualified 2nd, finished 2nd) - 10

Verstappen deserves a lot of credit for his bold lunge on Hamilton into Turn 1. Had Hamilton led into the first corner, it’s likely the race would have been a boring precession. Instead, Verstappen was running at the front of the field while fending off the faster, charging Hamilton. As mentioned before, Mercedes and Hamilton held the aces given the sheer pace they had on race day. The Dutchman couldn’t do much more than he did to resist Hamilton. He gave us a race when in reality, there shouldn’t have been one.

Valtteri Bottas (Qualified 3rd, finished 3rd) - 7

It was another case of Bottas not making life easy for himself as he was spectacularly overtaken by Charles Leclerc around the outside of Turn 3 on the opening lap. The Finn’s race was compromised as he was stuck behind the Ferrari driver until Lap 23 when he made his first stop. His pace was comparable to Verstappen throughout, so he will be left to rue another poor opening lap. He didn’t make it easy for Hamilton when he was charging through after his second stop, although, left plenty of space at Turn 10 as the seven-time champion continued his pursuit of Verstappen. 

Charles Leclerc (Qualified 4th, finished 4th) - 10

Leclerc extracted the maximum from the SF21 across the Spanish GP weekend as he qualified fourth and finished fourth - well clear of the midfield pack. Leclerc’s overtake around the outside of Bottas at Turn 3 was stunning, and he was able to keep the Mercedes driver at bay for 23 laps in total. He finished over nine seconds clear of Perez in fifth and just under 20 seconds ahead of Ricciardo in fourth. There’s not much more Leclerc could have done.

Sergio Perez (Qualified 8th, finished 5th) - 6

A disappointing weekend on the whole for Perez as he never looked comfortable driving the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. A spin on his first lap in Q3 meant he could only manage eighth in qualifying, later blaming a shoulder problem for his subpar performance. Perez demonstrated better race pace, as he usually does, to move up to sixth in the early stages. He was stuck behind Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren until the closing laps before finishing a comfortable fifth, some nine seconds behind Leclerc in fourth.

Daniel Ricciardo (Qualified 7th, finished 6th) - 8

Ricciardo enjoyed his best weekend as a McLaren driver as he out-performed teammate Lando Norris in qualifying and on race day. He made an impressive start to move up to fifth ahead of Perez and Carlos Sainz. The Australian managed to keep Perez at bay until Lap 42, before holding off Sainz until the end of the race. While McLaren didn’t have the pace it showed in the previous three rounds, he managed to beat one of the Ferraris and teammate Norris in an encouraging weekend for Ricciardo.

Carlos Sainz (Qualified 6th, finished 7th) - 7

Sainz’s slow start ultimately proved decisive as he was unable to re-overtake Ricciardo for sixth. The Spaniard has adapted to life at Ferrari quicker than expected, highlighted by another solid qualifying showing as he trailed teammate Leclerc by just over a tenth on Saturday. Fine margins on race day but Sainz’s pace was better than the end result.

Lando Norris (Qualified 9th, finished 8th) - 7

Qualifying proved crucial in Norris’ lacklustre weekend as traffic in Q1 meant he was forced to use up another set of softs, meaning he had one less for Q3. Down in ninth, Norris had his work cut out given the difficulties in overtaking at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. A two-stop strategy allowed him to cut through the one stoppers with ease, gaining one position past Esteban Ocon who was struggling for pace in the closing laps.

Esteban Ocon (Qualified 5th, finished 9th) - 8

Ocon starred in qualifying as he put his Alpine fifth on the grid, narrowly missing out on fourth by less than a tenth. Alpine’s one-stop strategy allowed him to get ahead of Ricciardo, Sainz and Norris, before surrendering those positions again once his tyres degraded. Ocon managed to hold off Gasly for ninth despite losing 20 seconds in the final five laps.

Pierre Gasly (Qualified 12th, finished 10th) - 6

Overshooting his grid box at the start handed Gasly a five-second penalty and immediately put the AlphaTauri driver on the back foot. The Frenchman did show impressive race pace as a strong final stint saw him overtake Vettel, Russell, Raikkonen, Stroll and Alonso. Decisive in overtaking, it should have been higher than tenth for Gasly in Barcelona.

Lance Stroll (Qualified 11th, finished 11th) - 6

Points were on the table for Stroll in Barcelona had he been able to clear Alonso sooner. The Canadian was unable to put a decisive move on the two-time champion as he was forced off onto the Turn 2 run-off area when the pair brushed wheels, which allowed Gasly to get through. No points for Stroll, but once again he was the lead Aston Martin driver. 

Kimi Raikkonen (Qualified 17th, finished 12th) - 6

Raikkonen was the only driver in the 20-car field to start on the mediums.  A switch to the softs on Lap 37 put him in the train behind Alonso and the battle for tenth place. The 2007 world champion wasn’t able to make too much progress as Gasly got through, while he benefited from Alonso’s late stop for fresh rubber to ensure he finished 12th.

Sebastian Vettel (Qualified 13th, finished 13th) - 5

Another dismal weekend for the four-time world champion as he was beaten by Aston Martin teammate Stroll in qualifying and on race day. Vettel never threatened the top ten on his two-stop strategy, losing a position to Raikkonen after the German’s second stop. Work to do as he’s still yet to get off the mark in 2021.

George Russell (Qualified 15th, finished 14th) - 7

Stopping under the early Safety Car due to Yuki Tsunoda’s stricken AlphaTauri, Williams put Russell on an effective one-stop strategy. Russell ran as high as tenth, right behind Alonso, before falling to 14th as his tyres dropped off. A strong race day performance from Russell.

Antonio Giovinazzi (Qualified 14th, finished 15th) - 7

Giovinazzi was once again the lead Alfa Romeo in qualifying and had it not been for his issue when stopping under the Safety Car, it’s likely the Italian would have been in contention for points, albeit struggling for tyre wear at the end of the race. When Giovinazzi stopped under the Safety Car, the new medium tyre that was about to be fitted was already deflated, hence the significant delay in his pit stop. 

Nicholas Latifi (Qualified 19th, finished 16th) - 4

Latifi was nowhere in qualifying as he was beaten by the Haas of Schumacher, while teammate Russell made Q2 yet again. Like Russell, Latifi was put on an effective one-stop strategy with a stop under the Safety Car. The Canadian couldn’t stick with his teammate and dropped to 16th.

Fernando Alonso (Qualified 10th, finished 17th) - 6

Alonso struggled once again in qualifying but an aggressive one-stop strategy allowed him to run inside of the points for most of the race. The Spaniard did his best to keep Stroll, Gasly and Raikkonen behind for tenth place but struggled with tyre wear as he was forced into making a late second stop for new rubber. An entertaining race for Alonso, although he lacked the pace of teammate Ocon.

Mick Schumacher (Qualified 18th, finished 18th) - 6

Schumacher enjoyed a small victory in qualifying as he beat the Williams of Latifi. The German didn’t have the pace in the race to keep either Williams at bay, finishing a lonely 18th come the chequered flag, over a minute clear of teammate Nikita Mazepin.

Nikita Mazepin (Qualified 19th, finished 19th) - 3

Another tricky weekend for the Russian as he was comprehensively beaten by teammate Schumacher. He picked up a grid penalty, which ultimately was inconsequential, for blocking Norris in Q1 and then was subject to the complaints of Mercedes’ Toto Wolff during the race.  

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