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

Max Verstappen (Qualified 1st, finished 1st) - 10

It was another faultless performance from Verstappen as he strengthened his grip on this year’s drivers’ title. The Dutchman stormed to pole by nearly 0.2s ahead of Valtteri Bottas, resulting in his most dominant drive to date on race day. Verstappen was running over 15s clear of Lewis Hamilton before the seven-time champion made his second pit stop to secure the fastest lap. Unstoppable all weekend.

Lewis Hamilton (Qualified 2nd, finished 2nd) - 9

For the fourth time in six races at the Red Bull Ring, Hamilton was beaten by teammate Valtteri Bottas in qualifying. It didn’t matter as the Finn had a three-place grid penalty due to his pit lane spin so Hamilton had a clean run at Verstappen on pole position. The Mercedes driver couldn’t make a dent in Verstappen’s lead, suffering some oversteer on the exit of Turn 1 on the opening lap, allowing the Dutchman to run away at the front. With Lando Norris holding up Sergio Perez and Bottas behind, Hamilton had a “lonely” race to second, where he picked up the fastest lap in the process. 

Valtteri Bottas (Qualified 5th, finished 3rd) - 8

Bottas was immediately on the back foot going into qualifying as he was hit with a three-place grid penalty for losing control of his Mercedes in the pit lane. As he usually does at the Red Bull Ring, Bottas delivered in qualifying, edging out teammate Hamilton on the final run for second, putting him fifth on the grid once his penalty was applied. He ran behind Norris and Perez for much of the first stint, sitting just under two seconds behind the Red Bull driver before the pit stop phase. Bottas overcut Perez after a rare pit stop blunder from Red Bull. The Finn maintained third despite Perez’s late charge on mediums to secure his 60th career podium, moving him up to 10th in the all-time podium list, level with Nelson Piquet.

Sergio Perez (Qualified 4th, finished 4th) - 8

Perez struggled throughout practice for pace so fifth in qualifying, a tenth shy of the Mercedes pair, was a respectable effort. He will be left to rue his battle with Norris on the opening lap, having got ahead into Turn 3, Perez surrendered the position into Turn 4 as the McLaren driver spectacularly overtook around the outside. Had Perez got ahead, he would have scampered away from Bottas and guaranteed another podium finish. Regardless, he was unlucky to lose third with a slow pit stop on Lap 26 and narrowly missed out on the rostrum, finishing 0.5s behind the second Mercedes at the chequered flag after a late second stop.

Lando Norris (Qualified 3rd, finished 5th) - 10

It was another spectacular weekend from Norris in Styria as he qualified within a tenth of both Mercedes drivers to ensure him a second-row starting position. Norris held third for much of the first stint before allowing Perez and Bottas by, given Red Bull and Mercedes’ superior pace advantage. The McLaren driver wasn’t under any threat from the midfield behind, securing yet another top five finish to continue his impressive start to 2021.

Carlos Sainz (Qualified 12th, finished 6th) - 8

It was a disappointing qualifying performance from Sainz as he didn’t progress into Q3, out-qualified by Williams’ George Russell. It appeared that Ferrari had focused its efforts on race trim as an impressive first stint on the mediums saw him overcut Fernando Alonso and Yuki Tsunoda for seventh and eighth. Sainz breezed past Lance Stroll into Turn 4 on Lap 45 for sixth and began his pursuit of Norris. A reluctance to unlap himself when behind Hamilton proved costly, but it was a strong recovery from the Spaniard on race day. 

Charles Leclerc (Qualified 7th, finished 7th) - 7

Leclerc extracted the maximum from the Ferrari to reach Q3 in qualifying. His race unravelled on the opening lap after contact with Pierre Gasly on the run to Turn 3. Leclerc was extremely fortunate that the stewards took no further action as it seemed like the Ferrari veered slightly right into Gasly, hitting his rear-left tyre and giving him a puncture. While it was an impressive recovery from the Monegasque, the first lap incident was avoidable and the race pace of the car suggested that it could have beat Norris to fifth. A missed opportunity. 

Lance Stroll (Qualified 10th, finished 8th) - 9

After trailing teammate Sebastian Vettel in the previous three rounds, Stroll enjoyed a strong weekend as he made Q3 for just the third time in 2021. The Canadian made a strong start, benefitting from Leclerc and Gasly’s contact. Stroll stunningly overtook Alonso around the outside Turn 6 on Lap 1 - a decisive move as he finished ahead of the Spaniard at the chequered flag. Stroll couldn’t resist the faster Ferraris but it was a very accomplished weekend from the Aston Martin driver.

Fernando Alonso (Qualified 9th, finished 9th) - 8

Alonso once again enjoyed the advantage over teammate Esteban Ocon as he progressed into Q3 for the third consecutive race. Alonso was typically aggressive off the start, launching it down the inside of Leclerc and Gasly into Turn 1. The Alpine driver surrendered a place to Stroll on the opening lap. Alonso was frustrated to lose out to Sainz through the pit stop phase having been forced to let Verstappen through due to blue flags. Although had he came out ahead of Sainz, the Ferrari would have ultimately breezed past his fellow countryman.

Yuki Tsunoda (Qualified 11th, finished 10th) - 7

It was a smooth weekend from Tsunoda in terms of crashes at least as he successfully made it into Q3 for just the second time this season. He was hit with a grid penalty after he was deemed to have impeded Bottas at the end of qualifying. The Japanese rookie looked like he had more race pace than Alonso in the Alpine but couldn’t get through on track or through the pit stop phase. Given the pace of the AlphaTauri at the Red Bull Ring, it should have been more than a singular championship point.

Kimi Raikkonen (Qualified 18th, finished 11th) - 8

The 2007 world champion once again faltered in qualifying as he was beaten by teammate Antonio Giovinazzi again. Raikkonen made a good start from 18th, gaining four positions on the opening lap. He was the only driver to start on hards and stopping earlier for mediums allowed him to remain ahead of Daniel Ricciardo. Raikkonen overtook old Ferrari teammate Vettel into Turn 4 in the closing laps to secure 11th. A solid race day performance from Raikkonen but his qualifying performances have to improve. 

Sebastian Vettel (Qualified 14th, finished 12th) - 6

A pretty anonymous weekend from the four-time champion as he struggled relative to teammate Stroll throughout. Vettel could only manage 14th in qualifying after his final lap in Q2 was invalidated due to track limits at the final two corners, although it didn’t cost him a spot in Q3. An uneventful race saw him drop behind Raikkonen in the closing laps for 11th. In hindsight, Aston Martin should have started Vettel on the hards as Alfa did with Raikkonen.

Daniel Ricciardo (Qualified 13th, finished 13th) - 6

It was another turgid weekend for Ricciardo as he trailed teammate Norris by over 0.6s in qualifying. Ricciardo looked like he was about to make amends in the race, moving up to ninth behind Russell in the Williams. A loss of power dropped him down the order again, ruining the progress he had made. Ricciardo didn’t have the pace to cut through the traffic, finishing behind Raikkonen for 13th. The Australian reckons he would have finished sixth or seventh without his power issue, but given his lack of pace and inability to run close to Russell, is a bit of a stretch.

Esteban Ocon (Qualified 17th, finished 14th) - 5

Ocon’s new long-term deal with Alpine hasn’t had the desired effect as the Frenchman had no pace all weekend relative to teammate Alonso. Ocon gained two places off the start, before overtaking Giovinazzi in the second stint after switching to hard tyres on Lap 36. A lot of head-scratching to do for Ocon to avoid getting the Stoffel Vandoorne treatment. 

Antonio Giovinazzi (Qualified 15th, finished 15th) - 6

Giovinazzi once again had the advantage over Raikkonen in qualifying, progressing into Q3. The Italian’s race was compromised on the opening lap having been forced to avoid Leclerc and Gasly - resulting in a spin that put Giovinazzi at the back of the field. The Alfa Romeo driver was then overtaken by Ocon in the closing laps for 14th. 

Mick Schumacher (Qualified 19th, finished 16th) - 7

Schumacher out-qualified teammate Nikita Mazepin yet again, this time the deficit was just a tenth. A poor start meant he dropped back behind his teammate, with the pair battling for position into Turn 4 with Mazepin maintaining it after Schumacher locked up. The German was released on Lap 23 when Haas decided to pit Mazepin, while Schumacher didn’t stop until Lap 34. The reigning Formula 2 champion maintained position ahead of Nicholas Latifi and his teammate to continue his 100% finishing record in 2021.

Nicholas Latifi (Qualified 16th, finished 17th) - 6

Latifi narrowly missed out on a spot in Q2 again as he qualified 16th, ahead of Ocon and Raikkonen. The Canadian’s race was ruined on the opening lap as he was hit by Gasly’s damaged AlphaTauri, giving him a puncture and forcing him onto a two-stop strategy. His progress was halted by being lapped early on, ultimately only gaining one place towards the end as overtook Mazepin on track.

Nikita Mazepin (Qualified 20th, finished 18th) - 6

More progress for Mazepin as he was just over a tenth shy of teammate Schumacher. He then enjoyed a good start, moving up to 15th on the opening lap. Mazepin relinquished track position on Lap 23 as he switched to the hards. Mazepin was overcut by his teammate and then overtaken by Latifi for 17th in the closing laps.

George Russell (Qualified 11th, DNF) - 9

‘Mr Saturday’ delivered in qualifying yet again as he missed out on a spot in Q3 by just 0.008s. Thanks to Tsunoda’s penalty, Russell started eighth. The Mercedes-backed finally got a good start, running in eighth behind Alonso in the early phase of the race. Russell was within DRS range of the Spaniard when he was informed that he would have to stop early due to “reliability”. A loss of air in the pneumatic system forced Russell into the pit lane prematurely for a prolonged stop, ruining his chances of points. He was forced to retire a couple of laps later. No doubt had Russell scored points, he’d have received a ten rating.

Pierre Gasly (Qualified 6th, DNF) - N/A

Gasly continued his impressive streak of qualifying inside of the top ten at every race in 2021. While the stewards decided not to investigate the incident with Leclerc on Lap 1, Gasly was ultimately minding his own business. Yes, Gasly did move slightly left but he had no choice but to do so to give Alonso adequate room. Leclerc had a significant portion of the track available to him on the left but he still veered slightly right, slicing the Frenchman’s rear-left tyre. A big opportunity missed through no fault of his own.