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 4th, finished 1st) - 9

As in Monza, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes made life trickier than it needed to be despite having the fastest car. Hamilton looked certain to secure his first pole position since Hungary but a combination of his error into the pit lane and Mercedes’ reluctance to call both drivers in for slicks early enough meant he had to settle for fourth on the grid. With the title on the line, Hamilton was understandably cautious on the opening lap, losing ground to Lance Stroll, Daniel Ricciardo and Fernando Alonso. From then on it was simply a waiting game until he had clear air to unleash the pace of the Mercedes. He was never going to overtake Lando Norris on track so when the rain came, Mercedes got it right and switched him to inters, allowing him to take his 100th career victory.

Max Verstappen (Qualified 20th, finished 2nd) - 10

Starting from the back of the grid, Max Verstappen would have never expected to finish on the podium. The Dutchman was decisive in his overtakes, including a great overtake on Valtteri Bottas in the opening phase of the race. Running in seventh after Red Bull dropped him back into traffic, Verstappen made the call to switch to intermediates at the perfect time. Up to second, it was the perfect damage limitation from the 23-year-old.

Carlos Sainz (Qualified 2nd, finished 3rd) - 9

A perfect slipstream into Turn 1 allowed Carlos Sainz to get ahead of Norris on the opening lap. Surrendering the lead on Lap 13, Ferrari called him in a lap later for hard tyres. The early stop ensured he came out in traffic, losing a considerable amount of time behind Pierre Gasly and Bottas. Sainz made his way up to the podium places, securing third when he stopped earlier than Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso for inters.

Daniel Ricciardo (Qualified 5th, finished 4th) - 8

Ricciardo spent most of his race looking in his mirrors as he kept Hamilton at bay for the first 20 laps of the race. The Australian couldn’t resist Perez or Alonso, dropping to sixth on Lap 48. But again, he was one of the few drivers who stopped for intermediates before it was too late, recovering to fourth.

Valtteri Bottas (Qualified 7th, started 16th, finished 5th) - 5

While Bottas was 0.7s shy of Hamilton in the wet conditions in Q3, he was compromised by his teammate’s shunt in the pit lane and only got one lap on the slicks. Mercedes handed Bottas another new engine as a precaution dropping him to 16th on the grid, although there was some suggestion that it was done to thwart Verstappen’s progress up the field. In stark contrast to Monza, it was an abject performance as Bottas struggled to make any progress through the field with Mercedes’ downforce levels not giving him enough straight-line speed. Running in 14th before the rain arrived, Bottas propelled himself up to fifth having been one of the first to stop for intermediates.

Fernando Alonso (Qualified 6th, finished 6th) - 9

The two-time champion continues to impress and at one point he was on course for his first podium finish since 2014. A long hard stint allowed him to switch to the mediums, overtaking Verstappen on track. As the rain fell, Alonso made light work of Ricciardo, Sainz and Perez to move up to third. Unfortunately for Alonso, a late stop for inters meant he fell back down to sixth. 

Lando Norris (Qualified 1st, finished 7th) - 9

A race that Norris could and should have won. His reluctance to switch to inters meant he surrendered the win to Hamilton, but also a podium finish. You have to admire his ‘go big or go home’ mantra - he could have easily settled for second. Naive, perhaps, but Norris once again demonstrated he’s truly among F1’s elite group of drivers. His time will come. 

Kimi Raikkonen (Qualified 16th, started 13th, finished 8th) - 8

After two races away with COVID-19, Raikkonen scored his best result since 2019 with eighth. The Finn enjoyed a solid afternoon, running in 13th before the rain started to fall in Sochi. Raikkonen moved up to seventh before surrendering the place to Norris on the final lap.

Sergio Perez (Qualified 9th, started 8th, finished 9th) - 8

An unfortunate day for Perez in Sochi. Without his slow pit stop he would have come out comfortably in third, while a late call to intermediates - which was his own choice according to team boss Christian Horner. No doubt, Perez has the race pace but his qualifying performances have to improve with a bit of luck on his side. 

George Russell (Qualified 3rd, finished 10th) - 9

Russell starred in qualifying as he was the first driver to fit slicks, giving him enough time to get them up to temperature to secure a second-row starting position. Naturally, Williams didn’t have the race pace to maintain position, although surrendering track position given its straight-line speed advantage with an early pit stop was confusing.

Lance Stroll (Qualified 8th, started 7th, finished 11th) - 5

After moving up to fourth on the opening lap, Stroll will have been disappointed to come away with no points. Stroll stopped early to undercut Russell, but given the amount of traffic in the midfield, it proved to be costly. Stroll’s race fell apart when the rain fell, losing track position to teammate Sebastian Vettel - colliding with him and nearly putting him in the wall. Another incident soon followed as he hit Pierre Gasly at Turn 8. He was later given a 10s penalty and two penalty points, moving him to within four of a race ban.

Sebastian Vettel (Qualified 11th, started 10th, finished 12th) - 6

It was a bit of a slow burner for Vettel as he couldn’t make the gains that Stroll did on the opening lap. The German picked his way through the traffic, getting past Russell, Esteban Ocon and Raikkonen to move up to 10th before the rain hit. The four-time champion got past his teammate but a late switch to inters meant points were not on the cards.

Pierre Gasly (Qualified 12th, started 11th, finished 13th) - 6 

A disappointing weekend for Gasly who was left to rue AlphaTauri’s decision not to fit him with fresh inters for his final run in Q2. Gasly fended off Bottas for the opening half of the race, before dropping back behind the Finn when the pit stops played out. He had to settle for 12th after being spun by Stroll.

Esteban Ocon (Qualified 10th, started 9th, finished 14th) - 5

“Probably one of the most difficult Sundays of the year,” Ocon said after the race. The Frenchman didn’t really feature at all throughout the 53-laps at Sochi. Struggling for pace, Ocon dropped behind Vettel and couldn’t overtake Russell before the rain hit in the closing laps. He ultimately finished 14th.

Charles Leclerc (Qualified 15th, started 19th, finished 15th) - 8

Leclerc went from 19th to 12th on the opening lap, before following Verstappen through the order. Points were a certainty for Leclerc, but like Norris, his reluctance to switch to inters was his undoing as he dropped outside the points. 

Antonio Giovinazzi (Qualified 18th, started 17th, finished 16th) - 5

Giovinazzi’s race was made incredibly difficult when he lost team radio on the opening lap. Although, his qualifying performance was poor and contact with Mick Schumacher on the opening lap made for a tricky afternoon in Sochi.

Yuki Tsunoda (Qualified 13th, started 12th, finished 17th) - 4

Tsunoda was just a tenth shy of Gasly in qualifying, but unfortunately for him, that’s where the positives end. The Japanese rookie dropped to the back of the field at the end of the opening lap and struggled to recover from that moment onwards.

Nikita Mazepin (Qualified 19th, started 15th, finished 18th) - 4

Mazepin was nearly 4s off Schumacher in qualifying as a combination of traffic and getting the tyres into the right window the reasons for the gap between the pair. Mazepin’s robust defence was on show again, forcing Tsunoda to lift off to avoid the barriers. 

Nicholas Latifi (Qualified 14th, started 18th, finished 19th) - 4

The Canadian had impressive pace in the wet but he had to settle for 14th in qualifying after taking a fresh power unit for the race. Latifi’s lowly grid position meant he was stuck battling the Haas drivers before crashing out when the rain came down.

Mick Schumacher (Qualified 17th, started 14th, DNF) - 5

Schumacher was within a few tenths of Raikkonen’s Alfa in qualifying but was forced to retire due to a hydraulic issue.