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Home   /   Formula One 2021 Brazilian Grand Prix – Driver Ratings

A stupendous come-back from Lewis Hamilton saw him take only his third win in the last 15 races, ensuring the contest for the world championship remains open. 

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The Brit came back from 10th on the grid to overtake Max Verstappen on the last laps, with polesitter Valtteri Bottas settling for third. 

Lewis Hamilton – 10 

A supreme performance from Hamilton, one which in recent races we haven’t seen very often. The Mercedes did have a technical advantage over the Red Bull, but Hamilton dominated over everyone. 

He was moved at the back of the grid for a technical infringement after a dominant fastest lap on Friday’s qualifying. He made progress back on the sprint race with a series of overtakes, finishing it in P5. 

Whilst it’s true that a few safety cars helped him reduce the gap to Verstappen in the race, he made use of it, demonstrating why he is a seven-time world champion. 

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Max Verstappen – 8

After leading for so long, he will be disappointed not to have won the grand prix. His lead at the top reduces to 14 points, with only three races to spare. 

Verstappen was dominant, pretty much the copy of Hamilton, just in an inferior machinery on this particular occasion. 

He made the difference on Bottas and Sergio Perez, moving past the Finn at the start and trying his best to hang on to first. Only his do or die manoeuvre on Hamilton, which was quite dubious, denies him a higher score. 

Valtteri Bottas – 6.5

For the whole duration of the weekend, he was a few spans below Hamilton. His teammate showed that the Mercedes was by far the fastest car, but Bottas struggled all round. 

He was only third in qualifying, but his fast start on the sprint race helped him to first on the grid for the main race. 

It was his big chance, but he lost out to both Red Bulls at the start and gave up the place to Hamilton after a few laps when he started nine places in front. Only a lucky VSC call helped him move past Perez at the stop. 

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Sergio Perez – 6

It is by now well known that he struggles to match Verstappen’s level, but had he resisted Hamilton for longer, maybe his teammate could have gone on to win. 

He was only fourth in sprint qualifying, after struggling to overtake Carlos Sainz, then he had the perfect launch on Sunday, flying up to P2.

He soon lost out to Hamilton and was overcut by Bottas. Arguably, the best thing of his weekend was coming in for the fastest lap at the end, taking a point off Hamilton and Mercedes. 

Charles Leclerc – 9

Despite not appearing at his best, Charles Leclerc is maximising his results in the last races. 

He looked slower than Sainz on Friday and Sunday, dropping to seventh in the sprint race, with his teammate finishing third. 

However, Sainz made a mess of the start and Leclerc sweeped by. It was a run to fifth to the flag, for 10 precious points. 

Carlos Sainz – 7

His Saturday magic, which saw him climb up to third in the sprint race, was special. He managed the soft tyre to perfection and defended well on Perez. 

His poor start on Sunday cost him a few places and he just had to follow Leclerc to the flag, settling for a still strong sixth place. 

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Pierre Gasly – 7.5

After another splendid lap on Saturday, which put him fourth on he grid, Pierre Gasly was surely hoping to do better than finishing behind both Ferraris. 

He finished the sprint race in eighth and had a scrap with Daniel Ricciardo in the race. He could finish seventh, being yet again the only Alpha Tauri driver to score. 

Esteban Ocon – 7

He finally had a race which saw him contest regularly in the top 10. The start of the sprint race helped him, as he gained a few places compared to his qualifying slot. 

He spent most of Sunday ahead of Fernando Alonso, before being overtaken at half-distance. The team decided to give him the place back at then end, finishing a decent eighth. 

Fernando Alonso – 8

A poor start on Saturday saw him drop from ninth on the grid to 12th. It was quite unfortunate, but Alonso made it back, charging towards the points. 

He climbed as high as seventh, losing out to Gasly, but still having seven seconds over Ocon on the last lap. Eventually, the team asked the two to swap places, but Alonso was the moral winner in the all-Alpine contest. 

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Lando Norris – 5

Starting from P5 meant there were many opportunities to take and, whilst the Brit was squeezed hard from Sainz towards the wall, his move back towards the track was a silly error of judgement, which cost him a potential third, or even higher after the first lap. 

His race was practically destroyed and he could only make it back up to 10th. His results have dropped in the second-half of the season and this is costing precious points to him and the team. 

Sebastian Vettel – 6.5

A strong start on Saturday’s sprint race gained him a top 10 start, which he was hoping to convert to a points-finish on Sunday. 

However, the pace on the car wasn’t fast enough and, after a first stint spent in seventh place, he was only 11th at the flag. 

Kimi Raikkonen – 6

He finished 12th, which increases the regret over Saturday’s crash with his teammate Antonio Giovinazzi. 

Raikkonen was in front of Alonso at the time and could start up ahead, but was instead relegated to 18th place and subsequently a pit lane start. 

His was 19th at half-distance, but somehow made it back up with a good come-back. All in all, it was a lost opportunity. 

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George Russell – 5.5

For the first time, he was beaten by Nicholas Latifi in qualifying and appeared off the pace. 

The Williams is making steps back on this end of the season and George Russell’s hopes to get points are very limited. 

He moved in front of Latifi at the start and gained a few places thanks to incidents, but was only 13th at the flag. 

Antonio Giovinazzi – 5

He was 13th on the first stint and was having an honest race. However, he lost a few places and was only 14th after Lance Stroll and Ricciardo retired in front of him. 

His F1 days will soon be over and Giovinazzi is struggling to demonstrate why he should keep a seat in the sport. 

Yuki Tsunoda – 4

Yuki Tsunoda’s first season in the sport will definitely not be one to remember. The Japanese driver was miles off Gasly on Friday and couldn’t gain ground in the sprint race. 

He binned all his chances to score points by crashing against Lance Stroll and getting a penalty for that in the race. 

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Nicholas Latifi – 5

Finally, he could qualify ahead of George Russell, keeping the place after the Sprint race. 

However, he was overtaken at the start and endured an anonymous race in the bottom places. Finishing 16th, 10 seconds off Russell, is not what he would have hoped for. 

Nikita Mazepin – 5.5

Keeping error-free on Sunday meant he could outrace Mick Schumacher and, for once, not finish last. 

It was the usual difficult weekend, but this time with a bit less mistakes from his side. 

Mick Schumacher – 4.5

The weekend started in a decent way, qualifying ahead of Nikita Mazepin and climbing as high as 14th on the opening lap of Sunday’s race. 

However, an error when defending on Kimi Raikkonen forced him to an extra stop and he concluded the race as dead last. 

Daniel Ricciardo – 6.5

An unfortunate mechanical issue cost him P7 and, possibly, a late attempt to defend from the two Ferraris.

Ricciardo lost ground on Saturday’s sprint race and was relegated from eighth to 11th for Sunday. 

He made a decent come-back to return into the points, with a few overtakes, but he was denied by his retirement. 

Lance Stroll – 5

A mechanical issue put an end to another disappointing weekend, as the Canadian’s streak of pointless races extends to three. 

Lance Stroll was knocked out in Q1 and had Tsunoda crashing into him and leaving his car damaged in the opening stages. 

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