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Home   /   Formula One 2021 Italian Grand Prix – Driver Ratings

The Italian Grand Prix will end up in the history books, as McLaren return to finishing a race in 1-2 after 11 years.

There was huge drama in the title fight, with Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton colliding and retiring from the race.

Daniel Ricciardo took the honours ahead of Lando Norris, with Valtteri Bottas completing a strong come-back from last place. 

Daniel Ricciardo – 10

When analysing his incredible win, it pops out that this was also his strongest weekend to date for McLaren. 

Finally, Ricciardo appeared competitive, he was mighty close to the top three on qualifying and lapped consistently alike, or faster than his teammate. 

This result is immense, as he won the race practically from the first lap, after flying away at the front. A great weekend, coronated even by the fastest lap of the race. 

Lando Norris – 9

It’s paradox-like that the day in which McLaren return to winning ways it’s not him on the top step of the podium. 

At the end, what made the difference was the start of the sprint race, in which Ricciardo moved past him and made the move. 

Norris didn’t complain, he diligently followed Ricciardo to the flag after the mid-race safety car and covered him, bringing home some crucial points with his fourth podium of the season. 

Valtteri Bottas – 9

Bottas was the fastest man around Monza. The amazing lap on Friday proved it, as he also won the sprint race. 

Unfortunately, the team decided prior to that that he was to start last due to changing his engine components. 

It’s such a shame because he probably would have gone on to win, but he performed an excellent come-back from last. 

Charles Leclerc – 8.5

On paper, the Ferrari was set to struggle massively at Monza, but Charles Leclerc was on fire and kept the pressure up on the leaders all throughout the weekend. 

He qualified behind Carlos Sainz, but moved up at the start of the sprint race and appeared just about faster than the Spaniard. 

He was following Norris and Hamilton on the first stint who were on much stronger machinery. 

Sergio Perez – 6

The Mexican brings home ten points, which is just about enough to say that his weekend wasn’t bad. 

Verstappen did a superb job to qualify P3, whilst Sergio Perez had his usual struggles to start the race in ninth. 

He jumped a few cars on the way and had a great chance when he found himself fourth on the safety car restart. 

However, he earned a penalty by overtaking Leclerc off track and dropped from third to fifth, losing precious points for the constructors battle. 

Carlos Sainz – 7

A decent weekend for Carlos Sainz, who lacked something to fight for the podium. 

He qualified well, just to lose the place to Leclerc on the sprint race and start from sixth. 

The race was spent trailing the leaders, but not getting close enough to put up a challenge, as he didn’t seem to have the same confidence as his teammate. 

Lance Stroll – 7.5

Lance Stroll quietly made his way up to P7, with a strong performance ahead of Sebastian Vettel. 

He qualified P12, but recovered two places on Saturday and was error-free to finish as best of the rest on Sunday. 

Fernando Alonso – 7.5

His weekend can be considered as a copy of Stroll’s, as he followed the Canadian all the way through since Friday. 

He was just 13th on qualifying, but was one of the few drivers to pull up a move during the sprint race, with a great overtake on Vettel. 

In the race he regularly stood in the top 10 and extracted the maximum out of the Alpine. 

George Russell – 7.5

The Safety car allowed him to get in the top 10, as he was part of the group of drivers that was yet to stop. 

He didn’t appear as comfortable as in other weekends, as he was behind Nicholas Latifi for most of the race, but at the end he was opportunistic and ensured he could bring the car home in P9. 

Esteban Ocon – 6

The Frenchman leaves Italy with just a point in the bag, that came after a messy weekend. 

He was protagonist of some wheel-to-wheel battles and got a penalty for tangling with Vettel, but he finished 10th thanks to some retirements in front. 

Nicholas Latifi – 7

It was only a matter of luck if Latifi was only 11th.

The difference was just 35 thousandths off George Russell in qualifying, as he got past on Saturday. 

He was driving a spectacular race in the points during the first stint, but pitting before the safety car meant that he lost the place on his teammate and Esteban Ocon. 

Sebastian Vettel – 5

Vettel had a decent Friday, just missing out on Q3. However, it went downhill from there. 

He lost few places during wheel-to-wheel clashes and never appeared in contention for points. 

Antonio Giovinazzi – 5

He must be one of the most disappointed people to leave the track. Antonio Giovinazzi’s weekend was off amazingly, as he started Sunday’s race from P7 and moved past Sainz at the start. 

However, he made a crucial mistake when trying to attack Leclerc and ran off, just to rejoin the track unsafely and hitting Sainz. 

It was all over, as from last place he couldn’t get back up in the points. 

Robert Kubica – 5.5

In qualifying he struggled massively compared to his teammate, but let’s not forget he is a replacement driver and that his experience with these cars is limited. 

He did well to follow his rivals in the race and try to keep in the mix, even if he dropped back at the end. 

Mick Schumacher – 6

The German had an eventful race, with a few contacts here and there. 

As per usual, his performance is often evaluated against his teammate, whom he overtook twice, the second time after being spun around. 

Nikita Mazepin – 3

Yet another tough weekend for Nikita Mazepin. 

The Russian finished last in qualifying for another time this season, before crashing into his teammate during the race. 

It was a poor performance, as he once again collided with Schumacher. 

Max Verstappen – 7

A mixture of what it could have been and the fact that he lost no points to Hamilton. 

Verstappen put in a super lap to beat both McLarens in qualifying by less than a tenth and gained a place in the sprint race to start from pole. 

However, he lost the place to Ricciardo at the beginning and trailed behind the Australian before a pit lane error from his crew. 

He was judged to be responsible against Hamilton, in what was a do or die move conditioned by both driver’s will not to give up the place.

Lewis Hamilton – 5

Considering Mercedes’ pace advantage around Monza, this race was a huge opportunity for Hamilton. 

He lost first place on Friday to Bottas and had an awful start to drop as low as P5 in the sprint race. 

He appeared quick on Sunday, but was once again stuck behind Norris, just as on Saturday. 

The crash with Verstappen is not fully his responsibility, but it’s fair to say that given what was a stake, it was an avoidable incident. 

Yuki Tsunoda – 5

Bad luck hit him on Sunday, as he wasn’t even able to start due to a failure in his car. 

Nevertheless, his weekend was quite poor, as Alpha Tauri’s potential was much higher than another qualifying exit in Q1. 

Pierre Gasly – 6

In qualifying, he is a super driver, there are no more doubts. His lap to place the car in P6 was beautiful, as he was very close to the front. 

However, despite often starting from the third row or above, Pierre Gasly seems to be incident prone, as a tangle with Ricciardo on the opening lap of the sprint race put an end to all his hopes. 

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May 2024