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Home   /   Formula One 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix – Driver Ratings
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Valtteri Bottas was on pole at Portimao, but after keeping the lead at the start, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen got the better of the Finnish to complete their third 1-2 of the season. 

Lewis Hamilton – 9

Qualifying was not great, but despite slipping behind Verstappen and finding himself in third after the first laps, Hamilton got past both his contenders.

He claimed another win that extends his championship lead to eight points. It wasn’t a perfect weekend, but it was clear to everyone that Hamilton was the fastest driver on Sunday.

Max Verstappen – 8

Not quite the flawless weekend, but he still snatched a second place and there was little evidence that he could achieve more on Sunday.

He made a few mistakes, getting a qualifying lap that would have put him on pole deleted and running wide when second to allow Hamilton through. Still, Verstappen limited the damage by getting past Bottas and finish a strong second. 

Valtteri Bottas – 7

Bottas surprised everyone by claiming pole position on Saturday and it looked like he could take a fight to the win, but he was beaten fair and square.

Hamilton overtook him and got away, as Bottas was also pipped by Verstappen. The positive note is that he was in the mix, but once again he failed to beat his two direct rivals. 

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Sergio Perez – 7

The poor getaway and the opening laps caused Sergio Perez to lose too much ground and the race was basically over for the podium by the time he moved back past Lando Norris.

Perez was close on qualifying, but in the race he never ran close to Verstappen in what was a pretty mediocre race. 

Lando Norris – 9

He entered 2021 in top form and it demonstrated with the third consecutive best of the rest performance. Again, he didn’t quite extract the maximum pace in Q3, but similarly to the first two races of the year, his pace was evident from the opening laps.

He overtook Esteban Ocon and Carlos Sainz to settle in fifth until the chequered flag. As smooth as you like. 

Charles Leclerc – 7.5

He got beaten by Carlos Sainz in Q3 and ran behind his teammate for half of the race, but then suddenly found pace in the later parts of the race to claim another strong result.

He was a bit further off than usual, but once again he is the first Ferrari on the finish line. 

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Esteban Ocon – 8

The Frenchman quickly showed that the negative comments for his first races were made too soon and that he still has it.

Superb qualifying, claiming sixth place, and despite a poor first part of the race, he found pace in the later stage to gain a few places back and finishing seventh in front of his teammate. Not bad at all. 

Fernando Alonso – 7.5

Great recovery drive from the Spaniard, who disappointed in Q2 after a strong showing in free practice.

Although he started from behind and didn’t have an awesome getaway, he was very quick after the stop and made his way back to the points to finish a second short of his teammate. 

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Daniel Ricciardo – 6

The positive note was that at least he made it back to the points, which showed he wasn’t as slow as qualifying could suggest. Daniel Ricciardo put in some opportunistic moves in the opening laps to immediately close up to the top 10.

Then he overtook Pierre Gasly and Sainz to finish ninth in what was a good come-back, but once again he was far off Norris.

Pierre Gasly – 7

The Alpha Tauri wasn’t particularly quick in Portugal, but Gasly put in a nice show, entering Q3 and always running in the points.

He could hardly do any better, particularly looking at Yuki Tsunoda’s performance in the sister car. 

Carlos Sainz – 6

He impressed for large parts of the weekend, claiming a strong fifth in qualifying and running ahead of Leclerc in the first-half of the race. However, he was slipping back from Norris and then started to lose positions once his tyres fell.

It was an error with mutual responsibility between him and the team to fit the medium tyres, but it’s also true that Norris did manage to run smoothly until the end on the same compound, while Sainz went from sixth to eleventh after trying to push too much in the first laps. 

Antonio Giovinazzi – 7

Finally, the Italian could run a race with no bad luck and was the whole weekend ahead of Kimi Raikkonen. Unfortunately, there were no upsets at the front and Giovinazzi could only settle for 12th, which reflects the car’s potential.

However, other performances like this could lead to points if there is more chaos at the front. 

Sebastian Vettel – 6

He claims a six for his good qualifying performance and for finishing the race in front of Lance Stroll. However, he was running in the top 10 at the start but was nowhere to be seen in the race.

It may still be largely due to the Aston Martin’s disappointing pace. 

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Lance Stroll – 5

The Canadian couldn’t pick up from where he left in the last two weekends and was the protagonist of a negative weekend.

He was knocked out in Q1 and despite extending the first stint until very late on soft tyres, he couldn’t come back in the last stages of the race and was only 14th.

Yuki Tsunoda – 5

He never raced at this track and his difficulties were more evident than in Bahrain and Emilia-Romagna, as he struggled all throughout to match Gasly’s level. 

George Russell – 6

Qualifying was once again amazing, but the big promise soon vanished as George Russell fell back in the race pretty quickly.

At one point he was caught by his teammate, even if he still managed to finish in front. 

Mick Schumacher – 7.5

Clearly, the Haas can’t compete yet with the other cars, but Schumacher tried to get close and after a very positive qualifying, he finished ahead of Latifi.

There were many positives on his flawless race, he almost lapped Nikita Mazepin on the same car and fought with Latifi, forcing him to a mistake that allowed him past. 

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Nicholas Latifi – 5

At one point he was running with his teammate, but then soon slipped off. He was further away than at Imola and appeared to struggle.

It’s only an 18th place finish for him, as running wide when in front of Mick Schumacher meant he also lost a place to one of the Haas.

Nikita Mazepin – 4.5

He is appearing more in control of the car, but he is still way off the pace.

Soundly beaten by Schumacher in both qualifying and the race, Mazepin raced a lone 19th place until the end. 

Kimi Raikkonen – 4 

As he admitted, it was his fault, in what was a very silly error that took him out of the race. He was beaten by Antonio Giovinazzi in qualifying, but prepared to get past at the end of lap one, before running into the back of him and losing his wing, forcing him into the gravel trap and marooning his car.

Out of his own admission, he was looking at the steering wheel to change a switch and didn’t notice he was running into the back of Giovinazzi. Not an error you would expect from him and fortunately, it had no negative consequences for the Italian. 

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