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Home   /   Formula One 2022 Sao Paulo GP – Driver Ratings

After a year, Mercedes GP returned on the stop step of the podium, and it was George Russell who claimed his maiden win in front of his teammate Lewis Hamilton. Carlos Sainz completed the podium on the Silver Arrows’ day. 

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George Russell – 9.5

An almost perfect weekend for the young Brit, who won his first Formula One race in a well-deserved way, thanks to a lights-to-flag performance. 

Russell was third in qualifying, but it was his crash during Q3 which brought out the red flag and effectively ended the session. This gave him a starting slot of third for the sprint race, which he won, to get pole position on Sunday. 

His race conduct was excellent, flying to the lead and managing the pressure of the late safety car to drive home his teammate Hamilton. 

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Lewis Hamilton – 8.5

It was ironic that, in Hamilton’s great moment of form, it was Russell who won Mercedes’ first race of the season. 

He was caught out by the red flag in qualifying, condemning him to start from eighth, before recovering to a P2 grid slot for the race. 

He lost his chances of victory following a clash with Max Verstappen, which cost him precious time. He made a great recovery to second, but Russell was untouchable on Sunday and he settled for the runner-up slot. 

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Carlos Sainz – 8.5

Another strong weekend for the Spaniard, who is ending the year in fine form and finished on the podium. 
Sainz was fifth in qualifying and second in the sprint race, but a grid penalty condemned him to start from seventh and possibly cost him a chance to fight for the win. 

Ferrari were on an aggressive strategy to fight Hamilton and Perez and a late stop on fresh soft tyres saw him overtake the Red Bull driver in the final stages to finish third. 

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Charles Leclerc – 7

Leclerc was at the end of another Ferrari howler when he was the only driver to fit intermediate tyres in Q3 and was 10th once the red flag was brought out and rain intensified. 

From there, he slowly recovered to sixth in the sprint race and started from fifth. However, he suffered contact with Lando Norris, which put him against the wall and the Monegasque had a lucky escape. 

All in all, he was again protagonist of a comeback to finish fourth but was unable to attack Sainz in the final stages. 

Fernando Alonso – 8.5

His recovery to fifth place after having been as low as last in both the sprint race and the race showed great pace and demonstrated his fighting spirit, but the real reason why he was in that position, was due to evitable contact with Esteban Ocon. 

It was not the first time the two came together and the Spaniard was angry, after the two clashed whilst fighting for a promising sixth place. 

On Sunday, despite starting from 17th, he came up furiously with an alternate strategy and fit new tyres at the end to overtake four cars on his way to fifth. 

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Max Verstappen – 7

It was Red Bull’s most difficult weekend of the season, even if Verstappen qualified on the front row in mixed conditions and led most of the sprint race once overtaken polesitter Kevin Magnussen. 

However, one of only two drivers to fit medium tyres, the Dutchman suffered the recovery of his main rivals, finishing in fourth and blaming lack of performance, rather than poor strategy. 

In the race, his chances for win were over almost straight away, when he collided with Hamilton, received a penalty and suffered damage. From penultimate, he recovered to sixth, but will be unhappy to ruin an almost perfect season. 

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Sergio Perez – 6.5

For large parts of the race, it looked like he was the one to keep up the Red Bull flag, but eventually ended up behind Verstappen after bemoaning of the radio to receive the place back. 

Perez was ninth in qualifying after starting the lap too close to a struggling Leclerc and was as high as second on Sunday after just a few laps. 

However, his fight to Russell fell at distance and he lost the podium to a mistimed safety car, which saw him on medium tyres and cost him four places in the last seven laps. 

Esteban Ocon – 6.5

After finishing in the headlines for yet another argument with Fernando Alonso, Ocon finished in eighth after being repeatedly told to not fight the Spaniard on the safety car restart. 

The Frenchman was 16th on the grid following damage in the sprint race and put up a good recovery to enter the points and overtake his rivals, finishing second-best of the rest to Alonso. 

Alpine’s strong double points finish almost secured fourth place in the constructors over McLaren. 

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Valtteri Bottas – 8

After a long pointless streak, Valtteri Bottas got back-to-back points with a ninth place at Interlagos, even losing a few places after the late safety car. 

The Finn recovered after a sprint race spent out of the top 10, with great pace in the medium stint that allowed him to overtake Pierre Gasly, Lando Norris and Sebastian Vettel. 

It looked like he could finish in front of both Alpines but was denied once the group tightened up due to the safety car. 

Lance Stroll – 6

He was the last of the points scorer, taking 10th place off his teammate Vettel at the end, with the German being on used medium tyres. 

The Canadian was also the protagonist of an intra-team clash when he pushed Vettel on the grass on Saturday and was penalised for this. 
Lance Stroll then recovered to 10th with help from the safety car that reduced the gap from his rivals in front. 

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Sebastian Vettel – 7

Points looked on the way when the German was fifth in the first stint, following an overtake on Norris and some great pace all round. 

However, he was undercut by Bottas, but kept being in the mix and was looking to comeback at the end, only for the safety car to deny his chances. 

He stayed out on medium tyres when occupying seventh place but dropped to 11th at the end. 

Zhou Guanyu – 5

Looking at Bottas’ race, the Chinese driver had a big opportunity to score points in Brazil but was off the pace after finishing 17th in qualifying and 13th in the sprint race. 

He qualified ahead of the Finn, but was no match for him on Sunday, as he fought outside of the points to a 12th place finish, despite contacts in front opening opportunities. 

Mick Schumacher – 4.5

His Haas days might soon be over and in Brazil he suffered a miserable weekend, after qualifying last whilst his teammate was on pole position. 

He was accused by team principal Gunther Steiner for not taking risks but looked to turn things around when he made up eight places in the sprint race. 

Mick Schumacher started on medium tyres and ran in the top 10 for some stages, but he ended up going backwards to finish 13th at the flag. 

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Pierre Gasly – 6.5

Alpha Tauri have been struggling all year and despite a promising ninth place start, Gasly was unable to finish in the points. 

The French driver was seventh in the opening stages but pitted early and had to defend for most of the time to stronger competitors. 

Finishing 14th is not particularly through faults of his own, as he will look to begin his career at Alpine for next year. 

Alex Albon – 7

For the second consecutive weekend, he narrowly missed out on Q3, qualifying 11th

However, the car switched off soon after the start on Saturday and e his grid slot was at the back for the race, in which he again proved no match for Nicholas Latifi to finish 15th

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Nicholas Latifi – 4.5

The Canadian driver might well be another one of those happy to see the season end, following another difficult race. 

He was 16th on qualifying, but still five places off Albon, and finished the sprint race almost a lap down. 

In the race, it was a similar story, finishing in 16th only in front of Yuki Tsunoda, who was unable to unlap in the safety car phase.

Yuki Tsunoda – 4

With only four points finishes this season, Tsunoda is not collecting the last few opportunities and finished in last place on Sunday. 

He was 19th in qualifying and finished 15th in the sprint race, but there was little to be happy about for the Japanese driver and Alpha Tauri, who need to score points in Abu Dhabi to pip Haas for eighth in the standings. 

Lando Norris – 7

The weekend looked extremely promising when he qualified on the second row for the fifth time this season and managed to score two points in the sprint race. 

However, he came together with Leclerc, arguably not his direct rival on Sunday and possibly sustained damage, as he dropped back and was virtually in ninth place when a mechanical issue ended the race.

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Daniel Ricciardo – 3

In a tight McLaren-Alpine battle, the Australian did his team no favour, qualifying 14th and being out on lap one after an avoidable collision which sent Magnussen into a spin. 

With the French cars down the grid, it was a big opportunity, but Daniel Ricciardo ended what looks inevitable to be his second-last F1 race after just a few kilometres. 

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Kevin Magnussen – 8

A sensational Q3 one-shot and some luck meant he started on pole position for the sprint race, a historic day for himself, Denmark, and team Haas. 

With the sprint race, it looked like his chances were minimal and he dropped to eighth place in about 20 laps, condemning him to start Sunday’s race from further down, in eighth. 

His race was over soon through no faults of his own, when Ricciardo hit him twice and the Dane had to retire. 

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May 2024