Charles Leclerc crashed out of the lead in the French Grand Prix, handing the win to Max Verstappen. Mercedes benefited from Ferrari’s troubles to take home their first double podium.
As the F1 world looks toward the summer break, some drivers are impressed in the French Grand Prix, while others may want the break to come sooner rather than later.
Here are the driver ratings for the 2022 French Grand Prix
Max Verstappen: The race was not looking to be going too well for the Dutchman after early challenges on Leclerc for the race lead failed. However, once Leclerc retired, Verstappen simply cruised to the victory.
He nailed the Safety Car restart and quickly built a gap between himself and Lewis Hamilton.
He now has a 63-point lead which under normal circumstances looks unsurmountable and he may have put one hand on the championship trophy. (9)
Lewis Hamilton: Second place finish at the French Grand Prix was his highest finishing position in 2022. It was a result of character as Hamilton had to battle the sweltering heat with a malfunctioning drinking system.
He got past Sergio Perez off the line and had a better pace than the Mexican.
While the Mercedes still lacks the pace to fight for wins on merit, Lewis has got closer to his top form and is now performing at the level we’re used to seeing him. (9)
George Russell: Russell bagged his 4th podium of the season with a solid drive at Paul Richard. ‘Mr. Consistency’ has been inside the top 5 in all of the races he has finished.
However, he did tangle with Sergio Perez when he went for an opportunistic divebomb at the end of the straight. His complaining of Perez led to Wolff reminding him to keep his head down.
He caught Perez napping after the end of the Virtual Safety Car period and then held onto third place. (8).
Sergio Perez: Perez had a rather off-color French Grand Prix. He was not near Verstappen’s pace all weekend long.
He did turn up after George Russell pounced on him after the VSC and got third place. Perez tried to chase Russell but ran out of laps.
Overall, it was a very average weekend for the Mexican. He must deliver on Sundays consistently if he wants to fight for the title. (6)
Carlos Sainz: This was Sainz’s one of the strongest performances in 2022. Having started 19th, Sainz moved up to 3rd with some brilliant overtaking.
Podium for there for the taking but a 5-second penalty and Ferrari’s mismanagement of the penalty ultimately yielded 5th place.
Nevertheless, it was a really solid drive from the Spaniard who now looks more comfortable with the F1-75. (9)
Fernando Alonso: Alonso got the better of Russell with a great start. However, he didn’t fight the Mercedes too much knowing his real race was with the McLarens.
He kept the McLarens behind and finished 6th behind the top three teams. A great race from the veteran who doesn’t look like slowing down anytime soon. (9)
Lando Norris: The Brit had a comparatively quiet race. He was passed by Russell in the opening laps and thereafter by Fernando Alonso.
The McLaren’s race pace was not encouraging and Norris in the end had to settle for 7th ahead of his teammate. (7.5)
Esteban Ocon: Ocon scored some valuable points at his home Grand Prix. However, he got a 5-second penalty for his contact with Yuki Tsunoda which ruined the Japanese race.
He did finish ahead of Ricciardo which was important due to the Alpine-McLaren battle. (7)
Daniel Ricciardo: The Honey Badger had a decent weekend in France. He scored points consecutively for the first time this season and was close to Norris in qualifying and race.
While he is still not back to his best, recent races give hope for much better performances. (6.5)
Lance Stroll: A lighting start from the Canadian saw him jump from P15 to P10. He went wheel-to-wheel with Sebastian Vettel in the opening lap and defended from him at the last lap to get his point.
A great drive that must have brought a smile to the Canadian’s face. (8)
Sebastian Vettel: Seb’s afternoon was a frustrating one after he spent much of his time stuck in a ‘DRS train’.
Vettel then tried to snatch a point off Stroll at the last corner of the final lap but failed. (7)
Pierre Gasly: Gasly had a disappointing home race after he failed to score points.
The AlphaTauri did not seem to have the pace for Gasly to challenge for points. The homeboy had to settle for 12th. (6)
Alex Albon: The Williams had bought some upgrades hoping to challenge for points. The FW44 was still not quick enough for top 10.
Alex, though, had a solid race and extracted everything out of the Williams. He finished a decent 13th. (6.5)
Valtteri Bottas: The Finn endured a poor start which ruined his race. This is not the first time Alfa Romeo has had problems off the line.
He did not have an enjoyable race and was out of points for the second consecutive time. (6)
Mick Schumacher: The German failed to get his third consecutive points to finish after a dismal race in France.
Schumacher struggled to make headway from the back of the grid after starting from P17 on the grid. Then an early pit stop to attempt undercut was ruined when he made a clumsy contact with Zhou that sent him spinning.
It was an immature race from a driver who recently had shown some sense of maturity. (5)
Did Not Finish
Zhou Guanyu: Zhou got a bad getaway off the line which dropped him down the field. Later, he was involved in a collision with the Haas of Mick Schumacher for which he got a 5-second penalty.
It was an afternoon to forget for Zhou as he was eventually forced to retire due to mechanical gremlins in the latter stages of the race. (5)
Nicholas Latifi: Latifi must have been buoyed when Williams decided to give him a big upgrade. However, he was not able to take an advantage of them.
He did look better overall but still lagged behind Albon. He had to retire after a collision with Kevin Magnussen. (5)
Kevin Magnussen: The Dane made a lighting start and climbed seven places on the opening lap. His rise through the field was halted when he pitted for hards on Lap 9.
He was looking promising for points but his contact with Latifi ended any hopes of a point finish. (7)
Charles Leclerc: if we lose the championship by 32 points at the end of the season, I will know from where they are coming from. These were Charles’s words after he dramatically spun and crashed while leading the Grand Prix.
Leclerc was looking set for a close battle with title rival Verstappen for the win. He had survived the early attacks and when the first round of pitstops came, Leclerc stayed out and crashed trying to build a gap to the pit. (5)
It was a crucial error at this stage of the championship as he saw Verstappen’s title lead double after France. (5)
Yuki Tsunoda: Yuki was a victim of an opening lap collision with Esteban Ocon. However, the damage was too significant for Yuki to continue.
It was a shame as Yuki has looked really strong this weekend as he got into Q3 while his teammate was knocked out in Q1. (6.5)
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