The results are in from the Sao Paulo Grand Prix and Sprint – George Russell took his first win and Mercedes’ first win of the season – and a few big names are missing from the top 10…
How it works
Our five-judge panel assesses each driver after each Grand Prix and scores them out of 10 based on their performance over the weekend – leaving machines out of the equation.
Our experts’ scores are averaged and the average of those scores is used to produce the power rankings leaderboard laid out below.
George Russell had a momentous weekend in Sao Paulo. He finished third and won on Saturday Sprint After a brief tussle with Max Verstappen, who defended brilliantly but couldn’t get those medium tires to work at 100km. On Sunday, Russell started from P1 on the grid, leading all but five laps en route to his maiden Grand Prix victory and the team’s first of 2022. The judges gave him a perfect score.
Lewis Hamilton held off most of the field in wet-dry-wet conditions to finish eighth on Friday, but the seven-time champion did better by finishing third behind in the sprint. Penalized driver Carlos Sainz, to ensure a front row lock for Mercedes on Sunday. At the Grand Prix, Hamilton led five laps, avoided a collision with Verstappen and supported his team-mate in a stunning one-two.
Sainz was not the happiest driver coming into the weekend as he had a five-place grid penalty for the Grand Prix, meaning his P5 in qualifying and P2 in the Sprint would turn into P7 on Sunday’s grid. But the Spaniard made it to P3 in the first 10 laps. Bulls – Sainz finally felt like he had the smooth weekend he’d been waiting for.
If Sainz was busy, Fernando Alonso was equally unhappy going into the Grand Prix. A collision with team-mate Esteban Ocon led to Alonso receiving a five-second penalty in the sprint – for which he started seventh – but he gradually worked his way into the top 10 on Sunday from 17th. From there, the two-time champion’s pace was more than enough for several points and he was allowed to pass Ocon late in the race to take the Red Bulls P5 at the checkered flag.
Despite the drama surrounding the Alfa Romeo driver, Valtteri Bottas’ performance did not go unnoticed by our judges. Bottas had a disappointing 18th place and finished 14th in the sprint, but he had plenty up his sleeve. Running as high as fifth in his own Grand Prix, the Finn was unable to hold on to the Alps and Red Bulls late in the race, but finished ninth on a day when the points seemed a long way off.
Kevin Magnussen made headlines when he landed his first ever pole position in a spectacular Friday qualifying session, and that went some way to placing him in our Power Rankings 10. The Danish driver was unable to hang on to the lead but settled for eighth, and one point in the sprint. Sunday was much less likely for the Haas driver as he was thrown out of the race on lap 1.
Leclerc finished 10th in the order on Friday but finished sixth in a strong sprint, with the Monegasque trying to avoid an unnecessary risk. From fifth on the grid, a collision with Lando Norris dropped him to 18th, but almost put him out of the race, but he soldiered on to get the better of team-mate Sainz at the final safety car restart. P4 Leclerc kept level with Perez in the Stand.
Sebastian Vettel qualified thirteenth and missed out on a point in the Sprint after placing P9 on Saturday – a result that showed he has the pace to fight for a top-10 spot on Sunday. The four-time champion gave it his all, going third with a different strategy to most of the runners, and was up to seventh before the fatal safety car ruined his hopes of a point in the Grand Prix, falling back to 11th on medium tires.
Ocon finished sixth on Friday and did not take the blame for Alonso’s collision in the sprint, which earned his team-mate a five-second penalty. The Frenchman started the race in 16th, but made it into the top 10s – but a late restart left him in eighth place at the checkered flag.
Despite suffering from food poisoning, Norris qualified fourth on Friday and dropped to seventh in the Sprint, admitting his aim was to overtake Magnussen. Mission accomplished, but sixth in the Grand Prix He stuck with Leclerc Earlier, he received a five-second penalty for that collision. The Englishman then moved up to eighth, but his progress was curtailed by a loss of power, ending the race on lap 52.
It is missing
Alfatauri finished 12th, 10th in the sprint, while Pierre Gasly was the only driver to miss the top 10 in our power ratings and – with a five-second penalty for pit lane speed – finished 14th on Sunday.