Formula 1: Midseason Driver Power Rankings

#1 Max Verstappen

This was probably the easiest to decide on the list. Verstappen has been in scintillating form this season. He’s won a total of 5 races so far, and if it wasn’t for terrible luck in the last two races and his unfortunate retirement at Azerbaijan he would still be at the top of the drivers championship. Although the points reflect differently Red Bull have managed to be one step ahead of Mercedes in almost every aspect this season. Verstappen has spearheaded this Red Bull charge as they look to deny Mercedes an 8th consecutive constructors title.

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#2 Lando Norris

Lando Norris is having his best season in F1 so far and has been so fun to watch. Norris was the only driver to finish in a points position in every single race before the unfortunate incident caused by Bottas at Hungary. He currently sits in 3d position in the championship race and is ahead of Bottas and Perez. He’s clearly over achieved in this McLaren all the while comfortably outperforming his more experienced teammate in Daniel Riccardo. Lando has had three podium finishes this year which brings his total to four podiums in the last 14 months. The clash with Perez at the Austrian GP resulted in him getting a harsh five second penalty which subsequently lead to him missing out on his best ever finish in a race. Lando will be looking forward to build on his great start and hopefully get a P2 or a win before the end of the season.

#3 Charles Leclerc

Leclerc has put in some very impressive drives this season. His stellar performance at Silverstone which saw him just missing out on a win and finishing P2 is his only podium of this season. Once again Leclerc has been very unlucky this season as he missed the Monaco GP with gearbox damage after finishing on pole in qualifying.
Another incident which caused him to miss out on the podium came at Imola when Leclerc sat comfortably in P2 before a red flag which resulted in the erasing of the 25 second deficit between him and Lando Norris. Leclerc has still managed to finish in a points position in every race he’s finished and will be looking to improve on his 7th place in the drivers championship in the second half of the season.

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#4 Lewis Hamilton

The Seven time world champion has been on the ropes this season. With the inferior car at the beginning of the season, Hamilton has put on some magnificent drives to remind us why he’s the best in the world. His wins in Bahrain, Spain and at his home race in Silverstone were against the odds and he managed to make it look easy. After five consecutive Red Bull wins it seemed as though they might just pull away, but the situation has completely changed now as Verstappen has had a DNF and a P9 in back-to-back races. The narrative however has changed as Hamilton has been portrayed as the villain after Silverstone and as he said it just fuels him on. Hamilton will be looking to build on this lead when racing resumes at Spa as he seeks to win a record breaking 8th World Championship.

#5 Pierre Gasly

Pierre Gasly has been on an absolute tear since being dropped by Red Bull at this point 2 years ago. He has outperformed all his team-mates comfortably, and he has grabbed 3 podiums so far including an iconic win at Monza in 2020. He has carried over his stellar form into the 2021 season, currently 11-0 up against rookie teammate Yuki Tusuoda, Pierre has qualified P6 or better in 8 of the 11 races so far. As a result of his performances Alpha Tauri sit above Aston Martin and hot on the heels of Alpine in the Constructor’s Championship. Pierre has also found his way back into the good books of Helmut Marko, and is in contention to regain his Red Bull seat over incumbent Sergio Perez.

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#6 Carlos Sainz

Carlos Sainz has settled into his Ferrari seat quicker than any of the driver’s who changed teams before this season. He had a shaky start to the season finishing P11 in Portimao, but he has been on an upward trajectory ever since. A P2 finish and an iconic Monaco podium is his best result of the season, but he has followed it up with great drives such as his P5 at the Austrian GP after he started in P12. Carlos by his own admission has not been at his best and has had a mixed season thus far, as seen by his performance at the Hungaroring where an erroneous spin knocked him out in Q2 but an recovery drive sprinkled with a little fortune earned him his second podium of the season. Sainz and Leclerc have both begun to hit their stride and as Ricciardo still continues to struggle at McLaren, Ferrari look poised to ramp up their challenge for P3 in the Constructor’s Championship.

#7 Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso returned to F1 full-time this season with Alpine, and most people didn’t have high expectations. Fernando has been a bit of cribber and whiner, especially during his time with McLaren. Now gone are the days of the ‘GP2 engine’ as Fernando has been one of the feel-good stories of this season. His demeanour on the track has softened, but his pace and performance are the feistiest we have seen in a long time. He has pushed the car to its limits. He has been on a run of 6 consecutive Q3 appearance grabbing a P6 at Baku and a heroic P4 at Hungary.

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#8 George Russell

Russell has shifted gears this season and has proved to the world why he is one of the hottest properties in Formula 1. After the heartbreak at the Sakhir GP last season, Russell has only gone from strength to strength. From regularly going out in Q1 the Williams driver is regularly battling in Q2 often out performing the Alpha Romeo’s. A points finish has long been on the cards as he just missed out in Austria where he finished 11th. The drama at Hungary finally gave Williams the opportunity to finish in the top ten with Russell and Latifi finished in 8th and 7th place respectively. This was Williams first time getting points since Kubica finished tenth at the German Grand prix in 2019. Russell is currently favourite for the second Mercedes seat as Bottas’s current contract runs out at the end of the season.

#9 Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon has had a very lack lustre season. He has had issues with his chassis and was being quite comfortably outperformed by Alonso in qualifying. It seems Alpine have since resolved those issues and Esteban had a solid race at Silverstone which was followed by an iconic maiden win in Hungary, his first since his F3 days. The only reason he is further down the list is because, many expected him to comfortably out perform Alonso and for a short while he did so and even had people throwing around his name for the 2022 Mercedes seat. But he regressed so drastically after Imola, which coincided with Alonso finding his feet again the hype around Ocon started to die down. The win in Hungary will no doubt do wonders for his confidence and the teams belief in that they were right to hand him a 3 year contract extension.

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#10 Sebastian Vettel

Vettel had a very very bad 2020 season with many comparing it to Michael Schumacher’s late Mercedes career, but to be honest this was worst. Sebastian Vettel is one of the titan’s of the sport and has proved this season that he still has something left in the tank. This year’s Aston has not been as good last year’s Pink Mercedes so there is a natural regression in points scoring for the team but when the opportunity has presented itself, Vettel has capitalised on them. An impressive P5 at Monaco followed by fantastic P2 at Baku have been the highlights of Seb’s season, but he has still struggled with the car at traditional tracks and has left much to be desired with his qualifying pace. Despite all this, the trajectory for Aston Martin and Seb has been upwards ticking as they find themselves competing with Alpha Tauri and Alpine for P5 in the Constructor’s Championship.

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