Evaluating F1 drivers is an incredibly difficult task for us common folk, as we have no real understanding of how efficiently and effectively a driver is performing, considering the car and circumstances of the race. With that said, these power rankings will consider both the car, and the driver, and can be used for sports betting purposes.
1. Max Verstappen
The talent was always there. But the disparity between the Red Bull car and Mercedes meant that Max could never eclipse Hamilton without an extreme amount of effort and luck.
Now the question is, how long will the Red Bull car stay superior to Mercedes? I will still give the overall talent and experience edge to Hamilton. But it’s close enough that Max is now a clear #1 as long as Red Bull can hold an advantage in the garage.
2. Lewis Hamilton
I don’t get the feeling that Lewis Hamilton enjoys playing second fiddle to Verstappen. So, this could all change on Sunday at Silverstone. However, at this point, there is no denying Lewis has been bumped down a notch to make room for a new Sherrif in town.
3. Sergio Perez
Sergio is an incredibly talented driver and he has taken no time to get used to his new car at Red Bull. There is a clear drop-off after Max and Hamilton, but my money is on Sergio in the RB at #3.
4. Lando Norris
Lando has become an easy fan favorite as a young, successful, happy-go-lucky driver on a non-dominant team. And his performance has exceeded fans’ most ambitious dreams, as Lando has two podiums and has finished top-5 in five of six races to date.
5. Valtteri Bottas
Mercedes hates Bottas. It’s getting close to how much Ferrari hated Vettel at the end of the 2020 season. And just like with Sebastian, the feeling seems to be mutual from Bottas towards Mercedes. Again, like Vettel last year, Bottas is nearly 100% out of the Mercedes #2 seat next year. And yet, he is still a talented driver and he gets to race in a Mercedes F1 car.
6. Charles LeClerc
Char has been excellent this season, and it’s been fun to see Ferrari get back to being a competitive team. LeClerc seems to have complete control over his Ferrrari car, and has consistently been a top 5 threat all season.
7. Carlos Sainz
Carlos has all the skill and driver intelligence in the world. But he doesn’t seem to mesh perfectly with his new car and team. By the end of the season, I would expect Carlos to contend with the four drivers ahead of him.
8. Pierre Gasly
I would love so much to see Pierre in a Red Bull or Mercedes car. His talent and his charisma could make him a superstar if the planets aligned right. As it is, Pierre gets every last bit of juice out of his Alpha Tauri. And the car must suit him incredibly well given how consistently stellar his results are.
9. Danny Riccardo
Oh Danny Boy, what happened? Well, I think we know what happened. You switched teams too many times. The move from Red Bull was bound to happen. Max was the golden child and yet, Danny still deserved a #1 seat. So why leave Renault?
The switch to Renault made sense, and Danny should have stuck to his guns with the move. Renault, now named Alpine, instead grabbed F1 veteran and legend Fernando Alonso to ride alongside Esteban Ocon after Danny fled for greener pastures.
McLaren would have been an excellent team for Danny–only if Lando wasn’t on the team. Danny is an alpha dog. He needs to be the #1 driver, and he again finds himself second fiddle to a young, up-and-coming superstar. For now, Danny seems to be a younger version of Sebastian Vettel, floundering away in a sport that doesn’t fully appreciate his skill.
10. Sebastian Vettel
The Return of Seb! It is so nice to see Sebastian out of the Ferrari and in a car that suits him again.