F1 Portuguese Grand Prix: Driver Rankings

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrates after winning the Formula One Portuguese Grand Prix at the Algarve International Circuit in Portimao, Portugal, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. (Rafael Marchante, Pool via AP)

Lewis Hamilton broke the long-lasting win record with his 92nd race win, beating Michael Schumacher’s 91, how did the other drivers fare from the race?

(These rankings are based on opinion of the top 10 drivers in the Grand Prix, while taking in other factors such as final position vs starting position, penalties etc.)

10th – George Russell, Williams Racing

Speculation has revolved around the young Brit all week in regards to potentially losing his seat to Sergio Perez, who is looking for his next seat for 2021.

However, he has been able to put the speculation aside and demonstrate he deserves his seat in F1.

While the youngster may have started and finished in 14th, to maintain that position during a race where a safety car wasn’t deployed is impressive – considering it involved a Williams, who haven’t performed great in previous seasons.

9th – Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo

The most experienced driver on the grid, Kimi Raikkonen, hasn’t had the best year at Alfa Romeo. After only scoring two points in 2020 with his ninth place finish in Tuscany.

Unfortunately, the Finn wasn’t able to add to this tally but came just outside the points, in an exceptional drive, to finish in 11th.

Considering the Ferrari-powered outfit are struggling to get out of Q1.

8th – Sebastian Vettel, Scuderia Ferrari

Like with Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel has had a shocking season since the news of his departure and Ferrari’s poor performance.

However, with recent areodynamic upgrades brought to the SF1000, Vettel managed to drag his Prancing Horse over the finish line in 10th – the final points position.

7th – Pierre Gasly, Alpha Tauri

Since the Frenchman’s demotion from Red Bull Racing last year, Pierre Gasly had been on the rise. This week hasn’t been an exception to that fact.

Despite starting in ninth, the Frenchman chased down Sergio Perez, Racing Point, in the dying embers of the race to secure P5 by the time the chequered flag was waved.

Has he proven enough to Christain Horner and Helumt Marko for another chance in Red Bull?

6th – Carlos Sainz, McLaren

Now, Carlos Sainz put in a great performance early on as he managed to climb up into the lead of the race by the second lap – with an impressive overtake on Valtteri Bottas at the turn five hairpin.

In addition to this, the Spaniard managed to get his MCL-35 out of DRS (Drag Reduction System) range of Bottas for a short amount of time before the Silver Arrow overtook him.

5th – Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG-Petronas

The unfortunate Finn. Bottas, in the same hardware of his teammate had the difficult job done early on – overtaking Hamilton.

However, after having the lead of the race, Bottas attempted to slow down his British teammate by going over to the dirty side of the track. But, once Hamilton took over, Bottas couldn’t seem to threaten the leading Mercedes for the remainder of the race.

4th – Max Verstappen, Red Bull

The flying Dutchman. Max Verstappen seemed to get every possible inch of performance out of his RB16, while it was only capable of finishing third.

Although, he did have a slight altercation with Perez, who he made contact with in the opening lap. Painfully, during the race, the Dutch driver managed to overtake his teammate, Alexander Albon.

Who can truly bring a fight to Verstappen in a Red Bull?

3rd – Charles Leclerc, Scuderia Ferrari

Like his time at Sauber in 2018, Charles Leclerc has something special under his foot when he is able to get a under-performing car into a good finishing position.

From a stellar performance in qualifying yesterday, to get his SF1000 into Q3, the Monegasque managed to maintain his position by the end of the race.

2nd – Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG-Petronas

Who can stop this man? The six-time world champion seemingly has a special relationship with Rubber. No matter how many times he complains about his tyres, he can always nurse them for as long as possible.

No doubt this ability helped him put in a series of fastest laps on the hardest compound and gain over a 25s gap over his, second-place, teammate.

1st – Sergio Perez, Racing Point

Driver of the day. A well-deserved achievement for the Mexican driver.

After being spun around by Max Verstappen on the first lap, which put him last in the field of running cars – not helped by taking an early trip to the pits.

The Racing Point driver managed to overtake 13 drivers as the Grand Prix progressed to finish in seventh.

Why not…?

Lance Stroll, who looked capable of being in the points, made avoidable mistakes. The Lando Norris incident, DRS was proven to be extremely powerful but with Turn one rapidly coming up, he could have backed off and gave it another go the following lap – avoiding the contact that ulitmately came and forced the Canadian to retire in the end.

Kamron Kent