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Dutch GP 2021 F1 Driver Ratings: Verstappen, Gasly and Leclerc star

Another exciting round of the 2021 Formula 1 season saw Max Verstappen come out on top against Lewis Hamilton in an intense Dutch Grand Prix. RacingNews365.com rates the whole field on how they performed at Zandvoort.

Max Verstappen was victorious after an enthralling battle with Lewis Hamilton at the Dutch Grand Prix to retake the lead in the Drivers' Championship. Valtteri Bottas finished third as Red Bull and Mercedes went head-to-head in one of the most strategically intense races of the year so far. We have rated all 20 drivers based on their qualifying and race performances. Team errors such as a slow pit-stop or a sub-optimal strategy do not affect our ratings as they are no fault of the drivers. Our ratings solely look at how well the drivers got on throughout the Dutch GP weekend.

Max Verstappen 9.5/10

Started: 1st - Finished: 1st Verstappen has delivered some brilliant drives this year, but the way he performed at Zandvoort might just be his best of the season so far. Despite huge pressure from the home crowd, he kept his cool and got the job done. There was nothing to separate Red Bull and Mercedes, and the drivers have been making the difference all year. This weekend, Verstappen executed a near-perfect Dutch GP to beat both Mercedes drivers. Not quite a perfect 10, but a sublime showing.

Lewis Hamilton 9/10

Started: 2nd - Finished: 2nd Hamilton threw everything at Verstappen but fell just short on Saturday and Sunday. Perhaps Hamilton's lack of track time on Friday, due to a problem in the oil system, played a part, as the seven-time World Champion missed out on pole position by just 0.038 seconds. In the race, track position was king and Hamilton didn't put a foot wrong. However, Mercedes made some strategical errors, which could have given Hamilton a better chance of victory . Verstappen just had the edge over Hamilton to take the win and reclaim the lead in the championship.

Valtteri Bottas 7/10

Started: 3rd - Finished: 3rd It was a rather typical weekend for Bottas. A strong showing in practice, only to be beaten by Hamilton in Q3, before not having the pace to match the championship protagonists in the race. He will be rueing the mistake which allowed Verstappen to overtake him relatively easily, and he played the team game on more than one occasion on Sunday. Zandvoort brings up the question of whether Bottas will be able to win a race in 2021?

Pierre Gasly 9/10

Started: 4th - Finished: 4th Pierre Gasly showed his best form throughout the weekend with a fantastic qualifying lap to get onto the second row of the grid. On a track where the top drivers can really shine, Gasly came out on top in the midfield battle. He backed up his one-lap performance with an equally outstanding drive in the race. Fourth place never looked in doubt and his result moved him up to eighth place in the Drivers' standings.

Charles Leclerc 8.5/10

Started: 5th - Finished: 5th Charles Leclerc has clearly made huge strides with his tyre management and the Dutch GP provided more evidence of that fact. Gasly was out of reach for Ferrari so Leclerc preserved his Soft tyres and nailed his stint on the C1 Hard tyre compound on his way to fifth. A great event for Leclerc.

Fernando Alonso 8.5/10

Started: 9th - Finished: 6th Fernando Alonso was the first driver to find the perfect line at the banked Turn 3 corner on Friday and he made the most of the challenging Zandvoort circuit. At first, Alonso seemed to be relatively slow in the race but he was simply playing the long game by conserving his tyres early on in his stints before pushing hard and gaining time on his rivals. Alonso's move at the start of the race around the outside of Turn 3 was typical of the two-time F1 World Champion and he smartly drove his way to one of his best results of the season.

Carlos Sainz 7.5/10

Started: 6th - Finished: 7th Carlos Sainz nearly tangled with teammate Leclerc at the start of the race but tucked in behind after a frantic opening few corners. For most of the race, Sainz had slightly less pace compared to Leclerc on both the Soft and Hard tyres, losing out to Alonso in the final stages of the Grand Prix. Nevertheless, the result for Ferrari was excellent and it takes them 11.5 points clear of McLaren in the Constructors' Championship.

Sergio Perez 4.5/10

Started: Pit Lane - Finished: 8th Red Bull took most of the blame for Sergio Perez's elimination from Q1 but it's also down to the driver to put in a good enough banker lap to not get into tricky situations. Perez started from the pit lane and made his race even tougher when he flat-spotted his Hard tyres. After that, he was much better and came through the field as you would expect with some great overtakes. It has certainly not been a good run of form for Perez in the last five races, and he cannot afford to be starting down the order in such a close title fight.

Esteban Ocon 7.5/10

Started: 8th - Finished: 9th Esteban Ocon had an excellent qualifying but lost out to Alpine teammate Alonso at the beginning of the race, which put him on the backfoot. Ocon thought he was faster than Alonso, which was not the case in the end. Instead, Ocon didn't manage his tyres as well. The Frenchman will learn a lot from the Dutch GP.

Lando Norris 6.5/10

Started: 13th - Finished: 10th One of the surprises of the weekend was Lando Norris' failure to reach Q3. The McLaren driver admitted he wasn't comfortable in the car on Saturday but rescued a point 24 hours later. Norris went long and had very good pace in clean air which put him in a points-paying position. Not the result McLaren were looking for and they will be hoping Zandvoort was an anomaly for them.

Daniel Ricciardo 6/10

Started: 10th - Finished: 11th Daniel Ricciardo continued his strong qualifying form from Spa at the Dutch GP but didn't have the race pace compared to Norris. Ricciardo played the team game to give Norris 10th place as they were on different strategies and he was unfortunate that on a weekend where he was close to his teammate, McLaren didn't have the speed of their rivals. There are certainly positive signs for Ricciardo as long as he can improve his Sunday form.

Lance Stroll 6/10

Started: 12h - Finished: 12th Lance Stroll had another relatively quiet F1 weekend. He qualified well in 12th but failed to get into the midfield battle, spending the majority of his race fighting with George Russell. A tough Dutch GP for Aston Martin, who lost further ground to Alpine and AlphaTauri in the Constructors' Championship.

Sebastian Vettel 5.5/10

Started: 15th - Finished: 13th Sebastian Vettel was unlucky in qualifying to get blocked by both Haas drivers. Similarly to Perez, he and the team were ultimately to blame. In the race, Vettel was the only driver to make a clear mistake when he spun at Turn 3 as he went for an overtake. A weekend to forget for Vettel.

Antonio Giovinazzi 7.5/10

Started: 7th - Finished: 14th Antonio Giovinazzi was the star of qualifying with his seventh place, equalling the best starting position in his F1 career. To deliver when your future in F1 is in jeopardy is impressive and that's exactly what Giovinazzi did – a brilliant job. However, bad luck struck on race day when a puncture cost him any chance of some valuable points. Without that, 10th place was possible for Giovinazzi.

Robert Kubica 6.5/10

Started: 16th - Finished: 15th Considering Robert Kubica had just one hour of practice around the demanding Zandvoort circuit, after replacing Kimi Raikkonen who tested positive for COVID-19, he performed very well. Kubica was racing in F1 for the first time since 2019 and did not make any mistakes, building up his pace and using his experience to get used to the car quickly. A great effort from the Pole.

Nicholas Latifi 6/10

Started: Pit Lane - Finished: 16th Nicholas Latifi had a big opportunity to out-qualify George Russell, but the car got away from him as he crashed in Q2. It was remarkably similar to Russell's accident just minutes earlier, albeit at a different part of the track. Latifi has definitely brought himself closer to Russell and seems to be gaining confidence.

George Russell 6.5/10

Started: 11th - Finished: 17th Russell threw everything at the car in qualifying and pushed things one step too far as he crashed at the penultimate corner. In the race, he started 11th and was holding on to some of the midfield runners, but faded in the second half.

Mick Schumacher 5/10

Started: 17th - Finished: 18th Haas had a very messy weekend which was topped off when Mick Schumacher broke his front wing due to contact with Nikita Mazepin. It ruined Schumacher's race, as he then had to give way to the rest of the field because of blue flags. The qualifying drama appeared to be a miscommunication between the teams and drivers, but the situation does not look good for Haas on and off the track.

Yuki Tsunoda 5.5/10

Started: 14th - Finished: DNF It was a disappointing Dutch GP for Yuki Tsunoda as the AlphaTauri had strong pace at Zandvoort. Tsunoda failed to get to grips with the car and was found out on a challenging circuit. A power unit issue ended his race early but he was highly unlikely to score points in any case.

Nikita Mazepin 4/10

Started: 18th - Finished: DNF Mazepin had a controversial weekend at Zandvoort. His move on the main straight on Schumacher arguably deserved a penalty, and to defend so aggressively against your teammate is silly. A lot of discussion will take place behind-the-scenes at Haas after controversy in qualifying which was not helped by Mazepin's actions in the race.

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