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Styrian Grand Prix 2021

Styrian GP 2021 F1 Driver Ratings: Verstappen, Norris and Russell star

Another intriguing round of the 2021 Formula 1 season saw Max Verstappen come out on top against Lewis Hamilton. Further down the field, Lando Norris was the best of the rest once again in his McLaren. RacingNews365.com rates the whole field and how they performed at the Styrian GP.

GP Stiermarken start
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To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Max Verstappen was victorious after a dominant victory to beat Lewis Hamilton at the Styrian Grand Prix and extend his lead in the Drivers' Championship.

Valtteri Bottas held off Sergio Perez to finish third whilst the championship protagonists romped away. Lando Norris had another brilliant weekend to come home in fifth, ahead of Ferrari drivers Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc.

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 at the Styrian GP weekend.

Max Verstappen 9/10

Started: 1st - Finished: 1st

It was a flawless weekend for Verstappen who is driving as good as ever. Verstappen knows that his Red Bull has the pace to beat Mercedes and he's delivering in every session when it matters.

His margin over teammate Perez was impressive too, consistently a few tenths faster all event. Whilst Verstappen had a relatively easy drive to his 14th win in F1, but it was his pole position lap which was the highlight. An incredible first run in Q3.

Lewis Hamilton 8.5/10

Started: 2nd - Finished: 2nd

Even though Hamilton was second-best to Verstappen, it felt like Red Bull had the edge on pace over Mercedes so there was not much more the seven-time world champion could do.

Hamilton was outqualified by Bottas but he maximised his Sunday performance and did not have the car to take it to Verstappen on the hard tyres.

Without doubt, the Verstappen and Red Bull challenge feels more threatening compared to the Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari rivalry from 2017 and 2018.

			© Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool
	© Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Valtteri Bottas 7.5/10

Started: 4th - Finished: 3rd

It's difficult to rate Bottas because he gave himself a handicap by spinning in the pit lane in practice which rewarded him with a three-grid place penalty.

He stayed in contention to capitalise on a mistake from the Red Bull pit crew with Perez. But, Hamilton and Verstappen were in a league of their own so even if Bottas started second, he most likely would have finished third anyway.

Sergio Perez 7/10

Started: 5th - Finished: 4th

The Styrian GP was an average showing from Perez. He was always off the pace compared to Verstappen although he should have been on the podium and only lost out due to a slow pit stop which allowed Bottas to jump him.

His charge to catch Bottas was good but he did not quite have the pace or the same confidence as he has had in previous races.

Nevertheless, Red Bull gained another three points on Mercedes in the Constructors' Standings.

			© Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool
	© Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Lando Norris 9/10

Started: 3rd - Finished: 5th

An absolutely brilliant performance from Lando Norris for yet another Grand Prix. The McLaren driver has made his scintillating form become a normality with a seventh top five result of the season.

His Q3 run to beat one of the Red Bulls was very impressive and he was smart to let the Perez and Bottas by early in the race, rather than cost himself time by fighting the pair.

Carlos Sainz 7.5/10

Started: 12th - Finished: 6th

Carlos Sainz recovered from his worst qualifying of the year with a well managed race. He went long on the medium tyres to jump his midfield rivals before switching to the hard tyres.

Had he not been stuck behind Hamilton when lapped, he may have been able to put more pressure on Norris. A nicely executed race from Sainz.

Charles Leclerc 7.5/10

Started: 7th - Finished: 7th

It's very difficult to rate Charles Leclerc. He was clearly at fault for ending Pierre Gasly's race when he misjudged the overlap with Gasly to cause him a puncture.

Later in the race, Leclerc swiped across the front of Kimi Raikkonen and was lucky to not have a puncture himself.

However, his comeback drive through the field was phenomenal. The way he made overtakes quickly and maintained his tyres in the right window was exceptional.

In some ways, it was similar to Hamilton's race in Imola when he made a silly mistake but recovered magnificently.

Lance Stroll 7/10

Started: 9th - Finished: 8th

It was a good Sunday for Lance Stroll who found himself in front of teammate Sebastian Vettel. Stroll had a lovely move around the outside of Fernando Alonso too.

You can't help but feel the Aston Martin drivers could have finished further ahead given the car they have as four points is not a massive haul of points.

			© Alpine
	© Alpine

Fernando Alonso 7.5/10

Started: 8th - Finished: 9th

Alpine did not have the speed at the Styrian GP but Alonso extracted what he could from the car. His lap to get into Q3 was excellent and he was unlucky in the race at times with blue flags and traffic which cost him positions.

Alonso is definitely coming to the form he had before he left F1 at the end of 2018.

Yuki Tsunoda 7/10

Started: 11th - Finished: 10th

Yuki Tsunoda said he was going to take a new approach to his driving and he certainly did that. It wasn't flashy and nothing special but he made no major mistakes so it's something to build on.

A solitary point is not what Tsunoda wants but running in the midpack and understanding his tyres in a race which featured no safety car will do wonders for the AlphaTauri driver.

			© Red Bull Content Pool / Getty Images
	© Red Bull Content Pool / Getty Images

Kimi Raikkonen 7/10

Started: 18th - Finished: 11th

Kimi Raikkonen had a very bad qualifying but he made up for it with a strong drive to finish just outside of the points-paying positions.

The pace on the medium tyres was not good but he drove very well on the hard compound to keep some faster cars behind.

Sebastian Vettel 6/10

Started: 14th - Finished: 12th

Vettel was unable to continue his good run of form in Spielberg which was disappointing. He was off the pace compared to Stroll and appeared to lose speed as the race progressed.

It was never going to be easy given the tightness of the midfield and Vettel's sub-optimal qualifying performance.

Daniel Ricciardo 4/10

Started: 13th - Finished: 13th

It's painful to see Daniel Ricciardo struggling so much and it's confusing too. It really does not look good for the McLaren driver.

Friday suggested he was on the up but it all went wrong after that. He is slower everywhere compared to Norris, losing out on the exit of each corner which is costing him time down the next straight.

Ricciardo had a good start and lost the four places he gained due to a loss in power but even when the problem was solved, he did not standout for the rest of the race. There will be a lot of head scratching.

			© McLaren
	© McLaren

Esteban Ocon 4.5/10

Started: 17th - Finished: 14th

Esteban Ocon was just as poor as Ricciardo in the Alpine. He missed out on Q2 by 0.125 seconds which was disappointing when Alonso managed to qualify in ninth place.

Since Ocon signed his new contract before the French GP, he has not showed the form he head earlier in the season and is consistently behind Alonso.

Antonio Giovinazzi 6/10

Started: 15th - Finished: 15th

Antonio Giovinazzi did well to reach Q2 but failed to make any impression in the race after he was turned around at the start.

The Alfa Romeo driver has to perform to keep his seat for 2022 and he's not been able to get a good run of form going.

Mick Schumacher 6.5/10

Started: 19th - Finished: 16th

After getting caught out by the first lap chaos, Mick Schumacher found himself stuck behind Nikita Mazepin. Once Mazepin pitted, Schumacher went long and made the strategy work and was on average one second quicker than his Haas teammate.

A good race from Schumacher.

			© Haas
	© Haas

Nikita Mazepin 4/10

Started: 20th - Finished: 17th

Nikita Mazepin was much closer to Schumacher over one lap, qualifying just 0.151 seconds behind the German.

He took advantage of the mess at Turn 3 on lap one to get ahead of Schumacher but he seems to have a problem on the hard tyre. His pace was pretty dismal and he was 42 seconds behind Schumacher at the chequered flag.

Nicholas Latifi 5.5/10

Started: 16th - Finished: 18th

Nicholas Latifi looked good in qualifying but failed to improve at the end of Q1 when the track had evolved which likely cost him a place in Q2.

His race was ruined as he got caught up in the accident caused by a limping Gasly.

			© Williams
	© Williams

George Russell 9/10

Started: 10th - Finished: DNF

What a massive shame for Russell. His Q2 lap was excellent as he qualified 11th to give Williams their best qualifying for five year in terms of pace to the front of the field.

Russell was running brilliantly in the race too and was looking to move forward rather than dropping back through the field. Without his reliability issues, Russell would likely have scored his first points as a Williams driver.

Pierre Gasly 7/10

Started: 6th - Finished: DNF

Gasly had another great qualifying, especially considering he missed the entire FP2 session. But, his race came to an end on lap one when Leclerc hit his left-rear tyre.

The AlphaTauri driver did nothing wrong and missed out on an opportunity to score big points.

F1 2021 Styrian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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