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Start Monaco GP
Portuguese Grand Prix 2021

Portuguese GP F1 Driver Ratings: Hamilton and Ocon star, blunder for Raikkonen

A tense third round of the 2021 Formula 1 season saw Lewis Hamilton come out on top against Max Verstappen after another on-track battle. Further down the field, Lando Norris was the best of the rest once again whilst Kimi Raikkonen retired early in the race. RacingNews365.com rates the whole field and how they performed at the Portuguese Grand Prix.

To news overview © Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton won the Portuguese GP to extend his championship lead to eight points over Max Verstappen after he came out on top against the Red Bull driver and teammate Valtteri Bottas in Portimao.

Lando Norris managed to beat Charles Leclerc in the McLaren and Ferrari battle, this time it was only for a top five result rather than a podium.

We have rated all 20 drivers based on their qualifying and race performances. Team errors such as a slow pitstop 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 Portuguese GP including their pace against their teammates and rivals, mistakes and any other standout moments from their weekend.

Lewis Hamilton 8/10

Started: 2nd - Finished: 1st

After a poor safety car restart and a scruffy Q3, Hamilton bounced back with a fantastic drive to execute two crucial overtakes on Verstappen and Hamilton.

His move on Verstappen was pivotal for the rest of his race and he executed it perfectly. On the whole, he wasn't at his best but delivered at the important moments to take his second win of 2021.

Max Verstappen 7/10

Started: 3rd - Finished: 2nd

Portugal was Verstappen's worst performance of the season so far even though he managed to finish second. Pole position was there for the taking but an error in qualifying put him on the backfoot.

His reaction on the safety car restart to overtake Hamilton was excellent but he made another error which allowed Hamilton back past before abusing the track limits once again during his fastest lap of the race.

Verstappen will need to perform better if he wants to take the lead in the championship.

Valtteri Bottas 7/10

Started: 1st - Finished: 3rd

Bottas took advantage of Verstappen's and Hamilton's scrappy Q3 laps to claim pole position but it was clear he lacked the ultimate race pace against the pair.

It felt like it was a matter of time as to when he would lose the lead and he did well to hang on for as long as he did. He did push Verstappen in the second stint but a sensor issue prevented him from mounting any challenge.

Managing the tyres and delivering consistent, fast laps remains Bottas' weakness. It was a good weekend but he still has some way to go if he wants to win a race this year.

Sergio Perez 6.5/10

Started: 4th - Finished: 4th

Sergio Perez had a steady weekend but any chance of fighting amongst the top three disappeared when he lost out to Lando Norris even if the McLaren driver illegally overtook him.

Similarly to Verstappen, Perez struggled to make the tyres work in qualifying and had no chance to slow Hamilton down in the latter stages of the race as Red Bull decided to leave him out on the track for over 50 laps.

Perez needs to put together a strong qualifying and race to be right in the mix.

Lando Norris 7.5/10

Started: 7th - Finished: 5th

Norris continued his purple patch of form and clearly maintained the upper hand over teammate Daniel Ricciardo.

Whilst he was unable to challenge Mercedes and Red Bull in Portugal qualifying, he did well to put the car onto the fourth row of the grid considering Ricciardo failed to make it out of Q1.

The battle between McLaren and Ferrari is nip and tuck and Norris kept a cool head to come out on top against Charles Leclerc for third consecutive race.

Charles Leclerc 7/10

Started: 8th - Finished: 6th

Leclerc was outqualified for the first time in 2021 by teammate Carlos Sainz but hit back in the race, showing slightly better pace than the Spaniard.

Ferrari opted to swap the drivers during the middle of the Grand Prix to give Leclerc the opportunity to chase down Norris.

Leclerc did not quite have the pace but will be happy to recover from his sub-par qualifying performance.

Esteban Ocon 8/10

Started: 6th - Finished: 7th

In Portugal, Ocon started to show genuine signs of the pace he had at Force India during his first two seasons in Formula 1.

Ocon outqualified Fernando Alonso by nearly one second in Q2 before delivering a lap good enough for the third row of the grid. He was the star of qualifying.

His race pace was not as impressive but he will be very encouraged by the way he has improved at each of the three events this year.

Fernando Alonso 7/10

Started: 13th - Finished: 8th

It looked to all be going wrong for Alonso when he went significantly slower in qualifying than he did in Saturday practice.

After a lot of head scratching, Alonso got stronger and stronger as the race went on to finish on the gearbox of teammate Ocon.

Alonso has always had stellar race pace and he proved this with his best performance over a Grand Prix distance yet this season.

Daniel Ricciardo 5.5/10

Started: 16th - Finished: 9th

Ricciardo was gutted to be eliminated from Q1 for the first time since Japan 2019 but he managed to somewhat recover to score some points in the race.

He went long on the first stint to overcut some drivers which was the best part of his drive. But he did not have the pace that the team perhaps expected after his pitstop.

It was a good comeback from a dismal qualifying but Ricciardo will still not be happy with his driving in Portimao.

Pierre Gasly 7/10

Started: 9th - Finished: 10th

AlphaTauri did not have the pace in the car that they had in Bahrain and Imola but Pierre Gasly was clearly the stronger of the AlphaTauri pair at the weekend.

It was a quiet event for Gasly but he did not make any significant mistakes on a track which caused a lot of problems for the teams.

Given how good AlphaTauri have been, it's difficult to judge just how good Gasly was in Portugal.

Carlos Sainz 6/10

Started: 5th - Finished: 11th

Qualifying was excellent from Sainz but he went backwards in the second half of the race which dropped him out of the points which he was deeply frustrated about.

Ferrari decided to put the medium tyres onto Sainz's car for the second stint which was a strange decision and is partly the reason why the 26-year-old was being overtaken by car after car. Therefore not all the blame can be put on Sainz.

Antonio Giovinazzi 7/10

Started: 12th - Finished: 12th

Antonio Giovinazzi actually had a great weekend in Portimao, outqualifying teammate Kimi Raikkonen and was on course to finish in the top 10.

However, Alfa Romeo let Giovinazzi down once again with a slow pitstop and a far from optimal strategy.

The Italian drove well and showed much improved form compared to Imola.

Sebastian Vettel 6.5/10

Started: 10th - Finished: 13th

It's difficult to rate the Aston Martin drivers due to the unknowns about the pace of their car. Sebastian Vettel did a brilliant job to reach Q3 despite not having the upgraded package on his car, unlike Lance Stroll.

But, the race pace was simply not there in the hard tyre for Vettel and he had no chance to score points despite his qualifying effort. The wait for some points on the board continues for the four-time world champion.

Lance Stroll 4/10

Started: 17th - Finished: 14th

A poor qualifying for Stroll put him on the backfoot and he could not do anything in the race to elevate himself up the order.

It was a difficult weekend for Stroll although he was closer to Vettel on race pace.

Yuki Tsunoda 4.5/10

Started: 14th - Finished: 15th

Tsunoda was not able to bounce back from a disastrous Emilia Romagna GP and went largely unnoticed in Portugal.

The difficulty Tsunoda has is learning the track and the problematic tarmac and tyres did not help his cause. He was off the pace compared to Gasly all weekend and will look forward to going to a more familiar venue next weekend.

George Russell 6/10

Started: 11th - Finished: 16th

Another outstanding qualifying performance from George Russell was exactly what he needed following his Imola incident.

Unfortunately, the Williams car appears to have carried over an issue from 2020 which is it's inability to follow cars closely.

Russell did not have the best Sunday either as Nicholas Latifi matched him at times during the race.

Mick Schumacher 7/10

Started: 19th - Finished: 17th

It was an impressive performance from Mick Schumacher throughout the weekend. He outqualified Nikita Mazepin by half a second and managed to pressure Latifi into a mistake during the race.

His pace was very strong and it bodes well given it was just his third F1 event on a track which he had to learn. Schumacher's performance was one that went under the radar in Portimao.

Nicholas Latifi 4/10

Started: 18th - Finished: 18th

Latifi failed to impress as he did in Imola, suggesting his pace in Italy may have been a one-off.

The usual half a second deficit to Russell was back and he was generally a little slower than Russell although the pair were fighting for the same piece of the track in the middle of the race.

Nikita Mazepin 4/10

Started: 20th - Finished: 19th

It was a better weekend for Mazepin who has had a torrid start to his F1 career but he is still someway behind fellow rookie teammate Schumacher on raw pace.

The Russian managed to keep up with Schumacher but then faded as the race went on, suggesting he is failing to get to grips with the Pirelli rubber.

Kimi Raikkonen 3.5/10

Started: 15th - Finished: DNF

The age-old number one rule in motor racing is to not hit your teammate but the Alfa Romeo drivers fell foul of this with a strange collision on the main straight at the end of the first lap.

Raikonen simply ran into the back of the rear left tyre of Antonio Giovinazzi which broke his front wing and put him out of the Grand Prix.

It was a clumsy error from Raikkonen who was looking down on his steering wheel to change a setting. He completely misjudged what should have been a relatively simple move.

RN365 News dossier F1 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix

The latest news about the Portuguese Grand Prix straight from the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve.