Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings
Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.
Lewis Hamilton – 9
Comes very close to earning a maximum score, but just misses out because of the hesitation he admitted to in not closing off Verstappen’s run to the inside at Turn 1, where he wisely turned out of a collision. Was excellent from there – harrying Verstappen while keeping his tyres alive in his first stint, then executed the perfect chase in his third, where his pace advantage was huge.
Max Verstappen – 8
Two minor mistakes add up to cost another mark. He delivered his best qualifying lap on the first Q3 runs, then was delightfully punchy at the first corner. But as he “called himself in”, per his team boss, he cost himself a second that could have been crucial had Hamilton covered him. Then locked up at Turn 5 on his out-lap and appeared to damage the critical left front.
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The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle