French Grand Prix driver ratings
The French GP was a weekend decided by tiny margins both at the front of the field, as Red Bull inflicted a comeback defeat on Mercedes, and in the battle for the minor points places. That's reflected in our driver ratings, where several drivers came close to a maximum score
Max Verstappen – 9
Was brilliant on his run to a second pole of 2021 but threw away the early race lead by getting caught out in the wind at Turns 1/2. This costs him the maximum despite his excellent race from there, which got easier when his handling balance returned on the hard tyres. His 21-lap charge was scintillating and his passes en route to victory were decisive.
Lewis Hamilton – 9
Tiny things result in a missed maximum. He was edged out in qualifying, where Red Bull holds the slight pace advantage anyway, then drove excellently in his gifted early-race lead. Probably could have defended harder against Verstappen late on, although he disagrees, and then there's the 0.4s he lost to the Red Bull in the pitlane at his sole stop, which contributed to his rival's unexpected undercut gain.
The chaotic start to the Hungarian GP set the scene for F1's less heralded drivers to make a name for themselves. Esteban Ocon did just that to win in fine style, but further down the order one driver was making his first visit to the points and - while the circumstances were fortunate - took full advantage of the chance presented to him
This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly
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