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2022 Bahrain Grand Prix F1 Driver Ratings

With a brand new season comes a brand new approach for how RaceFans assesses the performances of each driver through the 2022 Formula 1 world championship.

After each grand prix, RaceFans will grade all 20 drivers on their overall performance throughout the race weekend, across Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Each driver will be awarded a score on a scale of zero to ten, taking into account the performance expectations of their machinery, how they overcame adversity over the weekend, how many mistakes they made as well as their conduct out on the track.

But keep in mind, these drivers will be judged not only against each other, but against over 70 years of Formula 1 history. Only the most outstanding, exceptional feats of driving excellence will earn the highest scores.

With the first race of the year finally in the books, here’s how each driver fared over the course of the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend…

Lewis Hamilton – 7

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Bahrain International Circuit, 2022
Podium finish looked unlikely for Hamilton until the end

Qualified: 5th (+4 above team mate)
Finished: 3rd (+1 above team mate)

  • Battled with inconsistent brake temperatures in practice
  • Easily out-qualified new team mate Russell to line up fifth behind Ferraris and Red Bulls
  • Jumped Perez at start until being repassed
  • Ran fifth until gaining fourth after Verstappen’s retirement
  • Pressured an ailing Perez until the Red Bull retired, handing him a podium

George Russell – 6

Qualified: 9th (-4 below team mate)
Finished: 5th (-1 below team mate)

  • Fourth across all three practice sessions
  • Quicker than Hamilton in Q2, but settings experiment backfired in Q3, leaving him ninth
  • Gained two places on lap one after great launch off the grid
  • Passed Magnussen to run sixth behind Hamilton for most of the race
  • Picked up fourth after Red Bulls dropped out

Max Verstappen – 8

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Bahrain International Circuit, 2022
Verstappen threw everything he had at Leclerc

Qualified: 2nd (+2 above team mate)
Finished: DNF (Fuel pump – L54)

  • Fastest of all in second and third practice
  • Quickest in Q2, but missed out on pole by a tenth
  • Fought hard with Leclerc for lead but could not keep ahead after locking up heavily into turn one
  • Kept in touch with Leclerc despite complaints with braking and power steering
  • Forced to retire after restart with fuel pump problem

Sergio Perez – 6

Qualified: 4th (-2 below team mate)
Finished: DNF (Fuel pump – L57)

  • Significantly slower than Verstappen on Friday’s long runs
  • Qualified 4th but felt third was possible if not for mistake in final corner
  • Dropped two positions at the start, before gaining fourth back over opening stint
  • Maintained a steady gap to Sainz ahead for much of the race
  • Lost a podium on the final lap after engine seized at turn one

Carlos Sainz Jnr – 6

Qualified: 3rd (-2 below team mate)
Finished: 2nd (-1 below team mate)

  • Struggled with confidence in the car during practice
  • Qualified third a tenth away from Leclerc and 0.006s away from a front row start
  • Held onto third for the vast majority of the race, gradually losing touch with two leaders
  • Passed Verstappen after restart once Red Bull’s fuel pump problem began to manifest
  • Admitted to not feeling at home with the car all weekend

Charles Leclerc – 8

Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, Bahrain International Circuit, 2022
Clever DRS strategy kept Leclerc ahead

Qualified: Pole position (+2 above team mate)
Finished: Winner (+1 above team mate)

  • Second quickest across all three practice sessions
  • Pipped Verstappen to pole despite Red Bull appearing to have superior one lap pace
  • Led from the start and kept Verstappen at bay for most of the race
  • Incredibly cool under pressure from Verstappen, smartly exploited DRS rules to keep his lead
  • Hat trick of pole, victory and fastest lap

Lando Norris – 6

Qualified: 13th (+5 above team mate)
Finished: 15th (-1 below team mate)

  • Struggled with McLaren’s fundamental braking issue all weekend
  • Comfortably reached Q2 before being eliminated in 13th
  • Lost three places on opening lap trying to avoid Schumacher, then passed by Stroll and Zhou
  • Lost position to Ricciardo after unfortunate Safety Car timing
  • Finished 15th

Daniel Ricciardo – 4

Qualified: 18th (-5 below team mate)
Finished: 14th (+1 above team mate)

  • First time in the car since first test in Barcelona, battling brake troubles
  • Lost important track time in second practice with water leak
  • Eliminated out of Q1 in 18th
  • Dropped to last place at the start in the turn six melee
  • Tried a different strategy to his rivals and was lucky Safety Car helped him pass Norris

Fernando Alonso – 5

Fernando Alonso, Alpine, Bahrain International Circuit, 2022
Safety Car timing didn’t help Alonso

Qualified: 8th (+3 above team mate)
Finished: 9th (-2 below team mate)

  • Lined up eighth after benefiting from others’ mistakes
  • Lost a place to Russell at the start
  • Passed by team mate Ocon multiple times in race, unable to match his pace despite upgraded car
  • Compromised by Safety Car while aiming to go to the end on hard compound
  • Fortunate to score points in ninth after gaining late places thanks to Red Bull’s retirements

Esteban Ocon – 6

Qualified: 11th (-3 below team mate)
Finished: 7th (+2 above team mate)

  • Sidepod exploded during first practice, had to revert to older spec floor and sidepods
  • Narrowly missed Q3 by under a tenth and less than two tenths from team mate
  • Earned five second penalty for hitting Schumacher on opening lap
  • Passed team mate multiple times, including with a late lunge into turn one
  • Was satisfied with finishing seventh at the chequered flag

Pierre Gasly – 6

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri, Bahrain International Circuit, 2022
Luckless Gasly suffered a Red Bull engine failure

Qualified: 10th (+6 above team mate)
Finished: DNF (MGU-K – L44)

  • Topped first practice but dropped to 13th in evening conditions
  • Very pleased to reach Q3 but couldn’t match his Q2 time
  • Gained two places on opening lap, then passed Alonso and Magnussen
  • Became first retirement after MGU-K failed

Yuki Tsunoda – 5

Qualified: 16th (-6 below team mate)
Finished: 8th (team mate DNF)

  • Reprimanded for holding up Leclerc in second practice
  • Missed the entire third practice session with hydraulic problem
  • Eliminated in Q1, seven tenths slower than team mate Gasly
  • Jumped four places among the chaos of the start
  • Passed Alonso twice, including at the restart, to finish eighth

Nico Hulkenberg – 5

Nico Hulkenberg, Aston Martin, Bahrain International Circuit, 2022
Hulkenberg’s qualifying effort impressed

Qualified: 17th (+2 above team mate)
Finished: 17th (-5 below team mate)

  • Did not struggle to get to grips with the car despite no prior track time
  • Eliminated in Q1 but faster than team mate Stroll with no major errors
  • Gained two spots at start but lost them through first stint
  • Struggled with balance in race, made mistake at turn one
  • Ran at the back of the field and was last car running at finish

Lance Stroll – 5

Qualified: 19th (-2 below team mate)
Finished: 12th (+5 above team mate)

  • Reprimanded for turning into Tsunoda at end of second practice
  • Qualified on the back row, behind a team mate who had not driven the car before
  • Got a great start but had to back off to avoid being squeezed on run to turn one
  • Made his way gradually up the order despite car’s general lack of pace
  • Finished 12th

Nicholas Latifi – 4

Qualified: 20th (-6 below team mate)
Finished: 16th (-3 below team mate)

  • Qualified at the back after struggling to get his tyres to optimum performance
  • Battled with Ricciardo for 19th place in early laps
  • Consistently between 0.5-1 seconds a lap slower than team mate Albon over second half of the race
  • Only beat Hulkenberg to the chequered flag

Alexander Albon – 7

Qualified: 14th (+6 above team mate)
Finished: 13th (+3 above team mate)

  • Delighted to reach Q2 on his return to Formula 1
  • Jumped to 11th at the start before being passed by rivals
  • Consistently ran ahead of both McLarens and lapped faster than team mate
  • Satisfied to cross the line in 13th

Valtteri Bottas – 8

A cautious first lap was only weak spot for Bottas

Qualified: 6th (+9 above team mate)
Finished: 6th (+4 above team mate)

  • Missed first practice session with misfire
  • Secured sixth on the grid as “best of the rest”
  • Lost several places over a very cautious opening lap
  • Made his way back through the field thanks to strong long run pace on medium tyres
  • Finished sixth to secure valuable points on first race with Alfa Romeo

Zhou Guanyu – 6

Qualified: 15th (-9 below team mate)
Finished: 10th (-4 below team mate)

  • Built himself up gradually through the practice sessions
  • Secured a place in Q2 on debut despite admitting to nerves before qualifying
  • Fell into anti-stall at the first corner but managed to continue
  • Scythed his way through the backmarkers back up to 13th before the Safety Car
  • Passed a wounded Schumacher after the restart to take 12th, which became a point for tenth

Mick Schumacher – 5

Qualified: 12th (-5 below team mate)
Finished: 11th (-6 below team mate)

  • Missed cut to reach Q3 after his best Q2 time was half a second slower than his team mate
  • Hit by Ocon at turn six on opening lap, spinning him but able to continue
  • Struggled throughout the race from suspected damage and could not match Magnussen’s pace
  • Was tenth at the restart but was immediately passed by multiple cars, unable to defend
  • Finished 11th, last of the cars behind the main pack

Kevin Magnussen – 8

Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Bahrain International Circuit, 2022
Magnussen stressed his tyres in early fight with Russell

Qualified: 7th (+5 above team mate)
Finished: 5th (+6 above team mate)

  • Surprised himself with how comparable his practice pace was to Mercedes
  • Consistently quick in qualifying, securing seventh on the grid
  • Passed Perez and Russell at the start, before mistakes under braking cost him those positions
  • Occupied the “best of the rest” placing behind the top three teams for the majority of the race
  • Crossed the line fifth to give Haas their best finish since 2018

Over to you

Vote for the driver who impressed you most last weekend and find out whether other RaceFans share your view here:

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