Here’s how we rated each driver in Formula 1’s Styrian Grand Prix, as Lewis Hamilton claimed his first victory of the 2020 season...

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes - 7

Bottas failed to match his heights from the Austrian Grand Prix and was a whopping 1.4s adrift of teammate Hamilton in qualifying as he lined up just fourth on the grid. He recovered strongly in the race, passing McLaren driver Sainz early on before team strategy helped him battle past Red Bull’s Verstappen on fresher tyres late on to complete Mercedes’ first 1-2 of the year.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes - 10

Hamilton delivered the perfect response after a “domino effect” of errors at the season-opener meant he had to settle for P4. But Hamilton emphatically bounced back at the second round in Austria with a wet-weather masterclass in qualifying, where he was 1.2s faster than anyone else, before converting pole position into a comfortable victory on Sunday. The win never looked in doubt thanks to a controlled and peerless drive. It was vintage Hamilton.

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari - 5

It was another tricky weekend for Vettel, although this time he did at least make it through to Q3 as the sole-remaining Ferrari. Vettel’s race lasted just a matter of seconds before teammate Leclerc rode up the rear of his car following a reckless and over-ambitious move. Vettel, who was blameless in the incident, was forced into retirement with his rear-wing ripped off.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari - 3

A weekend to forget for Leclerc. The Monegasque was outpaced by Vettel in qualifying and was set to start 11th, only to pick up a three-place grid penalty for impeding another driver in Q2. Things went from bad to worse in the race which was far from Leclerc’s finest hour as he collided with Vettel at Turn 3 in a desperate bid to make up some early ground following his qualifying disaster.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull - 8

There was little more Verstappen could have done, with the Dutchman conceding that his Red Bull is just “too slow” to properly challenge Mercedes. He was Hamilton’s closest challenger in qualifying and had to contend with some front wing damage throughout the race. Verstappen put in an admirable defence against Bottas for P2 on ageing tyres, but Mercedes ultimately pincered Red Bull into defeat as he completed the podium in third. Once again, Verstappen seemed to extract the maximum from his package. 

Alex Albon, Red Bull - 5

Albon was once again well off the pace of Red Bull teammate Verstappen in qualifying and the race, ultimately finishing a distant fourth after surviving late contact with Perez at Turn 4 in what was almost a carbon copy of his clash with Hamilton at the same corner a week earlier. He clocked in 11 seconds behind Verstappen at the flag, but the Dutchman made a ‘free’ pit stop in the closing stages, such was his pace advantage over Albon.

Carlos Sainz, McLaren - 8

After starring in qualifying with a brilliant third in the wet, Sainz’s race was undone by a slow pit-stop as he ultimately finished ninth. Following his stop, Sainz returned to the track in traffic and lost yet more crucial time to his rivals. The Spaniard played the team game to allow Norris past before pitting late on for fresh Soft tyres. Claiming the bonus point on offer for setting the fastest lap of the race was some reward for a tough race.

Lando Norris, McLaren - 9

Norris followed up his podium heroics from the Austrian Grand Prix with another outstanding drive in Spielberg in a race he described as “probably my best race” in F1. Once again he left it late to mount a charge as he surged from eighth to pass Ricciardo, Stroll and Perez in the final two tours. His final move on an ailing Perez came at the last corner of the last lap. The Briton only just missed out on a  perfect score due to picking up a costly penalty for a yellow flag violation in practice.

Daniel Ricciardo, Renault - 7

Renault’s differing strategy of starting on the medium tyres failed to pay off for Ricciardo, who turned in a strong race nonetheless on his way to claiming eighth. He had been running as high as fifth but was caught and passed by Perez, Stroll and Norris late on. The Australian felt Stroll should have handed the place back after a rather forceful lunge resulted in Ricciardo running wide at Turn 3.

Esteban Ocon, Renault - 8

Ocon was one of the stars of a wet qualifying as he secured a sublime fifth and felt he could have been further up the order had he had a new set of extreme wet tyres at his disposal. The Frenchman’s hard but fair battle with Ricciardo in the opening stint came to a premature end on Lap 25 when he retired with cooling problems.

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri - 6

Gasly was another who impressed in qualifying but his excellent Saturday performance was undone in a race which unravelled when he stopped a second time. The AlphaTauri driver had been struggling with his rears following a hit from Ricciardo at the first corner. His pace continued to drop off on his way to taking 15th.

Daniil Kvyat, AlphaTauri - 9

In stark contrast to his AlphaTauri teammate, Kvyat excelled on Sunday following a less successful Saturday than Gasly. The Russian rounded out the top 10 to claim his first points of the season after becoming the only driver to make the hard tyres work.

Sergio Perez, Racing Point - 9

It was an outstanding recovery drive from Perez, who stormed from 17th on the grid to secure a brilliant sixth-place finish. His overtake around the outside of Sainz at Turn 6 was epic, but a similarly ambitious move on Albon’s Red Bull at Turn 4 led to light contact and subsequent front wing damage which meant he conceded fifth place to Norris at the final corner.

Lance Stroll, Racing Point - 7

Stroll drove a measured race to rise from a lower-than-expected grid slot in P12 to secure seventh. He pulled off a ballsy, on-the-edge overtake on Ricciardo late on, before agonisingly missing out on P6 in a drag race to the line against Perez that ended in a dramatic photo-finish.

Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo - 8

Raikkonen was close to landing Alfa Romeo’s first points of the season after rising from 16th on the grid but ultimately missed out to Kvyat’s AlphaTauri. The Iceman was well clear of teammate Giovinazzi in 15th and held off the late-charging Haas duo despite having to fuel-save during the last 20 laps.

Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo - 5

Unable to match Raikkonen’s pace in qualifying en route to setting the slowest time, and things didn’t get much better on race-day for Giovinazzi, who failed to replicate his points-scoring form from the season-opener.

Romain Grosjean, Haas - 8

Grosjean impressively recovered from a pit-lane start on his way to finishing a decent 13th in a car that looked off the pace throughout the opening two rounds of the season. The Frenchman may have finished behind his teammate but had a tougher job on his hands.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas - 7

Magnussen extracted the maximum from his Haas car as he took 12th, marking Haas best result of the season so far. Magnussen passed Giovinazzi for the position two laps from the end and hunted down Raikkonen in an enthralling finale.

George Russell, Williams - 7

Russell was outstanding in treacherous conditions in qualifying as he delivered Williams’ first Q2 appearance since Brazil 2018 and only just missed out on a spot in the top-10 by 0.009s. But his hard work on Saturday was undone by an early spin into the gravel while battling for 11th place. It was a costly error on a day that he might otherwise have challenged for his first F1 points. Recovered convincingly to head teammate Latifi in 16th.

Nicholas Latifi, Williams - 5

Latifi spend the majority of his race battling teammate Russell and both Williams drivers carried out a one-stop strategy. He lost out to Russell despite the Briton’s error that dropped him to the rear of the field as both finished two laps down.

 

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