2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix: F1 Driver Ratings

Max Verstappen claimed his fifth victory of the 2022 Formula 1 season on Sunday as the Dutchman finally ended his Azerbaijan Grand Prix hoodoo.

The reigning world champion capitalised on more Ferrari woes to lead teammate Sergio Perez across the line for a Red Bull 1-2, securing maximum points for the Constructor Standings.

There were positive afternoons elsewhere for George Russell, Pierre Gasly and Sebastian Vettel following an intense midfield battle that saw almost every team running split strategies.

Here are RealSport101's driver ratings in classification order as we look back on the 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Azerbaijan Grand Prix: Driver Ratings

P1: Max Verstappen, 9

The championship leader and reigning world champion was unflappable on Sunday after inheriting the lead on Lap 20. Verstappen handled what he could control flawlessly, showing patience in the opening stages while chasing down Charles Leclerc and then comfortably dispatching and checking out from teammate Sergio Perez when the opportunity presented.

P2: Sergio Perez, 6.5

A well-measured Turn 1 lunge gave Checo the lead on the opening lap of the race, but after just a couple of laps, the Mexican was struggling for traction. This was still a positive weekend for the man who claimed victory in Monaco last time out, taking second place and the fastest lap point, but his pace was nowhere near that of Verstappen after he lost custody of the lead on Lap 15.

P3: George Russell, 7.5

'Mr. Consistent' produced again at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, delivering what turned out to be a comfortable podium finish after both Ferraris were forced to retire. The 24-year-old Mercedes driver's race was more comfortable than most, making both pit stops under virtual safety car conditions, but Russell deserves credit for his consistency in a season that will be defined by reliability issues.

P4: Lewis Hamilton, 7.5

Hamilton's strange and frustrating season produced another testing afternoon in Azerbaijan, but the seven-time world champion recovered well to claim P4 after dropping positions to Gasly and Vettel under the VSC. Mercedes' porpoising issues were causing serious back pains for Hamilton, but the 37-year-old battled back to produce an impressive recovery drive.

P5: Pierre Gasly, 8.5

AlphaTauri's decision to leave Gasly out during the second VSC period ultimately cost him a shot at P4, but this will represent an outstanding weekend for the Frenchman, especially in the context of a difficult start to the season. The former Red Bull driver was comfortably the best of the rest this weekend and deserves the plaudits.

P6: Sebastian Vettel, 8

An audacious move around the outside of Turn 3 sent Vettel down the escape road and cost him a few places on Lap 13. However, the experienced German recovered magnificently to claim a season-best P6 finish at the track that produced Aston Martin's first F1 podium since returning to the sport in 2021.

P7: Fernando Alonso, 7

Alpine knew that they had plenty of straight-line speed heading into the weekend and Alonso converted that promise into points on Sunday, managing the threat from the onrushing McLarens in the closing laps to perfection. A composed drive on the weekend that saw Alonso break the record for the longest period spent racing in Formula 1.

P8: Daniel Ricciardo, 6.5

Ricciardo was forced to hold position behind Norris on his first stint, costing him time as he ran long on the hard compound tires, but the Aussie made good time after benefitting from the second VSC period, eventually rejoining ahead of his McLaren teammate. The pace dried up on the mediums as Ricciardo went in pursuit of Alonso, but P8 represents a strong result given McLaren's relative lack of speed this weekend.

P9: Lando Norris, 6.5

A frustrating Q2 exit in qualifying scuppered Norris' Azerbaijan Grand Prix efforts with the Briton starting in P11, but the 22-year-old combatted McLaren's lack of straight-line speed well to deliver a double-points finish. Norris was holding up teammate Ricciardo on the alternate strategy in the opening stages of the race but looked the faster of the two McLaren drivers in the final few laps as the pair chased down Alonso.

P10: Esteban Ocon, 6

Sunday was far from eventful for Ocon, who started the race in P13 after a disappointing qualifying display and ran long on the hard tires for his first stint. The Frenchman kept things neat and tidy after an error-laden Monaco Grand Prix weekend, capitalising on two Ferrari DNFs and Yuki Tsunoda's misfortune to claim a sole point for his efforts.

P11: Valtteri Bottas, 5

Valtteri Bottas will be happy to see the back of Baku after a frustrating Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend. The Finnish driver did make up four places from his starting position of P15, but was slower than Ricciardo and Ocon on the same strategy and struggled for pace up against teammate Zhou Guanyu.

P12: Alex Albon, 6

The Thai driver produced a clean but unspectacular drive at the Baku City Circuit, finishing in P12 after a disappointing Q1 exit. The Williams car lacked pace throughout this weekend and while Ablon did make up a host of positions throughout the race, these were down to retirements or technical issues.

P13: Yuki Tsunoda, 7.5

With Tsunoda running in P5 and teammate Gasly up in P4 after the second VSC period, AlphaTauri were on course for an excellent haul of points. Tsunoda's drive was faultless from a personal perspective, but a rear-wing fault forced the Japanese driver into a second stop with 15 laps remaining, ruining any chance of a top-ten finish.

P14: Mick Schumacher, 4

A disastrous Saturday qualifying meant that Schumacher started this race from the back of the grid, but the struggling Haas driver was nowhere near the pace of teammate Kevin Magnussen. The young German failed to get temperature into his fresh set of medium compound tires after the first round of stops and went on to finish 38 seconds behind Yuki Tsunoda in P13.

P15: Nicholas Latifi, 3.5

The Canadian has endured a confidence-shattering start to the 2022 season and saw his Azerbaijan Grand Prix ruined from the offset following a starting grid infringement from a member of the Williams pit crew. Latifi was subsequently given a 10-second stop-go penalty and would go on to receive a further 5-second time penalty for ignoring blue flags in a battle between Hamilton and Gasly.

DNF: Lance Stroll (Lap 48), Kevin Magnussen (Lap 33), Zhou Guanyu (Lap 24), Charle Leclerc (Lap 20), Carlos Sainz (Lap 9).

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