F1 Australian GP driver ratings: Charles Leclerc and Alex Albon score 10/10 | F1

(Qualified 1st, finished 1st)

It was another perfect weekend for Charles Leclerc as he dominated from pole position. The Monegasque took a grand chelem – pole, race victory, fastest lap and he led every lap. He now leads George Russell by 34 points in the drivers’ championship.

(Qualified 3rd, finished 2nd)

In the end, Perez got the most out of the Red Bull with a second at Albert Park. It was a scrappy race though, losing out to Lewis Hamilton at the start before re-overtaking the seven-time champion. The Mexican made the most of Red Bull’s superior straight-line speed to get back ahead of Hamilton and then Russell following the Safety Car period.

George Russell – 8

(Qualified 6th, finished 3rd)

Russell secured his first podium as a Mercedes driver as he benefited from the Safety Car caused by Sebastian Vettel. Russell was running behind Hamilton but by stopping under the Safety Car, he was able to jump his teammate and Perez. Russell ultimately lost out to the quicker Red Bull driver but had enough pace at the end of the race to keep third ahead of Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton – 9

(Qualified 5th, finished 4th)

Hamilton was unfortunate to miss out on a second podium finish of the season having got ahead of Perez for third into Turn 1 on the opening lap. The seven-time champion was overtaken by Perez before getting back ahead through the pit stop phase. Hamilton closed up to the back of Russell but an overheating engine meant he could not continue to pressure his younger teammate, settling for fourth. A strong weekend for Hamilton after struggling in Saudi Arabia, even with an extra 1.5kg in weight due to an additional sensor to help Mercedes gather further data about its issues.

(Qualified 4th, finished 5th)

Norris starred in qualifying to beat both Mercedes drivers to fourth on the grid behind Leclerc and the two Red Bulls. Fifth was ultimately the maximum for Norris, running ahead of his teammate for the duration of the grand prix having lost out to Hamilton and Russell on Lap 1.

(Qualified 7th, finished 6th)

A solid home race for Daniel Ricciardo who backed up his teammate in sixth place. Ricciardo was consistent and stayed within touching distance of Norris throughout, finishing just over 0.4s behind at the checked flag.

(Qualified 8th, finished 7th)

Ocon continued his impressive start to the year with another finish points for Alpine. The Frenchman was the first to pit out of the top 10 on Lap 18, retaining track position over midfield rivals Pierre Gasly and Valtteri Bottas. Ocon pulled clear of the midfield pack after the Safety Car as Lance Stroll defended hard from the cars behind.

Valtteri Bottas – 7

(Qualified 12th, finished 8th)

The Finn’s impressive 103-race record of progressing into Q3 finally came to an end but he worked his way back into the points. Bottas would have enjoyed an easier afternoon if Stroll didn’t push him wide at Turn 3, losing him another spot to Gasly. Bottas eventually got back ahead of the Canadian before moving up to eighth thanks to Gasly running wide at the penultimate corner, and Albon’s late pit stop.

Pierre Gasly – 7

(Qualified 11th, finished 9th)

After moving up to ninth on the opening lap, AlphaTauri’s lack of race pace meant he lost out to Bottas through the pit stop phase. Gasly got back ahead when Bottas was pushed wide by Stroll but a mistake allowed the former Mercedes driver to get back ahead. Overall, ninth was a fair reflection of AlphaTauri’s pace in Melbourne.

Alex Albon – 10

(Qualified: 16th, started 20th, finished 10th)

Albon was our driver of the day as he scored Williams’ first point of the season with 10th. Starting from the back of the grid after being disqualified, Albon stayed out under the Safety Car on the hards, running well inside the top 10. Albon’s impressive pace allowed him to stay ahead of Ocon and the other midfield runners before stopping on the final lap for softs, coming out just ahead of Guanyu Zhou in 10th. A fantastic performance from the Thai driver.

Guanyu Zhou – 6

(Qualified 14th, finished 11th)

It was an uneventful race for Zhou who narrowly missed out on his second points finish in 11th. The Chinese rookie was running in the middle of the midfield pack but couldn’t make too much progress. The highlight of his race was an overtake on Fernando Alonso into Turn 1 in the latter stages.

Lance Stroll – 4

(Qualified 20th, started 19th, finished 12th)

Aston Martin’s strategy was on point as Stroll switched back onto hards under the first Safety Car, completing his mandatory pit stop. The Canadian ran inside the points after overtaking Bottas on two occasions. His good work was undone when he was hit with a five-second penalty for weaving on the straights, before dropping behind Gasly, Bottas and Zhou. Some impressive race pace from Stroll but his qualifying collision with Nicholas Latifi and weaving on the straights is not what you’d expect from someone in their sixth F1 season.

Mick Schumacher – 6

(Qualified 15th, finished 13th)

The German out-qualified Haas teammate Kevin Magnussen for the first time in 2022 with a Q2 appearance. Schumacher ran 13th in the early stages where he ultimately finished.

Kevin Magnussen – 6

(Qualified 17th, started 16th, finished 14th)

Like Alonso, Magnussen opted to start on the hards so the mid-race Safety Car came at the worst possible time. The Dane stayed out but didn’t have the same pace as Albon to capitalize on a late switch to the softs.

Yuki Tsunoda – 5

(Qualified 13th, finished 15th)

A disappointing race in the end for Tsunoda, who ran as high as 11th in the early stages after overtaking Bottas. AlphaTauri’s lack of race pace was apparent as he dropped down the order. The Japanese rookie was behind his teammate under the Safety Car but struggled in the closing laps, finishing 15th.

Nicholas Latifi – 3

(Qualified 19th, started 18th, finished 16th)

Another terrible weekend for Latifi. The Williams driver was unfortunate to collide with Stroll in qualifying but both drivers could have done more to avoid the incident. Latifi was nowhere relative to teammate Albon and will need to improve quickly to save his F1 career.

Fernando Alonso – 8

(Qualified 10th, DNF)

It’s a question of ‘what if?’ for Alonso after he ended up in the barriers in qualifying following a hydraulic issue. Alonso was up on Leclerc’s provisional pole time and would have secured a top five spot on the grid (at worst). Like Magnussen, Alonso was unfortunate with the timing of the Safety Car, forcing him to stay out on the hards before dropping down the order. However, given that Albon was able to salvage 10th in the same position, it was a disappointing race for Alonso but given what happened in qualifying, he does deserve sympathy.

(Qualified 2nd, DNF)

Another scrappy qualifying from Verstappen left him second on the grid after running wide on his first effort in Q3 at the penultimate corner. He did the same on race day, flat-spotting his front-left tire which allowed Leclerc to open up a sizeable gap at the front. Without his late mechanical failure, Verstappen would have finished second but overall, it wasn’t the smoothest of weekends for the reigning world champion.

Sebastian Vettel – 1

(Qualified 18th, started 17th, DNF)

The four-time world champion’s F1 return couldn’t have been any worse after crashing in final practice before doing the same in the race. Aston Martin simply doesn’t have the pace at the moment and after Vettel was forced to miss the first two races due to coronavirus, it was perhaps no surprise to see him struggle.

(Qualified 9th, DNF)

Carlos Sainz’s weekend was undone due to the red flag caused by Alonso in Q3. Sainz was on course to take provisional pole position before that. Instead, Sainz only managed ninth in qualifying after an issue with the start-up of his car meant he left the garage late and couldn’t get his tires up to temperature. Sainz dropped to 14th as he struggled to get his hard tires up to temperature. The Spaniard then lost control of his car while trying to overtake Schumacher on Lap 2, ending his race embarrassingly in the gravel trap.

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