Max Verstappen ruled the Ferrari home court, but who else impressed with the judges at the Emilia Romagna Sprint and Grand Prix last week? Goals are in …
how it works
Our team of five judges tests each driver after each Grand Prix and gets him at 10 according to his performance over the weekend – removing the machine in the equation.
The results of our experts are calculated to improve competition – and the scores are then included throughout the season on our Power Rankings Leaderboard (bottom of page)
READ MORE: 6 Winners and Lost 5 Winners of the 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Who did the best in the mix?
Max Verstappen won the Red Bull 75th F1 seat in the semi-finals with five red flags, followed by the P1 in the Sprint, the Grand Prix victory, and the high-flying race. That says it all – 10 another good for the reigning champion, who retaliated in a head-to-head battle.
READ MORE: ‘Amazing work’ – Horner thanks Perez and Verstappen for donating the first Red Bull 1-2 in six years
Lando Norris loves Italy, and Italy loves him clearly: Sunday saw the McLaren driver lift the second podium in Imola and the third in Italy. Qualified Wednesday Friday, he dropped to an impressive P5 in the Sprint, and bounced back to third when the others failed in the wet Grand Prix.
READ MORE: Norris appreciates McLaren’s ‘amazing’ performance after Imola’s successive podium
George Russell squeezed every drop of his Mercedes W13 this week. Friday was not a good one; he was 11th – the same finish in Sprint on Saturday – but on Sunday he shot to sixth in the start of the Grand Prix, before finishing P4. The fact that Mercedes did not change its front wings to compensate for the dryness of the pits, leaving Russell struggling with his car on medium tires, makes this a very interesting one.
READ MORE: Russell says P4 looked “impossible to reach” ahead of Imola recovery drive
Valtteri Bottas left Imola with a strong Power Rankings score and a smile on his face, a technical problem that prevents him from performing better than the P8 on Friday. The Finn battled it out like Fernando Alonso for P7 on Saturday and then quickly removed the damage (from the Carlos Sainz-Daniel Ricciardo tangle) and paused to finish fifth – just 0.6s away from Mercedes’ Russell – on Sunday.
READ MORE: Bottas call Russell’s war ‘most exciting’ as P5 claims at Emilia Romagna
Another podium for Sergio Perez, who finished seventh but saved with P3 in Sprint. To save the damage on Sunday, he fired at P2 for the first time and stopped Charles Leclerc – who eventually fired for Mexico – to help Red Bull one-on-two.
TECH TUESDAY: Looking at Red Bull and Mercedes’ Imola uplifting as the development competition begins
Some details are gone for Yuki Tsotaka, this time on the weekend of the tough home for AlphaTauri. Qualifying 16, ahead of teammate Pierre Gasly, Tsinetsa made five strong spots in Sprint and another five on Sunday – finally P7 his prize for keeping a cool head.
READ MORE: Tsinetsa was happy to give a strong run to the P7 and save the AlphaTauri “bad” that kicks off at the Imola weekend
The blast made Alex Albon the final Friday fitter but he took two places in the Sprint – then showed off some of the show on Sunday to avoid Lewis Hamilton and Pierre Gasly for P11 (elevated the venue and the Esteban Ocon penalty) even though he was caught in the Ocon air foul due to a lot of tires.
READ MORE: Alex Albon’s long road back to F1 – and that’s why he believes Williams has what it takes to change
Kevin Magnussen also released another fine result for Haas on Friday, fit for the fourth – but had fewer chances to score such as Carlos Sainz, Sergio Perez and Lando Norris in Sprint. However, Dane picked up the P8 on Saturday (one point) and shipped it to the start of the Grand Prix on Sunday, to P5 after Lap 1. Inevitably, he couldn’t walk when the track dried up and finished ninth.
NOTE: The best radio from Imola
Just two wins in his campaign, Sebastian Vettel put his Aston Martin in Q3 but the seed tires saw him drop to P13 in Sprint. Undeterred, he shot at P9 early in the Grand Prix and ran as fast as P7 for most of the competition – falling to P8 at the end to bring the team to their first points of the season.
READ MORE: Vettel praises ‘unprecedented competition’ in Imola as he and Stroll claim Aston Martin’s first prize in 2022
With the exception of Red Bull, Aston Martin was the only team to score points with all the drivers in Imola thanks to Lance Stroll supporting his teammate with P10. Jumping from P15 to P11 at the start, Stroll soon made it to the top 10 and finished well ahead of Albon on the road – exactly as his team needed.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was the driver who missed the top 10, the competition leader did well in qualifying and Sprint – but lost late in the Grand Prix to return to the P6.