F1 Driver Ratings: Bahrain GP 2024

Max Verstappen started the 2024 Formula 1 season with victory, here are the F1 Driver Ratings from the Bahrain GP

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It was business as usual as far as Red Bull were concerned as the reigning world champion Max Verstappen led home a 1-2 finish in Saturday’s Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Dutchman was largely untroubled once he got out of DRS range from Charles Leclerc and finished over 22 seconds ahead of his team-mate Perez, who gained three places to finish second after qualifying fifth.

Carlos Sainz took the final place on the podium for Ferrari ahead of his team-mate, with Mercedes star George Russell rounding off the top five after qualifying third.

He was followed by his fellow Britons Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton, with the latter enjoying a slight improvement from a dismal Friday.

But which driver fared the best at Sakhir? We take a deep dive into how all 20 drivers performed during the 57-lap race under the floodlights.

Total-Motorsport.com’s F1 driver ratings for the 2024 Bahrain GP assesses all 20 drivers based on their qualifying and race performances at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Bahrain GP 2024 winner Max Verstappen of Red Bull celebrates | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Bahrain GP 2024 winner Max Verstappen of Red Bull celebrates | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen 8/10

Qualifying: 1st – Race: 1st

Once the Dutchman got himself out of DRS range after the first lap, the race for the lead was as good as over. Quite simply in a league of his own after finishing 22 seconds clear of Perez.

Charles Leclerc 5/10

Qualifying: 2nd – Race: 4th

More lock-ups than a Big Yellow storage centre. Ferrari’s rear grip was non-existent and Leclerc’s inability to manage tyres completely wrecked his rae as he tumbled from P2 to P5, before recovering in the latter stages to overtake Russell.

George Russell 6/10

Qualifying: 3rd – Race: 5th

A fine start to the race saw him climb to second, but his pace fell away after switching to the hard tyre. He will be disappointed to have missed out on a podium, having been running in second at one stage.

Carlos Sainz 9/10

Qualifying: 4th – Race: 3rd

A really eye-catching drive from Sainz, who has been quick all weekend and got the better of Leclerc with an on-track overtake twice. Absolutely deserved the Driver of the Day award, and let it be a lesson to the rest of the grid that if you underestimate Sainz, you do so at your peril.

Sergio Perez 8/10

Qualifying: 5th – Race: 2nd

Those who write off the Mexican may well be correct in terms of matching Verstappen. But the 34-year-old looked like a man with a point to prove as he easily dispatched Sainz, Leclerc and Russell. Red Bull will like what they saw from him today to seal another 1-2.

Fernando Alonso 5/10

Qualifying: 6th – Race: 9th

His performance in qualifying looks even more impressive considering how slow the Aston Martin was in the race. The Spaniard was a bystander as McLaren and Mercedes had more speed and the 42-year-old will be relieved to pick up some points.

Lando Norris 7/10

Qualifying: 7th – Race: 6th

A solid drive from the Briton, who stayed out of trouble at the start and managed his pace well, putting himself out of Hamilton’s grasp.

Oscar Piastri 6/10

Qualifying: 8th – Race: 8th

A so-so race for the youngest driver on the grid, who was undone by a slow stop in the pits which allowed Hamilton to usurp him. A rare error from the usually efficient McLaren crew, but it is the first race of the campaign after all.

Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin and Sir Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes at the 2024 Bahrain GP | Aston Martin F1 Team

Lewis Hamilton 7/10

Qualifying: 9th – Race: 7th

Hamilton set his car up for the race, but the DRS train behind Alonso in the early stages prevented him from getting involved in the front five battle. Beating Piastri will feel like a small victory after a woeful qualifying on Friday.

Nico Hulkenberg 3/10

Qualifying: 10th – Race: 16th

The German that he couldn’t keep it clean going into the first corner and while Martin Brundle called it a “first lap incident”, clipping Stroll looked an avoidable incident. He got his comeuppance with a broken front nose, which wrecked his race and also denied us a chance to judge how competitive Haas can be in 2024.

Yuki Tsunoda 4/10

Qualifying: 11th – Race: 14th

Not the race he would have wanted if he’s going to put his name forward for the second Red Bull seat. From 11th on the grid, you need to be challenging for points – and the Japanese never looked like doing so.

Lance Stroll 8.5/10

Qualifying: 12th – Race: 10th

This was one hell of a drive from the Canadian, who was spun around by Hulkenberg through no fault of his own and dead last on Lap 1. But he managed his hard tyres brilliantly and even got in front of Alonso towards the end of the race, scoring a well-earned point for his efforts.

Alex Albon 6/10

Qualifying: 13th – Race: 15th

Handling issues with the engine throughout the race, it’s quite impressive Albon managed to stay in contention for points at all, even if he didn’t look like threatening. A technical nightmare for Williams that they will need to fix rapidly.

Daniel Ricciardo of Visa Cash App RB during practice for 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Daniel Ricciardo 5/10

Qualifying: 14th – Race: 13th

An uneventful return to the permanent grid for the Australian, who didn’t seem to have the pace to attempt one of his daring lunges down the inside. Early excitement about RB in testing was clearly a misnomer, but at least Ricciardo finished ahead of his colleague.

Kevin Magnussen 7/10

Qualifying: 15th – Race: 12th

Few would’ve backed him to beat his team-mate after Hulkenberg’s fine performance in qualifying, but he made up places at the start and defended well from Ricciardo at the end. A respectable display that you’d probably expect from a driver with his experience.

Valtteri Bottas 4/10

Qualifying: 16th – Race: 19th

A strange afternoon for the Finn, who rarely looked competitive while his team-mate found his feet quickly in the luminous green Sauber.

Zhou Guanyu 8/10

Qualifying: 17th – Race: 11th

Benefitted from the early chaos involving Stroll and Hulkenberg by making up four places and drove well, keeping up with the RBs and Haas drivers. No points, but a decent showing and a win in the battle of the garages with Bottas.

Logan Sargeant 5/10

Qualifying: 18th – Race: 20th

Like Albon, he suffered major issues with his car and Williams couldn’t find the solution to his steering wheel problem. A frustrating race for the American, who was alone at the back of the grid for the majority of the running.

Esteban Ocon 4/10

Qualifying: 19th – Race: 17th

Benefited from Hulkenberg and Sargeant falling down the grid, but Alpine’s pace was nowhere to be seen this weekend. One of their worst in recent memory, and a result the French team will want to forget in a hurry.

Pierre Gasly 4/10

Qualifying: 20th – Race: 18th

Not last, which is just about the only positive of the weekend for Gasly and Alpine. Clearly, their package needs a massive improvement because this driver – so used to fighting for points – was resigned to being a backmarker.

Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who has worked for a number of media organisations, including the Daily Express, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Independent and Bleacher Report. Joe has been following F1 since when he watched Mika Hakkinen clinch the 1999 drivers' championship, and his first taste of real-life racing action was watching David Coulthard spin off into the gravel at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2001.
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