Driver ratings for the Canadian Grand Prix

Jon Wilde
PlanetF1 Canadian Grand Prix driver ratings

PlanetF1 Canadian Grand Prix driver ratings

Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz fought out a terrific duel in the Canadian Grand Prix which ended with a sixth win of the season for the World Champion.

It was harder work for the Red Bull driver than many had been expecting when he lined up alongside Fernando Alonso on the front row of the grid, but even with DRS there was no way Sainz’s Ferrari could get past him after they had been brought together by a Safety Car period.

A more promising performance from Mercedes than had looked likely earlier in the weekend, meanwhile, left Lewis Hamilton feeling much happier.

Here is our full set of ratings for the first Canadian Grand Prix since 2019:

Max Verstappen: A comfortable success looked on the cards in the first half of the race, but in the end the Dutchman had to rely on his defensive abilities to resist the charging Sainz.

The Safety Car left Verstappen vulnerable to the DRS-assisted Ferrari but once he had survived the first couple of laps under pressure, it always appeared the title-holder had the measure of his former Toro Rosso team-mate.

That now means a 46-point lead in the World Championship and it looks increasingly difficult for anyone to even make a fight of it, provided the reliability in Verstappen’s car holds up. 9.5.

Carlos Sainz: Along with when he chased home Pierre Gasly at Monza in 2020, this was the closest Sainz has got to winning in Formula 1.

He had been nibbling away at Verstappen’s lead before the Safety Car, the timing of which fell perfectly for the Spaniard but he could not quite pull off the move he needed.

Saying afterwards he had “left nothing on the table”, this was a strong way to bounce back from the big disappointment of his Baku retirement. 9.

Lewis Hamilton: A smiling Hamilton bagged his second podium finish of the season, those bookending the first nine races, and reduced his head-to-head arrears against team-mate George Russell to 7-2.

It was a result that had not looked probable when the seven-time former champion described FP2 on Friday as “a disaster” with the car “getting worse”.

Unable to quite keep pace with the first two after the Safety Car, Hamilton will nevertheless be enthused with this progress by Mercedes – although it remains to be seen if it was track-specific. 8.

George Russell: Another result to continue the remarkable consistency Russell is showing for Mercedes, now nine consecutive top-five finishes.

A gamble to try slicks at the end of qualifying had backfired, but the Briton worked his way up from eighth to fourth on a track surface that clearly suited the W13 and this was another display he can be proud of. 8.5.

Charles Leclerc: Hoping to finish in the top four from P19 on the grid due to his engine penalty, Leclerc was less than three seconds away from achieving that target.

There was some frustration for the Ferrari driver when he got stuck in a DRS train after his pit-stop and he made a mistake in one of his two duels with Esteban Ocon, but this was still decent damage limitation. 8.

Esteban Ocon: This was meant to be Fernando Alonso’s day after starting on the front row, but instead it was Ocon who headed the Alpine contingent.

The Frenchman did well to keep Leclerc behind him for lap after lap mid-race and at the end was playing the team game as he helped Alonso, directly behind him, to get DRS to fend off the Alfa Romeos before the stewards intervened. 7.5.

Valtteri Bottas: Among a handful that started on the hard tyres, Bottas was able to leapfrog his team-mate Zhou Guanyu as he benefitted from the timing of the Safety Car.

Ocon’s assistance as outlined above meant the Finn could not quite get past Alonso, but he was eventually given P7 in the stewards’ room. 7.5.

Zhou Guanyu: Three points for the Chinese driver took his career tally to four as he was finally able to deliver on the promise he had been showing of late with his car staying reliable this time.

Having started ahead of Bottas, he will have been disappointed to finish behind him but is showing real improvement – and also had the bonus of moving up a place due to Alonso’s penalty. 8.

Fernando Alonso: Leading on lap one and finishing in the top five had been the aim, but this never looked like being a race that went Alonso’s way from the moment he was passed by Sainz on lap three.

An engine issue hampered him in the second half of the grand prix and a five-second penalty for weaving on the straight, dropping him to ninth, capped what was ultimately a disappointing day for the Spaniard. 5.

Lance Stroll: Aston Martin had underperformed in qualifying compared to their practice pace, but their strategy for Stroll worked well as he started on the hard tyres and switched to the mediums on lap 48.

That enabled him to make the race’s biggest gain from grid position to result of seven places and on home soil, that was just what he needed after a torrid time recently. 8.

Lance Stroll just ahead of Zhou Guanyu during the Canadian GP. Montreal June 2022.
Lance Stroll's Aston Martin just ahead of Zhou Guanyu's Alfa Romeo during the Canadian Grand Prix. Montreal June 2022.

Daniel Ricciardo: A poor weekend for McLaren, who got both cars into the points in Baku but neither in Montreal.

It was a nondescript kind of race for the Australian but at least he avoided the pit-stop debacle that affected his team-mate. 6.

Sebastian Vettel: Like Stroll, Vettel had been among those to lose out in qualifying but on a dry, sunny race day he was able to illustrate Aston Martin’s recent improvement.

Summoned to the stewards for not keeping within 10 car lengths of the rival ahead during the Safety Car period, the German was cleared of that charge but suffered somewhat from a strange strategy that included a very early stop on lap six. 7.

Alex Albon: Starting P12 was an excellent result for Albon and in the circumstances he will have been happy to drop only one place, even though he was briefly running in the points early on after Sergio Perez retired.

He was passed by Bottas and Leclerc on lap 18 but it was the reverse situation later as he quickly gained two places at the expense of Pierre Gasly and Kevin Magnussen. 7.

Pierre Gasly: Everything changed for AlphaTauri in the space of seven days as they completely failed to back up their excellent Baku results.

Like Vettel, Gasly made a pit-stop for hard tyres on lap six and was in again on lap 38, but 14th will definitely not have been where he had hoped to finish when arriving in Canada. 6.

Lando Norris: Just like in Bahrain at the start of the campaign, Norris finished 15th and this was most definitely a race he will want to forget having also been given a time penalty for speeding in the pit lane.

The double-stack pit-stop was executed comically badly by McLaren with the Briton very much the victim. In Norris’ own words, just one of those weekends hey? 5.

Nicholas Latifi: In contrast to Stroll, returning to his home country brought about no change of fortune for Latifi.

This was his first Canadian Grand Prix, in the city where he was born, and nothing emerged from his performance to dispel the rumours that he is in danger of being replaced whether imminently or at the end of the season. 5.

Kevin Magnussen: A golden chance for Haas to score points, thanks to a third-row lockout, was spurned as all the team’s issues returned to haunt them.

From a driving perspective it was Magnussen again getting too close to Hamilton on lap one, just like in Spain, and the front-wing damage brought him a black and orange flag that all but ended his hopes of finishing in the top 10. 5.

Did not finish

Yuki Tsunoda: Part of the mid-race DRS train Leclerc had to fight his way through, Tsunoda had a sniff of a point but that disappeared on lap 49.

Exiting the pits on cold tyres, he lost control and ran into the barrier. Admitting he had messed up, although in stronger terms, he can expect a tongue-lashing from Helmut Marko. 4.

Mick Schumacher: He would not have expected to finish where he started in P6, but Schumacher was falling back from the start as he was passed by Russell on lap one.

Overtaken by Zhou on lap 19, the German was quickly out of the race but the problem was the car rather than anything he had done. 6.

Sergio Perez: A meeting with the barriers ended Perez’s qualifying and he was gradually working his way through the field when he lost drive and had to retire from P10 on lap nine.

That was still too early to allocate a rating with the Mexican’s race not having properly developed at that stage. N/A.