Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix driver ratings: Masterful Max and Stroll outshines Alonso

Sam Cooper
Driver ratings for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Max Verstappen produced one of his best performances of the season at Imola.

It was not a thriller but here is how we rated all 20 drivers from the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen held off a late charge from Lando Norris to get back to winning ways in what was not a classic grand prix.

2024 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix driver ratings

Max Verstappen – 10

Some incredibly impressive laps from Max Verstappen late on as he used every inch of his experience to keep a quick Lando Norris behind him at a time when it seemed like the McLaren man would overtake at any moment.

With Norris chasing behind, Verstappen knew he did not have to outrun the McLaren but instead outlive the tyres and eventually, Norris did not have the rubber to continue the assault.

It was by no means a simple win for Verstappen, but the Dutchman showed his class once again.

Lando Norris – 9.5

Near but yet oh so far. In the end, Norris did not quite have enough to catch up to Verstappen but it was not through a lack of trying.

Before that late battle, Norris did what he had to do by staying in second but doing so without destroying his tyres, meaning that he could put his foot to the floor as the race neared its climax.

But ultimately, Norris was kept at arm’s length by a perfect performance from Verstappen.

Charles Leclerc – 9

Achieved just about the maximum he could do with two quicker cars out ahead.

Early in the race, he kept Carlos Sainz ahead of Oscar Piastri thanks to the DRS and he did attempt a run at Norris up ahead, but did not have the pace nor the tyre life.

Oscar Piastri – 8.5

The most decisive factor in Oscar Piastri’s weekend actually came after the end of the quali session when a grid place penalty, which the stewards admitted was not Piastri’s fault, sent him behind the Ferraris.

As a result, he had the rear wing of Sainz in front of him for a good chunk of the early race and ultimately had too much work to do after he did get around.

Given the pace of the Australian once he had cleared Sainz, it is possible that he could have even bettered Norris’ result had he started in P2 but that is a question which will be left unanswered.

Carlos Sainz – 7.5

Slower than his team-mate today for the third time in as many races, a contrast to how he started the season.

Sainz spent a lot of time trying to keep Piastri behind and he admitted he struggled in some areas late on and could not take the fight back to the McLaren driver.

Lewis Hamilton – 7

A rare driver error that sent Lewis Hamilton into the gravel compromised his race and while he seemed more comfortable with the W15 all weekend than he has all season, he was still lacking the pace to get up into the positions he has become accustomed to in his career.

Hamilton’s biggest memory from this weekend will arguably be arriving in Italy as a future Ferrari driver for the first time.

George Russell – 7

It would have been interesting to be a fly on the wall for the post-race debrief in Mercedes as the team opted to sacrifice George Russell’s position for a late pit stop.

Whether that was a desire to try and take the quickest lap point, which they did, or because Russell was not going to make it to the end we do not truly know, but it cost Russell a point in the end.

Sergio Perez – 7

A poor Saturday saved by a good Sunday and how many times have we written that about Sergio Perez.

But, while it was another good recovery drive, Verstappen could have used a hand from his team-mate to keep the quick McLarens at bay and although the Dutchman did take the win, McLaren did earn more points as a team this weekend.

Lance Stroll – 8.5

At a time when Aston Martin needed a performance in Fernando Alonso’s absence, Lance Stroll delivered it.

In what was definitely his best race this season and perhaps his best race since the rebrand to Aston Martin, Stroll made up four places to finish in the points for the first time since Australia.

Yuki Tsunoda – 7.5

In a race that failed to come alive, Yuki Tsunoda had a busier afternoon than most but may go away feeling a little disappointed given his storming quali performance.

His best achievement though was nursing hard tyres though 50 laps and into the points.

Nico Hulkenberg 7.5

Another great quali performance but the Haas man could not hold onto the points and slipped to 11th.

Kevin Magnussen – 8

The whole focus on Kevin Magnussen going into the race was if he was going to have a clear weekend but not only did he do that but he also had an excellent race.

Starting from P18, he rose six places up to P12 at a time when there was not a lot of overtaking going on and perhaps most importantly, he is free to race at Monaco next weekend.

Daniel Ricciardo – 6

A great quali performance was met with a rather underwhelming race day as the VCARB 01 suggested it is better on the Saturday than the Sunday.

As has been a pattern for the season, Ricciardo was outclassed by Tsunoda this weekend.

Esteban Ocon – 7

Was not able to add to his points tally but another step in the right direction for Esteban Ocon and Alpine.

Like a few drivers on the grid, his best performance came on the Saturday but in the race, he slipped down the order meaning it was a 14th place finish but crucially ahead of his team-mate.

Zhou Guanyu – 6

Like his team-mate, Zhou Guanyu was heading in one way and that was backwards down the grid.

Worrying times at Stake F1 who, with Williams, do not look like scoring points anytime soon.

Pierre Gasly – 6

Alpine went bold with the strategy for Pierre Gasly but the two-stop ultimately did not bring any benefit, especially with the lack of a Safety Car.

His P16 finish is his worst since Japan but it is still far away from where he started the season.

Logan Sargeant – 5

Finished ahead of his team-mate for the first time since Japan but that was more due to Albon’s problems than the performance of Sargeant.

In a way, it was a typical Sargeant race with the American stuck near the back and unable to move up the grid.

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Valtteri Bottas – 5.5

Valtteri Bottas was pictured exiting the Williams hospitality unit this weekend and if this was an audition for a race seat next year, it was not a glowing performance.

The Finn sunk from 16th to 18th and was almost non-existent throughout the race.

Fernando Alonso – 4.5

Errors on the Saturday cost Alonso on Sunday and the news of his pit lane start all but confirmed Aston Martin were treating the rest of the weekend as testing.

A P19 finish for Alonso and he will hope for better at Monaco next week.

Alex Albon – 5

Alex Albon would have been hoping to celebrate his new deal with a much better race than this but he is not to blame for the nightmare afternoon.

He pitted on lap 9 but his front right tyre was not fitted properly, so not only did he have to pit again a lap later, he was then handed a 10-second stop and go penalty.

From there, it was damage limitation but the team chose to retire the car late on and end a miserable race for Albon.

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