Spanish Grand Prix team ratings: Self-sabotage for Alpine and Ferrari off the pace

Sam Cooper
Team ratings for the Spanish Grand Prix.

Team ratings for the Spanish Grand Prix.

As a new part of’s race coverage, we will be rating all 10 teams’ performances during a grand prix.

For those of you familiar with our driver ratings, the format will largely be the same but with some key differences as to what ratings will be awarded for.

To start, these ratings are focusing on the team away from the drivers so as an example, Esteban Ocon’s failure to line up properly on the grid in Bahrain was not caused by the team so their rating does not drop as a result. However, the move to start work on the car early during a penalty is definitely their fault so has had a big impact on their score.

It is not just penalties we are focusing on but also on team strategy as well as their reliability.

Other than that, it should be exactly the same as you are already used to so let’s dive in:

Red Bull 9.5

Red Bull may not have come away with the one-two they were after but that was more down to driver error than it was the team.

On Max Verstappen’s side of the garage, it was another great day in the office with the Dutchman completing the third Grand Chelem of his career.

There was nothing particularly special about Red Bull’s strategy for the day although they did opt for the medium when everyone else started on the soft.

This almost allowed Carlos Sainz to overtake going into Turn 1 but Verstappen defended well and from there, it was only ever going to end one way.

On the other side of the garage, there was a slight question as to why they also started Perez on the medium when he needed to make up ground quickly and he could have done with the extra speed of the soft tyre. Red Bull though were focused on the long-term strategy that eventually allowed Perez to overtake Sainz for P4 late on.

Pit stops were particularly impressive in Spain, with Red Bull securing the fastest one of the season so far with a 2.07-second stop.

Mercedes 9

A massive improvement from Mercedes with their upgrade package finally giving them the pace needed to get onto the podium.

With Monaco not Mercedes’ favourite circuit at the best of times, the real test of the Silver Arrows’ B-spec car would come in Barcelona and it duly passed, even if it was not a perfect weekend.

The team seemed to struggle during qualifying, not helped by the drivers crashing into each other, and after George Russell limped out in Q2, Hamilton could only manage P5. He was ultimately moved up a spot due to Gasly’s penalty and his race pace was much better, quickly recovering a position lost to Lance Stroll and then overtaking Carlos Sainz halfway through the race.

Judging from Spain alone, the Mercedes upgrades have worked but Toto Wolff will want to have some data from other tracks before he starts celebrating.

Aston Martin 7.5

Aston Martin’s worst race of the season which demonstrates further just how far they have come but in Barcelona, their car looked off the pace.

Fernando Alonso struggled to P8 in qualifying after his trip to the gravel and managed to move just one place up while Lance Stroll started in fifth but slid down to sixth.

With others upgrading around them, Aston Martin will need to do similar to ensure their early season form does not become a distant memory.

Ferrari 4.5

Only those at Ferrari will know why they decided to start Charles Leclerc on the hard to then bring him 10 laps earlier than others who were running on the softs. Whatever the reason, it killed Leclerc’s race which had already been put on life support following a terrible qualifying.

At a time when Mercedes looked to have made real strides with their upgrades, Ferrari look as if they have taken a step backward. Leclerc had zero pace to cut through the backmarkers while Carlos Sainz was sucked in and overtaken by Hamilton, Russell and Perez.

In his battle against Perez, Sainz asked Ferrari to come up with a way of beating the Red Bull driver but, as so often has been the case the last few years, Ferrari were left without an answer.

Alpine 5.5

We don’t know who Pierre Gasly offended within the Alpine garage but someone clearly had it in for him this weekend.

To start with, he was found guilty of two incidents of impeding during qualifying and while the Frenchman admitted the first was his fault, he said he blocked Verstappen due to not being informed he was on an out lap.

After being booted down to P10, Gasly’s hard work to get higher up the grid was ruined when Alpine twice produced two slow pit stops and only Nico Hülkenberg and Lando Norris (whose front wing was swapped) had slower stops.

Esteban Ocon’s race was a little less busy as he qualified sixth and finished eighth, which is about the maximum Alpine can expect currently.

McLaren 6.5

Any plan that McLaren may have had for keeping Lando Norris up in the points was soon over after the Brit sustained contact in the opening lap and was forced to stop for a change of front wing.

That pretty much ended his race before it had even started and Oscar Piastri had a similarly poor opening lap, sinking plenty of places and out of the points.

If you were being positive, you could say at least the McLaren showed pace in qualifying but ultimately it is Sunday where points are won and the Woking team need to find some more race pace and fast.

As usual for this season, McLaren’s pit stops were good with Norris’ 2.4-second stop being the fourth fastest of the weekend.

Haas 6

The Haas team really suffered from tyre degradation meaning they were only competitive during the early portion of their stints. This was not as evident during qualifying where Nico Hülkenberg qualified in seventh, but come the race itself the German was soon slipping down the order.

Haas were forced to go for a three-stop approach, all but ruining any slim hope of a points finish while Kevin Magnussen looked off the pace all weekend. recommends

Spanish GP driver ratings: Marvellous Max Verstappen completes rare F1 feat

Spanish GP conclusions: Mercedes’ upgrade uncertainty; time for Perez to refocus

Alfa Romeo 7

A great drive from Zhou Guanyu earned Alfa Romeo their first points since Australia and it was achieved through some smart tyre choices. Alfa seemed to pick the right moment both times to bring Zhou in and, yes, they were helped by Tsunoda’s penalty, but they were deserving of their high finish.

But it was not such an enjoyable day in Valtteri Bottas’ side of the garage and it was puzzling why the team decided to bring the Finn in so early. He pitted on lap 5, the first of all drivers barring Lando Norris, and then pitted again in lap 39 meaning he did 34 laps on the same set of rubber. As a result, he could not push up the grid and finished ahead of only Logan Sargeant.

AlphaTauri 7

AlphaTauri and Yuki Tsunoda were really hard done by with the stewards deciding the Japanese driver had pushed Zhou Guanyu off the circuit and handed him a five-second penalty.

In truth, Tsunoda deserved the points finish as did AlphaTauri as the AT04 finally looks to have found some pace.

At least it has on one side of the garage with Nyck de Vries continuing to fall below expectation and he finished 14th for the third time this season. It was nothing the team did wrong on this occasion though.

Williams 5.5

Another sad day at the office for a Williams car that looks well off the pace. There was some hope at the start of the season that the Grove outfit may not be the also rans that we have seen recently but that is looking less and less likely with every passing race.

The race started off poorly when Logan Sargeant was forced to start from the pit lane after the team made changes to his suspension set-up and brake cooling under Parc Fermé conditions. He would go on to finish last of the runners.

Alex Albon meanwhile started higher up in 18th but could only manage a P16 finish and never looked like challenging for points.

It is often said if you are not moving forwards in F1 then you are going backwards and Williams are discovering just how true that is.