Davidson picks his top five Formula 1 drivers

Jamie Woodhouse
Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the front during sprint qualifying. Formula 1 Monza September 2021.

McLaren duo Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the front of the field during sprint qualifying. Monza September 2021.

Ex-F1 racer Anthony Davidson came up with a top five ranking for Formula 1’s current stars, with both Ferrari drivers making the cut.

The current crop of Formula 1 drivers is considered to be among the strongest that Formula 1 has seen.

Most recently in 2021, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen elevated each other to a whole other level as they battled over the Drivers’ Championship, but behind in the chasing midfield pack, many more drivers were catching the eye.

Lando Norris enjoyed his strongest Formula 1 season to date, failing to score points only twice across 22 races, which included four podiums.

He also picked up a first career pole, arriving at the Russian Grand Prix.

Alpine’s Esteban Ocon became a race winner for the first time at a barmy Hungarian Grand Prix, while Pierre Gasly, a shock winner in his own right at the Italian GP in 2020, was considered a standout of the 2021 midfield with his consistent performances for AlphaTauri, breaking the 100-point barrier in a season for the first time.

George Russell enjoyed a stellar season also with Williams, twice qualifying in the top three, with his P2 on the grid in Belgium becoming a first career podium, since heavy rain meant that the Safety Car was unable to release the drivers to race. P3 on the grid in Russia was his other ‘Mr Saturday’ special.

Russell put 16 points on the board for his season, having failed to score in his first two seasons when Williams’ struggles were at their worst. Now he moves on to Mercedes for 2022.

Ferrari were the boss of the midfield though, claiming P3 in the 2021 Constructors’ standings, in a season where Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc established themselves as arguably the strongest driver pairing on the grid.

Daniel Ricciardo gets a close up view of the Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen title battle. Mexico 2021

It was no surprise then to see both of them make Davidson’s top five Formula 1 drivers, while Verstappen and Hamilton also made the list as expected.

Recently Davidson’s compatriot and fellow ex-F1 driver Martin Brundle was given the same task, and incurred the wrath of Ralf Schumacher by stating that Sebastian Vettel is no longer a top-five driver and that the four-time World Champion’s best days are behind him.

Vettel though, also failed to fill out Davidson’s rankings.


“It’s always difficult to judge because the material you ride with has a huge influence in this sport,” Davidson told Motorsport.com.

“But if you’re talking about the top five drivers, then Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton are of course among them, and Charles Leclerc is also one of the best.

“If you then mention Carlos Sainz, you already have four. And then there’s Lando Norris. Then I’m already at five.”


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