F1 2024 power rankings: Carlos Sainz’s No.1 spot under threat, surprise driver in sixth

Henry Valantine
F1 power rankings

Carlos Sainz continues to lead the way in our power rankings

PlanetF1.com’s driver ratings are a key element of our post-race coverage, and whether you agree or not with our scores (mostly not, judging by the comments sections…) we are keeping track of each driver’s average rating in F1 2024.

As a result, this is forming our ‘power rankings’ for the season as a whole, so a good race for any driver can push them up and a bad race can push them down. Come season’s end, we’ll have a full table for you to look through – and it aims to reflect driver performance in their cars rather than the outright World Championship order.

F1 2024 power rankings by driver

First, a bit of housekeeping. Any regular reader of our post-race ratings will know that each driver is given a number between 1 and 10 for their performance across the whole race weekend, the majority of which will be for their performance in the Grand Prix but, in other circumstances, their Sprint and qualifying performances can also be taken into account.

We’ll just be looking at full-time drivers to avoid skewing the ratings, so with apologies to Oliver Bearman after his sterling 9 in Saudi Arabia, he’ll not be counted towards the overall average unless he earns a permanent seat later this season.

We will be updating these rankings as the year progresses, with our scores reflective of the averages in our driver ratings all season.

Ready? Let’s take a look.

[Average scores correct as of 2024 Japanese Grand Prix]

1: Carlos Sainz: 9.5
[Last race: 9]

Despite not winning in Suzuka, Carlos Sainz holds onto his number one spot for now having earned an excellent podium.

That gave him a nine, bringing down his average but it is still enough to keep him ahead of Max Verstapen for the time being.

2: Max Verstappen: 9.25
[Last race: 10]

After disappointment in Melbourne, Max Verstappen produced the perfect race in Suzuka to secure his third win of the year.

As a result, we gave him a 10 which puts his average up to 9.25, just 0.05 shy of his average for the entirety of 2023.

3: Charles Leclerc: 8.5
[Last race: 8.5]

The most consistent man on the grid, Charles Leclerc has scored 8.5 in every one of the grands prix this year.

In Suzuka, he did incredibly well to make a one-stop last when almost the rest of the field did two but it was not quite enough to earn him a podium.

4: Sergio Perez: 8.38
[Last race: 9]

Much like he did at the start of last year, Sergio Perez has had a great start to the season – though without a race win thus far. His hope this time will be to show the consistency at the front of the field he needs in order to maintain a challenge.

5: Lando Norris: 8.13
[Last race: 8.5]

An excellent podium in Australia (despite the undoubted disappointment of the home fans) was well-deserved for Norris, who has picked up in 2024 very much where he left off last time around.

However he could not manage to repeat the feat in Suzuka with McLaren’s strategy perhaps preventing him from a podium place.

6: Nico Hulkenberg: 7.75
[Last race: 7.5]

In the points two races in a row for Haas, there’s not a lot more that could have been asked of Nico Hulkenberg at this stage of the season, delivering exactly what he’s needed to. It’s a surprise, albeit a pleasant one, to see him this far up the rankings.

7: Oscar Piastri: 7.5
[Last race: 6.5]

Oscar Piastri made a few uncharacteristic mistakes in Suzuka which saw him overtaken late on by a charging George Russell and earning him a 6.5 in our ratings.

8: Fernando Alonso: 7.13
[Last race: 7.5]

Alonso’s season has got off to a somewhat quieter start than it did in 2023, but he has still shown flashes of how good we all know he is. He finished third in our overall averages at the end of last year and will be looking for something similar this time.

=9: Lewis Hamilton: 7
[Last race: 6]

Hamilton has endured his worst-ever start to the season in terms of points return, but his drives with a car on a ‘knife-edge’ have not been too far away from his best, though he has a gap to make up to his team-mate in qualifying on early evidence.

=9: Yuki Tsunoda: 7
[Last race: 8.5]

After great qualifying sessions, a muted start to the season in race trim was blown wide open after Tsunoda’s run to the points in Australia, earning him a well-deserved 8.5 and a rise up the averages and he followed up the feat in Suzuka.

11: Esteban Ocon: 6.88
[Last race: 6.5]

While the Alpine A524 has not been the best car with which to start the season, Esteban Ocon has probably been the one to wring the most out of it in the opening four races, getting out of Q1 in Australia and Japan. Not where he or the team want to be aiming, but a sign of quality nonetheless.

12: George Russell: 6.63
[Last race: 7.5]

Having outqualified and outraced team-mate Hamilton at every opportunity so far in 2023, his late crash in Australia – and subsequent points deduction in our Australia driver ratings for it – has proven costly for now. He did however bounce back with a good drive in Suzuka.

13: Kevin Magnussen: 6.63
[Last race: 7]

After a lower rating for his penalty and slower driving in Jeddah, Magnussen was right back to form in Australia and shares a place in mid-table in our early average rankings. In Suzuka he was unable to challenge the points as Haas looked a little off pace.

14: Zhou Guanyu: 6.5
[Last race: 6]

Having been the better of the two Sauber drivers in qualifying so far this year, Zhou has shown a strong turn of pace in the early part of 2024, but neither driver has been helped in the pit lane just yet – but still time for that to iron out.

15: Lance Stroll: 6.38
[Last race: 6]

Having been on his team-mate’s tail on early evidence, more so than the beginning of last year, Stroll has had a solid enough start to 2024 and he will look to keep that up.

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16: Alex Albon: 6.38
[Last race: 7]

Will have been disappointed to have not scored points in Australia after being handed his team-mate’s car, but a strong showing in Jeddah in particular is his season’s high point so far.

17: Pierre Gasly: 6.25
[Last race: 6]

Has been steady enough by Gasly’s standards so far this season, but the Alpine underneath him has not been a race winner by any means and he will hope to see his machinery improve soon.

18: Daniel Ricciardo: 5.75
[Last race: 5.5]

A muted start to the year for Ricciardo where things have not quite clicked over the course of a full race weekend yet, but still plenty of time for him to pull things together at RB.

19: Valtteri Bottas: 5.38
[Last race: 6.5]

Probably as much his team’s issue as his that he features as low for now, given Sauber’s pit stop issues to start the year, but Bottas will hope that the early-season potential of the C44 will be backed up sooner or later.

20: Logan Sargeant: 5.25
[Last race: 5.5]

Back after an enforced absence in Australia, Logan Sargeant was doing well in Suzuka until he almost binned it, handing him a last-place finishing spot.

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