Formula 1 has received the votes from its team principals, and 2021 World Champion Max Verstappen is top of this list also.
Shortly after the season concluded, Autosport held their traditional team principals’ vote with nine of the 10 bosses taking part to determine their top 10 drivers for the 2021 season.
Verstappen ranked P1, displacing Lewis Hamilton from the top spot in a mirror result of what went down on track, where Verstappen claimed the Drivers’ title with a last-lap overtake on Hamilton in Abu Dhabi, ending the Briton’s streak which had seen him crowned champion every year since 2017.
And now Verstappen has doubled down on the adulation of the bosses, with the votes now in from Formula 1’s own rankings.
It may be a different data gatherer, but the result remains the same with Verstappen in P1 and Hamilton P2, with the pair comfortably ahead of the rest – again, just how it was on track this season.
Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto did take part in this vote, having missed the Autosport one, which meant all 10 bosses contributed.
The rankings will make happy reading for Lando Norris, who came in at a very respectable P3.
It was a breakout season for Norris. Expected to struggle alongside multiple race winner Daniel Ricciardo who joined McLaren for 2021, Norris actually established himself as the stronger driver across the season.
Ricciardo scored McLaren’s only win of the season, that coming at Monza where Norris finished P2. But Norris’ overall haul of 160 points put him 45 clear of Ricciardo in the final Drivers’ Championship standings.
Only Norris made the top 10 in the team principals’ vote, with Ricciardo understandably missing out.
The list was also a pretty sight for Ferrari and Alpine, with both teams getting their two drivers into the top 10.
Carlos Sainz bagged P4 for Ferrari with his team-mate Charles Leclerc P5, a fair reflection after a sensational debut campaign for Sainz who scored four podiums on his way to P5 in the Drivers’ Championship.
Leclerc suffered heartbreak at his home race, unable to start the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix after taking pole position, but nonetheless amassed 159 points for the season, putting him 5.5 behind Sainz.
Fernando Alonso followed for Alpine in P6 on the team boss’ list, while Valtteri Bottas made it a Mercedes double by also featuring in the top 10.
Williams and AlphaTauri also got in on the action.
Team principals used the current F1 points system to cast their vote, with 25 points going to their top driver down to one for P10 on their respective lists.
The top 10 in full
1. Max Verstappen, Red Bull, 213 points
2. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 192
3. Lando Norris, McLaren, 110
4. Carlos Sainz, Ferrari, 85
5. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, 70
6. Fernando Alonso, Alpine, 69
7. Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri, 64
8. George Russell, Williams, 44
9. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 43
10. Esteban Ocon, Alpine, 41