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27 April 2022
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Max Verstappen dominated on Ferrari’s home turf, but who else impressed the judges during the Emilia Romagna Sprint and Grand Prix weekend? The scores are in…
Our five-judge panel assess each driver after every Grand Prix and score them out of 10 according to their performance across the weekend – taking machinery out of the equation
Our experts’ scores are then averaged out to produce a race score – with those scores then tallied up across the season on our overall Power Rankings Leaderboard (at the bottom of the page)
READ MORE: 6 Winners and 5 Losers for the 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Who made the best of the mixed conditions?
Max Verstappen clinched Red Bull’s 75th F1 pole position in a tough qualifying session that featured five red flags, then followed that up with P1 in the Sprint, the Grand Prix victory, and fastest lap. That really says it all – another perfect 10 for the reigning champion, who hauled himself back into the title fight.
READ MORE: ‘An unbelievable job’ – Horner praises Perez and Verstappen for delivering first Red Bull 1-2 in six years
Lando Norris loves Italy, and Italy clearly loves him: Sunday saw the McLaren driver chalk up a second podium at Imola and a third in Italy. Qualifying third on Friday, he dropped to a not-scoffable P5 in the Sprint, and worked his way back up to third when others faltered in the wet-dry Grand Prix.
READ MORE: Norris hails ‘amazing’ McLaren performance after consecutive Imola podiums
George Russell squeezed every drop of performance out of his Mercedes W13 this weekend. Friday wasn’t good; he was 11th – finishing there in Saturday’s Sprint – but on Sunday he shot to sixth at the start of the Grand Prix, before finishing P4. The fact that Mercedes didn’t adjust his front wing to account for dry conditions in the pits, leaving Russell to wrestle his car on medium tyres, makes this more impressive.
READ MORE: Russell says P4 seemed ‘massively out of reach’ ahead of battling Imola recovery drive
Valtteri Bottas left Imola with a solid Power Rankings score and a smile on his face, a technical issue stopping him from qualifying better than P8 on Friday. The Finn fought with the likes of Fernando Alonso for P7 on Saturday and then shrugged off early damage (from the Carlos Sainz-Daniel Ricciardo tangle) and a slow pit stop to finish fifth – just 0.6s off Mercedes’ Russell – on Sunday.
READ MORE: Bottas calls Russell battle ‘really good fun’ as he claims P5 in Emilia Romagna
Another podium for Sergio Perez, who qualified a lowly seventh but rescued that with P3 in the Sprint. Rescuing the damage on Sunday, he shot to P2 at the start and then held off Charles Leclerc – who eventually spun in chase of the Mexican – to back up a Red Bull one-two.
TECH TUESDAY: A look at Red Bull and Mercedes’ Imola upgrades as the development race kicks off
Another points finish for Yuki Tsunoda, this time on a very challenging home weekend for AlphaTauri. Qualifying 16th, ahead of team mate Pierre Gasly, Tsunoda made up a solid five positions in the Sprint and another five on Sunday – an eventual P7 his reward for keeping a cool head.
READ MORE: Tsunoda pleased to deliver strong run to P7 and rescue AlphaTauri’s ‘horrible’ start to Imola weekend
A fiery brake issue put Alex Albon down to last in Friday qualifying but he took two positions in the Sprint – then put on something of a show on Sunday in fending off Lewis Hamilton and Pierre Gasly for P11 (promoted a place by Esteban Ocon’s penalty) despite being caught in Ocon’s dirty air for much of the slick-tyred stint.
LONG READ: Alex Albon’s long road back to F1 – and why he believes Williams have what it takes to improve
Kevin Magnussen pulled off another brilliant result for Haas on Friday, qualifying fourth – but he had little chance to fend the likes of Carlos Sainz, Sergio Perez and Lando Norris in the Sprint. Still, the Dane took P8 on Saturday (one more point) and sent it at the start of Sunday’s Grand Prix, up to P5 after Lap 1. Inevitably, he couldn’t keep the pace when the track dried out and finished ninth.
WATCH: The best team radio from Imola
Just two races into his campaign, Sebastian Vettel put his Aston Martin into Q3 but graining tyres saw him drop to P13 in the Sprint. Undeterred, he shot to P9 at the start of the Grand Prix and ran as high as P7 for most of the race – dropping to P8 at the end to bring the team their first points of the season.
READ MORE: Vettel hails ‘unbelievable race’ in Imola as he and Stroll claim Aston Martin’s first points of 2022
Apart from Red Bull, Aston Martin were the only team to score points with both drivers at Imola thanks to Lance Stroll backing up his team mate with P10. Jumping from P15 to P11 at the start, Stroll soon made his way into the top 10 and finished well ahead of Albon on the road – exactly the performance his squad needed.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was the driver to miss out on the top 10, the championship leader having put in solid performances in qualifying and the Sprint – but losing out late in the Grand Prix to mount a recovery to P6.
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