POWER RANKINGS: Which driver emerged as the surprise #1 after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix?

The judges’ scores are in after the 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix and neither winner Max Verstappen nor pole-sitter Charles Leclerc have topped the charts this week. Scroll down for the scores…

How it works

  • 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)


The judges were most impressed with Gasly this weekend, the AlphaTauri driver having finished a stellar fifth behind both Mercedes. Boosting his score was a brilliant P4 in qualifying on Saturday, Gasly splitting the Silver Arrows, and he only lost P4 in the race when Hamilton charged up on newer tires late in the race. A truly brilliant performance by the Frenchman, reflected by his place at the top of this week’s Power Rankings.

READ MORE: Contrasting fortunes at AlphaTauri as ‘incredible’ race for Gasly tempered by rear wing issues for Tsunoda


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Race winner Verstappen didn’t qualify as well as his rivals, taking third on the grid, but kept his cool and seemed to take care of his Pirellis better than team mate Perez. Leclerc’s retirement was the icing on the cake for the leading Dutchman, who then went on to cruise to victory in Baku.

READ MORE: Horner calls Red Bull’s Baku 1-2 ‘redemption’ for Verstappen losing 2021 win


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Pole-sitter Leclerc lost his lead going into Turn 1 but hung on and could well have had the pace to take the lead thanks to the second Virtual Safety Car. Of course, Leclerc didn’t make it to the second VSC of the race, his engine cutting out after 20 laps and condemning the championship contender to another DNF. His performance by him was solid enough to put him third in our standings, however.

READ MORE: Binotto calls Baku DNFs ‘a concern’ as Ferrari slip 80 points behind Red Bull


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Russell once again squeezed everything out of his Mercedes W13 on a day in which the W13 seemed tough to drive, bottoming out across the Baku City Circuit. The Briton qualified fifth to maintain his hopes of keeping that top five streak alive but with both Ferraris retiring, he inherited the last podium place – once again in a class of his own between the midfield and the top teams.

READ MORE: ‘We were a little bit quicker than expected’ – Russell seizes opportunity to take unlikely Baku podium


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Hamilton, like Russell, gave his all on another tough day for Mercedes. The physical toll certainly showed on the seven-time champion but he kept on pushing from a disappointing seventh on the grid, overhauling Gasly late on to back up Russell and take more valuable points for the team.

READ MORE: Wolff backs Mercedes technical team to get W13 ‘back on track’ after labeling car ‘as***box to drive’ in Baku


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Eighth in qualifying, 13th in the race – the results don’t tell the full story of Tsunoda’s Sunday. The Japanese driver seemed set for P6 or thereabouts when it became apparent that only half his DRS flap was opening. That sent him back into the pits for a lengthy fix, aided by lashings of tape, and despite fitting soft tires the AlphaTauri driver was demoted to 13th at the flag on a day in which he deserved far more.

READ MORE: Contrasting fortunes at AlphaTauri as ‘incredible’ race for Gasly tempered by rear wing issues for Tsunoda


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Vettel converted a P9 grid slot into an eighth-place finish, the Aston Martin driver with a good turn of pace on Sunday. Fortunate that Tsunoda fell down the order late on, the four-time champion was also lucky that his early mistake in chase of Ocon didn’t cost him more than a few places as he executed a pitch-perfect spin-turn in the Turn 3 run-off.

READ MORE: Vettel shrugs off error that cost him shot at P5 in Azerbaijan GP


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Perhaps not Perez’s best race, and certainly not one of the same caliber as his Monaco victory. But it wasn’t a bad showing either. Perez qualified second and took the lead off Leclerc into Turn 1 but couldn’t keep pace with team mate Verstappen, the Mexican backing up a Red Bull one-two thanks to retirements for both Ferrari drivers.

READ MORE: Would Leclerc have triumphed in Baku without his Lap 20 DNF?


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Alonso’s P10 qualification was middling by definition, but the Alpine driver kept his nose clean on the way to P7 in the race. The straight-line speed of his A522 helped him keep the McLarens at bay but even when Ricciardo was bearing down at the end, the two-time champion seemed unfazed.

READ MORE: Alonso left with ‘good taste’ after third straight points score provides momentum heading to Canada


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What could have been for Zhou Guanyu? The rookie qualified 14th ahead of team mate Bottas and was even running ahead of his accomplished team mate – and then reliability troubles stuck again. The Chinese driver’s performance wasn’t lost on the judges, but a possible points score was, and now Zhou has suffered three DNFs in the last four races.

READ MORE: ‘It’s happened too many times this year’ – Zhou left frustrated by third DNF of the season in Baku

missing out

The McLaren drivers missed out on the top 10 this week, scoring just below Zhou. Both Norris and Ricciardo garnered the exact same score from the judges, which was enough to put them a joint 11th in this week’s Power Rankings.

leader board


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