After a month-long wait, the Formula 1 finally returned and the famous Belgian Grand Prix did not disappoint.
Spa-Francorchamps is always an explosive and dramatic race and Sunday’s show certainly lived up to the hype.
Getting things off to a dramatic start, no driver started his race from the place he had qualified due to a variety of penalties being thrown around the garages for a plethora of drivers.
Reigning 2021 champion Max Verstappen started the race back in 14th but quickly ran his way up and comfortably won the Belgian Grand Prix with 17 seconds to spare.
Not only did Verstappen race one of his best races, but the seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton soon found himself out of the race after colliding with two-time champion Fernando Alonso.
So with all the drama that unfolded in Belgium, here are NationalWorld’s rankings of the Formula 1 drivers in Spa…
Max Verstappen: 10/10
Unsurprisingly, the Dutchman gets full marks. His race was incomparable and nothing was going to stop the 24-year-old from yet another race win.
Starting from 14th, Verstappen was up in P8 by lap 2 and took the lead by lap 18. From here on, he was unstoppable and was 17.84 seconds ahead of Sergio Perez.
Sergio Perez: 8/10
Perez had a solid race, maintaining his P2 positioning from starting grid to podium finish. He was far from the pace his teammate was enjoying, but that was an unmatchable pace for anyone.
However, the Mexican produced a near perfect race and gave Red Bull another 1-2 finish.
Carlos Sainz: 7/10
Once again Ferrari did not have the speed necessary to match their championship rivals and Sainz could not maximise the pole position he was given.
However, despite the lack of acceleration which is more a Ferrari issue rather than a Sainz issue, the Spaniard had to work hard to keep his third place and he enjoyed a well-deserved third place.
George Russell: 7.5/10
Russell’s fourth place might have been thanks to his teammate who crashed out early in the race but despite that, Russell put in a strong graft to keep Charles Leclerc far behind him and bring in the necessary points for Mercedes which the seven-time World Champion was not going to provide.
Fernando Alonso: 8.5/10
The two-time World Champion greatly benefited from his fellow drivers’ penalties and started third on the grid.
He also did exceptionally well to recover from a collision with Hamilton (which was not the Alpine driver’s fault) to continue the race successfully.
The Spaniard will also be grateful to the Ferrari strategists who once again managed to mess up what should have been a simple fifth place finish for Leclerc.
Charles Leclerc: 6/10
Leclerc suffered from a back of the grid start and his strategists did not help his recovery.
The Monegasque enjoyed a strong race to bring himself up to fifth place but a last minute pit-stop in an attempt to get the fastest lap and fifth place.
However, as seems the luck of Ferrari, Leclerc endured a last-minute penalty for speeding in the pit lane and was brought back down to sixth place.
Esteban Ocon: 8/10
Ocon had a fine weekend with little to report at Spa. He out-qualified his teammate and bounced back quickly and efficiently from his grid place penalty to come in just a few seconds after his teammate.
Sebastian Vettel: 9/10
The retiring four-time World Champion had one of his strongest races this year and gave Aston Martin a rare points place finish.
Vettel ultimately lost out to Ocon after his second pit stop but eighth is a wonderful result for a team struggling down the order.
Pierre Gasly: 8/10
Despite starting from the pits, Gasly was able to reestablish himself in the points and took a very needed ninth place finish.
In Spite of his penalty, the Frenchman enjoyed one of his best drives so far this year - an homage to his friend Anthoine Hubert who died in the 2019 Spa Formula 2 race.
Alex Albon - 9.5/10
For the first time this season, the Williams driver progressed into Q3 and converted this into his team’s third points finish this year.
He could not match the pace enjoyed by his fellow competitors but Albon enjoyed one of his strongest races, capitalising on Williams’ straight-line speed to enjoy a well-deserved 10th place finish.
Lance Stroll: 6.5/10
Stroll started the race ahead of his teammate, Vettel, but was ultimately unable to convert the grid start into a points place finish, for which he will no doubt be disappointed.
11th is not a bad place for Aston Martin, however given the position he was into begin with, it was not the best that could have been achieved.
Lando Norris: 7/10
McLaren’s Lando Norris once again did the best he could out of the situation he was given and progressed up five places from where he started.
However, more is expected in terms of point place finishes for the young Briton and the Papaya team now find themselves even further behind Alpine in the constructors championship.
Yuki Tsunoda: 6/10
Like his teammate, Tsunoda was forced to start from the pit lane and quickly came up into 14th.
Unlike his teammate, the Japanese driver was unable to convert his strong start into a points position but he overtook Zhou Guanyu late on to finish in 13th.
Zhou Guanyu: 5.5/10
Zhou out-qualified his teammate Bottas for only the fourth time this season but this was his saving grace this weekend.
The Chinese driver was unable to compete for a points finish and was involved in the midfield scrap to finish in 14th.
Daniel Ricciardo: 5/10
Ricciardo should have finished much higher than he did given his seventh place grid start. Once he was caught up in the ever-growing train behind Albon after his pit stop, the Australian was unable to maximise how strong the first half of his race had been.
Kevin Magnussen: 5/10
The Dane managed to run up as high as 10th in the early stages of the race but quickly fell back down and found himself at the bottom, struggling for pace.
A disappointing race for Magnussen, and one which he will hope to turn around next weekend.
Mick Schumacher: 6/10
Like his teammate Magnussen, Schumacher struggled for speed and was forced to start from the back due to engine penalties.
He was uncompetitive but appeared to do the best out of a bad situation for Haas.
Nicholas Latifi: 3/10
Once again, Latifi’s place in F1 seems questionable. His teammate, Albon, finished 10th highlighting there was no excuse for Latifi to be last.
His early spin into Valtteri Bottas was amateur and given he started the race in 11th, more was expected of the Canadian this weekend.
Valtteri Bottas: 5/10
Bottas endured a selfless weekend, giving up his Q2 spot for his teammate who was then able to enjoy the slip stream.
However, an unnecessary spin from Latifi saw the Finnish driver out early on lap four.
Lewis Hamilton: 2/10
The seven-time world champion caused a collision with Fernando Alonso in lap 1 at Les Combes and was subsequently out of the race.
He managed to avoid a penalty from the stewards, mainly because he was negatively affected by his mistake.