until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula 1

Edd Straw's 2024 F1 British Grand Prix driver rankings

by Edd Straw
10 min read

There were plenty of contenders for 'best performer' from a thrilling British Grand Prix weekend in which drivers faced a real mix of weather conditions.

But who's ultimately come out on top in Edd Straw's Formula 1 driver rankings this week? Find out below:

How do the rankings work? The 20 drivers will be ranked in order of performance from best to worst on each grand prix weekend. This will be based on the full range of criteria, ranging from pace and racecraft to consistency and whether they made key mistakes. How close each driver got to delivering on the maximum performance potential of the car will be an essential consideration.

It’s important to note both that this reflects performance across the entire weekend, cognisant of the fact that qualifying is effectively ‘lap 0’ of the race and key to laying the foundations to the race, and that it is not a ranking of the all-round qualities of each driver. It’s simply about how they performed on a given weekend. Therefore, the ranking will fluctuate significantly from weekend to weekend.

And with each of the 10 cars fundamentally having different performance potential and ‘luck’ (ie factors outside of a driver’s control) contributing to the way the weekend plays out, this ranking will also differ significantly from the overall results.

Started: 2nd Finished: 1st

Hamilton's first win in two-and-a-half years was brilliantly executed, particularly in terms of his pace when the rain first came and the superb use of the softs in the final stint that kept him out of range of Max Verstappen.

His qualifying pace was fine, but could have been a little better, but that’s a relatively minor criticism of a strong weekend. 

Verdict: Outstanding at key moments in the race.

Started: 9th Finished: 9th

Albon did an outstanding job in the Williams, making it to Q3 and then surviving a fraught first lap on which he sustained minor damage after clipping the back of Fernando Alonso's car when the Aston Martin driver checked up as Nico Hulkenberg rejoined the track at Turn 3.

That, combined with time lost in his first pitstop, made life difficult, but Albon drove a strong race to bag valuable points, taking advantage of being on the mediums in the final stint to pass Tsunoda for ninth. 

Verdict: Got the most out of the Williams.

Started: 6th Finished: 6th

On mighty form in the upgraded Haas, and perhaps could have qualified even higher than sixth given his Q3 lap wasn’t perfectly executed.

The first lap was fraught, with wheelspin off the line then a brief trip to the runoff at Village, leaving Hulkenberg ninth.

But his characteristically excellent pace on slicks in the damp allowed him to pass Lance Stroll. Charles Leclerc’s strategic disaster and George Russell’s retirement meant he finished sixth.

Verdict: Class of the midfield.

Started: 1st Finished: DNF

Russell did so much right at Silverstone, both in terms of nailing Q3 to beat his team-mate to pole position and leading comfortably for the first 17 laps.

But when the rain first came, he struggled more than Hamilton and lost the lead before being shuffled behind the quicker McLarens.

He was fourth and still hopeful of making gains when he hit water system problems that eventually forced him back to the Mercedes garage and into retirement. 

Verdict: Pace when rain first hit the only small negative.

Started: 4th Finished: 2nd

Verstappen did a superb job to salvage fourth on the grid despite floor damage sustained in Q1, although that he was in that position in the first place was down to him being too attacking in the rain at Copse and running through the gravel.

He also drove an excellent race and, with a few more laps, might have been able to challenge Hamilton.

While that doesn’t entirely make up for the qualifying error, other than that he was outstanding. 

Verdict: Q1 off damages his ranking.

Started: 3rd Finished: 3rd

There was a great deal that was good about Norris’s weekend, but there were a few rough edges.

He should have qualified better, potentially even on pole, and overshot his pitbox at the second stop, costing himself just under two seconds.

But by and large, he was quick, raced well and might well have won but for being left out a lap too long and then putting on softs - a decision he had a part in. 

Verdict: Small imperfections proved costly.

Started: 7th Finished: 5th

Sainz should have done a little bit better in qualifying, as he admitted, but in the race he did a good job of closing back up on the leaders when the rain came.

But the pace of the Ferrari meant he was always in a no-man’s land between the midfield pack and the frontrunners, doing a good job to stay there all race and sacrificing some race time to pit for softs and grab the fastest lap bonus point late on.

Verdict: Limited the damage effectively.

Started: 5th Finished: 4th

This was another weekend on which Piastri’s result didn’t reflect his performance. While he was the slower McLaren in qualifying, he drove well in the race and there were times in the damp where he was clearly a little quicker than Norris.

But the team telling him to stay out rather than double-stacking for the first stop for inters did irreparable damage to his race. 

Verdict: Strategy eliminated victory threat. 

Started: 13th Finished: 10th

With RB running a compromise package that included around half of the Spanish GP upgrade thanks to problems encountered with achieving a good through-corner balance, Tsunoda drove a good race.

He did a decent job on slicks in the damp and delivered a race drive that yielded a point despite being lumbered with softs in the final stint, as he didn’t have a medium set left. 

Verdict: Nabbed a point the car didn’t deserve.

Started: 10th Finished: 8th

As the Aston Martin came alive at Silverstone, so too did Alonso. Unfortunately, having flown up to that point, he ended up behind the team-mate thanks to traffic ruining his fresh-tyre lap in Q3.

He got back ahead of Stroll in the first stint of the race when the rain came, although lost more than 10 seconds to his team-mate thanks to deciding to stay out when he was called in for inters, which ensured he finished behind. 

Verdict: Back on form.

Started: 8th Finished: 7th

Stroll found the Aston Martin a little easier to drive at Silverstone but lacked Alonso’s edge of pace.

His qualifying margin of 0.332s over Alonso was distorted by the fact he got in a proper fresh-tyre lap while his team-mate didn’t, but it’s worth noting he outpaced Alonso on their used-tyre banker runs as well.

He had a good run to seventh, and while he had a tougher time on slicks when the rain came and fell behind Hulkenberg and Alonso he did finish ahead of the latter thanks to gaining significant time by pitting for intermediates a lap earlier.

Verdict: A well-executed weekend.

Started: 12th Finished: 11th

Sargeant revelled in having parity with Albon this weekend and was punchy about the quality of his performances.

And rightly so, given this was one of his strongest weekends in F1. He got ahead of Albon on the first lap, but was repassed at Vale then followed his team-mate through the first stint.

Losing time in a double-stack pitstop meant he fell back and that cost him the chance to battle Tsunoda for the final point.

Verdict: Encouraging, but still off Albon's level.

Started: 11th Finished: 14th

Given Leclerc ran the Spain-spec floor/bodywork throughout Friday, while his team-mate ran the old spec both used from Saturday onwards, it was no surprise he was less comfortable with the car come qualifying.

As a result, he missed Q3 thanks to struggling to keep the front-left tyre alive and battling understeer.

After passing Stroll for seventh in the first stint, he became the only driver with something to lose to switch to intermediates early, which was a ruinous decision for his race. 

Verdict: Not at his best, but there were extenuating circumstances.

Started: 17th Finished: 12th

Magnussen’s weekend didn’t really get off the ground until the race.  That was partly down to the fact he sat out FP1 for Ollie Bearman, but his pace was nothing special even before his off on slicks in the damp at Copse in Q1.

A good first stint and strong pace on slicks in the wet got him up to 11th, but graining on the softs in his final stint meant he fell away and was passed by Sargeant.

Verdict: Two-thirds of the race was strong, the rest of the weekend less so.

Started: 14th Finished: 18th

There was a rare Q2 appearance for Zhou, outpacing team-mate Valtteri Bottas thanks to improving on slicks in tricky conditions, which set him up for a decent race.

But starting on softs made life difficult as after holding 14th early on, he then faded once the tyre deg set in. That led to an early gamble on inters that backfired, condemning him to last place. 

Verdict: Strategy undid a decent weekend. 

Started: 15th Finished: 13th

Ricciardo’s Q2 was compromised by the usual traffic jams, although he always looked to be at a slender disadvantage to his team-mate.

That trend continued in what was an anonymous race buried in the midfield for Ricciardo, who summed up his feelings when he said “hopefully there’s a big hole in my car that I haven’t yet seen and that’s the reason we were slow” after struggling in the race. 

Verdict: A nothing weekend. 

Started: 16th Finished: 15th

Bottas probably should have made it into Q2, but was unable to improve on his final lap just as the track conditions got better again.

He made a good start, but was hung out to dry at Turn 4 and shuffled back, which guaranteed a long, hard afternoon - effectively finishing last of those who didn’t make the mistake of taking inters early (even finishing behind one of those who did).

Verdict: A solid weekend in a poor car.

Started: 18th Finished: 16th

Ocon summed up his own weekend well, saying: “Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong; we took every wrong decision from before the race, to on the grid, to during the race. Every call on information was wrong.”

Chief among those errors was the confusion at the end of Q1 that likely cost him a place in Q2, the doomed choice to start on softs and the resulting risky early switch to intermediates.

On top of that, the Alpine never showed the top-10 pace it exhibited in the previous run of races.

Verdict: Given little chance to impress.

Started: 20th (pits) Finished: 17th

Qualifying again ruined Perez’s weekend, although this time it was an error on his outlap in tricky conditions that resulted in him being beached in the Copse gravel.

Chucking power unit components at the car to avoid future penalties was an obvious move, as was the risky early switch to intermediates - engineer Hugh Bird said post-race it was "worth taking a shot" - that eliminated any chance of a good recovery.

Verdict: An inexcusable Q1 blunder ruined his weekend.

Started: 19th Finished: DNF

Qualifying was an irrelevance for Gasly given he was condemned to starting at the back thanks to a power unit change, but parking in the gravel in the wet in FP3 didn’t help his cause.

Not that it mattered, with a gearbox problem meaning he peeled into the pits to retire at the end of the formation lap.

Given he sat out FP1, wasn’t seriously attacking qualifying and didn’t race, there’s little meaningful to rate him on.

Verdict: A futile weekend.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • More Networks