F1 POWER RANKINGS
*These Rankings are an indication of the performance of the Drivers according to their potential and the overall expectation put on them by their Constructors and the Fans as a whole.
Of course, a Mercedes Driver was supposed to emerge victorious, but no one could have predicted that it would be Bottas and not Hamilton. Is it the beginning of yet another rivalry within Mercedes, or was Bottas just fortunate? Only time will tell if he can rise up to the occasion consistently to be considered a worthy opponent to his legendary teammate. But as of now, he tops our power rankings.
Not long ago, Max was a young Maverick, ready to take on the racing world. And few could argue that he hasn’t fulfilled the expectations that they had from him. At 21, he has already had three consistent seasons of finishing in the top-6. And in the inaugural race of the season, he has shown us that his best is yet to come. Could this be his season, could he be a contender for the title? If he continues to perform this way, there’s no stopping him. Also, this is a triumph for Honda, who had heir first podium finish in over a decade.
After years of being in the middle, could this be the year that Magnussen breaks all the barriers and reach the expectations that Haas had laid upon him a couple of years ago. With a somewhat underwhelming qualifying, all the doubters were at it again. But his performance silenced them all. The VF-19’s potential was confirmed as the near perfect manoeuvring by Magnussen.
With Ricciardo grabbing all the limelight that there was for his high profile switch from Red Bull to Renault, What Hulkenburg did was remarkable. He turned all the attention towards him as he pulled of yet another amazing performance. He not only beat his teammate in Qualifying in Ricciardo’s home Circuit, but also moved up from 12th to 8th. And as Grosjean retired, he was further boosted up the table to 7th, a position which he has finished in four of the last five years.
If you’re a 19-year-old rookie and have finished 12th in your first ever race, there’s all reasons to celebrate. But there were none for this young Brit. Though he was the highest finishing rookie he didn’t have nice things to say regarding his performance. The fact that he couldn’t earn points for the team trouble him. If he can go through the season harbouring the same level of passion, the future seems bright for this young Brit.
Obviously, his return to Torro-Rosso was far from perfect, but that was to be expected. The fact that he could bag points for them made it even better for the Constructor to have put their faith in him for the 3rd time. Though there was a minor blip when he tried to overtake Stroll for the 9th position, he recovered well to earn a point in the end.
He must be kicking himself, the front-left wheel of his Haas having attempted to separate itself from the car for the second year in a row, could he have been unluckier? I guess not. Anyway, given the undoubted potential that’s there with the VF-19, its only a matter of time to have more joyful days ahead if Grosjean can keep up the execution level he appeared in Australia. Grosjean and Magnussen fit perfectly in Haas’ scheme of things.
Obviously, Russell couldn’t have fared any better. The car he was armed with is not supposed to compete for the top spots. But the way he fared against his competition in his very first race, tells us that the Williams team couldn’t have picked up a better driver than the 2018 F2 champ. His progress needs to be mapped, I think he might be destined for greater things in the future.
Very few would’ve expected Lance to fetch points, let alone feature in the Power Rankings. With immense pressure from the Racing world who were alleging the team of nepotism when they selected Stroll to replace an up and coming young racer in Ocon. He had just managed to fetch 4 points all season with Williams before making the shift to Force India, when his Dad, Billionaire Lawrence Stroll took over the team. He has proved them all wrong, well at least for now. As we go along the season, will we get to know the decision that reeked of nepotism, at least had a shred of merit in it.
I know, he did finish 2nd. But such are the expectations that have been laid on him. The most controversial and successful drivers of our time. He has never shied away from speaking his mind. Case in point, addressing the Nepotism vs. Merit issue. But losing his pole position, finishing the race as the second-best Mercedes isn’t Hamiltonesque at all. Expect him to move up in the rankings when he rediscovers his grit.