Hamilton and Verstappen are tied at the top of the overall rankings, but then it gets messy.
Photo credit: Formula 1
Since they were added in F1 2020, driver ratings have always been a point of significant controversy among fans of the sport and of the game. It is little surprise, then, to see that some of the freshly announced F1 2021 driver ratings are causing a little bit of a stir. With a sport like Formula 1, it is always very difficult to dissect the driver’s performance from their car, and as such this area is always open to debate.
How does it work?
Each driver’s performance is broken down into four categories, and then these categories are all considered when coming up with the driver’s overall rating. Awareness, pace, racecraft and experience are the factors taken into account.
Experience is straightforward enough – it’s simply determined by how many races a driver has started in their career. With the other three, getting an accurate score is a little more difficult. Racecraft is measured by how many positions a driver gained or lost during a race, relative to what is expected for their grid position.
High awareness scores are granted to drivers skilled at avoiding penalties and incidents in races. Pace, the ultimate factor for any racing driver, is simply described as being a measure of the driver’s fastest lap times, compared to the overall fastest lap. For the overall rating, these four categories are calculated with a weighted average, with a bias applied to their pace score.
Two drivers are joint at the top with overall ratings of 95. Of course, they are Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. Lewis is given the edge over Max on pace, and heads him comfortably in experience, but the Dutchman is stronger on both racecraft and awareness. The next highest rated driver, and this is where things get a little controversial, is Valterri Bottas with a score of 92. Bottas is certainly no slouch, but very few fans of the sport would argue that he is the third best driver in the field.
One driver who many would claim is the third best on the grid is Charles Leclerc. However, the young Monegasque’s score of 88 puts him only ninth best overall and one point behind Sebastian Vettel, who he comfortably dealt with in 2020 when the two were teammates at Ferrari. Lando Norris’ breakout 2021 season is recognised with a rating of 91, putting him fourth best overall, and four full points ahead of his 2019 and 2020 teammate Carlos Sainz Jr., who Norris rarely managed to get the better of.
In terms of experience, Kimi Räikkönen leads the way with his 338 race starts earning him a score of 99. In fact, he blitzes his teammate Antonio Giovinazzi, out-scoring him in every single category, despite the fact that the pair have generally been very closely matched over the last year at least.
Overview of all F1 2021 ratings
|Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)||88||62||88||87||92|
|Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)||87||69||88||94||85|
|Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)||89||91||93||87||88|
|Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)||83||62||93||82||82|
|Lando Norris (McLaren)||91||60||96||99||89|
|Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)||90||80||94||91||88|
|Max Verstappen (Red Bull)||95||69||96||96||97|
|Sergio Perez (Red Bull)||87||81||92||84||87|
|Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-AMG Petronas)||95||92||94||89||98|
|Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes-AMG Petronas)||92||75||89||99||92|
|George Russell (Williams)||84||60||76||99||83|
|Nicholas Latifi (Williams)||71||55||69||79||70|
|Mick Schumacher (Haas)||76||47||65||81||83|
|Nikita Mazepin (Haas)||67||47||65||78||66|
|Kimi Räikkönen (Alfa Romeo)||87||99||91||84||86|
|Antonio (Alfa Romeo)||79||54||82||82||80|
|Pierre Gasly (Alphatauri)||90||59||92||99||89|
|Yuki Tsunoda (Alphatauri)||82||46||88||78||86|
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