Codemasters and EA have just revealed the new driver ratings for F1 2021. There are a fair few surprises in the mix.
Photo credit: Codemasters / EA
When F1 2021 initially released back in July of 2021, one aspect that proved controversial right off the bat was the driver ratings system and the relative scores that each driver received. It was noted at the time by Codemasters that there would be updates to the driver ratings as the real world Formula 1 season progressed, and now the details of the first of these driver rating updates has been revealed.
HAM, NOR DOWN, GAS UP
Of the new changes to the driver ratings, there are several which are bound to command the community’s attention. First and foremost amongst these is the decrease in overall rating for Lewis Hamilton, who has now been dropped down to a 94. Hamilton has largely had as strong a season as ever in 2021, and it’s hard to see why his stock should fall. The number 94 is especially significant, as it puts him one point below title rival Max Verstappen.
Two other ratings of particular significance are the drop in Lando Norris’ rating, and the rise in that of Pierre Gasly. Norris has been bumped down to an 89 overall, putting him even with his teammate Daniel Ricciardo. However, in the 2021 Formula 1 season, Lando is putting in many of his strongest performances ever, and is currently far ahead of Ricciardo in most races.
Then there is Gasly, whose increase in rating takes him to a 92 overall. While Gasly is certainly driving well, this new rating makes him the third best driver in F1 2021. Few F1 fans would rate him quite as highly as that.
Williams Boost Betrays Flaws in Ratings System
However, while these may not be the highest profile changes in the whole field of drivers, the ratings increase that both Nicholas Latifi and George Russell have been granted points to some flaws in the driver ratings system.
Codemasters have cited the result of the Hungarian Grand Prix as the primary reason, a race in which both Williams drivers scored their first points for the team. This race was thrown on its head immediately, with the ‘bowling alley’ series of collisions in the first corner which took out almost all of the major players.
While Latifi and Russell performed admirably in Hungary, there is no reason to believe that if the race hadn’t been so chaotic that they would have scored points. As such, their increased ratings in F1 2021 are based more on fortune favouring them in Hungary than they are on actual driving prowess and ability.
Indeed, Russell in particular has gone from strength to strength this season, with the front row qualification in Belgium the crowning achievement, but this is not stated as the reason for his rise in overall rating, and furthermore it cannot explain the fact that it was the racecraft stat that was raised.
If you want to see all of the updated driver ratings, you can do so on the F1 2021 website here.
Do you think Verstappen should be rated higher than Hamilton? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!