2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix driver ratings RaceFans

The second race of the 2022 season provided a similar story to the first, with Red Bull and Ferrari fighting tooth-and-nail over the race win.

However, it was not just another straight fight between winner Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc as Sergio Perez played a far more prominent role in the race weekend than he had in Bahrain, losing the lead of the race through an unfortunate timed pitstop negated by the Safety Car.

Here are the RaceFans driver ratings for all 20 drivers across Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Saudi Arabia.

Each driver will be awarded a score on a scale of zero to ten, taking into account the performance expectations of their machinery, how they overcame adversity over the weekend, how many mistakes they made as well as their conduct out on the track.

As ever, drivers will be judged not only against each other, but against over 70 years of Formula 1 history. Only the most outstanding, exceptional feats of driving excellence will earn the highest scores.

Lewis Hamilton – 4

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2022
Hamilton endured his worst qualifying performance in years

Qualified: 16th (-10 below team mate)
Finished: 10th (-5 below team mate)

  • Faster than team mate in every practice session
  • Setup gamble in qualifying backfired, leading to Q1 elimination on merit
  • Made progress through the field with hard tires in opening stint, rising to sixth behind team mate Russell
  • Missed opportunity to pit before Virtual Safety Car despite being called to box before final corner
  • Passed Albon and Stroll after pitting to take final point in tenth

George Russell – 6

Qualified: 6th (+10 above team mate)
Finished: 5th (+5 above team mate)

  • Inconsistent practice pace after experimenting with setup
  • Squeaked into Q3 before taking sixth on the grid behind Ocon’s Alpine
  • Overtook Ocon for fifth on lap three
  • Remained in fifth until the checked flag, unable to keep pace with the cars ahead

Max Verstappen – 7

Qualified: 4th (-3 below team mate)
Finished: Winner (+3 above team mate)

  • Second in all three practice sessions behind Leclerc
  • Struggled with lack of tire grip on first Q3 run, went fourth on second attempt
  • Picked off Sainz around the outside of turn two at the start
  • Pitted under Safety Car to take second place
  • Caught and eventually passed Leclerc for victory after intense, but clean, multi-lap duel

Sergio Perez – 8

Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2022
Pole-winner Perez lost the lead through an ill-timed Safety Car

Qualified: Pole (+3 above team mate)
Finished: 4th (-3 below team mate)

  • Gradually built confidence in the car over the three practice sessions
  • Took maiden pole position to deny Ferrari after “best lap of my life”
  • Held off Ferraris at start and looked comfortable out front in early laps
  • Pitted early by the team to cover Leclerc’s potential undercut attempt but lost out heavily when Safety Car was dropping him to fourth
  • Spent remainder of race in futile pursuit of Sainz

Carlos Sainz Jnr – 6

Qualified: 3rd (-1 below team mate)
Finished: 3rd (-1 below team mate)

  • Slower than Leclerc and Verstappen in every practice session
  • Lost track time in second practice after brush with barrier
  • Took third on the grid, almost two tenths slower than Leclerc
  • Lost third to Verstappen at start and couldn’t quite match pace of cars ahead
  • Gained third under Safety Car and stayed there until checkered flag

Charles Leclerc – 7

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2022
Leclerc fought hard but couldn’t keep Verstappen behind

Qualified: 2nd (+1 above team mate)
Finished: 2nd (+1 above team mate)

  • Fastest across all three practice sessions, but lost track time on Friday after hitting wall
  • Pipped to pole by Perez by just 0.025s
  • Kept in touch of Perez in early laps and pulled away from Sainz behind
  • Inherited the lead after perfectly timed Safety Car allowed him to pit and rejoin in first
  • Intense battle with Verstappen for win but could not hold the Red Bull off in the end

Lando Norris – 6

Qualified: 11th (+1 above team mate)
Finished: 7th

  • Quicker than Ricciardo only in second practice
  • Missed out on Q3 by 0.033s after “small mistake”
  • Battled Gasly in early laps but lost positions after pitting under Safety Car
  • Gained three positions after Ricciardo, Alonso and Bottas retired and Hamilton’s late stop
  • Fought Ocon hard for sixth, missing out by a tenth of a second

Daniel Ricciardo – 5

Qualified: 12th (-1 below team mate)
Finished: Retired (Power unit L35)

  • Generally quicker than Norris in practice
  • Handed three-place grid drop and team fined for impeding Ocon in Q2
  • First driver to switch from mediums to hards after just eight laps, moving ahead of his team mate after the Safety Car
  • Ran ahead of Norris in 11th until car suddenly shuddered to a stop on lap 35

Fernando Alonso – 7

Esteban Ocon, Fernando Alonso, Alpine, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2022
Alonso had been ahead of Ocon before his retirement

Qualified: 7th (-2 below team mate)
Finished: Retired (Overheating L35)

  • Consistently in the middle of the field through practice
  • Less than a tenth off team mate in qualifying to line up seventh
  • Eventually passed team mate after dicing in early laps
  • Fought Magnussen over seventh after pitting under Safety Car
  • Forced to back off after “cool the car” warning on dash, leading to his retirement

Esteban Ocon – 6

Qualified: 5th (+2 above team mate)
Finished: 6th

  • Consistently in the top eight through practice
  • Took ‘best of the rest’ honors in qualifying with strong fifth place
  • Rudely rebuffed team mate Alonso’s attempts to pass in the early laps, costing them both time to rivals around them
  • Gained two places from Alonso and Bottas’s retirements prior to Virtual Safety Car
  • Prevailed in late race battle with Norris to claim a sixth-place finish

Pierre Gasly – 7

Qualified: 9th
Finished: 8th

  • Suffered floor damage in second practice that compromised performance
  • Comfortably through to Q3 despite picking up further floor damage in Q1
  • Dropped two places at the start and battled with Norris
  • Lost out heavily by pitting moments before Latifi’s crash brought out Safety Car
  • Gradually clawed his way back into the points and held on to 8th despite abdominal pain over final four laps

Yuki Tsunoda – No rating

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2022
Tsunoda did not complete a competitive lap all weekend

Qualified: No Time Set (Water system)
Finished: Did Not Start (Driveline)

  • Ran consistently in the top ten over three practice sessions, close to pace of team mate Gasly
  • Was unable to set a time in qualifying after suspected water system problem
  • Did not start the race after suffering driveline problem on reconnaissance lap to grid

Nico Hulkenberg – 5

Qualified: 18th (-3 below team mate)
Finished: 12th (+1 above team mate)

  • Ran similar pace to his team mate in practice despite having never driven the circuit before
  • Eliminated from Q1 in 17th after admitting mistakes on his best lap
  • Started on hards and gained places in early laps, but early Safety Car heavily compromised his race
  • Ran 14th and last before gaining two places after Albon and Stroll tangled

Lance Stroll – 5

Qualified: 15th (+3 above team mate)
Finished: 13th (-1 below team mate)

  • Hovered around middle of the bottom ten cars throughout practice
  • Eliminated Hamilton to reach Q2 during final effort of Q1, ultimately qualifying 15th
  • Passed by Hamilton, Zhou and team mate Hulkenberg on hard tires over first stint
  • Running 11th before being hit and spun by Albon

Nicholas Latifi – 2

Nicholas Latifi, Williams, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2022
Two crashes in two days for Latifi

Qualified: 19th (-2 below team mate)
Finished: Retired (Crashed L14)

  • Consistently at the bottom of the times in practice
  • Crashed out of Q1 with error at turn 13
  • Ran at the back in early laps, only gaining places when Ricciardo and Albon pitted
  • Crashed out of the race with unforced error at final corner on lap 14

Alexander Albon – 4

Qualified: 17th (+2 above team mate)
Finished: Classified 14th

  • Reprimanded for impeding Schumacher in first practice
  • Disappointed to qualify 17th after struggling to bring tires into operating window
  • One of the earliest medium tire starters to switch to hards, lost out to those pitting under Safety Car
  • Ran towards the back of the field after team mate’s retirement
  • Pulled off track after poorly judged move on Stroll at turn one damaged his car and earned him a three-place grid drop for Melbourne

Valtteri Bottas – 7

Qualified: 8th (+5 above team mate)
Finished: Retired (Overheating L36)

  • Consistently quicker than team mate in practice
  • Improved every qualifying session to line up eighth on the grid
  • Passed Ocon to run as high as seventh before pitting
  • Running ninth when suddenly told to retire car to avoid damaging power unit after overheating problems

Zhou Guanyu – 4

Qualified: 13th (-5 below team mate)
Finished: 11th

  • Well off the pace of his team mate in all three practice sessions
  • Four tenths slower than Bottas in Q2 saw him eliminated in 13th
  • Fell into anti-stall at turn one for two consecutive race start
  • Made good progress through the field in early laps
  • Five second time penalty for running off track at turn one after passing Albon and failing to return the place
  • Forced to serve a drive-through penalty after team error when serving time penalty

Mick Schumacher – 3

Mick Schumacher, Haas, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2022
Schumacher’s weekend was ended by his ugly qualifying shunt

Qualified: 14th (-4 below team mate)
Finished: Withdrawn prior to race

  • Never reached top ten across three practice sessions
  • Reached Q2 but down in 14th, three tenths slower than Magnussen
  • Horrifying crash in Q2 saw him taken to hospital for precautionary checks
  • Said he felt ready to race but team withdrew his car to prioritise Australian GP

Kevin Magnussen – 7

Qualified: 10th (+4 above team mate)
Finished: 9th

  • Only two laps in first practice after hydraulic leak
  • Pulled off midway through second practice with more hydraulic problems
  • Comfortably reached Q3 for second successive weekend
  • Started on hards and ran long first stint, pitting for mediums from seventh place before final Virtual Safety Car
  • Rejoined in 12th and passed Albon and Stroll on way to finishing ninth

Over to you

Vote for the driver who impressed you most last weekend and find out whether other RaceFans share your view here:

2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Browse all 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix articles

Leave a Comment