POWER RANKINGS: A perfect 10 for Verstappen in Belgium – but who else impressed the judges?
Max Verstappen landed a perfect 10 after dominating the weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, but the likes of Alex Albon, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel also scored highly in our Power Rankings from the 2022 Belgian Grand Prix…
How it works
Our five-judge panel assess each driver after every Grand Prix and score them out of 10 according to their performance across the weekend – taking machinery out of the equation
Our experts’ scores are then averaged out and the mean of those scores are then used to produce a Power Rankings leaderboard, which has been expanded below
Verstappen didn't put a foot wrong last weekend, and even a P14 start couldn't derail the champion's drive to the front at Spa-Francorchamps. He qualified fastest and made startingly quick work of recovering to the podium positions, and from then there was no doubt that the Dutchman would take the lead. He was, as the saying goes, inevitable. A 10/10 for the winner, Driver of the Day and Belgian GP fastest lap holder.
WATCH: Relive Max Verstappen carving through the field en route to victory in Spa
Albon said he was "holding on for dear life" as he clung on to P10 in Belgium, and while the Williams driver explained that he was struggling for grip in the corners, he didn't show it. Albon made it to Q3 for the first time this season and ended up being rewarded with P6 on the grid as others took grid penalties. He beat the likes of Gasly and Norris to that final point too – a fine job in a machine that seemed to be a handful on Sunday.
READ MORE: Albon says he was ‘holding on for dear life’ to score final point in Belgium
Alonso was one of a few drivers not to take a grid penalty in Belgium and ended up third on the grid, ahead of Mercedes duo Hamilton and Russell. The two-time champion brushed off an early collision with Hamilton and managed to finish sixth at the flag, a finish that was upgraded to P5 when Leclerc received a five-second pit lane speeding penalty.
READ MORE: 'Frustrated' Alonso relieved to finish Belgian GP strongly, as Ocon praises 'flying' car for recovery from P16
Vettel managed P10 on the grid behind team mate Lance Stroll but the four-time champion comfortably outpaced Stroll on Sunday, finishing a solid eighth between Alpine's Ocon and AlphaTauri's Gasly as he proved that he could mix it in the midfield and make it a third-straight scoring weekend for Aston Martin.
READ MORE: Vettel labels P8 finish in Belgian GP ‘solid’ – but calls on Aston Martin to fix their ‘Achilles’ heel’
Russell continued his stellar run of top-five finishes with fourth in Belgium, with podium-finisher Sainz later admitting that the Mercedes driver might have been able to catch up to him as the chequered flag approached. Another solid showing from the young brit, with the Power Rankings score to match.
READ MORE: Wolff concedes Verstappen ‘in a league of his own’ as he urges Mercedes to recover from Spa ‘depression’
Ocon finished seventh behind Leclerc to ensure Alpine came away with another strong haul of points in Belgium. The Frenchman did take a grid penalty that put him 16th for the start on Sunday, but worked his way up with the likes of Leclerc and Verstappen to take some well deserved points.
SAY WHAT?! Leclerc's strategy dilemmas, Verstappen's joy and Schumacher’s discomfort in the best team radio from Spa
Gasly may have qualified eighth on the grid but he ended up starting from the pit lane when his car refused to fire up on the grid. But the Frenchman put the difficult start behind to climb back up into the points and finished ninth – comfortably clear of Albon behind. Gasly's P9 finish also ended a five-race point-less streak for AlphaTauri.
FACTS AND STATS: Verstappen becomes only second driver to win successive races from outside top 9
Sainz inherited pole when Verstappen copped grid penalties, and the Spaniard's rapid start was somewhat curtailed by a Lap 2 Safety Car. He did his best to stay out in front but Red Bull's pace proved too strong for the Scuderia. The Spaniard held on to the final podium place despite Russell's late-race charge, rescuing what could have been a far more disappointing weekend for Ferrari.
READ MORE: ‘You need to be brave in F1’ – Binotto defends Ferrari strategy as he explains chasm to Red Bull at Spa
Perez couldn't match his team mate Verstappen in the race, nor in qualifying, as the Mexican driver ended up second on the grid behind Sainz. He still managed to finish runner-up and back-up a Red Bull one-two, but Perez later admitted that he needed set-up changes to get back to his best in the RB18.
READ MORE: 'I don’t expect it to be like that every single race weekend' says Verstappen after leading dominant Red Bull 1-2
Leclerc's rise up the field from P15 wasn't as meteoric as that of Verstappen, but the Monegasque still seemed to be on course for P5 by the chequered flag after a late scrap for the position with Alonso. It soon emerged that the Ferrari driver sped in the pit lane during his final stop – for an unsuccessful attempt to take fastest lap off Verstappen – and the resulting penalty meant he was therefore classified sixth.
READ MORE: Leclerc demoted to P6 at Spa after pit lane speeding penalty – and admits title chances ‘start to look very difficult’
Lando Norris missed out on the top 10 this week, the McLaren driver having failed to score points as he finished the Belgian Grand Prix behind Stroll.