RACE DEBRIEF

    The scores have come in from Mexico City, where Max Verstappen became a record-breaker. But who else impressed the judges? Here are the Power Rankings scores from a historic weekend at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

    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 used to produce a Power Rankings leaderboard, which has been expanded below

    READ MORE: The design secrets that set Red Bull’s RB18 apart from its F1 rivals

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    Max Verstappen took a record-breaking 14th win of the season in Mexico and, according to our judges, he was almost flawless. The Dutchman wasn't at the races in Friday practice but turned on the pace in qualifying to beat the Mercedes drivers by three tenths of a second, before leading 61 laps – maintaining pace and tyres to make it a one-stopper – to dominate Sunday's Grand Prix. Top of the charts for the champ.

    F1 NATION: A record-breaking 14th win of the season for Max Verstappen – it's our Mexico City GP review

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    Second in the race, second in our Power Rankings, Lewis Hamilton was just short of pole and victory in Mexico City. The seven-timer topped Q1 and Q2 but missed out on pole position with an engine issue that saw him settle for third on the grid. Starting on mediums, he jumped team mate George Russell but couldn't contend for the lead and, ultimately, Verstappen's clever use of tyres and superior pace sealed a comfortable win over the Briton on Sunday.

    READ MORE: ‘We know where we need to improve’ says Hamilton after P2 in Mexico

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    Daniel Ricciardo earned Driver of the Day honours for his charge to P7 in Mexico City. The Australian qualified a middling P11 and looked to be on the cusp of points as he pulled off an impressive first stint on medium tyres that saw him swap for soft compounds after 44 laps. From there, Ricciardo shrugged off a 10-second penalty for an ill-timed move on Yuki Tsunoda to pass the likes of team mate Lando Norris, Esteban Ocon and Valtteri Bottas and top the midfield.

    READ MORE: How cunning strategy allowed us to see Ricciardo back at his best in Mexico

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    Valtteri Bottas may have had to settle for the final point on Sunday but his weekend performance was not lost on the judges. The Finn qualified sixth on Saturday to split the Ferraris, and barely put a foot wrong on Sunday – when a hard-tyred stint proved his (slight) undoing.

    READ MORE: Bottas was ‘hoping for more’ from Mexico despite ending 10-race scoring drought

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    When Hamilton fell out of the running for pole, George Russell stepped up and secured a front-row start – though he erred in the fight for pole position. The Mercedes driver's start was too hesitant to hold off home hero Sergio Perez, but Russell outpaced the Ferraris to take fourth in Mexico City.

    READ MORE: ‘In hindsight it’s always easier’ – Wolff defends Mercedes’ Mexico strategy as wait for 2022 win goes on

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    Fernando Alonso could have gone under the radar this week as an unfortunate power unit issue stopped his progress late on in Mexico. The Spaniard qualified ninth, ahead of team mate Esteban Ocon, and seemed to be in contention for P7 before falling down the order and eventually stopping off track. But our judges spotted the quality nonetheless.

    READ MORE: 'I felt fast but once again Car 14 stops' – Alonso frustrated after fifth DNF of the season in Mexico

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    Sergio Perez has the toughest of team mates in Verstappen, and in qualifying the home favourite ended up 0.353s off the Dutchman as he settled for P4 on the grid. He lit up Foro Sol with a scintillating first lap that saw him overhaul Russell, but from there progress was limited for Perez – though he finished more than 30 seconds ahead of the fourth-placed Mercedes driver and took a second podium.

    READ MORE: 'I obviously wanted more' – Perez disappointed to miss out on home victory in Mexico after P3 finish

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    As the bullet points state above, machinery is crucial when considering Power Rankings scores and Alex Albon's performance in the Williams once again warranted a top-10 score. The Thai driver qualified 17th, three-tenths ahead of his team mate Nicholas Latifi, and managed to overhaul the Aston Martins and Alfa Romeo's Zhou Guanyu for P12 on Sunday – just two seconds off Pierre Gasly's AlphaTauri.

    READ MORE: Mixed emotions at Williams as Mexico City GP leaves Albon feeling ‘pleasantly surprised’ and Latifi ‘very lonely’

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    Lando Norris couldn't pull off a Bottas-esque masterclass in qualifying but the McLaren driver still ended up eighth on the grid with his team mate Daniel Ricciardo 11th. Losing places at the start, Norris ran 10th for much of his first stint and couldn't turn on the pace in his hard-tyred second stint, which saw him settle for ninth.

    READ MORE: Norris says rivals Alpine were quicker in Mexico – but McLaren ‘did a better job’

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    Esteban Ocon qualified 10th, behind team mate Fernando Alonso, with the Frenchman gaining a place on the opening lap. P8 was Ocon's eventual finish – and Alpine's consolation – when Alonso ended up pulling off the track.

    Missing out

    Yuki Tsunoda, who was punted out of the race by Daniel Ricciardo, ended up missing out on a spot in the top 10 of our Power Rankings.

    Leaderboard

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