RACE DEBRIEF

    Charles Leclerc dominated at Albert Park – but who else impressed in Melbourne? The Power Rankings scores from our judges are in from the 2022 Australian 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 to produce a race score – with those scores then tallied up across the season on our overall Power Rankings Leaderboard (at the bottom of the page)

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    Charles Leclerc scored a perfect 10 from the judges, completing a grand slam – pole, fastest lap, and every lap led on his way to the top – Down Under. He leads the standings and, for the second time in three races, took victory – and our judges' plaudits.

    READ MORE: 6 Winners and 5 Losers from the Australian Grand Prix – Who got the crowd on their feet in Melbourne?

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    Alex Albon drove an incredible race from P20 on the grid – carrying a penalty from the previous race and then being disqualified from qualifying in Australia thanks to a fuel sample issue – to make it to P10, giving Williams their first point of the season. The team's inspired strategy could have fallen flat without his sound execution.

    READ MORE: Albon says P10 finish was ‘unimaginable’ before pulling off inspired strategy in Australia

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    Lando Norris nailed his and McLaren's first Q3 apperance of the season and brought home points once again, leading team mate Daniel Ricciardo with an assured performance. The 22-year-old barely put a foot wrong at Albert Park and took home the third-highest Power Rankings score.

    WATCH: Albon and Norris's hilarious Australian Grand Prix Post-Race Show takeover

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    Another podium for Mercedes – this time George Russell netting his first top-three for the Silver Arrows. The ex-Williams racer qualified alongside Lewis Hamilton but leapfrogged his team mate thanks to a pit stop during the Safety Car, and brought home a much-needed result for the team.

    READ MORE: Russell says first Mercedes podium and second-place in the championship is ‘pretty crazy’

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    Max Verstappen didn't finish the race but qualified second and maximised his opportunity to remain there right until the Red Bull RB18 gave up on him moments from the end of the race. The Dutchman drove an almost faultless race and came away empty-handed.

    READ MORE: ‘If you want to fight for the title these things can’t happen’ – Verstappen frustrated by ‘unacceptable’ Melbourne retirement

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    Sergio Perez scored the same as team mate Verstappen according to our judges, but the Mexican was the one to take P2 on Sunday. Perez qualified third and got the better of both Mercedes on track, picking up the pieces for his team in an assured performance.

    READ MORE: ‘We couldn’t match Ferrari at any point’ says Perez after salvaging P2 for Red Bull

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    Lewis Hamilton netted the same Power Rankings score as the Red Bull drivers, though the Mercedes finished fourth on Sunday having missed out on the chance to pit during the Safety Car. Outqualifying Russell, Hamilton was in front until that inopportune tyre stop – but that did little to detract from his Power Rankings score.

    READ MORE: Hamilton explains ‘difficult position’ radio message after coming home behind Russell in Melbourne

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    Fernando Alonso finished last on the grid on a Sunday that saw his alternate strategy fail to pay off, but the Spaniard showed brilliant pace throughout the weekend. Starting 10th on the grid, he had the pace for far better before his Alpine cut out at Turn 11. On Sunday, the Safety Car interventions didn't fall his way and left him ruing his luck once again.

    READ MORE: Alonso 'speechless' after weekend unravels to leave him last in Melbourne

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    Home hero Daniel Ricciardo netted his first points of the season for McLaren in a much-improved display, qualifying seventh and finishing sixth ahead of Alpine's Esteban Ocon – and just four-tenths behind team mate Norris. It was a solid showing that now serves as a benchmark for the Australian in 2022.

    READ MORE: Ricciardo relieved to avoid another 'painful home race' as he delivers P6 in front of Aussie fans

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    Valtteri Bottas just about outqualified team mate Zhou Guanyu on Saturday, but the ex-Mercedes driver put in a strong Sunday performance to take P8 for Alfa Romeo, bouncing back from an unfortunate DNF at Jeddah. Bottas seems to have got to grips with life at his new employers remarkably fast.

    READ MORE: Bottas commends Alfa Romeo performance after P8 finish in Melbourne

    Missing out

    Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon were the pair to miss out on the top 10 in Australia – though both drivers came home in the points for AlphaTauri and Alpine, respectively.

    Leaderboard

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