POWER RANKINGS: How our judges score the drivers heading into the F1 summer break

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It has been an exciting 12 races so far this year with Max Verstappen dominating the first half of the season. But how have the judges rated his performances so far this year compared to his rivals? Here are the scores at the summer break.

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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With 10 wins to his name so far this season, not only is Verstappen on course to win his third consecutive title, but he is on a path to breaking numerous records – including his record for the most wins in a season (15) which he set last year.

The Dutch driver has left the judges in awe either with a dominant drive from pole – like at the season-opener in Bahrain and in Montreal – or by making his way through the field – as seen in Miami and Belgium. And with 10 races to go, it is hard to see who can stop Verstappen this year.

WATCH: Chaos and laughter as Red Bull pair Verstappen and Perez go head to head in Goggle Games

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Alonso and Aston Martin started the season like a house on fire with six podium finishes in the opening eight races. But as their competitors have closed the gap, results have not always gone their way of late – with Alonso's best result in the last four races before the summer break being fifth.

But Alonso is still driving at a high level, and his ability to extract the maximum from his car each weekend has left the judges feeling suitably impressed. If Aston Martin can get back to where they were at the start of the year, could win number 33 still be on the cards after the summer break?

READ MORE: Aston Martin identify 'main weaknesses' of their car as Krack says 'sorry' to drivers for recent slump

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For a driver with 103 wins in his Formula 1 career, the results this year may not be what Hamilton and his Mercedes team would have desired when they turned up to pre-season testing in Bahrain. Yet still, Hamilton’s performances have been of a high calibre this year.

Some of the highlights include his second-place finishes in Melbourne and Barcelona, as well as his outstanding last gasp pole-sealing lap in Hungary, where he beat Verstappen by 0.003s. It’s fair to say Hamilton has once again made quite the impression on our judges.

READ MORE: 'Never say never' – Hamilton gives his verdict on whether Mercedes can win a race before the end of the season

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Albon has been one of the more dazzling performers this year as, while on paper the results do not jump of the page, few on the grid have extracted more from their car so far this year than the Thai driver has from his FW45.

All 11 of Williams’ points this season have been scored by Albon with his heroic drive to seventh in Montreal, and his battle through the field to take P8 at Silverstone, the highlights. It will be interesting see where Albon's form can take him after the summer break.

READ MORE: Robson highlights areas 'very skilful' Albon has improved upon this season

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The season did not start well for Norris and McLaren, with the Briton finishing at the back of the field in Bahrain and in Saudi Arabia. But Norris’ performances in a struggling car certainly caught the eye of judges.

And once that big upgrade package came in Austria and Silverstone, we saw Norris' true level. Back-to-back second place finishes at Silverstone and in Budapest showed the ability he possesses in an F1 car. With this improvement, could Norris take that maiden F1 win before the end of the season?

READ MORE: Norris has 'more hope than last few years' that McLaren can sort chief limitation that makes car 'difficult to drive'

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Russell described his first half of the year as a “season of two-halves” as, while he scored the podium in Barcelona and has driven well enough to impress the judges this year, he has had a couple of unfortunate moments.

The Brit has had an engine blowout in Melbourne, and made mistakes in Monaco and Montreal that cost him potential podiums. Along with that, he revealed a different set-up has played a part in his recent dip in form. But if all goes to plan, we should see him back at his best post-summer break.

READ MORE: Russell assesses 'a season of two halves' as he eyes a return to victory in the second half of the year

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It has not been the easiest season for Leclerc so far but that has not been for a lack of trying. The Monegasque racer has played his part in pushing the SF23 to its maximum to achieve the best results possible and it has not gone unnoticed.

The judges took note of his outstanding qualifying performances in Azerbaijan, where he took pole for the Sprint and race. They have also seen his podium-sealing drives in Baku, Austria, and Spa. If Ferrari find a bit more performance, it is clear Leclerc is capable of delivering the goods.

QUIZ: Can you name the Grand Prix and the year from a single picture?

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It has been a splendid start to life in Formula 1 for the rookie, who after a year on the sidelines away from competitive racing, is beginning to show just why his service was so sought after, and why many tipped him to become a future world champion.

However, he is yet to finish on the podium in a race, with an unlucky Safety Car at Silverstone seeing him end up fourth. But we saw his pace in the Spa Sprint, missing out on pole by 0.011s to Verstappen, before taking second in the 100KM dash. It is fair to say the judges are impressed, but can he get that podium this year?

READ MORE: ‘We’re all very proud of him’ – Webber heaps praise on Piastri for ‘phenomenal’ first half of rookie F1 season

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It has been a mixed start to life for Gasly at Alpine as, while he has shown a good turn of pace, he has been involved in a couple of unfortunate incidents – such as his race-ending collisions with his team mate Esteban Ocon in Melbourne and Hungary.

But he has driven very well for the most part, recently battling to take P3 in the Spa Sprint. Even in Melbourne, before his crash, he was competing with Mercedes, Ferrari, and Aston Martin. The pace is there, and he will hope to use more of it in a more incident free second half of the year.

READ MORE: ‘I just want to say thanks’ – Gasly pays tribute to departing Alpine bosses as he lets news ‘sink in’

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Like his team mate, Gasly, it has not been the easiest of seasons for Ocon either, having had a few incidents and mechanical issues himself. But also, like his team mate, there have been plenty of strong performances from the French driver to impress our judges.

One of those moments was in Monaco, when he briefly put his A523 on provisional pole position. He ended up starting the race from third and, after a fighting performance, he took the team’s first podium in two years. Can he add more to his tally after the summer break?

READ MORE: Ocon says Alpine are doing the 'best we can' as he backs them to make push for fourth in the championship

Missing out

Another star performer this year has been Yuki Tsunoda down at AlphaTauri. He narrowly misses out on this list, but that does not mean the judges have not been impressed by the Japanese driver.

A couple of battling drives to the top-10 in a car that has struggled this year have been superb to watch. If he can get more performances from his car, he could be one to watch in the second half of the year.


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