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F1 Driver Ratings: 2024 British GP – Hamilton Shines As Perez Keeps Trying To Get Fired

The start of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone 9 photos
Photo: @F1
Max Verstappen waves to the crowdLando Norris leads Oscar Piastri at SilverstoneSergio Perez had a wretched weekend at SilverstoneCarlos Sainz attacks the Silverstone circuitPierre Gasly didn't even complete a racing lap at SilverstoneDaniel Ricciardo approaching copseLance Stroll attacks SilverstoneAlex Albon leads teammate Logan Sargeant
After two years of waiting, Lewis Hamilton is finally a race winner again, taking Sunday's British Grand Prix from Max Verstappen and Lando Norris.
Oscar Piastri drove a fine race to fourth with Carlos Sainz and the ever-impressive Nico Hulkenberg, rounding off the top six.

For our driver ratings, autoevolution have focused on the driver's performance over the weekend. Technical failures and strategy decisions will not factor into our final grades.

2024 British GP - Driver ratings:

Lewis Hamilton 9.5/10

Qualifying: 2nd - Race: 1st

Right from the word go Hamilton was on pace at Silverstone and was unlucky to be just pipped to pole by his teammate Russell.

On Sunday, Hamilton kept in touch with his teammate after making a good start, and on Lap 18, he slipstreamed past him into the lead down Hanger straight. Despite losing the lead two laps later to Norris, Hamilton kept cool and stayed in touch with the McLarens.

Hamilton returned in the lead after the second and final round of stops on Lap 40 and remained in complete control for the rest of the race, securing his ninth British GP win and first F1 victory since December 2021.

Max Verstappen 8/10

Qualifying: 4th - Race: 2nd

Unlike in Austria, where he dominated every session up until raceday, Verstappen struggled for pace at Silverstone.

A trip into the gravel trap during Q1 damaged Verstappen's floor, meaning he could only manage row two on the grid for Sunday. At the start, Verstappen saw an opportunity on the exit of Turn 3 and swept by Norris into third.

However, Verstappen couldn't keep in touch with either Mercedes and dropped to fifth by Lap 17, almost falling into the clutches of Carlos Sainz. But in the final stint now armed with fresh hards, the Dutchman showed his class and quickly reeled in Norris before passing the Brit with three laps to go. Once in clean air, he made one final surge and was just a couple of laps short of snatching an unlikely victory off Hamilton.

Lando Norris 7/10

Qualifying: 3rd - Race: 3rd

The one that got away from Norris, who lost all chance of spliting the Mercedes duo in qualifying by having an off at Chappel on his final run in Q3, relegating him to third on the grid. Norris made a mistake on Lap 1, letting Verstappen through into third, and had to spend 14 laps staring at the Dutchman's gearbox before finally getting past on the Hanger straight.

Once clear of Verstappen, Norris got into a rhythm, taking the lead from Hamilton on Lap 20 and looking as though he would be on course to win his home race.

But his race unraveled when he overshot his pit box, resulting in a second stop and dropping him behind Hamilton. With three laps to go, he lost second to a charging Verstappen.

Oscar Piastri 7/10

Qualifying: 5th - Race: 4th

Piastri had a strong weekend at Silverstone, qualifying a solid fifth behind Verstappen. Piastri retained fifth place in the race before moving up to fourth on Lap 17 at the expense of Verstappen. By Lap 20, the Australian was firmly in the fight for victory, following teammate Norris through into second, and was within a second of the Brit before the first round of the stops.

However, all chance of a maiden F1 victory went out of the window as McLaren's failure to doublestack their drivers for intermediates meant Piastri had to spend one more lap struggling with dry tires on a wet track.

He eventually switched to intermediates on Lap 29 but had lost a chunk of time in the process and had to settle for a distant fourth.

Carlos Sainz 7/10

Qualifying: 7th - Race: 5th

On a weekend when Ferrari were off the pace, Sainz produced another clean weekend to score more valuable points. Qualifying seventh, Sainz gained a position at the start courtesy of Hulkenberg running wide at Turn 3.

Next in Sainz's sights was Verstappen, and the Spaniard was gaining plenty of ground on his former teammate before the Dutchman moved up two spots at the pitstops.

Once Verstappen was out of sight, Sainz had a lonely race and remained a comfortable sixth, which later became fifth due to Russell's retirement. With a sizeable gap to Hulkenberg behind, Ferrari pitted him for fresh rubber to try and snatch the fastest lap away from Piastri. The gamble paid off, as Sainz secured the fastest lap on the final lap, earning a bonus point.

Nico Hulkenberg 9/10

Qualifying: 6th - Race: 6th

Hulkenberg continues to age like a fine wine and consistently extracts the maximum out of a much improved Haas. Starting from sixth, Hulkenberg had a poor opening lap, as a mistake at Village dropped him to ninth, but he slowly made his way back up through the field, passing Lance Stroll for eighth on Lap 19.

With rain coming into play, Hulkenberg moved back up to seventh, which later became sixth due to Russell's retirement on Lap 34. With Sainz too far ahead, Hulkenberg had a quiet final stint on course to pick up his second consecutive top-six finish and fifth points finish of 2024.

Lance Stroll 7/10

Qualifying: 8th - Race: 7th

After two races anchored at the lower end of the midfield, Stroll had a good weekend at Silverstone, securing his first Q3 appearance since Canada, by qualifying eighth two places ahead of teammate Fernando Alonso.

In the opening stint, Stroll showed a good turn of pace and ran sixth until Lap 13, when Charles Leclerc made an easy overtake on the Canadian down the Hanger straight. Hulkenberg was next to pass on Lap 19, relegating Stroll to eighth, before being promoted to seventh courtesy of Russell's retirement.

For the rest of the race, Stroll tried to repass Hulkenberg but had to settle for seventh, earning him his third top-eight finish of 2024.

Fernando Alonso 6.5/10

Qualifying: 10th - Race: 8th

After the debacle of Austria, Alonso needed a clean weekend to get his season back on track following a run of races where he had scored points in only one of the last five GPs.

Securing his first Q3 appearance since Canada was a good start, but traffic on his final run prevented him from moving further up the grid.

Alonso kept in touch with Hulkenberg during the race's opening stint. Although the German would later vault ahead of both Aston Martins, the Spaniard still managed to run as high as seventh before his first pitstop.

Once the first round of stops had been completed, Alonso settled in behind his teammate, finishing a solid eighth and earning his first points since Canada.

Alex Albon 7.5/10

Qualifying: 9th - Race: 9th

Previously, Silverstone had been a strong circuit for Williams, and on home ground in tricky conditions, Albon flourished. In qualifying, the Thai driver managed to secure his first Q3 appearance since Canada with ninth, ahead of Alonso's Aston Martin and Leclerc's Ferrari.

A poor opening lap saw him nearly tangle with Alonso, and teammate Logan Sargeant dropped him down to 12th with front wing damage adding to his concerns.

The rain helped Albon return to the points-paying positions, putting him within range of Yuki Tsunoda in the race's final quarter.  With a handful of laps to go, Albon finally got past the RB driver, earning himself and Williams two valuable world championship points.

Yuki Tsunoda 6/10

Qualifying: 13th - Race: 10th

Following three disappointing races, Tsunoda needed to get himself back amongst the points at Silverstone, and he duly delivered after a fine weekend's work.

Tsunoda's weekend didn't start well, as a simple spin at Luffield in FP1 put him in the gravel trap, wasting valuable track time.

But in qualifying, Tsunoda out-qualified teammate Daniel Ricciardo for the ninth time this year, even if he missed out on Q3 for the third consecutive race.

At the start, Tsunoda gained two positions due to Albon and Sargeant's near collision but couldn't break into the points until the first round of pitstops. Now, up to ninth, Tsunoda spent the rest of the race in combat with Albon, but the Anglo-Thai wouldn't be denied and eventually got past Tsunoda, relegating him to 10th.

Logan Sargeant 5.5/10

Qualifying 12th - Race: 11th

With his back against the wall, Sargeant needed to have a good weekend if he wanted any chance of keeping his Williams seat for the rest of 2024 and beyond.

His cause wasn't helped by having to sit out of FP1 for Williams junior Franco Colapinto. Still, despite missing out on the session, Sargeant qualified a respectable 12th.

A near collision with Albon at the start nearly ended his race early, but Sargeant quickly regained his composure and kept up with his teammate. Williams' doublestack of both cars at the first round of pitstops didn't bear fruit, as the Albon's slow stop cost both drivers valuable time.

Sargeant spent the rest of the race battling with Kevin Magnussen and eventually overtook the Dane in the closing stages, earning his best result of the year.

Kevin Magnussen 4/10

Qualifying: 17th - Race: 12th

After the highs of Austria, it was back to reality for Magnussen at Silverstone. He sat out of FP1 so Haas' new signing, Oliver Bearman, could get some more mileage under his belt.

Magnussen's decision not to go back out on a drying track after an off-track excursion in Q1 proved costly, as he had to sit and watch other cars knock him out of qualifying.

The Dane spent the first stint of the race battling Ricciardo and Perez for 14th, but as the pit window opened, Magnussen continued to climb through the order, running as high as 10th at one point.

But going one lap longer put him out of contention, and in the closing stages, he dropped to 12th, capping off a frustrating weekend's work.

Daniel Ricciardo 5/10

Qualifying: 15th - Race: 13th

With his confidence on the up and his form improving, Ricciardo came into the Silverstone meeting hoping to add to his points tally.

But RB's lack of pace made life difficult, and he nearly gave his mechanics plenty of work to do by having an off in tricky conditions at Copse during Q1, narrowly avoiding the barrier. Although he advanced into Q2, neither of Ricciardo's runs was good enough for a Q3 spot, with traffic and dirty air not helping matters.

The race wasn't much better, with Ricciardo stuck in the lower end of the midfield for most of the race and had to settle for 13th.

Charles Leclerc 5.5/10

Qualifying: 11th - Race: 14th

More misery for Leclerc, who was lost for words after a weekend from hell. In qualifying, a lack of speed with the Ferrari forced the Monegasque to miss out on Q3 for the second time in four races.

Leclerc's race pace was much better, vaulting himself up to seventh by Lap 18. But all of Leclerc's hard work was wasted when Ferrari elected to bring him in for intermediates on Lap 20 when the track still wasn't wet enough.

From then on, Leclerc never looked like returning to the points-paying positions. He had to stop again on Lap 26 for another set of intermediates. He eventually finished a distant 14th and one lap down.

Valtteri Bottas 4/10

Qualifying: 16th - Race: 15th

It was another weekend of pain for Bottas, despite briefly topping the times during Q1 when the track was drying, giving him a small window of hope for advancing into Q2. But at the chequered flag, Bottas was out in Q1 for the eighth time in 2024 and was even out-qualified by his teammate Zhou Guanyu for the first time this season.

Sunday wasn't any better, as Bottas had an anonymous race anchored to the back of the field and failed to move up through the pack despite some decent strategy calls.

Esteban Ocon 4.5/10

Qualifying: 18th - Race: 16th

Alpine went backwards at Silverstone, leaving Ocon in no man's land throughout the weekend. Ocon's qualifying was ruined because of a communication mishap, where the team told the Frenchman to abort one last push lap despite him believing he had one more lap left.

This left him in 18th place for the race, and a poorly executed strategy meant Ocon got nowhere near the points, ending a run of GPs where he and the team looked to be making progress after a rough start to 2024.

Sergio Perez 2.5/10

Qualifying: 19th [started from the pitlane] - Race: 17th

As speculation surrounding his future continued to intensify, Perez sat out of FP1 to give Red Bull junior Isack Hadjar a chance to earn more mileage in an F1 car.

Once back in the cockpit, Perez got two solid practice sessions under his belt before giving his critics a truckload of ammunition by making an asinine error on his out-lap in Q1 spinning at Copse on cold tyres. With the car beached in the gravel trap, Perez finished qualifying in 19th, his fourth Q3 exit in six races.

An overnight engine change meant Perez started the race from the pits, with his woes compounded by being put on intermediates on a still-dry track. Eventually, Perez limped home to finish a wretched weekend second-last two laps down.

Zhou Guanyu 5/10

Qualifying: 14th - Race: 18th

All things considered, it was a decent weekend for Zhou, who secured a passage into Q2 with a fine qualifying performance, putting him 14th on the grid and out-qualifying teammate Bottas for the first time in 2024.

The hope of turning his good qualifying into his first points of 2024 quickly faded as Zhou couldn't keep up with other midfield runners. Any remaining hope of points came and went when Stake pitted him for mediums just as the rain arrived, with Zhou trailing home a distant 18th two laps down.

George Russell 8/10

Qualifying: 1st - Race: DNF

Fresh from his Austrian heroics, Russell came into his weekend with an opportunity to score an unlikely double. He put himself in a perfect position for the race by taking a stellar pole position, over a tenth quicker than teammate Hamilton.

At the greenlight, Russell beat his teammate Hamilton into Turn 1, with the pair quickly breaking away from Verstappen in third. On Lap 18, Hamilton, using DRS, breezed past Russell into the lead on Hanger straight, with the McLaren duo of Norris and Piastri following suit a couple of laps later.

The rain and the switch to intermediate tyres put Russell back into contention until he was told to retire the car on Lap 34 with a water system issue.

Pierre Gasly N/A

Qualifying: 20th - Race: DNS

Gasly should have stayed home this weekend, as an engine penalty left him consigned to the back of the grid. The Frenchman had to watch FP1 from the pit wall so Alpine's reserve driver, Jack Doohan, could get another session under his belt. In qualifying, he completed a solo lap on softs before returning the car to the garage.

With a tough race ahead, Gasly suffered one last moment of indignity by being requested to retire the car at the end of the formation lap because of a gearbox issue.
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