The world champion even afforded the luxury of not arriving at Paul Ricard until Thursday evening. He caught up with the engineers for the briefing, had a few teething problems on Friday, but from Saturday he was wide awake. Pole position, 53 laps in the lead, start-to-finish victory. 18 seconds ahead of Valtteri Bottas. The vote can therefore only be: Grade 10 for Hamilton.
Valtteri Bottas is increasingly going back to version 1.0 from the previous season. The momentum of the first four races is blown away. There is only the grade 7 for this. In the end, a very strong Charles Leclerc almost caught up with him. The Monegasse had its best race weekend since Bahrain.
Sebastian Vettel was only as fast as his team-mate on the medium tires. On soft and hard, the duel clearly went to Leclerc. Grade 9 for the Ferrari newcomer, Grade 7 for Vettel. Grade 5 for Ferrari. Even the upgrade didn't bring the reds any closer to Mercedes.
Two marks 9 for the McLaren drivers
Renault, too, had expected more from its major development stage. Daniel Ricciardo made it into Q3, Nico Hülkenberg not because of a technical problem. In the end, both ended up in the points.
Ricciardo was kicked out with two penalties. So slowly we can no longer hear about the punishments. The four-way battle for seventh place on the last lap was the only highlight of the race. And that's how it gets broken. The Renault drivers still earned an 8 grade.
Theirs were even betterMcLaren colleagues. Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris would have gotten a 10 had Hamilton not done so well. Both finished in the top ten on the grid and both ended up in the points. A hydraulic defect stole a possible McLaren duel and Lando Norris stole many championship points.
The newcomer drove with his back to the wall in the last few laps, but defended himself bravely. It rightly got the title: 'Driver of the race'. Hamilton couldn't be rewarded again.