Max Verstappen, Carlos Sainz and Fernando Alonso shone at the French GP with a grade of 10. Because they put in a flawless weekend on the parquet floor. Charles Leclerc was the fastest man on the track. But there are neither points nor the top grade for building an accident.
Charles Leclerc showed how close victory and defeat are. Up until the 18th lap, the World Championship runner-up did everything right. Then he made a mistake, and it not only cost him victory and 25 World Championship points. It could also have been the early preliminary decision in the title fight. You can make some mistakes. Like the one from Imola. You can't do some. Like Paul Ricard's. Because Leclerc has to make up points instead of giving points away. There's a grade of 6 for that.
Max Verstappen, on the other hand, drives like a machine. Absolutely flawless. Even if the odds are against him. He didn't embark on any crazy maneuvers against Leclerc, but waited. When his opponent was gone, he confidently managed the lead until the end. He kept the two Mercedes at a distance of ten seconds. It was an unspectacular victory, but an important one. That gives a grade of 10.
Top grade for the Spaniards
Carlos Sainz also deserves the top grade. The Spaniard would probably have secured pole position. His speed on Saturday surprised. But because he knew that he would receive an engine penalty, he played the slipstream donor for Leclerc. There is nothing wrong with his race to catch up to 5th place. Sainz delivered the best overtaking maneuver of the day. In Signes past Russell on the outside. At 300 km/h. Ferrari made the mistakes.
Fernando Alonso was a silent star. Seventh on the grid Best of the rest. And sixth in the race, a master of tire management. When the box warned him that Lando Norris was approaching, Alonso remained calm. You should just let him do it. He knows what he's doing. And he will not ruin his tires because of Norris. Only when the veteran was sure that the tires were in the green zone did he step on the gas and lost Norris by nine seconds. That's called racing intelligence.
Driver's ratings for the French GP
Here is a brief overview of the driver's ratings for the Grand Prix in Le Castellet. As always, you can find the detailed individual reviews of all 20 drivers in the gallery.