F1 Driver Ratings: 2024 Canadian Grand Prix

Sportem
Sportem
37 Min Read

After a Monaco Grand Prix which was hardly taxing for the field of Formula 1 drivers, they had their skills put to the test throughout the Canadian Grand Prix weekend.

Regular rain led to difficulties across the three days of running and led to the first wet grand prix of the 2024 season.

As to be expected, some shone in the conditions – while others did not make a good account of themselves on either the wet or drying tracks.

Here are the RaceFans driver ratings for the Canadian Grand Prix.

A guide to RaceFans’ driver ratings system

RaceFans’ driver ratings system assesses driver performance across all three days of a grand prix weekend. Naturally, performances during competitive sessions – qualifying, sprint races and grands prix – will carry the most weight to their rating.

However, practice performance can affect a driver’s weekend rating in the event of a major mistake, such as a crash, consistent errors throughout practice sessions or if a driver shows a notably impressive speed throughout all free practice sessions relative to their team mate.

The system attempts to take into account the relative performance of each driver’s car and the expected results from that, meaning that a driver who wins a race in a car clearly superior to the rest of the field may not necessarily score as highly as a driver who claims a low points finish in a midfield car.

Ratings also attempt to take into account mitigating factors outside of a driver’s control. If a driver is forced to miss considerable track time due to car problems, is the victim of being blocked in qualifying, finishes far lower than expected because of a heavily botched pit stop or suffers any other misfortune they cannot be reasonably expected to control, their rating should not be penalised.

RaceFans rates each driver’s weekend performance on a scale of 0 to 10, where ‘5’ is considered to be a typically average weekend performance from a typically average Formula 1 driver.

Here is a rough guide to each possible score:

N/ANot applicable – No rating is given as the driver did not sufficiently participate in the competitive sessions

0Disqualified – Only in the most extreme instance where a driver’s conduct disqualifies them from participation

1Appalling – An appalling display that brings a driver’s competency under immediate question

2Awful – A very, very poor performance of repeated errors with almost no redeeming qualities

3Very bad – Far more negatives than positives across the weekend which a driver should be very disappointed with

4Underperformance – Driver failed to achieve the base level expected for a Formula 1 driver

5Acceptable – The standard level of performance that should be expected from an F1 driver

6Good – A decent overall performance across the weekend, but not one of the best

7Very good – A strong performance across the weekend that any driver should be very pleased with

8Brilliant – A truly great weekend where the driver stood out as one of the very best of the field

9Exceptional – An outstanding performance that ranks as one of the best, if not the very best, of the entire season

10Legendary – One of the few all-time greatest performances by a driver in the history of Formula 1

Max Verstappen – 8/10

Verstappen was at his best, Perez his worst

Qualified: 2nd (+14 places ahead of team mate, -0.966s)
Start: Held position
Strategy: Two-stop (I-I-M)
Finished: 1st (+17 places ahead of team mate)
Lost valuable running in FP2 due to electrical problem
Matched Russell’s pole time to a thousandth of a second but had to settle for second
Ran second behind Russell early on
Fell out of DRS range due to an error at turn two, then passed by Norris
Overtook Russell, then gained the lead thanks to Safety Car timing
Successfully maintained lead after pitting for slicks despite Norris’s overcut attempt
Led the final 23 laps to win by just under four seconds

Another victory on another weekend where Red Bull looked like they were genuinely not the fastest car over the three days. Verstappen managed to continue to find pace when he needed it most and once he got out into the lead, he never looked like giving it up despite the tricky conditions.

Although this was easily one of his more impressive and challenging victories of recent times, he does just miss the threshold for an even higher score. He made a mistake early on that prevented him from challenging Russell earlier, slipped off at turn three at one stage and only made a single on-track overtake – which wasn’t for the lead. For those reasons, he has to remain on an ‘eight’.

Sergio Perez – 2/10

Qualified: 16th (-14 places behind team mate, +0.966s)
Start: -1 place
Strategy: Two-stop (I-I-M)
Finished: Retired (Rear wing damage – L51)
Failed to progress from Q1 for second straight round after struggling with rear grip
Lost time at start in clash with Gasly at turn two, claiming front wing damage
Unable to pass Ocon before overtaken by Gasly
Passed Magnussen after restart before pitting for slick tyres
Suffered race-ending rear wing damage in turn six spin
Received three-place grid penalty for Spain for driving in unsafe condition

Red Bull became a target for social media ridicule as they built up to the widely-anticipated announcement of Perez’s contract extension. He had the perfect opportunity to justify his team’s faith in him with a strong performance but instead delivered yet another stinker. In the same car that won the race, Perez failed to get out of Q1, was overtaken by an Alpine early on and passed just a single rival in the pack before spinning off track and damaging his car beyond repair. Another awful weekend.

While Perez was far from the only one to spin out of the grand prix, his consistent underperformance over the weekend given the potential of his car as demonstrated by his team mate means he must be assessed a harsh grade.

Lewis Hamilton – 5/10

Qualified: 7th (-6 places behind team mate, +0.28s)
Start: +1 place
Strategy: Three-stop (I-I-M-H)
Finished: 4th (-1 place behind team mate)
Quickest in final practice
Failed to match team mate in Q3, slipping to seventh on grid
Ran behind Alonso in early phase until passing in pits
Ran fifth behind Piastri until pitting for new hards under second Safety Car
Passed team mate and Piastri to sit third
Lost a place to team mate in closing laps to finish fourth

Hamilton described his Montreal performance “one of the worst races I’ve driven”. While that might seem harsh, given he secured his best finish of the season in fourth, he failed to maximise his car’s potential in qualifying and probably should have found a way by the slower Alonso in the early phase of the race. After switching to the unfancied hards late, Hamilton managed to pick off Piastri but could not stop his team mate passing him.

Although fourth is still a decent result, Hamilton being behind his team mate in the two sessions where it mattered most means he earns only an average grade for the weekend.

George Russell – 6/10

George Russell, Mercedes, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2024
Number one on Saturday – but number three on Sunday

Qualified: Pole (+6 places ahead of team mate, -0.28s)
Start: Held position
Strategy: Three-stop (I-I-H-M)
Finished: 3rd (+1 place ahead of team mate)
Secured second career pole with identical lap time to Verstappen
Held the lead at the start and over the early laps until pressured from Verstappen
Lost the lead, then second place to Verstappen and Norris at the chicane
Regained second behind Safety Car but could not challenge leader at restart
Fell to third overcut by Norris switching to slicks, passed him but lost second after mistake
Pitted for new mediums under Safety Car but overtaken by team mate, then clashed with Piastri
Passed Hamilton in closing laps to take first podium of the season in third

Russell would typically have been happy to secure a rare podium appearance for Mercedes in 2024, but given the extremely strong position he had started the race in, it was hard for him or his team to be fully satisfied. He did a great job in qualifying to take pole, but perhaps had Albon to thanks for a slight slipstream along the back straight. He just did not seem to quite have the race pace of Verstappen and Norris behind and admitted to making too many errors in the race.

Although this was Mercedes’ best qualifying and race result of the season so far, Russell’s errors in the race prevent him from joining the higher scorers.

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Charles Leclerc – 5/10

Qualified: 11th (+1 place ahead of team mate, -0.037s)
Start: +1 place
Strategy: Three-stop (I-I-H-I)
Finished: Retired (Withdrawn – L40)
Eliminated from Q2 after running on same set of softs throughout
Suffered with power unit problem which cost 80bhp over opening stint
Fell behind Albon and Tsunoda, then attempted to power cycle in pits under SC
Gambled on slicks before the restart but struggled to keep car on track
Brought in for intermediates again and ran a lap down before brought in to retire

After the incredible high of the previous round in Monaco, Montreal would see Leclerc and Ferrari crash back to Earth in the most humbling of manners. Leclerc was furious at his team’s tactics after his Q2 exit, but at least could be confident of making progress in the race, targeting a podium. However, a power unit problem ended any hopes of a strong finish and leaving him defenceless. He slid off the track several times on his slicks on the wet track, but by then his race was already effectively over.

Given that Leclerc was heavily handicapped by his car problems and his team’s strategy over the weekend, it does not seem fair to penalise him for his performance when he never had the tools to do much better than he did. All considered, it seems fair to give him an average ratings for the weekend.

Carlos Sainz Jnr – 3/10

Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2024
Sainz spun out and took Albon with him

Qualified: 12th (-1 place behind team mate, +0.037s)
Start: -2 places
Strategy: Two-stop (I-I-M)
Finished: Retired (Spin – L53)
Missed the cut in Q2 behind team mate on used softs
Dropped two places at start, then passed by Sargeant before taking back the place
Unable to pass Albon or Bottas but overtook Ricciardo after moving onto slicks
Retired after spinning at turn six and being hit by Albon

A weekend to forget for Sainz who left Montreal with no points and barely anything positive to draw from the weekend. He was a victim of his team’s strategy in Q2 which put him on the back foot for the race, but he didn’t ever look like he was driving a multiple race-winning car on Sunday. Then, his race ended with an unforced error which also took out Albon, punctuating a pretty dismal weekend.

While Leclerc’s race pace could be excused with his power unit problem, Sainz did not have that mitigating factor. Coupled with the fact he failed to finish do to his own error, that drops his grade to a ‘three’.

Lando Norris – 7/10

Lando Norris, Max Verstappen, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2024
Lando Norris, Max Verstappen, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2024

Qualified: 3rd (+1 place ahead of team mate, -0.082s)
Start: Held position
Strategy: Two-stop (I-I-M)
Finished: 2nd (+3 places ahead of team mate)
Qualified ahead of team mate in third, just 0.021s off pole
Ran third early on before passing Verstappen and Russell to take lead
Almost lost position by missing turn two after error
Lost lead after staying out an extra lap before pitting under Safety Car to restart third
Gained second by staying out on inters longer than rivals
Lost second to Russell but repassed him after mistake to finish second

Norris left Montreal feeling like a potential victory had gotten away from him, and he may have had a point given how he lost the lead during the initial Safety Car. Before then, he had been easily the quickest car on track and he used that pace to almost overcut Verstappen as well as Russell in the switch to slicks. In the later phase of the race, however, he could not seem to challenge the Red Bull ahead for the win.

Norris put in another strong weekend performance in Montreal, with the tight qualifying battle for pole overshadowing how close he had been to pole himself. His performance flirts with an ‘eight’, but his mid-race off prevents him from reaching that threshold.

Oscar Piastri – 6/10

Qualified: 4th (-1 place behind team mate, +0.082s)
Start: Held position
Strategy: Two-stop (I-I-M)
Finished: 5th (-3 places behind team mate)
Secured solid fourth on grid, less than a tenth behind team mate
Pitted under SC for fresh inters from fourth, then continued to run there
Moved up to third under second Safety Car when Russell pitted
Dropped behind Mercedes drivers after clashing with Russell at chicane
Finished fifth, six seconds behind Hamilton

Piastri did not have an outstanding weekend in Canada, but he could be satisfied with fifth at the end of a hectic Sunday. He Ran in fourth for most of the race, not quite on the same pace as his team mate. He fought to keep the Mercedes behind on newer tyres in the final phase, but there was no shame in losing out to them. A perfectly decent weekend.

Given that Piastri did not make any major errors over the weekend, was close to his team mate in qualifying and finished in the top five, a ‘six’ feels like an appropriate score for his performance.

Fernando Alonso – 8/10

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2024
Alonso kept Hamilton behind during the first stint

Qualified: 6th (+3 places ahead of team mate, -0.473s)
Start: +1 place
Strategy: Two-stop (I-I-H)
Finished: 6th (+1 place ahead of team mate)
Reached Q3 and comfortably out-qualified team mate to start sixth
Held off Hamilton in early phase before losing position pitting for new inters
Ran behind Hamilton after restart, gradually falling away
Finished sixth after “lonely” race, around five seconds ahead of team mate

Alonso secured only Aston Martin’s third top six finish of the season in Montreal after a strong weekend where he likely maximised the performance of his car across the three days. He managed to keep Hamilton at bay for over 20 laps and only lost that position in the pitlane. With his car lacking the pace to challenge the cars ahead, it’s hard to see how Alonso could have finished any higher than he did.

A weekend performance where he maximised the performance of his car and was ahead of his team mate at all times would typically earn a ‘seven’ in a normal, dry weekend. But all considered, through practice, qualifying, the race start and the remainder of the grand prix, Alonso’s consistently strong performance takes him to an ‘eight’.

Lance Stroll – 6/10

Qualified: 9th (-3 places behind team mate, +0.473s)
Start: Held position
Strategy: Two-stop (I-I-H)
Finished: 7th (-1 place behind team mate)
Followed team mate into Q3 but was almost half a second slower
Ran behind Ricciardo early before jumping ahead of him pitting under SC
Raced with Tsunoda before finally getting by just before second SC
Restarted behind team mate and kept pace to finish behind him in seventh

Canada’s only F1 racer put in one of his better performances of recent times at his home grand prix and managed to back up his team mate to secure a very solid double points finish for his team. He did so by driving solidly, if not spectacularly, and managed not to make any big mistakes despite the conditions over the weekend being much more challenging than those he’s made mistakes in recently.

Although he took his best finish of the season so far, he did not quite seem to have to work as hard to achieve it as others around him. He earns a solid rating, but naturally not as high as his team mate.

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Pierre Gasly – 7/10

Qualified: 15th (+3 places ahead of team mate, -0.146s)
Start: -3 places
Strategy: Two-stop (I-I-H)
Finished: 9th (+1 place ahead of team mate)
Reached Q2 but knocked out slowest in 15th
Dropped three places at the start after clash with Perez at turn two
Overtook Perez, then pitted under SC for fresh inters
First driver (other than Leclerc) to pit for slicks, falling last
Passed Magnussen, Bottas and Hulkenberg, then picked up three more places with crashes
Allowed through by team mate late to attack Ricciardo to finish ninth

Gasly secured points for the second successive weekend after an eventful afternoon to say the least in Montreal. He lost positions with a clash with Perez at the start but kept a cool head through the early phase of the race. He pitted for slicks a little too early but made very good progress up the field on the drying track. Despite that, however, his team’s decision to move him ahead of his team mate in the final laps felt a little difficult to justify.

Gasly kept his car on track where more experienced drivers could not and managed to pass several cars on his way to ninth. Given that only team orders were responsible for him finishing behind his team mate, that is not taken into account for his rating.

Esteban Ocon – 7/10

Esteban Ocon, Daniel Ricciardo, Pierre Gasly, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2024
Alpine made team orders call after Ricciardo passed Ocon

Qualified: 18th (-3 places behind team mate, +0.146s)
Start: +2 places
Strategy: One-stop (I-M)
Finished: 10th (-1 place behind team mate)
Missed opening practice to allow Doohan to drive his car
Failed to follow team mate through into Q2, eliminated in 18th
Dropped five places for Monaco penalty but started 18th with Saubers in pit lane
Picked up two places at the start before staying out under Safety Car
Passed Ricciardo at restart, then overtook Albon before pitting for slicks
Passed Tsunoda after second Safety Car, but lost a place to Ricciardo
Told to let team mate by in closing laps, obeying and taking final point in tenth

On the weekend after it was confirmed that he would be leaving Alpine at the end of the season following a controversial incident in Monaco, Ocon went a way towards making amends in Montreal by helping to secure a double points finish for his team. He did so after a very strong Sunday where he was one of a handful of drivers to make his starting tyres last beyond half distance and overtook multiple cars to secure a top ten.

Although he finished behind his team mate, it was only because of team orders that did not feel fully justifiable. As such, his grading in unaffected and he earns the same as his team mate.

Alexander Albon – 7/10

Alexander Albon, Williams, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2024
Albon hit the wall in practice but delivered when it mattered

Qualified: 10th (+3 places ahead of team mate, -0.251s)
Start: -2 places
Strategy: Two-stop (I-I-M)
Finished: Retired (Crash – L52)
Damaged suspension hitting Wall of Champions in final practice
Reached Q3 to secure best grid start of season in ninth
Dropped three places in the first three laps
Passed Tsunoda and Leclerc before pitting under SC for fresh inters
Pulled off stunning double pass on Ricciardo and Ocon at restart
Retired when hit by spinning Sainz at turn six, sending him into the wall

Albon has always gone well in Montreal for Williams and this latest weekend was no exception. He secured his best qualifying result of 2024 so far and despite slipping some places at the start, his pace in the mixed conditions was strong as he was able to run ahead of several cars that were likely faster than his. He could not be blamed for the accident which ended his race and probably deserved points for his effort.

While Albon put in a very strong performance over the weekend, he was not quite in the tier of the best out on track. Although he went away from Montreal unrewarded for his efforts, a ‘seven’ feels like an appropriate mark to recognise his work.

Logan Sargeant – 3/10

Qualified: 13th (-3 places behind team mate, +0.251s)
Start: -2 places
Finished: Retired (Crash – L23)
Reached Q2 for only the first time in 2024 and blamed traffic for missing out on Q3
Lost two places at the start, then passed Sainz before being overtaken
Dropped to the rear of the field sliding off track at turn six
Retired after hitting the wall at turn four and spinning out

It’s feeling inevitable that Logan Sargeant’s days as a Formula 1 driver are numbered, with the question now being whether or not he will reach the end of the season before being replaced. Although he put in a very decent qualifying performance, he looked out of his depth in the tricky mixed conditions and retired after two mistakes.

Sargeant is saved from a worse grade only by virtue of the fact he did a good job on Saturday. But multiple errors in the grand prix – including one that ended his race – sees him earn only a ‘three’.

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Yuki Tsunoda – 4/10

Qualified: 8th (-3 places behind team mate, +0.236s)
Start: -3 places
Strategy: One-stop (I-M)
Finished: 14th (-6 places behind team mate)
Reached Q3 but failed to match Q2 time to qualify eighth
Dropped three places at the start, then passed by Albon
Remained out on intermediates through Safety Car before pitting for slicks
Overtaken by Stroll and Ocon, then spun at turn eight, falling to 14th where he would finish

Tsunoda marked his team choosing to exercise their one-year extension option on his contract with a weekend performance where he was the clear second-best driver in his team compared to his team mate. He did a very good job to make his intermediates last 43 laps and gained several places as a result, but then threw all of that away with a spin late in the race.

While there were far worse race performances than Tsunoda’s on the day, he should have scored points on Sunday. While he finished the race, he failed to achieve the result he could have and must be marked accordingly.

Daniel Ricciardo – 7/10

Daniel Ricciardo, RB, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2024
Despite penalty delay, Ricciardo bagged points

Qualified: 5th (+3 places ahead of team mate, -0.236s)
Start: -2 places
Strategy: Two-stop (I-I-M)
Finished: 8th (+6 places ahead of team mate)
Reached Q3 to secure best grid position of the season
Received a 5s penalty for jumping start due to dragging clutch fault
Lost three places after pitting on second lap under SC, then passed by Albon
Pitted for slicks to rejoin behind Sainz, picking up two places from his clash with Albon
Overtook Ocon late to gain eighth to secure three points

Ricciardo took Jacques Villeneuve’s highly publicised criticisms of him in the Montreal paddock and put in his first top ten finish in a grand prix all season. He was one of the standouts in qualifying and put in a much stronger showing than his team mate to finish in eighth, despite benefiting from Sainz taking himself and Albon out for him.

While he jumped the start, his rating is unaffected after RB explained that he had not been to blame. Although RB were clearly one of the better midfield teams all weekend, Ricciardo still had to work for his points and so earns a strong grade as a result.

Valtteri Bottas – 6/10

Qualified: 17th (+3 places ahead of team mate, -0.926s)
Grid: 19th (+1 place ahead of team mate)
Start: Held position
Strategy: One-stop (I-M)
Finished: 13th (+2 places ahead of team mate)
Failed to escape from Q1 but comfortably quicker than team mate
Started from pit lane after changing rear wing
Remained out on his used intermediates through the SC before switching to slicks
Passed by Gasly, then overtaken late by Magnussen on newer tyres to finish 13th

In what is clearly the slowest car in the field, Bottas was never going to draw much attention in Montreal. However, he still put in a decent showing throughout the weekend without any notable errors and was the quickest of the two Sauber drivers. He did a very good job to nurse his intermediates through over 40 laps and while he faded in the closing stages, that was more to do with his car and the tyre situation, rather than his own speed.

Although he had a good performance, there was also not much that elevated him to be outstanding as others in the field. Therefore a ‘six’ feels like a fair grade for his weekend.

Zhou Guanyu – 3/10

Zhou Guanyu, Sauber, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2024
Zhou had one of his poorest weekends in F1 so far

Qualified: 20th (-3 places behind team mate, +0.926s)
Start: Held position
Strategy: Three-stop (I-I-M-M)
Finished: 15th (-2 places behind team mate)
Slid into the wall in opening practice in the wet
Spun out of final practice at turn two
Eliminated slowest in Q1
Started from pit lane after changing rear wing
Ran ‘lonely’ race, being only lapped car after pitting for slicks
Finished last, only car one lap down

Sauber admitted that it had been an “overall difficult weekend” for their less experienced driver in Montreal, which was polite. He compromised his own weekend quite heavily by crashing out of two of the three practice sessions and never looked comfortable in qualifying or the race. One of the weakest performances of his career.

Although he had multiple session-ending errors and did not redeem himself much in the race, he at least reached the chequered flag – unlike some who are paid much more than him. That saves him from an even worse score.

Nico Hulkenberg – 6/10

Qualified: 19th (-5 places behind team mate, +0.761s)
Grid: 17th (-3 places behind team mate)
Start: +4 places
Strategy: Three-stop (W-I-I-M)
Finished: 11th (+1 place ahead of team mate)
Failed to follow team mate through into Q2
Started on wet tyres and picked up 11 places to run seventh
Dropped to 19th pitting for inters, then stopped again under Safety Car
Passed by Gasly after pitting for slicks, then restarted 12th after second SC
Picked up 11th narrowly avoiding spinning Tsunoda to finish one place ahead of team mate

Hulkenberg had a decent weekend in Montreal even if he could navigate through the chaotic race into the top ten. He probably had one of the most enjoyable starts of his career on wet tyres, scything by those ahead on intermediates, but the track inevitably dried out. With a high downforce set up, he struggled to fight those around him over the bulk of the race and finished just outside the points.

Although he took the chequered flag ahead of his team mate, Hulkenberg benefited more than Magnussen from the timing of his switch to slick tyres, which got him ahead. While Magnussen earns more credit, he kept it clean where so many others did not.

Kevin Magnussen – 7/10

Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2024
A slow pit stop delayed Magnussen after tyre gamble

Qualified: 14th (+5 places ahead of team mate, -0.761s)
Start: +6 places
Strategy: Four-stop (W-I-I-M-M)
Finished: 12th (-1 place behind team mate)
Reached Q2 but eliminated in 14th after rear wing fault
Gained ten places in three laps with benefit of wet tyres before pitting for inters
Was one of the earliest to switch to dry tyres, falling to near the back
Pitted for another set of mediums under second SC
Received black-and-white warning flag for three track limits violations
Passed Bottas in later laps to finish behind team mate in 12th

Magnussen could be happy with his weekend’s work in Montreal, even if he wasn’t thrilled with the outcome. He made his wets work brilliantly at the start but was probably called in too early, then lost time with a slow pit stop. On the intermediates, his pace was more typical, then he lost out further making the switch to mediums slightly too early. Finishing just outside the points behind his team mate was a perfectly respectable result.

Although he finished behind his team mate, Magnussen was probably the better of the two Haas drivers over the weekend and suffered the most from the timing of his pit stops. He earns a better grade than his team mate.

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