F1 Power Rankings: Championships Crowned at the US Grand Prix

F1 Power Rankings - General view of Austin circuit full of spectators with attendance record during the F1 Grand Prix of United States of America USA at Circuit of The Americas from October 20th to 23rd, 2022 in Austin, Texas.

Both Championships have been decided, but where do the drivers stack up? Welcome to LWOS Motorsport F1 Power Rankings.

This past weekend was the US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas. Red Bull proved its dominance, by clinching the Constructors Championship for the first time since 2013. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the weekend had to be Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton fighting for a win for the first time all season.

In the end though Max Verstappen took home his 13th win of the season even after an awful pitstop almost cost him the race. Sebastian Vettel won Driver of the Day and a dramatic crash saw Alpine and Aston Martin lose promising results. Time to get into the rankings from this week.

How the F1 Power Rankings are decided

If this is your first time here, a quick reminder on how the rankings are compiled:

  • We started the series off with every driver’s points entering ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix. In the first edition, a quarter of their Drivers’ Championship points were calibrated along with the weekly activity.
  • This week we calculated each driver’s weekend performance based on the following:
    • Qualifying results compared to their starting position in the standings.
    • Places gained or lost during the race.
    • Any change of position in the Championship standings.
    • The points scored in the current Grand Prix
    • With any ties determined by the race results

The Rankings

1. Max Verstappen (No Change)

Verstappen came off winning the Drivers’ Championship and immediately won the next week to secure the Constructors’ Championship for Red Bull. It has been a season of domination for Verstappen and the team, but with a punishment looming for going over the cost cap last year, it will be interesting to see what happens next year. Clearly, the best car on track, can anything halt another season of Verstappen and Red Bull?.

2. Charles Leclerc (+1)

That might be the quietest drive by a Ferrari from 12th to the podium in a while. After finished 2nd in qualifying, he took a 10-place grid penalty. He slowly worked his way through the field, a safety car finally fell his way, and he was well-timed when Verstappen had a slow pit stop. Ferrari does seem to be on the upswing and have been avoiding causing its own errors lately.

3. Sergio Perez (-1)

Perez has been Verstappen’s best partner since Riccardo left the team. Perez also took a penalty on Sunday but made quick work getting through the field and finished a respectable P4. And that was with damage to his front wing. In fact, he was probably fortunate that the piece fell off before the stewards could call him in to repair the damage. He remains locked in a battle with Leclerc for second place.

4. Lewis Hamilton (+2)

Hamilton looked like the seven-time World Champion again on Sunday. After leading a good portion of laps lead, it was back to the 2021 season with him and Verstappen battling it out towards the end of the race. Mercedes has continued to get better every race and will be interesting to see if they can challenge Ferrari for second place in the Constructors’ Championship to close out the season. For the first time this season Hamilton has overtaken both Russell and Sainz in our F1 Power Rankings.

5. George Russell (No Change)

George Russell had an incident with Carlos Sainz in turn 1 of the first lap, and it cost him a five-second penalty. He ended up finishing 5th, and like Perez’ with damage to his front wing. Russell has shown time and time again that he is a worthy successor to Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, and has the potential to be a great driver in the future. He just needs to get over that hump and win his first race. The biggest issue with Russell is the number of incidents he is involved with and then how many of those incidents he is then punished for. 2023 needs to see more clean races from Russell.

6. Carlos Sainz (-2)

Sainz has had a difficult season, to say the least. He started on pole and looked destined to fight for a podium and maybe a race win. Then at turn one on the first lap he was bumped into by George Russell and had too much damage to continue. How many times have we seen Sainz out of a race in the first few laps? As was said on the broadcast on Sunday, “If Carlos Sainz wasn’t having bad luck, he would have no luck at all.” He has shown he is a good driver and could help Ferrari in the Championship battle with Mercedes and Red Bull, but he just needs to finish more races first.

7. Lando Norris (No Change)

Like so many in Austin Norris had a busy Sunday, even if the final result doesn’t fully show it. Started 6th, and finished 6th, but had a ton of work to do in between that. It seems to be Norris against all of Alpine for 4th place in the Championship. Norris has had a good season and currently sits in 7th place in the Drivers’ standings right behind the Red Bull, Ferrari, and Mercedes drivers. Overtaking Sainz might be impossible, but Norris closed the gap considerably this weekend.

8. Esteban Ocon (No Change)

Despite avoiding the race’s most dramatic moments, Ocon had quite the eventful weekend. He had a horrible time in qualifying ending up 18th. The team then elected to switch out a competent for the Grand Prix which forced him to start the race from the pits. But he climbed into the points, finishing 10th helping Alpine’s battle with McLaren and maintaining 8th on our standings after a great day from Sebastian Vettel.

9. Sebastian Vettel (No Chnage)

The four-time World Champion continued his retirement into Austin and had one of his best races of the season. He managed to lead several laps until he was overtaken by Lewis Hamilton and the rest. He then had an awful pit stop that dropped him out of the points but was able to fight back and ended up finishing in P7. Sebastian Vettel has been an incredible driver throughout his career and it seems as though F1 is preparing for a major loss when he retires at the end of the season.

10. Fernando Alonso (No Change)

Alonso had an exciting race, to say the least. In the second half of the race, he came up on Lance Stroll, crashed into his back left tire, went up on his back two wheels, and rammed into the barrier. He somehow managed to keep driving when it seemed like he would have to retire. Unfortunately for Alonso, a mirror came loose during this collision and fell off later in the race. He was then given a 30-second time penalty that dropped him from P7 to P15 after the race was over. What do Alonso and Alpine have left in the tank for the rest of the season in their battle with McLaren?

F1 Power Rankings Bottom 10

The rest of the field saw a constant movement which has been the norm throughout the duration of this series. Valtteri Bottas and Lance Stroll both saw the biggest drop this week with both going down five places thanks to their DNFs. Zhou Guanyu saw the biggest jump of six places after a strong P11 finish in Austin working his way up from P18 at the start.

Kevin Magnussen also finished in the points on Sunday, which lead to a boost of four places in this week’s F1 Power Rankings. With just three races left in the season, keep an eye out to see if any of the bottom half can jump into the top ten before the season is up.

11. Yuki Tsunoda (+3)

12. Zhou Guanyu (+6)

13. Kevin Magnussen (+4)

14. Daniel Ricciardo (-2)

15. Pierre Gasly (-2)

16. Lance Stroll (-5)

17. Alex Albon (+3)

18. Mick Schumacher (+1)

19. Nicholas Latifi (-3)

20. Valtteri Bottas (-5)

Featured Image Credit: Gongora/NurPhoto via Getty Images