Who is the best F1 driver after the first half of the season according to GPblog?
Who is the best F1 driver after the first half of the season according to GPblog?

Max Verstappen leads the Formula 1 standings by a considerable margin over his main rival Charles Leclerc, but the Dutchman is not the only driver to have impressed in the first half of the season. This is the average score given to the drivers by GPblog after thirteen races in the 2022 season. Max Verstappen - 9 It should come as no surprise that the championship leader also tops GPblog's list of marks. Verstappen is enjoying a strong season, running a near flawless performance and not being put off by Red Bull Racing's setbacks earlier in the season. Even when the team doesn't have its best weekend, the Dutchman has managed to minimise the damage and lose a minimum number of points. Verstappen will show in 2022 why he is the reigning world champion - and why he is well on his way to adding a second world title. Charles Leclerc - 8 Leclerc started the season strongly and looked set to join Ferrari as the big favourites, but once things went wrong there was no end in sight. The Monegasque made a small but costly mistake in Imola, which marked the start of a series of disappointing results. In the races that followed, reliability and strategic issues were repeatedly called into question. A driver error in France may well have cost Leclerc his first taste of the world title. Lando Norris - 8 Norris is awarded the best of the rest in the current championship standings. The McLaren driver almost always manages to get the maximum result possible and is also often strong in qualifying. Moreover, he always outclasses his teammate Daniel Ricciardo, who is still not comfortable in the MCL36. George Russell - 8 Russell may not have expected to battle it out with the W13 on his dream move to Mercedes, but he found the bouncy and unpredictable car to his liking. Initially, he seemed to handle the car better than team-mate Lewis Hamilton and, although the latter is closing in on him, Russell is still higher up in the championship standings. Fernando Alonso - 8 Alonso can always be counted on to achieve maximum results, and when they are not achievable, the 41-year-old Spaniard will go to any lengths to do so. In the early stages of the season most of the points went to Esteban Ocon, but after a few races Alonso moved up the ranks. The two-time world champion is showing that he is far from finished with F1 and that his age is definitely not getting in the way. Lewis Hamilton - 7.5 Hamilton has often been outclassed by his new teammate this season, but since Mercedes introduced a major update package at Silverstone, the seven-time world champion has fared better. In the last two races, a double podium was in the cards for Mercedes and both times Hamilton managed to finish ahead of his teammate. Sergio Perez - 7.5 After struggling to get going when he moved to Red Bull, Perez showed this year that he is worthy of the seat alongside Verstappen, as well as a two-year contract extension. The Mexican is a fine third in the championship, just four points behind Leclerc. Valtteri Bottas - 7.5 Bottas wanted to stay with Mercedes, but now realises he is better off elsewhere. At Alfa Romeo, the Finn feels more valued and has a mentor role to play in guiding Guanyu Zhou in his debut year. Bottas' improvement is reflected in his results: he is currently ninth in the championship and has even been able to compete on several occasions with his old teammate - and his replacement - in the Mercedes. Esteban Ocon - 7.5 Ocon also knows how to hold his own in the Alpine. Although he has been regularly outclassed by Alonso of late, the Frenchman is still ahead of his teammate in the championship standings in eighth position. Alexander Albon - 7.5 Alex Albon has proven himself worthy of a comeback in F1. The Thai driver has even had his contract extended, so things are looking up. He will be hoping to work with Williams to improve the team's performance, as Albon's three points are the only points the British team has scored so far this year. Kevin Magnussen - 7 Magnussen also made a comeback after assuming his F1 career was definitely behind him. The Dane impressed immediately, finishing high up in the points in the opening race and has repeated the trick several times since. Sebastian Vettel - 7 For Vettel, F1 is over after this year. Aston Martin was keen to continue with the German, but Vettel has had his eye on other things and wants to broaden his horizons. The fact that the team's performance seems to have improved somewhat recently does not change the future plans of the four-time world champion, who will be replaced by another great champion in the form of Alonso. Pierre Gasly - 7 AlphaTauri is not having an easy time of it this season. Whereas Gasly's performance in 2021 was very consistent, he has come away pointless in most races this year. The Frenchman is usually not to blame for that, so Gasly still scores relatively high with an average of seven. Guanyu Zhou - 6.5 Zhou made an excellent entry into the premier class of motorsport by scoring a point in his first race. The Chinese talent, who probably does not have to worry about his contract for next year, also scored points in Canada. Mick Schumacher - 6 After the forced departure of Nikita Mazepin, the pressure on Schumacher has increased. Magnussen is performing much better in the Haas than the Russian and remains ahead of Schumacher for the time being, but the young German seems to be getting on a bit better and has scored more points than his teammate in the last four races. Daniel Ricciardo - 5.5 It seems Ricciardo is done with McLaren and McLaren is done with Ricciardo. The cheerful Australian lags behind his younger teammate and can't seem to find his feet at the Woking-based team. This is clearly reflected in his results and the disappointing 12th place in the championship. Lance Stroll - 5.5 Stroll has lost out to his stronger team-mate and, for now, has to make do with a paltry four points, 18th in the championship. The Canadian has yet to achieve any real good results, but his father's position means he is not worried about losing his seat. Yuki Tsunoda - 5,5 Tsunoda continues to post mixed results. In his second year in F1, the Japanese driver often makes mistakes, with the low point being an incident in which he took his teammate with him. Nicholas Latifi - 5 Latifi's F1 career is likely to be over after this year. Williams are less in need of financial support and are looking at other options to fill the seat next to Albon. Latifi currently holds the final spot in the championship and is the only driver not to have scored any points this season.

August 5, 2022 from GPBlog