Driver Ratings: Belgian Grand Prix 2020

Spa-Francochamps in Belgium is one of the best and most popular circuits on the Formula 1 calendar.

Unfortunately it was unable to produce an entertaining race this year. Aside from a rather spectacular crash early on, 44 laps passed without much action.

Nevertheless, there were still some interesting talking points, with Renault exceeding expectations massively and Ferrari enduring one of the most embarrassing weekends in their recent history.


Lewis Hamilton - 1st

Surprise, surprise, Hamilton took victory, in now typical unopposed fashion. It did make for boring viewing, with the World Champion-elect even admitting post-race that he wants more of a challenge in the future.

Regardless, it's just a sign of how great the Brit and his car is. Neither a loss of power nor bad tyre wear was able to stop him, although he did struggle to stay on the track towards the end.

Rating: 9

Valtteri Bottas - 2nd

Bottas is a good driver. But his inability to challenge his teammate is frustrating to watch. The Finn started and finished second, the meat in a Hamilton/Max Verstappen sandwich. Those three appearing on the podium together has most certainly become the norm in 2020.

Rating: 8

Red Bull

Max Verstappen - 3rd

In terms of driving ability, Verstappen is surely the only person on the grid who comes close to Hamilton. But the young Dutchman could do nothing to keep up with the championship leader over the weekend.

Hamilton may be out of reach, but he does have a good chance of finishing ahead of Bottas in the Driver's Championship and will be hoping that he can extend his three point advantage over the Finn in the coming races.

Rating: 8

Alex Albon - 5th

This time last year, Albon made his debut for Red Bull, having been promoted from Toro Rosso at the expense of Pierre Gasly. While his future in the senior team remains unknown, he did himself no harm in the Belgium.

He looked very quick, jumping Esteban Ocon in the pits and fending off the faster Renault for the remainder of the race. Unfortunately for him, Ocon did find a way past on the last lap. Still a good result for the Thai driver.

Rating: 7


Lando Norris - 7th

A rather uneventful weekend for Norris, gaining a few places to finish seventh, although he got very close to Albon at the end. Another lap or two and he would have overtaken the Red Bull.

Six more points puts him level with Charles Leclerc in the Championship but the Brit needs to revert back to his more daring, aggressive driving style that he showed in the first couple of races. If he doesn't, he may well lose the midfield battle that he currently leads.

Rating: 7

Carlos Sainz Jr. - DNS

After a good qualifying, Sainz would have been aiming for a top five finish. But as he left the garage to line up on the grid, his car suffered an exhaust failure which could not be fixed in time for the race.

He didn't start and as a result he risks missing out on a top ten finish in the Championship. The unluckiest driver on the grid? He's definitely up there.

Rating: N/A

Racing Point

Lance Stroll - 9th

Stroll started and finished ninth in a largely uneventful afternoon. Both Racing Points didn't look as quick in Belgium as they had been in previous races, hinting that their car isn't very well suited to high-speed circuits like Spa.

Rating: 6

Sergio Perez - 10th

While Stroll had a quiet race, his teammate Perez was in the thick of it. He diced with Gasly in the early stages and came very close to squeezing the AlphaTauri into the wall in the run up to Eau-Rouge.

When the safety came out Perez was one of only two cars to stay out, opting to try and alternative strategy, in the hope of being quicker in the latter stages. It didn't really work out, with the Mexican only able to pick up a solitary point.

He did manage to pull off a stunning overtake on Daniil Kvyat however.

Rating: 6


Sebastian Vettel - 13th

This was a nightmare weekend for Ferrari. Last year they qualified 1-2 on the grid but this time round they were lucky not to be starting from the back.

They were remarkably slow and there was nothing either driver could do about it. It could have been worse as both cars came very close to crashing into to each other at one stage, but thankfully they were saved from that embarrassment.

Rating: 3

Charles Leclerc - 14th

Having been quicker all season, it was strange to see Leclerc finishing behind Vettel. Stranger still, Ferrari decided to put their star driver on a two-stop strategy that dropped him to the back of the grid and did absolutely nothing to improve his chances of a points finish.

There's trying something new and the there's pure desperation.

Rating: 3


Daniel Ricciardo - 4th

Arguably the driver of the day, Ricciardo did very well to qualify fourth and while he didn't improve during the race he wasn't far off Verstappen come the chequered flag.

The Aussie also nabbed the fastest lap bonus point on the final lap. Contrary to Ferrari, high-speed circuits appear to suit the French team, which puts them in good stead for next weekend's Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

Rating: 9


Esteban Ocon - 5th

After qualifying sixth, Ocon got past Albon at the start, only to lose the place during the flurry of pit-stops after the safety car was brought out.

He worked hard to keep up with the Rd Bull and was finally able to overtake him on the very last lap, despite pressure from Norris behind.

Rating: 8


Pierre Gasly - 8th

Gasly was the fan's driver of the day and it's easy to see why. He had a lightning start, passing car after car in spectacular fashion.

Most impressively of all was his move on Perez. The Mexican tried to squeeze him into the wall on the run up to Eau Rouge, but the Frenchman kept his foot planted on the throttle, blasting past the Racing Point as they raced up the hill.

He also opted for the alternative strategy, which worked a treat finishing an excellent eighth.

It was this time last year that he was demoted from Red Bull in humiliating fashion. His improvement over the last 12 months is nothing short of incredible.

Rating: 9

Daniil Kvyat - 11th

He started 11th. He finished 11th. He made some good overtakes and was overtaken a bunch as well. A fairly average day for Kvyat in all.

Rating: 6

Alfa Romeo

Kimi Raikkonen - 12th

Having won four Grand Prix at Spa in his long career, it's safe to say that Raikkonen likes racing in Belgium. And he showed that while his car may be sub-standard, the world champion is still capable of some great drives.

He made up four places, even overtaking and holding off both Ferraris.

Rating: 6

Antonio Giovinazzi - DNF

The most notable part of the race came on lap 10, when Giovinazzi lost control at Turn 14, smashing his Alfa Romeo into the barriers in a spectacular crash.

During the incident one of his wheels broke loose, hitting George Russell who was just behind, knocking the Williams out of the race as well.

The crash brought out the Safety Car which allowed almost everyone to gain a free pitstop which led to the rather dull race that proceeded.

So not only did Giovinazzi have a poor race, he also made it boring for everyone watching at home. 

Rating: 1


Romain Grosjean - 15th

A solid but ultimately worthless race for the Frenchman, as all the Ferrari powered cars really struggled with a lack of straight-like speed.

He nearly caused an upset by finishing ahead of Leclerc, but the Monegasque driver managed to get past on the last lap.

Rating: 5

Kevin Magnussen - 17th

He may have started dead-last but initially Magnussen flew past everyone getting as high as 14th at one stage.

But then it all unravelled and the Dane started going backwards finishing dead last of those that made it to the end.

Rating: 4


Nicholas Latifi - 16th

A dull race for Latifi, but he didn't finish last for a change which is pretty good considering the car at his disposal.

There was big news surrounding Williams this week however. It was announced that Dorilton Capital, a US based investment firm had bought the team although the Williams name would remain.

Founded in 1977 by Sir Frank Williams, the team has always been at least part-owned by his family, so this news truly brings the era of family owned teams to an end.

Rating: 4

George Russell - DNF

Caught up in the immediate aftermath of Giovinazzi's crash, there was nothing Russell could do to avoid the showers of debris from the Alfa Romeo.

A loose wheel rolled into Russell's path, sending his William's into the barriers. Thankfully neither driver was hurt in a crash that could have ended much worse.

Rating: 2