F1 driver power rankings: Charles Leclerc on the rise after Portuguese Grand Prix as top three changes

8. Esteban Ocon (Renault) – no move

Ocon had a rather strange race in that it looked like there was more to be had from the Renault, yet he will have taken a big positive out of beating teammate Danial Ricciardo after starting behind him. All things considered, it was an above-average drive from Ocon for what was a double points finish for the team.

7. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) – up three

Leclerc is back at his best in a Ferrari that is not up to scratch for his capabilities, with a fourth-place finish just reward for his recent performances that failed to produce what he really deserved. For much of the opening stint Leclerc kept Verstappen honest in the much quicker Red Bull, and it will be interesting to see how far he can push on in the season run-in.

6. Sergio Perez (Racing Point) – no move

Perez may have had to make do with a seventh-placed finish, but given he ended up exiting Turn 4 backwards on the out-lap, it was some recovery drive from the Mexican. Another strong race included a brilliant eight-corner fight with Ocon, and he may well have taken the biscuit for the driver of the day.

5. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault) – down one

It was a disappointing weekend for Ricciardo, with the Australian only just scraping through to Q3 and promptly chucking it off before it started. He never really looked to have the race pace we’ve come to expect, and finishing behind Ocon will have dented his pride.

4. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) – up one

The Frenchman was one of the joys of the weekend as he fought his way up through the field, converting a ninth-place finish into a brilliant fifth. Gasly made no complaints with Perez’s strong defensive targets late in the day, which made it all the more warming to hear him celebrate once he had made it past his mid-field rival.

3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – down one

Something just didn’t seem right with Verstappen this weekend as he accepted third was the best that Red Bull could hope for. A good start failed to materialise into anything of note as Bottas quickly repast him into Turn 3, and contact with Perez at the following corner didn’t help matters.

2. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) – up one

Bottas has shown his fighting side in recent weeks and has established himself as the second-fastest driver on the grid this season, which helps him to jump back in front of Verstappen after a lengthy stint in third. He has no answer for his Mercedes teammate though, which is of course a major concern for his own hopes.

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – no move

Hamilton showed a rare tentative side that saw him choose conservation over outright speed in the opening laps, dropping him down from first to third, but from there he drove to perfection to eat into Bottas’s advantage, pass him with consummate ease on the main straight and pull away to an incredible 25-second gap to write his name into the record books once again.

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