Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motorsport. It has the most advanced and fastest cars in the world. Maneuvering these cars is not an easy task and requires special talent and skill. It’s pretty straightforward that the top of the motorsports pyramid has the cream of the crop when it comes to drivers. The drivers who make it onto the grid are some of the best in the world. Let’s take a closer look at the top 10 F1 drivers on the current grid.
10. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)
The 4-time world champion is the kickoff on the list. One of the best Formula 1 drivers of his generation winning 4 titles in a row, the Aston Martin man has clearly made his mark on the sport. After a far-from-impressive 2019 and a dismal 2020, Vettel is trying to get its spark back in newcomers Aston Martin.
Vettel, in his day, gives us flashbacks to the glory days, like that impressive podium in Baku this year. We hope it returns to its old ways of dominating the scene.
9. Danniel Ricciardo (McLaren)
The honey badger is one of the most sympathetic figures in F1. But make no mistake, he’s also one of the scariest racers on the grid. If this list was made 2 years ago, the Australian would definitely be in the top 5 and even fight for a podium.
But two disappointing years at Renault followed by a rocky start at McLaren see him so low on the list. Ricciardo, a championship-winning material rider, has been unlucky with the machinery that has been delivered to him. With him only getting old, McLaren is the best shot he has for the title.
8. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
Mercedes’ second man ranks seventh on this list. The only reason it ranks so low is that it hasn’t done anything extraordinary with the package the team provides. Even as a brilliant driver, we have seen glimpses of excellence in him.
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But his teammate has largely overshadowed him. With George Russell staring at his seat and a move that seems increasingly imminent, Bottas will have to make 2021 his year if he wants to retain the Mercedes seat.
7. George Russell (Williams)
The man in a privileged position claims that Mercedes’ seat is above the only man standing in his way, Bottas. The Britton has been exceptional since its debut with Williams in 2019. It has consistently pulled the most out of the car that belongs to the rear of the grid and has pulled off some stellar qualifying feats.
He even showed his racing skill and pace when he had the only start in Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes in Bahrain, nearly grabbing pole position and winning the race. This season, Russel has stepped up his performances, and that elusive Grand Prix point with Williams seems closer and closer.
6. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
The Monegasque driver is considered one of the best F1 drivers on the circuit. Debuting in 2018, he has quickly become Ferrari’s golden boy and Championship hopeful. With the struggles Ferrari has gone through with the car, their performances have been off the charts.
You have consistently brought out the best in machinery by placing your car in places where it would not normally be. This season has been full of mixed performances so far, but once Ferrari has a car on their hands, Leclerc looks like a future world champion.
5. Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri)
The Frenchman has become one of the best drivers in Formula 1 and has been demoted to Alpha Tauri midway through the 2019 season. The 25-year-old has found his rhythm again and delivered some stellar performances.
Since starting his second season at Alpha Tauri, he has achieved 2 podiums and an iconic victory at Monza. The consistent display of quality makes him talk about being promoted to the Redbull core team or moving elsewhere.
4. Sergio Perez (RedBull)
The Mexican driver has been on the F1 scene for quite some time. The 31-year-old made his debut in 2011 and saw most of his career fighting in midfield. Sergio Pérez has still achieved 12 podiums and 2 wins despite being strictly in the mediocrity of the midfield.
Last year, his strong set of performances saw him land on Redbull, a dream move for him. Although not everything has been easy in Redbull, Pérez is slowly coming to life in the team.
3. Lando Norris (McLaren)
One of the youngsters on the grid, Norris, has cemented his status as one of the best F1 drivers on the grid. Debuting at 19 in 2019 at McLaren, he is now entering his third season in F1.
A stellar start to the season has seen him climb 3 podiums and outstanding driving. This sees the 21-year-old in fourth place in the championship, just 3 points behind Sergio Pérez. The young Brit will only get better as his career progresses.
2. Max Verstappen (RedBull)
The current championship leader and F1 prodigy. Max Verstappen has been on the grid for almost 7 years, and he’s only 23! Making his F1 debut at age 17 in 2015, he was the youngest driver to start a Grand Prix.
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He became the youngest driver in history and the first Dutch driver to win a Formula One Grand Prix when he won the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix on his Red Bull Racing debut. If anyone can end this supremacy of Lewis Hamilton, it is him, and he has placed himself in a unique position to do just that this year. Right now, he is one of the best F1 drivers in the world.
1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
The Formula 1 legend and the man with the most F1 titles together. Lewis Hamilton has been the man to beat in the turbo-hybrid era. The Britton has been one of the best drivers in the world since its debut. His countless records and statistics solidify his status as the best Formula 1 driver on the grid, some even labeling him the best of all time.
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That hasn’t been the case this season, as Max Verstappen and Redbull finally mounted a terrifying title charge. Hamilton will have to fight the youngster if he is to secure his eighth World Championship record this season.
* These F1 driver ratings are purely subjective.