Vote for your 2021 French Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend

2021 French Grand Prix

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Which Formula 1 driver made the most of the French Grand Prix weekend?

It’s time to give your verdict on which driver did the best with the equipment at their disposal over the last three days.

Review how each driver got on below and vote for who impressed you the most at Paul Ricard.

Driver performance summary

DriverStartedGap to team mate (Q)Laps leading team matePittedFinishedGap to team mate (R)
Lewis Hamilton2nd-0.128s53/5312nd-11.714s
Valtteri Bottas3rd+0.128s0/5314th+11.714s
Max Verstappen1st-0.455s44/5321st-8.811s
Sergio Perez4th+0.455s9/5313rd+8.811s
Lando Norris8th-0.13s29/5315th-11.825s
Daniel Ricciardo10th+0.13s24/5316th+11.825s
Lance Stroll19th+40.452s0/53110th+12.28s
Sebastian Vettel12th-40.452s53/5319th-12.28s
Esteban Ocon11th+0.187s10/52114thNot on same lap
Fernando Alonso9th-0.187s42/5218thNot on same lap
Charles Leclerc7th+0.147s11/52216thNot on same lap
Carlos Sainz Jnr5th-0.147s41/52111thNot on same lap
Pierre Gasly6th52/5217thNot on same lap
Yuki Tsunoda20th0/52113thNot on same lap
Kimi Raikkonen17th+0.632s5/52117th+5.088s
Antonio Giovinazzi13th-0.632s47/52115th-5.088s
Mick Schumacher15th-0.612s25/52119th-14.095s
Nikita Mazepin18th+0.612s27/52120th+14.095s
George Russell14th39/52112th-15.402s
Nicholas Latifi16th13/52118th+15.402s

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Vote for your driver of the weekend

Which driver do you think did the best job throughout the race weekend?

Who got the most out of their car in qualifying and the race? Who put their team mate in the shade?

Cast your vote below and explain why you chose the driver you picked in the comments.

Who was the best driver of the 2021 French Grand Prix weekend?

  • No opinion (1%)
  • Nicholas Latifi (0%)
  • George Russell (6%)
  • Nikita Mazepin (0%)
  • Mick Schumacher (0%)
  • Antonio Giovinazzi (0%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (1%)
  • Yuki Tsunoda (0%)
  • Pierre Gasly (2%)
  • Carlos Sainz Jnr (0%)
  • Charles Leclerc (1%)
  • Fernando Alonso (6%)
  • Esteban Ocon (0%)
  • Sebastian Vettel (1%)
  • Lance Stroll (3%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (3%)
  • Lando Norris (9%)
  • Sergio Perez (4%)
  • Max Verstappen (60%)
  • Valtteri Bottas (0%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (5%)

Total Voters: 190

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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45 comments on “Vote for your 2021 French Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend”

  1. DOTW: VER
    DOTD: Also, VER with honorable mentions to the Mclaren duo.

    1. Yeah @jerejj. With the pole and then winning it by passing both Mercedes cars towards the end really was a great drive from Max.

      And Both McLaren guys came through the field, one by having some great passes along the way, the other by taking the mediums incredibly long and having solid overtakes.

    2. Why do people overlook Gasly’s performance.
      It’s certainly more than having a decent car.

      Also Vettel had another good race.

    3. I agree with you @jerejj (even with the lose in turn 2 )

  2. Three standouts for me – Verstappen, Alonso and Russell. I voted for Russell even though we didn’t see any of his race. But another Q2 and finishing P12 in a Williams in a race with zero retirements can’t be ignored.

    1. Kyle (@hammerheadgb)
      20th June 2021, 19:26

      Absolutely. Beating 8 cars over a race distance fully on merit in a Williams is the standout performance. In most races, beating 8 rival finishers gets you a point or more and it’s only misfortune (and the absence of it for others) that’s kept today being that day for Williams.

      1. He did spend the first third, if not half, of the race behind Latifi though. Had an off somewhere?

  3. Christopher Murgatroyd
    20th June 2021, 19:23

    Surely the choice is between ocon and gasly then?

  4. Verstappen. Hands down. Arguably one of the best weekends by a driver in the last couple of years. Hamilton Turkey 2020, Hamilton Singapore 2018 and Leclerc Italy 2019 spring to mind. Yes, Red Bull outsmarted Mercedes, and Mercedes made a critical error, but this is a team sport.

    1. Disagree – can’t say that if he runs wide at the first corner and gives up first.

      1. RandomMallard (@)
        20th June 2021, 19:32

        @lightsout But he recovered and that is crucial. Like where was Hamilton in Turkey until halfway through the race but there is no denying that was a fantastic drive?

      2. Actually, I was quite impressed how he saved his car from breaking out.
        Not something that should get you DotW, but impressive nonetheless.

      3. He likes to give his opponent the advantage! :) But his recovery is here the important part!

  5. My vote goes to George Russell. The lap he was on in Q1 before the red flag was absolutely phenomenal to watch, and even without it he got into Q2. He was quite poor in the early laps, but then fought back to take 12th in a Williams, despite zero retirements. Unfortunately, he always seems to have his best drives in races with few retirements.

    Honourable mentions also to Verstappen, Hamilton, Norris and Alonso.

  6. Not sure about VER with that mistake approaching turn 2 that might have cost him the race, otherwise he was almost perfect. With the hards (second stint) it was clear the Mercs had better pace but not enogh for the overtake. If he won, it is largely because Merc dropped the ball (by delaying Lew’s pitstop, mostly). The RBR strategy shocked me at first (20+ laps seemed to much for the mediums) and when the gap seemed to stabilize at 5 seconds I thought: that’s it. But then the cliff came. It was a gamble and it paid off, but until very near the end it was uncertain. And Max was up to the challenge.
    Alonso and Russell have also been good, but very little to watch. It was painful how the Alpine had to yield in the straights. It took 4-5 races, but Alonso now seems able to get from the crappy Alpine all it can give, and leave Ocon well behind.
    And for once in a blue moon, I’d say Lew was kinda competent (well this time he couldn’t just cruise ahead while sleeping like in most races), if he didn’t win it was mostly up to Merc’s strategic mistakes.

    1. Wow, calling hamilton competent after this race, you must be one of the harshest on him on the site! I agree though, he stands out more when the car isn’t dominant because when the car is dominant beating bottas isn’t much of an achievement ofc. I think he was basically flawless here, and I was also surprised by red bull’s strategy, I wasn’t confident on it being a good idea at all, not even after he passed him, cause verstappen already had a 3 sec gap before the stop while on the same strategy as hamilton!

    2. @melanos

      Lewis’ tyre management was very good, compared to Bottas.

    3. Rodric Ewulf
      21st June 2021, 20:11

      Once Fernando got his quali right the strength of his race pace, combined with his sharp racecraft and that typical smart strategy that made him such a complete driver became a lot more evident on his final results. The potential was always there to be rediscovered though, and fans as well as part of the media always jump to conclusions too soon, like some people now taking Esteban out of the equation just because of one underwhelming performance in Paul Ricard. Let’s wait a little to make long term analysis to not get it completely wrong like saying that Alonso would do a Schumacher on his comeback imo
      That said, Fernando’s performance in France was superb all weekend round but it is no longer a surprise up to now, as he’s coming back to his usual swing of things: for him a nearly flawless full weekend display must be normal business haha
      In that sense Gerorge Russell was the driver that surprised me most, overtaking Tsunoda’s AlphaTauri at the end of the race for a Williams is as impressive as leaving a wounded Ferrari behind, given the circunstances. While his team-mate Latifi finished 18th he came really close to the points, and the difference between them was not so much in raw race pace but more on race decisions. Max Verstappen was brilliant this race, not taking anything from him and Red Bull triumph with a slightly slower car than Mercedes, but Russell deserves DotW as a recognition of his efforts in a struggling team, even though both Verstappen and Russell didn’t have a completely flawless weekend, they did first lap mistakes but recovered brillantly from it.

  7. petebaldwin (@)
    20th June 2021, 19:34

    Max for me. He made a mistake but the rest of the drive more than made up for it. Russell appears to have done well but I saw absolutely nothing of his race so can’t really say either way on him.

  8. Went for Norris, Great overtakes and maximised his result.

  9. Ves this time. Cold tyres and no grip on the rear because of low downforce almost put him out of the race early. In a brilliant moment he could avoid a spin and eventually win at the end. DotW.

  10. Of course they will go for McLaren duo, Russell, Alonso or anyone else
    Soooooooooo difficult and hard to swallow…😂😂😂

    Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago, when the exact same thing happened, and we read here “masterclass Hamilton with extra pitstop”? Oh, wait, no. I must be living in a parallel universe.

  11. I would have voted for Hamilton had he hung on to win…at one point toward the end, it appeared that Max had cooked his mediums. “Appeared” being the operative word here.

    Has to be Max, perfectly judged, always in control, grand slam weekend. The way he drove on the mediums towards the end was brilliant. One of the best drives I’ve seen in a long time. Great race all in.

    Good race by Alonso as well, he appeared to have the legs on the two cars ahead of him at the end there, if he had a couple more laps, he could have finished higher.

  12. Lewis Hamilton (5%)
    Valtteri Bottas (0%)
    Max Verstappen (58%)
    Sergio Perez (5%)
    Lando Norris (10%)
    Daniel Ricciardo (4%)
    Lance Stroll (1%)
    Sebastian Vettel (2%)
    Esteban Ocon (0%)
    Fernando Alonso (6%)
    Charles Leclerc (0%)
    Carlos Sainz Jnr (0%)
    Pierre Gasly (2%)
    Yuki Tsunoda (0%)
    Kimi Raikkonen (0%)
    Antonio Giovinazzi (0%)
    Mick Schumacher (0%)
    Nikita Mazepin (0%)
    George Russell (7%)
    Nicholas Latifi (0%)
    No opinion (1%)
    Total Voters: 121

    AT LAST verstappen gets voted DOTW, he deserved far more this year imo, but always lost out to potential good candidates such as vettel.

    1. As for the drivers who got voted 1% or higher, imo:

      1) Obviously verstappen did great except the mistake at start, which could’ve easily been race-costing, rosberg said this since he’s obviously used to the races won on turn 1 in the mercedes dominant era, and I think verstappen won with a car that was on paper slower than merc, defended well and the chase was also good
      2) Hamilton also did great, no noteable mistakes, except maybe going a bit wide when he was very close to verstappen, gave him some breathing room, but in the end verstappen only built a 3 sec gap when the 3 lead drivers were starting to complain about tyres not making it to the end, so they probably started managing, the race was lost on strategy imo
      3) Perez had a race of 2 halves, disappointing at first, he was nowhere compared to the first 3, then had awesome tyre management and caught up and overtook bottas, while he was complaining about not having picked a 2-stop strategy, but the fact remains perez was also on a 1-stop when he passed him
      4) Norris got the most out of a mclaren that was clearly the 3rd best car, so he sort of did what he was expected to do
      5) Stroll brought points to AM and wasn’t far behind vettel, so again ok
      6) Vettel recovered well after his mistake and is also doing ok considering the car isn’t great
      7) Alonso had some good battles and overtakes, beat ocon in qualifying, seems into an improving trend
      8) Gasly had a great qualifying and also some good battles
      9) Russel beat a struggling ferrari and an alpha tauri, so pretty good, indeed unlucky that when they have a good race there’s never points on offer

    2. F1oSaurus (@)
      21st June 2021, 9:49

      Oh come on he didn’t deserve this one either. He almost lost the race despite being in the fastest car.

      Odd how he does get the DOTW now when he actually failed even more than he did in Bahrain. Probably because this time he finally did manage to get the pass done.

      1. He almost lost the race despite being in the fastest car.

        Toto Wolff: “our pace was good, a little bit of a margin even”

        @f1osaurus in the mud

        Funny how Toto also called Mercedes the fastest car in Imola. You add Portugal and Spain and you end up with Mercedes being faster in 4/7 weekends.

        Bottas has outqualified Perez 5-2 this season and outraced him 3-2.

        Please keep crying about the competitiveness of the car, when the insiders and those who know what they are talking about all acknowledge that the two cars are very close.

        Then again, if Hamilton had not embarrassed himself in Baku, or been so slow in Monaco, or crashed in Imola, he would be leading this championship.

        1. F1oSaurus (@)
          22nd June 2021, 9:47

          @kingshark Stop lying

          1. @f1osaurus
            Coming from the person who tried to use fastest lap to argue that Red Bull has the best car in Spain. Your dishonesty and delusion knows no limits.

            No matter how hard you try to bash the Mercedes car, those who understand F1 see that the two cars are evenly matched and one driver (Max) has been driving at a clearly higher level than his rival.

            I understand that it’s very difficult for you to cope with the fact that Verstappen is just faster and better than Hamilton, but unfortunately for you, this season has made it obvious in the eyes of many fans.

            Then again, you think that Bottas is a top driver, so that just shows how clueless you are about this sport.

          2. F1oSaurus (@)
            29th June 2021, 16:55

            @kingshark That was only one part of the argument I gave and yes when both Bottas and Verstappen go for a fastest lap and Verstappen is a second faster then … well that’s not because Verstappen is so much faster.

            Verstappen has had the fastest car since winter testing and he lost out on so many poles and wins that it’s quite clear that he’s not better than Hamilton. Verstappen’s performance for the first 4 races was just not great. I think that is what has been obvious to everyone but you four Verstappen hooligans.

            Red Bull have gotten even more ahead since and finally the margin seems to be enough to actually win reasonable predictable.

            That you think Perez is even close to Bottas whos how utterly clueless you are yes. If your flat out denial of Verstappens poor performance in Q3 and many of the races which he threw away didn’t do that already. You even pretend that Vettel is a great driver. It relaly doesn;t get any more clueless than that! So pipe down.

          3. @f1osaurus
            Mercedes was the best car by a wide margin in Portugal and Spain. That is obvious to everyone but Hamilton hooligans. They had much better tyre wear at Spain and the Honda engine was severely detuned because of vibrations in Portugal. Mercedes was the fastest car in France too, as confirmed by Toto Wolff. Hamilton needs to look at himself as to why he’s not leading the WDC. He could have made up 25 points in Baku but he bottled it. He should have finished 2nd in Monaco instead of 7th if he didn’t have such a poor weekend.

            Alonso himself agrees that Verstappen has been better than Hamilton this season, and that’s obvious to anyone with a brain.

          4. @f1osaurus
            Oh and by the way, Hamilton’s fastest lap in Imola was 8 tenths quicker than Verstappen on the same tyres. How nice of you to admit that Mercedes had the best car in Imola too!

          5. That you think Perez is even close to Bottas whos how utterly clueless you are yes.

            He’s not close to Bottas, he’s better. Perez has always been a better driver than Bottas. Please educate yourself.

            You even pretend that Vettel is a great driver. It relaly doesn;t get any more clueless than that!

            Hahaha, coming from the guy who thinks that Bottas is a great driver. Vettel might be a very flawed driver but he’s still far better than Bottas will ever be.

          6. F1oSaurus (@)
            2nd July 2021, 8:25

            @kingshark Don’t cry too much liar

    3. @esploratore1 Objectively did Verstappen drive a better race than Hamilton? Both Max and Horner acknowledged that Red Bull won on strategy. Max executed that plan perfectly. But then Hamilton defended as well as he could (while Bottas’s performance fell off towards the end). Qualifying too, Red Bull clearly had a faster one lap car. I’m not saying Max is undeserving of DOTW, I just don’t see it as a performance so different to his closest rivals.

      Given I couldn’t disntiguish HAM and VER, I voted for Gasly, great qualifying and great race. I have voted for Max at least twice this season BTW.

      1. @david-br
        Meanwhile Toto acknowledged that Mercedes had the fastest car on Sunday, so why did Hamilton lose to a slower car despite leading on lap 1?

        1. @kingshark I think that’s been comprehensively explained just about everywhere. Both Horner and Verstappen put their own victory down to better strategy.

          1. @david-br
            Not much different from Hamilton in Barcelona then.

          2. @kingshark True, just checked and I voted for Leclerc that weekend.

        2. Rodric Ewulf
          22nd June 2021, 3:44

          In Barcelona the strategy game was a little bit easier to win for Hamilton/Mercedes than this one in Paul Ricard for Verstappen/Red Bull, even considering that Perez was there to be a very important factor. A delta against your team on race pace makes it difficult to execute strategy calls properly, and race pace was an advantage for Mercs in both affairs, albeit in France by a very slim margin. Evidence: At Paul Ricard Max Verstappen made the two-stop strategy work against Lewis Hamilton with two laps to the end, nearly the limit of race time, and before his second pit stop he couldn’t pull away from the two Mercs, not only from Lewis, and on the contrary, Lewis had opened a significant gap in the first stint when he was leading, what was only nulified when Max came right before him thanks to the undercut. If Mercedes had used the same strategy they would have won the race a lot easier than Red Bull, just needed to be more ballsy but as they are already showing some cracks under pressure in the championship fight, that was asking too much.
          In Barcelona pressure from Lewis Hamilton was incessant ever since Max Verstappen’s pass in the start until the final laps when the former breezed past the latter. Not only Max could not open any sizeable gap to even breath (basically never in-lap), but he also had to call himself in to the pits earlier to relieve the pressure and buy some time. In just a few laps Lewis already had catched him up, and his overtake happened several laps to the end as well, in a track well-known for being hard to pass, so those are clear signs of a significantly faster car on his hands. They got strategy right, not denying it, but that was a rather difficult one to lose. With a great drive from Lewis and a present Valtteri Bottas it was almost a given, as it’s hard to think what Red Bull could have done to avoid that. The same cannot be said about Mercedes in France, they had many ways to do better and squandered on strategy call.

  13. Checo for being up there and making Merc wouldn’t dare to pit again.
    Honorary mention to Stroll, great long run and get a point from the last row.

  14. Went for Max, shame you can’t give half a vote each to Max and Lewis.
    Max mistake , but put the old red mist aside, regroup, focus stick with the plan and was rewarded.
    Lewis I think showed courage and confidence in himself and equipment to attempt to perhaps push past the limits of his tyres and just hang on long enough for victory.
    If honourable mentions are allowed , not for drivers, I’d add the stewards, Masi and Pirelli (unless of course you are a Ferrari fan) for some sensible decisions, enough for some gentle debate, but not howls of protest about influencing the outcome.

  15. Verstappen was impressive to first absorb the pressure and then do a bunch of qualy laps to catch up in the end, but I’m going to give it to Hamilton. He didn’t trounce his team mate in qualifying like Verstappen, but then he didn’t make a crucial race-deciding error into T1, L1 either. Despite a slight car advantage, he kept the pressure on hard without destroying his tyres and did well not to lose too much time on worn tyres at the end. Of course he went off and lost a bit of time at least once, but it wasn’t much, and not sure it would have made a difference as there was still a lap to go.

  16. F1oSaurus (@)
    21st June 2021, 9:47

    Has to be Hamilton. In the second fastest car he almost snatched the win one away from Verstappen in the fastest car again. Just like in Bahrain.

    Poor on Mercedes that they didn’t realize that the undercut from Verstappen would work. Otherwise Hamilton could have gone a few laps longer and it actually would have been another Bahrain win steal again.

    1. @f1osaurus Hamilton lost around 1.5 seconds in the final laps running over the kerbs. Had he not done so, he may just have won it, that close. Difficult to say that was a mistake given he was still putting in fast laps on those tyres and had somehow kept Verstappen at bay 5 seconds behind after he passed Bottas (don’t know if Verstappen was simply waiting to pounce). But I kind of felt that the forced error cancelled out Verstappen’s at the race start, putting them even over the race.

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