Lewis Hamilton ONLY Voted 8th Best F1 Driver as Verstappen-Norris Top 2021 Driver Rankings

Published 08/12/2021, 5:37 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – August 1, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton before the race Pool via REUTERS/Florion Goga


The first half of the season brought many drivers to the limelight, which came along with admiration from the fans. Aramco, an F1 partner, ranks drivers after every race based on their performance. After the first half, they put the verdict in the fans’ hands. Thousands have assessed the drivers and put in their votes. The results were surprising, to put it mildly.

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Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 15, 2021 (L – R) Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso, McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez and Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel pose during a promotional photoshoot for the unveiling of the new 2022 F1 car REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge

While championship protagonist Max Verstappen took the lead with Norris, his rival fell to the eighth position. Fan’s votes averaged at 8.8 for the Dutchman, while it left Lewis Hamilton with a 7.2. It’s no doubt that the new championship rival brought along his crowd of supporters; Hamilton’s drop can only result from the shifting tide of support in the championship battle.

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After 11 races, many journalists and pundits have made their opinion known. But what is the public’s opinion?

A drop in popularity for Lewis Hamilton?

While the Silverstone crash is still a fresh wound, it’s a good guess that’s where the problem starts. Before the British GP, the two rivals had their fair share of duels on the track, but the dreadful collision at Copse may have caused a flow of empathy towards Verstappen.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 17, 2021, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during practice REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

After 11 rounds of good competition and brilliant driving, did Lewis Hamilton deserve to be so far down in the rankings?

Over many races, Hamilton has dropped positions in the grid and has found his way to the podium, come what may. His performance has been as good as ever. Once a fan-favorite, his position in the fan vote only insinuates that Verstappen’s contention with the reigning champion has turned the tables in the sport. Nonetheless, has the Silverstone collision tarnished his reputation with the fans this season?

The fan’s top 10 drivers so far

Max Verstappen and Lando Norris sit comfortably at the top with a solid 8.8. With five victories this season and dominating driving skills, the driver has proved to be the best man sent to fight the champion. Single-handedly disturbing the Mercedes dominance on the grid, it’s no doubt that Verstappen has won over the fans.

Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 4, 2021, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, and McLaren’s Lando Norris celebrate first and third place on the podium with Honda F1’s Technical Director Toyoharu Tanabe REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

Lando Norris’ loving personality off the track and a contrasting resolved driving on the track; the driver has taken the grid by storm. The McLaren driver had scored points in every race bar Hungary, where the DNF was of no fault of his own. Three podiums in the bag, Norris sits third in the driver’s championship ahead of a Mercedes and a Red Bull driver.

Another popular name on the grid, George Russell, sits in third with a 7.7, with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc behind him with a 7.5. Both drivers have many fans rooting for them. Russell finally got his treasured points in Hungary, while Leclerc stood second after an unfortunate battle for the top in Silverstone. Fans want Russell in the points and are keen to the Leclerc take Ferrari to the top of the podium.

Pierre Gasly and Carlos Sainz shared fifth place with an average of 7.4. The underdogs of the midfield, both drivers had their moment on the podium so far. Bringing strong competition to the midfield, both these drivers have made some solid points for their teams, and the fans appreciate their efforts as well.

Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – August 1, 2021, First placed Esteban Ocon of Alpine and second placed Sebastian Vettel of Aston Martin after the race Pool via REUTERS/Florion Goga

Sandwiching Hamilton, are the two veterans of the sport: Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel. Voted seventh and ninth respectively, the champions have dazzled fans, both old and new. The Spaniard has shown that his skills on the grid only get better with age. Vettel’s down-to-earth personality and bold driving are the perfect equation to becoming an easy fan favorite.

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Watch this story: Lewis Hamilton’s Biggest F1 Crashes

At the end of the table sits the latest new race winner, Esteban Ocon. Images of the young Frenchman celebrating his win live are fresh in everyone’s minds. A pleasant season overall, Ocon had hit a rough patch in between; the Alpine driver bounced back, taking Alpine to extreme lengths, bringing in points for the Enstone team. Missing out by a whisker is Sergio Perez, who fell behind Ocon in the rankings.

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A fanatical season so far, it can only get better from here. As the summer break draws near, excitement builds up for the race at Spa; the resumption of the season is nearing. Will the culmination of the season see a different top 10?

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Shreya Sanjeev

323 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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