Esteban Ocon (P2, 18 pts): 9/10
Much was expected from Esteban Ocon when he returned to F1 with Renault after a year out, and critics were quick to turn on the 24-year-old when he wasn't able to match the performances of his more experienced team mate Daniel Ricciardo. But he's been getting ever closer, and much of that progress and improvement came to fruition this weekend in Sakhir. He was quicker than Ricciardo in all three of the practice sessions, but lost out in qualifying where he narrowly failed to make it through to the final round. The silver lining to that disappointment was that he had a free choice of tyres for the start of the race and opted for a set of the medium compound, which set him up for an impressive 41-lap first stint. He eventually made his initial stop just before Lance Stroll which allowed him to get his tyres up to temperature by the time the Racing Point exited pit lane just ahead of him, and that advantage allowed Ocon to take the position at the first corner. Ocon lost out to Sergio Perez following a brief Virtual Safety Car for Nicholas Latifi's retirement, but the subsequent Mercedes pit stop confusion meant he found himself running in second place (after a brief recovery from George Russell was cut short) all the way to the finish to pick up his first Formula 1 career podium. "That moment, crossing the line, I'll remember it forever," he said later: "I definitely cried, and I'm proud to say it!"
Sergio Perez (P1, 25 pts): 10/10
The criticism everyone makes of Formula 1 is that it's impossible to pass and that races can become a long procession. Certainly there's no way that a driver could, for example, get involved in an incident on the first lap, spin out, limp back to pit lane, drop right to the back of the field, and then go from there to somehow win the race. Right? Never happen, not in modern Formula 1, even if you happened to be in the title-winning best car on the track. And yet that's precisely what Sergio Perez achieved on Sunday night. The Racing Point had already shown considerable promise by finishing third fastest on Friday and easily made it through to the final round of qualifying despite running an old engine, although Perez was irked to miss out on the second row as a result of Charles Leclerc's brilliant solo Q3 flying lap. But when Leclerc tapped him into a spin at the start of Sunday's race, Perez feared that it was all over. Fortunately it turned out that there was no serious damage to the car although he was battling some huge vibration issues, and once the safety car came in he was doing that 'hot knife through butter' thing so that by the time he made his second visit to pit lane on lap 47 he had completed a remarkable comeback to run in the top three, with the car now running as smoothly as a top of the line limousine. This is probably where the story should have ended - and if it had, it would still all have been very satisfying after missing out on a certain podium last week due to a late engine failure. But the fickle gods of fate smiled on him this time, and mayhem in the Mercedes pit box handed Perez the lead of the race. He needed no second invitation to seize his maiden F1 Grand Prix victory. That it should come just one race before he finds himself on the sidelines without a race seat for 2021 is simply incomprehensible: if anyone deserves a top spot somewhere on next year's grid, it's surely Sergio Perez.