F1i's Driver Ratings for the 2020 Sakhir GP

Lando Norris (P10, 1 pt): 7/10
Neither McLaren was in the top ten in first practice on Friday, and Lando Norris was still down in 16th in the nighttime session. Fifth in FP3 suggested he was getting on top of things, but it all went sideways in qualifying where he didn't get a clear second run in Q2 and ended up being eliminated. Starting from 15th place would have been bad enough, but a subsequent power unit change put him right at the back of the grid for the start of the race. Points seemed a distant prospect at that point, but he got a brilliant start on soft tyres and leapt up to tenth place by the time the safety car came out; when the race resumed he pulled off a rather sweet pass on Sebastian Vettel. Unfortunately all that progress had taken its toll on the tyres and Norris was now moving in reverse at the hands of Alex Albon and Sergio Perez, forcing him into an early pit stop that put him dead last on lap 21. He was climbing his way back up the order as others made their own pit stops, but topped out in 11th place which is where it looked as though he would end the race - except for a late pass on Pierre Gasly that finally put him into the points with three laps to go. Given the circumstances it was "a good recovery from the back of the grid", as Norris himself acknowledged after the finish.

George Russell (Fastest lap, P9, 3 pts): 9.5/10
Without doubt our star of the weekend, if not perhaps quite also our driver of the day, George Russell was the centre of attention coming into the weekend as the replacement for Lewis Hamilton after the world champion tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week. It was the young Briton's chance to finally show what he could do after 36 outings with backmarkers Williams, but was he up to the job? Topping both of Friday's practice sessions soon showed that he was, and moreover he was remarkably unfazed by the pressure of being right in the glare of the media spotlight at Sakhir. He just missed out on pipping Valtteri Bottas to pole (by just 0.026s!) but when it came to the start of the race it was Russell who was as cool as a cucumber and took the lead while Bottas struggled to fend off Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez. Despite some technical gremlins creeping in as the race progressed, Russell looked in complete command of proceedings - until that bizarre, entirely uncharacteristic pit stop mess made by the team on lap 62. Even after dropping to fifth it looked like Russell could still fight back to win the race, until he was hit by a slow puncture that briefly dropped him out of the top ten. He just managed to recover to earn his first ever championship points, which he was allowed to keep after a visit to the race stewards about the tyre debacle. He deserved so much more, but Russell himself could scarcely have performed any better than he did in Sakhir.