F1i's Driver Ratings for the 2020 Sakhir GP

Carlos Sainz (P4, 12 pts): 8.5/10
Carlos Sainz has really found his form this year at McLaren, and we hope that he can sustain it in 2021 when he moves to Ferrari. Sakhir was another demonstration of what the Spaniard can do even when things initially don't appear to be going his way: just 13th fastest in FP1 and then tenth in the subsequent sessions, he nonetheless easily made it into the final round of qualifying while his team mate Lando Norris fell short. Both McLarens got brilliant starts on soft tyres on Sunday with Sainz jumping up from eighth to third after benefitting from the early clash between Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez. Adopting a two-stop strategy, Sainz was back in P3 following his first service when a Virtual Safety Car was initiated to deal with Nicholas Latifi's stricken Williams; Sainz tried to take advantage of it with a 'free' second stop but the VSC was very short, catching Sainz still on pit lane and dropping him behind Perez, Esteban Ocon and Lance Stroll. Following the Mercedes pit stop nightmare Sainz found himself right behind Valtteri Bottas, who was nonetheless still difficult to pass despite struggling on an old set of hard tyres. By the time he got by, Sainz was too far behind the top three to challenge for a podium place and had to settle for fourth instead, while Perez and Stroll between them put Racing Point back in control of the battle for third in the constructors championship over McLaren.

Lance Stroll (P3, 15 pts): 8.5/10
As Lance Stroll himself said after the end of the race, it could easily have been him taking the plaudits for winning the race on Sunday night in Sakhir rather than his Racing Point team mate. The pivotal moment came on lap 42 when Stroll pitted after an impressively long first stint on the soft compound (his rivals had struggled to make the compound last even half that long). He came back out on track just ahead of Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez but his tyres were still cold, and he ran wide at turn 1 allowing Ocon to get past. A few seconds later, Perez took advantage of his team mate being on the back foot and also got by, eventually going on to pass Ocon as well to inherit the victory when Mercedes threw it all away. Stroll still managed to pick up third place (despite being briefly passed by George Russell before the Mercedes then suffered a slow puncture) and in any other circumstances a podium would have been an excellent achievement for the Canadian who has been through some tough times of late (including a positive coronavirus test after missing the Eifel Grand Prix) since finishing in third place at Monza. Stroll might have been watching Perez take the winner's trophy with slightly gritted teeth, but on the positive side at least he has a race seat for 2021, while Perez looks set to find himself on the sidelines next year for all his success at Sakhir.