F1i's Driver Ratings for the 2021 Italian Grand Prix

Charles Leclerc (P4, 12 pts): 8/10
Given how disastrously Ferrari performed at their home race just 12 months ago, this weekend's performance was a resounding success and fourth place for Charles Leclerc surely as good as the Scuderia had been hoping for, especially after starting the weekend slightly off the pace with P11 in FP1. Eighth place in qualifying just ahead of team mate Carlos Sainz seemed an accurate reflection of their respective pace at Monza. But Saturday morning proved a fraught experience for both drivers - Sainz suffering a heavy accident mid-session and Leclerc having to stop early after feeling very unwell. Fortunately they were both okay for the sprint race with Leclerc managing to move ahead of Sainz in the starting order for the Grand Prix. After all that drama, the race itself proved to be a solid but rather unremarkable affair for the most part, with Leclerc running in fifth place for all but 11 laps. The turnover of pit stops for Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen, Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton beginning on lap 22 briefly elevated Leclerc into the lead of the race, after which the timing of the safety car allowed him to pit and come back out in second. However once the race restarted Norris immediately got the jump on him, and next time by it was Perez who was pushing past. He did so by going off track in the process meaning that he should have handed the place back; but by then Valtteri Bottas had also dispatched Leclerc. Leclerc was trapped in DRS amber for the rest of the race and crossed the line in fifth, but Perez' penalty for that improper pass moved Leclerc up one place in the final classification.

Valtteri Bottas (P3, 18 pts): 9/10
The week started with confirmation that Valtteri Bottas is to leave Mercedes at the end of the current season and replace fellow Finn Kimi Raikkonen at Alfa Romeo next year. That suggested he was likely to spend his remaining time at Brackley as Lewis Hamilton's official wingman, doing everything the team required of him to secure the Briton's eighth world championship. This supposition seemed to be confirmed in FP1, but the situation was flipped on its head when Bottas came out on top in qualifying later in the day. He went on to win the sprint race on Saturday, while a poor start for Hamilton had unexpectedly dropped him behind Max Verstappen and the two McLarens. That wasn't supposed to be the plan, with the team having already decide to rebuild Bottas' stock of engine components at the cost of incurring a pit lane start for the race. Unfazed, Bottas was convinced that he could still battle his way back to the podium on Sunday, and that's exactly what he managed after Verstappen and Hamilton took themselves out of contention in dramatic fashion. By the time that happened, Bottas was already up to sixth place and he resumed his forward momentum after the restart with quick passes on both the Ferraris. That seemed to be the best he could do and he ran the rest of the afternoon behind Sergio Perez in fourth, but a post-race penalty for the Red Bull meant Bottas had successfully delivered in his pre-race pledge with third place n the final classification.