F1i's Driver Ratings for the 2022 Emilia Romagna GP

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The first sprint weekend of the year meant Emilia Romagna proved to be a very busy three days, with the weather doing its best to make each and every session an adventure into the unknown for teams and drivers alike. That opened up opportunities to shine for some, while elsewhere there was nothing but misery for others. (Yes, Mercedes, we mean you!) Let's analyse how everyone fared in Imola.

Carlos Sainz (Accident, Lap 1, 5 pts): 6.5/10
Carlos Sainz bounced into the weekend on the back of confirming a two year contract extension with Ferrari, only to end up crashing in qualifying when it looked like he would be a contender for pole position. Instead he started the sprint from tenth on the grid, from where he redeemed himself with a muscular recovery drive to fourth place. But when the lights went out on Sunday, he immediately ended up tangling with Daniel Ricciardo going through Tamburello: the McLaren tried to hold the inside line but slipped off the wet kerb leaving Sainz nowhere to go. Cruelly, the Spaniard came out the worst of it, beached in the gravel trap which required a safety car so that marshals could sort things out, while Ricciardo was able to get back underway and rejoin the race albeit at the back. It wasn't Sainz' fault, and there had been little he could do in the situation, but it was undoubtedly a disappointing and frustrating weekend for him when he'd been hoping it would reboot his season after an up-and-down start.

Fernando Alonso (Damage, Lap 6): 7/10
Alpine's run of points finishes in 2022 came to an abrupt end this week, but at least this time it wasn't anything to do with recurring reliability issues. A new bottom section to the A522 seemed to give the car some genuine extra speed, and Alonso was fifth in qualifying on Friday although he subsequently lost out in the sprint and lined up for the Grand Prix in P9. Like Carlos Sainz, his race was wrecked through no fault of his own when Mick Schumacher spun ahead of him on the opening lap and clipped the right hand sidepod of Alonso's car. It didn't seem like a major hit at the time, but it had left clearly visible damage. When the race resumed after a safety car it was soon evident that the Alpine was ailing, even before the pit wall put it out of its misery by summoning Alonso in for an early retirement. If not for that, some points had been very much in reach.