F1i's Driver Ratings for the 2022 Miami GP

Charles Leclerc (Pole, P2, 18 pts): 8.5/10
Five races into the 2022 season, and we're starting to see a pattern develop. The Ferrari is tending to prove fastest in single-lap time trials thanks to its greater speed in the corners; but the Red Bull is stronger on the straights. With the help of DRS it's making them hard to beat on race day. Miami largely fit into that same template, with Charles Leclerc quickest in FP1 and narrowly second by a tenth to a surprisingly swift George Russell in FP2, and to Sergio Perez in FP3. Leclerc then topped every round of qualifying on Saturday afternoon to earn himself pole position for the race by two tenths from his team mate Carlos Sainz. Ferrari looked clear favourites for the win, but that all changed when the lights went out: Verstappen was able to muscle his way past Sainz on the opening lap, and then nine laps into the race Verstappen turned the screws and took the lead. Remarkably easily, it has to be said, with Leclerc seemingly not inclined to defend too hard having overheated his tyres in the early laps. He may have expected to be able to stay close enough to Verstappen to counter attack or to use the pit stops to get the lead back, but neither of those scenarios played out. Only the late safety car for Lando Norris' accident gave him any sort of a chance to strike, and while he put everything into the attack Leclerc just had no answer to the Red Bull's ability to drive away down the long straights leaving the Ferrari too little time to catch up and apply its cornering speed. In the end Leclerc had to settle for second in Miami and see his championship lead cut to 19 points; the advantage he'd enjoyed after Melbourne that we all thought might be unassailable has already been exposed as vanishingly fragile.

Max Verstappen (P1, Fastest lap, 26 pts): 9.5/10
Although we're not quite giving him a perfect ten this weekend (we're nitpicking again: he didn't take pole after missing out on the whole of FP2) the fact remains that this was one of Max Verstappen's most impressive performances on the track. The way that he bounced back from Red Bull's Friday issues to do as well as he did in qualifying is part of that, but it's also the cool approach he adopted in the race itself that really speaks volumes. He picked off Carlos Sainz at the start and then bided his time, waiting for Charles Leclerc to overburden his original set of tyres before pouncing to take the lead, and then afterwards calmly extending his lead. Only the late safety car came close to foiling his plans, but once again he was the very picture of grace under fire as he repelled anything Leclerc could throw at him at the restart. In the end it wasn't even close. If there had been any lingering doubts about the legitimacy of his championship victory in 2021, they're all gone now. He's once again convinced us that he's currently head and shoulders above anyone else on today's grid.