F1i's Driver Ratings for the 2022 Austrian GP

Max Verstappen (Pole, Sprint, Fastest Lap, P2, 27 pts): 9.5/10
He should have been able to win, shouldn't he? Max Verstappen appeared to have the Austrian Grand Prix - Red Bull's home race - in the bag right from the start when he was quickest in first practice, and then went on to capture pole position in qualifying. He managed to fend off Charles Leclerc's attack at the start of the sprint and went on to lead all 23 laps to pick up a handy eight championship points, and more crucially the top spot on the grid again for Sunday's Grand Prix. He was able to ward off Leclerc at the start of e Grand Prix and swiftly pulled out of DRS range. And then something very odd happened: the Red Bull wasn't pulling away anymore. Actually, it was being reeled in by Leclerc, and also by Carlos Sainz. Verstappen lost the lead on lap 11 and pitted in the hope that switching to hard tyres would put them back on an even footing; but it didn't. The Ferraris pitted, dropped behind, caught up and passed the Red Bull again. And when they pitted out of sequence a second time and Verstappen found himself back in the lead on lap 51, it happened again. Well, almost: this time Sainz didn't flash past as he was too busy smouldering on the outside of turn 4. Once the Virtual Safety Car ended, Leclerc found himself compromised by a dangerous sticking throttle, but even with that advantage Verstappen still wasn't able to close the gap in time to launch a final attack. For perhaps the first time this season, Red Bull had been found wanting when it came to flat-out performance by their Ferrari rivals. Is it a one-off-blip, or a genuine turning point in the championship?

Charles Leclerc (P1, 32 pts): 9.5/10
The Austrian Grand Prix weekend gave us what we've been wanting all season: a full-on head-to-head battle between title contenders Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen decided by pure on-track performance rather than strategy miscues or technical failures. It looked like Red Bull were making the most out of home advantage when Verstappen pipped Leclerc by a healthy quarter of a second in FP1 and then took pole in qualifying for the sprint race. Leclerc couldn't prise his way past Verstappen at the start, and it was the same again when in the rematch the following day for the Grand Prix. Having failed to secure an early lead, and with Verstappen now quickly moving out of DRS range, it seemed yet another demonstration of the Red Bull's superior pace we've seen all season. Except Leclerc wasn't done, gradually reeling his rival in. But surely he couldn't actually pull off a pass? Oh, okay, he can. Bet you he can't do it a second time! What, he just did? Well, definitely not a third ... Oh, never mind. It almost seemed like Leclerc was playing with Verstappen like a catspaw with these staggered pit stops, but then things got serious in the final quarter when Leclerc had to keep on top of a dangerous sticking open throttle. He admitted afterwards that he had been scared by this, and we can well believe him - many a nasty accident has resulted from this sort of issue in the past. He did extremely well to ride it out and keep enough of a gap over Verstappen to claim the victory and revitalise his season with his first race win since Australia in April.