F1i's Driver Ratings for the 2022 French GP

Fernando Alonso (P6, 8 pts): 8/10
There's no doubt that the Alpine A522 is a fast car; and it's equally beyond question that Fernando Alonso is one of the quickest and most aggressive drivers on the grid today, despite also being the oldest. So it's strange to see him continually adopt a tactic of being the Sunday afternoon driver content to ease off the pace, metaphorically towing a caravan and causing a traffic jam behind him as he admires the scenery going past. It's clearly a definite tactic that the team and driver have decided upon - get to the best position they can hope for and then back off, protect that delicate Renault power unit, and make the cars behind eat up their tyres with fruitless attempts to catch and pass him for the majority of the race. And who are we to criticise, because it's clearly paying off. Alonso wasn't in the top ten on Friday but then popped up in seventh in both final practice and qualifying on Saturday. A good start saw him overtake George Russell and Lando Norris, although Russell got his revenge on lap 3 after which Alonso figured that sixth place was almost certainly the best he could hope for. Just a few laps after the safety car had closed up the field he was already fallen ten seconds behind Russell and the recovering Carlos Sainz, and for the rest of e day he had no intention of doing anything more strenuous than ensuring Lando Norris didn't pass him all the way to the chequered flag.

Carlos Sainz (Fastest lap, P5, 11 pts): 9.5/10
We're going for Carlos Sainz as our driver of the weekend, even though he didn't manage to finish on the podium on Sunday. Following on from his nightmare finish in Austria where his car burst into flames just when he was chasing down Max Verstappen for second place, Sainz knew that this weekend was going to be badly compromised by numerous grid penalties for replacing those engine components flambéed in Spielberg. Right from the start he seemed intent on making a statement, and his time in second practice (a tenth quicker than Charles Leclerc, over half a second ahead of Max Verstappen) certainly caught the eye. Given that a back row start was assured, it was a surprise to see him take such a muscular approach to qualifying: far from dropping out after a token appearance in the first round, he was quickest of anyone in Q2. And then the reason became clear as he executed the perfect slipstream strategy in Q3 to ensure his team mate Charles Leclerc took pole. After that, Sunday was all about his own damage limitation run. Starting on hard tyres was probably a mistake as the safety car for Leclerc's exit couldn't have been worse timed for him, even before his penalty for an unsafe release (not the driver's fault). Putting him on medium tyres so early meant they were starting to fall apart just when he was battling with Sergio Perez for a possible podium on lap 41. Increasingly annoyed by the Ferrari pit wall's amateurish and ill-timed interventions, Sainz dropped to eighth when he pitted a second time on lap 42. At least those new tyres let him slice his way past Daniel Ricciardo, Lando Norris and Fernando Alonso like the proverbial hot knife through butter in the final 11 laps. It's hard to think of a single thing Sainz could have done better all weekend in the circumstances. Ferrari itself, not so great.