F1i's Driver Ratings for the 2023 Las Vegas GP

George Russell (P8, 4 pts):: 7.5/10
Undeniably fast and skilful, George Russell is just missing that last touch of finesse that would put him on the podium on a regular basis. He was quickest of anyone in final practice in Vegas and quicker than Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton in qualifying, making it through to the final round and picking up third on the grid (after Carlos Sainz's penalty was applied) giving him a great chance of a podium or maybe better if Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen took each other out. He held position through the first stint and found himself ahead of a penalty-hit Verstappen after the pit stops. The Red Bull insisted on snatching the position away on lap 25 and there was contact between them which left both cars with slight damage - and more significantly, a five second penalty for Russell. He would have done better just to let Verstappen take the place and follow him past the rest of the cars ahead, and then he would have been in the mix for a podium alongside Leclerc and Sergio Perez. Instead, while he crossed the line in four place, the closely packed field meant that the application of the post-race penalty dropped him down to eighth behind Hamilton. As Russell himself summed up: "I missed yet another golden opportunity, an easy podium."

Lewis Hamilton (P7, 6 pts): 7.5/10
In contrast to the very grumpy Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton had been one of the most enthusiastic supporters among the drivers of the opportunity to go racing down the Las Vegas Strip. But despite finishing in the top ten in both practice sessions, he never really looked completely comfortable this weekend, and things really went awry in qualifying where he missed the cut at the and of Q2: "It was just horrible. I had no grip, I don't think the tyres were working," he said, while George Russell was up on the second row. Starting on hard tyres which he knew would leave him an easy target to those on mediums around him, he took an early hit from Carlos Sainz and was showered by debris from Lando Norris' accident. However it wasn't until his clash with Oscar Piastri that he sustained actual damage (a puncture) and was forced to pit on lap 17, which dropped him all the way down to P18. A chance to switch back to the hard tyres under the second safety car was a godsend and he made solid progress from there over the second half of the race to finish in seventh. Ironically that meant he was classified ahead of Russell who had been spent the entire race in front, only to fall behind Hamilton after a post-race penalty was applied.