F1i's Driver Ratings for the 2024 Japanese GP

1st place Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB20, 2nd place Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing RB20 and 3rd place Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari. 07.04.2024. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 4, Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka, Japan, Race Day. - www.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com © Copyright: Batchelor / XPB Images'
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After a rare meltdown in Australia, it was back to business as usual for Max Verstappen and Red Bull this week in Suzuka for the Japanese GP. But Ferrari gave it their best with an entertaining battle with McLaren on race day, while Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes once again found stormy waters. Here's our full rundown and ratings for round 4 of the 2024 championship.

Alexander Albon (Accident, Lap 1): 6/10
Alex Albon didn't have any particularly strong stand-out moments this weekend, finishing outside the top ten in FP1 and FP3, and not setting a time in the wet second session. In qualifying he managed to make the first cut but it was a close-run affair which meant he started the Grand Prix from 14th immediately behind the RB of Daniel Ricciardo, and the pair made contact in the opening corners. Both went off into the barriers at turn 3 meaning there's not much we can say about their race. Replays showed that Albon did little wrong in the incident and that a distracted Ricciardo should have paid more attention to his rear view mirrors, so we're not deducting any marks off Albon's rating for that. Meanwhile Williams have more headaches dealing with further unwanted and very costly damage to their cars before the next outing in China.

Daniel Ricciardo (Accident, Lap 1): 5/10
It was a roller coaster weekend for Daniel Ricciardo, which started badly when he was denied any meaningful running on Friday - first because RB put young driver Ayumu Iwasa in the car in his place, and then because of a near wash-out in second practice that saw him complete only nine tentative laps on intermediates. Then on Saturday things were looking up with his best showing of the season so far, which saw him come within a whisker of making the final top ten round. Was he about to turn things around? Sadly, no. When the lights went out on Sunday, he found himself crowded in the midfield and too distracted to see Alex Albon coming up on the outside line. The pair touched, and into the barriers at turn 3 they went. Although Ricciardo was deemed at fault, the stewards decided that the proximity of Lance Stroll was enough to mitigate the situation as far as penalties ere concerned.