Verstappen loses top position in Power Rankings after punishment due to DNF: ‘Day to forget’

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Verstappen loses top position in Power Rankings after punishment due to DNF: 'Day to forget'

Max Verstappen has lost his leading position in the Power Rankings. The Dutchman took pole position in Melbourne and retained the lead at the start, but then quickly fell back. This cost Verstappen a high score from the panel, which also caused him to drop to second place in the overall standings.

Verstappen received a rating of 7.2. This is exceptionally low for the world champion. In the last twenty Grands Prix, Verstappen only scored lower in Singapore, and an 8.6 in Las Vegas was the only other score below 9.0. In eighteen of the last twenty weekends, Verstappen was treated to a score of at least a 9. In the first two Grands Prix of the season, the Limburger received an 8.6 twice.

‘Day to forget’

The jury panel saw Verstappen’s long winning streak come to an end. ‘It was a day to forget for reigning world champion Max Verstappen, who lost the lead to Carlos Sainz on the second lap and retired one lap later due to braking problems. This ended a series of 43 points finishes in a row. Thanks to a good performance in qualifying, where he took pole position, he still earned a decent place in this week’s rankings,” is the explanation for Verstappen’s eighth place.

The leading position went to race winner Carlos Sainz, who achieved the first perfect score of the season with a 10. ‘In Saudi Arabia he was forced to sit on the sidelines due to appendicitis, which resulted in surgery, but in Albert Park Sainz returned with a daring performance, where he impressively put pressure on Verstappen for pole position, overtaking him at the start of the race. After that he didn’t look back. That is why he gets the maximum score from all our panel members,” is the explanation, which does not discuss the role of Verstappen’s braking problems in that overtaking action.

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carlos sainz leclerc podium australia ferrari
Sainz is cheered after his victory.

The podium is completed by Lando Norris and Yuki Tsunoda, who has to share third place with Nico Hülkenberg. Oscar Piastri, Charles Leclerc, and Kevin Magnussen also received a higher rating than Verstappen, while Alexander Albon and Esteban Ocon complete the top ten. George Russell, Fernando Alonso, and Pierre Gasly finished with an identical score in shared eleventh place. Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Pérez therefore fell outside the top thirteen.

Sainz takes the lead

Thanks to his relatively low score, Verstappen sees his average drop from 9.6 to 8.8. The Dutchman still has a full point lead over number three Charles Leclerc, but Carlos Sainz takes the lead in the Power Rankings. The Spaniard already did well in Bahrain, and now has an average of 9.3; half a point more than Verstappen. The McLaren duo share fourth place, with Hülkenberg in sixth place. Pérez and Russell are tied for seventh with a 7.2, ahead of Fernando Alonso and Kevin Magnussen. Hamilton is also missing from the top ten here.

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