Formula One Power Rankings: Belgian Grand Prix

It was a Max Verstappen master class at the Belgian Grand Prix, but everything didn't go to plan for some of the drivers towards the front of the grid.

Despite nine drivers facing grid penalties at the Belgian Grand Prix, the podium was not dissimilar to the results coming out of qualifying, with Max Verstappen winning a ninth Grand Prix for the 2022 season.

It was high drama at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, and as a result there's been movement in Edge of the Crowd's Power Rankings, but one driver continues to reign supreme.

Last week's rankings are in brackets.

1. Max Verstappen - Red Bull Racing (1)

Reigning World Champion Max Verstappen barely put a foot wrong all weekend, setting the standard in qualifying with a fierce 1:43.665 to give himself the best position of the drivers facing grid penalties. The question looming was how many laps would it take for Verstappen to become race leader.

Starting in P14, he cleanly picked off drivers in the opening laps until a safety car delayed the inevitable, but by lap 12 he took over as race leader only briefly giving it up due to pitting. By the time Verstappen pitted for the second time he was so far out in front that even his teammate couldn't claim the lead. In the end, Verstappen finished with a 17-second lead and extended his championship lead.

2. George Russell - Mercedes (2)

It was another consistent weekend from George Russell at the Belgian Grand Prix, finishing in eighth in qualifying, the Mercedes team wasn't looking too cheery heading into race day. However, Russell managed to make the most of the three-place advancement up the grid due to other drivers receiving grid penalties.

In the main event, it was another clean race from Russell not getting bogged down in the drama surrounding him, avoiding the collision between Alonso and Hamilton to advance to cleaner air. Ultimately Russell couldn't make it three podiums in a row but finished comfortably in fourth.

3. Carlos Sainz - Ferrari (5)

Starting on pole due to Verstappen's penalties, Carlos Sainz's hope to take two wins from two pole positions were quickly dashed when Verstappen and Perez overtook him in the space of a lap.

Sainz stayed on form, managing his tyres well and not getting bogged down in the Ferrari strategy drama to earn his seventh podium this season.

4. Sergio Perez - Red Bull Racing (6)

The summer break worked well for Sergio Perez who returned this weekend in red hot form, qualifying in third to start on the grid in second on race day.

It didn't do much for him initially diving across to hold off Alonso in third but ultimately dropping back to fifth, however, once the tangle from the start resolved itself Perez found himself back in second behind the safety car. That's where he stayed for the majority of the race and for a long stint had clear air due to Verstappen's lead, giving Red Bull a 1-2 finish.

5. Charles Leclerc - Ferrari (3)

From Charles Leclerc causing red flags with a crash in the free practice three session, to the team putting on the wrong tyres during qualifying and a grid penalty to boot, the only storm cloud hanging over the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps was squarely over Leclerc.

Leclerc's luck was no better on race day, forced to pit on lap four due to a visor tear-off getting caught in the car. It was a scrap to get back into the points. Then, Ferrari seemingly broadcast their strategy across team radio before pitting Leclerc to try and steal fastest lap.

Ultimately the 24-year-old couldn't secure the fastest lap and received a five-second penalty for going 1km/h over the speed limit in the pit lane, sending him down to sixth place.

6. Lewis Hamilton - McLaren (4)

Lewis Hamilton made it clear following qualifying that he was not having a great time with his car at the Belgian Grand Prix. Sitting in seventh after qualifying, Hamilton was gifted a second-row start.

It didn't work in his favour, however, with Hamilton getting tangled with his former teammate Alonso and being forced to retire on the first lap of the race.

7. Esteban Ocon - Alpine (8)

Esteban Ocon made the most of his Belgian Grand Prix despite being another driver earning grid penalties ahead of race day. Outperforming the Mercedes in qualifying, the Frenchman would have work to do but would be lucky enough to only start the race in 16th.

Ocon's Sunday performance flew under the radar despite the seventh-place finish, performing a number of overtakes and keeping the pace with Alonso and Vettel, whilst avoiding getting sucked into the DRS train behind them.

8. Lando Norris - McLaren (7)

It was a forgettable weekend for Lando Norris, another driver sent to the back of the grid on race day. Norris and McLaren didn't make the most of qualifying like some of their rivals, qualifying in 10th to start in 17th.

Then for the majority of the race, Norris was stuck in the middle of the pack, often in a DRS train, having to defend against Tsunoda and Guanyu, whilst unable to overtake Stroll ahead of him. Norris was able to finish ahead of his teammate due to an undercut McLaren performed on itself, denying the team any points for the weekend.

9. Fernando Alonso - Alpine (9)

Fernando Alonso might have been around plenty of drama on race day, from the Hamilton collision to profiting off of Leclerc's penalty at the end of the race, but overall it was a tame weekend from the Spaniard.

Starting on the second row of the grid, Alonso's fifth-place finish was to be expected as the faster Red Bulls and Ferraris ate away at the rest of the grid. Alonso merely stuck to the plan and drove his own race keeping Leclerc in check at the end but not having to pull off any daring stunts to fend off his teammate Ocon.

10. Pierre Gasly - Alpha Tauri (14)

Pierre Gasly returned from summer break looking like the driver fans love. Qualifying in 12th, Gasly was expected to start eighth on the grid on Sunday, but due to Alpha Tauri working on a technical issue before the race he was stuck starting in the pitlane.

That didn't dash Gasly's chances of finishing in the points, however, with the Frenchman driving a clean race and working his way into a ninth-place finish, looking more like how he was performing at the start of the season.

11. Sebastian Vettel - Aston Martin (15)

For a driver that didn't make it out of the first round of qualifying, Sebastian Vettel looked very happy to advance six places up the grid ahead of race day to start in 10th, and boy did he take advantage of it.

By the time Hamilton and Alonso collided, Vettel was already up into eighth and was looking to battle with Ricciardo. The German stayed in the points for the majority of the race, showing what he can do even in one of the slower cars on the grid and managing to finish in eighth.

12. Daniel Ricciardo - McLaren (12)

Luck just wasn't on Daniel Ricciardo's side in Belgium this weekend, missing out on the final round of qualifying and having to settle for a seventh-place start on the grid, it was going to be a tough race for the Australian.

Initially starting out well, the McLaren didn't seem to have the life in it that the other midfield cars had, and poor strategy on the second stop saw Ricciardo undercut by Norris and finish well outside the points in 15th at the very back of the six-car DRS train.

13. Kevin Magnussen - Haas (11)

Not burdened by grid penalties, Kevin Magnussen was in a stronger position than his Haas teammate to potentially score some points in Belgium.

That wasn't the story for Magnussen and Haas this weekend, however, starting in 12th, the Danish driver steadily dropped to the back of the pack to finish in 16th, getting lapped by Verstappen late in the race.

14. Valtteri Bottas - Alfa Romeo (10)

No one spent less time on the track than Valtteri Bottas this weekend, not registering a time in the first free practice session to going out in the first round of qualifying, no one was quite sure how Bottas would perform come race day.

Starting in 13th despite a 15-place grid penalty, Bottas was in a better position to most to get into the points, however, in avoiding a crash with Latifi, Bottas landed in the gravel and was forced to retire two laps into the race.

15. Lance Stroll - Aston Martin (16)

Lance Stroll was another driver to outperform their car in Belgium this weekend, making it out of the first round of qualifying to set himself up for a ninth-place start on the grid.

Stroll performed well during the race holding off Norris whilst trying to attack Albon in an attempt to score points but falling just shy with an 11th-place finish.

16. Alex Albon - Williams (18)

Alex Albon and Williams knew something the rest of the field didn't heading into the Belgian Grand Prix, and that was the sheer speed the Williams car had in the straights.

Albon used it to his favour in qualifying to start on race day in sixth and weaponised it even further during the race as he lead the six-car DRS train with neither Stroll nor Norris able to shunt him out of the points with an overtake.

17. Mick Schumacher - Haas (13)

It was not a weekend to write home about for Mick Schumacher who finished qualifying in 17th and as the lowest ranked driver of those with back-of-the-grid penalties for the weekend he was set to start in 19th on race day.

Only finishing ahead of Latifi and being one of three drivers to be lapped by Verstappen, it's not a race Schumacher or Haas are going to want to dwell on past this weekend.

18. Yuki Tsunoda - Alpha Tauri (17)

After an ordinary qualifying where Yuki Tsunoda finished in 19th it was expected that the Alpha Tauri driver would be starting in 13th. However, he was dropped back to a pitlane start after the team took new power units while the car was under parc ferme.

Tsunoda got to avoid all of the drama of the day, quietly working his way up to 13th behind Norris and battling with Guanyu in the later stages of the race, caught up in the DRS train.

19. Zhou Guanyu - Alfa Romeo (19)

The final driver to incur a grid penalty this weekend, Zhou Guanyu looked quite settled coming out of qualifying with the 13th-fastest time.

With an 18th place start, expectations weren't high for the rookie but he drove a comfortable race trading places with Tsunoda a few times to finish 14th.

20. Nicholas Latifi - Williams (20)

Unable to make it out of the first round of qualifying, Nicholas Latifi got an 11th-place start due to the sheer amount of grid penalties this weekend, and ultimately it was the same old story for the Canadian.

Stuck at the back of the pack for the majority of the race, it was only during the entanglement with Bottas that there was any real attention on Latifi who was unable to make the most of the Williams' straight line speed.