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F1 Drivers Power Rankings: Hamilton & Vettel Impress In

We put together our first power ranking of 2017? Who tops our table? And who is propping it up?
With two races in the books we have a good idea of how the season is going to pan out, which means it is time to put together our drivers power rankings!

What we are looking at here is just the drivers performance, nothing about car pace. So just because you’re in a Sauber, doesn’t mean you will be last. So without further ado, let’s get into this week’s rankings.

1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
After struggling to match the pace of Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari in Australia, Hamilton showed his quality in Shanghai to take the win comfortably and set up what could be a titanic title race. (Nick Brown)

2. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
He fell victim to circumstances after a pitstop under the virtual safety car was ruined by a real one in China, but he charged back in spectacular fashion and almost challenged Hamilton for the win. After his performance in Australia it looks like Vettel will be a serious challenger in 2017. (John Hall)

3. Max Verstappen, Red Bull
Max was once again the rein meister as he went from the back of the pack to the front in a flash. For a long time Verstappen was lapping in second, and his brave overtake of his team-mate showed his fearlessness and skill, while his lockup into the hairpin showed that he isn't completely flawless. (Toby Durant)

4. Fernando Alonso, McLaren
Twice now Fernando has retired from the points, which in itself is a ridiculous achievement given the lack of pace from the Honda power unit. Once again he made huge advances on the first lap in China and the sight of the Mercedes walking past him on the main straight only highlighted the job he is doing at the moment. (Toby Durant)

5. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull
It's been a tough start to the season for Ricciardo. He looked strong in Australia until a crash in Q3 cost him the rest of the weekend, and a strong P5 in qualifying and start to the race in China was soon overshadowed by his teammates success. 2017 will be a key year in Ricciardo's career, and it's off to a terrible start. (Toby Durant)

6. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari
Results will show how Räikkönen finished 5th behind his team-mate and both Red Bulls but, let's not forget he showed blistering pace during qualifying even out-pacing Vettel in Q2 with a 1:32.81 lap time. The ultimate pace is still there with Kimi, even if the race pace isn’t. (James JW)

7. Carlos Sainz, Toro Rosso
Sainz has been in fine form so far this season. Scoring points in both races so far, and while he failed to reach Q3 in China and suffered at the start after his bold decision to start on slicks, it was another strong outing from Sainz as he separated himself from the rest of the midfield and dominated the "best of the rest" race. (Toby Durant)

8. Sergio Perez, Force India
A solid result for both of the Force India's in China. Sergio Perez dropped one spot to 9th over the course of the race but the Mexican was solid all weekend, as he was in Australia. (James Jaques-Watson)

9. Kevin Magnussen, Haas
The real Kevin Magnussen stood up. After unceremoniously punting Marcus Ericsson out of the race in Australia, Magnussen showed what he can really do by climbing from 12th to 8th and claiming some valuable points for the Haas F1 team. Even better, he was faster than teammate Grosjean in qualifying and on race day.  (James Jaques-Watson)

10. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes
While he took an encouraging podium finish at the first time of asking in Australia, Bottas will be disappointed with his spin behind the safety car that cost him 7 places, and really ended any hopes he had of a podium finish in China. He is going to need consistency on his side if he is to attempt to keep up with the front runners this year, as driving a Mercedes no longer guarantees at least second place at each race. (Nick Brown)

11. Esteban Ocon, Force India
A solid result for both of the Force India's in China. Ocon may have qualified last but, benefitted from penalties and drove brilliantly to finish 10th for the second time in as many races, beating well-established drivers such as Grosjean, Hülkenberg and Massa. (James Jaques-Watson)

12. Romain Grosjean, Haas
Grosjean started well down the order and only just missed out on the points. Some great overtakes from the Frenchman earns him a respectable ranking from me. (George Howson)

13. Felipe Massa, Williams
Massa’s return has been solid but unspectacular. Once again the Williams struggled in changeable conditions and he had a tough time demonstrating any kind of pace. Still, a Q3 and points scoring showing in Australia demonstrated he can still get the job done. (Toby Durant)

14. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault
I expected Hulkenberg to be much more impressive in China as he normally excels in damp conditions. But he flattered to deceive, finishing outside of the points and only 1 place ahead of his teammate. However he was impressive in Australia with a P12 qualifying.



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