There are 20 drivers on the F1 grid this year, all of whom have their own aims and ambitions for success. Amongst them are some bona fide world class operators.


It is a rare scenario in which the driver line-up for a new season is unaltered to how the last one ended.

All drivers therefore should be feeling comfortable with their teams as they look to tackle the challenges that 2024 poses.

But who is the cream of the crop? We rank the drivers via a multitude of factors.

Their natural talent, previous success, ability to generate every last drop of speed from their cars, and comparison to their team-mates will all be added into the equation.

More like this brings you the best Formula 1 drivers in the world right now.

Best F1 drivers 2024

10. Valtteri Bottas – Stake

There’s no doubt that right now, Valtteri Bottas’s F1 career is on the decline – leaving Red Bull to join the then-Alfa Romeo team was a clear indicator.

However, he takes the final spot on this list for being one of the best team players in the sport’s history. F1 is a strange sport where it is both individual and collective at the same time, and many drivers can lose sight of the latter.

However, he always served as reliable back-up to Lewis Hamilton during the Brit’s dominating years with Mercedes.

Bottas had some success of his own too, winning 10 races and finishing second in the Drivers Championship on two occasions.

9. Oscar Piastri – McLaren

Piastri was signed by McLaren following a tug of war between them and Alpine – who initially thought they had the Australian signed to a deal.

He had been very impressive at junior level, winning the Formula 2 Championship in 2021, a year after similar success in F3.

It may have taken him a few months to get fully acclimatised to F1, but by the end of the season, he was on his way to breakout star status as he finished ninth in the standing.

He won the Qatar sprint race and was pound for pound the best driver last year with his salary being taken into the equation.

8. Sergio Perez – Red Bull

Perez is to Verstappen what Bottas was to Hamilton – a solid and reliable back-up who nevertheless struggles to match his more illustrious team-mate.

Declared a “legend” by Max in the 2021 Abu Dhabi finale, Perez has always been a team player despite some frustration along the way.

He is also a master of street circuits, having won races in Monaco, Azerbaijan, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia.

7. Charles Leclerc – Ferrari

Leclerc burst onto the scene with Sauber in 2018 and was immediately noted for performing very strongly in a car that was not competitive.

Only a year later, he was selected to partner four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel and regularly outperformed his more acclaimed team-mate.

Leclerc is a fantastically quick driver and particularly excels in qualifying – he has achieved more pole positions than any driver in history not to win a world title.

His flamboyant and aggressive driving style can sometimes spill into erratic and if he tidies up his mistakes, Leclerc could be even higher in this list.

6. George Russell – Mercedes

Russell is another driver who very quickly made the step up the grid following strong performances with a lowly team.

He spent three years honing his craft with Williams in which time he achieved his first podium at Spa – albeit in farcical circumstances.

Russell was then recruited by Mercedes to form an all-British driver line-up with Lewis Hamilton and in 2022, won his first race in Brazil with another seven podiums following.

As Hamilton departs for Ferrari in 2025, Russell will become the main man at the Silver Arrows which could see his stock rise further.

5. Carlos Sainz – Ferrari

Sainz is a man with a point to prove in 2024, given he is currently without a drive for next year.

While the Spaniard may not be as quick over one lap as team-mate Leclerc, his race pace has always been strong.

He was the only non-Red Bull driver to win a race in 2023 which deserves kudos in its own right and he won the most recent race in Albert Park.

Logically, there should be a queue of teams waiting to sign Sainz at the end of this year.

4. Lando Norris – McLaren

Norris is a real fan favourite in the F1 paddock and has put in some stellar performances in his five years in the sport.

The affable Brit is hoping to lead McLaren’s charge back to the front of the grid after years in the midfield doldrums and indications are positive.

He has performed exceptionally, relative to the car’s performance, and finished a career best sixth in 2023 with seven podiums in the last 13 races.

Long touted as a future team-mate of Verstappen’s at Red Bull, it will be interesting to see what the future holds for Norris.

3. Fernando Alonso – Aston Martin

Alonso is the most experienced driver in F1’s history, having entered and started 383 races.

He arrived into the sport as a fresh-faced teenager with Minardi in 2001 and a staggering 23 years later, is still racing strongly near the front.

The Spaniard was responsible for ending Michael Schumacher’s five-year stretch of titles in 2005 and win another a year later.

It is fair to say a combination of poor decisions and bad luck means he never perhaps won as many as his talent deserves. But a key thought experiment in F1 revolves around who would be the quickest if all drivers had the same. Alonso is top of many of those lists.

2. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes

The most successful driver in the history of F1 clocks in at number two.

More wins, more poles, more podiums, and more points than any other driver in the history of F1 means Hamilton is unique company to keep.

He is currently locked on seven world titles along with the legendary Michael Schumacher and his 2025 move to Ferrari may re-light the touchpaper needed for Hamilton to go in front on his own.

While the Mercedes car has been lacklustre since the big regulation changes in 2022, it would be churlish not to include the 39-year-old near the top of this list.

1. Max Verstappen – Red Bull

Right now, who else could be top? Verstappen is the ultimate man-of-the-moment in F1 right. The poster boy. And, the man who will take some serious stopping.

Everything about Verstappen’s title win in 2021 was jaw-dropping, nerve-wracking and tense. After all, it came down the season’s final lap.

Everything about Verstappen’s subsequent 2022 and 2023 titles have been nothing of the sort. The Dutchman has dominated in a way no other driver ever has, winning more races in a single season (19) than any other.

His aggression and daredevil driving style still remains, but that has been reigned in by a newfound maturity and racecraft.

A fourth world title in 2024 may seem inevitable.


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