Sergio Perez tops the Open Wheel Power Rankings, Alex Palou best in IndyCar

Open Wheel Power Rankings
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During the past 60 days, Sergio Perez has been the most consistently strong open wheel driver and he tops the Open Wheel Power Rankings over fellow F1 racer Lando Norris and the top-ranked IndyCar driver, Alex Palou.

First, a little about the methodology used – and it is actually quite simple. Looking back at a 60-day period keeps the rankings from being skewed by early season success that might not be currently relevant.

For IndyCar, the period under consideration is from the Indy 500 through the most recent race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. For Formula 1, the relevant races are the Grand Prix of Monaco through the Austrian Grand Prix.

Every position matters and to percentage points allow for the comparison of various-sized fields.

In F1’s 20-car field, the winner of a race is awarded 100 points with decrements of five for each position below. IndyCar has variably fields and therefore the decrement changes slightly from race to race. The winner is still awarded 100 points for first place, but each position in a 24-car field is reduced by 4.2 points. In a 26-car field, the decrement is 3.8.

Driver must have run at least three races to achieve an average.

Using that formula, Perez earned an average of 87.5 points. Perez’s position atop the Power Rankings may seem a little surprising compared to the relative strength of other F1 drivers, most notably Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.

But Verstappen and Hamilton both had unaccustomed bad results in the last 60 days. Verstappen cut a tire in the closing laps of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Looking to maximize on the points’ loss by his principal rival for the Drivers Championship, Hamilton made a rare mistake and missed the braking zone of Turn 1 on the final restart and finished at the tail-end of the lead lap.

Perez won that race and gained the advantage on not only those two, but the remainder of the field. In the last two months, he has a worst finish of sixth.

Like Verstappen and Hamilton, Palou also has one poor finish in the past 60 days, but with IndyCar running five events in that time span he had more opportunity to overcome and achieved 85 points. Dating back to his second-place finish in the Indy 500, Palou has stood on the podium in all but one event. His victory at Road America breaks his points’ tie with Norris.

Norris has quietly amassed a perfect record of top-five finishes in the last four F1 races with a pair of podiums in the Grand Prix of Monaco and Austrian Grand Prix. Almost as importantly, he achieved two of those strong runs after starting on Row 4 or further back – no easy feat in a series where passing comes at a premium.

Patricio O’Ward lands fourth on the chart with 84.8 points and would be much higher if not for his last two races. He finished fourth in the Indy 500 and swept the top five at Belle Isle. But he lost some of his rhythm at Road America with a ninth-place finish and was eight at Mid-Ohio.

Marcus Ericsson is fifth at 82.8. Where Norris used consistency to achieve his ranking, Ericsson needed raw power in two races to adjust his average. He won his first IndyCar race at Belle Isle in the first event of the double header and finished second to Josef Newgarden at Mid-Ohio.

And as for the two drivers who have dominated F1 when the entire season is considered? Their trouble in Azerbaijan relegates Verstappen to sixth in the standings. Hamilton is 11th because he also struggled at Monte Carlo and finished seventh.

Driver, Series, Points (races)

  1. Sergio Perez, F1, 87.50 (4)
  2. Alex Palou, IndyCar, 85.00 (5)
  3. Lando Norris, F1, 85.00 (4)
  4. Patricio O’Ward, IndyCar, 84.80 (5)
  5. Marcus Ericsson, IndyCar, 82.80 (5)
  6. Max Verstappen, F1, 78.75 (4)
  7. Scott Dixon, IndyCar, 75.20 (5)
  8. Santino Ferrucci, IndyCar, 74.50 (4)
  9. Pierre Gasly, F1, 73.75 (4)
  10. Carlos Sainz, Jr., F1, 72.50 (4)
  11. Lewis Hamilton, F1, 70.00 (4)
  12. Josef Newgarden, IndyCar, 69.40 (5)
  13. Takuma Sato, IndyCar, 68.40 (5)
  14. Colton Herta, IndyCar, 68.20 (5)
  15. Sebastian Vettel, F1, 63.75 (4)
  16. Graham Rahal, IndyCar, 63.00 (5)
  17. Daniel Ricciardo, F1, 62.50 (4)
  18. Rinus VeeKay, IndyCar, 63.25 (4)
  19. Alexander Rossi, IndyCar, 60.75 (5)
  20. Simon Pagenaud, IndyCar, 60.75 (5)
  21. Fernando Alonso, F1, 58.75 (4)
  22. Valtteri Bottas, F1, 58.75 (4)
  23. Conor Daly, IndyCar, 46.00 (5)
  24. Romain Grosjean, IndyCar, 45.25 (5)
  25. Sebastien Bourdais, IndyCar, 45.20 (5)