F1 Power Rankings: Lewis back on top, in-trouble Vettel falls again

Ahead of each race in 2019, ESPN is ranking every driver on the grid in our Formula One Power Rankings.

In compiling these standings, we have taken out the car factor and focused solely on the drivers and how each has been performing. This is not a prediction for how the race will go this weekend. Nor is it a prediction for how things will look at the end of the season. Instead, read this as a gauge for who has the most influence over everything that lies ahead, who's hot and who's not ahead of the German Grand Prix.

Previous rankings: Australian GP | Bahrain GP | Chinese GP | Azerbaijan GP | Spanish GP | Monaco GP | Canadian GP | French GP | Austrian GP | British GP

1. Lewis Hamilton

He may have gotten a tad lucky to win the British Grand Prix for a record sixth time, but another 25 championship points really has separated Hamilton from the pack as he returns to the scene of arguably his most impressive win of 2018. The Ferrari threat was snuffed out early in the season and the Valtteri Bottas threat looks to have been quelled as well, just imagine how dominant Hamilton can be when the pressure is well and truly off. Now that's scary.

2. Max Verstappen

The Dutchman has been the most consistent top performer in 2019. Even when he hasn't been happy with the balance of his car, Verstappen has still come out on top of struggling teammate Pierre Gasly (at least before being punted into the gravel...). I've said it before, but I really do marvel at Verstappen's streak of 19 consecutive races finishing in the top five. Not a single person would have believed this run was possible 12 months ago and once again he looms as a great danger to the Silver Arrows.

3. Charles Leclerc

Unflappable. Unflustered. We didn't think Leclerc would get too down after his Austrian disappointment and he showed in Silverstone that he can get his elbows out and bang wheels (à la Verstappen) if need be. The 21-year-old certainly isn't going into his shell and is starting to embarrass his far more experienced teammate in Sebastian Vettel. At this rate, and with Vettel's ongoing issues that don't look like being resolved anytime soon, Leclerc will be the effective Ferrari No. 1 before we hit the summer break.

4. Carlos Sainz

When I watch Sainz race, I can't help but think just how great it would have been if he had stayed in the Red Bull family and received the promotion to the senior team to race alongside Verstappen. Make no mistake, Sainz is an elite talent and is proving his worth this season. He's finished in the top eight in six of the past seven races and he heads to Germany with a very healthy 13-point lead over Kimi Raikkonen in the race to be crowned the season's best of the rest.

5. Daniel Ricciardo

Patience was always going to be key for Ricciardo in season 2019. With confidence in his machinery, the Australian can be one of the most dangerous drivers on the grid and things might be starting to turn his way after a mixed first third of the year. One thing is for sure, he has the measure of teammate Nico Hulkenberg right now and that will only enhance his reputation as Ricciardo to Ferrari rumours circulate online.

6. Lando Norris

If you thought the future of Formula One was Verstappen vs. Leclerc, you need to reconsider and throw Norris' name into the mix. The young Brit continues to show just how gifted he is, particularly over one lap where he's become a regular participant in Q3 -- a rare achievement for any rookie. It's amazing to think that after just 10 races you'd feel safer with Norris than you would the experienced Vettel. It really is a changing of the guard.

7. Kimi Raikkonen

Some say Kimi is like a fine wine -- just getting better with age. I'm not sure if at 39 years he is at his racing peak, but he's certainly still one of the top drivers on the grid. There's no doubt about it. The Finn is scoring points 70 percent of the time this season, a higher rate than any other driver not piloting a Mercedes, Ferrari or Red Bull. The scary part for the other midfield drivers is we might not have seen the best of him yet as he traditionally excels in the latter part of the season.

8. Valtteri Bottas

If Bottas' spirit wasn't broken before Silverstone, it has to be now. To come out second best -- through no fault of his own -- in a race he was controlling from Hamilton will be a bitter pill to swallow. The 2019 season seems to be following a similar path to last year for Bottas where a promising start has mounted to very little. Heading into the German Grand Prix, he trails Hamilton by 39 points and has to be wondering what more he can do to stay alive in the championship hunt.

9. George Russell

It's difficult to really gauge how well Russell has been driving in 2019 as teammate Robert Kubica, his main reference, continues to be horribly uncompetitive. But the rookie still hasn't put a foot wrong and has impressed many, despite racing at the back of the grid. His performance at his home grand prix last time out, where he finished P14, was the best of his short career, and he's only going to continue getting stronger as the season progresses and he races at tracks he's never been to before.

10. Daniil Kvyat

Excluding his full season at Red Bull in 2015, this year has been the best of Kvyat's career in Formula One. He's finished in the points in half of the races to build a tally of 12, almost double teammate Alex Albon, who himself is having a solid rookie campaign. Whether Red Bull admit it or not, Kvyat has to be the favourite to replace Gasly if they look to part ways with the struggling Frenchman. Had they not been through such an ugly break up in 2017, he might have already been in that seat.

11. Nico Hulkenberg

They say home is where the heart is, so the German Grand Prix might have come at an opportune time for Hulkenberg who hasn't had his greatest season to date. The good news for the Hulk is that despite the advantage Ricciardo has had on him, the Australian has only scored five more championship points. If he can find some home form and carry it through into the second half of the season, he may still be in contention for a seat at a top team in the coming years.

12. Alexander Albon

There's no doubt he's getting overshadowed by Norris as 2019's most impressive rookie, but Albon has also been tracking along nicely and shouldn't be ignored. Having said that, Albon is in the middle of a dry spell, having not enjoyed a points finish since May's Monaco Grand Prix. Toro Rosso was competitive at the Hockenheimring last year and the last time Albon visited the circuit, 2016 in GP3, he scored pole position. Perhaps this weekend will get his season back on track.

13. Sebastian Vettel

Right now it's hard to believe Vettel has four world championships. Now that may sound quite harsh, but he's in the middle of what's easily his poorest season in Formula One. He's cracked when under pressure, cracked when under no pressure, starting to consistently get beaten by his 21-year-old teammate and has been outscored in points by a Red Bull! If a reset worked (somewhat) for Gasly, something similar needs to happen for Vettel ahead of his home race -- one which he will only have horror memories of when thinking back 12 months.

14. Pierre Gasly

It took 10 races but Gasly has finally beaten Verstappen. Oh, it probably should be noted that it only came because a reckless Ferrari driver cannoned into the Dutchman. Still, Gasly 2.0, if we want to call him that, is off to a decent start after his midseason reset. At this stage, Gasly should be taking all of these little wins, and a fourth place finish in Great Britain should relax him ahead of the next few races as well as buy him some more time in the Red Bull.

15. Sergio Perez

You could make the case Perez is the most out of form driver on the grid right now, Vettel included. Excluding the Williams pair, only Perez has failed to score a single championship point in the past six races and last time out at Silverstone he only managed a lowly P17 finish. That's the equal-lowest classified finish of his career! If his teammate wasn't the ever-struggling Lance Stroll, you feel there would be some serious pressure being applied on the Mexican.

16. Antonio Giovinazzi (Last week: 16)

He may have suffered a puncture, spun and crashed during the British Grand Prix, but Giovinazzi is finally showing some (small) signs that he belongs in Formula One. The Italian heads to Germany having outqualified teammate Raikkonen in three straight races and that's only going to help build his confidence. All of a sudden the pressure has been released and applied to some others around him.

17. Kevin Magnussen

The season seems to be going from bad to worse for both Haas drivers. Magnussen may have banked 14 points after impressive drives in Melbourne and Barcelona, but he hasn't finished in the top 12 in any other race. That's quite extraordinary. With Haas falling way short of preseason expectations, I wouldn't be surprised to see K-Mag drop further off his A-game as he's shown to be quite the emotional driver in the past 12 months.

18. Lance Stroll

I really want to see Stroll succeed in Formula One, as he's shown some promising signs through the first couple of years, but at the moment he's struggling big time. It's now been 15 races since he last progressed out of Q1 and that's simply not good enough. Take out the two Williams drivers who basically can't compete and Stroll has qualified in the bottom three in 14 consecutive races. The summer break really can't come quick enough for the Canadian.

19. Romain Grosjean

You may not have been watching opening practice at Silverstone a fortnight ago, but the sight of Grosjean crashing into the barriers at the pit exit basically summed up his season. It just hasn't got going and it's been a tad embarrassing, with only two points to his name at the halfway mark of the championship. Just think about this: Grosjean has had more retirements in 2019 than Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull, Alfa Romeo, Racing Point and Williams combined. Yes, you read that correctly!

20. Robert Kubica

After rising off the bottom for a few editions of Power Rankings, Kubica once again returns to the lowest rung. In 10 races he's only been able to get the better of rookie teammate George Russell on one occasion and we've seen nothing from him to suggest he can hang around and be competitive in Formula One beyond 2019. Sorry, Robert, it might be time to hang up the gloves.