2023 F1 Spanish GP: Driver ratings
The 2023 F1 Spanish GP saw a mixture of impressive and somewhat unpredictable events over the weekend. What wasn't unpredictable, however, was Max Verstappen winning the race in a dominant fashion. The podium saw a return of Mercedes as the German unit secured a double podium with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.
Looking back at the weekend, if you want to know what were the key learnings from the race, you can check it here. If you want to see who were the winners and losers for the 2023 F1 Spanish GP, then you can see that here.
This feature covers something else. This feature is for the superstars of F1, the drivers, as we take a look at how each of them fared during the 2023 F1 Spanish GP. So without further ado, let's get straight to it.
Criteria for rating: When we rate the drivers, there are a few things that we take into consideration. These are:
- Performance in both qualifying and race
- Results achieved compared to the potential of the car
- How many mistakes were made over the weekend
- Relative performance against their teammate
2023 F1 Spanish GP: Rating the drivers
Max Verstappen (Started: 1st, Finished: 1st)
It's hard to deny that Max Verstappen has been making it look easy in the last couple of races. It is also hard to deny that one glance at the other Red Bull garage will tell you how easy it was to mess everything up.
Another flawless weekend for Verstappen as he picks up win number 40 of his already legendary career.
Sergio Perez (Started: 11th, Finished: 4th)
For Sergio Perez, arguably the damning verdict comes from the race executed by George Russell. The Mercedes driver started the race behind Perez and finished in front of him. This is unacceptable if you take a look at the car under the two drivers.
For a world championship contender? Criminal. Another poor weekend for Checo as he continues to melt under pressure.
Charles Leclerc (Started: Pitlane, Finished: 11th)
A weekend to forget for Charles Leclerc as he continues to struggle for momentum within the team. Race after race the driver has been unable to string together a straightforward and all of it has not been his doing.
His qualifying was a disaster thanks to a mysterious issue with the car. The race was filled with questionable strategy calls as he could not even score points.
On to the next one for the Ferrari driver as the disappointment continues to mount.
Carlos Sainz (Started: 2nd, Finished: 5th)
Overall a strong weekend for Sainz as he did what was possible with the car under him.
A front-row start was impressive but it was almost inevitable to see him losing a podium when the Mercedes cars stepped up a gear in the race.
Lewis Hamilton (Started: 4th, Finished: 2nd)
A very impressive weekend for Lewis Hamilton who would be excited with the speed of the revamped Mercedes at the 2023 F1 Spanish GP.
He did leave a bit on the table in qualifying but other than that, a flawless weekend from the Mercedes driver.
George Russell (Started: 12th, Finished: 3rd)
An interesting weekend for George Russell as he messed up qualifying badly but the race more than made up for it. The way he went through the field was very impressive.
What was even more impressive was his pace with respect to his teammate. A poor qualifying causes Russell to lose points but overall a very impressive weekend for the Mercedes driver.
Pierre Gasly (Started: 10th, Finished: 10th)
A very impressive qualifying session for Gasly in the 2023 F1 Spanish GP but the impeding incidents cost him dearly.
To make things worse, he didn't have the best of starts in the race and lost a few positions.
A P10 is arguably not the best result at the 2023 F1 Spanish GP but Gasly should be happy with the overall performance during the weekend.
Esteban Ocon (Started: 6th, Finished: 8th)
Ocon extracted the maximum that was possible from the Alpine in the 2023 F1 Spanish GP. He did mess up his final Q3 run which meant a P6 starting position but the race featured a measured approach that saw him calculate where to push and where to hold back.
Lando Norris (Started: 3rd, Finished: 17th)
Absolutely spectacular in qualifying but undid all of it in the first corner. Lando Norris could have put together a decent result from a P3 start but it all went up in smoke on the very first lap.
The McLaren driver will be rueing a missed opportunity here as the car was capable of a strong result.
Oscar Piastri (Started: 9th, Finished: 13th)
Oscar Piastri might be a bit disappointed for now scoring any points in the 2023 F1 Spanish GP despite a P9 starting position. He is surely improving and has been able to keep up with Norris more often than not.
A confidence-building race for Piastri although a points finish would have made it better.
Valtteri Bottas(Started: 16th, Finished: 19th)
Bottas is in a precarious position in Sauber at the moment as the driver was completely outclassed by his teammate.
This level of performance cannot continue for the team's star driver, especially with Audi coming in next season.
Guanyu Zhou (Started: 13th, Finished: 9th)
Credit where credit is due, Zhou put together a very impressive drive at the 2023 F1 Spanish GP.
Having Bottas as a teammate and completely showing him up is rare. A points finish was just a cherry on top of a very impressive race.
Fernando Alonso (Started: 8th, Finished: 7th)
A rare off-weekend for Fernando Alonso as a damaged floor meant he was unable to qualify where he would have liked. Even in the 2023 F1 Spanish GP, the performance was just not there for him in the early stages of the race.
To make things worse, the whole team's radio shenanigans were not the best optics for his home race in any which way.
Lance Stroll (Started: 5th, Finished: 6th)
A nice weekend put together by Lance Stroll this time around. The result could have looked a bit less impressive if Alonso did not have such an off-color weekend but the Canadian did not put a foot wrong all weekend.
Strong points for Stroll and an answer to all his critics as well.
Kevin Magnussen (Started: 17th, Finished: 18th)
It was a poor weekend for Haas in general but even worse for Magnussen. Being completely outclassed by Hulkenberg in qualifying would have hurt in a 2023 F1 Spanish GP where Haas struggled for race pace.
Nico Hulkenberg (Started: 7th, Finished: 15th)
Stunning in qualifying but couldn't do much in the race. Nico Hulkenberg has spent far too many races this season with this theme and it just does not change.
Once again his qualifying was almost heroic but with excessive degradation hurting the car, the driver could not do much in the race.
Nyck de Vries (Started: 14th, Finished: 14th)
Impressive of De Vries to outqualify Tsunoda once again at the 2023 F1 Spanish GP but the race showed where the difference is. You cannot trail your teammate by this much in the race and expect a positive result.
The 2023 F1 Spanish GP was a step forward for De Vries but he still needs to do a lot of work.
Yuki Tsunoda (Started: 15th, Finished: 12th)
Getting outqualified wasn't nice but Yuki made up for it in the race. He deserved points but a rather questionable decision from the stewards cost him valuable points at the 2023 F1 Spanish GP.
Alex Albon (Started: 18th, Finished: 16th)
Albon was left handicapped this weekend as the primitive nature of the Williams' floor was exposed to the world.
Albon did what he could with that car and to be fair even a P16 finish looks heroic considering the car's performance this weekend.
Logan Sargeant (Started: 20th, Finished: 20th)
It's hard to find positives when you start last and finish last but for Logan Sargeant, the biggest argument continues to be his crashes. The driver is quick but is crashing far too much.
The 2023 F1 Spanish GP was no different and if this continues, James Vowles could be forced into ringing his pal Toto Wolff and brokering Mick Schumacher's services for next season.