3 F1 drivers whose stock fell in the 2023 season
The 2023 F1 season was good for some and bad for a few. Every driver heads into a season with hopes of building on a reputation, and many a time that reputation grows as the season progresses as good drivers tend to continue to build on a good season.
For others, however, sometimes things don't go to plan. They are unable to put together a season that enhances the reputation that they have worked on for a long time.
On the 2023 F1 grid, there were a few drivers that went through a similar fate as they were unable to put together a season that enhanced their reputation/perception. On the contrary, the season had the opposite impact.
#3 Kevin Magnussen (Haas F1)
Kevin Magnussen came into the 2023 F1 season on the back of arguably his best season since making his debut. After being away from the sport, Magnussen got the opportunity to make a return to the sport with Haas in 2022. The season saw him secure a decent points haul and to add to that, it also saw him secure his first career pole position.
He dominated his younger teammate Mick Schumacher, who ended up losing his seat to the Danish driver. Coming into the 2023 F1 season, Magnussen was teamed up with Nico Hulkenberg in what was an experienced pair. While for many the experienced duo were supposed to be competitively matched against each other, on track it was a completely different story.
Hulkenberg destroyed Magnussen in qualifying and the Danish driver was just unable to keep up. Ending the season with an average qualifying gap of around three to four-tenths to his teammate has seen Magnussen's stock plummet like never before.
#2 George Russell (Mercedes)
George Russell's 2022 F1 season was brilliant. He came to Mercedes where Lewis Hamilton was the lead driver and all he was expected to do was stay close to him in terms of performance. He accomplished that and more by finishing the season with a win, a pole position, and more points than Hamilton.
For the 2023 F1 season, Russell was expected to take things further. Unfortunately, he was unable to do that. He struggled with consistency and sometimes even performance at various stages of the season.
What was surprising was Russell's uncanny knack for messing up a strong weekend and not getting the kind of result that his performance warranted.
Heading into the 2024 F1 season, Russell is back to being viewed as the understudy to his legendary teammate.
#1 Sergio Perez (Red Bull)
Sergio Perez entered the season on the back of a strong campaign in 2022 where he almost finished second in the championship. The 2023 F1 season saw Red Bull build a car that had no equal. As a result, Perez was pumped to take the challenge to Max Verstappen.
The Mexican started the season well and won two of the first four races as well. It was after the race in Baku that his season started to unravel. Verstappen kicked things up a notch and Perez could not keep up.
To make things worse, the pressure got to Perez and he started making uncharacteristic mistakes. It is these mistakes that put his seat in danger. Perez only narrowly ensured a P2 finish in a car that should have accomplished it quite easily.
Heading into the 2024 season, Perez will be hoping to put together a much better season and keep his seat on the team.