As another Formula 1 season approaches over the horizon, there are another ten driver pairings that are aiming to achieve success throughout 2023. Four of them remain untouched from last season, while six of the teams welcome a new driver into their ranks.
But which of the driver combinations on the 2023 F1 grid is the best? Vote for which team you think has the best driver line-up and have your say in the comments.
The 2023 F1 team mates
|Team||Driver 1||Driver 2||Notes|
|Red Bull||Max Verstappen||Sergio Perez||The reigning constructors’ champions, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez combined for 17 wins in total for Red Bull last year. Despite helping Red Bull to their most successful season ever in 2022, Verstappen enjoyed far more of the success than Perez did, with the more experienced driver adding just two wins to the team’s total to Verstappen’s 15 on his way to the title.|
|Ferrari||Charles Leclerc||Carlos Sainz Jnr||Charles Leclerc stormed to an early championship lead last season before a combination of Ferrari reliability problems and a Red Bull resurgence took him out of the hunt for the title. Carlos Sainz Jnr broke through with his first career win at Silverstone and was far closer to his team mate by the end of the year. Both are locked down at Ferrari for the years to come.|
|Mercedes||George Russell||Lewis Hamilton||In Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes have the most successful driver ever, statistically. However, it was his new team mate George Russell who ended up ahead of Hamilton on points at the end of the season, impressing with his consistency through the year and taking Mercedes’ only victory of the season in Brazil.|
|Alpine||Esteban Ocon||Pierre Gasly||The first new pairing for 2023 sees the only French team now running with a purely French driver line-up. Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly are of similar age, each has a single grand prix win to their names and both have over 100 races of experience. With their rivalry stretching back to karting days, both will be eager to defeat the other this season.|
|McLaren||Lando Norris||Oscar Piastri||Once of the youngest duos on the grid sees the first rookie of the 2023 season. Formula 2 champion Oscar Piastri finally gets an opportunity to race in F1 as McLaren’s first rookie since Stoffel Vandoorne. He joins Lando Norris, who continues to blossom into one of the most formidable young talents on the grid with the only midfield podium of 2022.|
|Alfa Romeo||Valtteri Bottas||Zhou Guanyu||Valtteri Bottas‘ move from Mercedes to Alfa Romeo in 2022 appeared to be an inspired one as he quickly racked up points that helped the team finish sixth last year. Zhou Guanyu’s rookie year was impressively free of major errors and the two have worked very well together so far. Both will be eager that the team’s reliability problems are resolved.|
|Aston Martin||Lance Stroll||Fernando Alonso||After losing a four-time champion team mate, Lance Stroll now has F1’s most experienced ever driver, Fernando Alonso, alongside him in the garage. Alonso was unlucky in 2022 but showed he can still race at a high level while Stroll found himself ahead of Vettel more often in 2022 than many would have predicted. Hopefully the pair will avoid each other on track.|
|Haas||Kevin Magnussen||Nico Hulkenberg||Haas hang their hopes on two experienced veterans in Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg. Magnussen’s return to F1 in 2022 was more successful than even he predicted, taking many early points and a surprise podium in Brazil. Hulkenberg heads into his first full season since 2019 but has plenty of stand-in appearances in recent seasons to keep him sharp.|
|AlphaTauri||Yuki Tsunoda||Nyck de Vries||With Gasly departing the team, AlphaTauri turn to Yuki Tsunoda to guide them as their most experienced driver. Tsunoda showed improvement in year two but also found himself in trouble a little too regularly. Joining him is F2 and Formula E champion Nyck de Vries who heads into 2023 as the most well-prepared rookie in recent memory.|
|Williams||Alexander Albon||Logan Sargeant||Williams’ fears of losing the talents of George Russell were calmed when Alexander Albon quickly earned their trust with some memorable points-scoring performances through 2022. They have also promoted junior driver Logan Sargeant into the team and given him plenty of Friday practice runs to help the stand-out F2 rookie prepare for his debut season.|
Formula 1 arguably has one of its stronger fields in its history, with multiple champions and three intriguing rookies joining the grid – including two Formula 2 title-winners making their debuts. But while there is talent throughout the field, it’s hard not to look at the front of the grid for the best driver combinations.
Last year, former Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto hailed Leclerc and Sainz as being the best driver pairing on the grid, but some notable mistakes from both throughout the 2022 season may have harmed that argument as well as contributing to Binotto’s eventual departure. While McLaren’s combination of Norris and Piastri may be looked back in future as a strong one with Norris’s established skills and Piastri’s impressive junior pedigree, there’s just not enough known about Piastri to judge them too highly.
That leaves Red Bull and Mercedes. Typically, the combination of Hamilton and Russell would seem the outstanding one, with Hamilton’s seven titles and Russell demonstrating he has more than enough ability to race at the highest level in his first season with Mercedes. However, Hamilton failed to take a win or even a pole in 2022, while Russell achieved both.
Then at Red Bull, Verstappen is the most outstanding driver on the grid today as the reigning double world champion, but while Perez has been the best wingman Verstappen has had since Daniel Ricciardo, it’s debatable whether Perez’s contribution is enough to make him and Verstappen the grid’s best duo.
But taking Verstappen and Hamilton’s clear brilliance into account and judging which of their team mates is closer to them, Mercedes have to take the edge in this head-to-head with Hamilton and Russell.
Which F1 team has the best driver line-up for the 2023 season?
- Williams - Alexander Albon & Logan Sargeant (1%)
- AlphaTauri - Yuki Tsunoda & Nyck de Vries (0%)
- Haas - Kevin Magnussen & Nico Hulkenberg (2%)
- Aston Martin - Lance Stroll & Fernando Alonso (0%)
- Alfa Romeo - Valtteri Bottas & Zhou Guanyu (0%)
- McLaren - Lando Norris & Oscar Piastri (2%)
- Alpine - Esteban Ocon & Pierre Gasly (1%)
- Mercedes - George Russell & Lewis Hamilton (73%)
- Ferrari - Charles Leclerc & Carlos Sainz Jnr (13%)
- Red Bull - Max Verstappen & Sergio Perez (9%)
Total Voters: 173
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Debates and polls
- Has one team dominating Formula 1 ever impacted how much you watch?
- Do you believe Red Bull will win every grand prix in 2023?
- Are we in for a closer title fight? 20 questions for the 2023 Formula 1 season
- Which F1 drivers will beat their team mates in 2023?
- Is Alonso right about Stroll? Which F1 drivers have shown they are potential champions?
75 comments on “Which team has the best driver line-up on the 2023 F1 grid?”
15th January 2023, 9:48
I’m tempted to go with averages, but averages don’t win you Championships.
So it’s Red Bull, cause what you want is the quickest guy in your car. (and, I suppose, a #2 not slow enough to cost you the WCC)
Aussie Rod (@aussierod)
15th January 2023, 10:35
Put Daffy Duck in the 2nd Red Bull for all I care, Verstappen’s presence alone makes it the best line up on the grid.
15th January 2023, 11:14
Your point voids the exercise. You may be right, but this is a theoretical exercise.
Let’s say you lose your star driver. Then you’re stuck with Daffy Duck. As a team owner you should account for that, ponder the risk.
This is exactly what happened to Ferrari in 1999.
15th January 2023, 11:57
Quite right Jose.
Mercedes snapping up Mick as reserve driver was a masterstroke..
15th January 2023, 15:27
I am sure Mick will do fine as Albon’s replacement at Williams if Mercedes is in need of a replacement driver during this season.
16th January 2023, 2:25
Yes you’re right.
Toto’s tendrils continue to permeate the sport, much to its detriment.
15th January 2023, 13:22
Sort of a counter argument, but it does make sense. It’s like having two strong North poles in George and Lewis, and a Strong North pole and a slightly weaker one in Serigo, the latter arrangement will have the stronger magnetic flux… in theory at least!
But yeah in raw stats Lewis and George is stronger from a points scoring for the team perspective. But from WDC perspective the weaker Sergio will auger opportunities for Max to maximise his points.
15th January 2023, 10:10
Easy one really. George has turned out to be better than a ‘best available’ and Lewis is so generous it’s a great atmosphere too. Carlos and Charles are close tho, and normally drivers start making more mistakes as they get older so they could catch up.
Phil Norman (@phil-f1-21)
15th January 2023, 10:32
It’s a difficult choice but for me 1. Merc, 2. Red Bull, 3. Ferrari. Obviously the car makes a huge difference but if I had to pick one of these combinations in an identical car I would go for the Merc boys. I am not really a Merc supporter either.
16th January 2023, 8:03
I will keep this short but it was hard between Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes. I went for the Ferrari duo.
15th January 2023, 10:40
I think if you’re judging on individuals then it’s Mercedes, but if it’s a pairing that’s more likely to bring success in evenly matched cars then probably Red Bull seeing as they’re the only front runner where the number 2 is just there to support the number 1.
15th January 2023, 16:33
That’s a good way of putting it, completely agree
15th January 2023, 10:42
Hard call, but I finally went for the Haas pairing as I suspect they’ll actually drag their car into to points more often than not which will be a pretty grand achievement for that car.
Consistency and skill in both drivers.
15th January 2023, 10:48
Of course this will come down to Red Bull and Mercedes again – just like everything else does in F1.
There’s a lot of talent in F1 right now, but hardly any cars that are capable of showing it…
If everyone was driving identical machinery and driver performance was able to be shown on a level playing field, this rating would turn out quite differently.
15th January 2023, 15:22
The current situation at the two top teams is actually quite interesting, in that Russell has been promoted from the back of the grid and has been on pace since day 1, whereas Pérez is constantly struggling to make the Red Bull perform the way Verstappen is showing it can. So while cars still reign supreme in F1, the difference a driver can make even in the best car on the grid is still readily apparent.
Hamilton and Russell are the obvious pick here. Both seem to do well with the same kind of machine, which is a big bonus to a team as they refine their car’s design and setup as the season progresses.
16th January 2023, 9:44
There’s a reason Mercedes and Red Bull are at the front – they hire the best people, including the drivers.
If that wasn’t the case, both organisations would save themselves tens of millions of dollars by employing cheaper drivers than Verstappen and Hamilton and get the same results.
16th January 2023, 14:13
Do they? How do you know?
They don’t even know….
Spend $30m on a Hamilton or a Verstappen, and they bring $50m in marketing income….
I wonder what pay Russell is on. He seems to be better ‘value’ than Hamilton on the track. But off it…. Not so much.
While at a top team, Ricciardo was priceless – change to a midfield team, and he’s suddenly worthless.
Vettel was similar. Raikkonen too. Schumacher, Alonso, Button, Villeneuve, Hill…. Shall I continue?
And how about all the huge signings of designers and engineers over the years to teams that went then backwards…?
Tommy C (@tommy-c)
16th January 2023, 19:19
I don’t think it’s going out on a limb to say teams have a pretty good idea as to who the best drivers are. Of course you’ll have the odd anomaly here and there but the duds very rarely hang around for long in the sport. The drivers you’ve listed had great success at their peak and had long and successful careers. I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make with those examples.
17th January 2023, 7:01
So are Red Bull terrible at picking drivers, or is there something else going on inside the team structure?
They may not want two Verstappens being alpha’s and fighting each other, but they don’t want someone who is completely useless as strong support for their strategy either. They don’t have a great record of finding that though….
Fact is, that they don’t know as much as people think. With a new signing, they are literally crossing their fingers that car and driver gel together. And if they don’t gel, discussions start immediately about whether to change the car or the driver.
The point is that all of those drivers achieved their success and driver market value in large part because they were fortunate enough to have had stints at top teams.
There are many, many examples of drivers who never got that chance, and so left F1 for greener pastures where opportunity for success is more evenly spread.
15th January 2023, 11:15
It’s a dream come true to see Hulkenberg and Magnussen as team mates for a whole season.
Nulla Pax (@nullapax)
15th January 2023, 14:06
I also suspect this could be the most interesting pairing of next season.
Two old hands who were never WDC material but both of them know how to do the job.
If the car is reliable then these two could surprise/irritate the other midfield teams.
I know it’s a dream but hey …. let’s dream ;)
15th January 2023, 11:31
Difficult to choose between Mercedes & Ferrari, but I ultimately went for the former over better overall consistency.
Below the top three teams, I’m most looking forward to Alpine & Mclaren pairings, with the other changed duos from last season having more question marks.
I expect Alonso & Sargeant to be an improvement from their respective predecessors (likewise for Piastri).
I’m still skeptical about Hulkenberg, given his lack of active racing over three full years & rare occasional stand-ins don’t keep hugely sharp, but I’m sure he’ll do okay.
AT pairing is interesting & predicting who’ll be ahead is perhaps most difficult among all ten.
Lastly, I don’t get how Piastri could be Mclaren’s first rookie since Vandoorne despite Norris debuting later in chronological order.
15th January 2023, 12:22
I agree with most of this. I feel like the atmosphere at Ferrari got a bit hysterical last year which lead to the drivers’ errors, but it’s difficult to put them ahead of Merc considering how rock solid Russell was.
At Alpha Tauri it feels like a make or break year for both drivers.
15th January 2023, 12:11
Last year I was hesitant on Mercedes as Russell was yet to prove himself. That’s well and truly sorted now, so I’d say they’re the most fearsome combination.
This year’s unknown combination, which may hopefully turn out to be one of the best, is Norris and Piastri. I sincerely hope Oscar hits the ground running!
16th January 2023, 6:00
I agree with you on Mclaren surprising.
I think Mercedes has the strongest line up as well.. followed by Red Bull (because Max is just too good).. in 3rd I’d say its a tossup between Ferrari and Mclaren. Norris is every bit as good as Leclerc, and I reckon Piastri could be more impressive than Sainz from the get go.
16th January 2023, 7:42
I don’t think so. Judging by their juniors careers and how they did against Sainz, Leclerc is so far ahead. Remember that Leclerc did extremely well against Sebastian Vettel from his first race in Ferrari in Melbourne where he was instructed by Binotto not to pass Vettel. If Lando is on Leclerc’s level then RBR wouldn’t have thought of him as future teammate with Verstappen.
16th January 2023, 8:03
Well..i don’t see Norris’ performances at static since 2020. He’s only gotten better, while Sainz hasn’t. I believe if they both were racing at Mclaren, Norris would be beating Sainz as consistently as Leclerc is.
F1 frog (@f1frog)
15th January 2023, 12:29
I think the best possible driver lineup is when you have one very experienced driver who is obviously the best in the world, alongside a younger driver who is willing to be a loyal number two and learn from the lead driver, who is also willing to help them, and then will become the best driver in the world when their teammate retires. Arguably, Mercedes are quite close to that with Hamilton and Russell. I don’t think Hamilton is the best driver at the moment but he was just a few years ago, and I’m not convinced that Russell is better than Leclerc or Norris, let alone Verstappen, but it is possible that he could develop to be. But their lineup is still clearly the best, in my opinion.
I think there are two driver lineups in history that come closest to that perfect lineup, both of which were prevented by tragedy. The first came at Mercedes in 1955, when Juan Manuel Fangio was the undisputed best driver following Ascari’s death, and Stirling Moss was willing to play the loyal number two role and follow Fangio, later becoming the best in the world when Fangio retired in 1958. However, the Le Mans tragedy in 1955 caused Mercedes to quit the sport so they didn’t actually get to achieve this, as this ‘perfect lineup’ would involve Moss continuing to be Fangio’s number two at Mercedes in 1956 and 1957 before becoming their lead driver in 1958, and I am not convinced that Moss would have remained as a number two for three years, particularly when even by 1955 he was certainly the second best driver in Formula 1. But I think this was the best ever driver lineup in Formula 1.
The second example was at Tyrrell from 1970 to 1973, with Jackie Stewart and Francois Cevert. From 1970 to 1973, Stewart was certainly the best driver in Formula 1, and he had chosen Cevert as his eventual replacement and, as Cevert was learning from Stewart and improving rapidly to the point that he was almost as good as him by 1973 (while remaining a loyal number two and helping Stewart to win championships), when Stewart was ready to retire at the end of the year and let Cevert take over as number one at Tyrrell. Ultimately, it didn’t happen because Cevert was killed at Watkins Glen in 1973, the last race of Stewart’s career. I think Cevert would probably have been world champion in 1974 had he not died, although it seems less likely that he would have been better than Niki Lauda in the following years, and Tyrrell’s competitiveness also faded.
But I think these two examples are the closest to a perfect lineup in Formula 1 history. If it was purely done based on the average level of the two drivers it would, of course, be Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna at McLaren in 1988-89, but given the poor relations in the team caused by this lineup, I don’t think it can rank as the strongest lineup.
15th January 2023, 13:36
That’s literally not how that works. If your younger driver is a generational talent, he’ll take the reigns and not care about the experienced driver in the other car.
If he’s not, well, you picked the wrong younger driver. (see: Felipe Massa, for example)
15th January 2023, 23:06
The issue there is will a generational talent be happy to be number two, the general consensus is no. See Norris turning down Red Bull. If you have true equal status then yes they may be willing to join your team.
16th January 2023, 11:18
Status is irrelevant. If you’re quicker, you’re quicker, and you’ll lead the team in no time.
If you’re a generational talent, I expect you to just want into the quickest car and to have the confidence that the rest will sort itself.
I don’t know anything about Lando and Red Bull, but if he had an offer and turned it down, I can only imagine it was because he suspected he wouldn’t be the quicker of Red Bull’s drivers.
José Lopes da Silva
15th January 2023, 13:51
Yours is a very constructive point of view. It’s a workable definition of what constitues a strong line-up in Formula 1.
Although, for the matter, I prefer the strong line-up definition as simply the best drivers pairing, and that had to be Prost-Senna, closely followwd by Fangio-Moss. Hamilton-Alonso likely comes next.
15th January 2023, 12:35
I judged by which team had two drivers that will snatch world driver championship when the opportunity present to them. Ferrari had none, both Red Bull and Mercedes only had one of the driver that meet the criteria. The best line-up drivers would be Aston Martin. 2nd best is McLaren.
15th January 2023, 13:05
Mercedes is the clear winner on account of both of their drivers being tier 1. So no argument with the creator of the poll there. However there is a huge argument with regards to the other stuff namely RBR vs Ferrari. Ferrari cost Ferrari the title not the drivers. Binotto cost himself the job not CL or CS. If you compare the amount of mistakes Ferrari made(both strategy and unreliability) vs the mistakes its drivers had made it’s 90% team 10% drivers. Both of Ferrari’s drivers are better than Perez and in a closer fight he would cost them the WCC. In fact he already did in 2021. So while Verstappen is clearly the best driver atm, as a combination there’s no way MV+SP>CL+CS. So the poll numbers as they’re now are completely correct and the creator is wrong.
As for the other teams, Mclaren are probably 4th best even accounting for Piastri being an unknown quantity in F1 terms. then it’s Alpine, then Haas and then Aston Martin. Same reasons as for Red Bull: Alonso is still the best overall driver in the midfield with the possible exception of Norris but as a combination FA+LS are weaker than the 3 above.
Next 8th best is Alfa. Bottas is a very effective points scorer and Zhou had a very underrated rookie season. Then it’s a close fight for the wooden spoon between AT and Williams but the AT edges it on account of Sargeant being a rushed rookie who, although talented, would’ve benefited from another F2 season.
So final order as of now: 1) Merc. 2) Ferrari. 3)RBR. 4) Mclaren. 5) Alpine. 6) Haas. 7) Aston. 8) Alfa. 9) AT. 10) Williams.
15th January 2023, 23:07
That would be my ranking too although RBR and Ferrari are interchangeable depending on your opinion of Sainz.
18th January 2023, 0:39
@slowmo My opinion of Sainz is that he’s tier 1.5, what used to be called tier Rosberg. While Perez is in my opinion tier 2 which is nothing to be sniffed at but just not as good as the Ferrari combination by a fraction.
16th January 2023, 11:27
Tier 1 drivers don’t make so many silly mistakes.
18th January 2023, 0:41
@stn How many mistakes did LH and GR make? Very few
15th January 2023, 13:17
The best is probably Red Bull’s lineup. A top tier driver with a reliable second driver. No other team has this lineup. Mercedes has better drivers on average but in a championship fight I think it could cause more harm than good.
15th January 2023, 13:31
If I take “best” to mean the best two drivers individually. It has to be Mercedes with Ferrari just trailing. If I take it to mean best pairing for the team, it’s Red Bull, a clear leader and a solid secondary driver with experience is always the best combination and they have that. Ferrari would come second in this too if they clearly defined and controlled Sainz role. McLaren also looks solid, but a rookie is going to need some time to grow into F1.
I also favor Haas lineup in terms of experience and quickness. They have the best lineup below the top 3 as far as I am concerned. Could be a strong year for them if the team delivers a competitive car.
There’s a bunch of teams with a single solid driver and an overrated or just generally mid second driver dragging them down. Alfa’s lineup is probably the most boring one of the bunch. Very unappealing.
My final ratings if I were to run a team and had to pick would be as such:
1. Red Bull – Max Verstappen & Sergio Perez
2. Ferrari – Charles Leclerc & Carlos Sainz Jnr
3. Mercedes – George Russell & Lewis Hamilton
4. Haas – Kevin Magnussen & Nico Hulkenberg
5. McLaren – Lando Norris & Oscar Piastri
6. AlphaTauri – Yuki Tsunoda & Nyck de Vries
7. Williams – Alexander Albon & Logan Sargeant
8. Aston Martin – Lance Stroll & Fernando Alonso
9. Alpine – Esteban Ocon & Pierre Gasly
10. Alfa Romeo – Valtteri Bottas & Zhou Guanyu
16th January 2023, 11:26
putting alonso(irrespective of his teammate) bellow williams and alpha tauri is just madness. I would also put him above Haas(1 podium combined) and Mclaren for 2023, given Piastri is a rookie and completely unknown quality.
16th January 2023, 12:32
It should tell you how low I estimate Stroll to be. But there’s no madness to ranking current Alonso as an upper midfielder, I think I did him fair.
As I said, the rankings are as if I were running my own team. Alonso would not be near the top of my list of drivers I’d want driving for me. Yes, he has raw speed, but no, he does not get my favor over many other drivers due to other reasons, like age, potential, attitude, etc.
Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
15th January 2023, 14:01
Mercedes have the best line up in my opinion as is the general consensus. That being said you could argue it’s better to have a Max/Sergio type balance as this is stronger for winning the drivers championship. Lewis and George will take points off each other.
15th January 2023, 23:10
2 strong drivers though means they’re also likely to take more points of Verstappen more often than Perez will take points off them. We’ll see though if we get a closer championship.
15th January 2023, 14:23
Ferrari? So funny.
15th January 2023, 15:23
It’s obviously either Red Bull or Mercedes and ultimately, it comes down to where you are in the Championship. If you have a dominant car, Red Bull’s pairing is better because you have the fastest driver on the grid in the fastest car with a wingman assisting where he can – as we saw with Hamilton/Bottas and then Verstappen/Perez, it’s almost unbeatable.
If you’re not in a dominant car, you need your 2nd driver to be right up there in order to put pressure on the leader (or whoever you are fighting with). Mercedes clearly wins in this case because they have 2 drivers capable of taking the fight to anyone whereas Perez is always going to be a few tenths a lap off the pace.
16th January 2023, 11:22
Mercedes drivers make a lot of huge costly mistakes, both of them basically massively underperformed in like 1/3(at least) of the season. and you think they are the best? The worst performances of Perez, let alone Max last year were a lot better than the worst performances of Mercedes drivers.
16th January 2023, 15:29
They are. Hamilton’s a 7 times champion for a reason and Russell is held in high regards for a reason. Also don’t forget the Red Bull was the superior car last year while the Mercedes was highly inconsistent.
15th January 2023, 15:35
Red Bull: Verstappen 10 / Perez 7 = 17
Ferrari: Leclerc 9 / Sainz 7 = 16
Mercedes: Hamilton 9 / Russell 9 = 18
Alpine: Ocon 7 / Gasly 7 = 14
Mclaren: Norris 8 / Piastri ?
Alfa Romeo: Bottas 7 / Guanyu 5 = 12
Aston Martin: Alonso 8 / Stroll 6 = 14
Haas: Magnussen 6 / Hulkenberg 6 = 12
Alpha Tauri: Tsudona 6 / De Vries ?
Williams: Albon 7 / Seargent ?
15th January 2023, 17:05
Stroll and Tsunoda in the same tier as Hulkenberg and Magnussen?🤣
15th January 2023, 17:04
People should know how to seperate a driver ranking from a driver line-up ranking. Perez-Verstappen is one of the most one sided teammate battles in the last 2 years. I don’t think it’s a good line-up at all. So I would go with
Tommy C (@tommy-c)
15th January 2023, 20:07
It might be one sided but perez is by no means a bad driver. Max is just an exceptional one. I’d still put red bull above haas and Alpine. I think on the balance of things, Red Bull and Ferrari are pretty evenly matched with Mercedes at the top.
16th January 2023, 16:54
@Tommy C-So this just becomes a driver ranking. Perez wasn’t a bad driver before Red Bull but he isn’t really showing anything vs his teammate at Red Bull. Max and Perez had the 2nd or 3rd highest teammate gap after Latifi-Albon and Ricciardo-Norris. The latter two got the sack.
16th January 2023, 11:20
you likely came here from DTS.
Tommy C (@tommy-c)
15th January 2023, 19:55
Hard to look past Mercedes as 2 proven talents. I have a hunch McLaren will be pretty strong with Piastri alongside Norris but given he hasn’t even started a race yet, that’s of course purely speculation! I rate Norris very highly though.
15th January 2023, 20:11
There is no doubt that the 2023 season is going to see a much different grid and podium structure than it has before. It is my feeling that we spectators are going to have to learn to watch the leaders and the midfielders with sharp attention or we are going to miss some awesome action. When all the dust settles after the last race, we will find Mercedes with Constructors Championship and Hamilton with his 8th World Championship. Now, one based solely on conjecture … will he go for a 9th? You bet your bippy, he will. NEVER underestimate Lewis Hamilton.
15th January 2023, 20:38
Mercedes for me, because if the car’s a winner, I can see both drivers winning a load of races. At Red Bull or Ferrari (and McLaren) the 2nd driver would only nab one or two.
I like Ferrari’s pair of Charlies but I’m not convinced Sainz is (as they say in football) a top top driver. Perez seized his opportunities when they came last season but also went off the boil a bit.
15th January 2023, 20:53
Mercedes have the best driver’s line-up. I still don’t think Russell is on the level of Hamilton but he is quite there and can give any other top driver a run for his money. Perez is still light years behind Verstappen and the overhyped Sainz will get a reality check this year once Vasseur will establish the driver’s hierarchy and will sort out Ferrari pitwall issues.
15th January 2023, 23:40
It depends which championship is more important to the team. If WDC, then I’d take Verstappen and Perez, because Max will dominate and scoop up a lot of points. If it’s WCC, then I’d rather have Hamilton and Russell because they are both going to put their car as high as it can be. If Mercedes have a competitive car this year, it’s hard to see another team beating their consistency.
16th January 2023, 11:18
WDC is the only Championship that is truly important for any top team.
16th January 2023, 1:15
Mercedes drivers act as a team; Ferrari drivers less so, but there is some chemistry there; one of the RB drivers doesn’t seem to grasp the concept at all; Alpine give me some good vibes; I don’t have strong feelings about the others.
So if driver teamwork matters, for me it’s Merc, Ferrari, ?maybe Alpine?, + the rest.
BUT as Adrian Newey is a certified genius, RB may have the car again this year, and therefore perhaps it does not matter much which is the best driver pairing.
We will see.
16th January 2023, 2:47
Going over the past three decades in my mind, i find 3 1/2 cases of a team’s driver pairing potentially having an influence on the outcome of the WDC:
– 1994 when Williams starting with a better #2 would have increased their chances. Then again, so would not having their #1 crash and die.
– 1999 when Ferrari starting with a better #2 would have increased their chances. Then again, so would not having their #1 crash and be out for months recuperating.
– 2021 when some people may argue either contending team having a better #2 could have swayed a close WDC. As it was, BOT took more points away from VER than PER from HAM, despite PER finishing ahead of HAM more often than BOT finished ahead of VER.
And then there’s the curious case of 2007 when starting with a worse driver pairing would have given the lead McLaren driver the WDC easy.
16th January 2023, 4:08
Norris Piastri for sure. It’s like people are answering “who will win the championship” rather than the prompt
16th January 2023, 7:00
I’ve gone Merc, -consistency under adversity from their drivers,
Ferrari – expecting more discipline from drivers and team Sainz weak link
Red Bull, Perez a weaker link than Sainz
McLaren, AT , Williams, Haas disregarded as they don’t have a GP winning driver in their lineup.
16th January 2023, 11:17
I think Perez proved last year he is clearly the better F1 driver compared with Sainz, actually by a margin.
16th January 2023, 12:06
@stn yeah I probably could have thought about it or phrased it better. I think what’s left of my brain went easier on Sainz because of the general chaos around Ferrari,and Checo seemed to have a knack of annoying me for losing places or time at stages when I thought he shouldn’t have.
Either way they are both GP winners and successfully doing what they love. Just an opinion not a personal criticism.
16th January 2023, 7:42
It’s a fairly easy one this season. Out of the top 3 teams (usually contracting the best drivers), two have a clear ‘less’ (still 100% better than 99% of drivers out there, but relatively ‘less’) gifted 2nd driver (Sainz and Checo). The third team would have chosen for a similar construction too, but they find themselves transitioning from old star (Lewis) to new star (George) so they temporarily have two good drivers until the old one retires. Therefore they have the best current line-up within the top 3 teams. But wait… Alonso and Norris… are in a similar situation and I feel Alonso is a slightly better driver than Lewis and the same can be said for Norris.. so it goes to an outside of the top 3 team team: McLaren
Broderick Harper (@banbrorace)
16th January 2023, 14:19
LOL!! You think EVERYONE is better than Lewis.
18th January 2023, 8:34
Sorry? That’s nonsense. He is hands down one of the best ever out there. But yes, there were and will be some (very few) that I consider better drivers, but that group is very small.
16th January 2023, 7:44
Oh sorry, McLaren doesn’t want to race with Alonso anymore.. then it is Lewis and George… still feel Alonso should have been a less political animal and should have gone to McLaren..now that would be a line-up
16th January 2023, 9:07
Red Bull, given Horner’s masterstroke of hiring Perez’s biggest motivation to improve and get closer to max.
16th January 2023, 11:12
Of course it is Red bull, because Max alone is already better than any other two.
Broderick Harper (@banbrorace)
16th January 2023, 14:18
It’s the Merc pair by some distance for me. However, that just gives Max an even better advantage as I did expert Perez to be doing far better.
In two years time the Norris / Piastri partnership could be the one
16th January 2023, 18:18
Mercedes is the only team with two top drivers.
Only Mclaren can maybe compete.
But for next season, I am expecting the most firework from Alpine. Not the race winning firework mind you.
16th January 2023, 20:53
Trevor and Sally from Bromsgrove is the best line-up of all.
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