Which F1 drivers will beat their team mates in 2023?

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Before any of the 20 drivers on this season’s Formula 1 grid can hope to become world champion, they must first beat the driver in the opposite garage to them before they can worry about the other 18 opponents.

Unlike most team sports, a driver’s team mate is often their biggest rival in Formula 1. The only competitor in equal machinery means they become a driver’s best benchmark by which to measure their own performance.

Heading into 2023, there are some fascinating match ups throughout the field. From all-new partnerships to other pairings where one driver is eager to settle the score after losing out in 2022. But which ten drivers do you foresee coming out on top at the end of this season against their team mates?

Red Bull: Max Verstappen vs Sergio Perez

Two seasons of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez together at Red Bull has produced the results Red Bull were likely hoping for when they first signed Perez for 2021. Verstappen is now a double world champion and Perez helped the team secure their first constructors’ championship crown since 2013.

Perez fared a bit better in year two against Verstappen than his first year with the team, but Perez was not close to threatening Verstappen for the title, taking just two wins across the year compared to Verstappen’s record-setting 15 victories.

Last year: Verstappen was overwhelming favourite to beat new team mate Perez in 2021, earning 93% of the vote, and last year you backed the world champion even more with 96% – the biggest margin on the grid. Verstappen ultimately proved most of you correct, dominating the championship.

Which Red Bull driver will finish ahead in this season's championship?

  • Sergio Perez (3%)
  • Max Verstappen (97%)

Total Voters: 215

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Ferrari: Charles Leclerc vs Carlos Sainz Jnr

Carlos Sainz Jnr, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, 2023

The score between the two Ferrari team mates now sits at 1-1 after two seasons together. Carlos Sainz Jnr finished ahead on points in his first season with Charles Leclerc at Maranello, but Leclerc began 2022 as the clear quicker driver, taking two wins from the first three races.

While Sainz found more of a rhythm as the year went on, he was unable to catch Leclerc by the end of the season, who only just held off Sergio Perez to take second in the championship.

Last year: After 86% of you picked Leclerc to beat Sainz in 2021, only for Sainz to finish ahead on points, last year’s poll was a much closer affair. But you again backed Leclerc with 54% of the vote, with a small majority of you ultimately getting this call correct.

Which Ferrari driver will finish ahead in this season's championship?

  • Carlos Sainz Jnr (18%)
  • Charles Leclerc (82%)

Total Voters: 213

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Mercedes: George Russell vs Lewis Hamilton

Probably one of the most intriguing intra-team battles of last year was at Mercedes. Formula 1’s most successful ever driver, Lewis Hamilton, was joined by Mercedes junior George Russell, finally promoted to the factory team after three seasons with Williams.

Hamilton had easily had the measure of former team mate Valtteri Bottas over five years together, but as Mercedes struggled to match Red Bull and Ferrari, Russell enjoyed the better results of the two drivers. Taking the team’s only win of the season in Brazil sealed that Russell would finish ahead of Hamilton at the first time of asking.

Last year: Only around 1-in-3 of you had faith that Russell would beat Hamilton in their first year together, with Hamilton easily winning last year’s poll with 69% of the vote. Will it be the same story this season?

Which Mercedes driver will finish ahead in this season's championship?

  • Lewis Hamilton (74%)
  • George Russell (26%)

Total Voters: 216

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Alpine: Esteban Ocon vs Pierre Gasly

Two young, talented, race-winning French drivers line up at Alpine for 2023. Esteban Ocon has been with the team since 2020, giving them their only win in Hungary 2021. This year he is joined by Pierre Gasly, who embarks on his first season of Formula 1 outside of the Red Bull system.

Last year: Ocon was not favoured by you to beat former team mate Fernando Alonso in 2022, with 80% choosing Alonso over Ocon. But at the end of the year, Ocon sat one place ahead of his team mate in the final standings – helped in no small way by a series of car failures for Alonso.

Which Alpine driver will finish ahead in this season's championship?

  • Pierre Gasly (50%)
  • Esteban Ocon (50%)

Total Voters: 215

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McLaren: Lando Norris vs Oscar Piastri

McLaren MCL60, 2023

McLaren field one of the youngest driver line ups in the team’s history in 2023. Team talisman Lando Norris remains for a fifth year, but with McLaren dropping Daniel Ricciardo for 2023, in comes 2021 F2 champion Oscar Piastri, having been poached from Alpine.

Piastri has one of the most impressive junior formula records of any driver to have joined Formula 1 in many years, but how will he fare in his first season against Norris after a full year out of racing?

Last year: After Daniel Ricciardo could not match Norris at all in 2021, 84% of you picked Norris to beat Ricciardo again in 2022. The majority of you were proven right, with Ricciardo jettisoned by the end of the year.

Which McLaren driver will finish ahead in this season's championship?

  • Oscar Piastri (6%)
  • Lando Norris (94%)

Total Voters: 215

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Alfa Romeo: Valtteri Bottas vs Zhou Guanyu

The only team last season to have an entirely new line up, Alfa Romeo was an interesting matter of youth versus experience with rookie Zhou Guanyu joining Valtteri Bottas after his departure from Mercedes.

Bottas leapt out into a comfortable lead in the points standings over Zhou, who suffered from more than his share of bad luck. Once Zhou began to match his team mate more often, the Alfa Romeo was no longer a regular points scorer and Bottas finished the year well ahead of Zhou.

Last year: The vast majority of you correctly predicted Bottas would beat his rookie team mate, with 93% of you tipping him over Zhou.

Which Alfa Romeo driver will finish ahead in this season's championship?

  • Zhou Guanyu (10%)
  • Valtteri Bottas (90%)

Total Voters: 215

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Aston Martin: Lance Stroll vs Fernando Alonso

Lance Stroll bid farewell to one multiple-world champion team mate at the end of 2022, only to be greeted by another joining in his place for 2023. Fernando Alonso moves to Aston Martin at the age of 41, aiming to guide the rapidly growing team to the front of the field.

Both drivers were beaten by their team mates last season, although Alonso had his car and power unit to blame for that more than Stroll did. Can Stroll finish ahead of his team mate for only the second time in his F1 career?

Last year: Although we weren’t to know it at the time, 89% of you correctly predicted that Sebastian Vettel would finish ahead of Lance Stroll in his final season in Formula 1 – despite Vettel missing the opening two races.

Which Aston Martin driver will finish ahead in this season's championship?

  • Fernando Alonso (95%)
  • Lance Stroll (5%)

Total Voters: 216

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Haas: Kevin Magnussen vs Nico Hulkenberg

Haas forms one of the most intriguing match ups between team mates of the season. Kevin Magnussen was brought back suddenly in 2022 and it was as if he had never been away, immediately scoring a hoard of points to start the season. With the team ultimately discarding Mick Schumacher at the end of the year, they have replaced him with veteran Nico Hulkenberg.

The two are more than familiar with each other having spent many seasons fighting in the midfield. But as they work to try and bring Haas further up the order, which one will end the year on top?

Last year: Despite Magnussen’s year out, two-thirds of you had confidence that he would be able to beat the less-experienced Schumacher in 2022 – and you were proven right.

Which Haas driver will finish ahead in this season's championship?

  • Nico Hulkenberg (40%)
  • Kevin Magnussen (60%)

Total Voters: 214

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AlphaTauri: Yuki Tsunoda vs Nyck de Vries

Nyck de Vries, Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT04, 2023

After two years alongside Pierre Gasly, Yuki Tsunoda has gained a new team mate for 2023. While the driver joining him is a rookie, he is not a young upstart or even a member of the Red Bull junior programme. Instead, he is 2019 F2 champion and 2021 Formula E world champion Nyck de Vries.

De Vries finally breaks into Formula 1 much later than he would have wanted, but finally gets an opportunity to make a case for himself at the highest level. He also has a grand prix under his belt already, impressively stepping in for Alexander Albon for Williams at Monza and scoring a point on debut. But will he beat out Tsunoda over the course of the year?

Last year: After Gasly’s best ever season in 2021, 95% of you expected him to beat Tsunoda in their second year together. Your faith in Gasly was validated as Gasly almost doubled Tsunoda’s score at the end of the year.

Which AlphaTauri driver will finish ahead in this season's championship?

  • Nyck de Vries (77%)
  • Yuki Tsunoda (23%)

Total Voters: 214

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Williams: Alexander Albon vs Logan Sargeant

The final driver pairing on the grid is also a fascinating match of younger drivers. Alexander Albon heads into his second season at Williams having successfully re-established his Formula 1 career, while being joined by the grid’s final rookie, Logan Sargeant, who earns promotion from Williams after just a single season in Formula 2.

Last year: Despite a year out for Albon, 89% of you had confidence that he would end up on top against Nicholas Latifi. So it proved to be, with Latifi leaving the team at the end of the season.

Which Williams driver will finish ahead in this season's championship?

  • Logan Sargeant (7%)
  • Alexander Albon (93%)

Total Voters: 215

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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34 comments on “Which F1 drivers will beat their team mates in 2023?”

  1. Proesterchen_nli
    19th February 2023, 11:41


  2. Verstappen is a given, unless a freak situation makes him impossible to race for numerous events.
    Leclerc should win, but if Sainz can string together a 2021-like season he can make it close.
    Hamilton had the upper hand over Russell, and there’s no reason to think this will change.
    Ocon and Gasly could be close. Poor Alpine.
    Norris probably has the exprience necessary to beat a rookie Piastri. Could be close if Piastri lives up to the hype.
    Bottas hasn’t been as far ahead of Zhou as he may have liked, but ahead nonetheless.
    Alonso, but if Aston Martin is near that P10 place again this could swing either way based on a few races where they end up much higher than usual (like Singapore last season).
    Hülkenberg, based on consistency more than pace.
    Tsunoda, because if he doesn’t – he’s likely out.
    Albon probably has the experience to capitalize on the few chances Williams might get.

    Most potential for fun rivalries:

    1. It’s interesting to see the votes. I think Tsunoda vs De Vries will be a really interesting battle to watch. I totally agree with Bottas and Zhou, I think that will be close too and depending on how fast the Aston Martin is – this might apply to Alonso vs Stroll as well (if the Aston is slow I think Alonso might be less sharp / motivated but it it is fast he will have a clear upper hand on Stroll). As for Gasly vs Ocon, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Gasly as a clear winner. Anyhow fun times ahead!

  3. Is it just me – or is Bottas looking more and more like Nigel Mansell as time goes by!

    1. It’s just you.

      I enjoy thinking back to these votes at the end of the year. I think Hamilton ultimately had a bit in hand over Russell but it’ll be interesting to see how that goes. Otherwise, alpine and Haas are the tastiest looking pairings. I went against consensus and voted for Zhou to beat bottas – the Finn seems to be on a gentle decline but I’d be happy to be proven wrong. He had his (very brief) moments against Hamilton.

  4. My votes:
    RBR: VER
    Ferrari: LEC
    Mercedes: HAM
    Alpine: GAS
    Mclaren: NOR
    AR: BOT
    AM: ALO
    Haas: MAG
    AT: DEV
    Williams: ALB
    All choices were relatively easy except Alpine, which could go either way, as I reckon a pretty evenly-matched season for them. Ultimately, my gut feeling is that Gasly will have the upper hand as the season progresses.

    1. Went with pretty much the same predictions as you except for Hulkenberg beating Magnussen. I think the Hulk will be far more consistent and will tangle less with other drivers

      1. Some were not so straightforward for me or possible to find arguments both ways.
        Merc: I went for Ham but think it can be quite close and could go either way. If the car is win or championship contender, I’m expecting Ham to lift up is game and finish ahead.
        Alpine: probably the closest one, went Gas but could swing either way. I would be surprised if one driver is dominating.
        AR: The biggest surprise in the poll for me (90 Bot/10 Zou at time of writing). The point gap in 2022 is due to car being consistent point scorer in first half and dropping through second half of the season while Zou was closing the gap. I can see Bot fading and Zou passing him this year.
        Haas: Second closest after Alpine and hard to tell. Magnussen experience might be key to get few points early if the car is decent at start of the season. I see Haas scrapping for points by the end of the season and can swing either way.
        Williams: the logic wants Albon to be on top, but if the car hasn’t improved, it will be about who is leading on the day with most retirements.

  5. Wow, no faith in Piastri was a surprise, would have thought at least a chunk for him… I also went Gasly over Ocon (RIC stomped him after all…) and Russell over Hamilton. Russell is extremely consistent, will be hard to beat unless HAM has a consistently race winning car where he can start in front constantly.

    Everything else was as expected… I mean really though people think Piastri less likely to beat Norris than Trusnoda beating De Vries, Guanyu beating Bottas, or even Stroll beating Alonso? I think that’s just crazy, early days I guess.

    1. Wow, no faith in Piastri was a surprise

      Not really – he’s a relatively unknown quantity in an F1 car, hasn’t driven much at all for more than a year, is up against a pretty well-regarded team mate who has more experience and is joining a team that has a reputation for making particularly finicky cars.
      If Ricciardo has squashed Norris, the numbers for Piastri would likely look a bit different.

    2. Piastri has had a fairly anonymous 2022, save for his contract shenanigans, so the hype around him has dissipated somewhat. It’s also a complete unknown how well he copes with the change to F1.

      Norris has had his status increased (or inflated, if you will) by trouncing Ricciardo for two years straight in two very different cars. RaceFans ranked him the 2nd best driver of 2022. While I’d disagree with that, it’s still the case that he’s regarded very well at the moment.

      If Norris really is the 2nd best driver in F1, beating a rookie that hasn’t raced for over a year should be a given.

      1. As you say inflated, and you’d disagree with that ranking. Piastri dominated through the junior ranks winning outright year on year. I’m just surprised he’s not rated higher with that clearly demonstrated potential.

        I’m not saying by any means it’s a guarantee and I’m glad at least he’s moved up over Stroll since my previous post. I just checked another websites similar poll and he’s ranking 23% to 77% which is more like where I feel it should be if I were making the odds.

    3. I expect Piastri to do well and fare better than Ricciardo. Do I expect him to beat Norris? No. He might well finish ahead of him in a few races on merit but over the course of a season I’d still expect Lando to come out on top.

    4. @skipgamer Gasly, I agree. Norris, I’d put between Leclerc and Sainz in terms of ability. He’s at a team where he’s well-established and trusted. And he basically finished off Ricciardo’s F1 career (or for now). I don’t see Piastri beating him this season. Hamilton-Russell, depends on how you evaluate last season. My impression was that Hamilton is a few tenths faster overall, when he’s not completely out of it emotionally, which he seemed to be at the start of the season. I expect the Mercedes to be mean, fast and distinctive to the other cars. If they’re contenders, then this season we’ll definitely see Hamilton and Russell competing fiercely all round, including against each other. Hope so as last season with the one-driver RBR team was a snore fest.

      1. Welcome back… where have you been?

  6. Hamilton is definitely not the favourite to beat Russell.

    1. Verstappen, Charles, Hamilton, Gasly, Lando, Bottas, Alonso, Magnussen, De Vries, Sargeant

  7. Verstappen
    De Vries

    First time I’ve gone through one of these and ended up picking the most popular answer (so far) for every single one.

    1. +1 I selected the ones i think who will be on top of his teammate.

  8. If the Mercedes is competitive then Russell is favourite simply because Hamilton and Verstappen will get in each other’s way.

  9. 2023 is the most interesting one of these for some time, because there are genuinely lots of battles which it is difficult to call. My answers:

    Red Bull – Max Verstappen. This has to be the easiest one, as he has comfortably beaten Perez in both of the last two seasons. But the interest within this time will be around whether team relations have been fixed after Monaco/Brazil last season, and whether Perez will keep his drive or be replaced by Daniel Ricciardo.

    Ferrari – Charles Leclerc. In 2021, Sainz scored more points but Leclerc was the stronger driver and the 2022 season reflected more how I had expected this lineup to go. Leclerc is as fast as Hamilton and Verstappen but not as complete, but is better than Sainz who is a solid number two. Leclerc is also the most exciting driver on the current grid.

    Mercedes – Lewis Hamilton. George Russell may have beaten him in the championship last year but, despite Hamilton having his worse season since 2011, he was still the better Mercedes driver and was unlucky last year. He is one of the best drivers in history and I am sure Hamilton will reassert himself above Russell in 2023. The only real question mark is whether he will get in so many incidents with Verstappen as they try to exert dominance over each other that Russell finishes ahead due to a cleaner season.

    Alpine – Pierre Gasly. This is the most difficult one of all because both drivers are somewhat unknown quantities, simply because their season performances vary so heavily season-by-season. But although Ocon has clearly improved over the last few seasons after his terrible 2020 season, I still think Gasly in 2021 was better than Ocon has ever been so will put my faith in the driver new to Alpine to win this battle. This is the teammate battle I am most looking forward to seeing next year.

    McLaren – Lando Norris. Oscar Piastri looks to be one of the best prospects in Formula 1 for some time, but Lando Norris is an outstanding driver and the only young talent I think could genuinely be as good as Max Verstappen if they are in similar cars over the next decade. Piastri could also become as good as them but in his first season I can’t see him getting particularly near Norris, and also can’t ignore how much Ricciardo struggled in the second car last season.

    Alfa Romeo – Valtteri Bottas. But this is not an easy one because although Bottas comfortably beat Zhou last season, this was because he was much stronger at the start of the year when the car was good, and when the car was less competitive in the second half of the season, Zhou was pretty much a match for Bottas and could beat him in the championship if he continues that rate of improvement. But I think Bottas was not at his best at that time and will be much better in 2023 so have chosen him.

    Aston Martin – Fernando Alonso. Although Stroll is better than he is generally given credit for and wasn’t far off Sebastian Vettel during their time as teammates, Fernando Alonso is joining Aston Martin off the back of a far more impressive season than Vettel did in 2021, and I would suggest that he will be quite significantly stronger than Vettel was in this team and will comfortably beat Stroll.

    Haas – Nico Hulkenberg. He may struggle initially as a result of missing the last three seasons, but I have never particularly rated Kevin Magnussen that highly and think Nico Hulkenberg was a much stronger driver during his last spell in Formula 1. Unlike Magnussen, Hulkenberg was initially considered a potential champion and was particularly outstanding in 2012-14, with a revival in 2017-2018 with Renault. Haas would have a better lineup if they had kept Schumacher alongside Hulkenberg, in my opinion.

    Alpha Tauri – Yuki Tsunoda. Certainly, Ross Brawn’s comments that he was the best rookie in years after Tsunoda’s decent drive in Bahrain 2021 were inaccurate, but after a horrendous rookie season, Tsunoda was considerably better in 2022 and was generally as fast as Gasly, despite still making too many mistakes. He also started in Formula 1 particularly inexperienced and I think will improve a lot more in 2023 and comfortably beat Nyck de Vries, who was outstanding in Monza but hasn’t set the world alight in Formula e.

    Williams – Alexander Albon. Like Gasly, he has appeared rejuvenated away from Red Bull and is a much better driver than he looked in 2020, with his first Williams season reflecting that and more improvement possible. Also, Logan Sargeant did not really fight for the championship in Formula 2 and has possibly been promoted a little too early, so I expect him to have a similar season to Latifi last year.

    1. @f1frog Some excellent points. Agreed with all apart from favouring de Vries over Tsunoda who I expect to be undone by being too erratic. Also he’s far too unprofessional in his remarks to the team (bad attitude) which suggests he won’t get so much of an advantage of already being embedded there.

  10. Based purely on body language in the images… Alonso, Ocon, Bottas, Hulkenberg, Leclerc, Verstappen and Russell.
    Also Norris, de Vries and Albon.

  11. I have just voted but I am not seeing any results. It just says ‘loading’ in all cases. Does something need to be fixed?

  12. Thatsnan easy one,

    George Russell will beat Lewis Hamilton again this year

    1. I’m no Hamilton fan, but frankly I can’t see Russell beating him two years on the bounce

  13. I agree on all of them except maybe the Lewis/George one. That is still a bit of a mystery

  14. That single vote for Sergio was from me. More to do with wishful thinking than anything else.

    1. Shame. Shame. Shame. Shame.

      1. Yep, a shame it probably wont happen.
        Still, fingers crossed.

  15. Hulk v. K-Mag was the only one where I wavered, siding eventually (OK after three seconds) on Hulk as less accident prone. Last year I opted for Russell over Hamilton, thinking Lewis would be still badly ruffled by 2021. I think that actually did play out. This year Hamilton, easy choice; he was back ahead in the second half of the season and if the car is any good, he’ll be utterly focused. Verstappen, no-brainer; Alonso, no-brainer. Leclerc I expect to fare better under new leadership at Ferrari (he’s much the better driver and the internal stuff that works against him will be set to zero again under the new boss). Gasly over Ocon. Norris, should be fairly easy with a rookie, however good. Bottas, easy; Albon, no question; Nyck de Vries is the one case where I expect a rookie to win, Tsunoda is lucky to still be there.

    1. I think K-Mag wil score more points, since I believe the Haas is unlikely to be very competitive.
      Therefore, any point scored will likely be more because of a few stand-out performances rather than through consistency as it is for the front-running teams. As such, Hulks consistency will not garner him many points in that car.

      1. It’s possible and why I was a bit unsure. A lot down to luck and random factors.

  16. I agreed with the results in every case. A few are not clear cut I think i.e. Merc, Alpine, Haas.

Comments are closed.