Race start, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2023

2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekend F1 driver ratings

2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

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The Formula 1 teams left the Jeddah Corniche Circuit with far lower repair bills than they might have expected after the dramas of the first two races on the high-speed street circuit.

Two prominent names on the grid started outside of the top 10 for reasons out of their control, while some other drivers who would typically expect to be lower down the order were left frustrated after promising opportunities appeared to go begging in the race.

The Red Bull drivers came away from the weekend with the most points for a second consecutive round, in what looks likely to be the pattern for the rest of the year, though both had strikingly different weekends.

But which of the 20 competitors fared best in Jeddah? Here are the RaceFans driver ratings for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekend.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2023
Verstappen looked unstoppable until Q2 but recovered well

Max Verstappen – 8/10

Qualified: 15th (-14 places behind team mate)
Grid: 15th (-14 places behind team mate)
Start: +2 places
Strategy: One-stop (M-H)
Finished: 2nd (-1 place behind team mate)

  • Quickest in all three practice sessions and Q1 by an average of 0.446s
  • Eliminated from Q2 in 15th after driveshaft failed on exit of turn 12
  • Gained two places on opening lap, then gained six more places in the first 14 laps
  • Pitted under Safety Car for hard tyres, gaining fourth place for the restart
  • Passed Russell, then Alonso after the restart to move up to second behind team mate
  • Maintained gap of around five seconds to team mate, then complained of another driveshaft problem
  • Set the fastest lap on the final lap, retaining the championship lead by a single point.

It says a lot to describe this as one of the most dominant race weekends of Verstappen’s career, but that is exactly how it looked until his driveshaft failed midway through Q2. Despite starting 15th, he steadily made his way up the order. While the Safety Car timing helped, his pace after the restart showed he likely would have finished second without it. Another ominous performance from the world champion.

Sergio Perez – 6/10

Qualified: Pole (+14 places ahead of team mate)
Grid: Pole (+14 places ahead of team mate)
Start: -1 place
Strategy: One-stop (M-H)
Finished: Winer (+1 place ahead of team mate)

  • Behind team mate in all three practice sessions and Q1
  • Claimed a “mechanical issue” with car in second practice
  • Took advantage of team mate’s driveshaft failure to top Q2, then secured pole position
  • Lost lead off the line to Alonso but claimed it back on lap four
  • Pitted under Safety Car for hards, retaining the lead
  • Held the lead at restart, then maintained a lead of around five seconds to team mate to take race win

Winning from pole position for the first time makes his a memorable weekend for Perez, although it’s hard not to feel like he inherited his win after Verstappen’s qualifying woes. He lost the lead at the start but gained it back reasonably quickly, then never looked in doubt for the win. He kept a decent pace to hold Verstappen at bay, but could not cling onto fastest lap.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2023
Leclerc recovered well from 12th

Charles Leclerc – 7/10

Qualified: 2nd (+3 places ahead of team mate, -0.511s)
Grid: 12th (-8 places behind team mate)
Start: +3 places
Strategy: One-stop (S-H)
Finished: 7th (-1 place behind team mate)

  • Struck with a ten place grid penalty before the weekend for using third control electronics
  • Closest to Perez’s pole time in qualifying to line up 12th on the grid
  • One of only two drivers to start on softs, gaining three places on lap one, then passing Gasly, Hamilton and Ocon
  • Pitted a lap before the Safety Car, missed chance to pressure Hamilton as engineer failed to inform him his rival had pitted
  • Restarted seventh on hards. pulling away from Ocon behind and sitting a handful of seconds behind team mate
  • Battled radio problems over the second stint but eventually came home seventh behind team mate

Leclerc put in one of the better performances of the weekend. He knew he was in for a tough time before arriving in Jeddah and managed to recover about as well as he could to claim seventh behind Sainz, all things considered. The Safety Car timing was not friendly to him and neither was the lack of communication from his race engineer at a crucial moment, but despite finishing behind Sainz it was clear which Ferrari driver had the better weekend.

Carlos Sainz Jnr – 5/10

Qualified: 5th (-3 places behind team mate, +0.511s)
Grid: 4th (+8 places ahead of team mate)
Start: -1 place
Strategy: One-stop (M-H)
Finished: 6th (+1 place ahead of team mate)

  • Almost matched team mate’s Q2 time but hardly improved in Q3, qualifying fifth after losing time in sector one
  • Started fourth but lost a place being overtaken by Stroll around the outside of turn 13 on the opening lap
  • Pitted for hards before the Safety Car appeared on lap 15 losing out to Verstappen
  • Passed by Hamilton soon after the restart to drop to sixth
  • Remained in sixth behind Hamilton but ahead of team mate until the finish

Despite leading his team mate home, it was an unremarkable weekend for Sainz. He did not get the best out of qualifying and while his pace in the race was adequate, he should not have been overtaken by Stroll around the outside of turn 13 and had no answer to Hamilton after being overtaken. A fairly average performance.

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George Russell, Mercedes, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2023
Russell had the measure of Hamilton in Jeddah

George Russell – 7/10

Qualified: 4th (+4 places ahead of team mate, -0.366s)
Grid: 3rd (+4 places ahead of team mate)
Start: Held position
Strategy: One-stop (M-H)
Finished: 4th (+1 place ahead of team mate)

  • Qualified in the top four ahead of Stroll and Sainz
  • Promoted to third at the start and retained his position on mediums through his opening stint
  • Pitted for hards under Safety Car but could not hold off Verstappen after the restart, falling to fourth
  • Fell within DRS range of Hamilton but kept ahead with his harder tyres
  • Instructed to keep within five seconds of Alonso but just fell short at chequered flag
  • Finished fourth but promoted to podium post-race, only for result to be reversed hours later

A very good performance from Russell, who had one of the best qualifying laps of the field to secure third on the grid. Could not keep pace with Alonso’s Aston Martin no matter how he tried but also managed to keep Hamilton behind him after the restart despite being on hard tyres. Did not deserve to be handed Alonso’s podium position but he knew it, was more than happy to come home fourth.

Lewis Hamilton – 5/10

Qualified: 8th (-4 places behind team mate, +0.366s)
Grid: 7th (-4 places behind team mate)
Start: Held position
Strategy: One-stop (H-M)
Finished: 5th (-1 place behind team mate)

  • Had final qualifying time deleted for crossing prohibited zone on pit straight, but would not have improved on eighth
  • Made “50-50” choice on car set which he admitted had not paid off
  • Only driver in the top ten to start on hards but held position in opening laps
  • Passed by recovering Leclerc and Verstappen before pitting under Safety Car to gain position over Leclerc.
  • Overtook Sainz after restart to move fifth, then tucked up behind team mate on quicker tyres
  • Could not get around Russell despite DRS and gradually dropped back, finishing five seconds adrift in fifth

Hamilton’s demeanour after the race showed how unhappy he had been with his weekend. He admitted to struggling for grip after his unremarkable qualifying but did a decent enough job on the hard tyres on the opening stint. Used his mediums to pass Sainz but benefited from the timing of the Safety Car to be in that position. Was the second-best Mercedes driver all weekend.

Esteban Ocon, Alpine, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2023
Ocon led team mate Gasly home

Esteban Ocon – 7/10

Qualified: 7th (+3 places ahead of team mate, -0.279s)
Grid: 6th (+3 places ahead of team mate)
Start: Held position
Strategy: One-stop (M-H)
Finished: 8th (+1 place ahead of team mate)

  • Comfortably reached Q3, then out-qualified team mate and Hamilton to line up sixth on the grid
  • Held onto sixth in the opening stint, keeping ahead of Hamilton before being passed by Leclerc and Verstappen
  • Pitted for hards just before Safety Car, falling behind Tsunoda, but passed him for eighth soon after the restart
  • Could not keep up with Ferraris ahead but led team mate home for solid points in eighth

A weekend to be pleased with for Ocon, who came away with the highest position he could have reasonably expected to achieve with the Alpine. Faster than Gasly in qualifying and even out-qualifying Hamilton’s Mercedes, he showed solid race pace and kept Gasly at bay through the second stint to secure eighth.

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Pierre Gasly – 6/10

Qualified: 10th (-3 places behind team mate, +0.279s)
Grid: 9th (-3 places behind team mate)
Start: +1 place
Strategy: One-stop (M-H)
Finished: 9th (-1 place behind team mate)

  • Squeezed into Q3 at the last possible moment, but was slowest in the final phase, three places behind team mate
  • Picked up eighth at the start after incidental contact with Piastri, then passed by Leclerc and Verstappen
  • Lost track position to Tsunoda pitting before Safety Car but followed team mate through to move up to ninth
  • Ran behind team mate for the rest of the race, not falling beyond three seconds of Ocon to finish ninth

A decent weekend for Gasly, who continues to show Alpine he has the potential to get on terms with his team mate. While slower than his team mate when it mattered most, Gasly still maintained pace with Ocon throughout the race to finish close behind and consolidate Alpine’s position as the fifth-fastest team by taking two points for ninth place.

Lando Norris – 4/10

Qualified: 19th (-10 places behind team mate, +0.741s)
Grid: 19th (-11 places behind team mate)
Start: +2 places
Strategy: Two-stop (S-H-M)
Finished: 17th (-2 places behind team mate)

  • Hit the wall at the final corner early in Q1, breaking steering arm that saw him eliminated in 19th
  • Got a decent launch off the line on softs despite light sequence beginning before he had stopped in grid slot
  • Hit by debris from team mate’s car which damaged front wing, forcing him to pit for repairs and falling to last
  • Pitted for mediums under Safety Car and passed Bottas and team mate Piastri
  • Caught by team mate late in race despite fresher tyres, encouraged not to make things “difficult” for him
  • Passed by Piastri to fall to 17th, just falling short of passing Sargeant on run to the flag

An uncharacteristic weekend for Norris, who squandered McLaren’s surprising one-lap pace with a careless error in Q1, driving into the barrier and damaging his car. The damage he got on the opening lap was not his fault, however, but heavily compromised his evening. Dropping behind his team mate on older, slower tyres highlighted how he wasn’t on form.

Oscar Piastri, McLaren, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2023
Piastri was the stronger of the two McLarens over the weekend

Oscar Piastri – 7/10

Qualified: 9th (+10 places ahead of team mate, -0.741s)
Grid: 8th (+11 places ahead of team mate)
Start: -11 places
Strategy: One-stop (M-H)
Finished: 15th (+2 places ahead of team mate)

  • Easily secured passage to Q2 then reached Q3 for the first time in his career immediately after
  • Suffered front wing damage with side-by-side contact with Gasly in turn two, forcing him to pit
  • Replaced front wing and switched to hard tyres, sitting 19th
  • Stayed out under Safety Car to sit 16th at restart but lost places to Zhou and team mate Norris
  • Stuck with Norris despite older and slower tyres, eventually getting passed with help from team
  • Overtook Sargeant around the outside of turn one on final lap to finish 15th

After a year out of racing, the Oscar Piastri many expected to see appeared to show up in Jeddah. He built himself up to speed over the weekend and secured the first Q3 berth of his career at the second attempt. Unlucky to suffer damage at the start, but running 49 laps on a set of tyres, outpacing his team mate near the end and then passing Sargeant on the final lap was the best demonstration so far of his natural speed.

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Valtteri Bottas – 5/10

Qualified: 14th (-2 places behind team mate, +0.207s)
Grid: 14th (-3 places behind team mate)
Start: -1 place
Strategy: Three-stop (M-H-M-S)
Finished: 18th (-5 places behind team mate)

  • Never higher than 18th across all three practice sessions
  • Only just reached Q2 by 0.01s before being eliminated 14th behind team mate
  • Ran over debris from the Piastri-Gasly contact which may have damaged car
  • Fell to 19th after pitting early, then dropped to last pitting again under Safety Car
  • Ran in last place for the rest of the race, finishing a lap down after making a third stop for softs

A weekend to forget after a promising start to the season in Bahrain. He was not as quick as his team mate over the weekend, being out-qualified despite having few complaints with his car. He ran over a chunk of debris on the opening lap and it is hard not to assume that had a large part to play in his poor race pace.

Guanyu Zhou, Alfa Romeo, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2023
Zhou had a quietly decent race

Zhou Guanyu – 7/10

Qualified: 12th (+2 places ahead of team mate, -0.207s)
Grid: 11th (+3 places ahead of team mate)
Start: +1 place
Strategy: Two-stop (M-H-M)
Finished: 13th (+5 places ahead of team mate)

  • Breezed through to Q2 in the top ten but eliminated in 12th
  • Pitted early for hard tyres but slow stop cost him position to Magnussen
  • Battled with Hulkenberg, then pitted again under Safety Car for mediums, falling to 17th
  • Passed Piastri, De Vries, Albon and Sargent to get back up to 13th where he would finish

A quietly decent performance from Zhou, who out-performed his more experienced team mate across the weekend. He was plagued by slow pit stops during the race and lost track position pitting a second time under Safety Car, but used his medium tyres to make his way steadily up the DRS train and finished about as well up as he could have hoped.

Lance Stroll – 5/10

Qualified: 6th (-3 places behind team mate, +0.215s)
Grid: 5th (-3 places behind team mate)
Start: +1 place
Strategy: One-stop (M-H)
Finished: Retired (Power unit – L17)

  • Behind team mate in every session
  • Fastest in sector one in Q3 but mistake in turn 22 on final lap cost over two tenths, leaving him fifth on the grid
  • Overtook Sainz around the outside of turn 13 on lap one, then was first of the front runners to pit for hards
  • Forced to stop on track on lap 17 due to power unit problem

Stroll’s performance is difficult to assess. He enjoys arguably the second best car on the grid but only ever got as high as fourth through the weekend. He pulled off an excellent pass on Sainz on the opening lap and was denied the chance to see how his race would have progressed after pitting, but he was the slower Aston Martin driver all weekend.

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2023
Another podium for Alonso despite an early penalty

Fernando Alonso – 7/10

Qualified: 3rd (+3 places ahead of team mate, -0.215s)
Grid: 2nd (+3 places ahead of team mate)
Start: +1 place
Strategy: One-stop (M-H)
Finished: 3rd

  • Ahead of team mate in every session
  • Finished inside the top three in every timed session
  • Qualified third but promoted to front row after Leclerc’s penalty
  • Took the lead off the line but was passed by Perez in early laps
  • Hit with five second time penalty for inaccurate start position, serving it under Safety Car but keeping second place
  • Overtaken by Verstappen to fall to third, then pushed to build five second gap over Russell under threat of penalty
  • Finished third, then given a 10-place penalty, which was later overturned by the stewards

Two podiums in two for Alonso. Easily the quicker of the two Aston Martin drivers all weekend, he stormed into the lead off the line but clearly breached the new grid slot rules at the start, which must count against his score even if it did not cost him position. Made good use of his car’s strong race pace and kept himself five seconds ahead of Russell by the finish.

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Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2023
One point was Magnussen’s reward for a good race

Kevin Magnussen – 7/10

Qualified: 13th (-2 places behind team mate, +0.066s)
Grid: 13th (-3 places behind team mate)
Start: +2 places
Strategy: One-stop (M-H)
Finished: 10th (+2 places ahead of team mate)

  • Behind team mate in every timed session
  • Knocked out 13th in Q2, complaining of braking and gearbox problems
  • Picked up places at the start and battled team mate before pitting earliest of anyone for hard tyres
  • Successfully undercut team mate and sat 11th under Safety Car
  • Pulled small gap to team mate behind and pressured Tsunoda ahead for 20 laps
  • Eventually passed Tsunoda for the final point with four laps remaining

Sunday was perhaps the first genuinely strong day Magnussen has enjoyed during the young 2023 season. After being out-paced by Hulkenberg over the first two days, he started more strongly and showed solid speed on hard tyres over a long second stint. He had to work to pinch the final point from Tsunoda, but it was a worthy reward for a good race.

Nico Hulkenberg – 6/10

Qualified: 11th (+2 places ahead of team mate, -0.066s)
Grid: 10th (+3 places ahead of team mate)
Start: -2 places
Strategy: One-stop (M-H)
Finished: 12th (-2 places behind team mate)

  • Ahead of team mate in every timed session
  • Had first Q2 time deleted for entering prohibited zone on pit straight
  • Eliminated 11th, just 0.04s from Q3, later reporting minor brake problems
  • Dropped places at the start and then battled with team mate before pitting early for hard tyres
  • Touched the wall under braking for turn one
  • Overtook Albon at the Safety Car restart and remained behind his team mate for the second stint, finishing 12th

Hulkenberg was the better of the two Haas drivers over Friday and Saturday, but could not keep that edge into Sunday, finishing behind Magnussen out of the points in 12th. Had decent pace on the hards after Safety Car and will feel unfortunate to have fallen behind Magnussen through an undercut, but he couldn’t keep his team mate under pressure after the restart.

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2023
Tsunoda only just failed to cling onto a point

Yuki Tsunoda – 6/10

Qualified: 16th (+2 places ahead of team mate, -0.305s)
Grid: 16th (+2 places ahead of team mate)
Start: +2 places
Strategy: One-stop (M-H)
Finished: 11th (+3 places ahead of team mate)

  • Knocked out of Q1 by one-hundredth of a second
  • Picked up two places at the start and held off challenge from Albon
  • Pitted under Safety Car to gain eighth but was quickly passed by both Alpines
  • Absorbed pressure from Magnussen for 20 laps until eventually losing tenth, finishing 11th
  • Ahead of team mate in every session both participated in

Tsunoda’s scream of frustration after being passed by Magnussen for the final point in the closing laps summed up his weekend. He missed out on Q2 by next to nothing, got a decent start and made the most of a fortunate Safety Car to put himself in position for a point. He fought hard to cling to tenth, but ultimately lost out to a faster car in the end.

Nyck de Vries – 4/10

Qualified: 18th (-2 places behind team mate, +0.305s)
Grid: 18th (-2 places behind team mate)
Start: Held position
Strategy: One-stop (M-H)
Finished: 14th (-3 places behind team mate)

  • Only driver in the field not to have driven in Jeddah before
  • Missed final practice due to a problem with his power unit
  • Spun on first flying lap in Q1, then eliminated in 18th
  • Battled the Williams in the opening stint, pitting for hards under Safety Car in double stack stop
  • Lost two places after restart to Sargeant and Zhou
  • Ran behind Zhou but passed ailing Sargeant to come home 14th
  • Behind team mate in every session both participated in

A challenging weekend for De Vries. He earns sympathy for his disrupted preparation on an unfamiliar track, but not for spinning on his first timed lap. After the race, he admitted he was not aggressive enough in the pack – something he will need to address as he’s likely to be caught up in many DRS trains this season.

Alexander Albon – 6/10

Qualified: 17th (+3 places ahead of team mate)
Grid: 17th (+3 places ahead of team mate)
Start: +1 place
Strategy: One-stop (M-H)
Finished: Retired (Brakes – L28)

  • Eliminated in Q1 after struggling to bring his tyres into the right window at the start of his last lap
  • Overtook Bottas early in the race and ran behind Tsunoda before pitting for hards under Safety Car
  • Passed by Hulkenberg after restart, running 13th
  • Suffered a mechanical brake failure that led to retirement
  • Ahead of team mate in every timed session

A frustrating weekend for Albon where he could not extract the maximum pace out of the car on Saturday before his Sunday was ruined by factors out of his control. He put up a fight from 17th, was in the mix in the midfield scrap for the final point and was quicker than Sargeant all weekend, but brake failure was a scary way for his race to end.

Logan Sargeant, Williams, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2023
Qualifying errors ruined Sargeant’s weekend

Logan Sargeant – 4/10

Qualified: 20th (-3 places behind team mate)
Grid: 20th (-3 places behind team mate)
Start: Held position
Strategy: One-stop (H-M)
Finished: 16th

  • Had best Q1 time deleted for entering prohibited zone along pit straight, would have secured Q2 berth
  • Eliminated 20th in Q1 after spinning twice more, needing stewards’ permission to start race
  • Got poor start after light sequence began before he had stopped in his grid slot
  • Ran first stint on hard tyres before pitting for mediums under Safety Car
  • Overtook De Vries and Zhou but eventually fell down the order as tyres faded to finish 16th
  • Behind team mate in every timed session

A frustrating weekend of ‘what ifs’ for Sargeant. Had the speed for Q2, but only had himself to blame for having a solid first Q1 lap deleted and then multiple errors doomed him to the back of the grid. His strategy in the race did not pay off and he fought valiantly to keep cars behind him but ran out of tyres. He’ll know he should’ve gotten more from the weekend.

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Average 2023 F1 driver ratings so far

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2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

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Author information

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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43 comments on “2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekend F1 driver ratings”

  1. X/10 but everyone knows the max is X/8 ………..

    1. To get 10/10 you need fastest in every FPL, first in quali, first in sprint race, start first, fastest reaction time, have a problem to car that needs reset, lose every position, regain every position to p1 lap every other car, pit stop under 2 seconds, fastest lap, driver of the day, set the track best record in both quali and race

      1. But if you run wide just once during the course of all that you will be relegated to a 6/10.

        1. Off course, because you would not have been perfect @geemac!

      2. To be fair, that’s only if you’re not in a top 8 car, otherwise that’s just an 8/10 drive, honestly.

        1. @sjaakfoo :D

          I find it hard to grasp the logic behind keeping this ranking system going.

          1. @wsrgo
            Same here. I didn’t think that Max should get 8 for topping all free practice sessions and Q1, but Perez gets 6 for putting it on pole, taking the lead and pulling away from Max when he was just behind him. I think both drivers deserved a 7 in my opinion.

            Also don’t get how Hamilton got a 5, which is the same as Sainz. Sainz had a car that should have qualified in the top 4 and finished in the top 5 (at worst). Yet, he finished P6, just one position ahead of his teammate, who started in 12th. Sainz should get a 3 or 4.

            Also think Stroll should have gotten a 6. It was no fault of his own that he retired. He had a great start and would have finished behind Alonso if the race continued. Which isn’t bad for a driver with broken wrists.

          2. Unfortunately, Will Wood ignores all feedback, or more than likely does not even read the comments. Readers have been literally begging him for a revamp since this system was introduced.

          3. I think he used to answer last year, when is the last time you saw an answer from him?

            As for these ratings I think the most glaring issue is indeed perez vs verstappen, ok that verstappen had a mechanical problem in quali, but there’s no way perez didn’t deserve the same rating, and since neither had to do anything impressive and there was no one else who got 8, 7 to both seems more fair, considering how harsh this ranking is ofc.

  2. Bit harsh on Perez. Once Max was up to 2nd, I think most people expected him to close right up on Perez, but he hardly gained any time over the remainder of the race, despite clearly pushing hard. Think Sergio did a good job.

    1. I totally agree on that. Not a very accurate scoring this week. Even more when the author gives ALO (7/10) the same score as MAG or LEC that couldn’t get closer to SAI who received a 5/10.

      Neither MAX nor LEC has done it that good, nor has Perez or ALO done it that bad.

  3. Its going to be a tight battle between Max and Alonso this year.

  4. I think I’ll just stop commenting on these now.

    1. Just enjoy the ride @slowmo. You never know what you will get with these. And trying to figure them out might be a fun endeavour for some as a puzzle game. I am mostly just baffled by the idea there surely must be some logic being used, I just cannot fathom it ;-)

      1. @bascb I’m not going to start a campaign to get the ratings changed like some do, it’s just someone’s opinion at the end of the day. It’s just some of these are particular baffling for the second race in a row.

        1. For me they are baffling about probably for the 23rd race in a row now @slowmo!

          But as I mentioned, I am fine with them, they clearly do bring up interesting discussions and comments. And yeah, it’s an opinion, as you say.

  5. Can we get an article with some historical examples for each of the ratings?

    Verstappen on 8 suggests his weekend was notably above average, almost getting into the range of perfect and historic drives that people still talk about years or decades later. But… he was quick in the dominant car, didn’t pull any great moves (he didn’t have to) and eventually settled into P2 with seemingly no real means to put pressure on his teammate. It was the kind of race that happens every GP up and down the field, but because the beat car started in P15 it involves a lot of passes, none of which were noteworthy.

    Just to be clear; that’s not to say Verstappen didn’t do a good job. He did. But that’s about it.

    1. Jimmy Cliff
      21st March 2023, 9:50

      That would be a great article to read – going back into 70 years of history and list all driver performances that based on this scale would be rated with a 9 or a 10.

      First exceptional/special performances that come to mind are:
      * Senna in the Monaco Grand Prix 1988 is worthy of a 10
      * Max in Brazil 2016 is worthy of a 9

    2. It’s one of those things where sometimes you don’t have the opportunity to show how good you are. The DRS zones made it far too easy for him to breeze past other cars, and the fortuitous timing of the safety car meant it didn’t feel much like a charge through the field, more a correction of his starting position. That said, I’m still sure he would have finished second without the safety car and with shorter DRS zones.

      1. His opportunity to “show how good he is” was to close up on and pass Perez after the SC brought him in reach. He didn’t achieve that, so for me, the drive was no more than Average. Leclerc did a better job of getting through the field in the first few laps in a much slower car.

        Great drive, but not one of his great drives.

      2. It’s one of those things where sometimes you don’t have the opportunity to show how good you are.

        Yes, absolutely – but that is probably true for most drivers at every Grand Prix. Latifi was on the F1 Beyond the Grid podcast a while back, and discussed how hard it is to measure performance, even from inside the team. I don’t recall which GP it was, but he noted that Williams had Albon’s car fitted with various upgrades and the team concluded this would bring about five tenths in qualifying lap time. When Latifi ended up two tenths behind Albon, he was super pleased and figured he’d just done one of the better qualifying runs of the year. But everyone on the outside was saying ‘lol Latifi slow again’. It’s really tough to judge, and it seems tougher the further down the grid you go.

        In this case though, Verstappen did little more than what everyone expected. He cruised to the front, settled into a rhythm that gave him a comfortable gap to Alonso but wasn’t quick enough to bother Pérez, and collected the 2nd place most predicted he’d get (barring any safety car shenanigans). Given the car advantage he has currently, there’s not much special about it. And to be fair; there wasn’t really a whole lot of point in him going all out trying to win this one race.

  6. Perez 6? That’s harsh. No other media gave a grade this low. Perez controlled the race from start to finish keeping Max at bay.

    1. Electroball76
      21st March 2023, 10:56

      -1 dominant car bonus
      -1 homegrown hero multiplier
      -1 nice guys finish last modifier

      1. That’s still a seven and probably what he deserves:)

        1. -1 because he’s not Verstappen or Alonso

          1. Ahah, good one!

          2. To be fair you could add Norris to that list too but he’s lost his free pass this year now!

  7. The race winner whom everyone expected Max would catch and overtake gets a 6… ok then. Bizarre.

    1. Indeed, strange, I was one of those who expected verstappen to win.

  8. Most impressed: PER, ALO, RUS, & MAG
    Most disappointing: HAM, DEV, SAI, & LEC

    1. @jerejj

      Surprised you put Leclerc in the disappointing section. He put his car on P2 in qualifying. Then worked himself up from P12 to P6. He looked more impressive than Max in the first stint, who has a car nearly a second a lap faster under him. He got unlucky with the safety car timing, or else, I’d reckon he’d be battling Russell for fourth towards the end of the race.

      1. @todfod I put both Ferrari drivers on that list mainly for overall race pace, although I perhaps should’ve given Leclerc more slack.

      2. Wasn’t Leclercs’ pace mostly due to the softer tyres in the first stint though @todfod, @jerejj? Exactly the same thing that made his overall strategy the wrong one?

        1. @bascb @jerejj

          Since the start of last season, Sainz has rarely matched the pace of Leclerc even when they are on the same tyres. Even in Bahrain, Sainz was on the same tyres as Leclerc, but he couldn’t match Leclerc’s pace at any point in time. I would give more credit to Leclerc than the tyres on Sunday. Even getting the softs to last for 20 laps isn’t something easy to manage, yet he did.

          I really doubt Sainz would have been able to manage the tyres or cut through the field the same way Leclerc did.

  9. Perez is the “winer”…
    Should we correct that with an N, or H?

    1. Damn, this comment section is pretty fun indeed! The comment section gets a 9\10!

      1. See, it works. The article generates top quality comments @esploratore1, @bullfrog!

  10. Harsh on Perez I think and Stroll.

    There cannot be many examples in these ratings of a driver starting on pole position, winning the race and doing so quite comfortably. Then still only getting 6/10.

    I think Stroll is worth a 6/10 as well considering some of the other performances on 5.

    1. Yes, I don’t remember any case where someone won and only got 6, I think they usually got 7 when things went fairly easy, occasionally 8.

  11. Oh, I just love how this rating gives us an incredible puzzle trying to figure out “why on earth did he pick this rating for this driver”

    A bit of a shame they seem to make rather little sense for the most part, but it is great fun non the less.

    1. A bit like the rest of internet ;-)

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