Esteban Ocon, Alpine, Monaco, 2023

2023 Monaco Grand Prix weekend F1 driver ratings

2023 Monaco Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

The Monaco Grand Prix weekend is always the most challenging of the season due to the claustrophobic proximity of the barriers and the lack of any margin for error.

That challenge became even harder as rain fell over the Monte Carlo street circuit once again, but remarkably there was not a single Safety Car or red flag intervention – a testament to the skill of the current grid.

However, while some impressed with their ability to stay cool, others wilted under the pressure of one of the most difficult races on the calendar. Here are the RaceFans driver ratings for the Monaco Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen – 8/10

Qualified: Pole (+19 places ahead of team mate, -1.464s)
Grid: Pole (+19 places ahead of team mate)
Start: Held position
Strategy: One-stop (M-I)
Finished: Winner(+15 places ahead of team mate)

  • Quickest in every timed session aside from first practice
  • Only just snatched pole position on his final lap to beat Alonso by 0.084s, brushing barriers in the process
  • Started on mediums and pulled gradually away from Alonso out front
  • Expertly managed his tyres, extending his stint as the threat of rain loomed
  • Kept his car on track when the rain arrived before pitting for intermediates
  • Pulled away further from Alonso over closing laps despite kissing barriers once to win by almost half a minute

Although the history books will show Verstappen’s second Monaco win as another dominant win from pole, he was made to work hard for it. He had to genuinely go all out in qualifying to deny Alonso pole and his pace and consistency on the mediums was unmatched. He stayed cool when the rain came and once he fitted the intermediates, it was race over. Another unstoppable weekend from the world champion

Sergio Perez – 2/10

Qualified: 20th (-19 places behind team mate, +1.464s)
Grid: 20th (-19 places behind team mate)
Start: +2 places
Strategy: Five-stop (M-H-M-I-W-I)
Finished: 16th (-15 places behind team mate)

  • Crashed out of Q1 at Sainte Devote, leaving him stranded at the very back of the grid
  • Started on mediums and almost jumped the start before pitting on the opening lap for hard tyres
  • Ran behind Stroll for first 30 laps until lapped by team mate, clashing with Stroll at chicane and gaining a place
  • Ran into the back of Magnussen at chicane, damaging front wing and losing a place to Stroll
  • Pitted for mediums and a new front wing, emerging just ahead of Sargeant in 19th
  • Pitted for intermediates when the rain fell, then clipped rejoining Russell at Mirabeau
  • Shown a black-and-white warning flag for four track limits infringements
  • Gambled on wet tyres but eventually pitted a fifth time for intermediates
  • Almost crashed out at the Swimming Pool, brushing the outside barrier but avoiding damage
  • Caught wet-shod Hulkenberg but could not pass him before the end of the race, finishing 17th on the track
  • Promoted to 16th after Hulkenberg’s penalty was applied

One of Perez’s worst weekends in a Red Bull. He was not exactly struggling for pace, having been second behind his team mate in final practice, but crashing out of his second push lap in Q1 is inexcusable and he admitted as much. While the chances of making his way through the field were slim, he fared worse than others before him have in history. He spent far too much of the race making contact with rivals and the barriers and looked like a rookie who had been thrown in last minute rather than a former wet Monaco Grand Prix winner.

Charles Leclerc – 6/10

Qualified: 3rd (+2 places ahead of team mate, -0.159s)
Grid: 6th (-2 places behind team mate)
Start: Held position
Strategy: Two-stop (H-M-I)
Finished: 6th (+2 places ahead of team mate)

  • Qualified third but was hit with three place penalty for impeding Norris after team failed to warn him about the McLaren
  • Started on hard tyres and ran directly behind Hamilton in sixth for the first 30 laps, eventually moving into third as cars pitted
  • Pitted for medium tyres on lap 44 to resume behind Hamilton in seventh
  • Switched to intermediates when rain fell just ahead of team mate, rejoining in sixth place
  • Could not catch Russell ahead and was caught by Gasly in closing laps, but held onto sixth

Another disappointing home grand prix for Leclerc who continues to enjoy no luck around Monaco. This year, his race was compromised in qualifying thanks to his engineer failing to warn him about Norris approaching, which robbed him of his third place on the grid. He drove a mature race, biding his time behind Hamilton but could not over-cut him. When the rain came, he kept the car on the road but had no answer for the Mercedes ahead, but beat Gasly and his team mate over the line.

Carlos Sainz Jnr – 4/10

Qualified: 5th (-2 places behind team mate, +0.159s)
Grid: 4th (+2 places ahead of team mate)
Start: Held position
Strategy: Two-stop (H-M-I)
Finished: 8th (-2 places behind team mate)

  • Quickest in the opening practice session but crashed heavily into Swimming Pool barriers in second Friday session
  • Qualified fifth behind team mate and Ocon but gained fourth after Leclerc’s penalty
  • Started on hard tyres and ran fourth behind Ocon
  • Clipping the back of Ocon at the chicane, damaging front wing and receiving a black-and-white flag
  • Pitted for mediums but was frustrated to be denied chance to attack Ocon, moving to fifth when Leclerc and Gasly pitted
  • Slid off into the Mirabeau barriers when the rain fell, losing a place to Leclerc, then lost time stacking in the pits
  • Emerged from the pits on intermediates in eighth, where he would finish less than a second behind Gasly

Another underwhelming weekend for Sainz who ended Friday in the barriers, ended Saturday behind Ocon and ended Sunday with only four points. Given that he started ahead of his team mate despite being out-qualified by him, finishing behind was a disappointing result. It’s hard to be too critical about his spin, given how late Ferrari left their call to switch to intermediates gambling on a Safety Car or red flag, but clattering into Ocon wasn’t his best show of racecraft.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

George Russell – 5/10

Qualified: 8th (-2 places behind team mate, +0.239s)
Grid: 8th (-3 places behind team mate)
Start: Held position
Strategy: One-stop (H-I)
Finished: 5th (-1 place behind team mate)

  • Behind team mate in all three practice sessions
  • Couldn’t quite match Hamilton in qualifying to line up eighth on the grid
  • Started on hard tyres and ran in eighth, gaining three places when Hamilton, Ocon and Sainz pitted ahead
  • Moved up to third when Leclerc and Gasly pitted to sit pretty when rain fell, pitting for intermediates and jumping Ocon
  • Lost around 15 seconds running off at Mirabeau, falling behind Ocon and Hamilton
  • Earned a five second time penalty for unsafe rejoin after hitting Perez
  • Finished fifth, ten seconds behind team mate, keeping position despite penalty

Despite likely being happy to take fourth place heading into the weekend, this was not the best performance from Russell. He wasn’t as strong as his team mate in qualifying and the rain came at just the right time for him to leapfrog a number of his rivals, but he threw away a likely podium by running off the track under little pressure.

Lewis Hamilton – 7/10

Qualified: 6th (+2 places ahead of team mate, -0.239s)
Grid: 5th (+3 places ahead of team mate)
Start: Held position
Strategy: Two-stop (M-H-I)
Finished: 4th (+1 place ahead of team mate)

  • Ahead of team mate in all three practice sessions
  • Beat Russell by two tenths in Q3 to qualify sixth, which became fifth after Leclerc’s penalty
  • Ran fifth in the opening stint with Leclerc within a second behind until being the first of leaders to pit for hards
  • Dropped to eighth but moved up to sixth when Leclerc and Gasly pitted before pitting for intermediates when rain fell
  • Emerged behind Ocon and team mate Russell but moved up to fourth when Russell ran off track
  • Tried to pressure Ocon for the final podium place but had to settle for fourth
  • Claimed the bonus point for fastest lap

The better of the Mercedes drivers this weekend, Hamilton put in a strong performance across Saturday and Sunday and made no mistakes, pushing when he needed to on hard tyres to protect his track position. He was unable to challenge Ocon for the final podium position and would have been unlucky to finish behind his team mate with his extra pit stop, but Russell’s error put paid to that. A solid performance.

Esteban Ocon – 9/10

Qualified: 4th (+3 places ahead of team mate, -0.38s)
Grid: 3rd (+4 places ahead of team mate)
Start: Held position
Strategy: Two-stop (M-H-I)
Finished: 3rd (+4 places ahead of team mate)

  • Secured fourth on the grid with brilliant final Q3 lap that put him on provisional pole
  • Started third after Leclerc’s penalty, dropping back from Alonso ahead in the opening stint
  • Clipped by Sainz at the chicane but appeared to be unscathed, remaining third until pitting for hard tyres on lap 32
  • Moved back up to fourth as cars ahead pitted before pitting for intermediates behind Russell
  • Reclaimed third when Russell ran off at Mirabeau and the Ferraris pitted a lap later
  • Absorbed pressure from Hamilton behind over the rest of the race to claim the final podium place in third

A truly exceptional weekend for Ocon and Alpine resulting in a well-deserved podium. That he was even in the fight for pole position at all is remarkable given the competition at the front. While he did benefit from Leclerc’s penalty, he remained unshakable under pressure from Sainz and Hamilton – not having to revert to any desperation to keep either behind. In a race without a Safety Car or red flag, getting a midfield car to the podium with no retirements at the front is an outstanding achievement.

Pierre Gasly – 6/10

Qualified: 7th (-3 places behind team mate, +0.38s)
Grid: 7th (-4 places behind team mate)
Start: Held position
Strategy: Two-stop (H-M-I)
Finished: 7th (-4 places behind team mate)

  • Easily reached Q3 ahead of team mate but could not match Ocon in the shootout, taking seventh on the grid
  • Held onto seventh place over the opening stint, picking up four positions when cars pitted ahead
  • Pitted for hard tyres on lap 47 despite asking to stay out, dropping to eighth, then had to pit again for intermediates
  • Received a black-and-white warning flag for four track limits offences
  • Gained a place over Sainz to sit seventh, keeping the Ferrari at bay to finish there

On a weekend when he was overshadowed by his team mate taking a podium finish, Gasly deserves credit for his performance also. He had similar pace to Ocon all weekend but could not match his brilliant final Q3 effort but managed his tyres well to put himself into a strong position, running third before being called into the pits for mediums – a decision he later criticised. Despite missing out on potential track position, he brought his car home in one piece ahead of a Ferrari to help add six addition points to his team mate’s tally.

Lando Norris – 6/10

Qualified: 10th (+1 place ahead of team mate, -0.018s)
Grid: 10th (+1 place ahead of team mate)
Start: Held position
Strategy: Two-stop (M-H-I)
Finished: 9th (+1 place ahead of team mate)

  • Ahead of team mate in every session
  • Just beat team mate into Q3 by a slim margin, but hit the wall twice on his final Q2 lap, suffering suspension damage
  • Managed to be sent out for a single Q3 lap but was badly blocked by Leclerc, leaving him tenth
  • Started on mediums and ran ahead of team mate in early phase
  • Called in to switch to hard tyres just before rain fell, having to pit again for intermediates four laps later
  • Passed team mate to move back up to tenth, then gained his final finishing place of ninth after Tsunoda went off

A good weekend’s work for Norris to lead his team mate home into the points in ninth, picking up one place from where he started. Although he’ll never know where he could have started after he was blocked by Leclerc in Q3, he was lucky he didn’t suffer more from him driving into the barriers. He was fortunate he didn’t lose out too badly from an extra stop, but Piastri was polite enough to offer no resistance.

Oscar Piastri – 6/10

Qualified: 11th (-1 place behind team mate, +0.018s)
Grid: 11th (-1 place behind team mate)
Start: Held position
Strategy: One-stop (H-I)
Finished: 10th (-1 place behind team mate)

  • Behind team mate in every session
  • Only just missed out on following team mate into Q3 by less than 0.02s to line up in 11th
  • Started on hard tyres and held 11th place behind team mate until the rain came, then switched directly to intermediates
  • Moved ahead of team mate Norris in the pit cycle but came under pressure, eventually allowing him through at Rascasse
  • Gained the final point when Tsunoda ran off track at Mirabeau, following his team mate home one lap down

A solid first Monaco Grand Prix for Piastri who successfully avoided the barriers through the weekend, unlike his team mate. He did a good job to almost match Norris in qualifying and got into a good rhythm in the early phase of the race. He kept a cool head to make the right call to switch to intermediates and didn’t hold up Norris who was faster behind. Described his race in one word as “enjoyable” and with his second top ten finish, it’s easy to see why.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Valtteri Bottas – 6/10

Qualified: 15th (+4 places ahead of team mate, -0.485s)
Grid: 15th (+4 places ahead of team mate)
Start: +1 place
Strategy: One-stop (H-I)
Finished: 11th (+2 places ahead of team mate)

  • Ahead of team mate in every session
  • Progressed to Q2 but was eliminated slowest after complaining of traffic on his final flying lap
  • Ran 14th behind Albon in the early laps until the Williams pitted, then caught up to De Vries but unable to pass
  • Was one of the first to switch to intermediates when the rain came, passing De Vries for 12th
  • Picked up 11th when Tsunoda slid off at Mirabeau, eventually finishing there

A good weekend for Bottas, but one without any points to show for it. He was frustrated not to qualify as high as he felt his car was capable of due to traffic, but gaining four places during a Monaco Grand Prix without any Safety Cars is an achievement in itself. Made the right call to pit for intermediates and given the speed of the McLarens ahead, it was likely 11th was as good as he could have achieved.

Zhou Guanyu – 5/10

Qualified: 19th (-4 places behind team mate, +0.485s)
Grid: 19th (-4 places behind team mate)
Start: Held position
Strategy: Two-stop (S-H-I)
Finished: 13th (-2 places behind team mate)

  • Behind team mate in every session
  • Failed to follow team mate through to Q2 after being eliminated in 19th, almost have a second slower
  • Started on soft tyres to pit for hards at the end of lap one, running in 19th before being passed by Hulkenberg
  • Pitted for intermediates in the rain, overtaking Magnussen who remained on dry tyres to move up to 14th
  • Held off Albon behind and picked up 13th when Tsunoda ran off track, eventually finishing there

A solid enough weekend from Zhou, who kept it clean across the weekend even in the face of difficult conditions in the race. His qualifying performance was not strong and he was slower than Bottas all weekend, but he made progress in the race and did not make any mistakes of note when the track fell slippery. A reasonable if unrewarding performance.

Lance Stroll – 3/10

Qualified: 14th (-12 places behind team mate, +0.516s)
Grid: 14th (-12 places behind team mate)
Start: -3 places
Strategy: One-stop (H-I)
Finished: Retired (Damage – L53)

  • Showed promising pace in final practice and was quicker than team mate in Q1
  • Held up by weigh bridge mishap in Q2, then picked up debris from Norris on final lap, eliminated in 14th
  • Picked up damage from contact with Hulkenberg and Albon at start, falling to 17th
  • Ran behind Magnussen before passing Sargeant for 16th
  • Hit the Haas into Anthony Noghes, earning a black-and-white warning flag, then battled with Perez, having further contact
  • Pitted for intermediates when the rain fell, passing Perez on dry tyres
  • Ran off at Mirabeau, then hit the barrier at the hairpin, damaging car and pulling off into retirement

A miserable weekend for Stroll whose chances of strong points were effectively ended on Saturday when he failed to reach Q3, although onboard footage from his final flying laps shows him running over two pieces of debris at Tabac, corroborating his explanation after the session, though he had put himself on the back foot by failing to set a quicker time earlier and missing the weigh bridge. In the race he was sloppy, clipping Magnussen and sliding off the track three times in three corners even after switching to intermediates. The only driver in the field to crash out of the race.

Fernando Alonso – 8/10

Qualified: 2nd (+12 places ahead of team mate, -0.516s)
Grid: 2nd (+12 places ahead of team mate)
Start: Held position
Strategy: Two-stop (H-M-I)
Finished: 2nd

  • Only just missed out on first pole position in over a decade despite two purple sectors
  • Opted for hard tyres to start race and ran second in the early laps, gradually falling away from Verstappen ahead
  • Gained back ground when Verstappen hit traffic, then maintained gap to just under ten seconds
  • Called into the pits for medium tyres when rain fell, then immediately pitted the following lap for intermediates, keeping second
  • Received a black-and-white flag for four track limits offences
  • Dropped off from Verstappen ahead in the wet conditions to finish second just under half a minute behind

Yet another very strong performance from Alonso who pushed Verstappen harder than he ever had before. He was only a blink away from pole position and he played the long game by starting on the hard tyres, but admitted he just couldn’t match Verstappen’s pace. He could have lost an opportunity to attack the leader when he was switched to mediums in the wet, but he was more than happy to settle for second.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Kevin Magnussen – 5/10

Qualified: 17th (+1 place ahead of team mate, -0.009s)
Grid: 17th (+1 place ahead of team mate)
Start: +1 place
Strategy: One-stop (H-W)
Classified: 19th (-2 places behind team mate)

  • Ahead of team mate in every timed session
  • Knocked out in Q1 in 17th, just ahead of team mate
  • Ran in 16th behind Sargeant in opening laps, eventually passing him with well-judged move into Mirabeau
  • Held off Stroll in 14th place until the rain fell, but gambled on staying out on slick tyres
  • Dropped four places on one straight before sliding into barriers at Rascasse on slicks, damaging front wing
  • Recovered to finally pit wet tyres and rejoining in last
  • Received black-and-white flag for four track limits infringements
  • Called into the garage to retire three laps down

A difficult weekend where Magnussen did what he could to try and make something happen, but received little from the racing gods in return. He was the faster of the two Haas drivers over the weekend, but only by a small margin. It was worth taking a risk on a Safety Car or even a red flag, but neither came and he helplessly slid into the wall – something he cannot reasonably be blamed for.

Nico Hulkenberg – 4/10

Qualified: 18th (-1 place behind team mate, +0.009s)
Grid: 18th (-1 place behind team mate)
Start: -2 places
Strategy: Three-stop (M-H-I-W)
Finished: 17th (+2 places ahead of team mate)

  • Behind team mate in every timed session.
  • Clipped the chicane barrier in first practice, damaging left-rear and limiting his early running
  • Eliminated from Q1 in 18th but virtually matched his team mate’s time
  • Earned a five second penalty for lap one divebomb into Mirabeau, clattering into Sargeant and puncturing a tyre
  • Dropped to last after opening lap stop for hards but passed Zhou and Sargeant in the same lap to move 17th
  • Pitted for intermediates then again for wet tyres, running in 17th
  • Picked up 16th when Perez pitted for intermediates and finished ahead but fell to 17th after ten-second penalty

Not Hulkenberg’s best weekend on his return to Formula 1 so far. He was very closely matched to his team mate across the opening two days but claimed to have a peculiar handling issue that he had to manage. He admitted his lap one divebomb was simply him going for broke – it resulted in a penalty and damaged tyres. With no Safety Cars, it was worth gambling on wets even if it did not pay off and his post-race penalty was his team’s fault, not his.

Yuki Tsunoda – 5/10

Qualified: 9th (+3 places ahead of team mate, -0.179s)
Grid: 9th (+3 places ahead of team mate)
Start: Held position
Strategy: One-stop (M-I)
Finished: 15th (-3 places behind team mate)

  • Earned team a €1,000 fine and a warning for failing to activate pit speed limiter in FP2
  • Ahead of team mate in every timed session
  • Reached Q3 to qualify in ninth, where he ran for the entirety of his opening stint on mediums
  • Pitted for intermediates but struggled with braking, coming under pressure from Norris behind before being passed
  • Ran off at Mirabeau, costing him three places, then passed by Zhou and Albon the next lap
  • Fell to 15th where he would eventually finish

A promising weekend for Tsunoda that should have rewarded him with points eventually left him with nothing at all. He was quicker than his team mate all weekend and held ninth place for the majority of the race, but once the rain came, he suffered with his brakes and could not find performance from them in the wet conditions. Given how frantically the team worked to offer him solutions that never worked, he gets the benefit of the doubt. But not for his dangerous pit limit mishap on Friday.

Nyck de Vries – 5/10

Qualified: 12th (-3 places behind team mate, +0.179s)
Grid: 12th (-3 places behind team mate)
Start: Held position
Strategy: One-stop (M-I)
Finished: 12th (+3 places ahead of team mate)

  • Behind team mate in every timed session
  • Just escaped Q1 in 15th but failed to follow team mate Tsunoda into Q3, knocked out in 12th
  • Ran in 12th from lap one, holding Bottas at bay until pitting for intermediate tyres in the rain
  • Lost a place being passed by Bottas but picked up 12th again when Tsunoda went off at Mirabeau
  • Finished in 12th place, 28 seconds behind Bottas

A quietly professional weekend from De Vries who looked like an experienced driver rather than a rookie in the most challenging conditions of his F1 career so far. He could match the pace of his team mate across the weekend but he kept his nose clear and managed to avoid mistakes where many more celebrated drivers did not. Finished ahead of Tsunoda but solely due to his team mate’s mistake, however deserves credit for a clean weekend.

Alexander Albon – 4/10

Qualified: 13th (+3 places ahead of team mate, -0.407s)
Grid: 13th (+3 places ahead of team mate)
Start: Held position
Strategy: Two-stop (M-H-I)
Finished: 14th (+4 places ahead of team mate)

  • Crashed hard at Sainte Devote at the end of first practice, causing significant damage which cost him running in FP2
  • Easily reached Q2 and comfortably ahead of team mate but was eliminated in 13th
  • Ran 13th in the early stages before pitting for hard tyres and running 18th, right behind Zhou
  • Switched to intermediates and continued chasing Zhou but ran off down the escape road at Mirabeau, losing time
  • Received black-and-white flag for four track limits offences
  • Finished 14th, seven seconds behind Zhou a lap down

A below-par weekend for Albon who did not start the event on the right foot by wrecking his car at the end of practice. Despite the shunt he put in a decent performance in qualifying and had good pace in the dry during the race, but lost a chance to pass Zhou with a mistake later on. He was unlikely to score points with no retirements ahead but should not be crashing his car in the opening practice session.

Logan Sargeant – 3/10

Qualified: 16th (-3 places behind team mate, +0.407s)
Grid: 16th (-3 places behind team mate)
Start: +1 place
Strategy: Three-stop (M-H-S-I)
Finished: 18th (-4 places behind team mate)

  • Suffered an ill-fitted right-rear wheel in first practice which cost him track time
  • Failed to follow team mate through to Q2, four tenths slower to be eliminated in 16th
  • Passed Bottas at the start but lost two places when shoved aside by Hulkenberg
  • Fell away from Bottas as medium tyres degraded, eventually losing three places on lap 17
  • Pitted for hards on lap 20 but immediately suffered a puncture and had to stop again, leaving him last
  • Switched to intermediates for his first experience in the wet but made mistakes at the hairpin and Sainte Devote
  • Received a five second time penalty for speeding in the pit lane
  • Finished 18th, two laps down

A tricky first Monaco Grand Prix for Sargeant where everything that could go wrong in the race seemed to do just that. It’s not his fault he suffered a puncture that ruined his race and having your first experience of driving an F1 car in the wet being in the race at Monaco is a baptism of fire. He made two mistakes that cost him almost minute – one error could be forgiven, but he has to be marked down further for the second and his speeding penalty.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Over to you

Vote for the driver who impressed you most last weekend and find out whether other RaceFans share your view here:

2023 Monaco Grand Prix

    Browse all 2023 Monaco Grand Prix articles

    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...

    Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

    67 comments on “2023 Monaco Grand Prix weekend F1 driver ratings”

    1. Jimmy Cliff
      30th May 2023, 7:27

      Being a roadblock for 78 laps gives a driver a 9 – are you freaking kidding me.

      1. I believe 9 is the highest-ever rating given out by Will, so I guess we witnessed something really extraordinary. Going by Will’s the rating perhaps the best drive seen in the last few years by a F1 driver. Something to tell your kids about….

        1. Not exactly, it’s the joint-highest, with verstappen’s 9 in spa dominant weekend in 2022. At first I thought it was exagerated, but like he said, impressive competitiveness in quali, podium in a midfield car without retirements or SC: often drivers get 8 for not doing anything wrong and he got a bonus because of the weak car.

          1. Tied as the best drive Will has ever rated. A classic drive, one for the ages.

            1. Oh, I’m sure had it been Alonso with this exact same performance, funny guys would be all-out gushing about. :)

        2. Very funny, no sarcasm, really very funny

      2. “Being a road block” is how to do well in Monaco when you qualify well ahead of your car’s pace.

        He put in a blinder in Qualifying. Given his car’s performance, it could be argued he drove a better lap that Verstappen. Then he stood up to the pressure of faster cars behind him all race, not putting a foot wrong even when the rain came down.

        If he doesn’t deserve a 9, all the drivers below him in these ratings need taking down, too. He wasn’t the most exciting driver to watch out there, but he drove brilliantly in both the race and qualifying, bringing in results in both which were way beyond what you’d expect from the car he is driving.

        1. Well said. He deserved a 9. Casual fans are outraged, but if they put their favourite driver in the same car and situation, they would score them a 10.

          1. Indeed, the casual fan will never appreciate what it means to start third and hold out to finish third at Monaco. Will atleast acknowledges it as the (joint) greatest drive in recent history.

    2. Most impressed: VER, ALO, & OCO
      Most disappointing: RUS, LEC, SAI, & PER

      1. Alonso did a great job with a puncture, it was in his head though but it was well managed.

        1. You try driving 78 laps of Monaco with a puncture in your head. Trepanning isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

      2. Most disappointing HAM, RUSS, SAI, PER.
        Merc are the second best team, considering AM are effectively running a single car entry,and Ferrari are either failing their driver/s or vice versa yet they can’t podium in Monaco. Perhaps Lewis got an 8, but lost 1 for speeding in the pit lane, but I didn’t see it in the article
        An alternative reading from elsewhere is

        Making the right call in the pit stops when the rain hit the circuit, plus a few driver errors from those in front, was what ultimately enabled them to finish inside the top five.

        The other two disappointments speak for themselves.

        1. The lowest IQ award has been handed out early this season.

          1. I’d give Dieteretal more credit than that.

      3. We’re not disappointed in what Stroll did in the same car as Alonso. Subpar performances have become the standard for Lance.

        1. Even for Stroll, Monaco was a spectacular fail.

          He reminds me of Grosjean– flashes of brilliance inevitably followed by splashes of carbon fiber.

    3. I don’t see how Ocon was rated higher than Alonso or Max this weekend. He had a strong qualifying.. with a P4 result. He lucked in to P3 because of the Leclerc penalty. He had quite poor race pace, as there was a massive train behind him, and he was a pit stop behind Alonso by half race distance. He then lost out on P3 to Russell, just to inherit it again when Russell made the error.

      I thought Alonso was more impressive in quali.. and Max was more impressive with how he managed the race. I’d rate Max and Alonso with 9 each and Ocon with 8.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        30th May 2023, 8:35

        I don’t see how you can say he had a poor race. The alpine is nothing like as quick as the other cars, which is what makes his quali lap so impressive. The fact he wasn’t even beaten by other drivers via strategy in the race by other drivers is really impressive. I could say it was the most impressive performance based on car ability all season, so a 9 is appropriate to me. The aston martin arguably is the 2nd best car, so Alonso should have been where he was given where Perez was. I certainly can see how Ocon is rated higher than him. Verstappen was superb in qualifying and did what was expected in the race with the best car.

        1. @thegianthogweed

          I didn’t say he had a poor race. I said he had poor ‘race pace’, which is true considering there were 5 cars lined up behind him since lap 1, till he pitted. And he did get jumped by Russell on strategy since his pace wasn’t up to the mark.. and the only reason he didn’t get jumped by Sainz was poor strategy (yet again) from Ferrari.

          I’m not saying this was a poor weekend by him.. in fact.. I would say its been one of his strongest performances since he entered the sport. Personally, I thought Alonso and Max were far more impressive than him this weekend, and should have been rated higher.

          1. He had “poor race pace” because his car is slow. He extracted the maximum possible out of that car this weekend.

            Max drove a flawless race, but he was mostly driving well within the capabilities of the car. He was expected to win if he came out ahead after the first corner, and he did so comfortably. I’m not putting down his drive, he was flawless, but it wasn’t that impressive or unexpected. Alonso also drove well, but again, he’s in a much better car.

            Neither of them really had to fight for the positions they ended up in. They qualified where their cars deserved to be, and didn’t really have to push to keep those positions. Alonso, in particular, was aided by Ocon who kept the opposition far enough behind that nobody was in a position to challenge him.

            Ocon, on the other hand, put in a fantastic qualifying lap which placed him well above where his car’s performance. He then kept significantly faster cars behind him all race. I’m far more impressed by that than 2 drivers finishing where their relative car performance puts them.

            None of this is to put down Max or Alonso’s performances, just to highlight the exceptional job Ocon did and how (IMHO) the rating here is deserved relative to the others in this article.

            1. Somehow I totally agree with your view but it still doesn’t justify the ratings. I think Occon deserves the 9 because of his performance and we didn’t expect the alpine to qualify and finish where he did. But if Max and Alonso ended up where we expected them after a flawless weekend with an 8 than they will never be able to score higher than that unless something unexpected happens.

            2. Alonso, maybe. But Max? The only reason he had to put in such an outstanding final sector was that his first 2 were so far down. That doesn’t seem “flawless” to me, it’s more like “a bit of a mistake but he recovered from it”.

              Now, I guess it’s possible that he specifically drove slower during those first 2 sectors to keep his tyres in better condition for the last, but I don’t think this is the case: Firstly, because of how far down he was (2 tenths, IIRC, that’s massive), and secondly because neither he nor his team have said so.

            3. If you qualify on pole and win the race you can’t expect more for a perfect weekend so the ratings look a bit strange. The secret, is to win going as slowly as possible (Nikki Lauda).
              Also I don’t think Max his last sector in Q3 was outstanding in fact Alonso’s last sector was rather slow compared to the rest of the top 10 qualifiers. Maybe Alonso used to much of his tyres in the first two sectors but I guess it has more to do with difference in cars and the setup.

            4. I don’t think it’s down to having a perfect weekend, it’s down to (subjectively) how well they drove.

              If you quickly build a pit-stop’s worth of a gap, then keep that position coasting around for the remainder of the race, that’s not as impressive as keeping your position with other drivers breathing down your neck. The second is significantly more challenging even at Monaco.

              I do respect Max’s drive in the race, and he did right to win as slowly as possible, but it wasn’t anything that special. Nobody came close to challenging him all race. Ocon, on the other hand, not only had a blinder of a qualifying, but kept his nose clean all race in spite of near-continuous pressure from faster cars behind.

          2. They qualified where their cars deserved to be, and didn’t really have to push to keep those positions.

            Would disagree. For Alonso to put his car ahead of both Ferraris meant he was punching above his weight. For him to come within 7 hundredths of Max in an Aston was also punching above his weight. I would also say Max pushing his mediums for 20 laps more than the expected life of the tyre was far more impressive than anything Ocon did the entire weekend.

            Honestly, if Leclerc didn’t get the penalty and Russell didn’t make his error, Ocon would have finished in 5th and nobody would even be discussing his performance for this weekend. I’m not saying Ocon didn’t have a strong weekend… but to rate him higher than Max or Alonso this weekend is definitely a stretch.

            1. I could see rating Alonso similarly, but I can’t agree about Max. Had he not been so slow in the first 2 sectors of his final qually lap, the gap would have been way more than 7 hundredths, and he looked like he had the pace to lap everyone but Alonso if he’d pushed in the race.

              Don’t get me wrong, I respect his cool performance in the race, reigning in the car to preserve his tyres for so long, and only pushing where he absolutely had to, not making a mistake. However, it’s much easier to drive a flawless race when you can spend most of it driving well within the capabilities of the car and still maintain more than a pit stop buffer to your closest rival.

        2. Richard Cevat
          30th May 2023, 17:39

          If Russell would not have eliminated himself, then Ocon would have finished P4 and received a 7/10 rating. The 9/10 is ridiculous, he did fine, not great considering his qualification position. Qualy was a 9, the race was an avergae 6-7

        3. But Monaco isn’t a pace limited circuit– you don’t have to be the fastest to win Monaco, you just have to be consistent, and stay out of the barriers.

          In that regard, Ocon had a better race than Verstappen.

      2. Me to, i mean only the Qualy lap of Max is enouph for me for the whole weekend. Also he was with medium tyres for 50+ laps which is an achievement imo.

        1. We’ve seen it before: If your car is much quicker than the others, you don’t have to push as much and your tyres will last much longer. The RBR is much kinder to its tyres than others, so Max can generally go one step softer for the same life. The same used to be true for Hamilton when Mercedes were dominant, and we’ve seen similar in other cases.

          1. You mean Max hasn’t push in his qual lap? Who else pushed like him without crashing?
            Ok in the race it was a professional win but this must be counted also since he didn’t do a single error in the whole race.

            1. You mean Max hasn’t push in his qual lap?

              Of course he did, I can’t see where I said he didn’t. I was responding to you saying “he was with medium tyres for 50+ laps which is an achievement”. If your car is that much faster, you don’t need to push as hard in the race, so you can make your tyres last longer. We see it with the current RBR, we saw it with the Mercedes when it was dominant, and we’ve seen it in many other situations in the past.

              Who else pushed like him without crashing?

              Well, Ocon, for one. In fact, I’d say Ocon pushed more than him without crashing, given that he put his car 4th (before Leclerc’s penalty) in a car which would normally be at the bottom of the Q3 time sheets at best.

              Ok in the race it was a professional win but this must be counted also since he didn’t do a single error in the whole race.

              It’s much easier to “not put a foot wrong” when you are able to spend the majority of the race well within the limits of the car. Other drivers had to push for most of the race to try to gain/keep positions, whereas Max (and, to some extent, Alonso) didn’t.

              Don’t get me wrong, it was a good, clean drive from start to finish, and Max did push where he had to. I respect that drive, and his cool-headed ability to sit at a set pace, maintaining a gap without pushing. And the final sector of his final qualifying lap was outstanding (though the first 2 sectors weren’t). An 8 is fair at the very worst (IMHO, maybe even a touch generous).

      3. +1. Ocon did a very good job in qualifying, but would have been P8 on any other track. To me Max and Fernando both managed their race perfectly, only Red Bull has a better weather forecaster, and I thought how Max managed his mediums was special (a lot of clean air at the start and no real pressure behind probably helped ).

        1. would have been P8 on any other track

          Indeed, but he had a great run in qualifying. Probably got every bit of performance out of that Alpine; fair play! And while we’ve already seen that there is just about no way to actually pass at Monaco, he still kept it clean in the race, which is no mean feat at this track, although also expected of F1 drivers. So giving more weight to qualifying at this track seems fair enough. Everyone* knows that’s where you have to put in your best performance.

          (*Everyone except Leclerc and Ferrari, unfortunately.)

      4. Seconded. I honestly sometimes wonder what some drivers like Verstappen, Alonso or Hamilton have to do better to get better ratings here. Verstappen did not put a foot wrong this entire weekend. Even put in a stunning sector 3 to put his car on pole where its arguably not the best car for a Monaco quali.

        For Alonso I’d say that he could have done a better guess at the tyre compound to go to during his stop, or perhaps he could have waited one more lap. Would have had a better shot at winning the race, in hindsight.

        I do think Ocon deserves a good rating, but I just can’t see how Alonso’s or Verstappens ratings are worse. They showed all that they could this weekend. Perhaps they could not show more due to their equipment because their cars are better, but then don’t pretend these are neutral driver ratings taking equipment out of the equation (impossible really anyway). Perhaps doing driver/car combined ratings is a better idea. Actually, that seems to be what the points system does for us.

    4. Feel for Yuki, only 5? He had a proper weekend and was unfortunate to have a brake problem on his way to a point scoring position.

      1. notagrumpyfan
        30th May 2023, 8:18

        That’s an interesting observation indeed, and makes me wonder how to adjust for hardware problems when they are driver/driving induced.

      2. Agree.. Yuki was pretty strong this weekend. I would give him at least a 6 if not 7.

      3. Drivers get derated simply for having slow cars by fans and pundits these days.

    5. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      30th May 2023, 8:30

      In Bottas’ section

      “Ran 14th behind Albon in the early laps until the Williams pitted, then caught up to De Vries but unable to pass ”

      This isn’t exactly true. Bottas overtook albon at the hairpin before albon himself pitted. I did however also think that Bottas made good progress this race. I am surprised Norris got the same rating as him though as although it was his own mistake in qualifying, he recovered into the points which was very impressive. I think Norris should be a 7 really. Depends on how much you count the mistake in qualifying against him.

    6. Impressive to see a 9 again, only the 2nd time in just over a year of this rating system and I can agree with it, and generally with almost all ratings this time, which is rare; I knew perez and stroll had a really bad weekend, but perez really went rock bottom with a 2! Stroll’s 3 also seems justified: both had a great car and used it terribly, stroll is usually even good in wet conditions.

    7. Everybody that gave Ocon DotD seem to forget that Ocon had the luxury of driving as slow as he wanted, something beither Max or Fernando had. For me, Max deserves a 10, Fernando a 9 (for his iffy call on the mediums only) and Ocon an 8.

    8. Overall I agree with just the usual ‘Max one point short and Lewis one point too much’ as part where I would have scired differently. I know it looks boring and simple but Max is being seriously underappreciated when it comes to his reading the race and pacing the car and tires. Understandable it is missed by many, but still.

      1. No we just score the drivers adjusted for their car performance. Given Verstappen hit the barriers 3+ times over the race and qualifying, a 8 is pretty generous.

        1. Will Wood doesn’t even mention Hamilton crashing in FP3 that caused a red flag and the car had to be airlifted off of the track, that 7 is pretty generous.

          Brushing a wall going full send that caused no damage and still setting the fastest qualifying lap, doing 50+ laps on medium tires, while in the rain too (which is where he bumped the wall, mind you) is nothing short of a 9.5 at minimum.

        2. Touching the barriers without any damage is not a problem but driving on the absolute edge.
          Hitting the barriers, like lewis and checo is another story.

    9. We have a 9! An actual 9! Ask air traffic control to be on the lookout for flying pigs!

    10. I am also here to voice my dismay and disappointment in seeing Ocon being rated with a 9 for his performance during the weekend. I enjoy checking the ratings here after an F1 race weekend and have grown accustomed to and accepted that 8 is the maximum rating unless a driver’s race has been absolutely extraordinary. Fair enough, I say, just as long as there is consistency. Therefore, Ocon getting a 9 for his excellent qualifying performance and his solid race is very unexpected and frankly looks more like a premeditated provocation than an actual evaluation of his weekend.

    11. What’s good about Ocon I think he drove the whole race keeping in mind both Ver & Alo can possibly retire or something so all he has to do is to drive clean, stay away from the walls and defend his 3th. Solid and smart driving. It’s good sign Ocon still can use his brain and he’s one of the few that theoretically can in some ways do Hill or do Hakkinen in Verstappen’s era.

    12. This weekend there were three drivers with the same level of excellence: Max, Alonso, and Ocon. I don’t see why the latter got the score that is awarded, on average, twice per season.

    13. Terrible year for Lance Stroll’s supporters.
      He became a good driver? Hands down the 2nd fastest car in his hands and he very likely will finish this season at P8 in the standings, if not lower.

      Alonso is doing a Button-04, Vettel-15, Verstappen-20 type of season and is likely to finish this year with a dozen podiums under hims name while Lance might not get even one.

      1. Give the kid a chance! Another 10 years and he could become an OK driver. 😏

      2. I mean.. is there any year which is a good year to be a Lance fan? Other than a couple of flukes in his rookie season (Baku P3 and Monza qualifying) and one pole position in the pink Mercedes in 2020, there has been zero highlights to his career. If we were to compare that to the number of times he’s been absolutely disastrous on weekends… then you might wonder how he has any fans outside of his dad.

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          30th May 2023, 18:51


          There are certainly some highlights to Stroll. He arguably is has the best launch control and opportunistic passing on lap one of anyone on the grid. Occasionally goes wrong (hungary 2021) but often the amount of passes he sometimes makes on lap 1 is amazing.

          He also at times does have some good skill when it comes to taking opportunities when they come.

          These are just a few examples, there are many more that in my opinion are clearly stand out moments from him.

          1. @thegianthogweed

            I agree that he used to have some great race starts. On lap 1, he generally stayed out of trouble and made up places.. but… most of the time, he started with slower cars around him, as he should have qualified in the top 10, but was slow as hell in quali and lined it up 18th or 19th. After the race starts, he fails to do anything spectacular for the rest of the race, which is why he doesn’t have any outstanding results in the past 3 seasons.

            I’m just saying that if we were to put together reels of his crashes, q1 exits and unspectacular race management, it would far outweigh the positives.

            1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
              31st May 2023, 20:51

              You have good points about most of what you have said, but his starts in my view are still a big strength and not related to being behind slower cars. The performance of the car on lap 1 really isn’t the main thing that is important to gain places. I personally think Stroll is better than average at his launches. There must be some specific preparation skill he has. And him going for overtaking opportunities in the first few corners on cold tyres are down to his decision making and skill more than his car and making up for an underwhelming qualifying. I would still say that around a third of the time, he has better launches than most drivers do on the grid, and I’ve thought that ever since he joined the grid, his launches and lap one seem to be his biggest strength. Wet weather being the other (although Hungary 2021 and this race are not included in that) Other than that, i would rate him as an ok driver rather than a poor one, but do think he’s good enough to deserve to be on the grid – and I’d even say so even without all his cash. This probably won’t be a popular opinion.

      3. Hands down the 2nd fastest car? On some weekends: yes. On others: no.

        I am not a Stroll fan, but he is getting overly brutalized:

        -Bahrain: 6th (good performance considering he could barely hold onto his steering wheel)

        -Jeddah: on course for a 4th or 5th place before mechanical failure (good performance)

        -Australia: 4th place (good performance)

        -Baku: 7th (solid, if unspectacular)

        -Miami: 12th (the poor result was partly due to a bad call by the team, but he didn’t do himself any favors. So, let’s call it a bad drive)

        -Monaco:’very poor

        So, good, good, good, solid, poor, poor. Not exactly a slam dunk case against him.

    14. All the fuss over points is why I preferred the previous star driver(s) feature. Ocon was clearly a star driver over the weekend and maybe even the best (him or Max). But allocating a rare ‘9’ inevitably sets his Monaco performance up for comparison with Verstappen’s at Spa last year (or any other exceptional weekend that only got an 8). That seems forced. Each weekend – track, weather, differences between the cars, point of the season, what’s at stake for the drivers – varies so much that each performance is relative, but comparing with numbers inevitably sets up some absolute metric.

    15. Robert Henning
      30th May 2023, 22:04

      Jolyon Palmer just called Verstappen’s lap probably the best ever lap he has seen in F1 qualifying.

      It is sad that it is actually not being recognized.

      Ocon had terrible pace and if not for Russell’s mistake drops a position due to lack of pace.

      It is Monaco and he couldn’t do anything special.

      Ocon is the definition of a supremely average to good driver. Nothing speical.

      “In a race without a Safety Car or red flag, getting a midfield car to the podium with no retirements at the front is an outstanding achievement.”

      He had a good qualifying lap. Did not risk anywhere near the risk Max who had everything to lose did and got a lucky podium, not on pace.

      1. i don’t think there was anything particularly special about that lap. He was trailing in the first 2 sectors and got it in the last one, in which Alonso was the slowest of all the guys who made it do Q3. That’s what you expect guys who won 30 something races to do. Go for it until the end, and it paid off for him.

      2. It was an outstanding final sector, I’ll grant that. But what off the first two? He was, iirc, 2 tenths down on Alonso up to that point, even though he was in a significantly faster car. He then coasted for the vast majority of the race, barely had to work. I couldn’t justify a higher score than 8 myself, and think even that’s on the generous side.

        1. notagrumpyfan
          31st May 2023, 12:54

          You seemed to have missed that the RBR was never the fastest car in those sectors.
          Especially in S1 the only surviving RBR was never fast; in Q2 Alonso was 0.1s faster and also the Renaults, Russell, Norris (and maybe others) were faster.
          So either Verstappen was consistently poor in that sector (which could get you your coveted downgrading of his rating), or it was either the result of the car set-up or lap/tyre management.

          What you also seem to have missed in all your responses is that most contributors disagree for Ocon’s 9 rating. Ocon had a very strong quali, but his race was nothing special (even Gasly was faster on the laps that both were in free air).

          1. So, Max was consistently slow in S1 and Alonso was consistently slow (slowest of the top 10) in Q3.

            A good lap from a good qualifying session, no more, no less.

            1. i meant S3 there, can’t edit.

            2. Robert Henning
              31st May 2023, 23:48

              Unsure if you’ll get the nuance but anyways.

              The RB has a tire warmup problem generally speaking and the tires come to life towards the end of the lap.

              Verstappen did two very good sectors (just not the best) in the first two sectors, then took the maximum possible risk (no one took that level of risk) to put it on pole (which wasn’t given at all for the RB given the circuit nullified it’s strengths) which is what made the greatest ever S3 at Monaco, according to Jolyon and a spell binding sector according to Brundle. What makes taking the risk special is full knowledge of the fact that his competitor crashed out and still taking the risk with the best race car without binning it yet pulling out that sector.

              Maybe you are just incapable of appreciating greatness like many. It will be a lap people will talk 20 years from now.

        2. Robert Henning
          31st May 2023, 23:50

          Because they are both not driving the same car? And the RB just doesn’t work the same way the Aston did in the first two sectors.

          Alonso and others didn’t take the risk Verstappen took to get pole.

          You only have to listen to Aston’s press release where they say Alonso did well but he didn’t take the risks Verstappen did in the final sector which is ultimately what cost Aston the pole and then the race.

    Comments are closed.