Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, 2023

2023 Spanish Grand Prix weekend F1 driver ratings

2023 Spanish Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

At a circuit that the drivers know better than any other, the Spanish Grand Prix is typically a race that demonstrates the differences between team mates clearer than most.

But when rain interfered with the track on Saturday’s qualifying day, there were a surprising number of drivers who were caught out and made mistakes that would end up defining their weekends.

In the race, some drivers managed to make amends while others fell down the order, unable to convert their strong grid positions into strong results. But there was one driver who was clearly better than any other.

Here are the RaceFans driver ratings for the Spanish Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen – 8/10

Qualified: Pole (+10 places ahead of team mate, -0.574s)
Start: Held position
Strategy: Two-stop (M-H-S)
Finished: Winner (+3 places ahead of team mate)

  • Ahead of team mate in every session
  • Fastest of all even every timed session except for Q1
  • Took pole position by the biggest margin of the season and could have gone even faster but abandoned final lap
  • Started on mediums and held off pressure from Sainz at the start to keep the lead, slowly pulling away
  • Pitted for hard tyres and resumed in the lead, continuing to grow his advantage out front
  • Stopped for soft tyres for his final stint, but received a black-and-white warning flag for three track limits strikes
  • Pulled out the fastest lap and took an easy victory by 24 seconds
  • Earned a ‘grand slam’ for pole, fastest lap and winning after leading every lap of the race

Total domination. Verstappen never looked in any doubt at any point throughout the weekend and was once again the class of the field. His qualifying performance was untouchable and he controlled the pace in the race for a comfortable victory that was his most emphatic win of the season so far. The only reason he does not earn a higher grade is that his car continues to hold such an advantage over its rivals and the absence of Perez meant he was under minimal pressure outside of turn one, coupled with being the only driver to earn a black-and-white flag for track limits. But still, the best performer of the weekend.

Sergio Perez – 4/10

The other RB19 started among the midfielders
Qualified: 11th (-10 places behind team mate, +0.574s)
Start: Held position
Strategy: Two-stop (M-H-S)
Finished: 4th (-3 places behind team mate)

  • Behind team mate in every session
  • Failed to reach Q3 after running off track at turn five, eliminated in 11th
  • Started on mediums in 11th but lost one place at the start before passing Piastri on lap two
  • Overtook Hulkenberg and ran lengthy first stint before pitting for hards and falling to ninth
  • Passed Alonso, Tsunoda and Ocon to move up to fifth before second stop for soft tyres
  • Caught and passed Sainz for fourth, then closed up to Russell but finished before he could catch the Mercedes

Another disappointing weekend for Perez where his prospects were ended on Saturday due to a mistake in qualifying. He only had himself to blame for starting so low but he at least made progress up the order to finish behind the Mercedes in fourth. But even putting his mistake aside, Perez had zero answer for Verstappen’s pace all weekend. He gets some credit for making his comeback, but with such a superior car it is not enough for him to earn a par grade.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Charles Leclerc – 4/10

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2023
No points for Leclerc after Q1 exit
Qualified: 19th (-17 places behind team mate, +0.668s)
Start: -1 place
Strategy: Two-stop (H-S-H)
Finished: 11th (-6 places behind team mate)

  • Eliminated from Q1 down in 19th place, complaining of a problem with the rear of his car
  • Forced to start from pit lane after changing parts under parc ferme, starting behind Sargeant on hards
  • Overtook Sargeant and Albon but struggled with balance before pitting for mediums
  • Rejoined in 18th and battled with Gasly, running behind the Alpine for most of his second stint
  • Pitted for hards and emerged in 14th, overtaking Piastri
  • Caught up to Gasly but could not get by, crossing the line in 12th which became 11th after Tsunoda’s penalty

A head-scratcher of a weekend for Leclerc that never recovered from his unexplained Q1 elimination. While the assumption has to be there was something wrong with his car, his recovery in the race was underwhelming. His car was inconsistent throughout, but it’s hard to make excuses for a Ferrari driver unable to get by an Alpine for most of the race when Sainz was ahead of both Aston Martins.

Carlos Sainz Jnr – 7/10

Qualified: 2nd (+17 places ahead of team mate, -0.668s)
Start: Held position
Strategy: Two-stop (S-M-H)
Finished: 5th (+6 places ahead of team mate)

  • Secured a front row start in second place
  • Challenged Verstappen for the lead into turn one but had to yield and settle into second
  • Fell back from Verstappen and was caught by Hamilton before pitting for mediums
  • Dropped to eighth and moved up to second through pit cycle but eventually caught and passed by Hamilton
  • Fell to fourth after being passed by Russell, then pitted for mediums
  • Overtaken by Perez to drop to fifth, then had lonely final stint to eventually finish there

Sainz can be proud of the gutsy performance he put on for his home fans, even if the result was not what he wished for. He was the closest to Verstappen in qualifying and attacked him at the start, but made the wise choice not to press the issue. He couldn’t keep up with the leader, but he did hold off Hamilton until almost half way into the race. Given the speed of his rivals, there was no shame in being beaten by both Red Bulls and Mercedes having made no mistakes in the race.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

George Russell – 6/10

George Russell, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2023
Russell bounced back after bizarre qualifying incident
Qualified: 12th (-7 places behind team mate, +0.448s)
Grid: 12th (-8 places behind team mate)
Start: +5 places
Strategy: Two-stop (S-M-S)
Finished: 3rd (-1 place behind team mate)

  • Failed to follow team mate through to Q3 after clashing with him along the main straight, but did not blame him for the collision
  • Started 12th, gained two places into turn one, ran down escape road and emerged ahead of Piastri, then passed Magnussen
  • Sat seventh before overtaking Alonso into turn one, then Ocon a few laps later to move into fifth
  • Extended his opening stint before pitting on lap 25 for mediums, rejoining in sixth and overtaking Stroll and Sainz
  • Pitted for softs but regained third when Perez pitted, falling gradually away from Hamilton
  • Crossed the line in third to take first podium of the season, three seconds ahead of Perez

Considering what a disappointing qualifying he had, Russell still secured the best result he likely could have hoped for in the race. He climbed up the order with a strong start, but while passing Piastri off track was contentious, he followed the race director’s instructions. He overtook a series of rivals to move up to third behind his team mate, but couldn’t quite match Hamilton’s pace. Would have earned a stronger grade had he performed better on Saturday.

Lewis Hamilton – 7/10

Qualified: 5th (+7 places ahead of team mate, -0.448s)
Grid: 4th (+8 places ahead of team mate)
Start: Held position
Strategy: Two-stop (S-M-S)
Finished: 2nd (+1 place ahead of team mate)

  • Quickest in Q1, then qualified in fifth after losing “two tenths” from oversteer on final lap at turn ten
  • Started fourth and beat Norris to turn one to take third but lost it being passed by Stroll at turn five
  • Passed Stroll on lap eight to reclaim third, then pitted for mediums on lap 24, rejoining fifth
  • Caught and overtook Sainz for second place, but slowly fell away from Verstappen ahead
  • Pitted for softs for final stint, retaining second
  • Continued to drop back from Verstappen ahead but pulled away from team mate to finish second

A strong weekend with his upgraded Mercedes allowed Hamilton to win the ‘not Verstappen’ class. Got a good start and managed his tyres well throughout the race, passing an Aston Martin and a Ferrari along the way. Easily out-qualified his team mate and was faster than him at the end of the race, but had no answer to Verstappen out front. An error at turn 10 in Q3 and losing out to Stroll on the opening lap were his only setbacks of the weekend.

Esteban Ocon – 6/10

Qualified: 7th (-3 places behind team mate, +0.267s)
Grid: 6th (+4 places ahead of team mate)
Start: +1 place
Strategy: Two-stop (S-M-H)
Finished: 8th (+2 places ahead of team mate)

  • Ahead of team mate in every session prior to Q3, taking seventh on the grid which became sixth after team mate’s penalty
  • Ran fifth in the early laps until passed by Russell, then pitted for mediums
  • Moved back up to seventh in the pit cycle, pressured by Tsunoda behind, then overtaken by Perez
  • Made second stop for hards and rose back up to seventh, then lost a place to Alonso despite aggressive defending
  • Ran in eighth where he would finish, a second ahead of Tsunoda

For the early part of the weekend, it was looking like another strong result could be on the cards. However, he admitted he “didn’t quite nail” his final Q3 lap and was out-qualified by Gasly. In the race, he spent more of the race on the defensive, rather than attacking, but held off Tsunoda in the final laps. His race pace did not seem as strong as his team mate behind, which, along with his qualifying performance, limits his grade.

Pierre Gasly – 6/10

Pierre Gasly, Alpine, Circuit de Catalunya, 2023
Penalty cost Gasly his best starting position since 2021
Qualified: 4th (+3 places ahead of team mate, -0.267s)
Grid: 10th (-4 places behind team mate)
Start: -5 places
Strategy: Two-stop (S-M-H)
Finished: 10th (-2 places behind team mate)

  • Behind team mate in all practice sessions and first two qualifying phases before taking fourth place in Q3
  • Dropped to tenth on the grid after two three-place penalties for impeding Sainz and Verstappen
  • Lost four places being crowded out at turn two at the start, then a fifth when passed by Magnussen
  • Ran in 14th, then gained places from rivals pitting until stopping for mediums, but was delayed on the right-front
  • Rejoined 16th, then passed Leclerc and De Vries before pressuring Piastri for 12th
  • Pitted for hards the same lap as Piastri, resuming still behind him, before eventually passing him for 11th
  • Came under pressure from Leclerc in the closing laps but held the Ferrari off to take 11th
  • Promoted to a point in tenth after Tsunoda’s penalty was applied

A frustrating weekend for Gasly whose Sunday could have looked so much different had he started where he qualified. He was to blame for holding up Sainz but was misled by his engineer about Verstappen the second time, though Gasly paid the price. He was bullied onto the gravel at the start and lost a heap of places, but his pace in his final two stints was better than his team mate’s and he did well to fight back into 11th, picking up a fortunate point after the flag.

Lando Norris – 6/10

Lando Norris, McLaren, Circuit de Catalunya, 2023
Great Saturday, lousy Sunday for Norris
Qualified: 3rd (+7 places ahead of team mate, -0.890s)
Grid: 3rd (+6 places ahead of team mate)
Start: -11 places
Strategy: Three-stop (S-H-M-S)
Finished: 17th (-4 places behind team mate)

  • Qualified an excellent third after being inside the top three in all three qualifying phases
  • Ran into the back of Hamilton at the start, damaging his front wing that forced him to pit on the first lap
  • Fell to last and returned there after making his second stop for mediums
  • Overtook Bottas, Sargeant and Magnussen to finish 17th, one lap down

A weekend that started off so well for Norris ended up becoming another race spent driving around near the rear of the field. Norris’ qualifying performance was outstanding, but he was flattered by so many regular front runners being out of the top ten. Damaging his front wing ruined his race, but while it was not the most egregious error, he had no one else to blame. The rest of the race was spent playing catch-up: He needed a Safety Car to truly get back in contention.

Oscar Piastri – 5/10

Qualified: 10th (-7 places behind team mate, +0.890s)
Grid: 9th (-6 places behind team mate)
Start: -1 place
Strategy: Two-stop (S-H-M)
Finished: 13th (+4 places ahead of team mate)

  • Followed team mate through to Q3 but qualified seven places lower in tenth, admitting he didn’t hook up his final lap
  • Lost three places over the first three laps to run in 12th, then dropped to 15th after pitting for hards
  • Overtook De Vries and then nailed Magnussen on the same lap before passing Hulkenberg for 11th
  • Held off Gasly before pitting for mediums, but lost two places to Gasly and Leclerc soon after
  • Ran 13th over the final stint where he would eventually finish, just ahead of fellow F2 champion De Vries

A mixed weekend for Piastri. He had flashes of excellent pace, even in qualifying, but he failed to match his Q2 time in the top ten shoot-out and then lost places in the early laps. He made some great moves on fresh tyres but simply lacked the pace to have a change of challenging for points – likely limited by his McLaren more than anything. But he did not make any mistakes of note during the weekend.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Valtteri Bottas – 5/10

After Q1 exit, damage spoiled Bottas’ race
Qualified: 16th (-3 places behind team mate, +0.300s)
Start: -2 places
Strategy: Two-stop (S-H-H)
Finished: 19th (-10 places behind team mate)

  • Spun on a damp patch in Q1, recovered back onto the track but eliminated first in 16th
  • Dropped two places at the start and pitted first on lap five, later complaining of damage to his floor in the early laps
  • Spent most of his second stint being overtaken by cars who pitted, then stopped for a second set of hards
  • Ran last over the final laps but managed to catch Sargeant, overtaking the Williams to finish 19th

After starting the weekend so strongly in practice, Bottas would have been more disappointed than most by his result. He admitted to being baffled by his team mate’s superior qualifying pace, but he was even further off in the race. His lack of performance was later explained by damage to his floor, which saves him from a harsher rating, but looked generally inferior to his younger team mate when it mattered most.

Zhou Guanyu – 7/10

Qualified: 13th (+3 places ahead of team mate, -0.300s)
Start: +4 places
Strategy: Two-stop (S-H-H)
Finished: 9th (+10 places ahead of team mate)

  • Comfortably reached Q2, unlike team mate, and eliminated a respectable 13th
  • Gained three places by turn three at the start, then a fourth when Norris pitted
  • Overtook Hulkenberg for eighth, then pitted early for hards, falling to 16th
  • Lost places to Hulkenberg and Tsunoda but re-passed the Haas to eventually sit in tenth
  • Made second stop for a second set of hards, rejoining down in 15th
  • Moved back up to tenth then pressured Tsunoda, running off track while attempting a pass at turn one
  • Finished tenth on the road but promoted to ninth after Tsunoda’s penalty was applied

An impressive performance for Zhou who looked like the stronger of the Alfa Romeo drivers and not for the first time this season. His qualifying was solid enough but his start was one of the best in the field. He drove like a veteran in the race, giving a good account of himself in battle with Hulkenberg and making the hard tyres work well for him. He was a bit fortunate to gain ninth with a contentious penalty for Tsunoda, but even tenth would have deserved as good a grade.

Lance Stroll – 6/10

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin, Circuit de Catalunya, 2023
Stroll led Aston Martins home as Alonso stayed his hand
Qualified: 6th (+3 places ahead of team mate, -0.513s)
Grid: 5th (+3 places ahead of team mate)
Start: +2 places
Strategy: Two-stop (S-S-H)
Finished: 6th (+1 place ahead of team mate)

  • Significantly slower than team mate in all three practice sessions
  • Secured sixth on the grid in qualifying which became fifth after Gasly’s penalty
  • Moved into third on the first lap after passing Hamilton into turn five, but lost the place on lap eight
  • Pitted for a second set of softs, then lost a place to Russell to sit fifth
  • Made second stop for hard tyres, then made way up to sixth through pit stop cycle
  • Caught by team mate in the closing laps but came under no pressure, finishing sixth

A decent enough weekend for Stroll saw him take important points after two rounds without any. He looked off the pace in practice but managed to keep his car on the road in qualifying, unlike his team mate, and out-qualify him. He got a great start and his move on Hamilton may have been the best thing he’s done all season, but he benefitted from Alonso opting not attack him in the final stint. However, that was Alonso’s decision and Stroll earns credit for being ahead on Saturday and Sunday.

Fernando Alonso – 5/10

Qualified: 9th (-3 places behind team mate, +0.513s)
Grid: 8th (-3 places behind team mate)
Start: +2 places
Strategy: Two-stop (S-S-H)
Finished: 7th (-1 place behind team mate)

  • Comfortably quicker than team mate in all three practice sessions
  • Ran off the road at turn 14 in Q1, suffering floor damage that cost him ‘three tenths’ for rest of qualifying
  • Reached Q3 but could only manage ninth on the grid
  • Ran sixth in the opening laps but was passed by Russell before pitting for a second set of softs
  • Lost a place to Perez and ran behind the Red Bull until second stop for hard tyres
  • Rejoined in tenth, then overtook Zhou, Tsunoda and Ocon to move into seventh behind team mate
  • Told his team he would not attack Stroll and finished less than a second behind in seventh

Alonso’s weekend was compromised by his off in Q1 which he later claimed had kept him up that night, but the Aston Martin driver did not set the circuit alight on Sunday either. He made some good passes, but only against inferior cars as he could not keep either Russell or Perez behind him. He chose not to attack Stroll despite catching him in the later laps but while his race pace was as good as Stroll’s, he must be graded lower for being behind in qualifying and the race.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Kevin Magnussen – 5/10

Qualified: 17th (-9 places behind team mate, +0.622s)
Grid: 17th (-10 places behind team mate)
Start: +4 places
Strategy: Three-stop (S-M-H-M)
Finished: 18th (-3 places behind team mate)

  • Eliminated 17th in Q1, blaming his lower downforce set up for failing to follow team mate into Q3
  • Gained four places at the start to run 13th, then fell to 19th after pitting for mediums
  • Overtook De Vries and Bottas, then came under pressure from De Vries before pitting for hards
  • Ran in 19th, then pitted a final time for a second set of mediums, rejoining 19th
  • Overtook Sargeant but was passed by Norris in the closing laps to finish 18th

An underwhelming performance even if it was clear Haas had their struggles with tyre conservation in the race. Although he avoided damaging his car through the weekend like many others did, he was easily slower than Hulkenberg across the two days that mattered most.

Nico Hulkenberg – 6/10

Nico Hulkenberg, Haas, Circuit de Catalunya, 2023
Hulkenberg couldn’t convert points-scoring opportunity
Qualified: 8th (+9 places ahead of team mate, -0.622s)
Grid: 7th (+10 places ahead of team mate)
Start: -1 place
Strategy: Three-stop (S-M-H-M)
Finished: 15th (+3 places ahead of team mate)

  • Secured seventh on the grid after running in the top ten in each qualifying phase
  • Dropped to eighth at the start, then lost three places in three laps before pitting early for mediums, suffering slow stop
  • Overtook Bottas and Zhou, then passed by Tsunoda and Zhou
  • Passed by Piastri on fresh rubber before pitting for hards, overtaking Sargeant, Albon and Bottas
  • Pitted a third time just outside the top ten for mediums, dropping to 16th
  • Gained one place when Norris pitted and finished 15th, one lap down

A weekend of two halves for Hulkenberg who secured his best qualifying result of the season before struggling with tyre wear during the race. His starting position was flattered slightly by drivers in faster cars underperforming but there was little flattering about his race pace as he couldn’t keep his tyres alive. He earns credit for being the quicker of the two Haas drivers once again and pulling off some good moves but he couldn’t overcome the degradation in the race.

Yuki Tsunoda – 6/10

Qualified: 15th (-1 place behind team mate, -0.394s)
Start: +3 places
Strategy: Two-stop (S-H-M)
Finished: 12th (+2 places ahead of team mate)

  • Spun at turn 12 during the damp start to Q1 but continued
  • Reached Q2 but had best time deleted for track limits, dropping him from 11th to 15th
  • Gained two places at the start, then a third when Norris pitted to sit 12th
  • Overtook Piastri for 11th, then Hulkenberg for tenth before pitting for hard tyres
  • Passed Zhou and Hulkenberg a second time, then ran eighth before second stop for mediums
  • Moved back up to eighth through pit stop cycle but overtaken by Alonso to run in ninth
  • Received a harsh five-second penalty for ‘forcing’ Zhou off the track
  • Crossed the line in ninth but was demoted to 12th after his penalty

The phrase ‘would have scored points, but’ seems to be the theme of Tsunoda’s season so far. Once again, he was in the hunt for one of the final points places but frustratingly missed out. He qualified lower than he should due to track limits, but that is better than being too slow. In the race, he made good progress with some decent moves and was comfortably quicker than his team mate. His penalty was harsh and he almost earned a seven, but going out of bounds in Q3 cost him.

Nyck de Vries – 5/10

Nyck de Vries, AlphaTauri, Circuit de Catalunya, 2023
Another uneventful weekend for De Vries
Qualified: 14th (+1 place ahead of team mate, +0.394s)
Start: -2 places
Strategy: Two-stop (S-H-M)
Finished: 14th (-2 places behind team mate)

  • Spun at damp turn 11 in Q1 but continued, easily progressing into Q2
  • Knocked out in 14th place, but almost four tenths quicker than team mate
  • Started on softs but pitted early for hard tyres to undercut rivals ahead, emerging in 19th
  • Overtaken by Magnussen but passed Bottas, running in 14th before pitting for mediums and rejoining 17th
  • Passed Norris and ran 14th where he would finish a lap down, unable to pass Piastri in the final laps

An unremarkable weekend for De Vries but by no means a poor one. He survived a spin at turn 12 in qualifying to end up ahead of team mate Tsunoda on the grid, but he couldn’t match his team mate’s pace in the race. While Tsunoda was in the fight for points, De Vries was nowhere near. He found more confidence in the final stint but by then he was out of contention, finishing 15 seconds adrift of his team mate to cap off an average performance.

Alexander Albon – 5/10

Qualified: 18th (+2 places ahead of team mate, -0.636s)
Start: +1 place
Strategy: Two-stop (S-H-M)
Finished: 16th (+4 places ahead of team mate)

  • Ran off the road at turn five early in Q1, causing floor damage that led to him being eliminated in 18th
  • Picked up one position from Bottas on lap one
  • Rejoined last after pitting for soft tyres, then overtaken by Hulkenberg
  • Made second stop for mediums on lap 37, pulling away from team mate behind on hards
  • Finished 16th, ten seconds behind Hulkenberg and almost three seconds ahead of Norris

A tough weekend where there was not many opportunities for Albon in a car lacking downforce relative to their rivals. Felt he should have challenged for Q2 in qualifying, but was one of many to run off onto the gravel in slippery conditions. He was the quicker of the two Williams drivers in the race, but not by the margin he has been in other rounds this season. A 16th place finish was not a bad result.

Logan Sargeant – 4/10

Logan Sargeant, Williams, Circuit de Catalunya, 2023
Saturday crash set Sargeant back
Qualified: 20th (-2 places behind team mate, +0.636s)
Start: +1 place
Strategy: Two-stop (M-H-H)
Finished: 20th (-4 places behind team mate)

  • Crashed early in final practice, losing his car in the final corner on a damp track
  • Sent out late in Q1 after repairs but was eliminated slowest in Q1
  • Started from the pit lane after changing suspension set up under parc ferme
  • Exited pits ahead of Leclerc on medium tyres but was passed on lap four
  • Kept within five seconds of team mate ahead over first two stints
  • Fell away during his final stint on hard tyres to finish 20th and last, one lap down

For a driver who admitted Barcelona was one of his favourite circuits and who had a decent history in Catalunya, Sargeant would have been disappointed with his weekend. The Williams was the slowest car and it showed as he was regularly last in the sessions. His early crash in final practice was the quintessential rookie error but in the race, he largely matched his team mate’s pace until fading in the last stint on harder tyres.

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 Spanish Grand Prix

Browse all 2023 Spanish 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.

66 comments on “2023 Spanish Grand Prix weekend F1 driver ratings”

  1. Most impressed: VER & HAM
    Most disappointing: GAS

  2. For me

    Top three: Verstappen, Hamilton, Zhou.

    Bottom three: Perez, Leclerc, Bottas

  3. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    6th June 2023, 7:59

    Even as a fan of Bottas, 5 just seems too high. Unlike Saudi Arabia and Baku, he didn’t suffer any damage in the race, so his slow pace was very questionable. He finished nearly a minute behind zhou. Leclerc also idn’t get any confirmation of any problems, so he could well just have struggled himself in the same way as Bottas. I think both should get a 3. There is certainly no reason to rate Bottas ahead of Leclerc.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      6th June 2023, 8:03

      Hmm, not sure how I missed that out, so he apparently did get floor damage, like saudi arabia.

  4. So now Max rating is dependent on competition… This was a 9 or 10 if you ask me, what more can he do?

    1. Yes this was close to a 10 for Max. Sheer perfection. Not only the best car, but certainly also the best driver, making zero mistakes and drives any car faster than others by half a second a lap.

      1. Facts&Stats
        6th June 2023, 9:01

        What do you call hitting all five targets in a single race: pole, race win, lead all laps, FLAP, maximise track limits ;)

        1. maximise track limits ;)

          I think you’ll find the proper term is exceed track limits. Hence, the black & white flag
          Anyone else wonder whether other drivers on the track could have matched Max’s times by exceeding limits?

          1. When tracklimit were exeeded, but just not enough to get a penalty, then the proper term is maximised.

      2. “and drives any car faster than others”
        What kind of nonsensical statement is that?!? What are those “any car”s?!? When have you seen him drive a Williams or an AlphaTauri? He’s only driven 1 car against 1 competition – Sergio Perez – and that’s all you know about him.

    2. Maybe not collect a driving standards flag for track limits repeatedly, even though he was under absolutely no pressure?

      1. You do that purposely most often, it’s a free time. It can’t be an argument.

    3. During the race, after the first corner, he did not have to do any heroic things anymore. And it looked to me he was not doing any heroic things. He was driving very well and consistent, so that’s worth an 8. Still the best grade of anyone for this race.

      After Norris stopped on lap 1 and had his car’s front wing replaced, he drove on hard tyres and set a new fast lap immediately, while many were still on medium or soft. That tells me nobody was pushing or doing “heroic” things.

      1. Max was pulling a gap on a harder tyre, then extended his lead on the hardest tyre and drove the fastest lap just for the point and for fun after the black and white flag because he could. Utterly dominant performance, not one mistake the whole weekend… He was perfect and the rating should have reflected that more. Maybe not a 10? Ok, tell me what he possibly could have done better?

        1. Nothing, but 9 and 10 are meant for heroic performances, against all odds, and when you have such a dominant car there’s not much you can do in that department, however I suggest (if you didn’t already) checking the ratings on here for spa 2021: verstappen got a 9 because he also had to recover a component change penalty, so dominant performance, starting from the back and doing all perfectly can give a 9.

          We haven’t seen any 10 yet, but we also saw a 9 for ocon this year.

          1. 9 and 10 are meant for heroic performances


            While Max drove well and didn’t put a foot wrong, that’s not enough for a higher rating.

            I’d suggest the only way he’s going to get more is if he ends up out of position through no fault of his own and fights his way back to the top. The reason for this is that just qualifying 1st and then driving well within the limits of his car out in front without challenge all race is not heroic, it’s just what we expect of a driver of Max’s quality in such a dominant car.

          2. Actually, I can think of another way he could score higher: Push hard and lap everyone (or at least all but one or two). He seems like he has the pace to do it. He can finish half a minute ahead without pushing.

            It isn’t the wisest thing to do (win as slowly as possible is the intelligent way to do it), but it would be impressive and would probably be enough to get him a higher rating. Cruising to an effortless victory from pole won’t.

          3. Yes, like the race Ocon drove in Monaco. I can’t stop watching his whole race. Heroic drive at its finest..

          4. Yeah, look at what Ocon did in Monaco – held onto third place – at Monaco!!!! 9 refects the undisputed drive of the season. Let’s keep it for these truly special drives and not dilute its meaning.

        2. Ops, that was meant to be spa 2022.

    4. It’s just the UK hate machine at work. The man could lap the whole field backwards with one hand on the wheel and offer free blowjobs for everyone and they would still go out if their wat to downvote him. Makes the whole thing useless to be honest.

      1. Nothing to do with UK preference, hamilton, russell or norris didn’t get any 9 yet either with this system, it’s just very harsh, your typical 10\10 at school is 8 here, 9 is like an 11 at school.

      2. Max is one of only two drivers to have ever received a 9/10 in these ratings, and the other one wasn’t British either.

        But sure, it’s the “UK hate machine”…

        1. Hmm, weak point. There is this flipside to that coin. What if a british driver performed like Max did this season?

          1. I guess we don’t know, but I doubt he’d be scored any higher (assuming the same circumstances). Will Wood always comes across as very fair and balanced, to me.

      3. Couldn’t agree more

    5. What more can he do?
      Driving the car in reverse and lapping the whole grid 3 times. That will earn him a 9 maybe.

      1. needs to throw in a 360 spin and win to earn a 9 like in Hungary probably

      2. That’s the problem – there is more he can do. A hell of a lot more – it’s just that it wasn’t required… He could have done less and still won without any stress. It’s the same as Hamilton when he was winning easily for years – it’s not a spectacular performance because it doesn’t need to be!

        That’s not Max’s or Lewis’ fault but it’s reflected in their scores. A 10/10 for me is someone who has to make several overtakes, has a competitor (from a different team) pushing them all the way to the flag and is involved in a close title fight where a single mistake can be extremely costly – if they have all of that pressure but still don’t put a foot wrong all weekend, then yeah, that’s a 10.

        It’s like comparing penalty kicks in football – one taken in a training session vs one taken in the World Cup final. You can judge the technique, the mind-games, the placement of the shot and so on but if you ignore the effect of the extreme amounts of pressure dictated by the situation the penalty was taken in, you’re not really making a fair comparison.

      3. He needs to start from the back and do all he did this race (still win, fastest lap etc.), obviously the start from the back can’t be his fault, else points would be deducted, who was it again who said engine penalties were silly? Was imo the only way for someone like verstappen to get 9, and now they’re gone.

      4. I don’t say this randomly, it’s indeed what happened when he got 9 in spa 2022.

    6. I guess it’s what we expect Max to do every weekend. So normal day at the park for him 8 points. If Perez had done the same job he would have been rated a 9 for sure.

    7. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      6th June 2023, 13:37

      Constantly receiving warnings for track limits followed by a black and white flag shouldn’t earn him a 9 or 10 shouldn’t it?

      1. It’s called using the track to the maximum or slightly over the limit. No penalty as he stuck to the rules. wWhat was your comment when Hamilton did it 14 times and then mid-course the stewards stated you needed to respect track limittat that corner too? Somehow I doubt you qualified Hamilton’s driving the same…

        1. Revisionism…

          The RD’s note to the teams and drivers said the won’t be monitoring track limit on that corner… if Max and red bull DD not read it, whose fault is that?

          During the race, red bull complained to the RD that Lewis keep going out of track in that corner. They had to enforce track limits

          it’s always convenient for you to leave this out to suit your narrative…

          Thank you for banking with us as usual…

  5. The concept of comparing the races to all of F1 history is nice, but it does lead to the question why – with all this information and technical advancements and the difficulty drivers have to get into F1 (age requirements, points requirements, fewer teams, a much stronger worldwide racing scene) – most F1 drivers are seemingly so average. Even the likes of Russell, Leclerc and Pérez – guys hired by the best teams – did little more than creep up the order because they have slightly better equipment.

    1. Very valid point, and it to me it does not make sense to compare modern day performances with the ones in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s or even 90’s. The cars nowadays are much more refined, there’s a whole lot more tools available for tuning, more data to investigate any issue, and last but not least, a whole lot safer. The drivers are all dedicated to their sport 24/7, with carefully planned diets, exercise, rest, training, etc.

      This leads to the drivers being much closer in their general ability than in the past, as they are all working hard and have a substantial degree of talent. Feeling safer also allows them to actually drive near, on and over the limit of any car as an incident is unlikely to cause serious injury or worse.

      F1 drivers nowadays simply cannot do the legendary drives of the past (e.g. finishing two laps ahead of the field on a wet nurburgring or whatever) because those required some to, above all, have less fear, and a substantially larger difference in ability between drivers. The refined engineering on the car side inevitably also leads to the differences being made in much smaller details. The days that teams occasionally found something worth a couple of tenths in general or on a specific track are over.

      It is well worth realising that every single driver and team operation would probably be world champions by a substantial margin if they had operated like they do nowadays in the past. Yes, even Stroll or Latifi in a Haas.

      1. Besides that there’s a lot more data (feedback, systems, settings and adjustments) to process while driving. It doesn’t necessarily look heroic, but asks more of the drivers.

  6. How is Norris hitting Hamilton somehow a negative for Hamilton. The only reason Stroll got past was Norris hit Hamilton, unsettled his car that then let Stroll get a run on him where he would never have had a chance normally. Sainz getting the same score as Hamilton is also a bit silly imo.

    1. Well… Hamilton wasn’t aware enough to avoid risking a puncture from that by leave enough space… But in racing… Don’t know if he should have.. it’s part of it I think.

      1. Norris ran into the back of Hamilton, what space could he have left? The irony is the cause of the accident was actually the concertina effect of Sainz and Verstappen slowing on the apex of the turn so Hamilton had to slow to not hit Sainz. There was nothing Hamilton could do in that position.

        1. He could have NOT squeezed Norris… It’s not that complicated.

          1. You cannot squeeze someone when you’re ahead of them but reading your earlier comments it’s pretty clear you’re just a troll.

  7. Robert Henning
    6th June 2023, 11:14

    And Ocon’s Monaco weekend was a 9?

    Some people just don’t want to rate Max fairly haha.

    1. The only reason he does not earn a higher grade is that his car continues to hold such an advantage over its rivals and the absence of Perez meant he was under minimal pressure outside of turn one, coupled with being the only driver to earn a black-and-white flag for track limits. But still, the best performer of the weekend.

      The car only has advantage in Max’s hands or is that unclear to the author? Perez could not beat the Mercs with a much faster car. But yeah when the greatest ever sector in Monaco got overlooked for Ocon was slowing everyone down in Monaco, should have understood how hard it must be to give the best driver the good ratings.

    2. Verstappen is the ONLY other driver who got a 9 so far, in spa 2022! These verstappen bias accusations are ridiculous, the difference between ocon and verstappen here is the car: ocon had to fight against stronger cars and put in an incredible performance in quali, what did verstappen have to do here? His team mate, leclerc the qualifying ace and russell had a terrible performance, sainz is no competition and mercedes isn’t up there yet to be competitive with hamilton, aston martin was slow too, and then the race was as easy as quali for him.

      1. An 8 for Verstappen is quite consistent with previous ratings.
        The real question though is if Ocon’s city tour was worth a 9 (I’d say no).

        But rather than having such a high hurdle for 9 (there still is 10 to celebrate real heroism), I’d like to see a bit more spread a the top end. I had hoped it would’ve come at the start of this season, but it seems Will has decided to continue with the ‘hurdles’ he used last season.

      2. Robert Henning
        6th June 2023, 15:55

        Ocon’s Sunday at Monaco was mediocre at best, and even on Saturday he was completely outshone by the greatest sector of qualifying Jolyon Palmer had ever seen.

        There’s nothing consistent with giving Ocon a 9 and Verstappen’s weekend an 8.

        It is perception bias at play clearly. Will’s reasoning is very funny really. As if Perez would have done anything to threaten Max this weekend and put “pressure” lol.

      3. He outqualified his team mate by nearly .4s which is pretty good (although Max and Bottas did better on that metric). Both Alpines made Q3, so doesn’t see like that car was all that bad. Putting a Haas on pole, now that might warrant a 9.

        Driving slowly at Monaco while not being passed isn’t noteworthy though (unless you do it in style like Ric, with a partly failed PU).

  8. Grand chelem = 8/10 apparently

    1. Not surprised in these not-challenging circumstances and not the first time either, he didn’t get 9 in imola 2022 either, which was a grand chelem, unfortunately I doubt we got other grand chelems apart from him as of 2022, but if we had most likely they wouldn’t have got 9 either.

      1. What does he have to do to get a 9 ? This is ridiculous.

        1. Not being on the staff at Racefans I can only suggest we take another look at what Will (@willwood) wrote in regards to Max being graded 8/10: “The only reason he does not earn a higher grade is that his car continues to hold such an advantage over its rivals and the absence of Perez meant he was under minimal pressure outside of turn one, coupled with being the only driver to earn a black-and-white flag for track limits.” Those excursions were unforced errors, not forced errors by pressure from competitors. Yes, a minor point, but surely enough to not warrant being graded higher.

          1. That is very thin indeed. His car continuous to hold such an advantage? Perez car is totally rubbish then since he doesn’t amount to anything the last two races. He even allowed the Mercedes to start behind him but finish in front of him. Maybe George should get a lower grade since his car holds such an advantage over Perez’? Oh and mentioning the track limits really shows the intent here indeed as it is a total non-issue. Nevertheless, looking at this bias topic I feel it is just a small and further decreasing group of people who refuse to acknowledge what is being displayed here.

          2. @Mayrton Yes, I agree with your comments. I should have been more respectful to what Max did, which was a Masterclass display of driving.

  9. How could you award 7 points for HAM and SAI??? And 6 points of RUS?
    It’s a ridiculous thing…

  10. Max did a 10/10 here.

    It’s not his fault that he has no competition.

    1. indeed. It’s like taking a test at school and having answered all questions correctly. But then being marked down because your classmates are a bunch of nitwits that failed the test

    2. I’d almost agree, it was almost perfect except for his unforced excursions from the track. Nevertheless, Max is forcing everyone to upgrade their driving skills.

  11. Max has reached a level of perfection now that is unmatched. In his first years he already had the sheer pace, but not the perfection he now shows. He has now become the best driver in many decades.
    However there is still negative bias towards him here from people who do not want to see the difference he makes to other drivers. Put Max in the Mercedes and Lewis in the Red Bull the next race and Max would still be competing for the win; Lewis certainly would not drive away from him. The fact that Max will drive any car on the grid at least half a second per lap faster than the current driver is greatly ignored by a lot of biassed fans here.
    Yes, Max has got the best car on the grid, but it is his talent that makes his wins look like a walk in the park. It is time to stop the bias. Just give Max a 10/10 when he deserves it.

  12. Max Verstappen deserved a 10/10. It’s a freaking grand chelem. He dominated the weekend.
    Booo … Will Wood

  13. “easily out-qualified his team mate and was faster than him at the end of the race, but had no answer to Verstappen out front”

    What does Will expect?? The RB car is in a league of its own. The only other person on the grid that has a car capable of challenging Max is the sister RB with Perez. What does Will expect Lewis to do? Magically conjure up extra pace on the Merc?? Blimey!

    Also, i know Max is in arguably the most dominant car ever, but a Grand Chelem always deserves a 10. Both Max and Lewis have been woefully under scored here. Also can we please stop taking free practice sessions into account when rating. A driver may be testing certain parts which affects his pace, while his teammate doesn’t. Useless to take FP into account. What counts is qualifying and the race.

  14. You know the bias against Hamilton is real on this site when they have him as a 7/10 when he achieved a 2nd, really good qualifying, was Driver of the day, teammate couldnt touch him, and just 25 seconds behind an extremely dominant car that is realistically way more clear of the field.

  15. Revisionism…

    The RD’s note to the teams and drivers said the won’t be monitoring track limit on that corner… if Max and red bull DD not read it, whose fault is that?

    During the race, red bull complained to the RD that Lewis keep going out of track in that corner. They had to enforce track limits

    it’s always convenient for you to leave this out to suit your narrative…

    Thank you for banking with us…

    1. sorry, meant to be a reply to Woody

Comments are closed.