2023 Canadian Grand Prix weekend F1 driver ratings

2023 Canadian Grand Prix

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A challenging weekend for drivers in Montreal saw their driving abilities tested in all conditions across the three days of the Canadian Grand Prix.

Some delivered when it mattered most in qualifying while others found themselves out of position, penalised or both. Then in the race, there were close battles throughout the field – except at the very front.

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

Max Verstappen – 8/10

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2023
Verstappen left the field behind for sixth win
Qualified: Pole (+11 places ahead of team mate, -1.867s)
Grid: Pole (+11 places ahead of team mate)
Start: Held position
Strategy: Two-stop (M-H-M)
Finished: Winner (+5 places ahead of team mate)

  • Ahead of team mate in every completed session
  • Quickest in final practice
  • Took pole position by comfortable margin after red flag effectively ended session early
  • Led from the start and never once came under pressure from Hamilton or Alonso behind
  • Led every lap of the race to take the win by just under ten seconds

Yet another weekend where Verstappen never looked in any doubt of being beaten, even if his margin of victory suggests his Red Bull’s dominance may not be what it was at the start of the season. He battled with his balance changing over the course of his stints and made a half-error at turn eight which cost him a second, but other than that it was another untouchable performance from the world champion who was again the class of the field.

Sergio Perez – 4/10

Qualified: 12th (-11 places behind team mate, +1.867s)
Grid: 12th (-11 places behind team mate)
Start: Held position
Strategy: Two-stop (H-M-S)
Finished: 6th (-5 places behind team mate)

  • Behind team mate in every completed session
  • Knocked out in Q2 in 12th after failing to get the slick tyres up to the right temperature to make the most of them
  • Made no progress in early laps on hards until picking up places by staying out under Safety Car to restart in sixth
  • Passed Albon after second stop to move back to sixth, where he would finish
  • Pitted in the final laps for soft tyres to take the fastest lap point

Yet another weekend of underperformance for Perez who failed to reach Q3 for the third event running, this time due to being unable to ‘switch on’ his slick tyres in Q2. But while his race was clean and without any major mistakes or incidents, he was simply slow. Not just compared to his dominating team mate out front but to the Ferraris ahead which he gradually fell away from. Another weekend that leaves the Perez of the early season a fading memory.

Charles Leclerc – 6/10

Qualified: 11th (-3 places behind team mate, +0.759s)
Grid: 10th (+1 place ahead of team mate)
Start: +1 place
Strategy: One-stop (M-H)
Finished: 4th (+1 place ahead of team mate)

  • Eliminated from Q2 in 11th after missing best window to switch to slick tyres
  • Stayed out under Safety Car jump up to fourth place, falling away from three leaders
  • Remained in fourth for the entire second stint, finishing four seconds behind Hamilton and three ahead of team mate

Considering how his weekend appeared to be heading after qualifying, fourth place was about as good as Leclerc and Ferrari could have realistically have hoped for from Sunday. Leclerc had every reason to be frustrated that his team did not heed his calls to switch to slicks as soon as Q2 began, but Alonso, Russell and Hamilton all made it through on intermediates. Once he was out of the DRS train, Leclerc showed his true pace and led his team mate home just a handful of seconds behind Hamilton.

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Carlos Sainz Jnr – 4/10

Carlos Sainz Jr, Ferrari, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2023
Sainz was the villain of qualifying
Qualified: 8th (+3 places ahead of team mate, -0.759s)
Grid: 11th (-1 place behind team mate)
Start: Held position
Strategy: One-stop (M-H)
Finished: 5th (-1 place behind team mate)

  • Investigated but not punished for impeding Albon at chicane in practice
  • Crashed out of wet final practice at turn one, causing heavy damage to front and rear of car
  • Reached Q3 and was eighth before red flag effectively ended session
  • Demoted three places to 11th after being deemed guilty of blatant impeding of Gasly at chicane in Q1
  • Gained five places by staying out under Safety Car
  • Ran fifth for the final three-quarters of the race, agreeing not to attack team mate throughout to finish fifth

An eventful weekend to say the least for Sainz who became the Menace of Montreal due to seemingly getting in everyone’s way at the chicane during the timed sessions. He was fortunate his practice crash did not compromise his qualifying, but his penalty was as blatant as it could get. In the race, he benefitted from the Safety Car but he earns credit for sticking so close with his team mate from the restart to the end of the race. While he salvaged a respectable result, it was not the weekend expected from a Ferrari driver.

George Russell – 4/10

Qualified: 5th (-1 place behind team mate, +0.266s)
Grid: 4th (-1 place behind team mate)
Start: Held position
Strategy: One-stop (M-H)
Result: Retired (Brakes – L54)

  • Only just beaten by team mate in qualifying to take fifth on the grid, which became fourth after Hulkenberg’s penalty
  • Got within DRS range of Alonso after the initial laps around the Virtual Safety Car
  • Crashed at turn nine through an unforced error, but managed to rejoin the race behind the Safety Car in last place
  • Stuck in DRS train but used hard tyres to rise up the order as rivals pitted but forced to retire due to terminal brake problem

A disappointing end to a decent enough weekend for Russell. He was just a fraction off from his team mate throughout the weekend but close enough to consolidate Mercedes place and looked set to score solid points while the Ferraris, Perez and Stroll were out of action. Then a rare mistake at turn eight ruined his race, although he was fortunate it did not completely end it. He looked on course to salvage some minor points but a brake problem put him out. A missed opportunity with only himself to blame.

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Lewis Hamilton – 7/10

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2023
Hamilton couldn’t keep Alonso contained
Qualified: 4th (+1 place ahead of team mate, -0.266s)
Grid: 3rd (+1 place ahead of team mate)
Start: +1 place
Strategy: Two-stop (M-H-M)
Finished: 3rd

  • Quickest in second practice
  • Beat team mate to fourth on the grid, inheriting third after Hulkenberg’s penalty
  • Passed Alonso at the start to run second but was caught and overtaken by him after the Safety Car
  • Closed gap to Alonso over final stint but could not breach DRS range, eventually completing the podium five seconds behind

Offering third place to Hamilton behind Verstappen and Alonso would have been a result he would have likely taken happily heading into the weekend. He had good pace throughout, beat Russell in qualifying and beat Alonso off the line to run second in the early laps. He couldn’t match Alonso’s ultimate pace, however, and never looked like challenging the Aston Martin once he had fallen behind. But third was likely a fair reflection of Mercedes’ performance level around Montreal.

Esteban Ocon – 6/10

Esteban Ocon, Alpine, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2023
Ocon got up to fifth at the start
Qualified: 6th (+11 places ahead of team mate, -0.772s)
Grid: 6th (+9 places ahead of team mate)
Start: +1 place
Strategy: Two-stop (M-H-H)
Finished: 8th (+4 places ahead of team mate)

  • Missed a significant chunk of Friday practice after a loss of water pressure brought his car to a stop
  • Easily reached Q3 then took sixth on the grid
  • Lost places to faster cars committing by to two-stop but moved up to seventh after the restart
  • Spent final 17 laps within DRS range of Albon but could not get by
  • Finished eighth after holding off Norris in closing laps despite a shaky rear wing

A decent performance from Ocon across the Canadian weekend. A strong showing in the wet on Saturday, but he admitted he had not maximised opportunities on race day. He did what his team mate could not and brought home points for Alpine, but after starting ahead of Leclerc, Sainz, Perez and Albon, finishing behind all of them would have been a disappointment.

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Pierre Gasly – 5/10

Qualified: 17th (-11 places behind team mate, +0.772s)
Grid: 15th (-9 places behind team mate)
Start: +2 places
Strategy: Two-stop (S-H-H)
Finished: 12th (-4 places behind team mate)

  • Suffered car failure on first lap of practice but lost no time as session never resumed
  • Frustrated to be knocked out of Q1 after having fastest lap ruined by Sainz at the final chicane
  • Lost many positions after pitting just before Safety Car and could not make progress in the DRS train
  • Passed Hulkenberg after second stop for hard tyres and caught Piastri in closing stages but had to settle for 12th

Gasly went from being a perpetrator of impeding in Spain to a victim in Montreal. He lost out badly with the timing of the Safety Car but it was surprising he could not find a way by De Vries despite a car advantage. Once freed from the train, he managed to make more progress, but by this point the damage was done and 12th was as good as he could manage. No real mistakes, but no flashes of brilliance either.

Lando Norris – 6/10

Lando Norris, McLaren, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2023
Norris was dinged for delaying rivals behind the Safety Car
Qualified: 7th (+2 places ahead of team mate, -3.303s)
Grid: 7th (+1 place ahead of team mate)
Start: -1 place
Strategy: Two-stop (M-H-H)
Finished: 13th (-2 places behind team mate)

  • Easily reached Q3 just ahead of team mate, taking seventh on the grid
  • Earned a five second time penalty for driving too slowly under Safety Car to try and create room for double-stack pit stop
  • Gained places in his middle stint and then caught and passed Bottas
  • Fought Ocon in closing laps and finished just behind him in ninth, but dropped out of the points after penalty was applied

A solid enough performance across Saturday and Sunday for Norris that ultimately yielded no reward after a five second penalty hamstrung him heavily in the tight midfield pack. He lost out to his team mate at the start before bullying his way past at the restart and showed good pace once clear of the train behind him, passing Bottas and trying his best to get by Ocon to the finish. While he was always bound to lose out with the double stack pit stop, he likely would have scored if he’d kept things legal under the Safety Car.

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Oscar Piastri – 5/10

Qualified: 9th (-2 places behind team mate, +3.303s)
Grid: 8th (-1 place behind team mate)
Start: +1 place
Strategy: Two-stop (M-H-H)
Finished: 11th (+2 places ahead of team mate)

  • Reached Q3 in fourth but crashed out at turn seven, leaving him in ninth
  • Pitted under Safety Car, dropping to tenth, battling with team mate, Albon and Magnussen
  • Ran behind Stroll after second stop, catching him in the final laps but finishing just outside the points in 11th

A tricky first weekend at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for Piastri, but one where he gained plenty of racing experience. Committed his first “big mistake” in F1 by his own admission by crashing out of Q3 but still secured ninth place. His opening stint was very strong, but after the Safety Car he could not find the same pace as he previously seemed to have. He battled well in the pack but was overtaken by his team mate and finished behind him on the road but ahead in the results, just one place shy of a point.

Valtteri Bottas – 6/10

Qualified: 15th (+5 places ahead of team mate, -1.01s)
Grid: 14th (+6 places ahead of team mate)
Start: -2 places
Strategy: One-stop (H-M)
Finished: 10th (+6 places ahead of team mate)

  • Ahead of team mate in every session
  • Reached Q2 but was knocked out slowest in 15th
  • Stayed out under Safety Car to move up to eighth for restart, battling with Magnussen and Ocon
  • Ran tenth and picked up ninth when Russell retired, but passed by Norris and then Stroll at final corner
  • Gained a final point in tenth after Norris’s post-race time penalty was applied

A solid weekend’s work for Bottas where he gained four places from his starting position by the final results but just missed out on the final point in tenth. Admittedly underperformed in qualifying but was another victim of the changeable weather. In the race, he made great work of his hard tyres through his first stint to put himself in a strong position for the end of the race. His tyres fell off and he just missed out on a top ten finish in the final metres, but was handed tenth anyway thanks to Norris’s penalty.

Zhou Guanyu – 4/10

Qualified: 20th (-5 places behind team mate, +1.01s)
Grid: 20th (-6 places behind team mate)
Start: +1 place
Strategy: Two-stop (M-H-H)
Finished: 16th (-6 places behind team mate)

  • Behind team mate in every session
  • Stopped on track at start of qualifying but recovered back to pits, but still eliminated slowest from Q1
  • Gained four places after pitting under Safety Car, ran 14th in DRS train before making second stop for hard tyres
  • Moved up a handful of places as rivals pitted ahead to sit 16th, pressuring Tsunoda until the chequered flag

An underwhelming performance from Zhou at a circuit where he took his best ever finish last year. He was lucky to get the car started again after stopping in the opening minutes of Q1, but then admitted he didn’t have a fully clean lap and was eliminated slowest. In the race, he benefitted from the Safety Car timing but struggled to make much from it stuck behind Tsunoda. Even in clearer air, he couldn’t match Bottas ahead for pace and came home six places behind him to cap off a forgettable weekend.

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Lance Stroll – 5/10

Stroll salvaged two points after starting 16th
Qualified: 13th (-10 places behind team mate, +1.708s)
Grid: 16th (-14 places behind team mate)
Start: +2 places
Strategy: Two-stop (M-H-H)
Finished: 9th (-7 places behind team mate)

  • Behind team mate in every full session
  • Earned a €1,000 fine for his team after breaking pit lane speed limit by 17kph in practice
  • Spun in qualifying but avoided major damage, eliminated from Q2 in 13th
  • Hit with three-place grid penalty for impeding Ocon on first lap on dry tyres
  • Spent early race stuck in DRS train before pitting and using clear air to gradually move up the order
  • Passed Bottas for tenth on the run to the finish line, then gained one place after Norris’s penalty to be classified ninth

Not a good weekend for Stroll, but also perhaps not as awful as it may have appeared from the results. Much like Leclerc and Perez, he was knocked out of Q2 for being on the wrong tyres when the track was best and his impeding grid penalty was perhaps the harshest handed out on Saturday. In the race he made zero progress in the DRS train until he was released into clear air and lapped quickly enough to snatch tenth at the finish. But he still came home behind drivers in quicker cars.

Fernando Alonso – 8/10

After his blip on home ground, Alonso was back to his best
Qualified: 3rd (+10 places ahead of team mate, -1.708s)
Grid: 2nd (+14 places ahead of team mate)
Start: -1 place
Strategy: Two-stop (M-H-H)
Finished: 2nd (+7 places ahead of team mate)

  • Ahead of team mate in every full session
  • Qualified third on the grid but promoted to front row after Hulkenberg’s penalty
  • Lost second to Hamilton off the line but chased him down before passing him along back straight for second
  • Asked to carry out substantial lift-and-coast by team due to fuel system concerns, allowing Hamilton within two seconds
  • Pulled away from Hamilton over closing laps to finish second, just under ten seconds behind winner

Maximising the best realistic result possible and finishing closer to Verstappen than at any other time in 2023 amounted to another very strong weekend for Alonso. Was fortunate to inherit a front row start from Hulkenberg’s penalty and lost second place off the line to Hamilton, but he stuck to the Mercedes like glue and hunted him down to pass him. Despite being asked to lift-and-coast after one-third distance, he maintained strong pace to hold off Hamilton for another second place.

Kevin Magnussen – 5/10

Qualified: 14th (-12 places behind team mate, +1.373s)
Grid: 13th (-8 places behind team mate)
Start: -2 places
Strategy: Two-stop (H-M-M)
Finished: 17th (-2 places behind team mate)

  • Qualified in 14th after failing to follow team mate through into Q3
  • Stayed out under Safety Car to jump to seventh, but quickly fell through the field after the restart
  • Suffered a frustrating off while battling with De Vries, losing 40 seconds which was ultimately to blame for finishing in 17th

A difficult weekend for Magnussen where his results probably did not do him justice. He was knocked out of Q2 largely for being in the pits when the track was at its best and could not emulate his team mate’s remarkable result. In the race, he tried to overcome a lack of race pace with gambling on staying out behind the Safety Car but had little answer to the speed of cars behind. His race was ultimately ruined by De Vries’ inelegant attempts to pass him and after that there was little more he could do.

Nico Hulkenberg – 6/10

Hulkenberg lost a front row start to an avoidable penalty
Qualified: 2nd (+12 places ahead of team mate, -1.373s)
Grid: 5th (+8 places ahead of team mate)
Start: -1 place
Strategy: Two-stop (M-H-H)
Finished: 15th (+2 places ahead of team mate)

  • Suffered technical failure in second practice, losing half a session
  • Got through to Q3 in eighth, then jumped up to second place just before Q3 red flag
  • Started fifth on the grid after being handed three-place penalty for failing to stay above minimum red flag speed
  • Pitted for hards a lap before the Safety Car which cost him at least seven net places
  • Rejoined last after second stop, picking up places to eventually run in 15th, holding off Zhou to finish there

A tale of two days for Hulkenberg, who originally appeared to be one of the heroes of qualifying when he took a provisional front row start thanks to a well-timed red flag. However, he dropped to fifth on the grid after an avoidable penalty for driving too fast under red flags. In the race, his first stop could not have been timed worse, but once the race resumed his Haas just did not have the race pace and there was little hope of fighting for points. He was the quicker of the two Haas drivers, however.

Yuki Tsunoda – 5/10

Qualified: 16th (+2 places ahead of team mate, -0.391s)
Grid: 19th (-2 places behind team mate)
Start: -1 place
Strategy: Two-stop (M-H-H)
Finished: 14th (+4 places ahead of team mate)

  • Last driver eliminated from Q1, two places ahead of team mate
  • Hit with three-place grid penalty for being deemed to have impeding Hulkenberg in Q1
  • Pitted for hards on opening lap, then ran in DRS train before second stop at half-distance
  • Moved up to 14th when Magnussen pitted where he would finish

An unremarkable weekend for Tsunoda where he was quicker than his team mate but there appeared to be more in the car. Was disappointed to miss out on Q2 and earned a penalty for not giving way to Hulkenberg after running wide. In the race, his aggressive early stop strategy was compromised by the early VSC and Safety Car and he struggled to find any opportunity in the DRS train. Points may not have been possible, but a higher finish may have.

Nyck de Vries – 4/10

Nyck de Vries, AlphaTauri, and Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2023
De Vries skidded off and took Magnussen with him
Qualified: 18th (-2 places behind team mate, +0.391s)
Grid: 17th (+2 places ahead of team mate)
Start: Held position
Strategy: Two-stop (M-H-H)
Finished: 18th (-4 places behind team mate)

  • Knocked out of Q1 in 18th, two places behind team mate
  • Pitted a lap before Safety Car, then ran in DRS train before clashing with Magnussen and falling to last
  • Finished last in 18th, four seconds behind Magnussen

Another underwhelming performance from De Vries around a track he had never raced around before. Failed to make it out of Q1 after struggling with traffic on his final flying laps and was unlucky that the Safety Car was deployed seconds after he had already pitted, allowing cars ahead to stop and emerge ahead. He raced in the same DRS train as his team mate but his attempts to pass Magnussen looked more F2 than F1. Finishing last was an underachievement to say the least.

Alexander Albon – 7/10

On soft tyres, Albon performed heroics in Q2
Qualified: 10th (+9 places ahead of team mate, -1.399s)
Grid: 9th (9 places ahead of team mate)
Start: -1 place
Strategy: One-stop (M-H)
Finished: 7th

  • Was only Williams driver to run with upgrades for the weekend
  • Easily made Q2, then went quickest of all, but lost only lap in Q3 by running off-track at final chicane, leaving him tenth
  • Pitted under Safety Car for hard tyres to restart 12th, moved up to seventh with one-stop strategy as rivals pitted
  • Absorbed pressure from Russell, then Ocon for 25 consecutive laps on lengthy final stint to claim best ever finish with Williams

A strong result for Albon as he successfully realised the potential of Williams’ upgrades over the weekend and once again held his nerve under pressure to bring home the points. It was not quite as giant-killing a performance as some of his other points finishes for the team due to how optimised his car was for the Montreal circuit and he could have started higher on the grid had he set a valid Q3 lap, but there is no question he achieved the best result possible on the day and so earns a strong grade for it.

Logan Sargeant – 5/10

Qualified: 19th (-9 places behind team mate, +1.399s)
Grid: 18th (-9 places behind team mate)
Start: Held position
Strategy: M
Result: Retired (Oil leak – L7)

  • Raced all weekend without upgrades given to team mate
  • Behind team mate in every session
  • Knocked out of Q1 in 19th place, failing to follow team mate through to Q2
  • Ran 18th within DRS range of De Vries before being forced to stop the car with an oil leak on lap seven

Sargeant’s weekend needs to be assessed in the context that his upgrade-less FW45 was likely the slowest car on the grid. At a new circuit with disrupted practice time and only his second experience in the wet, he made no major mistakes and retired through no fault of his own in the race. He could have done better in qualifying, but failed to get his tyres into the optimal temperature window. He was eclipsed by his team mate, but wasn’t driving the same car and so shouldn’t be judged the same.

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2023 Canadian Grand Prix

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Author information

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

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47 comments on “2023 Canadian Grand Prix weekend F1 driver ratings”

  1. For me Albon was at least an 8, while Fernando probably closer to 7 than 8 in my view. Being beaten by Hulk in qualy means he didn’t really have the greatest Q3.

    As for Max, until he learns to do a grand-slam blindfolded, there’s no chance for him to get above 8.

    1. Getting a grand slam these days is far more difficult than it used to be due to the point for FLAP.

      Max didn’t even entertain the thought this race as he knew Perez could make a free pitstop for softs.

      Multiple times grand slam performances have been killed from the record books in last laps due to late pitstops for FLAP.
      * Russell nicked FLAP away from Perez in Singapore 2022 despite being more than a lap down and outside top 10
      * Max nicked FLAP away from Lewis in Qater 2021
      * Lewis nicked FLAP away from Max in Styria 2021
      * Bottas nicked FLAP away from Lewis in Spain 2020
      * Vettel nicked FLAP away from Lewis in France 2019

      1. Not sure on that, reliability is now better and as a schumacher fan I remember some grand chelems he lost due to reliability: his dominant performance in monaco 2000 till the suspension problem 23 laps to go and as the fastest driver on track was likely to get the FL too, or canada 1995, which is remembered as alesi’s only win but before that it was a grand chelem for schumacher until 12 laps to go he got a gearbox issue and lost 70 sec to fix it; he also lost the monaco 1997 pole for a few thousands of a second, a wet race that otherwise would’ve been another grand chelem.

        Imo reliability improvements considered grand chelems are now easier than ever, especially when you add the longer periods of dominance than ever and the higher amount of races.

    2. The circumstances of the Q3 with a red flag which came out right after Hulk’s run and right before Fred finished beating Hulk’s time make your considerations void. Only Lady Luck made Hulk apparently faster than Fred in Q3. Ultimately Hulk’s penalty removed his advantage. Poetic justice.

    3. You probably didn’t watch Q3.

    4. I can agree to rate Albon higher than Alonso, but let’s be honest – Hulk beaten Alonso only because Hulk was able to finish his 2nd push lap, while Alonso didn’t.

      However, Alonso lost the start very badly, and later hit the wall – but ultimately regained his deserved 2nd place. I guess that’s not enough to drop below 8, because he kept his tyres in good condition, preventing Hamilton from doing some surprise. Managed his fuel good as well, I think Alonso deserved 8 there.

      Albono definitely deserved 8 as well, because he made slicks work very well in Q2, later screwed his push lap in Q3, but it wouldn’t change much – his pace was somewhere behind Sainz, so he’d jump only ahead of Piastri. Later made his strategy work, positioned his car well to defend from Ocon, great job. My star of the weekend.

      By the way, Ocon really disappointed me that race. He also made his 2nd push lap in Q3, jumped ahead of Norris, but significantly lost with Hulkenberg. Later he gained that spot in the race, okay – and lost track position due to strategy. Okay. He might have been worried about taking not casual path around Turn 10, because of Bottas close behind – but there was a window when Norris passed Bottas, when car behind lost DRS. Ocon had like 3 laps, so good enough for full recharge and at least one attempt of wider line around the hairpin, to gain more speed and possibly pass Albon. Later Norris regained DRS, so this chance disappeared, but come on. I don’t feel like Ocon did everything possible, and shaky rear wing is not much of an excuse to me – especially since Esteban admitted it didn’t really affect car’s downforce, and it was visible especially in Sector 1 – when he was constantly going under 0.4s behind Albon, but in a place with no real overtaking opportunity. I think he should’ve got 5 there.

    5. while Fernando probably closer to 7 than 8 in my view.

      Fernando in a quicker car than the Mercs- gets beaten off the line, takes 18? laps to repass Lewis in a slower Merc car and hits the wall yet in Will’s mind, that is a performance that is rated higher than Lewis’s? Alonso is consistently over inflated in the scores by Will. It’s a reason as to why i’ve stopped coming here. And before anyone accuses me of over reacting, there have been multiple comments from various different posters all saying the same thing–that Will tends to score Alonso far to generously and easily.

      1. I don’t think Lewis deserves a lower score than FA, but all your “reasons” to derate FA don’t hold water:

        -Losing a place at launch is rarely due to do the driver, especially when there’s zero space to fight it. Just as FA didn’t deserve credit for spots gained before T1 during crazy launches w/the 03-06 Renault as it was the car, not him, he doesn’t get the blame for a poor launch.

        -The difference in speed between the AMs vs Mercs is minor. A tenth maybe. When LH has a car ideal for him, no one’s faster. When it’s not suited to him, he loses that extra gear.

        -If he “hit the wall,” he would have been out or at least in George’s position. He tapped the wall. Deducting points for “almost” crashing is like if a driver crashed but “almost didn’t” and you then judged their drive as if they didn’t crash.

        -Alonso not attacking right away after getting passed was just common sense. Why ruin your tires and ensure Max gets away by slowing by yourself and Lewis in a fight. A driver with race craft will always figure out where the guy ahead is struggling to ensure he gets it done right away when he finally tries.

        1. -Losing a place at launch is rarely due to do the driver, especially when there’s zero space to fight it. Just as FA didn’t deserve credit for spots gained before T1 during crazy launches w/the 03-06 Renault as it was the car, not him, he doesn’t get the blame for a poor launch.

          Amazing, how Alonso poor start is “rarely due to the driver, but on the car”, but when he gains those positions, it’s because “he has great starts”. Quick reminder, that this season, Alonso lost more positions on 1st lap than he gained, his “1st lap plus/minus” this season is exactly -1 (minus one). And it’s like this because he gained one position in Baku sprint, it would be -2 if we would count only Sunday races.

  2. Honestly, I thought Albon should have gotten the highest rating this weekend. I don’t think he could have done much better than he did.. through quali and the race weekend. He was a clear 9 for me.

    Alonso, Max and Lewis were all equally good, with a 8 rating each.

    1. Fully agree that Albon should have been given a 9 certainly considering Ocon got a 9 in Monaco.

      For Albon in a Williams to be a roadblock in Canada for many laps against faster cars on newer tires is for me more impressive than Ocon being a roadblock in Monaco with an upper midfield car.

      1. Just read what you wrote about the (joint) highest ever rating dished out by Will-

        “Ocon being a roadblock in Monaco with an upper midfield car” –

        Blashpemy…. I am sure re reading your word, you have realised the errors of your ways. Ocon held position at MONACO for the entire race (well lets not forget George got ahead but then had a moment, but we will ignore that for now). Please give credit where credit is due.

    2. Alonso, Max and Lewis were all equally good, with a 8 rating each.

      The problem with Alonso & Max (or at least the challenge in rating them) is that we don’t know at what level their team-mates are performing.
      Based on the quali and race gaps maybe their team mates should be rated further down (if the scale allows that). Or maybe AloMax are really outperforming their car, performing at 110%, surpass what’s technically possibly, beat every hyperbole and deserve more than the maximum score ;)

      1. It’s pretty clear given the historic mediocre performances of both their teammates it’s the former yet for some reason their teammates don’t get marked down enough for being completely outperformed every week. When Sainz, Leclerc, Hamilton or Russell get beaten in qualifying by their teammate it’s a automatic point off every race.

      2. The race was an other day at the office but in qualy rain conditions max showed he is in a league of his own.

      3. Or maybe AloMax are really outperforming their car,

        You can’t physically outperform a car. What you can say is that they are maximising the machinery they have.

        1. You missed the other references, the word ‘hyperbole’, and the ‘wink’, all in the same sentence.
          But thank you for stating the obvious.

    3. Alonso, Max and Lewis were all equally good, with a 8 rating each.

      Yup. Quite a few are perplexed why Lewis has been downgraded a score, yet again

    4. Yes, agree albon could’ve got 9 and if not, it’s absolutely unfair to give him only 7; I didn’t have time to open the driver of the weekend vote but albon was my clear choice.

  3. Although I agree with these ratings the overall rating for Verstappen is a 7.5 which I think should be 8.0 at least.

    1. Yes, he hardly made mistakes this year, he’s losing points for perfect races without competition, getting 7 at times.

  4. About a third of the way into the season, only three drivers have an average score higher than 6. While it makes sense when comparing to all of F1 history for most drivers to be about average, it’s still something that perhaps hints at a bigger problem.

    The field seems a bit… lackluster? I don’t know what the right word is. One the one hand you have guys like Hamilton and Alonso – old foxes whose best years are behind them but who still frequently show why they have been as succesful over their long careers – and Verstappen, who is by all accounts in a league of his own at the moment (and arguably has been for a few years).

    Then there’s the people who have been around for a long time already and are just not at that level, some not even close. They’re driving around, have a couple of good races a year, but that’s about it. Guys like Bottas (208 races), Pérez (243 races), Hülkenberg (189 races), Sainz (170 races), Magnussen (149 races) and arguably also Ocon (119 races) and Gasly (116 races) – although Ocon is the kind of guy who might surprise if he lucks into a great car.

    Behind them in terms of experience there’s the likes of Leclerc (110 races), Norris and Russell (90 races). Guys who have promise, but who are definitely taking their sweet time to make that final step, and the longer it takes the more unlikely it becomes.

    1. For Leclerc, I feel we have yet to see him shine in a good team. At the moment, Ferrari seem to be shooting him in the foot at most races. Of course, he’s also made some mistakes himself, but how much of that is down to frustration at the performance of the team around him?

      If I was in his shoes, I’d be looking for a seat elsewhere. With the midfield as competitive as they are right now, and Ferrari being so poor, I suspect he may even be able to perform better in an Alpine or a McLaren if he could get the seat.

    2. Are you serious?

      On what planet do you put Alonso or Hamilton as “best years behind them” while Verstappen as always is considered some kind of genius in what is clearly far beyond dominant car as ‘the best’

      Do you know Mansell won at 39 then went on to win a far more challenging Indy than today the following year…?

      Oh and funny enough won his final race at 41 while Shumi and Damon screwed up?

      I am sorry but until Verstappen gets any sensible comparison with one of the few greats in his team – you simply cannot suggest that or casually cast aside the only guys able to make him actually race rather than just stroll to a win. This is how Reb Bull manage their championship- they argue for aero regs then cuddle their latest love.

      I suggest you look at RB history- this is what they do.

      He will be poorer for it as when anyone actually catches up I have no doubt he will have forgotten how to race revert to the 2021 tactics and walk away broken like their other wonder child that threw up millions of wins.

      I honestly wonder at fans these days – in 2011 the only other non RB pole position was – yep the guy who’s best years are behind him…

      Well his wonderkind young fresh team mate is learning that there is a difference between actually beating someone with 100+ races under their belts than pulling off a lucky year. Ask George how he is feeling this year – with his past it team mate?

      Poor Lance – well dad or not, no one expects much but that Aston is clearly the nearest thing to RB – how many battles have we seen?


      Give me back 2021 and at least competitive racing between racers

      1. Robert Henning
        20th June 2023, 15:14

        Good rant. Hope you have a good day.

      2. I’d rather have any year except 2021. The race for the WDC may have been competitive, but the standard of officiating was dreadful and completely ruined what should have been the best season in a decade or more.

        1. Robert Henning
          20th June 2023, 15:42

          It did not ruin anything.

          The sport is more popular and has become bigger than ever before, and people need to get off this high horse.

          In fact, rivalry of the highest form has to have everything that 2021 had, otherwise there’s just no competition.

          1. If F1 needs continuous manipulation by the officials to keep it exciting enough for you, then it has a real problem.

            It ruined 2021 for me. It was the worst season we’ve had in many years, IMHO, when it could well have been the best if the officials hadn’t interfered so much. It may have brought in new fans, but how many of those new fans will stick around? If they keep interfering, how many long-standing fans will leave?

            The sport is in a precarious position right now. It is chasing new fans, which is great. But without making it a spec series or continually manipulating to force “excitement”, there will be few seasons with the on-track action of 2021. They need to balance keeping the new fans who expect 2021-level competition, and not upsetting long-standing fans too much by manipulating the results.

            If, for instance, football referees started changing their decisions based on what would be most exciting for the fans, how do you think it would go down? “I’ll just ignore that foul because he’s close to the goal and it’ll be more exciting for the fans to see him try to score”. “That foul was just outside the penalty box, but I’ll call it a penalty because, if he scores, it will tie the game going into half time”.

        2. Robert Henning
          20th June 2023, 20:54

          Yet you are here spending your time on a ruined sport.

          Learn to live with it.

          1. Luckily, they haven’t been as bad since. Still inconsistent, but not blatantly manipulating things, and certainly not ignoring the rulebook completely.

    3. Robert Henning
      20th June 2023, 15:18

      I would put it differently — it is fundamentally a lack of machinery and thus a subsequent perception bias.

      The Turbo Hybrid era has been the worst period in F1 as far as my memory goes.

      From Merc to RB, nothing has changed.

      One top driver won the bulk of the races.

      Other top drivers lack the car to do anything meaningful.

      I believe Verstappen will beat any other driver over a season in an evenly-matched car rather comfortably, but guys like Norris, Alonso, Russell, and Leclerc have not had the car to show that they can fight over a season.

      Just like how it took me till 2021 to appreciate Verstappen’s greatness, I think it will need the other good drivers to have a good car and a title fight for us all to appreciate them.

      1. And it always will be. It’s why F1 fans need a companion F1 spec series to the existing series with identical everything with the only changes you can make being setups.

        Have one short spec practice session on Fri. after, between or before P1 + P2 to get setups. On Saturday, after normal F1 quali, have spec series’ quali (30 mins) followed an hour later by a 60 min race.

        Even then it’d only be like 97% effective, rather than 100%, for comparing drivers cause spec cars might have some natural tendencies that suit one driver a bit more than another. So, it’d be like a 97% perfect scenario for seeing how drivers did in identical machinery.

      2. I already considered verstappen great before 2021, but finally with that season he showed he could compete over a season, agree leclerc, russell etc. need a proper car, for example I think leclerc would make less mistakes than he’s doing now with a victory contending car.

  5. As always, some iffy ratings, purely because of this stubborn insistance on “comparing to the entire history of F1 races”.

    But even then, a 7 for Albon is criminal…

    1. Yes, even with these rules that these ratings use, an 8 seems like the minimum albon should get and considering ocon got a 9 at monaco this year and verstappen did in spa 2022 I believe there’s a case for that too.

  6. Ver 8, Alonso 8, Ham 7?
    I don’t get it: why was Hamilton’s performance any lower? He did everything he could and didn’t have the brush with the wall and curbs of Alonso and Verstappen. Basically one less point for having a slower car?
    Also, Albon was surely the most impressive in terms of extracting the most out of the equipment.
    Still can’t take this points system seriously.

    1. He almost failed to reach Q3 – despite having equal machinery since Spain upgrade was unable to get/stay close to Alonso who was managing an issue.

    2. Can’t take seriously that with a textbook unsafe release forcing the driver behind to brake (as officially acknowledge) there was no penalty.

      I’d give a very generous 3.

      1. Of course

        Because you never revert to type…

        Honestly be serious

        Alonso fussing with his steering wheel stomping on his brakes having been perfectly beaten on a stop while embarrassed because his car is at least .2 faster?


  7. Not sure why Lewis is scored only a 7. He beat Alonso off the line and held him behind for nearly 20 laps in a car Will Wood himself has admitted is slower than the AM. And Alonso did make a few errors too. I do think Will has a bit of a soft spot for Alonso and it often reflects in the ratings. Honestly, i preferred it when Keith did the ratings. He was far more balanced and would always keep his preferences and biases in check.

    1. Sometimes there were controversial ratings there too, hamilton not being marked a struggler in a horrible monaco weekend some years ago was the nadir imo.

      Having said this, I agree it should’ve been an 8 for him this weekend, and albon too, minimum.

  8. Most impressed: VER, ALO, & ALB
    Most disappointing: SAI, PER, & RUS

    1. Russell made a mistake and his recovery wasn’t bad, I think perez is the most impressive struggler.

  9. Max deserves a 9 this weekend, based on his Saturday performance. In qualifying he showed who is the true master of car control. In those conditions car performance is not leading, but driver skills are. And Max showed the world how you drag a Formula 1 car around a slippery track at top speed. Just amazing to witness. No other driver comes near.

    1. Even in the wet the car matters, A LOT! Or did verstappen suddenly become way better than hamilton now? Because in monza 2017, full wet conditions, it was verstappen being 1 sec behind.

      1. Maybe Max has become better than when he was 19 years old….

  10. The car doesn’t drive itself. The best drivers like Lewis, Fernando and Max always come out on top in these conditions that’s not a coincidence.

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