Nyck de Vries, AlphaTauri, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2023

2023 mid-season F1 driver rankings part 1: 20-17

2023 F1 season

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The summer break means it’s time to look back over the first half of the 2023 season and see how the 21 drivers who have competed in the opening 12 rounds have fared.

These rankings are largely based on RaceFans’ race weekend driver ratings for each round of the season so far, which assess driver performance across Friday, Saturday and Sunday. However, there are other factors that will be considered when ranking each driver’s form across all of those rounds.

Over five parts this week, we’ll rank the drivers from the least impressive performer to the most impressive. Today’s first part covers the drivers that have been ranked the lowest out of their peers.

Not ranked: Daniel Ricciardo – AlphaTauri

Daniel Ricciardo

Best Worst
GP start 13 19
GP finish 13 16
Points 0

Much like how you don’t expect to have your six-month review on your third week into the job, it’s not fair to rank Daniel Ricciardo just three weeks into his return.

Having competed in only the most recent two rounds in Hungary and Belgium since making his headline-grabbing return to the grid, Ricciardo hasn’t participated in enough race weekends for a fair ranking. However, that’s not to say his performances over those two events can’t be assessed.

Considering he jumped straight into an unfamiliar car at short notice after going 35 weekends without competing in any kind of motorsport, Ricciardo can and should be pleased with his performance so far. He reached Q2 at the first attempt at the Hungaroring, unlike his team mate Yuki Tsunoda, and despite damaging his car in the first corner melee, he finished 15 seconds ahead of Tsunoda in 13th place.

His Belgian Grand Prix weekend was not quite as impressive as he missed the cut in Q1 after losing his best lap time for track limits, but his top ten finish in the sprint race was something Nyck de Vries never managed once in his time in the car. Ricciardo’s second half of the season will be fascinating to watch.

20: Nyck de Vries – AlphaTauri

Nyck de Vries

Best Worst
GP start 12 20
GP finish 12 18 (x2)
Points 0

There are no certainties in Formula 1. But with that said, it seems a rather safe bet that de Vries will not be gaining any places in RaceFans’s 2023 driver rankings hereon.

The third rookie on the grid at the start of the year, de Vries had a pedigree unlike his two younger peers. As well as a Formula 2 title, De Vries had even won a world championship in Formula E two years ago as well as extensive experience in endurance racing. But perhaps it was the weight of expectation on him due to his CV that his F1 career would ultimately crumble as he became the first full-time F1 racer to lose his seat mid-season since Jolyon Palmer in 2017.

Were his ten rounds really that poor they warranted him being booted out of his seat? That depends on your perspective. But it’s unquestionable that de Vries did not enjoy a ‘good’ first half of the season, even if his deficit to team mate Yuki Tsunoda was not as big as fellow rookie Logan Sargeant’s was to his team mate.

Nyck de Vries, AlphaTauri, Circuit de Catalunya, 2023
De Vries’ underwhelming performance lost him his seat
De Vries endured probably the worst weekend of the season so far in Baku. He crashed in Q1, was slowest in the first segment of qualifying for the sprint race, clashed with his team mate in the sprint race and then crashed out of the grand prix with a silly error. Then at the next round in Miami, he out-qualified Tsunoda but ruined his race at turn one by bumping into Lando Norris. He clashed twice with Kevin Magnussen in Canada and Austria, looking desperate and sloppy in both encounters.

While things never got that bad over the remaining rounds he competed in, de Vries also never put together what could be described as a ‘good’ or impressive weekend. He was regularly the slower of the two AlphaTauri drivers and never had a positive moment that would make anyone in the paddock sit up and take notice. While he could have found better form in the second half of the season, he’ll never get that opportunity.

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19: Logan Sargeant – Williams

Logan Sargeant

Best Worst
GP start 14 (x2) 20 (x4)
GP finish 11 20 (x2)
Points 0

It may seem a little harsh for rookie Sargeant to be so close to the bottom of this list, but it perhaps says more about the overall quality of the 2023 field than it does about F1’s first full-time American driver in over 15 years.

Sargeant is the only driver on the grid with no F1 points to his name. While it’s not exactly fair to expect regular points finishes from anyone in a Williams, the FW45 is also a much stronger car than its recent predecessors. That is evident from the fact Sargeant’s team mate, Alexander Albon, has scored 11 points from three top ten finishes over the opening half of the season.

Sargeant’s F1 career began with a solid debut in Bahrain. He missed out on Q2 at the first attempt, matching the time of Lando Norris but being eliminated in 16th place. In the race, he picked up three places with an aggressive opening lap and held pace with Albon to finish a very respectable 12th. But that was the probably as good as it got for the 22-year-old, who otherwise has underperformed over race weekends more often than not.

Logan Sargeant, Williams, Spa-Francorchamps, 2023
Sargeant remains without a point after 12 rounds
In Jeddah, he should have reached Q2 for the first time, but a silly mistake running off-track on the run to the line on his fastest lap put paid to that. The next round in Melbourne, he missed all of second practice after suffering electrical problems. But that didn’t excuse being so far behind Albon on Saturday and then clumsily driving into de Vries at the final restart, which he should have been penalised for.

Then there were many more mistakes, such as crashing out of sprint qualifying in Baku which meant he could not start the race. Monaco was a baptism of fire for his first time driving an F1 car in the wet, but multiple errors cost him almost a minute in the race, and he was caught speeding in the pit lane. Crashing out of qualifying in Barcelona and spinning late during the race at Hungaroring were further errors that showed he has work to do to tidy up his act.

But the biggest issue affecting Sargeant is how he seems unable to match the pace of his team mate. For a driver who claimed qualifying would be his “bread and butter”, he has failed to reach Q3 once all year, whereas Albon has done so four times. Thankfully, he has the second half of the season to turn things around and make his case to stay on the grid in 2024.

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18: Lance Stroll – Aston Martin

Lance Stroll

Best Worst
GP start 5 (x2) 18
GP finish 4 14
Points 47

One of the most interesting questions heading into the 2023 season was, how well will Lance Stroll fair against a 42-year-old Fernando Alonso alongside him? Based on the sample of 12 rounds of the season so far, the answer appears to be ‘not very well’.

Head-to-head against his team mate, Stroll is thrashed probably harder than any other driver except perhaps Sargeant. But Sargeant is a rookie in one of the slower cars in the field, while Stroll is arguably approaching veteran status now in his seventh season in the world championship. Most striking of all is the fact that while his team mate has taken podiums in half of the races this season, Stroll has only finished as high as fourth once. Of his team’s 196 points, Stroll has contributed 47 so far – just under a quarter.

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin, Red Bull Ring, 2023
Stroll has been in the shadow of his team mate
As well as being consistently slower than his much older team mate, Stroll has also been inexcusably error-prone at times. His race in Monaco was sloppy, hitting Magnussen and sliding off three times in three corners on intermediate tyres to be the only driver to crash out of the race in the wet. In Silverstone, he earned a penalty when he clattered into Pierre Gasly in the later laps when battling for a point while his team mate was seventh.

He’s also developed a habit of passing rivals outside of track limits; first Gasly at Silverstone at Stowe, then Valtteri Bottas during the opening lap of Hungary. He somehow managed to avoid the attention of the stewards both times.

In summary, he has largely underachieved given the quality of his car in the early rounds. The fact he sits behind Norris in the championship despite McLaren starting the year as one of the slowest teams when Aston Martin were the second quickest says it all.

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17: Sergio Perez – Red Bull

Sergio Perez

Best Worst
GP start 1 (x2) 20 (x2)
GP finish 1 (x2) 16
Points 189

As ludicrous as it may seem at first glance that the driver sitting second in the championship with two race wins under his belt can be ranked as low as 17th at the mid-season stage, it’s a damning reflection on just how much Sergio Perez has underachieved with one of the most dominant cars in F1 history at his disposal.

With a car so clearly ahead of every one of its rivals like the RB19 has been, Perez should have arrived to every race so far targeting either victory or second place. Yet while his team mate Max Verstappen has achieved exactly that, Perez has only finished in the top two five times in 12 grands prix.

The start to Perez’s season was easily the strongest of his three as a Red Bull driver. He followed Verstappen home in Bahrain and then won in Jeddah – although only after Verstappen was hit by a driveshaft failure in qualifying and losing the lead from pole position to Alonso at the start. At least his victory in Baku required him to hold off his team mate for the majority of the race, although he did gain the lead thanks a fortunate Safety Car appearance just before his pit stop.

Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Hungaroring, 2023
Perez has been consistently error-prone so far
But then there were far, far more downs than ups. Starting in Melbourne, he was eliminated in Q1 after a “technical issue” but recovered decently enough to finish fifth. Then in Miami, despite the benefit of pole position with Verstappen starting ninth and no Safety Cars during the race, Perez was hunted down and overtaken by his team mate to finish an underwhelming second place.

After being soundly beaten in Miami, Perez’s form collapsed. In Monaco, he effectively ended his weekend on Saturday by crashing at Sainte Devote in Q1 and his attempt at a comeback was messy to say the least. He failed to reach Q2 in Barcelona because of an error at turn five, then he missed the final phase of qualifying in Canada in mixed conditions. He failed to reach Q3 for a fourth consecutive event in Austria after having three lap times deleted for track limits abuse, then his streak extended to five rounds at Silverstone after a late session restart on a drying track. Across those five rounds, Perez not only scored 85 fewer points than his team mate, he was even outscored by Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.

If anything, Perez has been flattered by his car being so dominant. Had Red Bull not won every race and been without genuine competition for the championship, then Perez’s subpar performance would only stand out that much more. In his third year with the team, he has no excuses and must ensure he picks up his performance in the second half of the season.

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RaceFans’ mid-season driver rankings will continue tomorrow.

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

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56 comments on “2023 mid-season F1 driver rankings part 1: 20-17”

  1. Hard to disagree with the rankings.

    Nyck was awful in terms of pace and errors… Logan had a decent start to the season, but has been way too slow after that. Lance… is just being lance, a perennial underperformer and Q1/Q2 exit specialist in a podium contending car. Sergio has been, arguably the biggest underperformer in 6 of the last 8 races.

    1. I rate Nyck’s performance ahead of Logan’s (10 races).
      Nyck finished more often ahead of Logan and less often as dead last.
      Only the upgraded Williams caused Logan’s results to improve a bit, yet still miles behind his teammate.

      1. Logan almost got in to the points at Bahrain and Britain.. P12 and P11 in both respectively. He was slow, as was Nyck but was less error prone. Some of Nyck’s wheel to wheel racing was terrible.. especially the Kmag incidents.

  2. I would have ranked Magnussen on the bottom-4 (probably instead of Perez, who wouldn’t rank much higher than 15th), but overall I agree with this. AlphaTauri and Williams have poor cars… but de Vries and Sargeant definitely made it look worse than actual. On the other side, Pérez and Stroll definitely have quick cars… but probably not as quick as Max and Fernando make them seem.

  3. Yeah, I think putting Perez back there really is not a fair assessment. But hey, everyone can do their own list and yeah, those 5 races “out” certainly colour his season.

    For the rest, hard to argue really.

    1. Jonathan Parkin
      14th August 2023, 16:19

      I still think something happened behind the scenes for Perez to collapse like this. He made one mistake in Round 5 or something. Immediately Christian says he should forget about the championship and the collapse begins. He wasn’t the same driver afterwards but it must be because of an event we are not privy to

      1. Behind the scenes? The qualifying mistakes were on scene, and rather obvious.
        Melbourne (3) and Monaco (6) were horrible examples. Add a few mediocre results in Spain (7) and Canada (8). The thing is that the gap between P2 and P10 often is sooooo small that leaving half a second has a hefty price. The RB is fastest, but the margin is mainly in race trim, less in qualifying.

      2. I think you’re right, the sudden drop in performance was too fast, long lasting and frankly conveniently timed to be simply pressure getting to him.

  4. I mean, this is silly. Happy to see that Stroll finally gets his righteous place. But after four races – even after qualifying for the fifth! – people were talking about a Perez title challenge. He won two races, he had two poles. Someone like that can never be 17th, just like Barrichello, Webber or Bottas were never 17th.

    Also, Sargeant, Stroll and Magnussen were far worse than De Vries, but it is easy to point to De Vries because he was sacked.

    1. For the seasons Bottas was at Mercedes, the competition was far closer – as it’s only really 2014-16, where we could say that they had a similar superiority to what RB do now. That’s why Hamilton / Rosberg were so close in points.

      In 2010 Webber, was in contention right up to the last race. I always thought he was over-rated, but no way was he ever as bad as Perez has been this season.

      And for Barrichello it was a different era, where he was the official No.2 – expected to openly make sacrifices for Shui. Even so he still performed well more often than not.

      1. @banbrorace Mercedes 2020 was every bit as dominant as RB is now.

        1. Not quite. And at least Bottas out qualified his team-mate for more than a third of the races.

          1. That only proves how good the car was.

        2. @hahostolze by most metrics, the RB19 is a more dominant car than the W11 was.

          After 12 rounds, Red Bull have scored 503 points – by contrast, in 2020 Mercedes had scored 435 points after the same number of races, putting Red Bull the equivalent of nearly three full race victories ahead of Mercedes in terms of points.

          Asides from the fact that no other manufacturer has won a race this season – whereas 2020 did see different teams being able to win races – Red Bull have also led 96% of all possible laps this season, with non Red Bull drivers having lead just 30 laps this season (again, significantly higher than in 2020).

          We know from available telemetry data that there have been several races this season where Red Bull have won comfortably and not even been pushing the car particularly hard. In the Belgian GP, which is the most recent example, we know from the telemetry traces and timing data for the first sector that, after pushing for a few laps to open a gap to Leclerc, Verstappen spent the rest of the race just coasting through Eau Rouge and was able to back off by around 0.3s in the first sector, yet still comfortably pulled away from the field.

          1. Since we don’t know how much Mercedes kept in their engine-performance-pocket between ’17 and ’20, we can’t say much about how much they were in front. The game is, and always has been to win as slow as possible…
            We know Ferrari could compete on a single lap in ’17 and 18* but it was fairly easy to see that the Mercedes had much better race pace, and was easier to drive.
            Back to 2020vs2023: Points are a bad metric: You forget to take the 2023 sprint weekend points into account, and driver mistakes from Lewis in Austria(1) and Italy(8), a blown tire for Bottas in Silverstone(4) a better strategy in Silverstone (5) for Max…
            The Red-Bull Eau-Rouge lifts were probably a necessity to keep the floor within regulations, caused by setup choices that paid dividends in other corners.
            I don’t know how Mercedes was able to pass their floor by scrutineering, but that’s another story

          2. Since we don’t know how much Mercedes kept in their engine-performance-pocket between ’17 and ’20, we can’t say much about how much they were in front.

            You can say the same thing about RBR and Max, though. It rarely looks like car or driver are anywhere near being pushed, even when they come home half a minute ahead of the next best car. There’s every possibility that they could be winning by over a minute, but are purposely hiding the full extent their advantage, just as has been said of Mercedes.

    2. If he’d done so in a car which wasn’t so dominant, I would agree with you. However, I think the quality of the car is flattering Perez.

      The first few races, he performed up to expectations, no more no less. Few seriously believed he’d be in a title fight with Max, but he should have easily finished second and picked up any wins Max dropped.

      Then he tanked. Failure to reach Q3 for 5 races in a row in the fastest car on the grid* by far… That’s simply terrible.

      I like Perez, but his performance this year has been absolutely dire and easily deserves such a low finish.

      * I am aware it’s not as dominant in qualifying, but it’s still a car which should easily be in Q3 every race unless there’s a serious issue.

  5. Fair rankings & regarding Sargeant specifically, no one really expected him to match Albon in his rookie season, but at the very least, prove an improvement from Latifi, which he quickly met.
    Next season would/will be another matter, though, if he’d still fail to match his teammate in pace & results.

    1. io one really expected him to match Albon in his rookie season
      Next season would/will be another matter, though, if he’d still fail to match his teammate in pace & results.

      Not sure if you are implying this, but I disagree that rankings should take experience into account.
      To me the ranking should rate the pure performance of the driver, like the rating of a school paper.

      1. Unless things changed in recent years, I remember a statement by the authors on here that experience makes no difference in the rankings.

        And after all, you have de vries and sargeant last, rookies who didn’t impress, you would think if they gave them a bonus for being new they wouldn’t be dead last.

  6. Stroll is such a conundrum of a driver. He clearly has ability, you don’t get pole positions and podium finishes in F1 without having ability. And yet if you asked most F1 fans who is the most likley driver on the current grid to do something amateurish, the answer would be Stroll. He still makes too many mistakes for a driver of his experience and he often goes missing during races. He also never ceases to make the job of being a Grand Prix driver look like a total pain.

    While it is easy to question the drive of a person who has grown up all the cash in the world, I do wonder if Lance is just doing this to avoid being cut off by his father. Most days he seems like he would rather be doing anything else than being a Grand Prix driver.

    To finish with a fun fact: Once this season is over, Lance Stroll will have completed as many full F1 seasons as Damon Hill and will have started 22 more Grand Prix than the 1996 world champion…mull that over for a while!

    1. I believe Stroll is now suffering from exactly the same issue as Maldonado before him. Yes there are glimpses of real talent in there, but they know that the money will secure their drive even if the mistakes build up. And if there are no consequences for failure or mistakes why bother learning from them.

      Maybe if by some fluke he ends up in a title winning car it will inspire him to buckle down and actually improve and utilize the talent he does have. But even then I doubt it, and I think he demonstrates perfectly the ceiling of a career pay driver.

      Also the Hill contrast is quite fitting. In all my years watching F1, I would say he was the one driver who was better than he thought he was. Often leading him to try far too hard (see 1995) compared to someone with more confidence in their job security.

    2. I doubt anyone knows enough about their relationship to really tell, but it’s definitely the case that there are a lot of disfunctional parent-child antics in sports. Usually because the father is vicariously seeking a second chance at his own failed career (attempt). This gets glorified when it works out, but more often it puts enormous strain on a family.

      That said, it’s probably more likely that the lack of consequences for failure has shaped Stroll. How could it not? I’m sure he still wants to do well, but it interrupts the learning process when one never has to fear being dumped.

    3. Yes indeed. Lance clearly has talent and skill but he somehow can’t tap into it often. Maybe he is the kind of driver that needs a car and setup to be perfect for him and if something is a bit off he can’t get the most out of the car – or maybe let’s it get to him. I can’t imagine having Fernando as a team mate will be good for him, as much as Fernando seems to be supportive it can also be a knock of confidence having a team you look up to and that is so dominant and overwhelming that you might get lost finding your own way (what works for Fernando won’t per se work for him etc) I have always wondered how Stoffel Vandoorne’s career would have gone if he had had a different team mate.

      1. Think vandoorne would’ve stayed in f1 and might not have been fired by mclaren with a weaker team mate than alonso, for a while at least, however wouldn’t have ever been good enough to join a top team; certainly, staying at mclaren till now wouldn’t be a bad situation, but now that they have norris and there was piastri around, he might’ve ended up in another alonso situation.

  7. Ever since he was mis-managed by McLaren (who wasn’t around that time!!) I’ve been a big fan of Perez.

    However, he arguably deserves to be lower than this ranking.

    If Fernando or Lewis were in Max’s seat, there would be a similar gap – so in fairness we have to factor in who he’s up against.

    But it’s hard to imagine there not been pretty sizable one between him and say Norris or Leclerc or even Piastri.

    Indeed, it’s hard to imagine any of those above him, giving the RB seat, doing any worse than Perez. Hence, why his ranking is entirely fair.

    1. I would definitely put Perez behind Stroll. He’s around KMag for me but not even KMag is that far off his teammate’s pace. I’d go 20th de Vries, 19th Sargeant, 18th Perez, KMag 17th. I don’t agree with Stroll being in the bottom 16. Maybe 15th but that’s just my opinion.

  8. Coventry Climax
    14th August 2023, 11:57

    Not sure it’s even important in which order they rank lower than 15. You could even argue it’s not important in which order they rank lower than 10th, given this should be the pinnacle.
    Not sure either if the car and team situation is fully omitted in all this. Hard to do maybe, but it is a driver ranking, not a team ranking or a driver/team combination ranking.
    I’d rank Logan higher than Stroll, given the equipment they’ve got. But even so; does it matter? Based on a ranking like this, but at the end of the year, ditch those lower than 15 (or 10?) please, in favor of fresh blood next season.

  9. Coventry Climax
    14th August 2023, 12:00

    Much like how you don’t expect to have your six-month review on your third week into the job, it’s not fair to rank Daniel Ricciardo just three weeks into his return.

    Yet we had a dedicated article about him and Tsunoada, with full stats and graphs. Nothing much about unfairness there.

  10. Perez can still bounce back, he has the car to do it. But his first half of the season was this bad, yes.

    The car is so much better that in 2 races he build himself a decent breather again, but in some point he was dangerously close to being passed by Alonso in the standings, that’s major incompetence right there.

    1. Perez can still bounce back, he has the car to do it.

      But he doesn’t any more. That’s the problem.
      He had a car that worked for him at the beginning of the season, and now it’s very much Verstappen’s car – as it always is at that team, particularly so as in-season development kicks in.

      Perez’s apparent performance drop and equally apparent confidence loss can both be tied directly to how well the car suits his driving style – he was very happy in it at the start of the year and the results naturally followed, but now he isn’t, and they subsequently aren’t….
      Nobody can be confident and perform well when they are never able to operate within their natural comfort zone.
      This is not the first time this pattern has played out at this team, and it won’t be the last.

      1. Coventry Climax
        14th August 2023, 18:09

        He had a car that worked for him at the beginning of the season

        If all that is true, it simply means Perez missed his chance to have the devolpment going in his direction, but as he didn’t manage to consistently beat Verstappen, that development went in Verstappen’s direction.
        I seriously doubt ‘that team’ as you call it – like Hamilton called Verstappen ‘that guy’ for a long time, expressing his sincere respect for his adversary – really develops in any other direction but making the car faster, but even if: Makes perfect sense to me: Why would you bet on the slower horse, if you can also bet on the driver skilled enough to actually make use of that faster version of the car?

        1. If all that is true, it simply means Perez missed his chance to have the devolpment going in his direction,

          As if that was ever going to happen… The team have made it abundantly (and very publicly) clear for several years who they are, and will be, backing most – regardless of all other factors.

          ‘that team’ as you call it

          Okay, just for you I’ll say it several times in the same paragraph. Red Bull, Red Bull, Red Bull, Red bull. Satisfied?
          Excuse me making an effort not to repeat myself so many times.

          Why would the team develop their car to be a better compromise for both drivers? Well, how about because they can earn more WCC points that way? It’s a team thing, not a driver thing. It’s not like any other team is so close in performance this year that they’d be taking that much of a risk by doing so.
          They were getting 1-2’s at the beginning of the season – and then when in-season development steered the direction of the car away from Perez, they were getting 1-6’s instead. No doubt you’ll just say this is all Perez’s fault for being incompetent and forgetting how to drive…
          Developing the car for one driver’s preferences is always going to risk making the other slower and dropping points instead of cleaning up second place.

      2. Every team will develop the parts that give the most performance. So every team will develop in the direction of the fastest driver.
        To influence the development direction you have to take charge and be the fastest driver
        Both cars are exactly the same (as even Perez acknowledged!)
        So it’s setup and trust.

        1. So every team will develop in the direction of the fastest driver.

          Not necessarily – it’s very team dependent. It’s certainly common in F1, but it isn’t always the best way to go about it – and has led to teams losing the WCC as a result, despite taking the WDC.

          To influence the development direction you have to take charge and be the fastest driver

          If only it worked that way. And I ask, how do you become the faster of the two if the team is already making the car to suit the other guy?

          Both cars are exactly the same (as even Perez acknowledged!)

          And I’m sure his contract totally allows him to say otherwise, right…. There’d be no consequences for being open and honest for Mr No.2 driver, would there.

          So it’s setup and trust.

          Yes – the team need to put more trust into Perez. He has proven that he can compete with Verstappen and even be faster than him – when the car suits his style. A luxury that Verstappen has enjoyed every season he has been with the team – even when he was clearly the slower and less reliable of the two.

          1. Coventry Climax
            16th August 2023, 1:43

            Dream on.

          2. Great response. Well done.

          3. Why can’t people just accept that getting performance out of a car is not just racing skills. It is everything. Also setting it up. Building up the weekend. Being consistent. Being able to adapt the driving style in situations where the car is not so much to you liking, etc… Perez just doesn’t deliver these things. He is more like other drivers where everything needs to be right in the package to be able to get the most out of a car. Some other drivers have the ability to drive around issues. It has little to do with catering the car to Max.

  11. I get Perez, but it still feels harsh. Despite falling short at times he dug himself out of that hole and is still P2 in the championship. Sometimes, like the Belgium Sprint it wasn’t his fault. Is Magnussen or Guanyu really doing better than Checo?

    1. Hard to say. If the Ferraris and Mercs were a little more competitive this season, Perez wouldn’t be able to bounce back on Sundays. His deficit to Verstappen and the ultimate pace of the car has been huge.

  12. Robert Henning
    14th August 2023, 14:11

    Perez has basically finished on the podium in 7 races (Bahrain, Jeddah, Baku, Miami, Austria, Spa, Hungary). He has won one sprint race, finished 2nd in one and did not finish the third.

    No one can rate a guy who beat Verstappen on pure pace twice arguably this low, which basically indicates that maybe the average score given by Will over the races is not the right metric. Maybe using the median score can help, and from thereon using the standard deviation might be good to break ties.

    At Canada, Silverstone and Australia, the RB19 did not have a massive pace advantage. It was sufficient to pass and win but not more than 3 to 4 tenths a lap over the next best team, so Perez finishing P6, P6 and P5 isn’t significantly off expectations.

    Qualifying has been a mess for many drivers this year, Perez happens to get caught out there more often than not, which he seemingly did get on top of for Spa.

    I think his performance certainly was terrible during those five weekends, but overall I think he did well enough to be somewhere in the top 10 drivers performance wise.

    Curious to see where Alex “1s slower than Max” Albon ends up in these rankings. I still can’t rate him appropriately but I guess that would also tell the depth of perception bias that exists when it comes to Williams.

    I am frustrated with Perez as well for not lasting even 5 races in a title fight but that doesn’t mean he is a bottom tier driver.

    Arguably at least one of the Ferrari drivers have done no better this year with similar peaks, and the same can be said for both Alpine drivers.

    1. He beat Max once the second time was a safetycar otherwise you know he would get passed. But Perez has big problems with the new suspension who doesn’t heatup the fronts a lot that why he was on pace where it was warm. When it was cold (wet) he was surprised and crashed a lot…

      1. Robert Henning
        14th August 2023, 14:50

        RB have had this suspension for 2 years now.

        Wet conditions have been tricky for everyone. Tire preparation is more important with thermal Pirellis more than anything else. We saw Leclerc, Russell and Perez all have issue. At Hungary it was hot enough but Perez got only P9… He has had a bunch of stinkers but his races have been pretty decent and about where you’d expect to be given all the other cars around and their pace.

        The issue is more down to field spread in qualifying more than anything else this year. Perez has to be always within 2 tenths off Max to be top 5 right now. That is exactly the issue.

        He was closing in on Max at Baku before the Safety Car, and was within DRS while Max never got into DRS even tho the gap was only 1.3s after Max passed Leclerc after the SC. At Jeddah, Perez did have a bit of luck but he was quick enough that he could hold onto his lead over 25 odd laps against his teammate who is easily the best driver on this grid right now.

        1. Robert Henning, when you say that Perez “was terrible during those five weekends”, what you’re saying is that, out of 12 races so far this season, Perez performed terribly in 40% of them. That is a quite substantial chunk of the season that you are asking people to not pay close attention to, yet at the same time you are arguing that drivers who have not had as many bad weekends as that should be rated below Perez.

          Even outside of those races, the sort of language you’re using to describe Perez’s performances in races isn’t casting him in a particularly great light – you’re describing his qualifying as having been below expectations and his race pace as reasonable.

    2. No top 10.
      He wasn’t better than Max, Hamilton, Alonso, Russell, Leclerc, Sainz, Hulkenberg, Albon, Ocon, Norris and Piastri.

      Maybe 17th is too low, but top 10, you’re reaching. No way.

      1. Robert Henning
        14th August 2023, 15:57

        Don’t see what Sainz, Ocon, Albon and Piastri have done to warrant being placed ahead of Perez over the entire half.

        Recency bias is a thing for sure.

        1. Oh, for sure, it’s a thing, we’re seeing it right here.

          What do you want these guys to do? Win races? None of them was particularly disappointing as Perez was on that disastrous 5 race long stretch, for starters.

        2. Been equally poor in a worse car? I think that’s Will’s ultmate point…

    3. You my friend, raise an Obtuse point. Under july 2022, he was caught on camera Among other women. Resurfacing the knowledge that perhaps Every driver is not quite the caliber Such that they deserve high Obnoxious thrones. Sergio perez Tries to be better than he really is. Under this logic I dont think it is logical that Perez deserves a higher place. Indeed, perhaps all drivers are not quite as good Drivers as we make them out to be.

  13. It’s a good point about the high quality of the field overall this year. I’ve often been impressed how they’ve all been within 1.5s or whatever, even if they keep ending up in the same order…
    Wise decision not to rate each driver out of 10!

    1. Coventry Climax
      14th August 2023, 15:55

      Quality of the field or similarity in car performance? Leaving Red Bull out of the equation, ofcourse.

      I think it has more to do with the ever more restricting regulations than with the overall quality of the drivers. There’s not too many power unit suppliers, and the power they output getting more close than it has been in a long time. Design restrictions limit what little room was left ever further, creating equal designs for all cars. The cheapo’s just buy complete suspensions etc from their engine supplier. They all run the same rubber. They all run nearly identical fuel. Even if there was a good idea and it was allowed design wise, there’s the matterof the budget, so any wild ideas are shot before they see the light of day.
      It has been a goal for quite some time now, to chop off every bit that sticks it’s head out above ground level. It’s the popular belief that equality makes things more ‘competitive’. For one, that’s an anomaly in itself, but noone seems to recognise that. Unless you think it worked out just fine for the USSR. Secondly, I think we’re seeing the result now.
      Some think it’s exciting. I’m not one of them.

  14. Yes, it’s indeed a high quality field this year, I always try to guess where drivers would be when I see these rankings and I thought de vries, sargeant and maybe stroll should’ve been in here, I would have expected de vries and sargeant in these places, stroll 17th and was thinking if magnussen or zhou had been bad enough to end 18th, but I wasn’t convinced, I thought perez could’ve been 12th or so, since he had a very good start to the season.

    I was surprised to see perez so low, but can’t say for sure, because of the massive difference in car performance, that magnussen or zhou did any worse than him, the potential of the car is huge, so he really left a lot on the table.

    In any case, I couldn’t really guess a 4th driver who was clearly bad enough to end up here, so that says enough about the strength of the current field.

    1. Coventry Climax
      14th August 2023, 18:31

      Looking at the driver changes since 2015, it’s not like we’ve had a massive influx of great talents, actually.
      We lost a couple decent ones, like Rosberg, some midfielders and some not so good. But it’s not like we got so much better ones to fill the seats they left empty.

      So, sorry, but I don’t really agree with the driver field being ‘high quality’ and stronger than over the past couple of years.
      My take on it is in the reply above, to Bullfrog’s comment.

      1. What are you on about? Since 2015 we gained 7 excellent drivers: Russell, Leclerc, Norris, Piastri, Gasly, Ocon, Albon. We’ve also retained Hamilton, Verstappen, Alonso, Sainz, Bottas, Hulkenberg, Ricciardo, Magnussen and Perez. Zhou, while I wouldn’t call him excellent is comparing fairly well with Bottas. And Tsunoda, while it took him some time is performing very well this season. So that leaves us with just Stroll and Sargeant as the weak links of the grid. We’ve lost Vettel, Button, Massa, Raikkonen and Rosberg, yes, but also Palmer, Ericsson, Nasr, Gutierrez, Kvyat. Which means that factually speaking the grid did get better, the bottom 5 became the bottom 2

  15. Who is this little man
    17th August 2023, 4:27

    Most drivers would be doing worse than Perez in the same car. Verstappen is just that good.

    Perez shouldn’t be too high but below Kmag? Not a cat in hell’s chance.

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