Pierre Gasly, Alpine, Zandvoort, 2023

2023 Dutch Grand Prix weekend F1 driver ratings

2023 Dutch Grand Prix

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The first grand prix weekend after the summer break put drivers through their paces with rain yet again raising the intensity levels on the track.

The narrow, tricky Zandvoort circuit caught out those who made mistakes as well as rewarded those who made the right calls at the right time on strategy. But, naturally, there was only one driver who enjoyed more success than any others in the Netherlands.

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

Max Verstappen – 8/10

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Zandvoort, 2023
Verstappen was far quicker than Perez
Qualified: Pole (+6 places ahead of team mate, -1.313s)
Start: Held position
Strategy: Six-stop (S-I-S-S-I-W-I)
Finished: Winner (+3 places ahead of team mate)

  • Ahead of team mate in every session
  • Fastest of all in first and final practice sessions
  • Slid off track in Q1 but recovered to secure pole by over half a second on final Q3 attempt
  • Led from pole but pitted on the second lap for inters
  • Passed several cars out of the pit lane, then overtook Gasly and Zhou before eating into team mate’s lead
  • Successfully undercut Perez to take the lead, then pulled away gradually after the Safety Car restart
  • Pitted for inters on L61 as the rain returned late, then switched to extreme wets before red flag
  • Successfully held off Alonso at restart and pulled away to win by just under four seconds

Yet another masterclass in how to dominate a grand prix no matter the conditions. After another comfortable pole position, it was his call to stay out after the opening lap, which lost him a few places, but he quickly scythed through the field and made Perez look like he was driving a different class of car to him. Once he was back out in front, his third home victory never looked in any doubt, even during the second downpour of the race.

Sergio Perez – 4/10

Qualified: 7th (-6 places behind team mate, +1.313s)
Start: -6 places
Strategy: Five-stop (S-I-S-S-I-I)
Finished: 4th (-3 places behind team mate)

  • Behind team mate in every session
  • Qualified seventh, 1.3s slower than team mate after double-push tactic at end of Q3
  • Held seventh at the start and was the first car into the pits for inters at the end of the first lap
  • Jumped into the lead over 12 seconds ahead of Zhou but was quickly reeled in by team mate
  • Undercut by team mate to lose lead after pitting for slicks
  • Restarted second after Safety Car, slowly falling back from team mate
  • Pitted for inters on L60 when the rain returned but lost second after off at Tarzan
  • Pitted for extreme wets but hit inside wall and received five second penalty for speeding
  • Restarted third after red flag but could not challenge Alonso
  • Crossed the line third but demoted to fourth after penalty applied

The first race after the summer break was the perfect opportunity for a soft reset for Perez to find some form after underperforming over the first half of the season. But at Zandvoort, it was simply more of the same. He was nowhere close to Verstappen at the end of Q3. He made the perfect call for inters at the start and had a huge early lead as a result, but it rapidly disappeared as Verstappen reeled him in. Then when the rain returned, he slid off-track at Tarzan, hit the wall at pit entry and was penalised for speeding in the pit lane. Ultimately that cost him third, meaning he was once again conspicuous by his absence on the podium.

Charles Leclerc – 4/10

Qualified: 9th (-3 places behind team mate, +0.911s)
Start: -6 places
Strategy: Two-stop (S-I-S)
Finished: Retired (Damage – L42)

  • Slid off track at turn one five times on Saturday
  • Crashed hard at turn nine in Q3, leaving him ninth on the grid
  • Picked up one place at start before suffering wing and floor damage in contact with Piastri at turn 11
  • Pitted for inters at end of first lap, had slow stop but still moved up to fifth place
  • Struggled for pace with damage, dropping to 13th after pitting for softs and new wing
  • Restarted 12th after Safety Car but dropped down the order with reduced downforce
  • Fell to 16th before being called in to retire on lap 42

In a weekend where the conditions were challenging, Leclerc was one of those who failed to shine. It appeared his struggles in damp conditions returned on Saturday, when he spent many laps off track in practice and then crashed out of qualifying. Luckily he had already reached Q3 and did not suffer any gearbox damage, but his luck ran out at the start when a tiny touch with Piastri cost him way more downforce than expected when a lost endplate damaged his car’s floor. Not even the chance of another rain shower could convince Ferrari it was worth keeping him out on track after he’d sunk to the rear of the field.

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Carlos Sainz Jnr – 6/10

Sainz brought his Ferrari home in the top five
Qualified: 6th (+3 places ahead of team mate, -0.911s)
Start: Held position
Strategy: Five-stop (S-I-S-S-I-I)
Finished: 5th

  • Sat out first practice as Robert Shwartzman drove car
  • Secured sixth on the grid ahead of Perez and Piastri
  • Held sixth at the start, then pitted for inters on lap two to run seventh, the allowed past team mate
  • Ran in fifth after the Safety Car restart, then jumped Alonso in pits before being overtaken
  • Passed by Gasly to fall to fifth before pitting for inters on L60 when rain came
  • Restarted fifth after Safety Car and held off Hamilton to finish less than a second ahead

All things considered, Ferrari were likely not as strong at Zandvoort as many of their rivals. However, Sainz was one of the better performers at the front across the three days. He out-qualified Perez and Piastri and made the right call not to risk staying out on slicks at the start. In the dry phase, his race pace was decent but maybe should have been able to challenge an Alpine ahead of him and could not hold back Gasly once ahead.

George Russell – 6/10

Qualified: 3rd (+10 places ahead of team mate, -0.531s)
Start: -1 place
Strategy: Six-stop (S-I-S-H-I-I-I)
Finished: 17th (-11 places behind team mate)

  • Took third on the grid, almost two tenths behind Norris
  • Lost a place to Alonso at Hugenholtzbocht at the start but remained out on slicks until end of lap four
  • Dropped to 18th after pitting for hard tyres, then ran 17th after the Safety Car restart
  • Used hard tyres to slowly make progress up the order, picking up vibration after contact from Tsunoda
  • Ran ninth and let team mate Hamilton by before pitting for intermediates on the next lap in the rain
  • Restarted eighth after red flag but suffered puncture after contact with Norris at turn 11
  • Pitted and rejoined last in 17th where he would finish

Russell was one of the big winners on Saturday and one of the biggest losers on Sunday. Securing third on the grid was a strong result but all that potential was squandered when he made such a late switch to intermediates. Switching to hard tyres was an unusual call but he did a decent job through a long middle stint to build himself back up into the top 10. Sadly, his race effectively ended after the most minor of touches with Norris of which robbed him of a chance to back up his team mate in seventh.

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Lewis Hamilton – 6/10

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Zandvoort, 2023
Hamilton has an off-track excursion in the late downpour
Qualified: 13th (-10 places behind team mate, +0.531s)
Start: +2 places
Strategy: Five-stop (M-I-S-S-I-I)
Finished: 6th (+11 places ahead of team mate)

  • Knocked out of Q2 in 13th after catching Tsunoda at end of final push lap
  • Only driver to start on mediums but waited until lap three to pit for inters, falling last
  • Passed Sargeant, then four cars in one lap to move back up to 13th
  • Switched to softs and restarted behind SC in 13th, moving up to tenth
  • Pitted for a second set of softs and climbed to seventh before late rain, pitting for inters on L60
  • Sat in sixth during red flag and remained there after the restart to finish right behind Sainz

One of those ‘what if’ weekends for Hamilton where he was left ruing what might have been had the key moments played out differently. Even if Tsunoda was deemed to have impeded him, failing to reach Q3 was an underachievement. However, despite pitting for intermediates too late at the start, Hamilton was able to aggressively make progress up the order throughout the race until he was sixth at the red flag. Although he couldn’t get by Sainz, he’d still had a decent recovery, all things considered.

Esteban Ocon – 5/10

Qualified: 17th (-5 places behind team mate, +0.375s)
Grid: 16th (-4 places behind team mate)
Start: +4 places
Strategy: Five-stop (S-I-S-S-W-I)
Finished: 10th (-7 places behind team mate)

  • Eliminated from Q1 for the first time all season, but gained 16th on grid after Tsunoda’s penalty
  • Held position at the start before pitting for inters at the end of lap two and climbing to tenth
  • Switched back to slicks on lap ten to sit ninth for Safety Car restart, then passed Magnussen
  • Ran seventh before pitting for second set of softs, rising to eighth before rain hit
  • Waited until lap 61 to pit for intermediates, dropping to 11th
  • Picked up tenth after Russell’s puncture at the restart, claiming the final point at the finish

Not the best weekend for Ocon, but compared to others in the field he was only average. Did not have a good qualifying but gained places in the early laps despite pitting after his team mate. After the Safety Car in the dry, he was not very far from his team mate’s pace ahead and lost more places pitting after Gasly a second time when the rain came back. But he managed to pass slower cars when he had to and certainly kept his car in one piece over the weekend.

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Pierre Gasly – 7/10

Gasly picked up his first podium as an Alpine driver
Qualified: 12th (+5 places ahead of team mate, -0.375s)
Grid: 12th (+4 places ahead of team mate)
Start: -4 places
Strategy: Five-stop (S-I-S-S-I-I)
Finished: 3rd (+7 places ahead of team mate)

  • Reached Q2, unlike team mate, but was knocked out in 12th
  • Picked up one place at the start, then pitted for inters at the end of the first lap to rise to third
  • Passed by Verstappen, then undercut by Alonso after pitting for slicks to sit fourth under Safety Car
  • Given five second time penalty for speeding in the pit lane
  • Ran in fourth after restart, pulling gradually away from Sainz before making second stop for softs
  • Served penalty, dropping behind Sainz, but caught and passed the Ferrari before pitting for inters
  • Sat in fourth under red flag and held position after restart until chequered flag
  • Promoted to podium in third after Perez’s penalty

In a race weekend that was defined by making the right tyre strategy decisions at the right time, Gasly arguably earned the biggest reward for making the correct calls. He benefited greatly from pitting for intermediates at the end of the first lap, then maintained very good pace through the remainder of the race. When the rain returned he made the right call once more and stuck with Perez through the remaining laps to pick up a podium. He was quicker than Ocon all weekend and his only error was a speeding penalty, which he made up for with a brilliant pass on Sainz.

Lando Norris – 6/10

Lando Norris, McLaren, Zandvoort, 2023
Norris was quick in the rain – once he had the right tyres
Qualified: 2nd (+6 places ahead of team mate, -0.834s)
Start: Held position
Strategy: Five-stop (S-I-S-S-I-I)
Finished: 7th (+2 places ahead of team mate)

  • Fastest of all in second practice
  • Beaten to pole by Verstappen but secured front row start in second
  • Kept second at the start but remained on slicks until end of lap three, overtaken by Russell and Perez
  • Fell to 15th after stop for inters but climbed up to tenth before switching back to slicks on lap ten
  • Took Safety Car restart from 11th and ran in ninth before pitting for fresher soft tyres
  • Pitted for inters when the rain returned and moved up to seventh for red flag restart
  • Held position at the restart despite minor contact with Russell and finished seventh

From a front row start and the potential to offer a challenge to Verstappen for victory to finishing down in seventh, it was not the result Norris or McLaren would have wanted. But rather than his result coming down to a mistake or a lack of pace on his part, Norris ultimately lost out with the call not to pit at the end of lap two, which took him from the lead to 15th place. While he recovered to the points and was clearly the stronger McLaren driver across the weekend, he was caught and beaten by Hamilton despite likely having the stronger car.

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Oscar Piastri – 4/10

Piastri’s move on Magnussen wrecked his tyres
Qualified: 8th (-6 places behind team mate, +0.834s)
Start: +1 place
Strategy: Four-stop (S-S-M-I-I)
Finished: 9th (-2 places behind team mate)

  • Crashed out at Hugenholtzbocht in second practice
  • Qualified eighth, eight tenths slower than team mate
  • Lost a place to Leclerc at the start, then risked staying out on softs as the rain fell, dropping to 16th
  • Suffered major lock up into Tarzan while battling Magnussen, ruining his tyres
  • Pitted for second set of softs just before Safety Car, making restart from 14th but passed by Bottas
  • Re-passed Bottas and climbed up to eighth before pitting for mediums, then took inters on L61
  • Restarted from tenth after red flag, moving up to ninth after Russell’s puncture and finishing there

On a challenging weekend for all drivers but especially the rookies, Piastri’s inexperience relative to his team mate was more conspicuous than usual at Zandvoort. His practice crash was a ‘small mistake with big consequences’, and he couldn’t match Norris in qualifying for the first time since having the upgraded McLaren. Ultimately his race was defined by the early gamble not to pit for inters, but even though it did not pay off and he was still able to claim ninth, his performance had not been his best.

Valtteri Bottas – 5/10

Qualified: 19th (-3 places behind team mate, +0.193s)
Grid: 18th (-3 places behind team mate)
Start: +9 places
Strategy: Four-stop (S-I-S-M-I)
Finished: 14th

  • Eliminated from Q1 in 19th, faster only than debutante Lawson
  • Jumped seven places by the end of the opening lap, then remained out on slicks in the wet
  • Dropped to 17th but gained back three places until pitting for mediums on L16
  • Passed Stroll for 14th at SC restart, but dropped to 17th on his mediums before stopping for softs
  • Ran 17th before rain returned, pitting first for inters and sitting 15th under red flag
  • Passed by Lawson and Magnussen after restart to finish 16th, promoted two places after penalties

What could have been a golden opportunity for Bottas and Alfa Romeo to score points at Zandvoort did not materialise, but it was not for the lack of effort on the team’s part. Bottas was beaten in qualifying by his team mate to line up on the back row of the grid but as the rain came he had one of the best starts of the entire season, jumping up to 11th by the time he reached the pit entry. He was one of the few not to pit, but the team’s gamble squandered all he had gained. He lost places on his mediums after the Safety Car and pre-empted the second shower well but did not look especially fast in the damp and was the second-last car over the line.

Zhou Guanyu – 4/10

Zhou went from hero to zero in the race
Qualified: 16th (+3 places ahead of team mate, -0.193s)
Grid: 15th (+3 places ahead of team mate)
Start: -2 places
Strategy: Four-stop (S-I-M-S-I)
Finished: Retired (Crashed – L63)

  • Beat team mate in qualifying but still eliminated from Q1 in 16th
  • Lost two places at the start before pitting for inters on opening lap, jumping up to second place
  • Dropped to fourth after passed by Verstappen and Gasly before pitting for mediums and rejoining sixth
  • Took Safety Car restart un sixth but gradually fell down to 12th before pitting for softs
  • Rejoined in 17th place and climbed up to 13th, switching to inters when rain fell on L60
  • Aquaplaned off the track at Tarzan and into retirement at the start of L63

A frustrating end to a weekend where Zhou had looked in contention for a rare points finish for Alfa Romeo. Made the perfect pit call at the start of the race and was rewarded with second place as a result, although the Safety Car put him at a disadvantage compared to those on softs behind. He was stronger that Bottas on Saturday and Sunday, but his race ended in the wall. While that was so easy to do, he was also the only one to crash out in the wet.

Lance Stroll – 4/10

Qualified: 11th (-6 places behind team mate, +0.692s)
Grid: 11th (-6 places behind team mate)
Start: +3 places
Strategy: Six-stop (S-I-S-M-S-I-I)
Finished: 11th (-9 places behind team mate)

  • Set no lap times in first practice after PU problem
  • Failed to reach Q3 alongside team mate, the first driver out in 11th
  • Investigated but cleared of impeding Hamilton in qualifying
  • Gained two placed in the opening corners but only pitted for inters on lap four, falling to 19th
  • Restarted last after SC but passed Lawson, then switched to mediums to rise to 14th
  • Gained a place when Zhou crashed out to be 13th under the red flag
  • Passed Tsunoda at the restart and picked up a place from Russell to finish 11th

Not for the first time in 2023, it was easy to forget that Stroll was competing in a grand prix weekend given how anonymous he was. Compromised slightly by a lack of running in first practice, he was still well off the pace of team mate Alonso in the wet qualifying session. His gamble to tough it out on slicks at the start didn’t pay off and he struggled to make his way through the field after that. He didn’t make any major errors over the weekend – he was just slow.

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Fernando Alonso – 8/10

Alonso was at his best in the damp conditions
Qualified: 5th (+6 places ahead of team mate, -0.692s)
Start: +2 places
Strategy: Five-stop (S-I-S-S-I-I)
Finished: 2nd (+9 places ahead of team mate)

  • Qualified fifth on the grid ahead of Sainz, Perez and Piastri
  • Passed Albon and Russell at Hugenholtzbocht on opening lap, then pitted for inters on lap two
  • Ran fifth before moving up to third after switch to slicks, running there for majority of the race
  • Lost third to Sainz after slow stop for softs but gained it back with pass at Tarzan
  • Pitted for intermediates a lap after most of the field when rain fell, gaining second after Perez’s off
  • Restarted from second and pressured Verstappen but could not get past, taking seventh podium finish
  • Secured bonus point for fastest lap, Aston Martin’s first as a factory team

Aston Martin have not been as strong as their rivals behind Red Bull for a few months, but when rain placed all teams and drivers under an intense stress test, Alonso was one of those who thrived. Qualifying fifth was likely an overachievement given the cars behind him and his opening lap was excellent. Despite pitting a lap later than optimal for inters during both showers, Alonso used all of his experience to keep his car on the road and take advantage of Perez’s mistake to take a very strong second place.

Kevin Magnussen – 3/10

Qualified: 18th (-3 places behind team mate, +0.301s)
Grid: 20th (-6 places behind team mate)
Start: Held position
Strategy: Five-stop (S-I-S-I-I)
Finished: 16th (-4 places behind team mate)

  • Crashed at exit of Hugenholtzbocht on first lap out of pits in FP3, breaking new front wing
  • Could not follow team mate into Q2, eliminated in 18th
  • Forced to start from pit lane after multiple new PU parts
  • Pitted immediately for inters at the start, then switched to slicks early to move up to seventh under SC
  • Fell back after restart, handed black-and-white flag for moving under braking
  • Dropped to 18th after early switch to mediums, falling to the back under the red flag
  • Handed five-second penalty for falling too far back under Safety Car
  • Gained two places after restart from Bottas and Russell to finish 15th but demoted to 16th

As these ratings try to gauge how much of an impact a driver had on their success or failure over a race weekend, it’s fair to say Magnussen did little to help Haas on a weekend when there were so many opportunities offered by the weather. He lost use of an upgraded front wing by crashing out of the pits in third practice, was knocked out in Q1, got a warning from the stewards for his defending from Albon and then gained a five second penalty. There was only one inexperienced newcomer in the field this weekend, but at times you’d be forgiven for assuming it was Magnussen.

Nico Hulkenberg – 5/10

Nico Hulkenberg, Haas, Zandvoort, 2023
Both Haas drivers went off in practice
Qualified: 15th (+3 places ahead of team mate, -0.301s)
Grid: 14th (+6 places ahead of team mate)
Start: +4 places
Strategy: Four-stop (S-M-S-I-I)
Finished: 12th (+2 places ahead of team mate)

  • Crashed out of first practice after spinning out at the penultimate corner
  • Comfortably progressed into Q2 but knocked out slowest in 15th
  • Picked up two places in opening corners but stayed out on slicks in the wet, falling to 19th
  • Took Safety Car restart in 17th after pitting for mediums, passing Bottas on way up to tenth
  • Made second stop for softs and passed team mate before rain fell
  • Took final restart from 14th but passed Tsunoda and ailing Russell to finish 12th

Hulkenberg’s return to the cockpit after four weeks away did not get off to the best of starts when he skidded off into the barriers in the dry opening practice session – not for the first time this season. But over the rest of the weekend, Hulkenberg was again the fastest Haas driver when it mattered. He lost track position risking slicks on a wet track at the start and had a decent middle stint on mediums. Thankfully his only notable error of the weekend came when it mattered least.

Yuki Tsunoda – 4/10

Qualified: 14th (+6 places ahead of team mate, -1.639s)
Grid: 17th (+2 places ahead of team mate)
Start: -1 place
Strategy: Four-stop (S-I-S-I-I)
Finished: 16th (-3 places behind team mate)

  • Inside the top ten in both Friday practice sessions
  • Reached Q2 and eliminated 14th, but hit with three-place grid penalty for impeding Hamilton
  • Lost a place at the start and pitted for inters on opening lap, climbing up to eighth place
  • Took Safety Car restart from tenth, running very long stint on softs until rain returned
  • Received black-and-white warning flag for forcing Ocon off the track
  • Hit with five second penalty for causing collision with Russell
  • Pitted for inters on L60 to sit 12th for late restart after running through gravel at Tarzan
  • Passed by Hulkenberg and Stroll to finish 13th
  • Demoted to 16th in final standings after post-race penalty

For the second time in three rounds, Tsunoda was shown up by a driver stepping into his team’s other car at short notice. Tsunoda wasn’t lacking for speed necessarily over the weekend and he made the right calls to pit and ran an impressive 50 lap stint on softs in the middle of the race, but again much of his hard work was undone by incidents. His qualifying penalty may have seemed on the harsh side, but receiving a black-and-white flag and then a penalty for aggressive driving in the race was not.

Daniel Ricciardo – N/A

  • Was 13th fastest in opening practice
  • Crashed at Hugenholtzbocht avoiding Piastri
  • Suffered broken hand and forced to withdraw from event

Liam Lawson – 7/10

Liam Lawson, AlphaTauri, Zandvoort, 2023
Newcomer Lawson hadn’t driven his car on slicks until race day
Qualified: 20th (-6 places behind team mate, +1.639s)
Grid: 19th (-2 places behind team mate)
Start: Held position
Strategy: Six-stop (S-I-S-M-S-I-I)
Finished: 13th (+3 places ahead of team mate)

  • Called up to replace injured Ricciardo, making grand prix debut
  • Brought out red flag with spin during only hour of practice but able to continue
  • Knocked out slowest in Q1 in first ever qualifying session
  • Pitted at the end of first ever racing lap for inters, but earned 10s penalty for impeding Magnussen
  • Climbed to 11th but fell to 17th after pitting for softs and serving penalty
  • Dropped to the back of the field, battling Leclerc before sitting 16th under red flag
  • Overtook Bottas at the restart, finishing 14th but promoted to 13th after Tsunoda’s penalty

It’s hard to think of a more challenging grand prix debut that a driver has faced in recent memory than Lawson had at Zandvoort. Yet after only a single hour of practice in wet conditions, Lawson demonstrated he can handle the pressure of F1 even in the most difficult of circumstances. There was no shame in being slowest in qualifying and he lasted all 72 laps of the race without throwing it off track. He didn’t share the race pace of Tsunoda, but that was to be expected, and despite his unfortunate penalty costing him dear he made passing moves when he could. Coming away with a race distance after just a single minor mistake in practice was a very commendable performance given the circumstances.

Alexander Albon – 7/10

Alex Albon, Williams, Zandvoort, 2023
Albon equalled his best finish of the season
Qualified: 4th (+6 places ahead of team mate, -5.329s)
Start: -1 place
Strategy: Three-stop (S-M-I-I)
Finished: 8th

  • Fastest of all in Q2 before securing best ever grid position in a Williams in fourth
  • Lost a place to Alonso at the start, then gambled on staying out on softs in the rain
  • Ran off track at turn 11 in the wet
  • Fell down field to be highest runner on slicks in 15th, then gained back eighth by Safety Car
  • Passed Magnussen for fifth after restart, then ran sixth before making first stop for mediums
  • Stayed out extra lap when rain fell, dropping to ninth under red flag
  • Picked up eighth with Russell’s puncture, finishing between the McLarens

While it’s obvious that Albon had a good weekend at Zandvoort, it’s hard to gauge exactly how good he was. The Williams was clearly in the top half of the field all weekend and he delivered on its potential with a brilliant qualifying performance. But Williams’ gamble at the start did not pay off and he had to work hard to make his starting softs last half the race. He was looking great for strong points but the call to stay an extra lap out cost him places. But with only one minor mistake all weekend, Albon more than did his part.

Logan Sargeant – 3/10

Qualified: 10th (-6 places behind team mate, +5.329s)
Start: -4 places
Strategy: S
Finished: Retired (Crashed – L15)

  • Secured a Q3 berth for the first time in his career with final Q2 lap, then crashed at turn three
  • Lost five places in the opening corners then stayed out on slicks in the wet
  • Fell to the very rear of the field after losing tyre temperature, lapped by lap six
  • Running last around five seconds off Stroll when he crashed out with suspected hydraulic problem

Perhaps one of the harshest ratings of the year, given that Sargeant achieved a Q3 appearance for the very first time and his race-ending crash was arguably not his fault. However, the Williams was clearly a strong car at Zandvoort and not reaching Q3 could have been considered underachieving. He earns the benefit of the doubt for his race crash, but not for his Q3 shunt. While staying on slicks clearly was the wrong call, it has to be recognised how dramatically slower he was than the others who made the same gamble.

Over to you

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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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49 comments on “2023 Dutch Grand Prix weekend F1 driver ratings”

  1. I think we’re being a little generous with Leclerc this weekend.. given the number of times he binned it all weekend. I’d probably give him a 3. I thought it was probably his worst weekend as an F1 driver.

    Also think a 4 is generous for Stroll.. he had a car to finish on the podium and couldn’t even make it to the points.

    1. Your completly right @!

      I post my score and added the teams:
      Max a bit underrated 9/10 Only because he had to goofftrack in Q1 otherwise 10/10.
      Perez didn’t get second so i agree with that rating
      Red Bull 6/10 should use their eyes instead of data when people in the Red BUll box were saying pit when seeing rain with their eyes. Still were very supportive and constant.

      Charles should be much lower i don’t know what he did on his holiday but he should stop it doing that -5/10 or if negative isn’t possible 1/10
      Sainz 7/10 solid race!
      Ferrari 3/10 clowns should be more reactive when a driver makes a call. Tyres ……

      Alonso 8-9/10 very good drive
      Lance 2/10 did he drove in this race i never seen him
      Astin Martin 6/10 were very alert

      Lando terrible maybe he should learn Dutch 4/10 wrong calls, colissions
      Oscar tried too hard this wasn’t his race 5/10
      McLaren 4/10 When it rains they should pit and not let Lando made the call it was very clear conditions were getting worse.

      George was rated too high 5/10
      Lewis 7-8/10 drove very well made a lot of places up trying to correct Team mistake
      Mercedes 4/10 They weren’t awake and made the wrong calls after that

      Albon too bad of the wrong call of staying on the slicks otherwise 8/10
      That American person seems it’s hard to drive when it’s a bit wet 1/10
      Williams could be more old fashion during wet periodes 6/10

      Gasly focused on a good result 7/10
      Ocon bad qualifly but solid race 6/10
      Alpine not mistakes … 7/10

      Nico As usual good qualify but the car doesn’t do well in the race 7/10
      Kevin didn’t crashed or went off 5/10
      Haas didn’t made a mistake 6/10

      Yuki drove well could a penaulties most unluckly 6/10
      Liam did what he had to do stay on track and finish if he qualiflied in front of Yuki 8 so now 7/10
      Alpha Tauri had their strategic wrong 4/10 otherwise the drive could have points.

      I added the Teams because they influence the performance of the drivers points.

      1. I forgot Alfa Romeo 6/10 supported their drivers
        Bottas 3/10 decent during the dry periode awefull in the wet..
        Chou 5/10 He tried but his car could handle the wet at all

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          29th August 2023, 8:39


          The alfa Romeo is arguably more or less tied with Haas and alpha tauri for being the worst team at different tracks.

          Bottas had an amazing start – when it was wet, so i don’t really agree with your point. When it got more wet, he stayed on softs rather than pitting for inters. Later on, he was slow, but then the car isn’t quick either. His weekend was overall decent with the start taken into account.

          The way you word the bit for zhou is strange too. “He tried but his car could handle the wet at all”
          Presumably you are meaning that his car couldn’t handle the wet at all as i can’t work out what else you are saying. However, Bottas is in the same car, and he at least finished the race and had a great start in damp conditions.
          Not sure how anyone could rate zhou above bottas given the result of the race. The only reason zhou was ahead of bottas for more than 10 seconds in the whole race was because he pitted at the best time possible which was almost the exact opposite for bottas.

          1. I am agreeing with those three teams are being tied at different tracks but i was now only talking about Zandvoort.

            Over Zhou you again right as i forgot those two so added them very fast not cheking for any typo’s. Zhou was over the weekend beter then Bottas and was leading Bottas during the race untill he was in the barrier at turn 1 where Bottas followed him but didn’t crash. Bottas had a good start but that is not enough to get a higher score. Now i am not sure but was Zhou not beter in Quallfly then Bottas? Otherwise i have to swap both scores.

          2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
            29th August 2023, 18:08


            Well, even in the article, it suggests zhou was better in the race regarding pace, but I don’t see any evidence of this. Bottas got himself well ahead of zhou on lap 1, only for the team to be the 2nd to respond and zhou gained the most positions by far of any driver on the grid that was entirely down to his team rather than his own driving. It can be said that other than lap 1, bottas was underwhelming, but had they had they both pitted on the same lap, it is incredibly unlikely that Bottas would have been behind him at any stage in terms of racing position. Even just with zhou crashing out in the race which is what counts should result in a lower ranking regardless of Bottas’s performance I’d say. Zhou was better in qualifying, but that effort was over in 20 seconds as soon as bottas got ahead. From then on, there was nothing that zhou did better than bottas – only worse once he crashed.

      2. “Lewis 7-8/10 drove very well made a lot of places up trying to correct Team mistake”

        Lewis had an ok start from the line but then got overtaken by Hulkenberg, Bottas and Ocon. Before he pitted he was already 19th with 7 drivers ahead of him also on dry tires – so really sub par performance in a Mercedes.
        Several drivers overruled their team, if Lewis felt it is too wet he should have pittted. Some years ago in Turkey he overruled the team as well, at that time the team was right and Lewis wrong.

        Lewis started 13th after all the inter/dry pitstops he was still 13th and any time lost got eliminated by the safety car. So nothing gained/lost due to joined team/driver mistake. He was actually in a better position as various slower cars were ahead of him and some possible tougher cars/drivers to overtake behind him.

        For the rest he had a good race but in the 2nd fastest car, his experience he should achieved better than 6th. The rating of 6 is more than fair for the Dutch weekend.

        1. It’s very hard to judge a car even as good as Mercedes it depends on how the setup was if he was more setup for a much drier race that explained why he had problems to keep those “slower” cars behind him (exspecialy if they setup the cars with more wetness in mind)

          After the pit they changed the front wing probaly a tad more wing and the race went much beter for him. Maybe a 8 is too much but i could agree with a 7.

      3. Stephen Taylor
        29th August 2023, 19:13

        Lando asked to pit and the team said slicks were faster which was clearly wrong.

      4. trying to correct Team mistake

        What team mistake? That was an obvious driver mistake

        And could not overtake Carlos Sainz with a much faster car

        2 points at best, and a season in driving school

  2. I do wonder whether Sargeant’s pace also wasn’t helped by that hydraulics problem, until it finally made his brakes unusable. In the sort of weather we had, non-reliable brakes certainly can’t be a good thing.

  3. Lewis could have a 7 for me. Though I feel the Mercedes drivers should have made the call themselves to pit in lap 2, Lewis had a good race after that.
    Carlos a 7 would be good as well, kept his nose clean all day. I feel that Ferrari is not a joy to drive, had one practice session less than his team mate who was all over the shop.
    I agree with @todfod regarding Leclerc, Stroll and I’d put Perez in that group too.
    For the rest the ratings seem pretty much OK to me. Max did a great job again, but this race was hardly one for the ages (except for the fact that it was his ninth straight victory).

    1. There is no way Hamilton and Russell should be on the same score after Russell binned it. Sure Hamilton had a bad qualifying session but the recovery drive in context of the strategic moves his team made was pretty impressive.

      Also not sure Norris should be on the same score as Hamilton. He had a faster car and finished behind Hamilton and was simply out driven by him through the race. Once again the scores seems to weight qualifying and practice too heavily.

      1. I agree with you.

      2. @slowmo

        Russell drove an equally good race as Hamilton – albeit on very different strategies.
        Hamilton shouldn’t be praised for the pit wall giving him the better tyres and at a better time (even if he used those tyres very well).
        Just because Russell was “out of the points” for more of the race doesn’t mean he did worse – he was on the Hard tyre, his race was about patience… Which mostly paid off as he was in a comparable position come the Red Flag – thus showing he had been able to make his way through the field on terribly slow tyres (especially on a day that showed degradation on the Softs wasn’t horrendous).
        Russell also brutally outqualified Hamilton.

        Had Hamilton made a contrary decision to go onto those tyres himself, then fair play. But he didn’t.
        I can’t see any justification for why Hamilton should have a higher score other than “better tyre = better driver”, which is incorrect and shouldn’t be factored into a driver’s rating.

        1. Hamilton finished the race having not crashed with 2 other drivers. That had nothing to do with being on the better tyre, he chose his overtaking moments well and didn’t risk his car. Note he didn’t risk his finish on the last couple of laps when he could probably have forced a 50/50 move that would have relied on Sainz giving way.

          If you’re going to make the argument that team decisions shouldn’t affect the driver score then I’d argue that the times and tyres they put Hamilton on in qualifying were largley to blame for his inability to gain a clean faster lap than the opposition.

          The justification for Hamilton being scored higher than Russell is he started further down the grid, got a equally bad call on the intermediate tyres at the start and then recovered better than Russell. He also didn’t put his car i harms way twice. There is no way they should be rated the same under any metric other than the qualifying performance for Russell was weighted too heavily.

    2. Give it 10 extra points for the nice cross/country excursion (saved by the red flag, oh well)

      Remember, a crane excursion is worth 1000 extra points

      How come there are no negative points?

  4. How is it that Lewis and George have the same rating? George had a better qualifying but Tsunoda was penalized for impeding Lewis so why was Lewis dinged for that in the ratings? Furthermore, Mercedes strategy screwed both Lewis and George but once we move past that, it was Russell who made errors in the race while Lewis didn’t, yet they’re both a 6/10? Lewis earned a 7 minimum and George’s rating needs to be lower in relation to Lewis due to being overzealous on the restart. Enough of this inexplicable harshness on Lewis- or at least give a better fact based explanation for rating him so unfairly in relation to his teammate.

  5. How is “gained positions” at start measured? Seems it just looks at position end of lap 1.
    For it should be based on positions gained/lost due to overtakes on track not because folks pitting.

    Now it kind of seems Hamilton had a good start while in reality he had a really bad start and got overtaken by Bottas, Ocon and Hulkenberg. At end of the lap he is 11th but only because 3 people ahead pit. Next lap he is 9th but lost 1 more place to Ocon and Perez who pitted overtakes him, but 4 more ahead of him pit.

    Sargent also on dry tires was racing Hamilton all the way to the pitstops often being less than 0,5 second behind Lewis.]
    Half way through lap 3, Hulkenberg who start behind and also still on dry was 5 seconds ahead of Hamilton.

    Before Lewis pitted he was already 19th with only Sergeant (dry) running behind, 7 other drivers on dry were ahead of Lewis.

  6. Lance Stroll really doesn’t seem to be in a good place. He has enjoyed some good results in wet and mixed conditions in the past but he was nowhere this weekend.

    1. Lance Stroll’s face during every post race interview is hilarious. Its part disgust (probably with himself), part disinterest (in answering for another poor performance), part depression (after Alonso made him realise that he doesn’t belong in this sport) and part shame (knowing that his dad bought a team for his drive, so he will still be around).

      1. Despite the quite depressing, damming but very true message, it generated a chuckle, you are 100% right.

      2. I can’t and don’t want to judge Lance as a person – he seems like a nice guy to me. But one can wonder if he is still into it. In the past he has shown he has talent and pace but recently it looks less and less like he wants to be in F1, both in is demeanor and in his results. Being so privileged can also be a burden – I guess – golden cage and all. Anyhow. Shame if it where the case with so many less fortunate but maybe more talented drivers at the sidelines.

        1. Edit. were and on

        2. Indeed, he used to be quite good in the wet, think about turkey 2020 where he led more laps than anyone else until his new tyres had no grip, in recent times he didn’t impress in those conditions either.

  7. Most impressed: VER, ALO, GAS, & ALB
    Most disappointing: PER, TSU, & LEC

  8. Perez is so dissapointing. I wonder if he can keep his seat for 2024.

    1. @jamesbond:
      It doesn’t look good indeed.. I feel it is made worse with challenging weather circumstances. And we actually had a lot of those, so a lot of struggling. Coming weekend looks dry so that might help him a lot

    2. Coventry Climax
      29th August 2023, 13:18

      I don’t wonder at all; he won’t. There’s no certainties ofcourse, but I would be hugely surprised if he’s still in that seat next year.

      1. Thing is: who are they gonna replace him with? Tsunoda is very criticized by us here for still being in alpha tauri, yet he’s beating everyone who comes against him, ricciardo didn’t impress against tsunoda, de vries was worse than tsunoda, do they get someone from outside red bull teams?

        1. BW (@deliberator)
          31st August 2023, 1:28

          I think it is time to consider putting Albon back in that car. I think he will fare much better as a reliable No. 2 than Perez has.

      2. Both lawson and ricciardo have yet to prove they’re better than tsunoda, let alone worthy of a red bull.

        1. Coventry Climax
          30th August 2023, 11:32

          Does it matter who you put in that car if it’s always going to be better than what you have now?

  9. Another masterclass by Max, should have been at least 9 out of 10. The way he chased the cars after putting on the inters at the beginning of the race was mindblowing. He was 3.5 s a lap faster than Checo and 5 s per lap faster than the rest of the field, absolutely incredible!

    1. All people on this site have seen the chart with the lap times. All of us know that he may have been 4 seconds than Perez in a lap, but he never was 5 secs clear of the rest.
      If you think he was, please point us to the laps where this 5 second-gaps happened. Normally per lap implies that he did so over a sustained period of time. I am not even aware of a single lap in which he was 5 seconds faster than anyone else.

      Verstappen drove a superb race. Please do not diminish that by adding obvious bs to it.

  10. 7 for Albon….wow you are hard to please. Yes, the strategy calls weren’t 100% right, but that is on the team as much as Alex. He put together an amazing weekend considering the hands he was dealt.

    1. Agreed. Pretty sure he would have been on the podium if he’d pitted with the cars around him.

    2. Also, it was incredible that he was matching the pace of the cars around him on 45 lap old soft tires.

  11. Russell wasn’t as good as Hamilton, which was and is quite obvious I say. Also, Norris didn’t do as well as Hamilton (and this time he didn’t have a worse car, so that can’t give him extra points). There are a few inconsistencies like this, as usual, but it’s hard to discuss subjective criteria in a few words, except to agree to disagree. Also Ferrari was a terrible car this weekend, so Sainz didn’t deserve same rating as Russel for sure (plus he beat his highly-ranked team-mate in all the ways). Context is everything.

    1. Norris getting the same score as Sainz and Hamilton despite driving a faster car and being passed by both of them in the race is just stupid. And that’s from a Norris fan.

  12. notagrumpyfan
    29th August 2023, 10:50

    Was Ocon in Monaco (9) better than Alonso or even Verstappen this weekend?

    Was Lawson really better than Tsunoda (or did Will use a different scale).

    Interestingly, Sargeant is now rated lower than de Vries.

    1. Not surprised, only reason he’s still there is the team he drives for, red bull is more brutal than williams.

  13. So 11 of the drivers, a majority, get a failing grade.

    5: Ocon, Bottas, Hülkenberg
    4: Pérez, Leclerc, Piastri, Zhou, Stroll, Tsunoda
    3: Magnussen and Sargeant

    Norris, Hamilton, Russell and Sainz escape said designation with a 6.

    It’s hard to argue with this in general. It’s been a very underwhelming grid, not just at this race. I wonder if the successes of guys like Vettel, Hamilton and Verstappen has led to on bringing young guys with promising junior careers into F1 too early, thereby adding to the ‘glorified F2’ feeling of large sections of the grid.

  14. Samantha Coupe
    29th August 2023, 16:42

    I think Albon’s race deserves more praise. Over the past few years a P8 finish in a Williams has been almost invariably as a result of solid strategy – this time it was despite the multiple blunders. If Albon’s strategy were better he could’ve managed a podium.

  15. I don’t understand how Lawson deserves a 7.
    As far as I know, experience and circumstances aren’t taken into account in these ratings, only the performance of the drivers. Tsunoda comfortably outperformed Lawson so he should have a better grade. Or I’m wrong and Lawson’s lack of experience is taken into account (in which case I agree with his rating).

    1. That’s what I thought too, that experience wasn’t taken into account, and I agree, 7 is too high.

  16. Just an hounest question.

    Are these driver ratings delebarately made this weird to generate clicks and increase the advertisement income?

    1. I doubt it. It’s just personal opinion and bias. Also, when it comes to ratings, everyone has their own scale. I’ve rated a lot of things, for personal use and on websites, and I don’t think I’ve ever given out a 10/10 for anything. Other people give out 10s just for enjoying the product.

      The only ratings that are important should be your own rating. Although it is quite amusing to see other people’s ratings. These threads are some of my favourite on this site. Always entertaining!

      1. “Although it is quite amusing to see other people’s ratings. These threads are some of my favourite on this site. Always entertaining!”

        You made exactly my point.

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