Start. Suzuka, 2023

2023 Japanese Grand Prix weekend F1 driver ratings

Formula 1

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The Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka saw Red Bull clinch this year’s constructors’ championship in emphatic fashion with Max Verstappen producing one of his most commanding wins in a season where he has regularly won with ease.

But while Verstappen re-established Red Bull as the undisputed team to beat in Suzuka after their defeat in Singapore, his team mate, Sergio Perez had a very different kind of weekend.

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

Max Verstappen – 8/10

Qualified: Pole (+4 places ahead of team mate, -0.773s)
Start: Held position
Strategy: Two-stop (M-M-H)
Finished: Winner

  • Fastest of all in all three practice sessions
  • Stormed to pole position by over half a second
  • Held off both McLarens to keep the lead at the start, then pulled gradually away from Norris
  • Pitted for second set of mediums and passed Russell to reclaim lead
  • Switched to hard tyres for final stop and retained lead, setting fastest lap
  • Continued to pull away from Norris to claim a comfortable win

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Suzuka, 2023
After resisting the McLarens, Verstappen cruised to victory
Verstappen’s 12th victory of 2023 was perhaps his most emphatic. He was untouchable from the very beginning of the weekend and never looked in danger of being challenged. His pole margin was remarkable and his race pace was as metronomic as ever. However, his fastest lap being over a second quicker than Norris’s suggested how much he was likely cruising, so it’s difficult to put this win in the same tier as his Spa triumph.

Sergio Perez – 3/10

Qualified: 5th (-4 places behind team mate, +0.773s)
Start: -2 places
Strategy: Four-stop (M-H-S-S-S)
Finished: Retired (Damage – L16)

  • Took fifth on the grid in qualifying, seven tenths slower than team mate
  • Suffered damage in the squeeze at the start, pitting for repairs on lap two
  • Earned five second time penalty for passing Alonso before Safety Car line
  • Restarted in 18th and passed Albon and Zhou to run behind Ocon
  • Crashed into Magnussen at the hairpin, damaging front wing
  • Pitted for new front wing, serving penalty, then pulling into garage next lap
  • Rejoined race 41 minutes later to serve second penalty for Magnussen, then retired

Perez’s performance could hardly have contrasted more to his team mate. He was slower at every stage than Verstappen and was out-qualified by two McLarens and a Ferrari. After clumsily clattering into Albon in Singapore, Perez’s move on Magnussen was even worse, ending his own race and ruining his rival’s. Having to return to the race to serve a penalty was a particularly humiliating spectacle.

Charles Leclerc – 8/10

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Suzuka, 2023
After a dip in form, Leclerc was back on it
Qualified: 4th (+2 places ahead of team mate, -0.308s)
Start: Held position
Strategy: Two-stop (M-M-H)
Finished: 4th (+2 places ahead of team mate)

  • Fastest of all in Q2 then delivered Q3 lap good enough to beat Perez to fourth
  • Held fourth over the opening laps before pitting for second set of mediums
  • Passed Alonso and Ocon on the same lap and ran in fourth until second stop for hards
  • Caught and passed Russell for fourth and finished there, five seconds ahead of Hamilton

Leclerc was one of the best performers over the Suzuka weekend and it’s difficult to see what more Ferrari could have asked from him. He out-qualified a Red Bull and did his best to try and keep pace with the McLarens ahead and got around Russell when he needed to. He was faster than Sainz throughout the weekend and only the limitations of his car prevented him from challenging for a podium.

Carlos Sainz Jnr – 6/10

Qualified: 6th (-2 places behind team mate, +0.308s)
Start: +1 place
Strategy: Two-stop (M-M-H)
Finished: 6th (-2 places behind team mate)

  • Qualified in sixth, admitting to struggling with his set-up
  • Gained one place over damaged Perez at the start, then ran behind team mate in fifth
  • Pitted latest of front runners for second set of mediums, passing Alonso and Ocon to sit sixth
  • Gained fifth when Russell pitted, then made second stop for hards
  • Rejoined in seventh and caught Hamilton, then passed Russell for sixth
  • Pressured Hamilton but could not challenge him, finishing fifth

A decent enough weekend for Sainz who could hardly have been expected to emulate his incredible race-winning performance from the previous weekend in Singapore. Not on the same level as his team mate over the three days, Sainz at least out-qualified the two Mercedes. His relatively late pit stops allowed him to be undercut by Hamilton, but he at least picked off Russell near the end to secure a top six finish

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George Russell – 6/10

Qualified: 8th (-1 place behind team mate, +0.311s)
Start: -1 place
Strategy: One-stop (M-H)
Finished: 7th (-2 places behind team mate)

  • Qualified eighth, one place but three tenths behind team mate
  • Lost a place to Alonso at the start and got ahead of team mate at restart for a single corner
  • Stayed out on mediums as rivals ahead pitted to rise up to second before pitting for hards
  • Rejoined seventh and gained places as cars ahead pitted before being passed by Norris
  • Overtaken by Piastri and Leclerc before being asked to let team mate by
  • Lost a further position to Sainz to finish in seventh

Mercedes were not in contention for victory like they were last weekend and Russell was forced to work hard for his seventh place finish. Although he warned that a one-stop race was looking very unlikely before Sunday, he was the only one of the front running drivers to attempt it. He battled Hamilton early in the race and allowed him through in the closing laps but couldn’t keep Sainz behind. Still, he put in a valiant effort.

Lewis Hamilton – 6/10

George Russell, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Suzuka, 2023
It got a bit heated between the Mercedes drivers
Qualified: 7th (+1 place ahead of team mate, -0.311s)
Start: -1 place
Strategy: Two-stop (M-H-H)
Finished: 5th (+2 places ahead of team mate)

  • Qualified ahead of team mate in seventh
  • Suffered contact with Perez in squeeze at the start but appeared to be undamaged
  • Overtaken by team mate but immediately repassed him into turn one
  • Noted for forcing Russell off track at Spoon but had no action taken
  • Pitted for hards and passed Alonso and Ocon to move back up to sixth
  • Made second stop for hards, dropped to seventh, then gained sixth when Sainz stopped
  • Caught team mate in closing laps and was allowed through into fifth where he would finish

Hamilton may have qualified and finished ahead of his team mate in Suzuka, but it was difficult to know whether or not he was truly the quickest Mercedes driver over the Japanese weekend. He had to fight hard to keep Russell behind him in the opening stint and then was allowed through late in the race before absorbing pressure from Sainz in the closing laps. But Mercedes were not at their strongest around Suzuka which limited the impact he could have.

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Esteban Ocon – 7/10

Qualified: 14th (-2 places behind team mate, +0.077s)
Start: -5 places
Strategy: Two-stop (M-H-H)
Finished: 9th (+1 place ahead of team mate)

  • Eliminated from Q2 in 14th, less than a tenth of a second behind his team mate
  • Inadvertently triggered contact with Bottas by drifting into him at start, suffering puncture
  • Pitted for repairs and restarted from 15th on hards, passing Magnussen
  • Ran long middle stint and pitted for second set of hards on lap 28
  • Ran ninth behind Alonso until caught by team mate and asked to let him by
  • Allowed Gasly through until being handed place back on final lap to finish ninth

Esteban Ocon, Alpine, Suzuka, 2023
Ocon rebounded from first-lap setback
Ocon climbed out of his car satisfied with his result from Suzuka and he deserved to be. Although being out-qualified by his team mate, he at least kept his car out of the wall and even if he drifted into Bottas at the start, it was not an egregious move by any means. After pitting for repairs, he effectively ran a one-stop race when tyre wear was of real concern. He might have been handed ninth back by his team mate, it was only fair for him being a team player beforehand.

Pierre Gasly – 6/10

Qualified: 12th (+2 places ahead of team mate, -0.077s)
Start: -2 places
Strategy: Two-stop (M-H-H)
Finished: 10th (-1 place behind team mate)

  • Crashed at Degner 2 at end of FP2, causing major front damage
  • Breezed into Q2 but was knocked out in 12th, just ahead of team mate
  • Dropped two places at the start but gained positions as rivals pitted before late first stop
  • Fitted hard tyres and resumed 15th, passing Zhou, Lawson and Tsunoda to run eighth
  • Made second stop for hards and fell to 11th, passed Hulkenberg, then caught team mate
  • Was allowed through to attack Alonso but could not catch the Aston Martin
  • Told to let Ocon by on final lap and begrudgingly obliged to finish tenth

Gasly scored another points finish after a decent performance across the weekend. His small error at the end of second practice caused big damage, but it happened at the right time to minimise problems. He did well on Saturday and his pace was decent in the race but it’s difficult to sympathise with his displeasure at being told to allow Ocon through at the finish given how he couldn’t catch Alonso in time.

Lando Norris – 8/10

Qualified: 3rd (-1 place behind team mate, +0.035s)
Start: +1 place
Strategy: Two-stop (M-H-H)
Finished: 2nd (+1 place ahead of team mate)

  • Just beaten by team mate to the front row, taking third on the grid
  • Got ahead of Piastri and Verstappen at the start but had to settle into second at turn two
  • Led one lap when Verstappen pitted before making his first stop for hards
  • Emerged behind team mate and was allowed through into second
  • Made second stop for hards and quickly passed Russell
  • Couldn’t catch Verstappen but pulled away from team mate to finish second

Norris made it back-to-back podiums in Suzuka and secured what was certainly the best result he could have hoped for with Verstappen clear out front. While he was beaten in qualifying by his team mate, it was by less than half a tenth and he jumped almost ahead of both cars ahead at the start. For the rest of the race, his pace was very strong and he grew almost as big a gap to Piastri as he had to the winner.

Oscar Piastri – 7/10

Oscar Piastri, McLaren, Suzuka, 2023
It didn’t look like Piastri’s first visit to Suzuka, but it was
Qualified: 2nd (+1 place ahead of team mate, -0.035s)
Start: -1 place
Strategy: Two-stop (M-H-H)
Finished: 3rd (-1 place behind team mate)

  • First time at Suzuka, ran with team’s latest aero update for the first time
  • Pipped team mate to secure first ever front row start
  • Attacked Verstappen off the line but had to settle for third place into turn one
  • Pitted just before VSC, undercutting Norris for second but then told to let team mate through
  • Made second stop for hard tyres and passed Russell to regain third
  • Fell away from team mate but maintained advantage over Leclerc to take first career podium

Welcome, Oscar Piastri, to the exclusive club of drivers to reach the podium in their rookie season. Ever since first getting his hands on McLaren’s major upgrades in Silverstone, Piastri has threatened to score a top-three finish and thanks to their latest parts in Suzuka, he did. He did very well to out-qualify his team mate and start from the front row, but Norris got the better start. Piastri admitted he didn’t have the pace of his team mate in the race but looked very confident throughout the race and took a well-deserved first podium.

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Valtteri Bottas – 6/10

Qualified: 16th (+3 places ahead of team mate, -0.349s)
Start: -4 places
Strategy: Two-stop (S-S-H)
Finished: Retired (Damage – L8)

  • Only just eliminate from Q1 in 16th but admitted he had not extracted the full potential from his car
  • Caught up in the squeeze on the run to turn one, leaving him with damaged car
  • Fell to rear after pitting for repairs, restarting last
  • Hit by Sargeant at the hairpin on restart lap, forcing him back to the pits for repairs
  • Emerged on hard tyres but pulled into the pits to retire next lap

Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo, Suzuka, 2023
Bottas was the victim of a clumsy move at the hairpin
A frustrating weekend for Bottas who was in the wars throughout the opening laps on Sunday. He almost escaped Q1 and had a decent start to draw level with Ocon and Albon ahead, but he suffered damage in the melee and dropped to the rear. When the race restarted, he was hit by Sargeant through no fault of his own, which ended his race. At least he had been quicker than his team mate until that point.

Zhou Guanyu – 5/10

Qualified: 19th (-3 places behind team mate, +0.349s)
Start: +1 place
Strategy: Three-stop (S-S-S-H)
Finished: 13th

  • Suffered brake problems in FP2 that limited running
  • Knocked out 19th in Q1, complaining of traffic and a mistake at Degner 2
  • Started on softs but was hit by debris at the start, having to pit for lap one repairs
  • Restarted 16th on new softs, then passed by Perez before second stop for softs
  • Ran ahead of Haas drivers and eventually made third stop for hard tyres on lap 29
  • Fell to last but moved ahead of Haas drivers in pit cycle to finish 13th

A textbook average performance for Zhou who neither did anything particularly impressive, nor made any notable errors. His qualifying performance was no worse than underwhelming but he made a decent enough start. He was unlucky to strike a large chunk of debris from a clash he wasn’t involved with, but even once the race restarted he didn’t exactly set the circuit alight with his pace.

Lance Stroll – 4/10

Qualified: 17th (-7 places behind team mate, +0.21s)
Start: +5 places
Strategy: One-stop (S-M)
Finished: Retired (Rear wing failure – L21)

  • Behind team mate in every session
  • Failed to follow team mate into Q2, eliminated in 17th
  • Picked up five places through the chaos of the start to sit in 11th before pitting for mediums
  • Dropped to 14th and passed Hulkenberg for 13th place
  • Forced to retire after rear wing was deemed unsafely loose

Yet another subpar performance from Stroll in which, despite the Aston Martin being a car worthy of a top ten finish, he didn’t look like delivering one. He never seemed on the same pace as his team mate and while he made no errors of note in the race, he spent the race gradually falling back from Alonso. His retirement was not his fault, with Aston Martin making the right call to retire the car.

Fernando Alonso – 7/10

Qualified: 10th (+7 places ahead of team mate, -0.21s)
Start: +4 places
Strategy: Two-stop (S-H-H)
Finished: 8th

  • Only just reached Q3 in tenth and eventually qualified there after failing to improve on Q2 time
  • Started on softs, gaining four places on first lap to run sixth until pitting for hards
  • Undercut Ferraris and Hamilton but was soon overtaken by all three
  • Pitted for second set of hards and passes Zhou and Tsunoda to climb up to eighth
  • Ran lonely final stint in eighth where he would finish

Although he was hardly a major player throughout the weekend, Alonso again achieved likely the maximum result he could have taken, especially with no Perez in the top eight positions. He said he was “very proud” to reach Q3 but should really have out qualified Tsunoda on paper, but he gained four places at the start to run in the top six. He couldn’t keep the faster cars behind him and fell to eighth, but that was more reflective of his car than his own driving.

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Kevin Magnussen – 6/10

Sergio Perez, Kevin Magnussen, Suzuka, 2023
Magnussen was also the victim of a clumsy move at the hairpin
Qualified: 15th (+3 places ahead of team mate, -0.323s)
Start: Held position
Strategy: Two-stop (M-H-H)
Finished: 15th (-1 place behind team mate)

  • Just reached Q2 in 15th but was eliminated that same position in Q2
  • Held position at the start and was passed by Ocon before being punted by Perez
  • Fell to 17th after pitting for hard tyres and repairs, then let team mate though for 13th
  • Ran at the back for the final stint, finishing a lap down in 15th

Over another difficult weekend for Haas, Magnussen did decent enough job, being quicker than his team mate in qualifying. Unfortunately, his race was ruined after just 12 laps when Perez clattered into him at the hairpin. Because of that he fell behind his team mate and ultimately dropped off in the back of the field as he tried to make his hard tyres reach the end in a car that eats its tyres like no other.

Nico Hulkenberg – 6/10

Qualified: 18th (-3 places behind team mate, +0.323s)
Start: +5 places
Strategy: Three-stop (S-M-H-M)
Finished: 14th (+1 place ahead of team mate)

  • Lost his first qualifying lap for track limits, then knocked out of Q1 in 18th
  • Jumped up to 13th at the start through the chaos ahead but pitted very early for mediums
  • Passed by Stroll before pitting for hards, passing team mate to run 11th before third stop
  • Emerged ahead of team mate in 14th where he would finish

On a race weekend where high tyre degradation looked set to compound Haas’ weaknesses from the beginning, there was little shame in finishing down in 14th for Hulkenberg. His performance on Saturday likely should have been better, but he kept his nose clean at the start and did his best to make his three-stop strategy work, but his car was never going to be in contention for points without a lot more cars being eliminated from the running.

Yuki Tsunoda – 6/10

Qualified: 9th (+2 places ahead of team mate, -0.304s)
Start: -2 places
Strategy: Two-stop (S-M-H)
Finished: 12th (-1 place behind team mate)

  • Reached Q3 in seventh before beating Alonso to ninth on the grid
  • Dropped two places at the start, ran behind team mate, then pitted for mediums on lap nine
  • Undercut team mate before being undercut himself when pitting for hards
  • Closed to within a second of team mate but complained of being “stuck” with dirty air
  • Followed his team mate home to finish in 12th

Yuki Tsunoda, Liam Lawson, AlphaTauri, Suzuka, 2023
The AlphaTauri duo scrapped thrillingly early on
On a special weekend for Tsunoda, only his second home grand prix, the racing gods were kind enough to let him complete the race after two rounds where he hadn’t finished the opening lap. He did very well to get through into Q3 and out-qualify Alonso, but he got caught out by the melee ahead of him at the start and dropped behind Lawson. The pair traded places in the pit stop cycle and he just couldn’t get by in the final stint, but he still could be happy with his efforts.

Liam Lawson – 6/10

Qualified: 11th (-2 places behind team mate, +0.304s)
Start: +1 place
Strategy: Two-stop (S-M-H)
Finished: 11th (+1 place ahead of team mate)

  • Failed to follow team mate through into Q3 by half a tenth
  • Started on softs, moved ahead of team mate at the start then pitted early for mediums
  • Ran behind team mate after being undercut, then was passed by Gasly
  • Undercut team mate at second stop for hards and passed Magnussen
  • Ran just ahead of team mate for the final stint of the race, finishing just outside the points

At a circuit that he knows well from Super Formula, Lawson delivered another solid, mistake-free performance over the Suzuka weekend. He lost the battle against Tsunoda in qualifying but managed to turn the tables on Sunday. There was little he could do about the Alpines ahead but he managed to get ahead of his more experienced team mate with his race pace and keep him there to end another impressive weekend.

Alexander Albon – 6/10

Qualified: 13th (+7 places ahead of team mate)
Start: -4 places
Strategy: Two-stop (M-M-S)
Finished: Retired (Damage – L26)

  • Reached Q2 but was eliminated in 13th
  • Suffered damage in collision with Bottas at start, pitting for repairs on lap one
  • Passed by Perez and ran at the back ahead of team mate
  • Pulled in to retire due to damage midway through the race

Suzuka was never going to be Williams’ best race of the season, but Albon still put himself in a decent position for the start of the race by qualifying 13th between the two Alpines. His launch off the line was not the best but he was a victim of circumstance, being hit by Bottas which bumped him into the air. Eventually the damage proved too much and he was forced to retire, an unfortunate end to his weekend.

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Logan Sargeant – 2/10

Logan Sargeant, Williams, Suzuka, 2023
Sargeant urgently needs to turn it around
Qualified: 20th (-7 places behind team mate)
Start: +4 places
Strategy: Three-stop (M-M-M-H)
Finished: Retired (Damage – L22)

  • First time racing at Suzuka
  • Crashed out of Q1 in final corner, wrecking his car
  • Forced to start from pit lane with 10s time penalty after parc ferme modifications
  • Gained four places through the chaos at the start, then pitted to serve penalty on lap two
  • Locked up into hairpin and hit Bottas at restart, damaging wing and earning 5s penalty
  • Pitted for repairs and ran last, pitted to serve penalty before retiring the next lap

If Sargeant is fighting to try and convince Williams he is worthy of that final available seat on the grid in 2024, he couldn’t have chosen a more sensitive time to have one of his worst weekends of the season. Up until qualifying, Sargeant was having a competent start to the weekend. Then he threw his car into the wall with a silly error that left his mechanics with another repair job. Then, just 60 seconds into his first true green flag lap of racing, Sargeant wrecked his race by clumsily crashing into Bottas, eventually being brought in to retire. A poor, poor performance.

Over to you

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

2023 Japanese 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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64 comments on “2023 Japanese Grand Prix weekend F1 driver ratings”

  1. Most impressed: VER, NOR, & PIA
    Most disappointing: PER & SAR

    1. Undrstand how the ratings work. A tip is to take a Hamilton win where his was dominant with a pole start, look at his rating and read the motivation. I will guarante you no top score.

  2. So, in lieu of the usual question in this section about what you have to do to get a 10, I’d ask what you have to do to get a 1?

    Asking for a south american friend.

    1. You mean a North American friend. One from the southern part of the North America continent, right?
      As for what you have to do to get a 10, 100% with you. MV33 should at least get a 9.

      1. I suppose he was being sarcastic…

    2. Helmut… is it you? :D (I’m joking!)

      To get a 10, I would imagine “winning decisively in a car which is not one of the top cars”. If Alonso pulled off a win from having started 12th on the grid in the Aston, that might do it, especially if it rains. A win after a perfect race from Norris or Piastri, maybe.

      Personal guess: Sebastian Vettel’s Monza win with Toro Rosso in 2008 may have been a 10, or at least close.

      1. Whilst I don’t disagree with what you are saying, that does suggest that a driver in a top car would never be able to perform at a percived level as drivers not in a top car, which is of course not the case. How one could actually judge that driver to have performed that well is another question, but it should be conceivably acheivable.

        1. @cairnsfella Being put in an almost impossible situation not of your own making, then overcoming it would probably count. But yeah, it’s hard to prove yourself when you’re driving a rocketship, though I’m not sure that’s necessarily a bad thing, the challenge is easier.

    3. Hahaha

  3. If 8 is the maximum and 3 the minimum, wouldn’t it be better to just use a smaller scale ranging from 1 to 6 or something? Max drove at least a 9, Sainz did a 10 in Singapore, and Perez easily did a 1 here.

    1. Agree that the Sainz win in Singapore was as close to a 10 as I’ve seen in a long time.

    2. Except 3 isn’t the minimum as Logan got a 2, and we’ve already seen 9’s, as early back as last race’s ratings.

    3. @chrischrill I have to agree with the “1” for Perez. Of course there are near infinite things a driver could do worse (drive in reverse all race, stop to take a wizz, drive out of the circuit and hoon around the streets etc), but surely the ratings pre-suppose that the driver is making an effort. On that basis and in that car it was a pretty disasterous weekend.

  4. The most exciting battle for the year-end ranking will be between Sargeant and De Vries ;)

  5. I’m thinking Logan Sergeant’s grandfather is already in touch with Dale Coyne.

  6. Not to take anything away from Piastri…

    Although he beat Lando by 0.03 seconds, he did have a new ICE, TC, MGU-H & MGU-K, for this race

    Not sure how much that accounts for on a quali lap at this circuit, but I’d bet good money it’s more than 0.04

    1. But you have to offset that by Norris’ extra week of experience with the new package.
      Not sure how much that accounts for on a quali lap at this circuit, but I’d bet good money it’s the same as a new ICE, TC, MGU-H & MGU-K ;)

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        26th September 2023, 12:48

        Not sure how much that accounts for on a quali lap at this circuit, but I’d bet good money you’re both right to some extent!

  7. So it seems like the guys that are struggling – Perez, Sargeant, Stroll – really can’t get a break and get back on form. It’s interesting since it never really stood out so clear as this year (or maybe it’s me). Is the pressure so high on these 3 guys that they just start to crumble or is the general quality of the field so high that their mistakes and bad performance stick out so much? Maybe someone like Perez should consider taking a sabbatical – Ricciardo style – his talent can’t just have vanished and maybe he would be the right person to help develop and guide the Audi project?

    1. There’s a difference between not “catching a break” and messing up all by yourself. There’s no amount of breaks that can help Logan not crash himself into the wall or Valtteri Bottas or Perez not crashing himself into Magnussen, for instance.

      I’d say there’s probably pressure on Logan, he’s fighting for a contract, but there’s no pressure on Perez (he’s not expected to be anything but second best here, his goal is a podium finish, not the top step) and his contract for next year seems secure enough at the moment. Stroll, of course, is under the least pressure of the entire grid, as far as I’m concerned. If his father did not own the team, or finance his other seats up until he bought Force India, he’d not have done more than two seasons. His performances are irrelevant, he can be in F1 forever if he wants to be.

      1. I think all these guys are under immense pressure, first and foremost by their internal drive to be the best – there is nothing worse than letting yourself down. With Perez it looks like the opportunity of fighting for the World Championship at the beginning of the year was just to much to handle and things unraveled from there. For Stroll there is always the extra pressure of being the son of the boss. I wouldn’t want to walk in his shoes. Sargeant seems to have reached his sealing, performance wise – and although not bad – it’s not good enough in this field of F1 drivers. Of course you and I and all the other fans and media are just the icing on top – when it comes to adding some pressure. I do think taking a break and being away from F1 for a while can help someone like Perez or Stroll.

        1. For Perez, I can see that. He’s definitely under pressure. No matter what However keeps saying, if he keeps messing up as much as he has been he’s going to lose the RBR seat and he knows it.

          However, for Stroll, I’d say the only reason he has more pressure on him than other drivers who performed similarly to him is because any other driver would have been dropped long ago. The team is, effectively, his toy, daddy bought it to give him a seat, and he’s been given far more chances than any other driver I’ve seen in recent history. It may be that he’s now coming under pressure, but that’s only because he hasn’t been under as much as others would have previously.

  8. I never thought I’d see the day when I felt a rating of 3/10 was too generous. Perez was diabolical in Suzuka.

    1. @geemac To be fair, his second go at doing the race and removing the time penalty was incident free.

    2. @geemac
      I agree. Maybe 1 is reserved for extreme unsportsmanlike conduct or something like that, but performance-wise Perez couldn’t have done worse. Maybe crash into Verstappen while being lapped?

    3. I thought a 2 would be fair, don’t see how he did any better than sargeant.

  9. How is it Hamiton is the same score as his teammate despite outqualifying him and finishing ahead in the race. Out of the top 9 he made the most progress in the race from his starting position. It’s almost like Will rates him based on Mercedes being the second best car, spoiler alert it’s not and hasn’t been for many races. It was the fourth fastest car this weekend. To make matters worse Alonso gets a 7/10 for a poor qualifying and driving the car to where it should have been.

    Norris and Piastrio get a 7 and 8 for driving the clearly second fastest car to 2nd and 3rd.

    The 3 for Perez is beyond generous.

    1. I agree that the ratings for Russell and Hamilton aren’t aligned. Same as last weekend. The rating doesn’t seem to acknowledge that Russell himself chose the one-stop strategy.

      There seems to be some favoritism towards Russell in these ratings. The average difference between the two of them is marginal (6.06 to 5.81) even though Hamilton has 190 points to Russell’s 115. It looks like Ocon and Gasly are the only team mates with smaller difference between them.

      Whether Mercedes drivers are under-performing or over-perfoming the potential of the car is a matter of opinion, but it is clear that Hamilton is performing a lot better than his team mate this season and the ratings don’t reflect that.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        26th September 2023, 12:42


        The average difference between the two of them is marginal (6.06 to 5.81) even though Hamilton has 190 points to Russell’s 115.

        Interesting statistic

    2. @slowmo Alonso’s qualifying was pretty good actually. The car was only borderline capable of reaching Q3 and he did a very good lap to get through. Tsunoda was faster in all 3 parts of qualifying, so I don’t think Alonso had any more in the car than P10. Then in the race, he got himself into P6 ahead of faster cars, before inevitably being reeled in by their superior pace. Not much more he could have done. I can see Hamilton also being worthy of a 7 here though, and a 3 for Perez is pretty generous.

  10. Okay for once I’m happy to see Norris beat Piastri on equal terms. McLaren favoring the former on any strategy call and giving Norris the upgrade first both didn’t sit well with me.

    Well done to Lando for staying within a pit window of Max.

  11. Ratings are fine except for Ocon and Perez. He was outqualified by Gasly, lost more places on the opening lap and ended ahead of his teammate due to a swap. He does not deserve 7/10. I would give him 6/10 for finishing in the points. Perez in my opinion should have 0/10 if Sunday is seen in isolation or 1/10 for making in to Q3 on Saturday in a Red Bull 2023 car.

    1. Ocon drove effective 1 stop race better than Russell, with more managed pace – and was asked for a swap. Gasly wouldn’t pass him, pace difference wasn’t enough.

      Perez should be dropped by Red Bull after the season, he is struggling to get a clean weekend – we’re not even trying to think he could match Verstappen pace, he slowly slipped into Stroll’s category. Anyone know when Perez had a clean weekend and didn’t make any significant mistake, wasn’t massively off the pace, and got a position which was clearly available for his car? Belgium?

      1. Ocon drove effective 1 stop race better than Russell

        Translation: deleted Albon from the race, had a free pit stop for fresh hard tires under the safety car period he caused.
        Tell Pierre to give me the position back, hon hon hon

  12. The rating of Hamilton is unfair. He qualified ahead of Russell when it mattered, and had a better race with a damaged/unbalanced car due to Perez’s antics on track. Deserves a 7.

    1. Agree, certainly drove better than Russell and with damage to the car.

      1. +1 completely trash reviews as always.

        Last week Verstappen got an 8 for qualifying 11th and finishing 5th.

        This week Hamilton gets a 6 for qualifying 7th ( better than 11th) and finishing 5th.

        It makes no sense at all.

        Last week Russel got a higher score because he out qualified Hamilton. Yet this week Hamilton beat Russell in qualifying and the race and somehow both are a 6?!

        Please make it make sense!

        1. Leclerc starts ahead of Sainz, finished 2 places ahead : 7
          Hamilton does the exact same thing : 6

          Alonso has no reference whatsoever from that teammate of his : 7

          Nothing else to say.

          1. Agree. But it’s simple really. I’ve worked out that Will will pull any random reason to down rate Hamilton. He seems a bit of an Alonso fanboy

    2. Yes, the Spoon excursion deserves at least a 12 for cross-country F1. Maybe the problem is the failed intent to wreck George Russell, that should have been worth a 20 at least

      How come there are no negative ratings?

      1. yeah, lets rate such excursions based on how far off the track they went. thats -783 for verstappen in brazil 21 then… your dumb hamilton hate it nothing but silly and shows a pretty ugly side of yours.

    3. not completely fair to Perez in this case, it certainly was not his fault with what happened at the start

  13. Yep, there’s definitely some bias towards Leclerc and Alonso here.
    What did these two did that was so special to deserve ratings slightly better than their peers?

    But at the end of the season, little by little, these ammount to something.

  14. You know the system’s broken when perez gets 3/10 for this week. My man should have gotten minus infinity for suzuka..

    1. @knightameer But what would you give Ricardo Rosset for his 1998 Monaco performance?

  15. Measly marks for the McLaren pair. Both deserve 8. PIA did as well as NOR.
    VER deserved 10, he was perfect just about.

    1. If Verstappen deserves a 10 for this race, what grade would you give him for his Brazil 2016 performance?

      1. And whatever you give verstappen for brazil 2016, you have to give that to hamilton too, who unlike rosberg was going as fast if not faster than verstappen before verstappen’s spin (which btw, means verstappen loses a point for that by default).

        1. But getting out the spin gives him 2 point so still a 10 or 11 …..

        2. Robert Henning
          27th September 2023, 8:50

          Which is the incorrect way of viewing things. Ham had nothing to do except keep it simple just like Ver now. Easy pole no spray easy win.

          Ver had to come through traffic in that rain and had to take plenty of risks. Of course spins are bound to happen yet with Ver it has happened so many times and he doesn’t bin it indicating some level of skill.

          Ham shouldn’t even be at a 19 year old kids pace in the rain. So he did nothing worthy so obviously can’t be rated the same as Ver.

          At least Ver when leading in the wet drops 1s on everyone almost every time. Never seen Ham do that consistently.

  16. The ratings are absurd, the comments comedy Gold.

  17. I would really love to hear how RUS with all negative points has the same amount of points as HAM? How VER who did everything correctly has 8 of 10? Can someone explain what is 10/10 then?
    This is quite disappointing ….

  18. This idiot writhing the ratings is a blatant racist….hilarious scores for Hamilton.

    1. Yes, usually 4-5 points too high, it is outrageous

      1. Maybe they want it to match the IQ of the detractors here

        1. The Max detractors? Yes of course

  19. AT car was much faster but they screwed Yuki’ race. Not sure why Lawson came to pits for hard on lap25 and Yuki on lap30. That is a very big undercut on a team mate who was much faster. He caught Lawson very quickly and then got stuck behind him for 9laps. Instead of 0.8secs behind on clear track he would be nearly 15secs ahead.

  20. Haven’t visited these ratings for a while because i was getting tired of Will over inflating Alonso. I have now come back and low and behold, Will is still over inflating Alonso. Agree with all the comments above that Will has some sort of bias towards Alonso. I do wish Keith would take over doing these ratings. Will is too biased. He also seems to have some sort of Vendetta against Hamilton. He clearly, clearly has an issue with Hamilton. Am glad others have pointed this out too.

  21. Perez should be getting negative points for this.
    And Max dominated the entire weekend. He qualified into Q3 with same tires from Q1 (I think).
    Only thing he did wrong was he didnt have a perfect start and had to defend into turn1 for a bit.
    He was clearly on a mission to prove a point and achieved it. It’s at least a 9, if not a 9.5. (decimals should be used in this rating system)

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