Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2023

2023 Mexican Grand Prix weekend F1 driver ratings

Formula 1

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The Mexican Grand Prix weekend, like a rose between thorns, was a conventional grand prix between the two last sprint rounds of the season.

There was no lack of drama or intrigue across the three days with some standout performances and some who stood out for the wrong reasons. But the biggest contrast was between the current and former occupant of the second Red Bull seat – at a critical time in the season.

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

Max Verstappen – 8/10

Qualified: 3rd (+2 places ahead of team mate, -0.16s)
Start: +2 places
Strategy: Two-stop (M-H-H)
Finished: Winner

  • Quickest in all three practice sessions
  • Investigated for impeding at pit exit in Q1 but cleared by stewards
  • Qualified third on the grid, less than a tenth slower than both Ferraris ahead
  • Leapt ahead of both Ferraris and into the lead at turn one
  • Led the early laps until pitting early for hards, passing multiple cars to move second
  • Returned to lead when Leclerc pitted, then sat in lead under red flag
  • Held lead at restart and pulled gradually away from pack behind
  • Led remaining laps to win by almost 14 seconds

It was already becoming difficult to think of original ways to praise Verstappen for another dominant victory before the summer break, let alone after his 16th grand prix win of the season. Quickest in all three practice sessions, it was a surprise that he was beaten to pole position on Saturday. But he might as well have started there, given how he took the lead on the run to turn one. Once out front, Verstappen never looked anything other than in total control.

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Sergio Perez – 4/10

Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2023
Mexico’s home hero ruined his race at the first corner
Qualified: 5th (-2 places behind team mate, +0.16s)
Start: -15 places
Strategy: M
Finished: Retired (Damage – L1)

  • Out-qualified by team mate and Ricciardo’s AlphaTauri to line up fifth on the grid
  • Got strong launch off the grid to fight for lead on run to turn one
  • Turned in too ambitiously at turn one, triggering contact with Leclerc
  • Suffered terminal damage that forced him to pit at end of opening lap into retirement

Of all the weekends to have things finally all go right for Perez, this would have been the perfect one. After an average qualifying performance, Perez brought his home crowd to their feet over the first 15 seconds of the race as he looked to charge from fifth into the lead into turn one. Sadly, his misjudgement saw his hopes dashed at the very first corner. But while he was ultimately to blame for the contact, it was not the most egregious error Perez could have made but a simple case of trying too hard, too soon.

Charles Leclerc – 7/10

Qualified: Pole (+1 place ahead of team mate, -0.067s)
Start: -1 place
Strategy: One-stop (M-H)
Finished: 3rd (+1 place ahead of team mate)

  • Averaged seventh across practice sessions before storming to stunning pole position
  • Lost lead to Verstappen off the line and was clipped by Perez, losing front wing endplate
  • Took lead when Verstappen pitted before stopping for hard tyres, retaining second
  • Lined up second under red flag and fitted new front wing
  • Restarted on hards and held second but was soon overtaken by Hamilton
  • Gradually fell away from Hamilton to come home on podium in third ahead of team mate

Another very good weekend for Leclerc where he found himself taking pole position completely against expectations. Although he could not keep Verstappen behind him at the start, the winner’s pace suggested Leclerc wouldn’t have stood much chance even if he had. Even after suffering wing damage at turn one, Leclerc managed his pace and tyres with skill and retained second until Hamilton got by with softer tyres. Ferrari were not the strongest in Mexico, so a podium in third was a great result.

Carlos Sainz Jnr – 6/10

Qualified: 2nd (-1 place behind team mate, +0.067s)
Start: -1 place
Strategy: One-stop (M-H)
Finished: 4th (-1 place behind team mate)

  • Less than a tenth away from pole to line up ahead of Verstappen but behind team mate
  • Fell to third behind Verstappen at the start to run third through opening stint
  • Pitted for hards and fell behind Hamilton to sit fourth under red flag
  • Restarted fourth and held position, holding off Russell until he faded
  • Maintained gap of around four seconds to team mate ahead, finishing behind him in fourth

Sainz may not have been the fastest Ferrari driver in Mexico, but that does not mean he was by any means slow. He shadowed Leclerc across Saturday and Sunday and while he lost a place to Verstappen at the start and to Hamilton in the pit cycle, he seemed to be getting as much out of his car as Ferrari could have reasonably asked him to. He held his nerve with Russell behind him and came home in a respectable fourth place.

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George Russell – 6/10

Qualified: 8th (-2 places behind team mate, +0.22s)
Start: +1 place
Strategy: Two-stop (M-H-M)
Finished: 6th (-4 places behind team mate)

  • Sat out of first practice to allow Frederik Vesti to drive in his place
  • Investigated for impeding at pit exit in Q1 but cleared by stewards
  • Managed only eighth in qualifying after failing to improve on Q2 time
  • Ran in seventh over the early laps before pitting for hards
  • Sat in seventh under red flag but switched onto scrubbed mediums
  • Passed Piastri and Ricciardo at restart to gain fifth and pursued Sainz ahead
  • Backed off to cool brakes but lost tyre temperature, causing pace to drop
  • Overtaken by Norris to finish sixth just ahead of Ricciardo

Russell had to work hard for his sixth place finish in Mexico, but he did not seem to be on quite the same level as Hamilton through the weekend. Whether missing out on FP1 had anything to do with it is hard to say, but he wasn’t thrilled to qualify only eighth on Saturday. He showed solid enough pace in the race but never really challenged Piastri in the first stint. He did well at the restart to jump up to fifth but he lost so much pace when his tyres cooled late in the race that he was lucky not to be passed by Ricciardo before the finish.

Lewis Hamilton – 8/10

Hamilton took a second place worth celebrating
Qualified: 6th (+2 places ahead of team mate, -0.22s)
Start: +1 place
Strategy: Two-stop (M-H-M)
Finished: 2nd (+4 places ahead of team mate)

  • Out-qualified team mate to line up sixth on the grid
  • Investigated and cleared of failing to slow under yellow flags in Q1
  • Ran fifth in early laps before passing Ricciardo for fourth
  • Pitted for mediums and picked up third from Sainz pitting before Safety Car
  • Switched onto scrubbed mediums under red flag and restarted third, holding position
  • Overtook Leclerc to take second and set off in pursuit of leader
  • Fell away from Verstappen to finish second, 13s behind
  • Took bonus point for fastest lap on final lap

If you would have offered Hamilton second place in the grand prix after Friday given how much he was struggling with the balance of his car, he would have been thrilled to accept it. Hamilton found more confidence with every day that passed until he was firing on all cylinders on Sunday. He had the measure of his team mate across the weekend and while the call to switch to mediums under the red flag was a gutsy one, Hamilton made it work. Verstappen was just too strong on the day for him to do any more.

Esteban Ocon – 6/10

Qualified: 16th (-5 places behind team mate, +0.135s)
Grid: 15th (+4 places behind team mate)
Start: -3 places
Strategy: One-stop (H-M)
Finished: 10th (+1 place ahead of team mate)

  • First driver eliminated from Q1 in 16th after aggressive tyre strategy backfired
  • Started on hards and fell two places, then passed by Stroll to run last
  • Just missed pit lane before Safety Car, but red flag allowed him to change to mediums
  • Restarted 14th and jumped to 11th ahead of team mate
  • Passed by Norris and sat behind Hulkenberg for almost 30 laps before overtaking him
  • Came home in tenth to claim final point ahead of team mate

Ocon’s Mexican Grand Prix was the encapsulation of why you can never give up in Formula 1. After an ill-advised qualifying strategy left him down the order on the grid, he seemed slow in the early laps of the race as he focused on managing a very long opening stint on hards. He thought his race had been ruined when the Safety Car was deployed as he passed pit entry, but a gamble on staying out in case of a red flag paid handsomely. The second half of the race he led his team mate throughout after a very good restart got him ahead, but it took him a while to get by Hulkenberg. A championship point was his reward after a rollercoaster race.

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Pierre Gasly – 6/10

The red flag came at an inconvenient time for Gasly
Qualified: 11th (+5 places ahead of team mate, -0.135s)
Grid: 11th (+4 places ahead of team mate)
Start: +2 places
Strategy: Two-stop (M-H)
Finished: 11th (-1 place behind team mate)

  • Reached Q2, until team mate, but just missed out on Q3 to line up 11th on the grid
  • Moved up to ninth at the start, running behind Hulkenberg until pitting for hards
  • Sat 11th under red flag and dropped one place behind team mate at restart
  • Followed team mate through Hulkenberg to gain 11th where he would finish

It was a tale of two halves for Gasly during the Mexican Grand Prix where he would have been frustrated to miss out on a point after a solid start to the weekend. He secured a grid position to be happy with in qualifying but spent his first stint stuck behind Hulkenberg. After falling behind his team mate at the restart, he spent the second half of the race behind Ocon and Hulkenberg on his hard tyres. He made no mistakes and was able to keep pace with Ocon, but would likely have been ruing the red flag.

Lando Norris – 7/10

Lando Norris, McLaren, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2023
Qualifying slip-up left Norris on the back foot
Qualified: 19th (-12 places behind team mate, +3.313s)
Grid: 17th (-10 places behind team mate)
Start: +1 place
Strategy: Two-stop (S-H-M)
Finished: 5th (+3 places ahead of team mate)

  • Eliminated from Q1 in 19th after mistake in first lap and yellow flag in second
  • Started on softs and passed Alonso in early laps before pitting for hards very early
  • Passed Ocon, Alonso, Stroll, Bottas and Albon to run eighth before Safety Car
  • Pitted for mediums under SC and restarted tenth, but fell to 14th in the squeeze
  • Passed Bottas, Gasly, Ocon, Hulkenberg and Albon to move up to eighth
  • Let by team mate to gain seventh, then overtook Ricciardo and Russell to finish fifth

If we were rating how much fun each driver likely had during the Mexican Grand Prix, then Norris would have scored a 9/10. He pulled off a total of 14 competitive passes during the race to climb from 17th on the grid up to a top five finish at a venue where McLaren were not the second-fastest team behind Red Bull. But while he was scything through the field on Sunday, it was mainly because he had dug himself into a hole in qualifying the day before. But he could at least say he made up for it when it mattered most.

Oscar Piastri – 6/10

Qualified: 7th (+12 places ahead of team mate, -3.313s)
Grid: 7th (+10 places ahead of team mate)
Start: +1 place
Strategy: Two-stop (M-H-M)
Finished: 8th (-3 places behind team mate)

  • Easily reached Q3 but qualified seventh after failing to extract expected pace out of car
  • Ran sixth in early laps before pitting for hard tyres, passing Bottas and Albon
  • Moved back up to sixth before red flag, switching to scrubbed mediums
  • Dropped one place after restart, then faced pressure – and contact – from Tsunoda
  • Suffered likely damage before asked to let team mate through, dropping to eighth
  • Finished behind Ricciardo and ten seconds behind team mate in eighth

A perfectly solid weekend for Piastri who just didn’t quite seem to wring the maximum from his McLaren as he has appeared to at some recent rounds. He likely should have qualified slightly better but his pace in the opening stint was decent and he kept Russell at bay. After the restart his pace was near identical to Norris’s and it was telling how Norris caught him after double contact with Tsunoda. But overall a good weekend.

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Valtteri Bottas – 6/10

Valtteri Bottas and Lance Stroll collide, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2023
This clash with Stroll earned Bottas a penalty
Qualified: 9th (+1 place ahead of team mate, -0.018s)
Start: -3 places
Strategy: One-stop (M-H)
Finished: 14th (+1 place ahead of team mate)

  • Missed FP1 to allow Pourchaire to drive but missed out on data with brake problem
  • Top six in both practice sessions before cruising into Q3, qualifying ninth
  • Dropped three places at the start to run 12th behind team mate
  • Fell to 16th after pitting for hards two laps before Safety Car
  • Restarted 16th and gained three places to sit 13th before passed by Norris
  • Forced to manage high brake temperatures after getting tear-off in brake duct
  • Held off Stroll until late, being passed into stadium before colliding with him
  • Finished ahead of team mate in 13th but dropped behind after 5s penalty

Bottas had a solid weekend in Mexico despite coming away with nothing from it on Sunday. He needed no time to get up to speed despite missing out on first practice and appeared to have put himself in a strong starting position in qualifying. However, his pace was not as strong in the race and his cause was not helped by a tear-off strip in his left-rear brake. He had the measure of his team mate and would have likely scored higher, but his average start and clash with Stroll cost him.

Zhou Guanyu – 6/10

Qualified: 10th (-1 place behind team mate, +0.018s)
Start: Held position
Strategy: One-stop (M-H)
Finished: 15th (-1 place behind team mate)

  • Frustrated to miss Q3 before promoted to session by Albon’s time deletion, qualifying tenth
  • Ran tenth in early laps until passed by Albon, then ran ahead of team mate before first stop
  • Passed Ocon to sit 13th before red flag, dropping two places after restarting on 14 lap old hards
  • Overtaken by Stroll, Sargeant and Alonso to drop to back of the field
  • Finished just behind team mate in 15th but promoted to 14th after Bottas’ penalty

Although the final result was nothing to shout about, Zhou performed better than it looked. He did well to follow his team mate through into Q3 to give his team the best possible chance at fighting for points, however the mid-race red flag worked against him as he was left with no choice but to stick with his 14-lap old hards for the restart while those around him either had fresher hards or fitted new mediums. So while his pace after the restart was slow, he at least could be excused for it.

Lance Stroll – 5/10

Qualified: 18th (-5 places behind team mate, +0.379s)
Grid: 20th (-7 places behind team mate)
Start: +1 place
Strategy: One-stop (M-H)
Classified: 17th (Damage – L66)

  • Knocked out of Q1 for sixth successive round in 18th
  • Forced to start from pit lane after changing parts under parc ferme
  • Passed Ocon in early laps, then team mate to gain 15th
  • Pitted from 12th to rejoin in 17th before red flag
  • Gained one place at restart then passed Zhou for 15th
  • Retired after damage from contact with Bottas in stadium section

Stroll was largely unremarkable in Mexico, neither particularly fast nor as slow or inconsistent as he has been at times in 2023. On a weekend when Aston Martin were not strong, Stroll seemed to have the better pace of the two drivers until Alonso beat him in qualifying. After starting from the pit lane, Stroll put in a perfectly reasonable performance, but his race ended slightly early after contact with Bottas which he was deemed not responsible for. But he was likely hamstrung by the base performance level of his car.

Fernando Alonso – 5/10

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2023
Alonso was thoroughly out of sorts in Mexico
Qualified: 13th (+5 places ahead of team mate, -0.379s)
Grid: 13th (+7 places ahead of team mate)
Start: -1 place
Strategy: One-stop (M-H)
Finished: Retired (Damage – L47)

  • Spun in FP2, then spun at exit of turn three at the end of Q1
  • Reached Q2 despite spin but failed to reach Q3 in 13th place
  • Investigated for impeding at pit exit in Q1 but cleared by stewards
  • Appeared to collect debris from Perez at turn one, which he claimed damaged the car
  • Dropped from 14th after opening lap to 17th by lap 11, then pitted for hard to fall last
  • Restarted at the back of the grid, gaining one place over Sargeant before passing Zhou
  • Called in to retire due to suspected damage

The scrappiest weekend of Alonso’s 2023 season so far, he never looked happy with the balance of his car all weekend – with his two spins acting as evidence of that. Despite his mishap at the end of Q1 he still managed to progress into the second session but went no further. His claim that he suffered damage at the start seems to track with his complete lack of race pace, so it’s hard to hold that against him too much. But not a strong weekend.

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Kevin Magnussen – 5/10

Kevin Magnussen's crash, Haas, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2023
Suspension failure caused a huge crash for Magnussen
Qualified: 17th (-5 places behind team mate, +0.194s)
Grid: 16th (-4 places behind team mate)
Start: +3 places
Strategy: One-stop (M-H)
Finished: Retired (Suspension failure – L32)

  • Missed opening practice with Bearman taking over car
  • Limited run time in FP3 due to lack of available tyres
  • Failed to follow team mate through into Q2 to line up 16th on the grid
  • Jumped from 16th to 13th at the start, holding position until first stop for hards
  • Emerged from pits in last place but passed Sargeant
  • Lost 16th position after being repassed by Sargeant, then crashed heavily at turn eight

Magnussen was not quite the same level as his team mate in Mexico but he was not as far off as he had been at other circuits and missed out on the first practice session and had limited run time in final practice to boot. His race pace was decent and while he started to struggle with his balance, that may have been a sign that his car was in trouble. His retirement cannot be blamed on him.

Nico Hulkenberg – 6/10

Qualified: 12th (+5 places ahead of team mate, -0.194s)
Grid: 12th (+4 places ahead of team mate)
Start: +4 places
Strategy: Two-stop (M-H-M)
Finished: 13th

  • Reached Q2 but was eliminated in 12th place
  • Leapt from 12th to eighth on opening lap to run there until first stop for hards on lap 22
  • Overtook Ocon to sit ninth under red flag, switching to fresh mediums for restart
  • Lost a place to Albon at restart then passed by Norris
  • Sat tenth and absorbed pressured from Ocon until losing places to Alpines when tyres faded
  • Lost places to Sargeant and Tsunoda in final laps to finish 13th

Although Hulkenberg finished outside the points, he still fought admirably in Mexico and helped keep Haas in the battle for the top ten until his old mediums cried enough. His qualifying performance was decent if unspectacular but his opening lap was very strong. His one-stop strategy made the red flag an inconvenience but he worked hard to keep faster cars at bay until he could manage no longer with his tyres.

Yuki Tsunoda – 5/10

Qualified: 15th (-11 places behind team mate, +0.549s)
Grid: 18th (-14 places behind team mate)
Start: +3 places
Strategy: Two-stop (M-H-H)
Finished: 12th (-5 places behind team mate)

  • Missed out on first practice as Hadjar took over car
  • Took fifth power unit which forced him to start from the back of the grid
  • Participated in Q1 and Q2 to help provide slipstream for team mate
  • Gained three places at the start, then passed Alonso for 14th before very early first stop
  • Ran at the back before passing Ocon and Alonso to gain 13th before red flag
  • Restarted eighth and pressured Piastri ahead, making contact into turn two
  • Fell to 16th after hitting Piastri, then passed Hulkenberg on last lap to finish 12th

On a weekend when AlphaTauri had a golden opportunity for a double points finish, Tsunoda failed to capitalise on it to finish in the top ten. He did not have the best preparation, missing FP1 and starting from the back, but he was not to blame for either and he played a strong team role in qualifying to help his team mate. He made good work of an aggressive strategy and matched Ricciardo’s pace after the restart, but threw it away losing his patience battling with Piastri.

Daniel Ricciardo – 8/10

Ricciardo showed he is back to his best
Qualified: 4th (+11 places ahead of team mate, -0.549s)
Grid: 4th (+14 places ahead of team mate)
Start: Held position
Strategy: One-stop (M-H)
Finished: 7th (+5 places ahead of team mate)

  • Ran in top ten in all three practice sessions
  • Used benefit of slipstream from team mate in qualifying to reach Q3, then secured fourth
  • Held third at the start until passed by Hamilton, running in fifth after stop for hards
  • Restarted fifth after red flag but dropped behind Russell to run sixth
  • Overtaken by Norris despite spirited defence to fall to seventh where he would finish

In recent seasons, it’s been difficult to see the multiple grand prix winner in Ricciardo’s performances. This weekend was not one of them. Ricciardo’s best performance in an AlphaTauri to date was also the best effort any of the team’s four drivers have produced this season. Outqualifying Perez at home and maintaining a consistently strong pace through the race, Ricciardo looked very much back to his pre-McLaren best throughout the weekend in Mexico.

Alexander Albon – 6/10

Alexander Albon, Williams, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2023
Albon helped himself to more points after qualifying error
Qualified: 14th (+6 places ahead of team mate
Grid: 14th (+5 places ahead of team mate)
Start: +3 places
Strategy: One-stop (H-M)
Finished: 9th (+7 places ahead of team mate)

  • Second-quickest in two of the three practice sessions
  • Suffered dramatic loss of pace with set-up change before qualifying but still reached Q2
  • Appeared to have squeezed into Q3 but lost best time for track limits, leaving him 14th
  • Started on hards and jumped to 11th, then passed Zhou for tenth
  • Pitted for mediums under Safety Car to restart 12th, jumping three places to ninth
  • Caught and passed by Norris to lose ninth but gained position back from Tsunoda’s spin
  • Finished ninth for second consecutive race

Albon’s Mexican Grand Prix weekend was looking like a matter of ‘what could have been’ after qualifying where all the pace he’d shown in practice couldn’t be emulated and he was knocked out of Q2 after exceeding track limits on his final lap. However, despite the warm conditions, Albon managed his tyres well, gained places during both grid starts and kept consistent over the race to earn two more valuable points for his team.

Logan Sargeant – 4/10

Qualified: 20th (-6 places behind team mate)
Grid: 19th (-5 places behind team mate)
Start: +2 places
Strategy: Two-stop (M-H-M)
Classified: 16th (Fuel pump – L70)

  • Eliminated last in Q1 after failing to set a valid lap time
  • Hit with ten-place grid penalty for failing to slow for yellow flags at end of Q1
  • Got ahead of Ocon at the start, then passed Alonso for 16th place in early laps
  • Pitted for hards from 12th and lost a place to Magnussen
  • Was 15th under red flag but fell to last before passing Alonso and Zhou
  • Got ahead of Bottas and passed Hulkenberg for 12th but called in to retire on penultimate lap

After taking his first point the previous weekend in Austin, Sargeant showed promising racecraft again in the Mexican Grand Prix. He made multiple passing moves as he made his way up the order in the race and should have finished 12th were it not for a fuel pump problem. However, he let himself down again in qualifying with his inability to set a valid lap and has no excuse for his yellow flag penalty.

Over to you

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

2023 Mexican 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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63 comments on “2023 Mexican Grand Prix weekend F1 driver ratings”

  1. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
    31st October 2023, 12:07

    I just come to the comments to see this person eviscerated for his rankings system.

    1. I just come to the comments to see this person eviscerated for his rankings system.

      The “factual” elements are a bit loose in places, too:

      Daniel Ricciardo – 8/10

      Grid: 4th (+14 places ahead of team mate)

      Finished: 7th (+5 places ahead of team mate)

      Not according to the F1 website:

      Ricciardo – finish posn 7th

      Without Tsunoda making the silly mistake of assuming that Piastri, as a noob, would be more respectful of Tsunoda’s desired track space, I suspect Daniel would have spent some time viewing the rear of Tsunoda’s car.
      Decent performance from DR, but hardly “magnificent”

      1. Tsunoda gained 35s during the red flag and then made a driving error costing him another 35s.

        It’s difficult to judge Tsunoda’s weekend as on par with Ricciardo given he had missed a practice session, had to start from the back of the grid and had an early pit stop. But what is clear is that Ricciardo could not have got more out of that package this weekend whilst Yuki obviously could.

        1. Check the lap by lap position changes.
          Ricciardo did nothing but go backwards in the standings, Tsundoda came from the back, made a silly, silly mistake and came from the back again.
          The car clearly had pace this weekend, DR didn’t show any great evidence of using that pace.

          I note that the only use of the word “magnificent” in this article is now in my comment, so someone else seems to have revised their opinion.

          Tsunoda didn’t produce a shining result, but his pace was the better one in that car.

          1. I’ve checked the position changes in advance of replying to your comment in a reply to another poster below.

            Yuki’s around 13th while Daniel is 4th and 5th. Tsunoda’s advantage was other drivers pitting and him gaining a second stop for free under the red flag. That’s a half minute advantage and he was still behind Daniel.

            As I’ve pointed out it’s difficult to contrast 2 strategies but I can’t see any evidence Yuki was faster. There were 2 50% races and he was an average of 30s behind in each.

            Let’s look at this another way. What quali result would be evidence of strong pace? What race result would you consider magnificent? What have ATs best result in each session been? What result should a driver returning from a broken arm expect relative to their team-mate? How would you rate Ricciardo’s weekend on a scale of 1-10?

  2. PEREZ -2
    What a meathead

    1. It is at least consistent with the 4/10 he gave Hamilton in Qatar for a decent qualifying effort followed by a at fault first corner retirement.

      1. Hamilton also had a sprint, in which he first qualified poorly, but later recovered to score points. Perez didn’t, and furthermore – in race qualis he lost with both Ferraris and Ricciardo, especially the latter shouldn’t be acceptable.

  3. Most seem fair enough although I’d have probably scored Alonso and Stroll a 4 each at best. Worth noting Alonso got a 5/10 in Qatar for qualifying 4th and finishing 6th so giving him a 5 this week for qualifying 13th then going backwards before retiring seems very very generous. Interestingly Stroll got 3/10 in Qatar where he didn’t do well but at least finished in the points (before time penalties for track limits) gets a 5 here for qualifying badly and going backwards before retiring too. I recognise there is perhaps some readjustment of expectation based on their package but by any metric, their performances this weekend were both pretty awful and below average.

    1. @slowmo Aston Martin was maybe the worst car this weekend. They were the only team that never showed any hint of competitiveness at any point of the weekend. Alonso arguably overperformed to get out of Q1 (despite his spin), and likely picked up damage early on, at which point he was always going to fall back. When you consider that Perez got a 4 after an average qualifying and taking himself out at the first corner, I don’t think either Aston driver should be a 4 or lower.

      1. Do you think a 5 is acceptable for doing awful in a awful car? What’s the point in a rating system if you will not drop below a 5 for a poor performing weekend. Also, the drivers are at least also partially to blame for the state of their car. How exactly have they managed to take their car backwards over the course of the year.

        1. @slowmo But my point is, how can you tell whether it was awful performance or not, when the car is terrible? Especially when he picked up damage on the first lap, we don’t really have anything to go on. So, no costly mistakes, an average rating seems kind of fair compared to how others are rated.

          This rating system is also very compressed around the middle rankings. It’s basically a ranking of 3-7, with 8 for exceptional performances, and everything outside of that is only seen a couple of times a season.

          1. Yes, I agree, with such a bad car, unless a driver makes notable mistakes or some disaster compared to the team mate, it’s hard to give less than 5.

          2. He earned plenty of high scores at the start of the year driving the second fastest car on the grid, his performances then were skewed by a great car so they should be equally skewed down now by a poor one. Getting a 5 for a terrible qualifying and retiring in the race is stupid. Id at least expect a race finish is needed to get a 5 or a stellar qualifying display.

  4. If Hamilton hadn’t been DSQ at COTA, he would be nearly 100 points ahead of Russell in the standings in a car that doesn’t win races. That’s a huge gap.

    And then you look at their averages on this ranking, they’re nearly even lol

    1. Some drivers (Leclerc, Russell, Alonso) have been inflated all year. Hamilton noticeably gets overly harshly rated, especially when it comes to finding any reason to deduct a point for a “mistake” in the weekend.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      31st October 2023, 13:31

      Yeah, he could have been behind Sainz in 14th ;-)

    3. Not all drivers are created equal in the rating.

      Sainz for example is routinely underrated. Even this late in the season, Sainz still has the 2nd best qualifying record. Despite his teammate being a bit of a specialist, one might say. And in the races he’s technically 6th on average, but it’s all very close between 4th/5th/6th.

      Russell on the other hand is the opposite. He’s not close to Hamilton on any of the metrics that matter, but constantly gets credit for average performances, and where Pérez is lambasted for being just a single place on average further behind Verstappen than Russell is behind Hamilton, Russell keeps scoring 6s for similar performances. Hamilton without his Texas DSQ has scored almost 62% of Mercedes’ total points, and crossing that 60% mark usually signals that not all is well at the team.

      If anyone still doubted whether Hamilton was really ‘testing’ for the first half of 2022, this season more than showed that he still has a – rather sizeable – edge on Russell.

      1. This race is the perfect example for that. Russel behind Sainz (and his Teammate) in a car that is everybit as fast. Yet the same rating…

    4. Exactly! and to add “numbers” to that, from Russel’s yearly average of 5.94 to Hamilton’s 6.06 there is a 2.02% difference.. While from Russel’s 151 to Hamilton’s 220 championship points the difference is 45.69%.. This topic is totally flawed and RaceFans should stop as it doesn’t even come close to representing reality…

    5. If Hamilton hadn’t been DSQ at COTA, he would be nearly 100 points ahead of Russell in the standings in a car that doesn’t win races. That’s a huge gap.

      And then you look at their averages on this ranking, they’re nearly even lol

      I’m curious of Will Wood considers this a bug or a feature of his methodology? It certainly seems ridiculous on it’s face.

  5. Hulkenberg deserved a 7 this weekend. He got rated a 6 for USA as well, and while his race there was good, his qualifyings were underwhelming. He really didn’t put a foot wrong the whole weekend in Mexico. Good qualifying, and a great race with circumstances against him with the red flag and a tyre-eater car. What more could he possibly have done?? How can he be rated the same as Zhou, who qualified and finished behind his teammate (before the latter’s penalty)?

    1. @neutronstar Agree, it’s hard to see what more he could have done in a Haas which still eats its tyres relative to the competition. Considering the likes of George and the two Alfa’s also got 6s despite underwhelming performances, only a 6 for Hulkenberg for a near perfect weekend is harsh.

      1. Definitely agree @neuronstar and @keithdin, while this ranking’s compressed range is apparently intended to get a consistent view of how great individual races have been as a sort of absolute, it has exaggerated the issue of how to rate a good driver in a bad car (see also AM this weekend, were they both bad, or is the car just so bad that even Alonso can’t do more? Okay, so also problem of good/okay driver is hard to distinguish that way; perhaps also compare Tsunoda vs. Ricciardo’s races).

  6. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    31st October 2023, 13:09

    Wow, Hamilton is not that far off from Perez – if he had made one more mistake, he’d be below Sainz and 4 spots away from Perez and Stroll :-)

    Who’s taking his spot at Mercedes? There’s a meme of Horner replacing Perez next season as the 2nd driver. Is Toto one-upping Horner and racing next year?

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      31st October 2023, 13:20

      Oops I meant in the season average ranking…

    2. @freelittlebirds Glancing at the averages for the season, I’d say Alonso too high, Sainz far too low. The field (above the bottom 4 in the list) ranges from good to excellent to phenomenal in terms of talent and experience, so pretty competitive, so really not much between a lot of the drivers. Verstappen deserves top, easily, after that it’s close. Sainz does seem out of place though.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        31st October 2023, 17:11

        @david-br I don’t think Alonso is too high – he should be at least up there with Norris. Hamilton should up there too. I agree Sainz is way too low considering he has 2 poles and the only victory this season in a car not a Red Bull.

        I agree the field is very competitive this season.

        1. I think Alonso has always been rated a bit too high on this site, and Hamiton on the low side; Sainz also seems to get lacklustre scores even when he does well (it just drags down Leclerc with him then ;) freelittlebirds, @david-br

  7. Most impressed: RIC, HUL, & ALB
    Most disappointing: PER, TSU, & RUS

  8. But while he was ultimately to blame for the contact, it was not the most egregious error Perez could have made but a simple case of trying too hard, too soon.

    I’m sorry– but misjudging an overtake on the first lap and taking yourself out of the race when you’re fighting for second in the Driver’s championship, is just about the worst error he could have made– aside from speeding in the pit lane to the formation lap, taking the wrong grid slot, and wiping out both he and his teammate at turn 1. But his qualifying was so bad, he couldn’t challenge Max on lap 1, so really– he did about the worst thing he could do.

    Remember folks: You can’t win on lap 1, but you can damned sure lose.

  9. Not sure I can believe some of these scores, If Verstappen gets 8 for a comfortable drive, how come Hamilton only gets the same score? Has to be 9 for Hamilton after that. Norris also should get at least 8, probably 9. 14 passes huh! Easy! So he messed up qualifying, but that was partly due to his team. And how Perez gets 4…! Really??

    This site gets less and less interesting as time goes by, and this ‘analysis’ i so amateurish.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      31st October 2023, 19:20

      Why do folks feel the need to criticize the site so harshly? It’s one thing to provide feedback but another to trash it.

      These guys and gals put a lot of effort into this and they don’t get anywhere near the level of appreciation they deserve.

      I also disagree with the new ratings and I feel it’s good to voice that but not in a derogatory manner.

      1. Yes, agree with this.

      2. Its pretty apparent there is some serious bias issues and often practice is weighted far too heavily into a weekend rating. Obviously any rating is subjective and people shouldn’t be abusive but they have every right to voice their disagreement. Look at the current season averages and it’s pretty clear that some drivers have been rated harsher than they should this year.

      3. and I feel it’s good to voice that but not in a derogatory manner.

        Keep it up. That would be a nice development in your contributions here!

  10. Perez gets a 4?? For doing what? No way

  11. Piastri was carrying damage after the shunt with Tsunoda that’s why Norris passed him (via team orders).
    4 for Perez? Generous.

  12. Only an 8 for Danny Ricciardo. He’s in one of the slowest cars on the grid and only in his 4th race of his season.

    Had the Red Flag not occurred, he would most likely have finished 6th as well as having a superb weekend.

    He deserves a 9 at least.

    1. Only an 8 for Danny Ricciardo. He’s in one of the slowest cars on the grid and only in his 4th race of his season.

      The Red Bull was quite good in Mexico; Ricciardo was only two spots ahead of Tsunoda during much of the race.

      1. It’s difficult to judge the respective gap given Yuki’s earlish, slow pit stop. But he was 35s and running below 13th when Ricciardo whilst Daniel was in the top 4.

        The red flag clearly negated that gap and Tsunoda was 2 places behind for 13 laps before his crash. I think Tsunoda had a fair weekend ruined by a poor error but he wasn’t just behind for much of the race.

    2. @maddsusie Ricciardo certainly does not deserve a 9, he doesn’t even deserve the 8 that he got. It was a 7 at best, maybe even a 6.

  13. Can’t help the feeling that either there is method lacking from these rankings or the method used needs a rethink. How in the world does Perez get a 4 after biffing it in the first corner? And how do you rate Norris a 7 with what he showed in this race? Is this a logarithmic scale where each successive point is exponentially more significant? I don’t usually comment here to complain and I guess it’s all subjective anyway, but there’s some logic lacking here in my opinion.

    1. The easy answer is rankings are very compressed, 3-7 are the most typical ratings and you need to do something special to get more or less; I guess perez 4 is considered generous, but that’s cause he had a decent quali by his standards this year, if he had gone out in q2 a 3 would’ve been in order I think.

    2. Oh, and let’s not forget the good start, a realistic possibility of going from 5th to 2th if he hadn’t hit leclerc.

    3. Lando had a very poor restart and nobody else to blame for it, and still gets a seven, fair eniough. On this site 8 is near-perfect, and 9 is sheer perfection, forget about 10.

  14. That is a mighty generous 4 for Perez. We have seen lower scores in the past, why isn’t this equal to the lowest score? It should be. He was behind Ricciardo in all 3 quali sessions. And then bins it at the first corner where it is clearly his mistake.

    I’m rooting for De Vries here. With a stellar performance he gained this weekend on Perez with a 4, but it should have been more.

    1. I think it’s mainly cause the performance was there and like someone said, it’s consistent with hamilton’s 4 when he crashed in turn 1 too. With the performance perez had shown till then this weekend, there’s no saying he’d have come off worse than 2nd, so they don’t punish him too harshly for a mistake that had huge consequences, just like hamilton could’ve got a lot of points too in qatar if he hadn’t crashed in t1.

    2. But ricciardo was impressive, yes, with an alpha tauri that however has to be a bit better than we had seen so far.

  15. Putting Nyck de Vries in Perez his seat would be an upgrade at this point….

    1. Surely on sargeant at least, as the ranking rightly shows, but then again red bull is known to be less tolerant towards underperforming drivers than williams.

  16. Max having quite literally THE MOST dominant season in the ENTIRE HISTORY of the sport (something the author has used as justification for some of these ratings multiple times in the past)… Yet a yearly average of what, 7.6-7.8?

    Surely that alone tells everybody how flawed these scores are.

    1. No, because in the normal race the best mark is 8, so verstappen has been very close to perfect, seems right to me.

      Your typical 10 at school is 8 here, and the rare occasions where they get 9 can be considered like the 10+ at school.

    2. in a normal situation*

    3. Yep.
      Best to ignore anything under 3 or over 8.
      So basically a 4-point scoring system.

      Sargent is scoring a 1 out of 4.
      Get to Tsunoda and Zhou and it’s a 2 out of 4.
      Most hover just over or under a 3 out of 4.
      Norris leads the way with a 3.5 out of 4.

      With such a narrow scoring band it makes differences in performance impossible to actually differentiate.
      Unless you are Max who is off the charts with a score of 4.5 out of 4 :)

      1. Your comment isn’t precise at all, first of all you meant: best to ignore anything under 4 and over 8, not 3, and even then it’s a 5-points scoring system: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

        It makes sense if you see it that way, but then verstappen isn’t off the charts, just very close to perfect.

    4. This are (or should be)* driver related scores, mech/team factors excluded. So having a dominant car detracts from the score.

      But, as it happens with most people, resultism creeps in. You can have a near perfect drive in a poor car and most likely nobody will notice. I do not believe that Fernando Alonso is driving much worse than in the early season, but the AM has gone to second-best to near-worst car, and his scores have dropped hugely, and undeservedly IMO.

  17. “while the call to switch to mediums under the red flag was a gutsy one, Hamilton made it work.”

    It wasn’t gutsy, It was because they didn’t have any mediums left. That was explained during the race.

    1. I believe you meant ‘they didnt have new hards left’. IIRC they mounted already used mediums, cause they also didnt have new ones left.

    2. Like @madmax said, I believe the situation was that they hadn’t new hards left.

      I wouldn’t call the move to take mediums “gutsy” since it was, in my opinion, a best option at the time with all things considered. But it wasn’t the only option Mercedes had: they could’ve continued with the used hards, which would’ve been the strategy with less risks. Remember that Ferrari thought that Hamilton’s mediums wouldn’t last until the end of the race.

    3. Anyway it was surprising that scrubbed mediums lasted for so many laps, with enough life left for a flap just before the flag. While George’s mediums were mostly dead about 15 laps before the flag (the tug with Carlos probably ruined them)

  18. What is this, Harvard? No one gets a bad grade? Let’s norm these to a curve.

    1. Logan and Checo’s scores are not exactly good. Logan made a few mistakes to account for it but his pace was decent. And Checo ruined one of the best starts I’ve ever watched by turning a bit too early. And his whole race, alas.

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