Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, Interlagos, 2023

2023 Brazilian Grand Prix weekend F1 driver ratings

Formula 1

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The final sprint round of the season has come and gone and while the result may have been similar to so many of the other sprint weekends from this season, there were some surprises at Interlagos.

The form of the ten teams varied throughout the three days of the weekend with some looking much stronger on Sunday than they had prior to the grand prix. But there was little surprise as to who occupied the number one position after the racing had finished.

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

Max Verstappen – 8/10

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2023
Verstappen collected two more race wins
Sprint race start: 2nd
Sprint race finish: Winner
Qualified: Pole (+8 places ahead of team mate, -1.594s)
Start: Held position
Strategy: Three-stop (S-S-M-S)
Finished: Winner (+3 places ahead of team mate)

  • Ran one set of hard tyres in practice but secured pole position for grand prix with first Q3 lap
  • Just missed out on sprint race pole by just over half a tenth
  • Passed Norris for sprint race lead into first corner and led every lap to win
  • Held the lead into the grand prix start and then again after the red flag restart
  • Fended off attack from Norris and then pulled out of DRS range
  • Retained the lead after pitting for mediums and slowly grew lead
  • Lost lead at final stop until Norris pitted, controlling his pace out front
  • Win by eight seconds to secure 17th win of the season

Verstappen took a hat-trick of wins over the triple header and looked as controlled as ever in Brazil. Although he narrowly missed out on pole in the sprint race, he was in the lead before reaching turn one. In the grand prix, he held off Norris and immediately broke clear before pacing himself once more, never looking like he would lose the lead. Another unstoppable, inevitable victory.

Sergio Perez – 6/10

Sprint race start: 3rd
Sprint race finish: 3rd
Qualified: 9th (-8 places behind team mate, +1.594s)
Start: +2 places
Strategy: Three-stop (S-S-M-S)
Finished: 4th (-3 places behind team mate)

  • On track to qualify third for grand prix but caught out by yellows, leaving him ninth
  • Qualified just behind team mate in sprint qualifying to start third
  • Dropped to fifth on lap one of sprint but recovered to finish third
  • Gained one place on track at start of the grand prix to take seventh before red flag
  • Passed Stroll at restart to run sixth, then passed Russell in first stint
  • Pitted for mediums relatively early and passed Hamilton for net fourth place
  • Slowly closed up to Alonso until catching him after final stop for softs
  • Spent 15 laps within DRS range of Alonso before passing him for third on penultimate lap
  • Lost third when passed on final lap, then lost out on podium by 0.053s at finish line

It may have been another weekend where Perez failed to finish on the podium while his team mate converted pole into yet another victory, but this time it would not be right to be too harsh on him. His poor qualifying result was not down to him failing to deliver but largely due to being caught out by a yellow flag for Piastri’s error at Juncao. He showed his potential over sprint Saturday but could not match Norris or his team mate. But on Sunday, he showed that he can tap into the pace of the RB19 and used it to move up the field. His battle with Alonso was brilliant, but he probably should’ve beaten the Aston Martin to the podium given his car.

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Charles Leclerc – 7/10

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Interlagos, 2023
Cruel luck struck Leclerc before the race started
Sprint race start: 7th
Sprint race finish: 5th
Qualified: 2nd (+6 places ahead of team mate, -0.968s)
Finished: Did Not Start (Electrical failure on Formation Lap)

  • Secured front row start for grand prix in second during frantic Q3
  • Qualified seventh for sprint with used tyres in SQ3
  • Overtook Tsunoda at the start of sprint race, then Hamilton at the end to finish fifth
  • Suffered electrical problem on grand prix formation lap that sent him spinning into barriers
  • Failed to start race due to damage to his car

Over the first two days of the weekend in Sao Paulo, Leclerc was one of the outstanding performers. He did a very good job in qualifying to secure a front row start in difficult circumstances, but while he couldn’t match that in sprint qualifying, that was largely down to Ferrari opting to save fresh softs for the grand prix. Even so, Leclerc drove well in the sprint race to take a decent result in fifth, but sadly he never got to exploit his fresh softs in the grand prix as he crashed out on the formational lap through no fault of his own. But for everything he had done over the weekend, it was hard for Ferrari to ask for more from him.

Carlos Sainz Jnr – 6/10

Sprint race start: 9th
Sprint race finish: 8th
Qualified: 8th (-6 places behind team mate, +0.968s)
Grid: 7th (-5 places behind team mate)
Start: -1 place
Strategy: Two-stop (S-M-S)
Finished: 6th

  • Qualified eighth for grand prix after being eighth out of the pits in Q3
  • Took ninth on the sprint race grid after running used tyres in SQ3
  • Passed Ricciardo at sprint race start and ran eighth the entire race
  • Dropped behind Perez at the start of the grand prix, then restarted eighth
  • Ran behind Stroll throughout his first stint, then pitted for mediums
  • Passed both Mercedes in quick succession to gain sixth
  • Made second stop for soft tyres to return to sixth, running there until the chequered flag

A solid enough weekend for Sainz. His Sunday grid position was heavily compromised by being one of the last out of the queue in Q3 and could do no better than eighth in the strange conditions. His Saturday was underwhelming but that had as much to do with Ferrari’s tyre tactics than his own performance, although Leclerc executed better. His grand prix performance was perfectly fine, getting past the Mercedes to finish a respectable sixth place. But it’s hard not to feel Leclerc wouldn’t have finished higher.

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George Russell – 5/10

Sprint race start: 4th
Sprint race finish: 4th
Qualified: 6th (-1 place behind team mate, +0.121s)
Grid: 8th (-3 places behind team mate)
Start: +2 places
Strategy: Three-stop (S-S-M-S)
Finished: Retired (Overheating – L57)

  • Just out-qualified by team mate to take sixth on the grand prix grid
  • Hit with two place grand prix grid drop for impeding in qualifying
  • Out-qualified team mate in sprint qualifying to line up fourth for sprint race
  • Rose to second on opening lap of sprint but passed by Norris and Perez to finish fourth
  • Picked up two places at start of grand prix to sit sixth under red flag
  • Passed Stroll at restart to run fifth behind team mate in early laps before passed by Perez
  • Complained of being stuck behind team mate, then lost places to Stroll and Sainz
  • Lost a further place to Gasly before second stop to sit in 11th behind team mate
  • Called in to retire with dangerously overheating power unit

Russell’s poor pace through the Brazilian Grand Prix was less to do with him failing to figure out Interlagos and more a matter of Mercedes getting something very wrong with their car. While he ran behind his team mate in the race, he was probably quicker, but not to the point where he would have had a chance of catching Alonso ahead of him in the early laps. He might have felt his grid penalty was harsh but so many drivers avoided getting caught out for it. Over the weekend, it was largely honours even between Russell and his team mate.

Lewis Hamilton – 5/10

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Interlagos, 2023
Both Mercedes drivers went backwards
Sprint race start: 5th
Sprint race finish: 7th
Qualified: 5th (+1 place ahead of team mate, -0.121s)
Start: +2 places
Strategy: Three-stop (S-S-M-S)
Finished: 8th

  • Just out-qualified team mate in grand prix qualifying to take fifth on the grid
  • Secured fifth in sprint qualifying to line up right behind team mate for sprint race
  • Passed Perez at start of sprint but faded to finish seventh with rear tyre wear
  • Moved up to third at the start of the grand prix to restart third after the red flag
  • Lost third to Alonso at the restart, then slowly dropped off to be pressured by team mate
  • Pitted for mediums and was soon overtaken by Perez and Stroll to fall to sixth
  • Continued to have team mate behind him but lost another place to Sainz
  • Made second stop, then lost more places to Tsunoda and Gasly to sit in ninth
  • Gained back eighth when Tsunoda pitted, where he would eventually finish

Hamilton’s struggles in the races at Interlagos reflected what a poor state the Mercedes was in over the weekend, but his single lap pace was much more encouraging. But it was unlike Lewis Hamilton to allow Fernando Alonso of all of his rivals to mug him for third place at the restart of the grand prix, even if all the other moves made against him could be explained away by his top speed deficit. Although he ran ahead of his team mate for much of the grand prix, he seemed to be struggling far more and could not keep his tyres from fading. But this was more to do with a poor car or set-up, rather than poor driving.

Esteban Ocon – 4/10

Esteban Ocon, Alpine, Interlagos, 2023
Ocon had a big hit on Saturday
Sprint race start: 16th
Sprint race finish: 14th
Qualified: 12th (+1 place ahead of team mate, -0.005s)
Grid: 14th (+1 place ahead of team mate)
Start: +5 places
Strategy: Four-stop (S-S-M-S-S)
Finished: 10th (-3 places behind team mate)

  • Just out-qualified team mate by five-thousandths in grand prix qualifying to take 12th
  • Knocked out of SQ1 in sprint qualifying after contact with Alonso led to heavy crash
  • Started sprint race 16th and climbed to 13th before being passed by Stroll to finish 14th
  • Navigated through chaos of turn one to jump to ninth in grand prix start before red flag
  • Lost a place at restart to team mate, then passed by Tsunoda
  • Fell to 14th after extremely long first stint but climbed up to ninth before allowing team mate by
  • Dropped a lap down after second stop and passed Sargeant to move into tenth
  • Took final point in tenth, the first car a lap down

One point may have been a small reward that served to make Ocon’s weekend appear fruitful on paper, but he has driven much better in 2023 even during weekends where he hasn’t scored. His Friday performance was dictated by his car’s pace and he out-qualified his team mate, but his Saturday was compromised by his very unfortunate crash with Alonso in sprint qualifying where he was deemed just as much to blame as his former team mate. He did take the final point after rising from 14th to tenth, but with so many cars out the result flattered him. He was half a minutes away from Gasly at the chequered flag and that, with his penalty, affects his score.

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Pierre Gasly – 6/10

Sprint race start: 13th
Sprint race finish: 13th
Qualified: 13th (-1 place behind team mate, +0.005s)
Grid: 15th (-1 place behind team mate)
Start: +3 places
Strategy: Three-stop (S-S-M-S)
Finished: 7th (+3 places ahead of team mate)

  • Only just reached Q2, then out-qualified by team mate to line up 13th for grand prix
  • Hit with two place grid penalty for grand prix for impeding in Friday qualifying
  • Qualified 13th for sprint race, rose to 11th at the start but faded to finish back in 13th
  • Jumped into 11th through carnage of opening grand prix lap, then gained two places at restart
  • Ran behind Sainz before pitting late to run back in tenth, then overtook Russell for eighth
  • Made final stop for softs and passed Hamilton for eighth
  • Moved up to seventh when Tsunoda pitted and would finish there, six seconds behind Sainz

Gasly felt that his Sunday in Sao Paulo was one of his best drives of the season and given how he rose from behind his team mate in 15th to finish in the points, it would be easy to agree. While the final result was commendable, his first two days had been less impressive. His Friday was so-so and he picked up a penalty for fiddly reasons. His Saturday was underwhelming as well, but no one could fault his solid Sunday.

Lando Norris – 8/10

Lando Norris, McLaren, Interlagos, 2023
Norris delivered the best available for McLaren
Sprint race start: Pole
Sprint race finish: 2nd
Qualified: 7th (+3 places ahead of team mate, -0.309s)
Grid: 6th (+4 places ahead of team mate)
Start: +4 places
Strategy: Three-stop (S-S-M-S)
Finished: 2nd (+12 places ahead of team mate)

  • Disappointed to qualify down in seventh for grand prix on Friday after chaotic start to Q3
  • Stunned after securing pole for sprint race despite major moment in first sector of pole lap
  • Reprimanded for exceeding maximum lap time in sprint qualifying without good reason
  • Lost lead of sprint race to Verstappen at turn one, passed by Russell but recovered to second
  • Jumped up to second at grand prix start before Safety Car and lined up second for restart
  • Held second at restart before challenging Verstappen for lead in early laps
  • Continued to run second, largely matching Verstappen’s pace, picking up lead when he pitted
  • Returned to second after second stop, remaining there to finish eight seconds behind winner
  • Took bonus point for fastest lap

Norris described second place as the best result he could have hoped to have and it’s hard to disagree in the age of Max Verstappen. His qualifying result on Friday was not as good as it could have been but the crazy Q3 conditions could be blamed for it. He thought he had put in a poor final lap in sprint qualifying but was able to make up for it to take pole position but couldn’t keep Verstappen behind at the start. He made up for his qualifying position with a brilliant start in the grand prix and fought Verstappen for the win as hard as he could. The only driver in the same league as Verstappen this weekend.

Oscar Piastri – 4/10

Sprint race start: 10th
Sprint race finish: 10th
Qualified: 10th (-3 places behind team mate, +0.309s)
Start: Held position
Strategy: Three-stop (S-M-S-S)
Finished: 14th (-12 places behind team mate)

  • First time racing in Interlagos
  • Reached Q3 on Friday but went out ninth in queue, spinning off at turn 12 to fall to tenth
  • Reached SQ3 in sprint qualifying but ended up tenth, half a second slower than team mate
  • Overtook Ricciardo for ninth during sprint race but fell back behind him to finish tenth
  • Got a decent start in the grand prix but suffered damage from Magnussen at turn one
  • Forced to pit for repairs but got caught out by red flag rule quirk, leaving him a lap down
  • Restarted 16th a lap down but was overtaken by Ricciardo to drop to last
  • Ran the entire race in last position to finish only car two laps down at the flag

Piastri’s first Brazilian Grand Prix was likely the first of many he will have – and he’ll hope it will forever remain the worst. He suffered a very unfortunate situation with the red flag after being an innocent bystander at turn one, but where was his pace from the last few rounds? He never looked like he was in the same car as his team mate all weekend and even if his grand prix was ruined outside of his control, he had no business being beaten by Ricciardo twice in two days.

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Valtteri Bottas – 5/10

Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo, Interlagos, 2023
Bottas joined his team mate in retirement
Sprint race start: 14th
Sprint race finish: 19th
Qualified: 18th (+2 places ahead of team mate, -0.32s)
Start: +5 places
Strategy: Two-stop (S-S-M)
Finished: Retired (“Technical” problem – L39)

  • Failed to escape from Q1 in Friday qualifying but qualified ahead of team mate in 18th
  • Comfortably reached SQ2 on Saturday, unlike team mate, but knocked out in 14th
  • Fell three places at start of sprint race, then fell further to finish behind team mate in 19th
  • Avoided chaos of grand prix start to line up 13th for restart, getting ahead of Hulkenberg
  • Ran 12th after pitting for mediums, sitting behind the Alpines
  • Called in to retire with undisclosed technical problem just after half distance

It was a tough weekend for Bottas and his Alfa Romeo team in Interlagos, but it was largely not because of his own driving but due to the underwhelming and often inconsistent performance of his car. Alfa Romeo at least managed to find more pace as the weekend progressed and Bottas was the quicker of the two team mates in the qualifying sessions, but he was beaten by Zhou in the sprint race. Although he had been flirting with the points prior to retiring, his position was flattered by how many of his rivals were either out of the race or lapped by that point.

Zhou Guanyu – 5/10

Sprint race start: 18th
Sprint race finish: 17th
Qualified: 20th (-2 places behind team mate, +0.32s)
Start: +6 places
Strategy: Two-stop (S-S-M)
Finished: Retired (“Technical” problem – L22)

  • Knocked out slowest in Q1 on Friday, leaving him at the back of the grand prix grid
  • Failed to follow team mate through into SQ2 in sprint qualifying, leaving him 18th
  • Dropped behind Albon at sprint race start but passed Bottas and Hulkenberg to finish 17th
  • Passed Sargeant at the start to sit 13th under the red flag
  • Lost a place to Hulkenberg at restart, then repassed him for 13th
  • Pitted for mediums to sit in 14th right behind team mate
  • Called in to retire with undisclosed technical problem

Alfa Romeo were not at their best in Brazil, but Zhou did not seem at his most comfortable over the entire weekend. He was knocked out slowest in Friday qualifying and couldn’t match his team mate in sprint qualifying but at least made progress in the sprint race. In the grand prix, he never really got the chance to see how his race could have played out after his early retirement, but he was at least running behind and close to his team mate before it ended.

Lance Stroll – 6/10

Sprint race start: 17th
Sprint race finish: 12th
Qualified: 3rd (+1 place ahead of team mate, -0.043s)
Start: -2 places
Strategy: Three-stop (S-S-M-S)
Finished: 5th (-2 places behind team mate)

  • Took advantage of being near front of Q3 queue to secure best grid position of third
  • Eliminated 17th from SQ1 in sprint qualifying, two tenths slower than team mate
  • Rose to finish behind team mate in 12th in sprint race
  • Lost two places at the start to sit fifth under red flag, then lost two more positions at restart
  • Ran behind Perez in seventh until first stop, then overtook Russell and Hamilton to gain fifth
  • Maintained pace with team mate, suffering slow second stop but retained fifth
  • Emerged still in fifth and slowly gained on team mate and Perez ahead
  • Finished fifth, six seconds behind Perez and team mate

Stroll capped off a solid triple header by putting together the kind of performance in Brazil that his Aston Martin team have been needing far more often from him in 2023. He took advantage of his track position in Q3 to secure a strong third on the grid to beat several faster cars and while the team’s performance on sprint Saturday was underwhelming, he at least backed up Alonso in the sprint race. While Alonso ran ahead in the grand prix, Stroll’s race pace was equal to him and he was catching by the chequered flag. Only his grid starts left a little to be desired.

Fernando Alonso – 7/10

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, Interlagos, 2023
Alonso’s weekend ended on a high
Sprint race start: 15th
Sprint race finish: 11th
Qualified: 4th (-1 place behind team mate, +0.043s)
Start: Held position
Strategy: Three-stop (S-S-M-S)
Finished: 3rd (+2 places ahead of team mate)

  • Secured second row start in manic Q3 on Friday but out-qualified by team mate
  • Reached SQ2 in sprint qualifying but clash with Ocon ended his running, leaving him 15th
  • Gained five places during sprint race to finish 11th
  • Held fourth at the start before red flag, then dived past Hamilton for third at the restart
  • Pulled away from Hamilton to run third throughout the first two stints, fading away from Norris
  • Caught by Perez after final stop and spent 15 laps with the Red Bull within DRS range
  • Lost third on the penultimate lap but repassed him on the final lap
  • Crossed finish line just 0.053s ahead of Perez to climb final podium position

Alonso said he was going to make it back to the podium at least once more before the season ended – and he proved himself right. Although Aston Martin’s sprint race performance suggested they would struggle on Sunday, Alonso was able to jump Hamilton with a bold move at the restart and stay relatively close to the two leaders. His ability to hold Perez at bay was impressive and he fought like a champion to take back the podium after looking like he’d lost it. But across all three days, this was not his strongest weekend of the year and he was deemed to have at least contributed to the bizarre clash with Ocon in sprint qualifying, and missed his chance to start further ahead in the grand prix.

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Kevin Magnussen – 5/10

Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Interlagos, 2023
As in Mexico, Magnussen was blameless in a race-ending crash
Sprint race start: 11th
Sprint race finish: 16th
Qualified: 14th (-3 places behind team mate, +0.176s)
Grid: 12th (-1 place behind team mate)
Finished: Retired (Crashed – L1)

  • Reached Q2 in Friday qualifying but knocked out 14th, three places behind team mate
  • Just missed SQ3 in sprint qualifying to take 11th on grid ahead of team mate for sprint race
  • Started sprint race on mediums but fell down 17th before passing team mate for 16th
  • Got better start than team mate but inadvertently squeezed him, triggering race ending crash

Magnussen enjoyed one of the most memorable weekends of his racing career at Interlagos last year. However, 2023 was not so kind to him. He couldn’t quite match the pace of his team mate in Friday qualifying but secured a very solid 11th place for the sprint race grid before struggling in the race on mediums. Sadly in the grand prix, he was out before reaching the first corner. Although he couldn’t be blamed for starting it, he probably was best placed to avoid it.

Nico Hulkenberg – 6/10

Sprint race start: 12th
Sprint race finish: 18th
Qualified: 11th (+3 places ahead of team mate, -0.176s)
Start: -6 places
Strategy: Four-stop (S-M-S-S-S)
Finished: 12th

  • Just missed out on Q3 in grand prix qualifying to take 11th on the grid
  • Qualified just behind team mate in 12th for sprint race
  • Started sprint race on mediums but fell to 17th after losing late place to team mate
  • Suffered damage being sandwiched at grand prix start, having to pit for repairs
  • Restarted 15th after red flag and jumped three places to run 12th
  • Overtaken by Zhou and Sargeant on the same lap to fall to 15th, the last car on lead lap
  • Lapped and remained behind Sargeant for rest of the race, finishing 12th

Hulkenberg likely never expects to be in the fight for points in Brazil and he endured another difficult weekend. Although Haas were likely one of the slowest teams, he did fantastically in Friday qualifying to just miss out on a Q3 berth. He did not have the performance of his team mate on the sprint Saturday but there was little he or his team mate could do with their medium tyres. He was unlucky to be caught in the squeeze at the start of the grand prix but got a very good restart. Sadly, as we’ve so often seen, there was little he could do to overcome the poor long run performance of his car over the rest of the race.

Yuki Tsunoda – 7/10

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri , Interlagos, 2023
Tsunoda grabbed points in both races
Sprint race start: 6th
Sprint race finish: 6th
Qualified: 16th (+1 place ahead of team mate, -0.006s)
Start: +5 places
Strategy: Three-stop (S-S-M-S)
Finished: 9th (+4 places ahead of team mate)

  • Angry to be knocked out first in Q1 in 16th but out-qualified team mate
  • Squeezed into SQ2 on Saturday and then secured sixth on the grid for sprint race
  • Reprimanded for exceeding maximum lap time in sprint qualifying without good reason
  • Lost a place to Leclerc at start of sprint race but overtook Hamilton late to score points in sixth
  • Jumped from 16th to tenth through chaos of start to sit in 11th under red flag
  • Passed Ocon for tenth, then lost five seconds and tenth place with error at Bico de Pato
  • Overtook Bottas to regain tenth, then picked up ninth from Russell’s retirement
  • Ran ninth until the finish to claim two points, the last car on the lead lap

Five points from a sprint weekend equalled Tsunoda’s best results from the season so far and the tally he scored from the last sprint round in Austin. Tsunoda was the stronger of the two AlphaTauri drivers across the weekend but did not maximise his car’s potential in Friday qualifying and admitted as much. Saturday was a different matter as he truly got the most he could out of the car to score three points with a very solid sixth place finish. His pace on Sunday was again very strong and he claimed more points in ninth. His only negative was an unforced error early on that cost him a place, which could have stopped him ultimately from catching Hamilton by the end.

Daniel Ricciardo – 6/10

Sprint race start: 8th
Sprint race finish: 9th
Qualified: 17th (-1 place behind team mate, +0.006s)
Start: +1 place
Strategy: Three-stop (S-S-M-S)
Finished: 13th (-4 places behind team mate)

  • Knocked out of Q1 on Friday, one place behind team mate
  • Followed team mate into SQ3 in sprint qualifying to line up eighth on the sprint race grid
  • Just missed out on final point in sprint race by less than a tenth after winning fight with Piastri
  • Damaged at first corner of grand prix by tyre debris, forced to pit for repairs
  • Fell a lap down under a red flag due to rule quirk, leaving him furious.
  • Restarted last but passed Piastri early on to run 16th
  • Ran a lap down for the entire race to finish 13th

Ricciardo may not have matched his heroics from the previous weekend in Mexico City, but he still put in a solid performance through the weekend. His team mate had the measure of him at Interlagos but he did a decent enough job to back up Tsunoda across Friday and Saturday, just missing a point in the sprint race after beating a faster McLaren. But he was filthy after he got stuck a lap down on Sunday after being an innocent victim of the first corner chaos. There was nothing he could do except try and beat Piastri again, and he achieved that.

Alexander Albon – 5/10

Sprint race start: 19th
Sprint race finish: 15th
Qualified: 15th (+4 places ahead of team mate, -0.414s)
Grid: 13th (+6 places ahead of team mate)
Finished: Retired (Crashed – L1)

  • Reached Q2 but knocked out in 15th after losing best lap for track limits
  • Eliminated from sprint qualifying in 19th but ahead of team mate
  • Passed four cars during sprint race to finish 15th
  • Made strong start but was clipped by Hulkenberg on run to turn one, crashing him out

Albon came away from Brazil feeling like a chance of points had gone begging. If that’s the case, his Interlagos weekend wasn’t his best. He lost his fastest Q2 time for exceeding track limits but it would have made no difference to his starting position. Sprint qualifying was also disappointing, but he made up for it a little in the sprint race by moving up the order. Sadly he never got the chance to see how he would fare in the grand prix, as his race lasted only a few hundred metres. At least he couldn’t be blamed for what was just an unlucky accident.

Logan Sargeant – 5/10

Logan Sargeant, Williams, Interlagos, 2023
Sargeant was suffering with a sore arm
Sprint race start: 20th
Sprint race finish: 20th
Qualified: 19th (-4 places behind team mate, +0.414s)
Grid: 19th (-6 places behind team mate)
Start: +4 places
Strategy: Three-stop (M-S-S-S)
Finished: 11th

  • Racing Interlagos for the first time
  • Failed to follow team mate through to Q2 with mistake on final lap, eliminated in 19th
  • Knocked out of first sprint qualifying phase slowest of all but a tenth behind team mate
  • Started sprint race on medium tyres and failed to gain a place, finishing 20th
  • Only driver to start grand prix on hards, sitting 15th under red flag
  • Switched to softs for restart and dropped to 16th before passing Hulkenberg
  • Ran three consecutive soft tyre stints, rising to 11th after third and final stop
  • Passed by Ocon to fall to 12th but promoted to 11th after Russell’s retirement
  • Finished 11th, 17 seconds from final point

Brazil was a decent end to the triple-header that was probably Sargeant’s best three race run of his rookie season to date. He did not make any major mistakes at a new circuit but admitted he should have been in Q2 on Friday after an error at Bico de Pato on his final push lap. His mediums were little helps in the sprint race but rose from dead last to 11th in the grand prix. However, five of those places were gained by misfortune for rivals ahead and he only overtook Hulkenberg on track. But still, he kept it clean and put in a professional drive to just miss out on a point, while suffering pain in his arm at the end.

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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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71 comments on “2023 Brazilian Grand Prix weekend F1 driver ratings”

  1. Told ya Alonso wouldn’t score more than a 7 lol.

    1. Rating Yuki (who made one really big mistake and two small ones during the race) over Alonso who drove a perfect race is puzzling at best.

      1. equal to Alonso* I meant to say

    2. Only 7 for Alonso quite bizarre. Where he was inferior to Norris for example?

      1. On Saturday

        1. When he started from a much worse position in a slower car and still made great moves and very good progress? Or some other Saturday?

          I know you dislike FA, but come on. BTW, I was more puzzled by ranking Yuki = to Alonso than anything. If they want to give Norris an extra point I’m not overly bothered.

          1. Incorrect assumption: I don’t dislike Alonso.
            But he did contribute to the collision with Ocon which led to him starting where he did in the Sprint.
            That’s what I meant by “on Saturday”

      2. I thought 7 for Alonso was a fair score considering the ratings cover the whole weekend and Alonso got outqualified by Stroll and had a crash with Ocon. Usually Will inflates Alonso’s scores way too much but i think he got it right here.

  2. Alonso’s performance was the star of the race for me. If this is a 7/10, I don’t know what to think about it.

    1. Re: Alonso 7

      I suppose it’s ‘justified’ (not saying I definitely agree, hard to rate throughout so many events) because this assesses them throughout the whole weekend, not just the race.

      1. Not sure where he was weak throughout the weekend. Ocon losing control: not his fault. Qualifying a hundredth behind Stroll on his best weekend of the year and then instantly outrunning him, not a stinging indictment. Sergio, only a point lower, was driving a car that should be much higher even if he started in last and finished behind. It’s easy to be as consistent as Max when you have a massive advantage and don’t need to push all out often. Max is one of the GOATs no doubt, but he didn’t do anything special or better. He didn’t have to.

      2. Well, in these ratings an 8 is for a perfect weekend. If you deem Alonso partially responsible for the collision with Ocon, which ruined his start position for the sprint race, and take into account he was marginally outqualified by his teammate, then I guess a 7 is consistent with the other ratings.

        1. I agree that 7 is realistic for Alonso. Being outqualified by a much less skilled teammate simply does not fit for a performance of 8.

        2. What’s the point of having it be out of 10 and if no one ever gets a 10/10?

          1. A 10/10 should be reserved for the most outstanding drives, those performances that will stand out in the collective memory of the sport for years to come. I can probably only think of five or six drives in the 35+ years of F1 that would be deserving of a perfect score.

          2. Whoops, I meant the 35+ years I’ve been watching F1.

          3. It’s a fair point. I understand the logic of reserving 10/10 scores for the kind of legendary drives that will be remembered or decades. But I think this current scale compresses the rankings too much and leaves little to distinguish between average, good, or great drives (all rated roughly from 5-8). If I was doing the ratings, I’d be handing out more 8s and 9s, and also more 1s and 2s, but everyone has their own preferences and it wouldn’t make sense to change the criteria halfway through the season.

    2. Absolute nonsense rating Alonso at 7/10, what a waste of article. Maybe Mr. Wood should give it a bit more thought next time. You are getting out of touch with audience a bit.

      1. Only if you’re a die hard Alonso fan. He achieved nothing on Saturday, at least partially his fault due to the collision with Ocon. Even though it wasn’t even 50/50, if he’d not been trying to stay as close to the racing line as he was, Ocon wouldn’t have collected him during his moment.

        1. I guess you weren’t paying attention to the the fact that a) Hamilton was on a hot lap right behind Ocon and he would have been right on his line if he didn’t quickly get to the left after Ocon went by and he couldn’t predict Ocon would get wildly off line. b) he made as much progress on Saturday in the sprint as could be expected and had some of the best moves.

        2. I must tell you even if Alonso was further to the right he was still collected by Ocon as he lost control and would going wide anyway. For all drivers what Alonso did was enough (2 car width room) and was not expecting Ocon losing his car so much.

  3. Most impressed: NOR, ALO, STR, & TSU
    Most disappointing: HAM & RUS

    1. @jerejj, or perhaps the Merc. car was just bad, and they, or maybe just Hamilton ‘who seemed to be struggling more’ but then again did not have to retire the car because of overheating, did near to the best they could? Disappointing, but shouldn’t reflect so much on the driver ratings then ideally, as it does here.

    2. I guess you left VER out as his faultless performances doesn’t ‘impress’ you anymore.
      And your disappointment of HAM & RUS might be reflecting the car (set-up) more so than the drivers themselves.

      To me a ranking should ignore previous expectations, experience, (and in a driver ranking) the strength of the car, and solely focus on the performance during the weekend.

      1. Yes, merc was horrible here, worse than aston, worse than ferrari, worse than mclaren, and ofc worse than red bull, not much either driver could do.

  4. Ricciardo had the third fastest lap of the race and was running SIGNIFICANTLY faster than Yuki who was sloppy and making mistakes. He should have been ahead of Sainz most likely. Basically DR and Yuki qualified roughly equally and Daniel just had bad luck of a tire hitting his wing. Not saying he should be rated higher than Yuki. Just that the difference in results was almost solely down to luck/bad luck.

    Alonso’s rating is fairly comical. It’s like the days when Hamilton would get a 9/10 every race for winning in a car that SHOULD be winning. Max and Hamilton are amazing, but they’ve both been doing what they should be doing. Once we lost Nico and Daniel as teammates for Lewis and Max, we really don’t know how much extra they’re pulling out of their cars. The fact that Sergio was able to catch up to Fernando (a FAR superior driver shows Max is just where he is and how much more Fernando can extract in results).

    1. By that logic, Yuki’s Mexico GP rating was very harsh. He was faster than DR in FP3, would likely have qualified faster or very close to DR based on previous results, took a power unit penalty starting from the back and was close to catching DR in the race, who as you know, started from 4th and dropped back to 7th

      1. I don’t know what the rating was, but I’m betting it wasn’t due to his engine penalty, but because the crash was entirely Yuki’s fault. BTW, I think Yuki is fast (which can’t be taught). Patience can be learned one way or the hard way. Race craft can be a taught a bit, but it’s mostly down to intelligence, work outside the car, etc.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      7th November 2023, 13:11

      It’s like the days when Hamilton would get a 9/10 every race for winning in a car that SHOULD be winning. Max and Hamilton are amazing, but they’ve both been doing what they should be doing.

      Leave Lewis out of that, he’s struggling to make the top 10 on the list :-)

  5. Pérez “probably should’ve beaten the Aston Martin to the podium given his car”? No kidding! How many 1-2s has Red Bull had this year with that car? It’s a huge indictment of Pérez poor season that another missed podium is somehow still considered a decent job. Anything less than 2nd is a failure.

  6. Stephen Taylor
    7th November 2023, 9:44

    Alonso 7? Stroll 6?
    Don’t make me laugh

    1. Stroll has a good weekend. Giving Yuki a higher score than Stroll and equal to Fernando is not sensible though. Stroll’s rating cannot be penalized for being bad in other races.

      1. Stroll had a disastrous sprint race. This is a WEEKEND rating, not race result rating

        1. Disastrous? Wasn’t it just a bad launch? And the launches are almost completely the car. If he’s penalizing drivers for slow get aways, he might as well as penalize for slow top speed too.

          1. And as I mentioned below, how Leclerc get a 7/10 for when he didn’t even race on Sunday if it’s a WEEKEND rating… There’s just a huge lack of consistency in these ratings as Yuki’s and Charles’ ratings show. I wouldn’t dispute the ratings otherwise.

          2. It’s obvious in a case such as leclerc, the race is not rated, he didn’t take part in it, they averaged out the rest of the weekend.

        2. This is a joke not a rating

  7. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    7th November 2023, 9:55

    Alonso 7 is obviously silly. Too much bias on the car performance and not the drivers across the board. Leclerc getting the same as Alonso is just trolling us. He binned it on the outlap. A hydraulic or electric failure wouldn’t result in slamming down the throttle and losing rear end.

  8. Not sure what the Mercedes drivers did wrong to earn a 5 here, and for me this is another confirmation that the car performance influences the driver scores too heavily. On the previous two weekends when their car was good, Hamilton scored a 7 and an 8, and now he has suddenly forgotten how to drive to deserve a 5? Unlikely, in my opinion. Both Mercedes drivers were close to each other, and both executed decent weekends. Marking down Hamilton for a great opportunistic pass by Alonso is a bit harsh, in my opinion.

    I think on race pace the Mercedes was simply the second slowest car, after the Haas. They were lucky there was a pile-up at the start, because it would not have surprised me if Albon would have beaten the Mercedes cars as well.

  9. Fernando 7/10? Come on Will…

  10. @Will Wood You last all respect from me with Fernando Alonso – 7/10

    1. Over the whole weekend i think that was just right or maybe a bit to high. Stroll would get a 5 as he didn’t do great the whole weekend except his qualify.

      1. Over the whole weekend i think that was just right or maybe a bit to high.

        LOL Who gives a #$%$ about whole weekend

        1. I guess anybody who writes an article called “2023 Brazilian Grand Prix weekend F1 driver ratings”.

          PS I still rated him higher (or others lower).

      2. Leclerc’s 7/10 was FULLY earned…

        I think he spent so long making a text version of everything that bale led lap-by-lap in the race, he rushed these ratings through without thinking much.

  11. LOL Alonso 7 who finished 3th and Leclerc 7 who did not even start the race…yes…OK…that makes total sense…

    Also Lewis and Russel did nothing wrong, their cars did not have the pace.

    1. I disagree slightly – I think that given the Merc’ was always going to chew up its tyres and slide down the field, perhaps Lewis should have let his clearly faster teammate through? After all, keeping him in that dirty air probably didn’t help his tyres.

      1. Good call out here.

        Honestly, it’s difficult to tell a 7x world champion to give way, middle of the race, just gain one position.

        But I understand where you are coming from as well.

        I think the consideration was: do upsetting Lewis, who is in contention for 2nd place in the championship, is worth getting couple more extra points?

        The short term answer from Mercs, was no. But now looking ahead in the future, how likely will Russel help Lewis again?

        Chances are low…this is what you get when both are #1 drivers

        But nevertheless, that is a team decision, as drivers Russell and Ham got what they could.

      2. The faster driver? Russell couldn’t pass with lap after lap of double DRS when the driver in front had none so no, he wasn’t the faster driver- no matter what you say on the radio.

        Russell only seemed faster because he wasn’t managing his tyres and car as well as Hamilton. He was using his tyres up too quickly. Hamilton was pacing himself better and as soon as

        1. * George or a driver behind George got close, Lewis would pull out a lap to break DRS and then George went backwards whilst Lewis kept an average pace.

          George has a terrible habit of always complaining anytime he’s behind Lewis, trying to convince the world he’s quicker. I’m glad many have started to realise that it’s nothing but a ruse.

  12. I was disappointed to see Alonso get a 7, but I guess this is a weekend score and not a Sunday score. For the race itself I would personally give him an 8 or 9.

    1. And i guess in the total score the race should weigh most. But not with the system used here it seems. One minor mistake in practice and full point deductions start. Regardless of point finishes..

  13. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    7th November 2023, 13:08

    I have never disagreed about a particular rating but Verstappen 8 and Alonso 7. I thought Alonso’s drive and that overtake on the final lap with the sharp turn immediately to hold Perez behind deserved a 9 – it was very gutsy.

    It could have easily ended in tears but to the victor go the spoils and that’s a 9 (or 8 at the least) there because contact would have brought him down to 5. If you penalize mistakes, you have to reward bold moves like that one.

  14. Tough one.. Were Hamilton and Russell really a 5 while it was obvious the car was going backwards? Is a 7 maybe a bit too harsh for Alonso? Difficult to rate Ricciardo for the race because he got shafted and was basically out of it from the start.

    1. Agreed; five is a failing grade in the 1/10 system. Hamilton and Russell were obviously compromised with a bad setup. Maybe Hamilton could have kept Gasly behind given the inherent car advantage, but even that’s a big maybe as Gasly’s pace was significantly higher in the second half of the race. None of the cars ahead of Hamilton had to do anything dramatic to be there, so 8th was probably the maximum a Mercedes could reach this race.

      That’s the problem with the cars in these things; Hamilton doesn’t forget to drive from one week to the next. But he can’t overcome the limitations of the car. It’d make more sense to rate the teams as a whole, but F1 has always been very driver focused.

  15. Think HAM deserved a point more than
    RUS as HAM managed to finish the race. And ALO was the best driver in the race and was not penalized for the incident earlier in the weekend.

  16. Alonso 7?
    Ha ha ha ha ha
    British journalism is funny

    Come on man go to bed.

  17. A 7 MAY have been fair for Alonso, but how do you justify a 7 for LeClerc when he wasn’t even in the main event? Doesn’t make any sense. Doing good on Friday/Saturday is no guarantee that the results in the race would have been the same.

  18. Well, 6/10 rating or not, Perez increased his margin over Hamilton to the extent that LH now needs to outscore him by more than an average 16 points per race.
    That’s a 2nd and a 3rd place, if Perez is out of the points both times.
    Chances of that are somewhere between slim and none.
    One question for everyone, does it seem like the car was more suited to Perez’s driving style than previously?
    With a consequent drop in suitability to Verstappen?

    1. This is a possibility, I wouldn’t put it past red bull to try a quick change like this to help perez, as they had never got 1-2 in the championship before, and verstappen had less margin than usual on his most direct opposition, someone had suggested they could do something like this the last race too.

  19. Charles is another driver (along with Alonso) that Will systematically inflates. And here is a classic example of this. 7 for not even racing in the main event is ridiculously high.

    1. He can only rate what he saw, obviously leclerc gets no rating for the race, he just average out the practice, quali, sprint quali and sprint ratings and came out with 7.

    2. averaged*

  20. This Hamilton guy barely gets a 6 over the entire season. He must be doing really bad. Oh he’s the first driver NOT in a RedBull, must be because the car is so great then eh?

    These driver ratings are a complete farce. More like “Car ratings” and “lived up to my false expectation” ratings. Put these to rest please. Please.

    1. Yes, hamilton is one of those drivers who have been consistently underrated over the season, like you said he should definitely be a lot higher considering the car hasn’t always been 2nd best, only occasionally.

  21. Deducting points for a crash that was 100% Esteban’s fault?
    For a sprint race with plenty of good moves in which he could hardly have done any better?
    7 for the best and most enjoyable drive of the season?
    If that’s a 7, both Mercs are -1 googolplex

  22. I think 2 things will happen before end of season: (. 2 races left!)
    1)Lance Stroll will not be racing in 2024; his heart ddoesnt seem in it.
    2) Ricardo will be in a Red Bull

    1. Still, this was an unusually good performance by stroll, one of the best races of 2023.

  23. Going by the last 30 years+ of f1 history, how does Segio Perez still deserve to keep his seat at Red Bull?? this is the most embarrassing loss to a championship winning teammate in any history of f1. The only reason i can think of is that the team has such a huge advantage in the championship that they dont care about the second drivers results, but that is a huge disrespect to the rest of the top drivers in the world looking to earn a championship drive.

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