Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Singapore, 2023

Ferrari are the Q3 masters but Sargeant takes a pasting: 2023 qualifying in stats

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With the final qualifying session of 2023 behind us, which drivers and teams mastered the art of the single flying lap this year?

Team mate battles

With his future in Formula 1 yet to be confirmed, Logan Sargeant would have been anxious to avoid ending the season without managing to out-qualify his team mate at least once. However a ‘double fault’ in Q1 at Yas Marina meant he did just that.

Sargeant tripped the track limits twice, meaning he ended the session without a lap time. His team mate Alexander Albon therefore completed an unbeaten run against his team mate. Out of the occasions where both drivers set times in qualifying, Albon was ahead 19 times. On the other three occasions Sargeant failed to set a time – either due to track limits infringements or because he crashed – making this a clear whitewash for Albon.

A rookie driver going up against a more experienced driver will always face a challenge. Others with hundreds of start to their names did little better against their team mates.

Sergio Perez, for example, took a 19-1 thrashing from team mate Max Verstappen. Lance Stroll hardly fared better against Fernando Alonso, losing 19-3.

On the flip side, George Russell managed to even up the qualifying scoreline against team mate Lewis Hamilton, having trailed him 7-5 at the summer break.

Qualifying scores
Max Verstappen19 – 1Sergio Perez
Charles Leclerc15 – 7Carlos Sainz Jnr
Lewis Hamilton11 – 11George Russell
Esteban Ocon8 – 14Pierre Gasly
Lando Norris15 – 7Oscar Piastri
Valtteri Bottas16 – 6Zhou Guanyu
Lance Stroll3 – 19Fernando Alonso
Kevin Magnussen7 – 15Nico Hulkenberg
Nyck de Vries2 – 8Yuki Tsunoda
Alexander Albon19 – 0Logan Sargeant
Daniel Ricciardo3 – 4Yuki Tsunoda
Liam Lawson3 – 2Yuki Tsunoda

Methodology: Whichever team’s driver reached the later stage or set the faster lap time is judged the winner, unless either did not set a time

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Q1, Q2 and Q3 appearances

Q1 eliminations

Sargeant escaped Q1 as many times as Albon dropped out there
Two teams saw their cars drop out most often in Q1 this year: Alfa Romeo and Williams, with 22 each. However it’s clear Williams paid more of a price for having the rookie Sargeant in their line-up, as he accounted for 17 of those eliminations to Albon’s five.

Mercedes did the best job of clearing the first hurdle in qualifying. They only suffered one Q1 elimination all year, when George Russell dropped out in Hungary. Bizarrely, that was on the weekend his team mate scored their only pole position of the year.

Hamilton was one of only two full-season drivers who never dropped out in Q1 all season, the other unsurprisingly being Max Verstappen.

Tap each layer to compare eliminations and appearances by team mates.

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Q2 eliminations

Dominant champions Red Bull had more Q2 eliminations than three of their rivals, and the same number as Aston Martin. This was chiefly due to Sergio Perez, who failed to take the car which annihilated the competition into Q3 nine times over the 22-round campaign. He fell six times in Q2 and failed to even get that far on three occasions.

Verstappen also dropped out in Q2 twice – once due to a technical failure in Jeddah, and again in Singapore, where the Red Bulls endured their sole truly uncompetitive weekend of the year.

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Q3 appearances

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin, Yas Marina, 2023
Stroll reached Q3 less than half as many times as Alonso
Ferrari did the best job of reaching Q3, totalling 39 appearances. Charles Leclerc made the most of any driver, 20, the same as Verstappen.

Despite a poor start to the year in which they racked up many of their nine Q1 eliminations, McLaren rallied to amass 31 Q3 appearances by the end of the year – just two fewer than Red Bull. They were aided by Oscar Piastri contributing almost as many as experienced team mate Lando Norris.

Aston Martin made three fewer Q3 appearances than McLaren but clearly should have had more. While Fernando Alonso reached the final round 20 times, Lance Stroll only got that far on eight occasions.

Only one of the 22 drivers to start a race this year never made it into Q3. That was Nyck de Vries, whose replacements Daniel Ricciardo and Liam Lawson did so once each. Nonetheless, their AlphaTauri team spent less time in Q3 than any of their rivals.

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2023 average grid

1Max Verstappen3.181 (x12)15
2Charles Leclerc4.951 (x5)19
3Carlos Sainz Jnr5.771 (x2)16
4Lewis Hamilton6.09113 (x2)
5George Russell6.452 (x3)18
6Fernando Alonso6.912 (x4)19
7Lando Norris7.952 (x3)19
8Sergio Perez9.271 (x2)20 (x3)
9Oscar Piastri9.64219
10Pierre Gasly11.14420
11Esteban Ocon11.27319
12Alexander Albon11.95418
13Nico Hulkenberg12.32520 (x2)
14Lance Stroll12.82320 (x4)
15Daniel Ricciardo13.71419
16Liam Lawson13.801019
17Yuki Tsunoda13.82620
18Valtteri Bottas13.867 (x2)20
19Kevin Magnussen15.09420
20Zhou Guanyu15.64520 (x2)
21Nyck de Vries16.601220
22Logan Sargeant16.82620 (x6)

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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8 comments on “Ferrari are the Q3 masters but Sargeant takes a pasting: 2023 qualifying in stats”

  1. Great article! This is really embarrassing for Perez in one of the most dominant cars ever.

    1. For sure, that’s the thing that stands out. Even just the number of Q3 appearances is sub-par.

      Russell and Sainz can’t quite match their teammates, but as the averages show they’re usually not far behind.

      Pérez’ average of 9th (!), which is also the 8th best ranked, in that car is just very bad.

    2. I actually think the very mixed record of Perez probably tells us that this isn’t “one of the most dominant cars ever,” certainly not in qualifying trim. If you look back to the end of the Mercedes era, for example, Bottas had something like 100 Q3 appearances in a row. They’ve definitely had the edge in races, largely down to superior tyre wear, but in qualifying we haven’t seen dominance by any historical standard.

      1. RBR gave up a lot of poles. But they had one of the most dominant cars ever by far. The record books will have no asterisks on that. It’s hard to imagine another team beating that wins and points-share record ever.

        I believe the comparison to Pérez’ disastrous qualifying goes mainly to show that Bottas was a very good qualifier and has a case as being a superior F1 driver to Pérez, mainly in his discipline and lack of critical errors as well as pace. Just look at today where Perez has another poor weekend in a car that casually smoked the field. If anything his performance underlines the car’s dominance. RBR laid waste to the field in every metric, even qualifying, with a hand tied behind its back.

    3. one of the most dominant cars ever

      Only with a vast ignorance of F1 history, or voluntary blindness (or both) can such a canard be stated.
      The form of the rest of the teams has kept changing along the season, and while RBR’s pace has usually been more dominant on Sundays, in the late part of the season there has been a razor’s edge between Fezza and RBR for quali.

  2. I like these visualisations as a way to dig into the stats. However, after clicking into a subcategory, I don’t see a button for getting back to the big picture. Perhaps someone could add that / check it appears on all browsers?

      1. But what to do on phones?

Comments are closed.