Formula 1 drivers' end-of-season photograph, Yas Marina, 2023

Vote for your 2023 Formula 1 Driver of the Year

Formula 1

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There’s no doubting who was the most successful Formula 1 driver of 2023: Max Verstappen’s supremacy looked assured within a few weeks of the season starting.

But it’s often the case in F1 that only two drivers have the good fortune to drive the best car of the year. It doesn’t necessarily follow that either of them was the best driver this season.

Verstappen clearly made best use of the Red Bull RB19. But what about the drivers who excelled in less competitive cars?

The 2023 season saw F1’s most experienced driver of all time, Fernando Alonso, back at the sharp end as he helped propel Aston Martin into contention for podium finishes and, occasionally, victories.

The Ferrari drivers endured a difficult start to the season, but returned from the summer break reinvigorated, and Carlos Sainz Jnr became the only person not in a Red Bull to taste grand prix victory all season.

Thought it was an unmemorable season for Mercedes, their drivers’ tireless efforts ensured they secured the runners-up spot in the constructors’ championship – a position which was under clear threat from Ferrari over the final rounds.

Lando Norris went on a strong points-scoring streak once McLaren unlocked the potential of their MCL60. New team mate Oscar Piastri kept him more than honest as he enjoyed the best season for a rookie since Lewis Hamilton burst onto the F1 scene 16 years ago.

Among the teams which finished towards the lower end of the standings, Williams can be especially pleased with the efforts of Alexander Albon, whose points haul single-handledly secured them seventh place – their best finish in six years.

Are any of those your top driver of 2023? Or does another of the 22 drivers who started F1 races this year get the nod? Cast your vote below.

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The 22 team mates compared

Need some data to help make your mind up? Here’s how all 22 drivers fared against their team mates this year:

Who was the best Formula 1 driver of 2023?

Pick the F1 driver who impressed your the most this year and explain why you chose them in the comments. The result will be published in two weeks’ time.

Who was the best driver of the 2023 Formula 1 season?

  • No opinion (0%)
  • Nyck de Vries (0%)
  • Liam Lawson (1%)
  • Logan Sargeant (0%)
  • Alexander Albon (4%)
  • Yuki Tsunoda (1%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (0%)
  • Kevin Magnussen (1%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (1%)
  • Fernando Alonso (14%)
  • Lance Stroll (0%)
  • Guanyu Zhou (0%)
  • Valtteri Bottas (0%)
  • Oscar Piastri (9%)
  • Lando Norris (8%)
  • Pierre Gasly (0%)
  • Esteban Ocon (0%)
  • George Russell (0%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (2%)
  • Carlos Sainz Jnr (1%)
  • Charles Leclerc (2%)
  • Sergio Perez (0%)
  • Max Verstappen (56%)

Total Voters: 163

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Debates and polls

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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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48 comments on “Vote for your 2023 Formula 1 Driver of the Year”

  1. Max was so far ahead in terms of consistency and winning even when he could have lost a few gp’s that its hard to chose anyone other than him.

    1. Yep! It simply has to be Max, regardless of any bias, he presented a masterclass of how to make the most of a dominant car this season. Anything better would be absolute perfection.

  2. Surely no one else on the grid compared to Max this season. There was only 1 round where he didn’t seem in contention for the race win. The feeling of inevitability that everyone else was fighting for 2nd and below far outstripped anything we experienced with Schumacher or Hamilton. This has been the single most dominant season by any driver I’ve witnessed. Alonso was also incredible this year considering where he’s at in his career.

  3. Even if you dismiss his performances as due to the car, Verstappen still had to deliver race in, race out every week, which he did in nearly every race weekend. Sure having a great car allows you to have a performance dip but still get the victory on occasion but usually you’d expect the other teams driver to beat them in that instance but Perez was so completely and utterly destroyed this year it felt like they were driving different cars (which they weren’t). Verstappen had a near perfect season for me and as such got my vote. Far exceeded his performance in 2022 and 2021. We just need to see another top class driver in a competitive car now to see how much he truly has grown next year!

  4. VER easily over the entire season as no one else really stands out.

    1. I’m surprised he has only 56% of the vote. If the voting was unbiased, he would have the entire 100% of the vote.
      I’m an Alonso fan, and would have voted him as the 2nd best driver this season, but I feel the #1 spot this season isn’t even debatable.

  5. I’m lazy so I chose the first one in the list.

  6. I hate it when people just vote for the winner in stuff like this … but I have to vote Max.

    He has dominated this season because he is a superb driver in a fast car. Tell me when an F1 season has been much different to that?
    He has also been entertaining and outspoken, which I like. I do not follow F1 for the racing. I follow it for the farcical Circus that it is.

    I have enjoyed Piastri stamping his name on the game, and Lawsons debut was epic.

    My second choice after Max though, has to be Fernando.
    To see that man’s genuine delight at being able to fight for the podium is priceless.

    1. I want to vote Fred, but I know I should vote Max, so I’ll pass this one

    2. Max and Fernando. Max because he was almost mistake free. Fernando because he was just as consistent and out performed his car more than anyone else. He even had more Q3 appearances than Max and went farther than any other before missing Q3 for the first time (which was due to disastrous upgrades). People can say Max was so far ahead of the best, but I can think of a single example where Alonso failed to deliver everything on offer in the car either. Can’t say that for any other driver. Even Max had one quali where he failed to take the car by the scruff of the neck and into Q3 when he likely should have.

  7. Knowing Racefans and the prior piece on here by Keith Collantine Piastri will be well placed ahead Norris in these rankings . Yes he made mistakes and perhaps was not as clean as other seasons but to me the second half of this year is the first time Lando has had a car to challenge for podiums so of course he was going to push harder and make more errors . Get that first win early next year and I think you’ll start to see Norris become a much more relaxed yet steely person . I believe Lando will get there and Piastri want destroy Norris like Norris did Ricciardo next year even if Piastri wins out Lando will be very close to him still. I was very surprised that Keith Collantine appeared to suggest on this site that Norris would be doomed next year. That being said Lando really needs that win for his own peace of mind.
    My Top 10 in 2023
    1 Verstappen

    2 Alonso

    3 Hamilton

    4 Albon

    5 Norris

    6 Leclerc

    7 Sainz

    8 Piastri

    9 Tsunoda

    10 Russell.

    1. Top 20:

      1. No Hamilton? That’s harsh.

      2. Fred is Lewis?

        1. Seriously NOT, a snail is not a cheetah

      3. Carlos ahead of Charles and Lando… lol

        1. Sorry… ahead of Charles and Lewis

    2. I’m afraid you don’t know us as well as you think as I don’t write the rankings, Will does.

  8. Had to go for Hamilton. The extra excitement he brings when he’s fighting at the front makes all the difference. Incredible pole lap in Hungry was a personal highlight too.

    Piastri also really impressed me this year. Think he’ll be a star in 2024.

    1. Very odd reasoning but okay each to their own I suppose.

    2. And nobody ever crossed the live track on foot with such grace as our hero in Qatar, such an epic race, almost as good as Shanghai 2007. best to date.

    3. You rank Hamilton, who had a few underwhelming performances and actually crashed into his teammate, as a better driver this season than Verstappen, who was near flawless, broke 20 records an has done what no other driver in F1 history has ever achieved? Okay…

    4. Incredible pole lap in Hungry

      Much good it did, P4 after just two turns

  9. Verstappen no doubt had it easier than anyone else, and failing to take a podium in every race as Schumacher did does take some shine off his season. As does the aggravating reluctance of his fellow drivers to race him which often made it too easy for him to recover lost positions. But that aside, he was closer to flawless than anyone has been in a long while.

    Alonso and Hamilton show why they’re champions. No surprise there. It does start to look a bit bad for the now well established next generation that these two still stand out.

  10. A season where car and driver were in perfect harmony (Singapore being an outlier). Voted for Verstappen.

  11. Max no doubt. It’s hard to believe so many people could find other drivers to be the driver of the year after the most dominant performance in the history of the series. Maybe some voted for their favorite drivers.

    1. Yeah, maybe the voting system need to be changed to allow a second vote of less value to be cast. I’d vote Max then Alonso.

      1. I doubt it’s the voting system that’s at fault here. Certain people will just not vote for certain drivers even when there’s only one fairly objective choice for best F1 driver of the year. Not even a clean sweep would’ve changed that.

        1. It would have been interesting though to see a vote for best of the rest (taking Verstappen out).
          Over the full season I’m still with Alonso, even though Norris was consistently close, and Hamilton became more impressive towards the end of the season.

        2. I don’t know that voting is interesting at all, given that Verstappen is (deservedly, indeed) well on top, with Alonso 2nd. Not sure Albon being 3rd is quite justified, but at the end, what does voting add but a bigger margin on the one winning? Would be a lot more interesting if it was possible to vote for 1st,2nd,3rd, maybe up to 5th or so, but it is what it is.

          I guess it is a bit like that with the individual ranking too, 1st and 2nd are clear already, behind that it’s a bit more interesting, as shown by Perez being put in 20th, which seems harsh, but is not all that easy to argue against if one looks at the comments in that article. That opens up the ranking to be more surprising, and also to be more up to debate.

    2. Yes, I think it is sometimes regarded as a popularity contest. Hamilton getting votes seems odd to me. You would think that a 7 times world champion who has been referred to as the goat by some would display extra-ordinary achievements. I mean if we devalue Perez based on the statement the car is very good, I feel it would be fair to be a bit more critical towards a 7 times WDC with regard to his performance vs Russell, which was indeed better but not significantly vs expectations.

  12. Obviously Verstappen was going to win (of course) so I went for the high-performer whose season I got the most happiness from, which was Alonso.

  13. Really hard to go past Max as his consistency really was first class, but in the end I went for Albon who managed to consistently put the Williams car a couple of places higher that it probably should have been in both Qualy and in the races.

    1. Albon made a few costly mistakes though (Australia comes to mind), Max has been flawless in that department. And he has extracted absolutely everything from his car, what cannot be said of Albon, who overperformed but also underperformed with his Williams.

  14. Obviously VER and then I would say PIA because he was very good, followed by HAM for finishing 3rd. I still stand by my statement a few weeks ago that by the end of the long season, I disliked every one of the drivers.

  15. Max easily cruised to a WDC due to his rockership and still managed to have the highest swearing count on the radio (closely followed by Yuki). lol

    1. Rockership. that a new one, is that a R’n’R-playing boat? What does it look like? And how come does Max have one?

  16. Hamilton by a mile.

    1. * Albon in second. If VES didnt feel the need to push people off the track consistently, i would rate him higher, but he had the fastest car but some margin, and it was pretty ridiculous, imo.

    2. & Carlos, with the honorable mention for being such a boss and taking the only win not by RBR this year.

    3. Maybe him if there was a Driver Of The Year That Is Not Max Verstappen competition.

    4. Is that you Lewis? Lol

    5. There is a 3% of lunatics everywhere you go

  17. Norris was exceptional this year, truly showed the flashes of brilliance that hint he is there or thereabouts with Verstappen or Hamilton for being a true WDC contender

    But Verstappen operated at an entire other level this year. I think on any given weekend in the same machinery Hamilton, Leclerc or Norris could have been capable of matching him. But the year long consistency and hunger to dominate was just mind blowing. When you look back to say 2015 when Hamilton clinched the title in Austin and then basically conceded the end of the season to Rosberg I don’t think that’s something Verstappen knows how to do

  18. where is the comment by @bullfrog, and my initial comment asking for this?

  19. How you cannot vote this season for the most dominant driver the F1 sport has ever seen in its entire history is beyond me.

  20. Has to be Max with probably the most dominant performance of all time. Didn’t put a foot wrong when it mattered.

    1- Verstappen
    2 – Alonso
    3 – Norris
    4 – Hamilton
    5 – Leclerc
    6 – Albon
    7 – Sainz
    8 – Piastri
    9 – Russell
    10 – Hulkenberg

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