Telling stats on the 2023 F1 season

22 telling stats on every driver from the 2023 Formula 1 season

Formula 1

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From the front of the grid to the back, every driver who contested Formula 1 races this year share the same intense competitiveness.

Even outside of the points places, every driver is fighting for the best result available, and every conceivable metric for assessing their performance is scrutinised.

So who impressed and who came up short among the 22 drivers who contested this year’s 22 rounds? We dug into the data and unearthed a revealing statistic about each of them:

Max Verstappen

Race start, Circuit de Catalunya, 2023
Despite qualifying well ahead of his team mate on average, and rarely having the opportunity to gain places on lap one, Max Verstappen was extremely effective at the start of grands prix, only twice losing a position before lap two.

Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing RB19 leads team mate Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB19.
07.05.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 5, Miami Grand Prix, Miami, Florida, USA, Race Day.
 -, EMail: © Copyright: Coates / XPB Images
This was the 24th time a driver finished runner-up to their team mate in the championship, but Sergio Perez scored a lower proportion of the champion’s tally than his predecessors, taking just 49.6% of Verstappen’s total.

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Charles Leclerc

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Baku City Circuit, 2023
Despite taking five pole positions this year, more than any driver bar Verstappen, Charles Leclerc failed to win a single race.

Carlos Sainz Jnr

George Russell, Carlos Sainz Jnr, Lewis Hamilton, Singapore, 2023
His team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr, however, was the only non-Red Bull driver to take victory in a grand prix.

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2023
The only driver outside of Red Bull and Ferrari to take pole position for a grand prix was Lewis Hamilton.

George Russell

George Russell, Mercedes, Singapore, 2023
George Russell dropped 14 places over a race – the most of any driver – twice in three rounds at Zandvoort and in Singapore. Only Lando Norris ever did the same, after tangling with Hamilton at the start of the Spanish Grand Prix.

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Esteban Ocon

Pierre Gasly, Esteban Ocon, Alpine, Silverstone, 2023
The Alpine drivers were the most closely-matched pair in qualifying. On average Esteban Ocon was just a thousandth of a second slower than Pierre Gasly.

Pierre Gasly

Pierre Gasly, Alpine, Spa-Francorchamps, 2023
Gasly out-scored Ocon in the championship by four points. But Ocon would have been ahead without the sprint races, in which he scored two points to Gasly’s eight.

Lando Norris

Lando Norris, McLaren, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2023
Eight rounds into the season Norris had 12 points, an average of 1.5 per round. After McLaren upgraded their car he picked up 193 points in 14 events, an average of 13.7.

Oscar Piastri

Oscar Piastri, McLaren, Losail International Circuit, 2023
Oscar Piastri has a pole and a win in sprint races – but hasn’t managed either in a grand prix yet.

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Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo, Baku City Circuit, 2023
Valtteri Bottas was the worst starter on average in grands prix, giving away an average of 0.72 places on lap one.

Zhou Guanyu

Zhou Gunayu, Alfa Romeo, Yas Marina, 2023
Zhou Guanyu’s second season was a repeat of his first: He finished 18th in the championship with six points again.

Lance Stroll

Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2023
Lance Stroll scored 74 points, a tally his team mate surpassed after five rounds.

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, Interlagos, 2023
Fernando Alonso finished ‘best of the rest’ – the first driver home behind one or both Red Bulls – more times than any other driver. He managed it at six grands prix; Leclerc and Norris did it in five each.

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Kevin Magnussen

Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Yas Marina, 2023
Kevin Magnussen had the worst year-on-year change in his championship position of any full-time driver, falling six places to 19th.

Nico Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg, Haas, Circuit de Catalunya, 2023
Nico Hulkenberg finished lower than he started more times than any other driver, doing so in 14 grands prix. Piastri was the only other driver to do so in more than half of his starts.

Nyck de Vries

Nyck De Vries, AlphaTauri, Silverstone, 2023
Nyck de Vries was the only driver to start a race in 2023 but never reach Q3 or score a point.

Yuki Tsunoda

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri , Interlagos, 2023
The best starter of the year was Yuki Tsunoda, who gained 1.4 places on lap one on average.

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Alexander Albon

Alexander Albon, Williams, Singapore, 2023
The only driver who out-qualified his team mate in every round was Alexander Albon.

Logan Sargeant

Logan Sargeant, Williams, Las Vegas, 2023
Logan Sargeant lined up last on the grid more often than any other driver, doing so six times.

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2023
Out of AlphaTauri’s four drivers Daniel Ricciardo had the highest scoring rate, picking up 1.2 points per race.

Liam Lawson

Liam Lawson, AlphaTauri, Losail International Circuit, 2023
Liam Lawson achieved something only Verstappen was able to match during 2023: He never finished a grand prix in a lower position than he started it.

2023 F1 season

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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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28 comments on “22 telling stats on every driver from the 2023 Formula 1 season”

  1. Coventry Climax
    20th December 2023, 13:46

    What eyewear company sponsored the main picture?

  2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    20th December 2023, 14:02

    Not all statistics here are actually telling of a drivers performance though. To me, bottas has been a fair bit better at his starts this year than the past few. His start in one wet race this year was one of the best by any driver. It should be noted that he got damage on lap 1 6 times this year, and none were his fault. This will almost certainly be the reason why he has this unfortunate statistic.

    1. Yep, I don’t buy that Yuki was the “best starter” even if he has the highest gain of positions in lap 1. The higher up you are the more difficult is to gain positions. Going to a extreme case, if some driver can make all the pole positions they can never improve, while a very poor driver who always qualifies last will probably gain some positions in many of races due to attrition further afield, without any overtaking. So I would let it as “driver with the highest gain of positions in lap 1”, but not “best starter”.

      1. The stat was “positions gained on lap one”; for me, best starter for Yuki makes sense, especially in the context of Valteri’s stat, which would make him “worst starter”.

        1. Sorry but it is, verbatim “The best starter of the year was Yuki Tsunoda” (which I do not buy) and then it is explained as “who gained 1.4 places on lap one on average”.
          That the stat is “positions gained on lap one” is not said but inferred. Correctly, I assume, and I have no reason to doubt that Yuki’s is the best. But like I say, that does not make him “best starter”. If you compare the best driver imaginable with the worst one, probably the worst one will be better at this particular stat, due to positions fortuitously gained when in the back of the grid.

          1. Exactly, I was thinking the same when I read that stat, I don’t really think verstappen was a worse starter than tsunoda.

        2. This is a perfect example of the difference between data and information.
          Data being raw fact that one had the highest average, the other the worst.
          Information being the ability to understand and interpretate the data into something meaningful. Ie: 6x 1st lap damage thru no fault of one’s own should discount 6 samples of data.
          But you know, it’s just a bit of fun, I guess?

  3. Coventry Climax
    20th December 2023, 14:27

    49.7% of Verstappen’s points?

    Maximum achievable is P1 in all 22 GP’s, all 6 SP’s and score all Flaps: 620 points

    MV scored 575 of those = 92.7%
    SP scored 285 of those = 46.0%

    But when P1 is gone, only P2 remains as maximum achievable,
    with P2’s in all GP’s and SP’s and all Flaps: 460 points

    SP scored 285 of those = 62.0%

    SP scored 285 points, which is 50.4% of Verstappen’s 575 points.

    I did take the achieved points from Wikipedia, as I can’t find those results tables here on RF.
    And it’s not much (49.7 vs 50.4%), but explain the difference, anyone?

    1. 285 / 575 = 49.6%… which I suspect has been mis-rounded, but not by much.

      You probably fat-fingered the calculation and did 285 / 565 = 50.4%… the 6 is incorrect.

      1. 285 / 575 = 49.6%

        You’re right, apologies, typo on my part (I’d put 49.7%, now amended).

        1. No worries: thanks for the quick update

        2. I used to trust the stats on this site Keith.
          Now you confess to posting wildly inaccurate information like this ….. well …. I just don’t know who to trust any more…. ;)

          1. Trust me, it is 49.565217% (if a millionth of 1% is precise enough for you).

          2. I think 50% or half is accurate enough in this case, and it can be seen at a glance, without calculators.

      2. Coventry Climax
        20th December 2023, 23:08

        No, my stupid mistake was that Verstappen took 50.4% of those points: 50.4 + 49.6 = 100%
        Sorry about that.

  4. My favourite (implied) stat in this article is that only two drivers (Hulk and Piastri) finished lower than they started more than half of the time.

    There’s a good reason that you’ll probably get if you think for a second or two, but at least it makes you think.

    1. um, let me guess… good qualifying performance? (as compared with racing performance)

      1. The point is that you can only compare the start and finish position for races they finish.

        If most races have 2-4 DNFs, the racers who do finish will (on average) finish higher than they started.

        So Liam Lawson’s stat that he never finished lower than he started: if you start 19th and 3 racers DNF, that’s guaranteed.

  5. Coventry Climax
    20th December 2023, 14:38

    Fernando Alonso finished ‘best of the rest’ – the first driver home behind one or both Red Bulls – more times than any other driver. He managed it at six grands prix; Leclerc and Norris did it in five each.

    Which is why Perez ‘managed’ to salvage 2nd place.

    The Hulkenberg stat underlines what his teamboss said earlier about him being a very good qualifier. It also underlines how the Haas is eating up it’s tyres. So though it sounds negative as a figure, it’s actually quite positive on Hulkenberg.

    Ricciardo’s stat does not take into account the improved car after he took over from de Vries. So the number could sound better than it might have been had he been the all season driver.

    1. Which is why Perez ‘managed’ to salvage 2nd place.

      Exactly. After a brilliant start of the season, AMR and Fernando Alonso soon lost momentum. If they had kept it, with the drop of performance by Checo after Miami surely Alonso would have been runner-up this season.
      What salvaged Checo’s 2nd place was that the “best of the rest” was all over the place, with AMR, McL and Ferrari in succession, even Mercedes at some point. Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc were “best of the rest” almost as often as Fernando Alonso. Had any of the been more consistent along the season, Checo would not be second. This is the old “divide and conquer” principle.

      1. Absolutely and it irritates me that some people are saying stuff like: he got 2nd, so he did what he was expected to do, if some performance was required to get 2nd this year he wouldn’t have been.

      2. Alonso finished ahead of Pérez just as often in the second as in the first half of the season; three times.

        Pérez underperformed relative to his car, but he still finished ahead of Alonso 8/11 times in the first half of the season when Aston Martin was at its best.

        And in the second half, both had some retirements, and Pérez finished ahead 6/9 times in races where they both finished (the Netherlands, Qatar and Brazil being the times he lost out).

        1. Coventry Climax
          21st December 2023, 9:19

          Pérez underperformed relative to his car, but

          I’ll nominate that for understatement of the year.

          and there is no ‘but’: Alonso had a car that, throughout the year, faded relative to the competition. Perez ran the strongest car all year, with the exception of Singapore, possibly.

        2. Yes, but in the second half of the season both Perez and Alonso were finishing in lower positions (on average). So in early season when Alonso was finishing best of the rest in third place, he was losing 3 points to Perez, but later in the season they might have been finishing 6th and 7th for example, only losing 2 points. I think the point here is that Perez was performing decently when the Aston was at its strongest in the early season, so he ended up probably taking more points from Alonso than he did from the likes of Hamilton, the Ferraris and Norris, who Alonso ended up competing with in the championship.

          1. Right, Alonso potentially missed out on good points earlier in the season (arguably Pérez should have finished ahead anyway, which he mostly did).

            But it’s a bit of a stretch that Alonso could have been second in the championship. Pérez main problem midway through was in qualifying. He usually recovered a lot of places in the races (as one might exorcist with that car).

  6. The stats about gaining/losing positions are more about drivers underperforming/overperforming in qualy imo

    1. Yeah, it needs to be adjusted for starting position e.g going from 3rd to first is equivalent to going from 12th to 8th, or something like that. If someone had the time you could generate the weighting based on all the data from previous races. I am not that person.

      The ocon stat is great.

  7. Enjoying the photos too much, I kept forgetting to read the stats.

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