Abu Dhabi Grand Prix start, Yas Marina, 2023

RaceFans’ complete 2023 season review

Formula 1

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It might not go down in history as an all time classic season, but 2023 was certainly a record-breaking year for the world championship.

On the final day of the year, what better time than to look back at how 2023 played out on RaceFans.

The biggest stories of 2023

As with every year in Formula 1, there were some major news stories that broke throughout the season. From the FIA kicking off the year by announcing they would open applications for an 11th team in Formula 1 to Mercedes announcing both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell would remain with the team until the end of 2025 to the Qatar Grand Prix being hit by tyre problems for the second time, these are the biggest stories to come out of the 2023 season.

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RaceFans exclusive interviews

As ever, RaceFans’ Claire Cottingham was in the paddock throughout the season, asking questions of the drivers, team principals and many others involved in the sport. These are the very best exclusive interviews that she provided for RaceFans readers over the year.

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2023 F1 Driver Rankings

Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Hungaroring, 2023
Perez’s consistent underperforming tanked his ranking…
World champion Max Verstappen topped RaceFans’ driver rankings for the 2023 season – for the third consecutive year. Check out the full grid ranking for the season from 22 all the way to the world champion at number one.

Grand Prix reports

After every grand prix, RaceFans’ race reviews tell a detailed story of how each race was won – or lost. Recap how each of the 22 rounds of this year played out with our full list of race reviews for the 2023 season.

Sprint race reports

With six sprint rounds in 2023, the sprint format had more of an impact on the championship than ever before. Here’s how the six sprint rounds played out over the season.

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Team radio highlights

Team radio offers a fascinating insight into the inner workings and relationships between drivers and their teams. These are the best of team radio deep dives from RaceFans this season.

RaceFans top 10 drivers of 2023 (other series)

Beyond Formula 1, there were many outstanding drivers across other major single seater series. Here, RaceFans ranked the ten best of each of the four major single-seater series outside of F1.

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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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13 comments on “RaceFans’ complete 2023 season review”

  1. The 2023 season wasn’t that bad. I think we’ve seen some nice storylines like the brilliance of Max Verstappen and Red Bull, the renaissance of Fernando Alonso, re-emergence of McLaren, the arrival of Oscar Piastri, surprise cameo from Daniel Ricciardo and even more unexpectedly Liam Lawson. If it was fairly obvious who was going to win the races, the battles for the rest of the top 5 were always shifting and unpredictable. The Formula 2 season was also a thriller; if only Vesti, Doohan and Martins were following Theo Pourchaire and Ayumu Iwasa to Japanese Superformula in 2024 so the battle royale could continue… it’s a shame there’s little enthusiasm for this round of drivers.

    The thing that stood out most for me during the 2023 season is the DRS. This has simply become a crutch with unintended consequences, and at the very least need to be scaled back. If it were difficult to pass in Formula 1 before, now it’s way too easy and takes all element of strategy out of the equation – why gamble on a one-stop strategy if the competition can simply breeze past on the next straight, with fresher tyres – ah, the tyres!

    Also, because the majority of overtakes are done in a DRS zone, we miss seeing the clever drivers finding creative ways to overtake / defend positions, with Fernando Alonso’s defense of third place at the Brazillians Grand Prix being a perfect example of the sort of wheel-to-wheel racing craft that was commonplace one time. Also, the tension of not knowing if someone can get past or not (remember Imola 2005 and 2006 ?) it’s all gone.

    My other gripe is track limits penalties and the other upteen amount of reasons for getting a penalty. Formula One is not ‘football’ and I don’t see the purpose of worrying about a white line when drivers are trying to extract the maximum speed from a racing car through fast corners – it’s the antithesis of the whole point of the sport. Obviously something blatant like cutting chicanes and cutting corners where there are large run off areas is also not in the spirit of racing, but running wide through a fast corner to carry more speed is a skill, and one that was once admired. Long ago, Martin Brundle used to talk about “riding the kerb to extract maximum lap time”, oh how he’s changed his tune… then when they talk about penalties for minimum delta times, maximum delta times and the like, you wonder how many nit pickers and fuss pots they need in the stewards office.

    For the reason’s I’ve mentioned above, I’d rate the 2023 F1 season as a 6.5/10. I think it’s more enjoyable than 2022, 2019, 2018 and 2017, because at least the minor points positions were hard fought, it wasn’t a season where it was the same drivers in the top 8 race after race, and after all we had 11 different drivers from 6 different teams on the podium.

    1. I just can’t agree with this season being more enjoyable than any of the 4 seasons you mentioned: 2022 we had a proper battle for the title till the mid point, 2018 and 2017 basically till he end with almost equal cars, 2019 was bad, yes, but ferrari was competitive and should’ve won races far earlier than they did if not for driver mistakes\reliability problems, add red bull in the mix and it was a dominant season for mercedes but you had 2 other teams that could win on merit, nothing to do with 2023.

      1. Robert Henning
        1st January 2024, 18:53

        2022 we had a proper battle for the title till the mid point,

        It was as proper as Vettel’s 2018 fight. It was over once Verstappen won in Imola. Lasted 4 races that title fight. Then only had to wait for Ferrari to Ferrari themselves which they did beautifully.

  2. TL:DR – happy new year to all of the team and thanks for being the go-to source for Formula 1 news for another year.

  3. my family has decided women’s football is more interesting than F1 now. Part of it is that the driver who’s dominating is just a boy, who doesn’t do anything else or stand for anything else, he just drives a car very perfectly and that’s all, he’s a robot. Whereas if you watch an interview with, say, Tooney, you have some actual charisma

    1. Ermm…enjoy the matches?

      Anyway, happy new year to all!

      1. yes thank you, happy 2024 to you too. My point is that it’s people we watch performing not robots, so we can identify with them and share the emotions. So yes we watch the football matches and then as the women we know a little do well or badly and are skilful or make mistakes we care and are that much more involved. And it’s the same in F1 when we have the human drivers that are more open with their emotions and just richer as personalities

        1. Okay, thanks for letting us know. Have fun on the women’s football websites.

    2. Verstappen is probably the most outspoken F1 driver on the grid.

      1. true, he says what he thinks. He doesn’t like sprint weekends or Vegas and how they behaved with the fans over FP, which was great and admirable. That’s just about F1 tho, it’s not charisma is it and it wasn’t even said sympathetically

    3. Happy 2024! It’s all down to personal preferences. That’s why we have comments here in the first place. I just happen to find him very outspoken and downright funny in his debunking of the glamour and circus that has grown around what was once a truly enjoyable and pure sport.. Form my perspective a well needed voice. Bit very good to make you own choices. Enjoy!

  4. A good compilation article & a happy 2024 to all.

  5. Happy new year to all guys and i wish for good health first and happiness.

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