2023 F1 end of year ratings: Who was the best performer behind Verstappen?

After each F1 race weekend in 2023, Crash.net journalist Connor McDonagh rated each driver’s performance out of 10.
The podium (L to R): Fernando A
The podium (L to R): Fernando A

22 races have now passed meaning we can now calculate each driver’s average rating for the season.

Here’s how they stacked up across F1 2023, with all four AlphaTauri drivers making the list.

22) Nyck de Vries - 4.75

Best rating: 6 (Bahrain, Monaco)

Given that he was replaced after just ten races, Nyck de Vries featuring at the bottom of our end of year ratings is not surprising. While his dismissal from AlphaTauri was probably on the harsher side, De Vries never seem capable of performing at the level required.

21) Logan Sargeant - 5.05

Best rating: 9 (Bahrain)

Another driver who appeared to be out of his depth in 2023 was Logan Sargeant. Ironically - for a rookie - his best performances came at the start of the season, performing solidly in Bahrain, and showing flashes of pace in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan. From that moment onwards, he never quite showed his true potential, even in qualifying, where he excelled in F2 and F3. His future for 2024 looks secure, mainly down to the fact there’s no quality replacements for Williams to choose from.

Lance Stroll (CDN) Aston Martin F1 Team AMR23. Formula 1 Testing, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, Tuesday.-
Lance Stroll (CDN) Aston Martin F1 Team AMR23. Formula 1 Testing, Yas…

20) Lance Stroll - 5.59 

Best rating: 10 (Bahrain)

Lance Stroll endured a miserable 2023 campaign. Similarly to Sargeant, his best performances came at the start of the season, and in Stroll’s case, this was when he was still recovering from his wrist injury. As the car became trickier to drive, Stroll’s performances dripped. He did enjoy an end-of-season renaissance, but it was a case of too little, too late.

19) Kevin Magnussen - 5.68

Best rating: 9 (Miami)

While the Haas was rarely a regular contender for the points on race day, it was an underwhelming year for Kevin Magnussen. It seemed the Dane struggled with the unpredictable nature of the VF-23, whereas teammate Nico Hulkenberg thrived, especially in qualifying. Miami was the standout for Magnussen.

18) Sergio Perez - 5.93

Best rating: 9.5 (Saudi Arabia)

It’s remarkable that the runner-up in this year’s drivers’ championship is only 18th on this list. It’s easy to forget that Perez started the season well with two wins in the opening four races. Even though he had a slice of luck in both, he probably would have won in Azerbaijan on merit regardless. Perez’s inability to make Q3 on a consistent basis was nothing short of embarrassing because of the dominance of the RB19 in the hands of Max Verstappen. Ultimately, the inconsistency of Mercedes meant that his second-place spot in the drivers’ championship was secure with a race to spare over Lewis Hamilton.

17) Zhou Guanyu - 6.05

Best rating: 8.5 (Spain)

After a solid rookie year, many expected Zhou Guanyu to kick on and pose a bigger threat to veteran teammate Valtteri Bottas. This was the case, at least in the opening six rounds. Zhou starred with an aggressive drive to the points in Spain - but the highlights for him and Alfa Romeo were few and far between. Zhou’s other highlight came in Hungary, where he qualified a career-best fifth. His form deteriorated after the summer break, out-qualifying Bottas twice from Zandvoort onwards.

Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Alfa Romeo F1 Team C43. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 13, Belgian Grand Prix, Spa Francorchamps,
Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Alfa Romeo F1 Team C43. Formula 1 World Championship…

16) Valtteri Bottas - 6.43

Best rating: 9 (Bahrain, Qatar)

Alfa Romeo’s lack of competitiveness meant Bottas had few chances to shine in 2023. While he did score in the opening round, his first part of the season was affected by frequent floor damage and below-par performances. As the season progressed, Bottas improved, and generally went under the radar as his advantage over Zhou increased, notably after the summer break.

15) Nico Hulkenberg - 6.45

Best rating: 9 (Australia, Austria)

In qualifying, Hulkenberg was right up there as one of the top performers on a Saturday. Frequently making it into Q3, Hulkenberg’s one-lap pace was frightening. Initially, it did look like the German was a tad rusty on race day given his time out of the sport, however, it soon became apparent that Hulkenberg’s drop down the field on a Sunday was an inherent car issue and how they managed the tyres. 

14) Yuki Tsunoda - 6.89

Best rating: 10 (Abu Dhabi)

Yuki Tsunoda is slowly becoming a very fast, capable F1 driver. His form at the start of the year was difficult to gauge because of De Vries’ lack of competitiveness. However, alongside Liam Lawson and Daniel Ricciardo, Tsunoda rose to the occasion with several impressive drives. 

13) Esteban Ocon - 6.93

Best rating: 10 (Monaco)

It wasn’t a vintage year for Esteban Ocon at Alpine. Granted, he did have seven DNFs to his name, most of which were either technical-related or his teammate crashing him out of the race (Australia). However, generally-speaking, Gasly did have the edge overall.

Oscar Piastri (AUS), McLaren Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 17, Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka, Japan, Race Day.-
Oscar Piastri (AUS), McLaren Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 17, Japanese…

12) Oscar Piastri - 7.02

Best rating: 10 (Qatar)

Piastri’s rookie season was impressive in parts, but to say he’s a genuine threat to McLaren teammate Lando Norris is still premature. Piastri found his feet in the upgraded McLaren with his weekend of the year coming in Qatar, where he won the sprint and finished second in the grand prix.

11) Daniel Ricciardo - 7.07

Best rating: 10 (Mexico)

After two terrible years with McLaren, Ricciardo returned to F1 with a point to prove. Overall, Ricciardo can be satisfied with his performance - he certainly looked more comfortable than he did with his McLaren stint - but he doesn’t have Norris in the other car. Mexico is where he stood out, qualifying fourth before converting that into a top seven finish. 

10) Pierre Gasly - 7.07

Best rating: 9.5 (USA)

There’s no doubt that Gasly’s 2023 campaign is arguably the most underrated. His qualifying displays were blistering, out-qualifying Ocon 14-8 over the course of the year.

9) Carlos Sainz - 7.14 

Best rating: 10 (Singapore)

Carlos Sainz was ultimately the driver who stopped Red Bull going invincible in 2023. Ninth overall is probably on the harsher side due to the consistency of his performances and ability to score points. Sainz is still a step behind Leclerc in raw pace terms but closer than it has been in their prior two years as teammates.

George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates his third position on the podium. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 8,
George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates his third position on the…

8) George Russell - 7.18

Best rating: 10 (Qatar)

With only two podiums to his name in 2023, Russell is likely disappointed with his campaign. For the most part, speed wasn’t the problem for Russell, it was more the unnecessary errors (Canada, Singapore). The inconsistent nature of the W14 didn’t make things easy for either Russell or Lewis Hamilton, but clearly he was the weaker of the two drivers this year.

7) Alex Albon - 7.30

Best rating: 10 (Bahrain, Canada)

Alex Albon led Williams with great maturity, speed and experience to give the team their best championship finish since 2017. Other than Australia, Albon tended to maximise the car underneath him, picking up points on seven occasions (eight if you include the sprint). If he continues this into 2024, one of the top teams will be looking at him as a potential second driver.

6) Liam Lawson - 7.40

Best rating: 8.5 (Singapore)

The sample size for Lawson’s performances is small (five races), but what we did see from the Kiwi was remarkable. Despite his lack of F1 experience, Lawson was at home right away, taking AlphaTauri’s best result of the year (at the time) in Singapore. There’s no doubt that he should be on the grid in 2024.

5) Charles Leclerc - 7.59

Best rating: 10 (Azerbaijan, Las Vegas)

Leclerc’s season came alive in the final third of 2023. While the first half consisited of some high points, he struggled to match Sainz’s consistency. The Suzuka upgrade appeared to change Leclerc’s fortunes, putting together a sensational run of form which propelled him into the top four of the drivers’ championship.

Pole sitter Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 in qualifying parc ferme. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 12, Hungarian
Pole sitter Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 in qualifying parc ferme…

4) Lewis Hamilton - 7.75

Best rating: 10 (USA)

The seven-time world champion was close to his best in 2023, particularly on a Sunday. Hamilton’s consistent scoring ultimately carried Mercedes in their fight with Ferrari in the constructors’ championship. A disqualification at the United States Grand Prix, followed by a clumsy crash with Russell in Qatar, put Perez out of reach for second.

3) Lando Norris - 7.86 

Best rating: 10 (Austria, Britain)

For the third consecutive year, Norris has ended the season inside the top three of our end of season ranking. Norris was mighty in 2023, even though for the first eight rounds, McLaren didn’t have a car capable of finishing in the points on a regular basis. It was by no means a perfect season, with frequent mistakes in qualifying costing him standout results, notably Qatar and Abu Dhabi. Whether the arrival of Piastri has truly affected him is still unclear, Norris needs to tidy up his Saturday displays if McLaren give him a car capable of taking it to Verstappen in 2024.

2) Fernando Alonso - 8.23

Best rating: 10 (Bahrain, Brazil)

Seeing Fernando Alonso back at the front of F1 has been one of the best storylines of the year. Six podiums in the opening eight races was remarkable. But more impressively, when the car got worse, Alonso’s ability to score didn’t really take a hit. A superb year from the 42-year-old - clearly the second-best performer in 2023.

1) Max Verstappen - 9.52

Best rating: 10 (Bahrain, Monaco, Spain, Canada, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Japan, Qatar, Brazil, Abu Dhabi)

Verstappen probably enjoyed the greatest individual season in F1 history. 19 victories in 22 races is an unthinkable achievement. While the RB19 was clearly the class of the field, it’s near-impossible to identify an obvious error Verstappen made. Azerbaijan was probably the only weekend Perez had a slight edge over him. Even in Singapore, where Red Bull were uncompetitive, Verstappen could have challenged for the victory had the Safety Car timings been more favourable. Time and time again, even when Red Bull were threatened by Ferrari (Las Vegas) or McLaren (Britain, Qatar), Verstappen rose to the challenge each time. A historic year for a generational talent. 

Max Verstappen (NLD), Red Bull Racing Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 18, Qatar Grand Prix, Doha, Qatar, Race Day.-
Max Verstappen (NLD), Red Bull Racing Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 18,…

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