Formula One

2023 Mexico GP driver ratings: Unpacking an exciting race in Mexico City

Sergio Perez retired on the first lap, ending his race before it started, as we see in the Mexico GP driver ratings.
Photo by XPB / Icon Sport

After a race that included plenty of battles and a red flag, there is a lot to look at. So, to help us dive into the race, we will look into the Mexico GP driver ratings and how the drivers performed.

Max Verstappen – 1st: 9

Max Verstappen may have qualified in third, but his great start put him on the lead by the time the field reached the first corner. From there, despite surprisingly pitting early and having a second standing start thrown at him, he had the race in control and took his fifth win in Mexico and sixteenth in the season, a new Formula 1 record.

Lewis Hamilton – 2nd: 8.5

Starting sixth, Lewis Hamilton gained just a single position on the opening lap, but he let the race come to him. With good pace and the right strategy, the British driver had second place in his hands for the second half of the race and he recorded the fastest lap of the race and he is now just twenty points behind Perez in the battle for second in the championship.

Charles Leclerc – 3rd: 7.5

Scoring his second consecutive pole position and fourth in the season, Charles Leclerc knew that fighting for the win was a tall order, but third is still a good result for him, as it is his first podium since Belgium. Second would have been better, but selecting hard tyres marginally proved to be the wrong choice and he could not challenge Hamilton for second.

Carlos Sainz – 4th: 7

A very quiet race for Carlos Sainz, who defended well from Russell after the restart to keep fourth. The Spaniard still lacked pace in comparison to his teammate though and -after Hamilton passed him- it became apparent that fighting for the podium would be a major challenge.

Lando Norris – 5th: 9

What a race by Lando Norris, who started the race way back in the field after errors in Q1. His race was brilliant though, despite a questionable call to start on soft tyres. He climbed from seventeenth to tenth when the red flag came out, but a bad restart put him back in fifteenth. Since that point, he drove brilliantly to rise back up to fifth, with plenty of spectacular moves.

George Russell – 6th: 5.5

Despite finishing two places higher that where he started, George Russell had quite a mediocre race in Mexico. He was up to fifth after overtaking Ricciardo and Piastri at the restart, but his pace on the mediums was nowhere after that, especially considering his teammate finished almost half a minute ahead and he was passed by Norris.

Daniel Ricciardo had a fantastic weekend and earned the top mark in the 2023 Mexico GP driver ratings.
Photo by XPB / Icon Sport

Daniel Ricciardo – 7th: 10

Daniel Ricciardo scored his first points in his return to Alpha Tauri, in a spectacular performance. Qualifying fourth was already a fantastic result, but scoring six points represents Alpha Tauri’s best points haul of the year. He even put Russell under pressure late on, but he still scored a result that catapults his team up to eighth in the constructors’ championship.

Oscar Piastri – 8th: 6

This has to be considered as a bad result and weekend for Oscar Piastri, who qualified seventh and finished eighth. Having shown good pace early on and restarting in sixth, his pace after that left a lot to be desired. His teammate’s recovery was indicative of what was achievable for the rookie, but he failed to come close to that.

Alexander Albon – 9th: 8

For the eighth time in 2023, Alexander Albon put his Williams in the points in another great performance. Aided by the timing of the red flag, he spent the second half of the race in ninth, with no pressure from behind, as a lot of the cars that had the pace to challenge him were stuck behind Hulkenberg until the last few laps.

Esteban Ocon – 10th: 7

From seventeenth on the grid to tenth and one point, this race was a good one by Esteban Ocon. Another driver that was aided by the red flag, the Frenchman could have perhaps challenged for more, had he been able to overtake Hulkenberg earlier. Instead, he got stuck behind him and only overtook him a handful of laps before the finish.

Pierre Gasly – 11th: 6.5

If there is one driver that can be described as unlucky by the timing of the red flag, that has to be Pierre Gasly. Sitting in ninth behind Hulkenberg for the first stint of the race, he stayed out longer than the rest of the field to try and overhaul the Haas, but that put him down to eleventh. Without the red flag, he would have been able to regain a few of those positions and finish as high as eighth.

Plenty of crowd in attendance for the Mexican GP.
Photo by XPB / Icon Sport

Yuki Tsunoda – 12th: 4

Given that the Japanese driver started last because of engine penalties and drove his way up to ninth, Yuki Tsunoda’s rating may seem harsh. But that’s because it was all undone by an overly aggressive move on Piastri for eighth, which put him out of points contention and costing Alpha Tauri a rare opportunity for a huge result in a difficult season.

Nico Hulkenberg – 13th: 7

Having spent most of the day in the top ten, it looked like an opportunity to score was on the cards for Nico Hulkenberg and Haas. However, the second stint on the medium tyre was a little bit too much for the Haas. The new car seemed to handle tyres better than the old one, but it was just not enough for the German in Mexico.

Valtteri Bottas – 14th: 6

Given Valtteri Bottas’ good history in Mexico and the fact Alfa Romeo put both cars in the top ten, hopes were high for both the Finn and his team ahead of race day. A bad start put Bottas down in twelfth and he was stuck behind Hulkenberg and the Alpines after the restart, unable to get past them.

Zhou Guanyu – 15th: 4.5

Just like his teammate, Zhou Guanyu made it into Q3 on Saturday, showcasing good pace. He kept that up by running tenth early in the Grand Prix, but he disappeared after the restart, eventually finishing fifteenth in a quiet race.

Logan Sargeant – 16th: 5

Plenty of wheel-to-wheel battles for Logan Sargeant today, who fought his way up to twelfth at one point late on, but had to retire his car. A fuel pump issue was to blame for that, but points were never on the cards for the American.

Lance Stroll – 17th: 3.5

Running back in the pack for most of the day, Lance Stroll didn’t see the chequered flag. Good pace in the closing stages helped him reach the fight for the last points-paying position, but a clash after he left Bottas no space in Foro Sol led him to park his car in the pits.

Fernando Alonso – DNF: 3

For the second weekend in a row, Aston Martin had a horrible weekend and Fernando Alonso retired early. There was no pace at all for the Spaniard and he was running last for a large part of the Grand Prix, running with the older specification of the Aston Martin car. Expect to see him with the new one next time out, in Brazil.

Kevin Magnussen – DNF: 3.5

On a weekend when his teammate shone and run in the top ten for much of it, Magnussen did not make the same impression and struggled for pace, as has often been the case this season. His big accident wasn’t his fault, but he will be disappointed with this weekend in general.

Kevin Magnussen had a hefty impact after a rear-suspension failure.
Photo by XPB / Icon Sport

Sergio Perez – DNF: 5

In front of his home fans, a retirement on the first lap, while he was in a position to take the lead of the Grand Prix, was the biggest disappointment for Sergio Perez. He qualified fifth and he attempted a bold move on both Verstappen and Leclerc heading towards the first corner, but he touched with the Ferrari and his race was over pretty much before it began.

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