Formula One

2023 Monaco Grand Prix driver ratings – How did the drivers perform in Monte Carlo?

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Photo by XPB / Icon Sport

The 2023 Monaco Grand Prix now belongs to the history books, as a frantic race took place, affected by rainfall during the middle part.

So how did every driver fare on the weekend? Let’s grade every driver’s performance, taking both qualifying and the race into account.

Max Verstappen, 1st  – 10

It looked like Max Verstappen would have to settle for second or third on the grid on Saturday, as he was two tenths down on Fernando Alonso’s provisional pole time after two thirds of the lap, but a phenomenal final sector brought him pole position, despite a couple of taps on the barriers. That put him in a position to manage the race and, despite the tricky conditions, he did so clinically for a commanding victory, his fifth of the season and his second in Monaco.

Fernando Alonso, 2nd – 9.5

A very strong and stable weekend for Fernando Alonso, who qualified second and had a trouble-free drive during the race to finish second for Aston Martin. The only dents in his performance were the last sector of his fastest Q3 lap, which cost him pole, and a gamble that went the wrong way in in his first pitstop, when he fitted mediums, rather than intermediate tyres, which could have given him the victory.

Esteban Ocon, 3rd – 10

An unexpected and brilliant result for Esteban Ocon and Alpine. He started third, after a penalty for Charles Leclerc, and it was a great management from him in mixed conditions, for the third podium in his career, although that looked in threat when he was jumped by George Russell as the pair fit intermediate tyres.

Lewis Hamilton, 4th – 8

It was a strange weekend for Lewis Hamilton, as much of the attention was focused on the upgrade package of the Mercedes W14. As for the results, after scraping by the first two parts of qualifying, he qualified sixth. From fifth on the grid, he had an uneventful race and it was what he needed in the conditions, to finish fourth.

George Russell, 5th – 6.5

The podium that got away for George Russell. After starting eighth, he stayed out for a long first stint and it put him in a position to overhaul the cars ahead of him and finish on the podium, after a timely switch to intemediates. However, a mistake at Mirabeau dropped him a couple of places and a bad rejoin, leading to contact with Sergio Perez, brought him a five-second penalty, which eventually cost him nothing.

Charles Leclerc, 6th – 7

A tough home race for Charles Leclerc. He qualified third, but earned a three-place grid drop when he blocked Lando Norris in the tunnel, after bad communication with the team. His race was relatively calm and uneventful and he finished sixth.

Pierre Gasly, 7th – 7.5

For Pierre Gasly, it was a very quiet and anonymous race. That’s not a bad thing in conditions like this though and he came home in seventh, where he started, to claim his best result for his new team.

Carlos Sainz, 8th – 6

Carlos Sainz had a tricky Sunday afternoon. From fourth on the grid, he pressured Esteban Ocon for third, for much of the race, even damaging his front wing after contact with the Alpine. When the rain came down harder, the Spaniard, still on slick tyres, aquaplaned on the approach to Mirabeau and spun, dropping down to eighth.

Lando Norris, 9th – 7

It was a strange qualifying session for Lando Norris, who didn’t have an opportunity for a final flying lap after crashing at Tabac. After his mechanics quickly repaired his car, he qualified ninth, after getting blocked by Charles Leclerc. His race was compromised behind Yuki Tsunoda, but it would be tough to get more out of his race anyway.

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Oscar Piastri, 10th – 7.5

The first Monaco GP of Oscar Piastri’s career was a successful one. The rookie missed out on Q3 with a gap of 0.018 seconds to his teammate, but had a very mature drive in difficult conditions on Sunday and scored points for the second time in his F1 career.

Valtteri Bottas, 11th – 6.5

For Valtteri Bottas it was a very quiet weekend. Qualifying fifteenth was not as good as he hoped, but staying out of trouble brought him a finish of eleventh and he remains with a single points finish this season.

Nyck de Vries, 12th – 7

For Nyck de Vries, Monaco was a crucial race, after a tough start that has even put his Alpha Tauri seat in question. The Dutchman coped well with the pressure and qualified twelfth and finished there, his best result on both accounts, beating his teammate for the first time as well.

Zhou Guanyu, 13th – 5.5

It was a very disappointing race for Guanyu Zhou, who qualified second-to-last on Saturday only ahead of the crashing Sergio Perez. Sunday was better for the Chinese driver, but with just thirteenth at the finish, it was overall a mediocre weekend.

Alex Albon, 14th – 6.5

Alex Albon had a great qualifying performance and started 13th, higher than expected. However, the race pace did not appear to be good, possibly due to bad tyre wear on the medium tyres and he pitted early. The rain did not provide an opportunity and the Thai driver finished fourteenth.

Yuki Tsunoda, 15th – 7.5

What we could have been another great result for Yuki Tsunoda was not meant to be. After qualifying ninth and holding onto the position for the majority of the race, issues with the brakes were too much to overcome and he trundled down the order, eventually getting classified in fifteenth, his worst result of the season, having finished tenth or eleventh in the first five races.

Sergio Perez, 16th – 2

The fact Sergio Perez did not fight for the win stemmed from his own mistake during Q1, one that made him start plum last. The race did not go well either. An early stop put him on course for a points finish, but contact with Kevin Magnussen put an end to his hopes. A couple of gambles with strategy in the wet conditions did not pay off and he finished 16th, getting lapped twice after five trips through the pits.

Nico Hulkenberg, 17th – 5

Haas did not appear to have the pace in the principality and it was reflected in the results. Nico Hulkenberg qualified eighteenth and contact with Logan Sargeant during the opening lap earned him a five-second penalty and a damaged front wing. Stuck in traffic for much of the race, he could do no better than seventeenth.

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Logan Sargeant, 18th – 4

Qualifying went well for Logan Sargeant, as the American just missed out on promotion to Q2 and started 16th. However, the race did not go well, as his first race in Monte Carlo featured poor pace and he ended up last after getting overtaken on track by four of his opponents during his opening stint, likely affected by poor tyre wear, while a light crash in the rain compounded his misery.

Kevin Magnussen, 19th – 6

With a good result looking unlikely in Monte Carlo, Kevin Magnussen started a place above his teammate and had a steady opening stint, running around fourteenth. However, he inexplicably stayed out on slicks for a very long time, crashing in the process. His race concluded early and he was classified eight laps down.

Lance Stroll, DNF – 3

Starting from fourteenth was not entirely his own doing, as collected debris from Lando Norris’ car at the end of Q2, but being in the elimination battle in the first place cost Lance Stroll a lot. It was a miserable race though, including contact with Kevin Magnussen, a crash at the hairpin, an off at Mirabeau and an eventual retirement, the only one of the race.

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