Formula One

2023 Singapore GP driver ratings: Evaluating the drivers after a frantic race

A look in how each driver performed, in the Singapore GP driver ratings
Photo by Hoch Zwei / Icon Sport

A fantastic race took place at the Marina Bay Street Circuit, on a weekend Red Bull were not a factor for the race win and Carlos Sainz perfected the weekend. So let’s see how everyone performed, in the 2023 Singapore GP driver ratings.

Carlos Sainz – 1st: 10

Nothing less than the perfect score would be a robbery against Carlos Sainz. He was on top form from Friday and he carried that into qualifying to get a second consecutive pole position, just a fraction in front of Russell and Leclerc. After a good start, he stayed in the lead and managed his tyres all the way through. In the closing laps, he had to defend from the chasing Mercedes and his decision to keep Norris in his DRS to prevent Russell from passing him gave him the win.

Lando Norris – 2nd: 9

From fourth on the grid, a podium was the goal for Lando Norris on Sunday. He achieved that and a bit more, as he finished second after stern defence against Russell in the final laps. Perhaps a bit more would have been possible from a better starting spot, but a good race anyway from the British driver.

Lewis Hamilton – 3rd: 7

Despite a podium finish, Lewis Hamilton could have had a better result this weekend. A bad setup change limited his opportunities in qualifying and fifth was the best he could achieve. In the race, gambled along his teammate on a two-stop strategy. He appeared to have better pace than him in the end, but he could capitalise and settled for fourth, which became third when Russell crashed.

Charles Leclerc – 4th: 5.5

Charles Leclerc has to be disappointed after this weekend. He was outperformed by his teammate on both days. His race was particularly bad, as a second position turned into fifth after his first stop, because he had to stack up behind his teammate. Twenty seconds off the top summarises his misery in the race.

Max Verstappen – 5th: 7.5

This weekend was a disaster for Red Bull and Max Verstappen. Mistakes in the setup of the car meant he was eliminated in Q2, but from eleventh on the grid his race was still pretty good, especially considering that the safety car ruined any chances of a podium or even a victory. Verstappen had to drop to fifteenth after his stop, but he recovered to fifth, three tenths behind Leclerc.

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Photo by Hoch Zwei / Icon Sport

Pierre Gasly – 6th: 7.5

From twelfth on the grid, Pierre Gasly stayed out of the chaos, executed the race perfectly and finished sixth, ultimately the best result he could have achieved. He still lacked pace in comparison to his teammate though, in qualifying as well as the race.

Oscar Piastri – 7th: 7

Good points for Oscar Piastri this weekend, but he was nowhere near his teammate in terms of pace. A number of reasons contributed, including his car not being updated, his unfamiliarity with the track and the unfortunate timing of the red flag, which meant he started seventeenth. A nice recovery in the race though.

Sergio Perez – 8th: 5

Sergio Perez also made wrong choices in terms of setup and was a victim of the safety car, but his execution was not as good and he scored just four points. He gained no positions prior to the safety car and he rejoined the race in seventeenth after his stop. He had a nice final stint, which also included an ambitious overtake and contact with Albon.

Liam Lawson – 9th: 9.5

Another fine performance from Liam Lawson, who scored his first points in his third race! After bumping Verstappen out of Q3, the Kiwi started tenth and managed his race perfectly. In the end, it took a bit of good fortune to stay in the top ten, but it was a result that reflects his great performance in his first three Grands Prix.

Kevin Magnussen – 10th: 8.5

Singapore offered Kevin Magnussen the opportunity his third point of 2023 and he grabbed it. Qualifying sixth was a brilliant performance, but he was expected to fall back in the race. He somewhat did, but his feisty racecraft helped him stay in a position to capitalise on any opportunities and made for a very interesting race from his perspective.

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Photo by XPB / Icon Sport

Alex Albon – 11th: 6

It was a tough weekend for Williams and Alex Albon. He started fifteenth, despite expecting to be eliminated in Q1. His race was kind of anonymous for the first half, but a few drivers dropping back put him in contention for points. In the end, his hopes were taken away after Perez drove into the side of his car and he lost heaps of time.

Zhou Guanyu – 12th: 5.5

On a weekend both he and Alfa Romeo in general was lacking pace, twelfth is a good result for Zhou Guanyu. He qualified second-to-last and started from the pitlane. An early pitstop was a further setback, but keeping his nose clean paid dividends, despite not scoring any points.

Nico Hulkenberg – 13th: 4

Nico Hulkenberg got into Q3 yet again this season, but he was behind his teammate the whole weekend. In contrast to Magnussen, the German’s race was more quiet and he fell back early in the race. In the end, around fifteen seconds split the pair and Hulkenberg was left out of the points.

Logan Sargeant – 14th: 2

Once again, a disappointing outing for Logan Sargeant. An elimination in Q1, this time was followed by him languishing in the back and making an unforced error, crashing into the wall and bringing the safety car out. The race did not get much better the rest of the way through, although he was able to keep Alonso behind him.

Fernando Alonso – 15th: 2.5

For the first time in 2023, Fernando Alonso was unable to score points, despite running up to sixth when the virtual safety car came out. Aston Martin elected to pit their lone driver and serve a five-second penalty he earned for running wide at the entry of the pitlane earlier. The pitstop was a disaster, as the car dropped off the jacks and he also ran wide, dropping all the way to the back.

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Photo by Hoch Zwei / Icon Sport

George Russell – 16th: 3

What a day for George Russell and what an ending. Starting from second, he dropped one position at the start, but he regained it in the first round of stops. He pressured Sainz early in the second stint and then gambled on a second stop in an effort to win the race. His comeback looked good until he struggled to get ahead of Norris and it was all thrown away when he crashed on the last lap.

Valtteri Bottas – DNF: 4

Another victim of the safety car timing was Valtteri Bottas, who lost any chance of points because of that, as he started on hard tyres. His race was unspectacular and came to an end early, thanks to mechanical gremlins.

Esteban Ocon – DNF: 8

Esteban Ocon was driving a brilliant race today, as he was running sixth at two-thirds’ distance from eighth on the grid. It all came to an abrupt end, as a driveshaft failure meant he could get no further and he retired.

Yuki Tsunoda – DNF: 5

For the second weekend in a row, Yuki Tsunoda did not even get the opportunity to perform in the race. He qualified fifteenth after his first lap of Q2 was impeded and he made an error in his second. On the first lap, he had contact with Perez, which caused race-ending damage to the Alpha Tauri.

Lance Stroll – DNS: –

A heavy crash in qualifying meant Lance Stroll was unwell and unable to participate in the race. He hopes to be ready for the next race, in Japan.

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