Formula One

2023 United States GP driver ratings: Evaluating the drivers after the race in Austin

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Photo by XPB / Icon Sport

Another Formula 1 weekend has concluded with Max Verstappen on top, as the Dutchman collected his fourteenth victory of the season at the Circuit of the Americas. There were plenty more stories in the race though, so let’s look at them through the United States GP driver ratings.

Max Verstappen – 1st: 9

Max Verstappen had a troublesome qualifying session, as mistakes in Q3 left him sixth on the grid. He made it all up in the race though, grabbing the lead by the halfway stage of the race and maintaining it until the end. It wasn’t the best weekend in terms of pace for the Red Bull, but the Dutchman got the job done anyway.

Lando Norris – 2nd: 8

In his hundredth race, Lando Norris took his fourth consecutive podium, but it didn’t come with the best pace. The Brit led for the first half of the race, but he dropped off for the rest, leaving him down in third, behind Hamilton as well. The Mercedes’ disqualification though means that the McLaren is back on P2.

Carlos Sainz – 3rd: 7.5

A somewhat surprising podium for Carlos Sainz, who had struggled to match his teammate for pace during the whole weekend. It was a quiet race for the Spaniard, who chose the right strategy and executed it very well. He was rewarded for it with a trophy, which came his way post-race.

Sergio Perez – 4th: 4

It would not be a stretch to say that the post-race disqualifications will leave Sergio Perez relieved. It looked like Hamilton would move within 19 points of the Mexican heading to the final four rounds of the championship, but instead he finds himself with a 39-point advantage in the fight for second. His race was quiet, as he struggled to gain ground from ninth.

George Russell – 5th: 6

A tough weekend comes to an end for George Russell, who finished the Grand Prix where he started it, eventually. An elongated first stint, in order to attempt an one-stop strategy did not pay off, as he lost time and was overcut by other drivers, while having to revert to a two-stop strategy eventually as well. Two places gained post-race will be good news though.

Pierre Gasly – 6th: 8.5

An excellent weekend came to a very good conclusion for Pierre Gasly, who started seventh and takes eight points home after the Grand Prix. He lost a couple of spots in the first corner, but regrouped and drove well to rise back up to eighth by the time the chequered flag fell.

Lance Stroll – 7th: 8

Lance Stroll has had a few horrible weekends lately, and it looked like this one would be as well, as the car was struggling for pace. He started from the pitlane after changing his setup, but he rose steadily through the whole race to finish ninth, which became seventh for a few very important points for him, in excellent timing.

Yuki Tsunoda – 8th: 9

Another driver with a great result on race day was Yuki Tsunoda, who scored the fastest lap of the race on the final lap. Despite that, he would only tie his season-best result, as he finished tenth for the fourth time this season! The disqualifications though mean he achieved his (and Alpha Tauri’s) best result of the year, as the team tried to avoid a last-place finish in the constructors’ standings.

Alexander Albon – 9th: 6

On a day when it looked like an opportunity to score points would open up, Alexander Albon could not do it, as he finished twelve seconds behind the three-stopping Tsunoda. His reward came in the end though, as he gained a couple of positions -and a couple more points- despite a post-race five-second penalty for track limits.

Logan Sargeant – 10th: 7.5

Finally! It might have come through post-race penalties, but Logan Sargeant has scored his first Formula 1 points, and has done so in his second home race of the season. The point comes after a strong performance too, as he stayed relatively close to his teammate and almost beat him too, finishing a second behind him, after his penalty.

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Photo by XPB / Icon Sport

Nico Hulkenberg – 11th: 6

A good opportunity for points was wasted by Haas, which saw three of the drivers it competes against score points. Nico Hulkenberg started from the pitlane in order to change his setup and his pace in the race was good, but he came up two seconds short at the end, as he could not finish in front of Sargent.

Valtteri Bottas – 12th: 4.5

After the magic of Qatar, a return to reality for Alfa Romeo and Valtteri Bottas, who ultimately lacked the pace in the Circuit of the Americas. It was a quiet race for the Finn, who finished the race in a lonely fourteenth, which of course became twelfth after the Grand Prix concluded.

Zhou Guanyu – 13th: 4

Not much to say about Zhou Guanyu and his race, as he didn’t feature much in its entirety. He was convincingly beaten by his teammate, despite starting one place ahead of him in twelfth, with the qualifying session being his highlight of the weekend in Austin.

Kevin Magnussen – 14th: 4

Despite this being one of the few occasions where Kevin Magnussen outqualified his teammate, it didn’t matter that much as he started from the pitlane too. And his race was not a competitive one too, as he was nowhere whilst his teammate nearly got into the points.

Daniel Ricciardo – 15th: 4

While his teammate scored five points, Daniel Ricciardo struggled for pace in his first Grand Prix back. Perhaps his hand was not yet at 100% after the injury he sustained, or damage sustained after contact with Stroll was too much, but ultimately not a competitive outing from the Australian, who will be hoping for more.

Fernando Alonso – DNF: 6

At the end of what looked like a horrible weekend, Fernando Alonso nearly scored more points for Aston Martin, as he drove an older-specification car from the pitlane. He was running ahead of his teammate until late in the race, when he had to park his car thanks to a rear suspension failure and he was left with no points for the first time this season.

Oscar Piastri – DNF: 5

Oscar Piastri’s race ended very early on, as a radiator failure left him with no option but the park his car. He had started tenth and had a positive opening few laps, until his car could do no more.

Esteban Ocon – DNF: 5

After a good start, Esteban Ocon had heavy contact with Piastri which destroyed part of his floor and his sidepod. He parked his car after five laps, as he was dropping places very quickly thanks to the damage he sustained.

Lewis Hamilton – DSQ: 9

Lewis Hamilton looked to have a great result in his bag at the end of the United States Grand Prix, in which he took the chequered flag in second. He was second early on, but Mercedes’ desire to convert to an one-stop strategy cost him heaps of time. He stopped twice and finished two seconds behind Verstappen. Maybe the win would be his without the strategy error, but of course it was all for naught.

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Photo by XPB / Icon Sport

Charles Leclerc – DSQ: 6

The skid blocks where not only the reason for Hamilton’s disqualification, but Charles Leclerc’s too. The only driver to complete the one-stop strategy finished sixth, which renders the result as a disappointment, given the fact that the Monegasque started from pole position.

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