Formula One

2023 Dutch GP driver ratings – A close look at who excelled and who struggled

Max Verstappen dominated and topped the Dutch GP driver ratings
Photo by XPB / Icon Sport

A chaotic race unravelled in Zandvoort and, while Max Verstappen took a record-equalling ninth consecutive victory, plenty of action took place. Let’s take a look into every driver’s race, in the Dutch GP driver ratings.

Max Verstappen – 1st: 10

An utterly dominant weekend from Max Verstappen on home turf. Grabbing pole with a gap of over half a second to the rest was a good start and the race got complicated when the rain arrived on the first lap. He was late in stopping for intermediate tyres and rejoined the race in fourth, over ten second behind his teammate. No issues though, his pace was dominant enough to put him back in the lead by lap 20, on his way to his ninth consecutive victory.

Fernando Alonso – 2nd: 9.5

Fernando Alonso returned to the podium after four races off of it. A great start put him up to third and he ran in the same position after the first shower. A podium looked to be secure for the Spaniard, until a slow stop dropped him behind Sainz. Driving like a man possessed, he made up the lost time very quickly, passed the Ferrari and jumped Perez, when he spun, to finish second.

Pierre Gasly – 3rd: 9

The man who made every correct decision in tricky conditions was no other than Pierre Gasly. An early stop was a huge aid in him climbing up the order. A five-second penalty for speeding in the pitlane cost him an opportunity to challenge Alonso, but he overtook Sainz and benefitted from mistakes by Perez to claim his first Grand Prix podium with Alpine.

Sergio Perez – 4th: 5

A mediocre qualifying, down in seventh, was negated by a great call from Sergio Perez to pit at the end of the first lap. That put him in the lead by a great margin, but he was not able to capitalise in the end and looked to settle for second. A scare with a very slow second stop was not enough to cost him second place, but a spin in the second downpour and a speeding penalty did and he dropped to fourth.

Carlos Sainz – 5th: 6.5

While fifth is a good result on paper, during a weekend Ferrari did not look competitive, there was more on the table for Carlos Sainz. After a steady first half, the Spaniard found himself ahead of Alonso, as he benefitted from his slow stop, as well as Gasly’s penalty. The pace just wasn’t there though and he lost the positions to both drivers, while he wasn’t able to capitalise on the post-race penalty of Perez either.

Lewis Hamilton – 6th: 6

A strange weekend for Lewis Hamilton at Zandvoort. The Brit only qualified thirteenth after issues with traffic and the race got off to a bad start. Being the last driver to make the switch to intermediates, he was down in fifteenth, but he steadily rose through the order to finish fifth in the end.

Lando Norris – 7th: 6

On a weekend that looked very promising, and even more so after qualifying second, the race got ruined on the first few laps for Lando Norris. He made the wrong decision and stayed out for way too long on slick tyres, thus he dropped a long way down the order. His recovery was not easy and he was buried in the midfield for the entirety of the race. Seventh in the end, slightly helped by the downpour late in the race.

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Photo by XPB / Icon Sport

Alexander Albon – 8th: 8.5

A star in qualifying and impressive throughout the race, Alex Albon finished ninth, but much more was possible. The Thai never stopped for intermediates in the early shower and thanks to a long first stint he was up in fifth for the first half of the race. After his stop he was sixth and had a great opportunity to finish there, but a wrong call on the downpour later dropped him to eighth.

Oscar Piastri – 9th: 5

A mediocre qualifying, in eighth, and a late first stop cost Oscar Piastri quite a bit, as he had to recover for the rest of the race. Still, a mature drive by the rookie, who had plenty of battles on his way to a couple of points.

Esteban Ocon – 10th: 5.5

Spending most of the race in the points, Alpine made the most perplexing call for Esteban Ocon when the rain hit in the closing stages. The Frenchman was left out on track in the heavy rain and then wet tyres, which dropped him to eleventh. He gained a position when Russell dropped out and was able to score in the end.

Lance Stroll – 11th: 4

An anonymous race by Lance Stroll, who spent the first half of the race at the back after getting his strategy during the first laps all wrong. A late recovery was not good enough and the Canadian was left off the points.

Nico Hulkenberg – 12th: 4.5

Haas was nowhere this weekend and their risks in the conditions did not pan out. Twelfth may seem a good result on paper, but Nico Hulkenberg was never in contention for the points and more performance is needed for the team to challenge for seventh.

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Photo by XPB / Icon Sport

Liam Lawson – 13th: 9

This was as challenging as a debut could get for Liam Lawson. A single practice session in the wet was all the preparation the Kiwi got, but his race was very good considering the circumstances. Thirteenth at the end of a very difficult race and plenty of experience gained for the 21-year-old.

Kevin Magnussen – 14th: 5

Kevin Magnussen finished well outside the points, but he spent a good chunk of the race in them. His risks did not work out in the end, but it was a good effort. The car was not fast at all though and a good opportunity was missed, as the Dane dropped like a stone.

Valtteri Bottas – 15th: 4

This race was an opportunity for the drivers at the back to risk and a few did, but Bottas did not. He was out of the picture all the way through and finished in a disappointing fifteenth position.

Yuki Tsunoda – 16th: 3.5

Having made the correct calls early on, Yuki Tsunoda was racing in the points for most of the day. But it all got bad in the end as wrong calls and an excursion just before the red flag dropped him to sixteenth, even behind his debutant teammate.

George Russell – 17th: 3

After starting third, George Russell was leading on the second lap, but the race got very complicated from then on. He stayed out for a very long time and dropped to sixteenth, effectively ruining the race. A good recovery put him back up to sixth, but contact with Norris dropped him a long way off the points.

Zhou Guanyu – DNF: 4

Zhou Guanyu might have qualified down in sixteenth, but a great call to pit on the first lap got him up to second. He could not hold on though, dropping down the order like a rock, initially around fifteenth. A crash in the second downpour compounded his misery, as he hit the wall hard after aquaplaning on the approach to the first corner.

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Photo by XPB / Icon Sport

Charles Leclerc – DNF: 2

Another mediocre weekend for Charles Leclerc, one that included a crash in qualifying, during Q3. He was one of the first to pit for intermediates and, despite a slow stop, he benefitted massively. Damage because of contact with Oscar Piastri on the first lap forced him to a second stop and he was never up to pace again, eventually retiring while running well outside the points.

Logan Sargeant – DNF: 4

A weekend that looked so good up to the end of Q2, turned out to be a disaster for Logan Sargeant. His first promotion into Q3 ended with a big accident at Turn 2, while his race wasn’t any better. He dropped way back during the shower in the first laps, half a minute behind the rest and then crashed and retired. That was a result of a hydraulic pressure loss though, so not his fault.

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