Formula One

2023 Austrian Grand Prix driver ratings – How did the drivers perform at the Red Bull Ring?

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Photo by Gepa / Icon Sport

A weekend full of racing action took place at the Red Bull Ring, with two races and two qualifying sessions. We didn’t have a fight for the win in the 2023 Austrian Grand Prix, but there is plenty to unpack, so let’s look at each driver’s race and assess their performances!

These driver ratings are in regard to the drivers’ performances during the Friday qualifying session and Sunday’s Grand Prix. For Sprint Saturday, we made different ratings, which you can find here.

UPDATE: The order of the field, as well as some of the ratings, has been adjusted after a large amount of penalties were announced on Sunday evening.

Max Verstappen: 1st – 9.5

Another easy victory for Max Verstappen, despite the Dutchman losing the lead for a brief time, as Red Bull elected to leave him on track when the virtual safety car came out on lap 14 and he dropped behind Leclerc when he pitted on lap 25. His streak of laps led ends at 249, 56 short of Alberto Ascari’s record, but still another impeccable drive by the championship leader, a perfect sweep for the weekend.

Charles Leclerc: 2nd – 8.5

In today’s race, a lot was dependent on weather for Charles Leclerc, who has been struggling in changeable conditions recently. Thankfully for him, the track stayed dry and he was able to finish second, despite some early pressure from his teammate. He claimed his second podium of the season and his best result of the year so far.

Sergio Perez: 3rd – 6

A good recovery after multiple errors in Q2 forced Sergio Perez to start down in fifteenth, but ultimately not where he should be. Another difficult weekend comes to a close for the Mexican, who must be targeting for mistake-free weekends ahead.

Lando Norris: 4th – 10

In what was easily McLaren’s best weekend, Lando Norris was a star and earned his first top-five finish of the season. Qualifying fourth was a surprise and, despite losing a position to Hamilton on the opening lap, he regained it and even had good enough pace to pressure Sainz in the final stint, and get ahead of him when penalties were applied. The team’s upgrades clearly worked, and more good results are just around the corner.

Fernando Alonso: 5th – 7

A sixth-place finish is not where we have come to expect Fernando Alonso and Aston Martin this season, but Austria was not a suitable track for the car and it was apparent all-weekend long. An anonymous race with no major battles for the Spaniard, who overhauled his teammate on the first lap, gained another position from Hamilton later and one more from Sainz post-race.

Carlos Sainz: 6th – 6.5

The race had a very promising beginning for Carlos Sainz, who pressured his teammate and tried to get ahead of him. However, hopes of a second-place finish were soon dashed, as he had to double-stack in the pitlane and then earned a five-second penalty of track limits abuses. His late-race battle against Perez was one of the highlights of the race, but he could not fend off the Mexican. A ten-second post-race penalty drops him to sixth, a really disappointing result.

George Russell: 7th – 5.5

After starting eleventh, the final race result was a big question mark for George Russell. Eventually, eighth place at the chequered flag was a reflection of the performance of Mercedes. The Brit got involved in a few fights but only being able to clear the midfield cars.

Lewis Hamilton: 8th – 5

In what looked like a promising Grand Prix for Lewis Hamilton, the final result seems like a major disappointment. Climbing to fourth on the opening lap, a podium was on the cards, but the pace was nowhere from very early on. Hamilton did not have his best personal performance as well, getting very frustrated after an early five-second penalty and voicing his displeasure with the car. A further ten-second penalty left him behind his teammate.

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Photo by XPB / Icon Sport

Lance Stroll: 9th – 7

Lance Stroll outqualified his teammate for the second time this season, but the race went wrong from early on. Passed by Alonso on the first lap, he ran in seventh early on and then pitted as the virtual safety car ended. With racing resuming as he was still in the pitlane, it dropped him down considerably. A three-stop strategy was put to use and he was able to recover and score two points.

Pierre Gasly: 10th – 7

A very quiet but much needed Grand Prix for Pierre Gasly in Austria. Avoiding trouble and utilising the performance of the Alpine, the Frenchman started where he finished, in ninth position. He beat his teammate for the first time since Miami and will be hoping to carry this momentum throughout July. A five-second post-race penalty leaves him with a bitter taste though.

Alex Albon: 11th – 7

Another driver who finished where he started was Alex Albon, who came very close to earning points for the second race in a row. This time it was not meant to be though, as he was overtaken in the closing stages by Stroll. Maybe things would be different had he not received a couple of penalties for track limits.

Zhou Guanyu: 12th – 6

Despite seeing plenty of battles towards the back end of the grid, Zhou Guanyu did not feature in any of those. He stayed out of the battles and trouble to cross the line in fourteenth, higher than his teammate, who is renowned for his performances at the Red Bull Ring. Staying within the track limits really paid dividends, as he was elevated to twelfth post-race.

Logan Sargeant: 13th – 7

Despite not finishing in the points, Logan Sargeant’s performance was one of the positive surprises of the weekend. The American stayed out of trouble, drove at a very good pace and finished five places higher than where he started. A few more performances like this and pressure over his seat will ease even more.

Esteban Ocon: 14th – 3

Despite qualifying down in twelfth, Esteban Ocon was expected to feature in the battle for the points-paying positions, but it did not happen. The Frenchman may have been hurt by a pair of penalties, one for an unsafe release and another for track limits, but his pace was also underwhelming and twelfth was a disappointing result, which got even worse when the penalties were announced. The Frenchman had the most offences in the field and an extra penalty of 30 seconds was added to his time.

Valtteri Bottas: 15th – 5

Plenty of battles, but not a result to remember for Valtteri Bottas in Austria. Wheel-to-wheel fighting has never been a strong element in his driving style, but today he did well and came out on top in the four-way scrap for sixteenth, which became fifteenth post-race.

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Photo by XPB / Icon Sport

Oscar Piastri: 16th – 4

A race to forget for Oscar Piastri in Austria. Not using the significant upgrade package hurt the rookie’s performance and chances of points were ruined when he damaged his front wing after contact with Magnussen early on. Points must be the goal from now on though.

Nyck de Vries: 17th – 6

Showing a fighting spirit and beating his teammate must feel good for Nyck de Vries, who is under big pressure to perform in order to keep his seat past the summer break. His battles against Magnussen were aggressive but fun and legitimately beating Tsunoda for the first time (the previous such occasion was in Monaco, where Tsunoda had brake issues) is undeniably a step in the right direction.

Kevin Magnussen: 19th – 4

We saw plenty of Kevin Magnussen on the broadcast today. Two trips on the gravel trap while battling with de Vries, contact with Piastri and various other battles constituted a busy day for the Dane, but not a good result ultimately.

Yuki Tsunoda: 18th – 3

Damaging your front wing on the first corner is never a positive and it was the start of a mediocre day for Yuki Tsunoda. A questionable strategy, a lack of pace and penalties contributed to making this race as one to forget for the Japanese driver, who has otherwise been consistently fast this season.

Nico Hulkenberg: DNF – 7

A brilliant qualifying effort put Nico Hulkenberg eighth on the grid and he even gained a place at the start. He held on very well early on, but his race was soon over, as a loss of power forced him to stop his car on track. Points were unlikely with Haas struggling with excessive tyre wear, but the German is on great form lately.

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