Formula One

2023 Hungarian GP Driver Ratings – How did the drivers perform at the Hungaroring?

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Photo by XPB / Icon Sport

The Hungarian Grand Prix ended with Max Verstappen beating Lando Norris by 33 seconds for his seventh win in a row. There is plenty to unpack in the rest of the field though, so let’s do it in the Hungarian GP driver ratings, taking both Saturday and Sunday into account!

Max Verstappen, 1st – 8

Losing out on pole by just three thousandths of a second did not faze Max Verstappen, who bounced back for the race and took his seventh consecutive victory. It was an utterly commanding drive by the world championship leader, on a weekend where Red Bull were looking far from their usually dominant form and lost out on pole, after a couple of errors by the Dutchman.

Lando Norris, 2nd – 10

Another very solid drive for Lando Norris and a great result once again. He may have lost out to his teammate on the opening lap, but jumped him on the first round of stops, which played a crucial role in him finishing second, as he held Perez off by just four seconds at the chequered flag.

Sergio Perez, 3rd – 6

Sergio Perez may have ended the ‘curse’ for not reaching Q3, but qualifying was still a problem in Hungary. Starting ninth undoubtedly put him on the back foot, but he made a good recovery on a track that is renowned for the difficulty in overtaking. Third place at the end for the Mexican is a good result, but second would be on the cards with a batter starting spot.

Lewis Hamilton, 4th – 8

Lewis Hamilton shocked everyone by qualifying on pole position on Saturday, just edging out Verstappen at the end. It all came undone at the start though, as he fell behind Verstappen and both McLarens after battling with the Dutchman. A long second stint meant he lost out to Perez, but enabled him to pass Piastri for fourth.

Oscar Piastri, 5th – 7

What started as a very promising day for Oscar Piastri ended in somewhat of a disappointment. Starting fourth and gaining two position at the first corner was a great omen, but the pace was just not there, especially in the last two stints. At the end, he was 25 seconds behind his teammate, but it would surprise us if a problem surfaced in the closing laps.

George Russell, 6th – 8

For George Russell, qualifying was a disaster, but not so much of his own making, as Mercedes’ traffic management let him down and he would start eighteenth. A brilliant recovery on Sunday though, as he took the chequered flag in seventh and gained another position after Leclerc’s penalty in the final stint.

Charles Leclerc, 7th – 5

This was a bad day for Charles Leclerc and Ferrari. The pace of the red cars was nowhere in the entirety of the race, the stops were slow and the Monegasque driver made some errors of his own as well, most crucially speeding in the pits. That earned him a five second penalty, which cost him one position and dropped him to seventh, one position down on his starting spot.

Carlos Sainz, 8th – 4.5

A bad weekend for Carlos Sainz as well. He could not find pace in the medium tyres and was eliminated in Q2, albeit by just two thousandths of a second. Despite a good start and setbacks for Leclerc, he could not pass or even benefit from his teammate’s penalty, so eighth place was the final result.

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Photo by XPB / Icon Sport

Fernando Alonso, 9th – 5

The Hungaroring was thought to be a perfect place for Aston Martin to rebound after a couple of bad races, but that did not happen. The team could achieve no better than ninth, lacking pace to challenge the cars ahead for the entirety of the race. Ninth for Fernando Alonso in the end, which marks his worst result of the season.

Lance Stroll, 10th – 5

A bad qualifying put Lance Stroll fourteenth on the grid, but the race panned out better for the Canadian. Plenty of battles for him in the fringes of the top ten and he came out on top of those. A point is his reward, marking his return to the points after not scoring at Silverstone.

Alex Albon, 11th – 8

For Williams and Alex Albon, the predictions for the Hungarian GP were not promising, as the FW45 is a car that excels in low-drag circuits and the Hungaroring is quite the opposite. Eleventh at the end is a very good result though and it marks some real progress in the car, which is becoming all-around competitive.

Valtteri Bottas, 12th – 6.5

What could have been for Valtteri Bottas and Alfa Romeo. The car had real pace in qualifying and the Finn was seventh, two places behind his teammate. A bad start saw him drop down to twelfth though and he would never really recover, finishing in that position in the end, despite points looking like a probability after qualifying.

Daniel Ricciardo, 13th – 9

A great return for Daniel Ricciardo in Formula 1! Having never driven the Alpha Tauri car prior to Friday, a lot of people were predicting that the Aussie would be beaten by his teammate, but it wasn’t the case in either qualifying or the race. Thirteenth in both sessions for Ricciardo shows some real promise for the rest of the season, especially considering today’s result came after a setback in the first corner accident.

Nico Hulkenberg, 14th – 7.5

Another race, another Q3 appearance, another non-score for Nico Hulkenberg. The car is showing real pace in qualifying and -in contrast to his teammate- the German got the most out of it again. The race was not looking promising for Haas thanks to its high tyre degradation, but fourteenth was better than expected.

Yuki Tsunoda, 15th – 4.5

A bad weekend of Yuki Tsunoda, on a weekend he needed to prove that he has made substantial progress this season. He ran just outside the points early on, but really dropped off after a bad stop and he could not recover, finishing fifteenth eventually.

Guanyu Zhou, 16th – 3

Guanyu Zhou was probably the star of qualifying, as he took advantage of the great performance of his Alfa Romeo to qualify fifth for the Grand Prix! However, it all turned into a disaster very early. A shocking launch put him down the order and contact with Ricciardo at the first corner led to both Alpines retiring and himself being penalised. Sixteenth in the end for the Chinese driver, an utterly disappointing result.

Zhou Guanyu and Kevin Magnussen are receiving the lowest grades in the 2023 Hungarian GP Driver Ratings
Photo by XPB / Icon Sport

Kevin Magnussen, 17th – 2

The drop-off in Kevin Magnussen’s form has been one of the mysteries of the season, as the Dane seems unable to challenge his teammate in any form throughout the season. He was again eliminated in Q1, while Hulkenberg progressed to Q3, and spent most of the race at the back once again. He was the last to cross the line, more than twenty seconds behind any other car.

Logan Sargeant, 18th – 3.5

An anonymous event for Logan Sargeant, who was not able to keep his upward trajectory into Hungary. He qualified last on Sunday and was running fifteenth towards the end of the race, until he spun and parked his car.

Esteban Ocon, DNF – 5

Esteban Ocon’s race ended before it even started, as Zhou pushing Ricciardo into the Alpines put an end to both his and his teammate’s race. Outqualifying Gasly on Saturday was the only positive sign of the weekend for Ocon, although both were eliminated in Q2.

Pierre Gasly, DNF – 4.5

A bad weekend for both Pierre Gasly and Alpine, the Frenchman also a victim of the opening lap crash. Starting from fifteenth put him in a bad spot for the start, in a weekend where the team were lacking speed throughout.

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