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Formula 1: Ranking The Top 10 Drivers Of The Season

The 2023 Formula 1 season saw 22 drivers squeeze into the narrow confines of their powerful hybrid open-wheel race cars.


The 2023 Formula 1 season saw 22 drivers squeeze into the narrow confines of their powerful hybrid open-wheel race cars.

To make this article easier to digest we’ve rounded up the 10 drivers who we think performed well over the season in races and qualifying sessions.

Number 10 on our list is Pierre Gasly. The new boy at Alpine understandably took a bit longer to acclimatise to a new car, but the Frenchman soon got to grips with an A523. Two third place finishes at the Belgium Sprint and Dutch Grand Prix were the highlights. 

Number 9 is Mercedes’ George Russell. The British driver scored a maiden F1 win in 2022, but could only manage two podiums in 2023. He showed flashes of good pace but failed to deliver as many polished performances as he would’ve liked. 

Number 8 is rookie of the year Oscar Piastri. The Australian made a strong start to his F1 career and like teammate Lando Norris benefited from McLaren’s upgrades further into the season. He got undone by the timing of the safety car in Silverstone but went on to score his first points in Japan with the third spot and then a second-place finish in Qatar. 

Number 7 is Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz. The Spanish driver was the only non-Red Bull race winner and performed well above his weight after the summer break. However, he was slightly slower than teammate Charles Leclerc over the season. 

Number 6 is Alex Albon. The Thai driver used the 2023 as a blank canvas to show the F1 world he still has the goods. The Williams driver single handedly helped the team bag seventh place in the constructors’ championship, scoring 27 of the team’s 28 points.

Number 5 on our list is seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. The British driver was rightly frustrated with the W14, but he never looked fully focused in 2023. He drove well to keep Sergio Perez honest in the fight for second place, but ultimately the Mexican’s poor performances propped Hamilton up. 

Number 4 is another British driver – Lando Norris. The McLaren man was rapid on a Sunday but lacked qualifying pace. He stacked up seven podium finishes but failed to land a maiden win. 

Number 3 is Charles Leclerc. The Monegasque once again showed his extraordinary one-lap pace with five pole positions in 2023. The Ferrari driver was plagued by a host of issues including stodgy reliability and dodgy strategy calls, but his ability shone through. 

Number 2 is the comeback of the year: Fernando Alonso. The 42-year-old Spanish driver showed his hunger and determination by churning out six podium finishes in the first eight Grand Prix. How he managed to score podiums at Zandvoort and Interlagos is the stuff of legends. He failed to win a race but scored fourth in the drivers’ standings. 

He swept past everyone this season with a wry smile and a cackle to his engineer over the radio. The number 1 driver in 2023 was always Max Verstappen. 19 wins from 22 races while embarrassing teammate Perez showed just how big the gap is between the triple world champion and the rest of the field. 

Sean Parker is a motorsport journalist and sports content creator at The South African. He has worked for the country's premier motoring publications, and is a Formula 1 contributor to, the Bet Central podcast, and Vision View Sports radio.

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