The 2022 silly season was one of the wildest in recent F1 history, and the result means there’s a shaken-up grid for the 2023 F1 season that includes three full-time rookies, a returning veteran and only four teams retaining their lineups from a year ago.
The top teams field unchanged lineups but it was all change in the midfield, Alfa Romeo are the only other team showing consistency from 2022 as they retain Zhou Guanyu, who’s out of contract at the end of 2023, and Valtteri Bottas.
Nyck de Vries also makes his full-time F1 debut having made a stand-in appearance in 2022, he’s one of four new faces on the grid.
Also returning is Nico Hulkenberg – though with significantly more F1 experience than the Dutchman, whilst Australian Oscar Piastri and American Logan Sargeant will make their debuts at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Sargeant‘s a straight swap at Williams for Nicholas Latifi who endured a dismal 2022, and Piastri replaces Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren after the winner of eight grand prix was released from his contract a year early.
De Vries is technically replacing Sebastian Vettel as the four-time world champion retired at the end of 2022, his seat was taken by Fernando Alonso, whose Alpine seat was filled by Pierre Gasly, and De Vries replaced the Frenchman at AlphaTauri.
Red Bull 2023 F1 driver lineup
Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez
The highest-paid driver lineup on the 2023 F1 grid, thanks to Verstappen‘s monster $55 million contract that expires in 2028. The Dutchman is the fastest man in motorsports and entered 2023 off the back of two successive world championships.
Perez locked up a two-year extension at Red Bull until the end of 2024 following his win at the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix, but that came back to haunt him later in the season at the Brazilian Grand Prix as Verstappen took revenge for Perez deliberately crashing in qualifying to give him track position over his teammate at Monte Carlo.
A previously harmonious relationship, it remains to be seen if Verstappen‘s fractured the partnership permanently.
Ferrari 2023 F1 driver lineup
Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz
The man who looked like the favourite for the 2022 world championship early on, Leclerc will be desperate to go one better than his second-place finish in the standings.
Ferrari are a team that was on the up led by Mattia Binotto after an awful 2020 season where they finished sixth in the constructors’ championship, but he’s been replaced by Fred Vasseur – Leclerc‘s team principal in his debut 2018 season at Sauber.
Leclerc‘s a brutally quick qualifier who took nine pole positions in 2022 but only converted two into wins, so there’s a clear work-on for 2023.
Sainz is the highest-paid ‘second driver’ on the grid, raking in $12 million in 2023, but he’ll be looking to challenge that tag and take the challenge to Leclerc – the Spaniard took his first F1 win in 2022 but finished fifth behind George Russell in an inferior Mercedes.
Mercedes 2023 F1 driver lineup
Lewis Hamilton and George Russell
The strongest 2023 driver lineup. Hamilton‘s the numerically greatest driver in F1 history with seven world championships and and 103 wins, and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down after he turned 38 at the start of 2023.
Russell showed great promise in junior formulas and at Williams, and in his first year at Mercedes he showed the hype was justified as he took his first race victory and beat Hamilton in the championship.
Hamilton was the slightly stronger driver over the 2022 season but it will be fascinating to see how the next instalment of their battle goes.
Alpine 2023 F1 driver lineup
Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly
One of the more combustible F1 2023 lineups, Ocon and Gasly have a feud that dates back to their karting days as they form an all-French team and driver combination at Alpine.
While they both claim to have buried the hatchet, Gasly wasn’t Ocon‘s first choice for the seat (it was Mick Schumacher) and he comes to the team after a down season at AlphaTauri.
However, he’s a race winner that’s previously starred for the Red Bull junior team and has rebuilt his reputation fantastically after failing at Red Bull in 2019.
Ocon is also a fast driver on his day and stood up respectably to Fernando Alonso in their two years as teammates.
McLaren 2023 F1 driver lineup
Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri
One of the most talented lineups on the grid, Norris was a top-three driver in 2022 and he’ll again be spearheading the team in search of his first race win.
Piastri was the story of the summer as he switched to McLaren after three years as an Alpine junior, and he was the hottest young prospect on the market.
The Australian won an unprecedented triple of F2, F3 and Formula Renault Eurocup in three successive years, and is the most decorated driver to step up to F1 in the last decade.
Alfa Romeo 2023 F1 driver lineup
Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu
A clear step-down from the top half of the 2022 constructors’ championship, Alfa Romeo retained their drivers so Bottas leads the team.
He’s still a class operator though, if the ex-Mercedes man can recapture his form from the start of 2022, when he managed five top-eight finishes in six races, he’ll be a great asset for Alfa Romeo.
Zhou applied himself well in 2022 and definitely earned the respect of his team, but there are question marks over his ability to build on that for 2023.
Never a superstar in junior racing, Zhou‘s contract is up this year and he’ll be desperate to prove himself to the team, who will partner with Audi in 2026.
Aston Martin 2023 F1 driver lineup
Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll
Definitely a front-loaded driver lineup, Alonso remains one of the fastest drivers in the sport after he switched teams for the seventh time in his F1 career – from Alpine to Aston Martin.
Son of team owner Lawrence Stroll, Lance is a streaky driver who’s capable of big moments – look no further than his pole position at the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix – but can also go missing for stretches in the season too.
Stroll looked good at the end of the 2022 season but he’ll really struggle to beat his two-time world champion teammate. Whatever happens this season, his seat is likely secure as long as his dad owns the team.
Haas 2023 F1 driver lineup
Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg
A veteran lineup with 322 races between them, the pair famously exchanged a foul-mouthed spat at the 2017 Hungarian Grand Prix after Magnussen ran Hulkenberg off the track.
Magnussen was a last-minute replacement for Nikita Mazepin at the start of the 2022 season and although the ex-McLaren man started spectacularly, he faded over the course of the year. With a season back and a full off-season behind him heading into 2023, he should remain sharp across the whole of 2023.
Hulkenberg‘s full-time F1 career ended in 2019 but he’s raced five times since them, and qualified a stunning third for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix in 2020 for Racing Point.
He also impressed for Aston Martin at the start of 2022 and having shown the F1 world what it’s missing, he more than deserved a full-time recall, replacing Mick Schumacher at Haas.
AlphaTauri 2023 F1 driver lineup
Yuki Tsunoda and Nyck de Vries
Arguably the most enigmatic driver lineup in 2023, Tsunoda‘s seemingly in a prove-it year following two seasons in F1 where he’s shown potential but plenty of flaws.
He came into F1 as a really inexperienced racer with only four full seasons in cars behind him, but he’s not always endeared himself to AlphaTauri and with Red Bull decisively splitting from Honda for 2026, he really needs to show what he can do as his contract expires in 2023.
By contrast, De Vries won his F2 championship after eight seasons of racing and four years older than Tsunoda, it looked like his chance at F1 had passed.
But after winning the 2021 Formula E championship, he finally gets his shot at F1 with an AlphaTauri team that will be determined to bounce back from a poor 2022 season.
Williams 2023 F1 driver lineup
Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant
Albon resurrected his career in 2022 at Williams after he’d failed at Red Bull, and he faces an unknown quantity in Logan Sargeant. The first American driver in F1 since 2015 finished fourth in F2 in 2022 to secure his Williams seat, but fans may have to wait a season to Sargeant‘s best in F1. Meanwhile, Albon should lead the team with aplomb.