F1 2023 Driver Ratings – Bahrain Grand Prix

Here are our driver ratings for the opening round of the 2023 Formula 1 season at the Bahrain Grand Prix in Sakhir


Max Verstappen dominated the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix as he led a Red Bull 1-2 from teammate Sergio Perez in the season-opening Formula 1 race in Sakhir.

Fernando Alonso was third after taking advantage of Charles Leclerc‘s control electronics failure and overtaking George Russell, Lewis Hamilton and Carlos Sainz with some stunning overtakes.

Total-Motorsport.com rate all 20 drivers based on their qualifying and race performances at the Bahrain GP.

Team errors such as a slow pit-stop or poor strategy do not affect our ratings as they are no fault of the drivers. Our ratings solely look at how well the drivers got on throughout the weekend in Sakhir.

2023 Bahrain GP Driver Ratings

Max Verstappen 9/10

Started: 1st – Finished: 1st

Utter dominance from Verstappen, a stunning weekend as he picks up where he left off from 2022.

Sergio Perez 7/10

Started: 2nd – Finished: 2nd

Perez was second-best to Verstappen when it mattered most, but did enough to make it a 1-2, so did his job for Red Bull.

Fernando Alonso 8/10

Started: 5th – Finished: 3rd

Anyone who doubted Alonso when he announced his return three years ago, think again. Such good racecraft, though it wasn’t for a few scares, and brilliantly managed his tyres.

Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso on the podium at the Bahrain GP | Red Bull Content Pool

Carlos Sainz 6.5/10

Started: 4th – Finished: 4th

A bit underwhelming for Carlos Sainz as he was outpaced by Charles Leclerc all weekend, even a second run in Q3 couldn’t get him ahead and his race pace didn’t make you go wow, compared to the Monegasque.

Lewis Hamilton 7.5/10

Started: 7th – Finished: 5th

Lewis Hamilton was outqualified by George Russell, having been ahead in practice, but had the upper hand on race pace and largely maximised his car’s performance. Maybe he could have got Sainz near the end.

Lance Stroll 7/10

Started: 8th – Finished: 6th

Lance Stroll showed great courage to drive with an injured wrist and toe after it looked like he was in serious pain during Friday practice. To beat a Mercedes was very good.

Lance Stroll in the Aston Martin ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in 2023 Bahrain GP practice | Aston Martin F1 Team

George Russell 7/10

Started: 7th – Finished: 7th

George Russell appeared to be overdriving slightly, almost in frustration, when he wanted to get past Hamilton in the first stint and Stroll in the final stint – not his best showing on Sunday.

Valtteri Bottas 7.5/10

Started: 12th – Finished: 8th

Valtteri Bottas had a great race and came out on top in a very tight midfield battle, anyone who finishes first outside of the front four team will have done a superb job in any race this year.

Pierre Gasly 6.5/10

Started: 20th – Finished: 9th

A poor qualifying from Gasly, exacerbated by his lap deletion for track limits, but he made up for it by making the most of Alpine‘s strong race pace in Sakhir.

Alex Albon 7/10

Started: 15th – Finished: 10th

Williams have a much better car than expected and Alex Albon got a crucial point from it with a handy drive.

Yuki Tsunoda 7/10

Started: 14th – Finished: 11th

The same can be said about AlphaTauri and Yuki Tsunoda clearly had the advantage over Nyck de Vries. Tsunoda has gone well around Bahrain in the past and he proved it again this weekend.

Logan Sargeant 6.5/10

Started: 16th – Finished: 12th

Sargeant was by far the most impressive of the rookies, very unfortunate not to reach the second part of qualifying and match Albon for pace in the race.

Logan Sargeant of Williams during 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix | Williams F1 Team

Kevin Magnussen 5.5/10

Started: 17th – Finished: 13th

Kevin Magnussen didn’t look good compared to Nico Hulkenberg as Haas will be very disappointed with their season-opener after much optimism after testing.

Nyck de Vries 4.5/10

Started: 19th – Finished: 14th

A very poor qualifying from De Vries but he was better in the race. Work to do though if he wants to be ahead of Tsunoda.

Nico Hulkenberg 6.5/10

Started: 10th – Finished: 15th

Impossive to judge Nico Hulkenberg‘s race because he was driving with a damaged front wing for most of it. His qualifying was great though.

Nico Hulkenberg at the 2023 Bahrain GP | Haas

Zhou Guanyu 5/10

Started: 13th – Finished: 16th

A difficult race for Zhou who didn’t quite have the pace of Bottas but he did take the fastest lap of the Grand Prix which was very clever from Alfa Romeo to take that extra point away from Alpine‘s Gasly.

Lando Norris 7.5/10

Started: 11th – Finished: 17th

You have to feel for Lando Norris because he is making McLaren look better than they are, as he has done over the last two years.

Esteban Ocon 3/10

Started: 9th – Finished: DNF

An absolute nightmare race for Esteban Ocon, as he has three penalties in the race, a joint-record for the most times a driver has been penalised in a Grand Prix. The inaccurate starting position and speeding in the pit lane can only be put on him, the incorrect serving of one his penalties was the team’s fault.

Oscar Piastri in front of Charles Leclerc at 2023 Bahrain GP | McLaren F1 Team

Charles Leclerc 8.5/10

Started: 3rd – Finished: DNF

Charles Leclerc did everything right in qualifying and the race, but reliability let him down again. So frustrating for the Ferrari driver

Oscar Piastri 4/10

Started: 18th – Finished: DNF

Not exactly a good debut for Oscar Piastri as he was nowhere near Norris, but it’s his first race so we have to give him time.

Nigel Chiu
Nigel Chiuhttps://total-motorsport.com/author/nigel-chiu/
Nigel Chiu is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who worked at Total-Motorsport for 18 months until May 2023. He has been following F1 since 2007 and hasn’t missed a Grand Prix weekend since. Nigel’s worked with several motorsport websites, plus Eurosport and subsequently went on to work with Sky Sports F1 where he travels to multiple F1 races each season.
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