F1 2023 Driver Ratings – Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Here are our driver ratings for the second round of the 2023 Formula 1 season at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in Jeddah

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Sergio Perez banished the pain of 2022’s near miss by taking a commanding win in the 2023 Saudi Arabian GP, while his Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen salvaged second from 15th and also took the fastest lap.

George Russell was promoted to third after Fernando Alonso had 10 seconds onto his time after not serving a five-second time penalty correctly at his stop, with Lewis Hamilton a distant fifth.

Total-Motorsport.com rate all 20 drivers based on their qualifying and race performances at the Saudi Arabian 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. Instead, our ratings solely look at how well the drivers got on throughout the weekend in Jeddah.

2023 Saudi Arabian GP Driver Ratings

Sergio Perez 9/10

Started: 1st – Finished: 1st

Virtually flawless weekend from Perez, who dominated proceedings with Verstappen shuffled back. The race was a masterclass leading every lap in what was a masterclass in street circuit driving.

Max Verstappen 8/10

Started: 15th – Finished: 2nd

With the bit between his teeth, Verstappen had it all to do from 15th, but once again, the Dutchman drove another excellent race taking the fastest lap off Perez at the checkered flag.

George Russell 8/10 

Started: 3rd – Finished: 3rd

A great drive from Russell at a time when Mercedes’ morale could be seen as on the wane, securing his first trip to the rostrum, albeit after Alonso’s penalty was confirmed

George Russell smiles during the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Saturday|Jiri Krenek

Fernando Alonso 7/10

Started: 2nd – Finished: 4th

Another good weekend for Alonso, who briefly led at the start of the race only to be caught by Perez and Verstappen finishing third before being handed a 10-second penalty after serving his penalty incorrectly.

Lewis Hamilton 6/10

Started: 7th – Finished: 5th

In a weekend when off-track events raised headlines, Hamilton got his head down and delivered a good stint on the hards before moving up to fifth after the stops keeping both Ferraris at bay.

Carlos Sainz 5/10

Started: 4th – Finished: 6th 

With Leclerc stuck in the midfield, Sainz had an opportunity to capitalise, and for the first stint, he looked to be in a good position, but his second stint wasn’t so good, costing him a podium.

Charles Leclerc during practice for 2023 Saudi Arabian GP | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Charles Leclerc 7/10

Started: 12th – Finished: 7th

Once again, Leclerc continued to ring everything out of the Ferrari, qualifying an excellent second and charging up to seventh before a poor strategy halted his progress.

Esteban Ocon 6/10 

Started: 7th – Finished: 8th

Following his slew of penalties in Bahrain, Ocon had a much easier time of it in Jeddah, out-qualifying and finishing ahead of Gasly.

Pierre Gasly 6/10

Started: 9th – Finished: 9th

Another routine weekend in Jeddah for Gasly, bringing home another two points and continuing his solid start to 2023.

Kevin Magnussen 7/10

Started: 13th – Finished: 10th 

A gutsy weekend’s work for Magnussen, who finally got Haas on the board after making his way through the field and getting past Tsunoda in the closing stages.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team, on the grid during the 2023 Saudi Arabian GP | LAT Images / Haas F1 Team

Yuki Tsunoda 7/10

Started: 16th – Finished: 11th

So close yet so far for Tsunoda after a gallant drive where he dragged a sluggish AlphaTauri to the points-paying positions until Magnussen got by into Turn 1.

Nico Hulkenberg 5/10

Started: 10th – Finished: 12th

Yet another pointless weekend for Hulkenberg, who couldn’t match Magnussen’s pace and was left to fight with Sargeant in the latter stages.

Zhou Guanyu 5/10

Started: 11th – Finished: 13th

Zhou’s narrow Q2 exit would turn his race into a frustrating one as he got caught up in the DRS train and couldn’t challenge for points.

Nyck De Vries 3/10

Started: 18th – Finished: 14th

De Vries’s first visit to Jeddah couldn’t have gone much worse, as he was again out-qualified and out-raced by Tsunoda for the second weekend running.

Oscar Piastri 6/10 

Started: 8th – Finished: 15th

Progress at last for Piastri breaking into Q3 and out-qualifying Gasly, but his race was ruined at Turn 1 after making contact with the Frenchman damaging his front win. A solid comeback yielded no reward.

Oscar Piastri of McLaren | McLaren F1 Team

Logan Sargeant 4/10

Started: 20th – Finished: 16th

If an erratic qualifying had been avoided, Sargeant might have gotten within touching distance of points, but instead, it would be a frustrating race ruined by the safety car.

Lando Norris 3/10

Started: 19th – Finished: 17th

An off weekend for Norris, who clipped the wall in Q1 and then added to his misery with an early stop because of front wing damage. The race turned into a test session as a result.

Valtteri Bottas 5/10

Started: 14th Finished: 18th

One to forget for Bottas after being mired outside of the points-paying positions before gambling on a safety car which never came.

Alex Albon in the garage| Williams F1 Team

Alex Albon 5/10

Started: 17th – Finished: DNF

After the heroics of Sakhir, Jeddah was a bump back to earth for Albon after a sluggish qualifying. He had been running a respectable race only for brake failure to end his night.

Lance Stroll 6/10

Started: 5th Finished: DNF

A tidy albeit unspectacular weekend for Stroll, who continued to show good progress with fifth on the grid but was shuffled back following the stops and was in for a tough race before his retirement.

Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
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