The most destructive drivers of the 2023 F1 season – who cost their team the most?

One F1 driver cost his team over $4 million in crash damage in 2023.

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Max Verstappen completed his record-breaking 2023 Formula 1 season with the least amount of crash damage on the grid – over 10 times less than the most destructive driver.

Reddit user u/basspro24chevy runs the ‘Destructors Championship’ over the season calculating crash damage from all 22 drivers who raced in F1 in 2023, having crowned a winner every season since 2019.

Defending back-to-back champion Mick Schumacher wasn’t on the grid to defend his crown this time around, Alex Albon is the only previous title-holder still on the F1 grid after claiming the inaugural crown in 2019.

Despite Schumacher‘s antics, Williams were the constructors’ winners last season, with Haas top of the standings in 2021 and 2020 when Romain Grosjean took the drivers’ title.

The values for each component are assigned by basspro24chevy and don’t include power unit issues, while the grand total for F1 crash damage in 2023 was an eye-watering $39,425,000.

Sargeant claims unwanted crown

Williams’ James Vowles and Logan Sargeant in conversation at the 2023 Bahrain GP | Williams F1 Team

Logan Sargeant remains the only driver on the 2023 F1 grid whose contract isn’t yet renewed for next season, and looking at this championship it’s easy to understand why.

He was the most expensive driver of the season according to these rankings, almost $700,000 ahead of the next driver. Sargeant also recorded the most expensive weekend of the year with his Dutch GP apparently costing almost $1.5 million in damage, and also topping the seven-figure mark at Suzuka.

Pierre Gasly and Sergio Perez were leaders earlier in the season, but that Zandvoort weekend fired Sargeant to the front and he’d never surrender the title from there.

Teammate Alex Albon was in sixth, the highest second-placed driver in a team, with tenth-placed Charles Leclerc the next highest. So it’s no surprise that Williams topped the constructors’ championship too, by $1,561,000 more than Ferrari.

For a team with one of the smallest financial backers on the F1 grid, it’s a significant blow – Schumacher’s damage bill in 2022 was a major reason behind Haas axing him.

Carlos Sainz is second, thanks entirely to his disastrous last two rounds of the season. The Spaniard netted just eight points across the Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi GPs, but wracked up a wallet-shattering $2 million in damage in the space of just over a week.

Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur did say the team would speak to the Las Vegas organisers over potential compensation after Sainz’s damage came from a track malfunction, but the two incidents catapulted him to runner-up from 11th in the championship.

Perez rounded out the podium, less than a quarter of a million dollars ahead of Esteban Ocon – the Mexican scored in every other race in the second half of the season.

Verstappen the class of the field – again

Max Verstappen celebrates after qualifying on pole for 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

At the other of the spectrum, Verstappen comes out best in yet another ranking. He’s scored the most points in a season in F1 history, managed the highest winning percentage, and could’ve won the constructors’ championship on his own.

Red Bull were also the best-performing team in the pitlane in 2023, and strategist Hannah Schmitz remains the envy of the paddock.

Max Verstappen was the most frugal driver in 2023, costing his team on just three occasions which summed a ‘paltry’ $345,000

However, Perez’s more lavish driving style meant four teams spent less money on repairs than Red Bull. Mercedes were the team with the smallest repair bill – half that of their Milton Keynes rivals – with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell both in the bottom five of the drivers’ damage standings.

Liam Lawson was technically the most economical driver on the grid in 2023 but the laws of the championship dictate a driver must race at least five rounds to be included.

That makes Nyck de Vries eligible, but the Dutchman still wracked up more damage in eight races than five other drivers who raced the full season.

F1 Drivers’ Destructors Championship 2023

Pos.DriverTeamDamage
1.Logan SargeantWilliams$4,333,000
2.Carlos SainzFerrari$3,644,000
3.Sergio PerezRed Bull$3,224,000
4.Esteban OocnAlpine$2,999,000
5.Lance StrollAston Martin$2,834,000
6.Alex AlbonWilliams$2,786,000
7.Kevin MagnussenHaas$2,576,000
8.Pierre GaslyAlpine$2,426,000
9.Oscar PiastriMcLaren$2,271,000
10.Charles LeclercFerrari$1,914,000
11.Nico HulkenbergHaas$1,557,000
12.Lando NorrisMcLaren$1,452,000
13.Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri$1,255,000
14.Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo$1,207,000
15.Nyck de VriesAlphaTauri$895,000
16.Lewis HamiltonMercedes$880,000
17.Fernando AlonsoAston Martin$830,000
18.Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo$700,000
19.George RussellMercedes$670,000
20.Daniel RicciardoAlphaTauri$627,000
21.Max VerstappenRed Bull$345,000
22.Liam LawsonAlphaTauri$0

F1 Constructors’ Destructors Championship 2023

Pos.TeamDamage
1.Williams$7,119,000
2.Ferrari$5,558,000
3.Alpine$5,425,000
4.Haas$4,113,000
5.McLaren$3,723,000
6.Aston Martin$3,664,000
7.Red Bull$3,569,000
8.AlphaTauri$2,777,000
9.Alfa Romeo$1,907,000
10Mercedes$1,550,000
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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