Round 1 F1 team power rankings: Beware the green monster
The first round of the 2023 F1 season is behind us and after an interesting race, I’m back to bring you the latest edition of the F1 team power rankings.
As always with any power rankings, these are subjective and based purely on opinion mixed with results. Are these 100 per cent accurate? Inside my mind, yes! Outside of it, no. But it’s a nice way to spark some discussion, showcase some form and allow a conversation that brings F1 fans closer together – and maybe also further apart at the same time. Fun, right? Always!
You can also check out my driver power rankings too for a similar analysis.
Let’s get to it.
10. McLaren (-1)
It couldn’t have gotten any worse for McLaren. A retirement for Oscar Piastri on debut and about 56 pit stops for Lando Norris during the race. This was on top of poor pace a generally underwhelming weekend. There is a lot of work to do for Team Papaya moving forward.
9. AlphaTauri (-1)
Another team struggling for pace is AlphaTauri. Both Nyck de Vries and Yuki Tsunoda didn’t exactly set the world alight in Bahrain, although both seemed somewhat satisfied with their performance on Sunday considering where they had been on Saturday.
(Photo by Clive Mason – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
8. Haas (-1)
An incredible qualifying by Nico Hulkenberg couldn’t be backed up in the race, with the pace of him and Kevin Magnussen going absolutely nowhere on Sunday. Both drivers were lapped and didn’t seem anywhere close to a points finish which would be concerning, but there is a bit more pace from the American team than those below them on this list.
7. Alpine (-1)
A stunning drive by Pierre Gasly from last to ninth helped save the team from a completely poor weekend. The car doesn’t look terrible and there is definitely room for improvement. It just didn’t seemingly work out completely in Bahrain. I also believe at the time of writing this, Esteban Ocon is still serving a penalty. So hopefully he’ll get through all of them by the time Saudi Arabia comes next week.
6. Williams (+4)
Well, this was a nice surprise. Williams with some solid pace and fighting for points. Incredible to see. Alex Albon was a man possessed in Bahrain, easily getting into Q2 and unlucky not to make it further, before finishing in the points and bringing Williams their first points in the opening race of a season since 2017.
Logan Sargeant, on the other hand, was easily the standout rookie of the weekend, being incredibly unlucky not to make Q2 and finished in 12th place, just outside the points. Look out F1 midfield in 2023. Williams are back.
5. Alfa Romeo (-)
Alfa Romeo looked great on the weekend, especially in the hands of Valtteri Bottas. The Finn/sorta Aussie was in incredible form, especially on Sunday, racing with cars higher than him and ending in a strong eighth place. And while Zhou Guanyu didn’t finish in the top 10, he managed to set the fastest lap of the race in the closing stages, denying an extra point to rivals Alpine in the process.
Alfa often start the season well and then drop off in the back end so it’ll be interesting to see if this early season form can remain. But as of right now, they’re looking great.
4. Mercedes (-)
Mercedes really are just…there. They didn’t come out firing any better than people predicted, and also didn’t exactly drop off more than anybody predicted. They are basically where many thought they would be.
The fact though that Toto Wolff admitted they haven’t gotten the car right and are set to struggle once again is of concern, but as long as both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell can keep scoring consistent points, they’ll be exactly where they are right now.
Lewis Hamilton is looking to bounce back in 2023. (Photo by Michael Potts/BSR Agency/Getty Images)
3. Ferrari (-1)
Ooof. Yeah. It’s another potentially long season for Ferrari fans. Things were looking solid enough for a third and fourth place finish for Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz but an engine blow up for Leclerc set the Scuderia on the back foot to rivals Red Bull once again. Even more concerning was the late overtake by Fernando Alonso on Sainz to deny the team a podium altogether.
The pace is there over one lap, but race pace seems to be an issue as well. It’s early days, yes, but there is plenty of work to be done by the team if they want to come close to challenging for their first title of any kind since 2008.
2. Aston Martin (+1)
The hype is real. Aston Martin have arrived. A stunning performance by the team saw them score their first podium in the opening round of a race since 1999 (as Jordan) and back up every prediction that they can challenge for podiums and even wins in 2023.
Alonso seemingly has finally made a right team move and brought back memories of the mid-2000s ‘Nando who many fell in love with during the weekend. A truly incredible performance by the oldest man on the grid.
Added to that an incredible drive by Lance Stroll to secure sixth place, and the British team are sitting comfortably in second in the Constructors’ Championship. Look out 2023, the apple cart has been disturbed.
1. Red Bull (-)
Never in doubt for Red Bull. A dominant performance across the entire weekend sees the team in ominous form ahead of the rest of the season. Max Verstappen was never challenged out front, while Sergio Perez delivered a strong performance to give the team their first ever 1-2 to open a season in their 18-year history.
The record for most wins in a season by a team is 19 by Mercedes in 2016. At this rate, that record could very well be in danger in 2023.
What do you think of these rankings? Do you agree with the positions? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
This article was originally written for The Roar. You can read the published version here