Round 3 F1 driver power rankings: The rise of the Frenchman
Australia is behind us as we are now three rounds in to the 2023 F1 season. With that in mind, I’m back to bring you the latest edition of the F1 driver 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!
Rather than rank all 20 drivers on the grid, I have made it more streamlined and easier by simply bringing the top 10 drivers. As always this means that some drivers drop out, and a couple have jumped in after my last rankings.
You can also check out my team power rankings too for a similar analysis.
Let’s get to it.
10. Nico Hulkenberg (new)
A great race from Hulkenberg saw points for him and a great qualifying too saw his first Q3 appearance of the season. Could’ve been even higher for him had there not been a third red flag after the third restart, but points are points and he’ll definitely take them.
(Photo by Formula Nerds)
9. Charles Leclerc (-2)
Oof. Charles. How can it keep getting worse? The fact he retains his spot in the top 10 comes from his retirement being no fault of his own, and had he stayed in the race then I’m sure he would’ve been solidly in the points. But alas, he didn’t and alas he wasn’t. The car isn’t horrible and there is enough pace that should see recovery soon to be the second best in the field. But second best is not good enough for Ferrari, and definitely not good enough for Leclerc. Let’s just hope there is some light at the end of the tunnel soon.
8. Alex Albon (new)
The pace in that Williams is there and Albon was on fire across the weekend. Points were lost after his crash, but Albon is looking great at the moment and that car seemingly is getting better. The likeable Thai driver will definitely relish this moving forward and we can expect many more points to come across the season at this rate.
7. Lewis Hamilton (-1)
I feel so bad dropping Hamilton a spot given he drove so well across the weekend and got a great podium, but it mainly comes from those above him also driving great and improving. A slight concern for him will come from the fact that he continues to be outpaced by his teammate, but Hamilton left Albert Park happy, and that’s a good thing for F1.
6. Pierre Gasly (+2)
An incredible weekend by Gasly which was cruelly not shown on the points tally due to the farcical end to the race. The pace in the Alpine was there all weekend and would’ve finished in fifth place without all the carnage. There is every chance Alpine could challenge the likes of Ferrari and Mercedes and Aston Martin at certain race tracks, adding a potential fifth team in the mix for podiums moving forward. Let’s just hope for Gasly that he can get a bit of luck to add to this new found pace.
5. Lance Stroll (-)
Another very solid weekend by the Canadian that once again goes unnoticed by many. Split the Ferraris in qualifying, got baulked slightly in the race by Gasly, but remained out of trouble to get fourth and his best result of the year. Could’ve been on the podium had Fernando Alonso not recovered from being taken out by Carlos Sainz and he didn’t go off on cold tyres on the restart, but will be happy with his result and continue helping out Aston Martin in banking important points in the Constructors Championship.
(Photo by F1 Briefings)
4. George Russell (-)
Could’ve been on pole on Saturday and should’ve been on the podium on Sunday. Russell continues to dominate Hamilton on many levels and showcase his supreme skill moving forward. As soon as Mercedes sort their car out, look out for Russell, as I’m sure he’ll be a regular title contender as soon as that happens.
3. Sergio Perez (-1)
Feel cruel dropping Perez a spot as he has been driving so great all year, but really feel like I don’t have a choice. The issues on Saturday with his car hampered him and he looked like he just couldn’t do anything to stay on track at all. But drove a very solid and strong race on Sunday to be awarded driver of the day and ultimately set the fastest lap. So all wasn’t lost. Look out for him in Baku, a race he has won before. That’s where I’m sure we’ll see Perez back on point.
2. Fernando Alonso (+1)
Probably his luckiest podium of the year given the retirement of Russell, but you still can’t take away from just how solid and well he is driving. Was in the top 5 all weekend and never looked like being challenged for that, and drove incredibly well during the race that he could’ve finished in second had it not been to a strong race by his former rival and teammate Hamilton. You just sense a win will come this year, and perhaps sometime soon. And I’m pretty sure that nobody would be upset with that.
1. Max Verstappen (-)
Didn’t put a foot wrong all weekend, with the exception of a slight run off during the race which he said he was “simply mowing the grass for the city”. In such hot form, I can’t see him moving from this spot all season.
What do you think of these rankings? Do you agree with the positions? Let me know what you think in the comments below.