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2023 F1 mid-season driver ratings

Here is how RacingNews365 has rated the performance of each driver so far.

F1 has reached the midpoint of its summer break as the Dutch Grand Prix begins to loom closer.

Max Verstappen will return with a 125-point lead at the top of the Drivers' standings safe in the knowledge that, barring catastrophe, he will secure a third successive title.

But how has each driver performed? Here are RacingNews365's mid-season driver ratings!

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Daniel Ricciardo - N/A

Two races aren't enough to cast judgement on Daniel Ricciardo's return, though there are promising signs that the Australian of old has been sparked back into life.

Points would have been on the cards in Hungary had it not been for getting caught up in the first corner meleé, whilst a solid performance in Belgium saw him navigate a tricky Sprint weekend without incident.

Nyck de Vries - 4

Ricciardo's predecessor Nyck de Vries saw his F1 dream ended after just 10 races with AlphaTauri.

The Dutchman's performances were not disastrous and one feels he would still have a seat at any other team on the grid.

But a number of mistakes were repeated throughout his time with the team and with no signs of improvement, the axe came swinging.

A victim of circumstances perhaps, but disappointing nonetheless.

Logan Sargeant - 5

American Logan Sargeant has shown flashes of a very quick F1 driver across his opening half a season with Williams.

His mark is affected by too many mistakes leaving him yet to string together a complete, cohesive weekend.

Form has definitely picked up since the Austrian Grand Prix - even if results don't show it - and having been thrown in at the deep end, Sargeant certainly has plenty of scope for improvement.

The jury remains out, but don't be surprised if points are just around the corner once a full weekend is put together.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Kevin Magnussen - 6

In fairness to Kevin Magnussen, many of his limitations have been down to Haas and its own issues.

Tyre degradation and overheating have left its drivers sitting ducks in races, so judging the Dane's form is far from simple.

But the fact teammate Nico Hulkenberg is outperforming him so far is a surprise given the German's three-year spell on the sidelines and his performances have cast a shadow over Magnussen.

Let's see how he improves against his teammate in the final 10 races.

Lance Stroll - 6.5

There is no doubt that Lance Stroll has been left behind by teammate Fernando Alonso in disappointing fashion.

A 102-point gap between the two drivers shows just how much the Canadian has struggled against the two-time champion, with results leaving Stroll ninth in the standings despite Aston Martin boasting third in the Constructors' championship.

This alone could have pushed his mark lower than 6.5, but mitigation and admiration must be given for how Stroll fought through the pain barrier of broken bones in both wrists and a big toe to drive in the early stages of the season - the effects of which are likely to still be playing a part in his form.

Valtteri Bottas - 6.5

Just looking at the Drivers' standings and head-to-head records may make putting Valtteri Bottas behind teammate Zhou Guanyu a surprise.

But the Finn has been under par on his own high level so far this season and his bad events have been really bad, which prompts concern of a downward spiral.

Alfa Romeo's lack of competitiveness may be part of the problem - motivation for someone who is used to challenging for wins and podiums will be hard to maintain - but there is no reason to believe off the back of pace shown in Hungary and Belgium why Bottas can't strike back in the second half of the season.

Zhou Guanyu - 7

Conversely, Zhou's improvement from his rookie season has been fascinating to watch.

The Chinese driver is quickly establishing himself as a solid F1 driver, with qualifying and race pace to match as well as astute race craft.

His qualifying performance at the Hungarian Grand Prix, where he took fifth on the grid, demonstrated just what Zhou can do and any chance of a strong result was cruelly taken away by a start-line systems glitch.

All that is left to see is how far this upward trajectory can take Zhou on his F1 journey.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Pierre Gasly - 7

The Belgian Grand Prix Sprint Saturday was a much-needed strong point for Pierre Gasly during a season that has been neither here nor there for the Frenchman.

Gasly joined Alpine from AlphaTauri but with the team struggling for form, he has been unable to stamp his authority on the midfield.

A glance at the standings shows a 13-point gap between him and teammate Esteban Ocon, but third in the Spa Sprint may be a sign that Gasly has now settled at his new team.

Nico Hulkenberg - 7

For the reasons mentioned with teammate Magnussen, Hulkenberg has been unable to shine with points-paying performances with the limitations of the VF-23.

But the German has been scintillating over one lap with a number of stunning qualifying performances underlining just why Haas brought him back to the F1 grid.

No performance was more impressive than his effort for second on the grid at the Canadian Grand Prix, though this was taken away by virtue of a penalty post-qualifying.

If only Haas could solve its tyre overheating issues...

Carlos Sainz - 7

Ferrari's own struggles haven't helped Carlos Sainz but reaching the summer break without a podium to his name is a disappointing return.

Teammate Charles Leclerc has been the pick of the two and Sainz's reaction to his Belgian GP clash with Oscar Piastri, which took both out of the race, hinted at pressure being applied.

There have been no disastrous patches as experienced in the early stages of last season and the gap between the two stands at seven points. With Sainz not quite hitting the heights of Leclerc, the gap in the mark is fair.

George Russell - 7.5

A frustrating season for George Russell has seen flashes of brilliance interrupted by a number of errors, leaving him well behind teammate Lewis Hamilton.

Mercedes sits second in the standings and Russell, despite being taken out of a battle for victory with Verstappen in Australia, has been largely anonymous in the battle for podiums.

Only one has come his way at the Spanish Grand Prix and even then he trailed his seven-time champion teammate - though he may have been ahead had it not been for a dreadful qualifying.

That wasn't his only poor Saturday and there is no doubt Russell will be aiming for improvement, starting at Zandvoort.

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	© XPBimages

Yuki Tsunoda - 7.5

AlphaTauri has struggled with the AT04 but Tsunoda has still managed to finish in the top 10 on three occasions.

The Japanese driver has hardly put a foot wrong after two seasons riddled with errors, demonstrating a vast improvement over the winter.

His pace has been outstanding - so much so that de Vries' deficiencies may have been masked.

There is still some inconsistency within his performances which needs to be ironed out if a future Red Bull seat is on his mind, but the respect shown from his rivals so far prove how big a step forward has been taken.

Oscar Piastri - 7.5

McLaren's struggles early in the season perhaps masked Piastri's early form, but since a major upgrade package was added to his MCL60 at Silverstone, the rookie has been stellar.

A podium went begging in Britain when an untimely Safety Car was deployed, whilst in Belgium he took the fight to Max Verstappen in the Sprint as the Spa track dried.

The usual rookie problems of learning the characteristics of the Pirelli tyres and how they need to be nursed through various stages of a stint have taken further strong results away, but on the whole the Australian has been impressive.

Piastri is a star of the future.

Esteban Ocon - 7.5

There is little to choose between Gasly and Ocon apart from the fact the latter has turned in the more eye-catching performances.

It has often been Ocon's way to fly under the radar whilst his teammate gets the attention and plaudits, so a podium after a brilliant qualifying in Monaco was just reward for his efforts.

He has continued to build with the Enstone-based team and when it finally has its issues resolved, there is no reason to believe Ocon won't be able to challenge the podium regulars.

Sergio Perez- 7.5

There will be divided opinions on whether Sergio Perez warrants a higher or lower rating.

On the one hand, his rough patch midway through the first 12 races - where he failed to reach Q3 on five successive occasions despite the dominance of the RB19 - leave him 125 points down on teammate Verstappen.

On the other hand, Perez's pace in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan - where he took victories to underline what was then perceived as a title challenge - was sublime and proof enough that he is capable of matching Verstappen moving forwards.

The final two races before the break demonstrated an improvement in performance from the Mexican, now he just needs to build on that momentum to secure a comfortable second in the Drivers' standings.

			© RN365/Michael Potts
	© RN365/Michael Potts

Lando Norris - 8

The surprise of the past four races has been Lando Norris and McLaren.

The Briton has been outstanding since the Woking-based team brought its upgrade package - troubling the podium in Austria before pushing Verstappen for pole at his home race.

Second at Silverstone and in Hungary provided a welcome boost to his points tally before he fought through issues in Belgium to finish seventh.

There is every chance Norris will emerge as Verstappen's nearest challenger if McLaren continues its upward trend and if any hardship hits the Dutchman, a first F1 win could come the Briton's way.

Charles Leclerc - 8

A far from flawless season so far from Leclerc as incidents continue to creep into his performances [two crashes in Miami underline this concern].

But the Monégasque's blistering pace has seen him pick up Ferrari's headline results.

Pole position at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix led to Leclerc being mooted as the best qualifier in F1, whilst podiums in Baku, Austria and Belgium have kept him in the top five of the Drivers' standings.

With Ferrari seemingly beginning to get on top of tyre wear issues, Leclerc may be given the chance to settle in the second half of the season and focus on staying on the limit and not over it.

Alex Albon - 8.5

Eleven points for Albon in the Williams is a magnificent return and the Thai-Briton is right at the top of his game.

Galvanised by his return from a year on the sidelines, Albon was impressive last season but has taken a massive step this term, extracting every last tenth of performance from the car.

Seventh at the Canadian Grand Prix is right up there for drive of the season, even with some of the performances Verstappen has delivered up front.

Three separate top 10s and a number of close calls at the top end of the bottom 10 show further points will be added to the haul in the remainder of the season.

Lewis Hamilton - 9

Russell's defeat of Hamilton last term led to certain areas of the F1 fan space wondering whether the seven-time champion was beginning to show signs of a decline.

But despite early struggles for the Silver Arrows that have since been at least partly addressed, Hamilton has arguably enjoyed one of his best seasons in F1 in terms of personal performance.

A first pole position since the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix two years ago was clinched with a clinical lap at the Hungarian Grand Prix and consistent strong results have seen him close in on former teammate Alonso for third in the Drivers' standings.

When the Mercedes is back on form, Hamilton will be queuing up for even more race victories.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Fernando Alonso - 9

El Plan may have been swapped to Aston Martin with what Alonso saw as a project with more potential than Alpine, but not even the two-time champion would have believed six podiums would be achievable before the summer break.

Alonso sits third in the Drivers' standings after a string of stunning performances to prove that age is no limitation.

A win in Monaco was missed when Aston Martin was unlucky with strategy as rain began to fall and though the team has endured a mini-slump as the development race heats up, Alonso has still displayed outrageous speed to limit any damage.

A wait of over a decade for victory will surely be ended if the Silverstone-based team can find competitiveness again with its AMR23 - that's a fact.

Max Verstappen - 10

What more can be said about Verstappen other than 10 wins from 12, a 125-point advantage and a third consecutive Drivers' title already being clutched with one hand.

The Dutchman has been scintillating en route to breaking record after record in F1 this season, with more likely to fall after the summer break.

Verstappen wins from any position on the grid it seems, with his devastating pace matched with tyre conservation leading to some of the easiest and commanding victories of the past decade.

With only reliability seemingly able to stop his charge, a win in each of the remaining races cannot be discounted - he has been absolutely sensational.

Mid-season reviews RN365 News dossier

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