As part of PlanetF1.com’s race coverage for the 2023 season, we will be providing team ratings for how each garage performed at every weekend.
For those of you familiar with our driver ratings, the format will largely be the same but with some key differences as to what ratings will be awarded for.
To start, these ratings are focusing on the team away from the drivers so as an example, Fernando Alonso’s failure to line up properly on the grid in Jeddah was not caused by the team so their rating does not drop as a result.
We are mainly focused on not only strategy and pit stop performance but also the reliability of the car, but other than that, it should be exactly the same as you are already used to, so let’s dive in:
Red Bull 8.5
If you highlight all the errors associated with Red Bull, very few of them can be attributed to the team themselves. Max Verstappen’s poor start and Sergio Perez’s nightmare Saturday were both driver errors but in terms of the latter, perhaps some marks can be taken off for the team’s inability to find just what was causing the Mexican’s problems.
In the race itself, praise should go to the strategy team for while it was the kind of afternoon where every plan was ripped up almost as quickly as it was written down, Red Bull were in a situation to capitalise every time.
More points on the board and Red Bull already have almost double the tally than any other team.
Aston Martin 9.0
Another race in 2023 and another podium for Aston Martin and Fernando Alonso. The Silverstone-based team continued to punch above their weight and it also appeared they had the second quickest car on the grid, even if the results do not reflect that.
The team had to recover from Stroll taking a whack early on as Leclerc turned in on him and although it was the Ferrari man who came out worse off, Stroll was lucky to avoid any damage. From there, it was a case for both drivers to maintain the tyre and aim for a late push but due to the multiple red flags, the chance to deploy that push never came.
It could have all gone terribly wrong though when following the second red flag restart, Alonso and Stroll both had incidents which threw them out of the points so credit should also go to whoever was immediately on the phone to the FIA to petition for the race to revert to its previous order.
Whatever work has been done in Brackley between Jeddah and Melbourne certainly paid off with the W14 finally showing some signs of performance. A strong qualifying result gave the Silver Arrows drivers an excellent platform to build on and duly it paid off with Lewis Hamilton earning his first podium of the season.
Life on the other side of the garage was not quite as straightforward hence why their score is a little lower than some may have expected. Granted, their decision to bring in Russell during the Safety Car looked like the right one and so they can hardly be blamed for that but as these ratings also factor in reliability, points are deducted for the Brit’s engine exploding midway through the race.
It should not be a concern for the team though who are usually excellent when it comes to reliability, demonstrated by the fact this was Russell’s first mechanical DNF since joining the team.
Ferrari walked away crestfallen once again but for once, the team themselves had very little to do with it.
It was not a case of strategy or reliability in Melbourne but instead, two driver errors that had big consequences.
The first came in Turn 3 when Charles Leclerc, who had a poor qualifying, turned in on Lance Stroll and was sent spinning into the gravel trap, beaching himself as he tried to drive out.
The second came late on in the race where Carlos Sainz met the other Aston Martin following the red flag restart. The Spaniard may have had his protests at the manner and severity of the five-second penalty but he really should have had no complaints as it was an obvious error.
What will be even more frustrating is Ferrari actually looked to have a quick car this weekend but ultimately, they walked away with zero points added to their tally.
Much better from McLaren and by far their best race of the season. Yes the P6 and P8 they secured flattered them but for the first time in 2023, the MCL60 looked as if it had some performance their two drivers could benefit from.
The car clearly lacked pace in DRS zones, explaining why their qualifying continues to be worse than their race pace but with four weeks now between Baku and the promise of the first of three major upgrade packages to come, the Melbourne result was an encouraging step forward.
A recurring theme across the teams this weekend was a poor result in which they themselves had little control over. That was most certainly the case for Alpine who went from looking like they were going to secure a healthy amount of points to both drivers in the wall.
Before the crash, the red flag had come in Pierre Gasly’s favour who found himself up amongst the usual podium contenders. He would drop back further as the race went on but he lined up in P5 for the red flag restart.
However, he locked up and as he attempted to get back on the track, he made contact with his own team-mate, much to the horror of the helpless Alpine team.
One half good, one half not so good. With Nico Hülkenberg, Haas followed what appeared to be the winning formula of medium, hard, soft and it paid dividends with the German scoring his first points with the team.
But with Kevin Magnussen, it was a similar situation to many teams on this list with Haas free from blame for the Dane crashing into the wall between Turns 2 and 3.
The pit stops could have been better though with Magnussen’s 20.789 pit lane time being the second slowest of the drivers who pitted while not under red flag conditions.
Alfa Romeo 4.0
The Alfa Romeo car just looks like a shadow of what it was this time last year. Lacking in serious pace, they may have scored two points through Zhou Guanyu’s P9 but it took almost half of the grid to retire for that to happen.
Alfa started both drivers on the soft which would have been interesting to see how that played out but pitted both for the hards following Leclerc’s spin.
The numbers also make for grim reading. Excluding George Russell and Alex Albon, both Alfa drivers recorded the slowest fastest lap of anyone on the grid and Valtteri Bottas’ 21.659 pit lane time was the slowest of any driver not under red flag conditions.
There was not much Williams could have done about either of their drivers’ early exits as Alex Albon crashed in lap 7 while Logan Sargeant appeared to forget the brake pedal exists before he rammed into the back of Nyck de Vries.
Before that, Albon’s run out had been an encouraging performance from the team with the relative lack of downforce on the FW45 proving to suit the Melbourne circuit.
Albon was running in P6 at the time so it was disappointing to be denied the opportunity to see how long he could have held onto it.
AlphaTauri may have scored their first points of the year but judging by the two results, that was more due to the effort of Yuki Tsunoda than it was of the pace of the AT04.
The car has not looked good all season and, yes, Tsunoda may have dragged it to scoring a point, but that comes with the caveat that only 12 cars crossed the finish line.
Like many, Tsunoda swapped onto the hards earlier than AlphaTauri had perhaps wanted but was able to make them last until the second red flag late in the race.
With De Vries, AlphaTauri started him on the hards, perhaps aiming to make up some ground late in the race but it ultimately came to nothing when the multiple red flags changed everyone’s strategy. The team also cannot be blamed for Sargeant driving into the back of De Vries and sending him out.
Truth be told though, the car currently looks the worst on the grid and by a distance.