British GP driver ratings: Perfect 10 for home hero as under-pressure driver flops again

Henry Valantine
British Grand Prix 2023 driver ratings.

Lando Norris celebrates on the podium. British Grand Prix driver ratings 2023.

Our British Grand Prix driver ratings are in, with a big mix of fortunes from up and down the field in an entertaining race at Silverstone.

Ratings explained: Every driver starts the weekend slap bang in the middle with a 5/10 rating and we operate on a sliding scale from there. We take the entire weekend into account, not just the race itself.

However, the scores will be weighted more towards a driver’s race performance, but qualifying performances (good or bad) are also factored into our ratings and, in extreme circumstances, practice will also play a minor part in the overall score.

Max Verstappen: 9

The level of dominance Max Verstappen is exhibiting right now, you almost wonder if there almost need to be a separate mini-rating within his own driver ratings, because to find fault, you do have to pick his performances apart.

Unlike other weekends, there were a couple of flaws this time around, even down to mishaps like understeering into the wall as he left the garage in qualifying – and the slow getaway that enabled Lando Norris to storm into the lead.

Of course, it ended up being immaterial as he was back in the lead again by lap 5 and he rarely looked troubled again from there. Another composed, measured and quick drive from the Dutchman to bring home a sixth win in a row as he extended his advantage at the top of the World Championship to 99 points.

He actually has so many points compared to the rest of the field, he could lead the Constructors’ Championship on his own, which is a scary thought.

Lando Norris: 10

If you were to ask Lando Norris after trundling home to P17 at the Miami Grand Prix in May if he thought a P2 finish at his home race exactly two months later, on merit, would be on the cards, he might have been one of the first to laugh in your face about it.

But full credit to him and McLaren, their turnaround in recent races has been staggering with the improvements they have made to the car, and Norris made full use of them over the weekend.

Silverstone almost erupted when he went onto provisional pole in Q3 before Verstappen “ruined” it, in Norris’ own words, but he stole a march at the beginning and led his home race for the first few laps, executed the strategy he needed to and did not put a wheel wrong all weekend.

Hamilton was putting up a strong challenge towards the end but the McLaren driver was absolutely equal to it, and even had time to be slightly annoyed at McLaren for swapping him onto hard tyres when he felt softs would have been better despite equalling his career best finish. There’s not a lot more he could have done this weekend and was fan-voted Driver of the Day for a reason, by a landslide.

Lewis Hamilton: 7.5

Hamilton made it onto the podium after quite a rough start to the race, dropping a couple of places and being forced off track as he wrestled his Mercedes around Silverstone.

He had been battling with Carlos Sainz for P6 before the Safety Car came out and was the biggest beneficiary of that move, being able to leapfrog his way into the podium places.

He still had to hold onto that place when he got there, which was no mean feat given the speed of Oscar Piastri behind (who we’ll come to shortly).

His 14th British Grand Prix podium might not count among his most memorable, but a solid drive from the seven-time World Champion nonetheless who made the most of what was underneath him.

Oscar Piastri: 9.5

Was this the weekend Formula 1’s most high-profile rookie for some time made his mark on the sport? The signs would seem so.

He received Norris’ upgrades from Austria and was immediately right on his team-mate’s pace throughout the weekend, qualifying a career-best P3 and being cruelly denied a first ever podium in Formula 1 by Hamilton’s promotion via the Safety Car pit stop melee.

Like Norris, Piastri also had a great start and, had he not got a little squeezed, may have even been in contention to take the lead in the first braking zone at Farm.

He had to play the team game and hold station behind Norris for much of the race when he felt he had more pace – an understandable move from McLaren, given the huge haul of points they could have lost if their drivers tangled – and he drove extremely well all afternoon.

The only thing he may be disappointed in himself about was not putting more pressure on Hamilton towards the end, though this is merely nit-picking.

George Russell: 7.5

An afternoon where George Russell looked up for the fight, but Charles Leclerc was proving to be quite an obstacle for him.

Mercedes’ choice to put him on the soft tyres to start the race proved to be the correct one, given how the performance of that tyre played out, but complaints about Leclerc’s defending were as close to drama as that particular battle got as he looked to find his way by the Ferrari.

His patience eventually paid off with a brave move around the outside of Luffield in arguably one of the moves of the race, with another top-five finish a good day’s work for Mercedes in the end.

Sergio Perez: 5

You could argue we’re still being harsh with Sergio Perez after he put on another recovery drive to make it back into the top six, but the fact these recovery drives have been so frequent of late is a big problem in itself.

As former Red Bull stalwart Mark Webber pointed out, even an “old fart” like him would be able to make up places in a car as quick as the RB19, so the qualifying malaise in which Perez finds himself – no Q3 appearance in five now – is a real concern, and probably the reason he is no longer in a realistic chance of fighting for the title.

There were some good moves in there, but also clumsy ones, including the contact with Nico Hulkenberg that damaged the Haas driver’s front wing early on – and progress up the field was slower than he perhaps would have liked it to be.

Fernando Alonso: 6.5

With other teams making big strides of late, Aston Martin are in danger of becoming swamped at certain circuits without further upgrade packages themselves.

But as ever, Alonso did what he could with the car that was underneath him – albeit in an understated weekend for him and the Aston Martin team.

Overtaken by Hamilton early on, around the P7 mark always looked likely to be his ceiling on the day at Silverstone, and he did well to defend from Pierre Gasly until he retired, and Albon and Leclerc at the end, having been one of the beneficiaries of being able to stop under the Safety Car.

Thankfully for Aston, their factory is only a few yards away, so they don’t have a long commute to work to find out answers in the morning.

Alex Albon: 9

It was oh-so close to matching his Canada heroics for Albon, who put in another sterling weekend overall for Williams – with strong pace all the way through the weekend right from first practice.

He was one of the lucky ones to pit under Safety Car conditions to gain a few places and get into the points after falling away during the race, but this rating is a reward for the speed he showed at the end to harangue Alonso for P7, and for the whole weekend he and Williams put together, beating both Ferraris.

Another run into Q3 and more upgrades is a sign that Williams may need to re-adjust their expectations for the rest of the season, but Albon’s admission that they were unsure why they were so competitive may provide a rethink on that for now.

But on Albon, he’s looking increasingly like the leader Williams need behind the wheel, and the driver Red Bull hoped he would turn into a few years ago.

Charles Leclerc: 5.5

Another weekend where Ferrari were left wanting more, and strategy once again played its part with Leclerc among the first to pit as he looked to cover the chasing George Russell and prevent an undercut.

The hard tyre was not the right tyre to be on and his missing out on FP2 proved consequential in the end, after suffering an electrical issue in the session where he would have been conducting long-run simulations.

Leclerc’s robust defence against Russell ended at Luffield and his second stop under the Safety Car left him with a recovery drive to do, but a few overtaking moves put him back into the points and P9 was the sum of his efforts, though after a P4 start, he’ll be disappointed with his day.

Carlos Sainz: 5.5

Ferrari found themselves between a rock and a hard place in terms of their strategies, with Sainz opting to stay out under the Safety Car, and he admitted he was “always going to be dead meat” on used hard tyres come the end of the race.

He had been running P5 before being leapfrogged by cheap stops for Hamilton and Alonso, and did well to hold onto P7 for as long as he could, but once Sergio Perez got by at Club, he was out of the racing line and left as a sitting duck for Albon and Leclerc behind and lost three places in about four corners.

The Safety Car didn’t help matters, of course, with others able to pit and take advantage of having new tyres at the end, but it was a day to forget for Ferrari as a whole, and a waste of two grid slots in the top five from their perspective.

Logan Sargeant: 7

A somewhat understated drive from Logan Sargeant in some ways, but it shouldn’t go unnoticed that P11 is a career high for the Williams rookie as he had the upgrades previously used by Albon applied to his car.

He wasn’t quite on Albon’s pace all weekend, and he’s still yet to get the proverbial monkey off his back in scoring his first point in Formula 1, but the way he kept himself in contention in the midfield was a good sign moving forward.

Valtteri Bottas: 7

A P12 finish is a marked improvement from how things were for Bottas in Austria, but the down side is the Alfa Romeo underneath him is just simply not quick enough to get into the points at the moment.

After being disqualified from qualifying for failing to provide a fuel sample, he had to work his way up from the very back of the field and after starting on the hard tyres, he made good headway and looked to be in good contention, but couldn’t make the final step into the points.

Nico Hulkenberg: 6

After a P11 start, thoughts would turn at Haas to whether or not their now-traditional Sunday issues with tyre wear would show up again, but Hulkenberg’s race would be scuppered after contact with Sergio Perez left him needing a new front wing only a few laps into the race.

This dropped him to the back of the field and needing to recover lost ground and he was hamstrung for the rest of the afternoon for the most part.

Lance Stroll: 4.5

After going out in Q2, Stroll would have been hoping to get back into the points and catch up to team-mate Fernando Alonso as best as he could.

But he was unable to make the headway he was aiming at for the most part, but after passing Pierre Gasly around the outside at Stowe and off track (much to Gasly’s annoyance), he was hit with a five-second penalty and two penalty points for the later contact they made at Vale.

This dropped Stroll further down the pecking order come the chequered flag, but points weren’t on the cards for him before the penalty regardless on a tough afternoon.

Zhou Guanyu: 5.5

A frustrating afternoon for Zhou, who was forced into an extra pit stop after getting a visor tear-off stuck in his brake duct during the race.

He had been running relatively well until that point but opted to stop again under the Safety Car to get the tear-off removed, which cost him track position and a chance of getting into the points.

Yuki Tsunoda: 5

It was tough to get too much of a read on how the AlphaTauri drivers performed through much of the race, given they were in the out and out backmarking car all weekend at Silverstone.

Still, Tsunoda did what he had to do in winning the head-to-head battle within the team on the day, but it’ll be one that they want to forget sooner rather than later.

Nyck de Vries: 5

The down side for Nyck de Vries, with his drive still on the line, is that his car is looking decreasingly competitive at a time where he really needs to show what he can do – and he finished behind his team-mate once again on Sunday.

The positive was at least he was right on his tail for most of the race and came across the line only a couple of seconds behind, but with only a couple of races until the summer break, there is big pressure on him to go one better in Hungary and Spa – at least within the AlphaTauri garage. recommends

F1 results: 2023 British Grand Prix results and standings

F1 fastest lap: Which drivers have won the most fastest lap points in F1 2023?

Did not finish

Pierre Gasly: 7

Gasly was not the architect of his retirement after a collision with Lance Stroll, with the Aston Martin driver found at fault for it by the stewards.

Up to that point, the Alpine driver had looked fast behind the other Aston Martin of Fernando Alonso for much of the race, and was having a sturdy afternoon up to that point.

He was furious on team radio after Stroll passed him around the outside of Stowe, apparently going off track in doing so, which may have contributed to him racing the Canadian harder into Vale a few laps later – though it was still a solid showing overall.

Kevin Magnussen: 5

Magnussen’s troubles started with a qualifying session that saw him last in Q1, but while he looked like he was making relatively good progress in the race in his Haas, they didn’t look as though they were in points contention for much of the day.

His engine failure was not reflective of anything he did, of course, but Haas may be asking questions of the Ferrari power unit department after a third engine blowout in as many races.

Esteban Ocon: 5

A hydraulic leak ended Ocon’s day after just 10 laps and capped off a pretty miserable weekend for the Frenchman and the Alpine team.

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