The 12 worst-rated drivers of the F1 2023 season

Sam Cooper
Nyck de Vries, Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez

Plenty of drivers will be happy the F1 season is over.

Following on from the top 10 best rated drivers this season, here are the remaining 12 who have not had such a memorable year.

We have taken an average of all of our driver ratings from each race in the 2023 season and put them in order for you, with this being the bottom half of the grid as per our 2023 average scores.

Driver 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.

Here are the bottom 12:

=11.) Pierre Gasly – 6.66

Certainly not a bad season for Pierre Gasly’s Alpine debut. A podium in Zandvoort was the highlight but the first half of the year was described by the Frenchman as one of the most unlucky of his career.

A double DNF in Australia was the Alpine low point and Gasly has had to endure a fair amount of team upheaval with two of his bosses losing their job but all in all, finishing ahead of his team-mate was a sign of a good year.

=11.) Carlos Sainz – 6.66

For the sole driver who managed to stop Red Bull from winning every race, being in the bottom half of drivers is perhaps a little harsh for Carlos Sainz but it was a very inconsistent year for the Spaniard.

He seemed to hit the form of his career around Monza and Singapore but it tailed away as the season drew to a conclusion.

13.) Esteban Ocon – 6.41

A middle of the road kind of year for Esteban Ocon with that Alpine occupying a no man’s land in the middle of the championship.

Having beaten Alonso in 2022, Ocon would have hoped to do the same to Gasly this season but missed out by a very small margin.

Highlight was the podium in Monaco which earned him and the team many crates of beer.

14.) Sergio Perez – 6.39

A brief flicker of a title charge at the start of the year was extinguished in Miami and Max Verstappen’s drive to supremacy from then on seemed like a hammer blow to Sergio Perez’s confidence.

Q3 became a real issue with the Mexican failing to reach that stage on five consecutive occasions and nine times throughout the whole year.

Such was Perez’s fade into mediocrity that a P9 starting spot in Abu Dhabi did not even seem like a talking point.

In a dominant year like 2023, such off days are okay but in a more competitive environment it is likely Red Bull will not be so accommodating.

15.) Yuki Tsunoda – 6.32

Some great performances from Yuki Tsunoda mixed with a few mistakes that are still part of his driving makeup.

At the start of the year when the car was not great, Tsunoda had a real talent of fighting for that final points spot but ultimately missed out by one place on more than one occasion.

When the car did improve and Daniel Ricciardo returned to the team, any suggestion that he would blow Tsunoda out of the water proved unfounded and the Japanese driver capped the year with a great race in Abu Dhabi.

16.) Nico Hulkenberg – 5.84

If these ratings were done on qualifying alone, Nico Hulkenberg would have surely been amongst the top 10.

His performances on Saturday have been exceptional, pushing the Haas car far higher than it had any right to be.

But by the same measure, the Haas car pulled him down on the Sunday with tyres being a season-long issue. Fix that problem and Hulkenberg will no doubt score more than nine points in 2024.

17.) Lance Stroll – 5.82

Lance Stroll was just one point away from his most in a season but when your team-mate has scored 132 more than you, it is not a great look.

His best performances arguably came at the start of the year when he battled through the pain of a double wrist injury in pre-season but as he has returned to full fitness, he has found himself unable to match the achievements of Fernando Alonso.

It is hard to know what comes next for Stroll. Aston have suggested his seat is safe but with his dad footing the bill that is hardly a surprise. Maybe it will come down to if he can be bothered anymore which, judging by his demeanour in press conferences, may not be too far away from being the case.

18.) Valtteri Bottas – 5.8

Valtteri Bottas in 2023 will most likely be remembered for his bogan lifestyle, Duff Man costumes, naked calendars and cycling rather than what he did on track as it was not a memorable year for the Finn.

19.) Zhou Guanyu – 5.55

Considering both Alfa drivers struggled, it is hard to know just how much blame can be apportioned to Zhou Guanyu.

His best race was Spain but other than that it has been a largely forgettable year for the Chinese driver.

There were even some reports he was on the chopping block for future F2 champion Théo Pourchaire but Zhou has held onto the seat for another year at least.

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20.) Kevin Magnussen – 5.43

After an excellent return to the sport in 2022, everyone expected Kevin Magnussen to kick on and most would have predicted he would have had the beating of Hulkenberg who was performing a comeback of his own, but that just has not happened.

While Hulkenberg has found success in qualifying, Magnussen has not, meaning that come race day and a car that cannot protect its tyres, he was always going to be facing an uphill battle.

A good performance in Miami was a rarity in an otherwise poor season which saw him score just three points.

Such was the extent of his downfall that there were question marks over whether Haas would renew his deal but they ultimately kept the faith.

21.) Logan Sargeant – 5.09

Looking increasingly like it was too soon for Logan Sargeant to make the jump up who went from P4 in F2 to the top series. Meanwhile the champion from that year, Felipe Drugovich, is still on the sidelines learning his trade as Aston Martin reserve.

Sargeant is by no means the worst driver to ever race in F1 but he has made a lot of raw mistakes that have hit the Williams bank balance. He did score points, albeit due to the double disqualification of Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc in Austin, but the 22-0 scoreline for quali compared to Alex Albon says a lot.

22.) Nyck de Vries – 4.65*

It is not often the Red Bull scouting department gets something so wrong but it was clear early on in 2023 that Nyck de Vries was not going to cut it.

Encouraged by his Monza super sub debut for Williams in 2022, it was reportedly Helmut Marko who led the campaign to sign the 28-year-old but once he did get the seat, he failed to live up to expectations.

Yes, the AlphaTauri car was not great at the start of the year, but Yuki Tsunoda regularly had the beating of him.

Perhaps he was let go too quickly but at the same time, there was little to suggest De Vries was going to turn it around.

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