12 races down in the 2023 Formula 1 season and it is time for a look back at who has been at their best.
As many of you will know, PlanetF1.com rates every driver after every race which gives us a handy barometer when it comes to determining how well a driver is performing.
With the summer break now underway, we have crunched the numbers to reveal who are the 10 best performing drivers of the season so far according to our ratings.
10.) Oscar Piastri – 6.88
Points: 34 | Drivers’ standing: 11th
To be ranked inside the top 10 performers in your rookie season is no mean feat and certainly something the other two rookies were a long way off achieving.
Never mind that he took a year out of racing, Oscar Piastri has looked like he has been on the F1 grid for years and has assured McLaren that their move to steal him under Alpine’s noses was the right one.
Piastri has stepped up a gear of late too including barely missing out on pole in Belgium and a sprint podium leading some to suggest he could soon overtake his experienced McLaren team-mate.
9.) Charles Leclerc – 6.92
Points: 99 | Drivers’ standing: 5th
Despair mixed with brief moments of joy would be an apt way to sum-up Charles Leclerc’s 2023 so far.
After admitting Ferrari’s goal was to win the world title, Leclerc is without a victory after 12 races and has stepped on the podium just three times.
That is not entirely Leclerc’s fault with the Ferrari car arguably the fourth fastest on the grid but even a driver of his calibre has not been able to lift it to higher on the grid.
8.) Alex Albon – 7
Points: 11 | Drivers’ standing: 13th
Alex Albon may only have 11 points to his name but his performances so far would suggest he deserves more.
In a Williams car that is an improvement on the last few years but still one of the worst on the grid, Albon has been able to drag it to points finishes on three occasions.
His worst rating came in Monaco where he and the car looked off the pace but other than that, Albon has never dipped below a 6.
7.) Sergio Perez – 7.17
Points: 189 | Drivers’ standing: 2nd
A driver that has impressed and underwhelmed at times this year. To begin with, it looked as if Sergio Perez was going to put up more of a fight for the title but that quickly faded away.
A confidence-knocking crash in Monaco was the start of a downward spiral for the Mexican and resulted in five consecutive failures to make Q3.
Perez has seemingly found a port in the storm for the time being with impressive performances in Hungary and Belgium but he is still one step behind his team-mate.
6.) Daniel Ricciardo – 7.25
Points: 0 | Drivers’ standing: 21st
A driver whose sample size is far too small to make any real assessment of yet but it has been a good start to life back in F1 so far for Daniel Ricciardo.
While he has yet to score a point, he has got a lot closer than the man he replaced and produced an excellent drive in Hungary after being smacked in the back by Zhou Guanyu.
5.) Lando Norris – 7.33
Points: 69 | Drivers’ standing: 8th
A game of two halves is a phrase that gets used too often in the world of sport but in Lando Norris’ case, it is very much true.
Norris’ early ratings reflect the terrible nature the MCL60 started the season in. An 8.5 in Australia was his peak but his form took a turn at Austria.
With some freshly-manufactured upgrades bolted onto his car, Norris produced an excellent drive to secure a 9 in our ratings. He improved on that in Silverstone with a 10 and has scored no lower than 8 since the upgrades were added.
Norris is shaping up for an exciting second half of the season if his form continues in that vein.
4.) George Russell – 7.58
Points: 99 | Drivers’ standing: 6th
He may be behind his team-mate on points but it has been another good year so far for George Russell
His best score came in Australia and Spain, the latter of which he scored a podium while his lowest was a 5 in Canada when he retired from eighth place with a brakes issue.
Like Hamilton, Russell will be hoping Mercedes unlock some performance so he can begin challenging higher up the table.
3.) Lewis Hamilton – 7.92
Points: 148 | Drivers’ standing: 4th
The second Mercedes driver gets onto the podium after a consistent year so far.
He may not have broken the win drought that stretches back to Saudi Arabia 2021 but he has stepped on the podium four times this year and secured pole for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
There is still work to do with the W14 car but unlike last year, it seems Hamilton is pulling it up the grid through his performances and looks one of few candidates who may be able to topple Red Bull at one point this season.
2.) Fernando Alonso – 8.04
Points: 149 | Drivers’ standing: 3rd
Fernando Alonso and Aston Martin’s form may have tailed off somewhat of late but it is not enough to bring his average score down from a deserved 8.04.
Alonso had an incredible start to the year, fishing on the podium in five of the opening six races and while that number decreased to once in the last six, it was by no means through the Spaniard’s effort.
His highest score came in Bahrain where he alongside Max Verstappen scored a perfect 10 while Alonso’s lowest score of 6 was his P9 outing in Hungary.
1.) Max Verstappen – 9.29
Points: 314 | Drivers’ standing: 1st
Is there any surprise at the name topping this list? After overcoming a difficult start, Max Verstappen has been in dominant form since Miami and his average rating shows that.
He is the only driver to break the nine barrier and has never scored below 8.5. He has achieved a perfect 10 on three occasions and such has been his brilliance, he is judged by his very own high standards meaning even a win is not a guarantee of full marks.
His lowest scores came in Australia and Baku but from Miami onwards, he has never dipped below a 9.
Verstappen practically has the title race sewn up already and it is hard to see how anyone can achieve a better average rating come the end of the season.