Revealed: The F1 2023 team of the season not called Red Bull

Max Verstappen leads the field at the start of the F1 2023 Monaco Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen leads the field at the start of the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix.

Red Bull have wiped the floor with absolutely everyone again this year, so clearly they are the undisputed F1 team of the season.

But if we take them out of the equation, who else deserves their name in the spotlight for the F1 2023 campaign?

Let’s see who our writers pick…

Our F1 2023 teams of the season revealed

Mark: Haas. Only joking…it’s simply too hard to ignore McLaren’s gigantic gains made after such a miserable start to the F1 2023 campaign when they looked completely lost.

F1 needs a strong McLaren and it now seems they have the structure in place – they certainly have the drivers – to potentially emerge as a real big threat to Red Bull in the coming years.

Michelle: McLaren. It’s not often these days that a Formula 1 teams finds a second, if not more, during the season given the tight constraints of the budget cap while rivals are also making gains of their own. But that’s exactly what McLaren did.

This season Mercedes, Ferrari and Haas all put B-spec cars that draw inspiration from the Red Bull on the track and they all missed the mark. Woefully. McLaren didn’t.

In fact, their Austrian revision was augmented by their Singapore upgrade and they emerged as Red Bull’s nearest challenger, outscoring every team barring Red Bull in the second half of the championship. Their evolution bodes well for next season.

Henry: McLaren are the obvious choice here given how much they flew up the standings, but in terms of what their result means to them, I’ll say Williams.

The green shoots of recovery are finally starting to sprout after a long time in the doldrums at Grove, James Vowles has shown himself to be a superb appointment as team principal and Alex Albon in particular has delivered on race days. That extra prize money for finishing P7 will go a long way for them as they go about putting the infrastructure in place to bring themselves up to date.

Who knows? With this trajectory, they might end up much closer to the team they used to be in the years to come.

Jamie: After so many years away from the scene of regular wins and titles, McLaren at last delivered on their talk of much better days to come.

Andrea Stella being made team principal looks like a masterstroke decision, as did bringing in Oscar Piastri, making McLaren a team that despite their mighty surge in 2023, do not look anywhere close to hitting their ceiling of potential yet.

Sam: Away from Red Bull, the 2023 season was intriguing just for how much the pendulum swung between other constructors. All of Mercedes, Ferrari and Aston Martin had their time in the sun but the one that sustained it the most was McLaren.

Post-Austria, they were a team reborn and had they had that performance all year long, they would have no doubt finished P2 rather than P4. Heading into the winter, it is McLaren who look the biggest threat to Red Bull’s dominance.

Thomas: After some deliberation between McLaren and Mercedes, I’m giving the nod to McLaren. Sure, they may have been lost in the wilderness for the first half of the season, but the problems with the MCL60 had been identified early on and, rather than panicking into trying to half-heartedly find pace, Andrea Stella ensured a calm, methodical approach was employed to roll out a new direction for the upgrades that transformed their season.

The car became one of the most consistent performers and became a regular thorn in the side for Max Verstappen, and even became a ‘race winner’ in the hands of Oscar Piastri in Qatar.

The weight of expectation increases now for 2024. With James Key out and a new technical structure with Peter Prodromou, Neil Houldey, and the incoming former Ferrari designer David Sanchez all reporting to Stella, all eyes will be on Woking to see whether they can make that next little step to become proper contenders next season.

Oliver: McLaren, whose emergence as Red Bull’s most consistent threat from mid-season made engine suppliers Mercedes look clueless.

The key difference now compared to McLaren’s last great season in 2021? Their new wind tunnel is now open for business. From a solid starting point, the good times should only keep coming into 2024 and beyond.

Read next: Revealed: The F1 2023 driver of the season not called Max Verstappen