Max Verstappen cruised his way to a fifth consecutive win in the 2023 Formula 1 World Championship with a dominant drive in the Austrian Grand Prix.

The Dutchman finished the race ahead of Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez. But behind the top three, there was a slew of penalties for other drivers after over 1,200 cases of exceeding track limits were reported to the Stewards. But how did each driver perform across the weekend?

Max Verstappen – 9

Sprint: Qualified: P1, Race: P1

Grand Prix: Qualified: P1, Race: P1

It was another dominant weekend for Verstappen who topped every session across the course of the weekend. The reigning world champion had to fend off an attack from Sergio Perez in the Sprint in a battle which at times came close to the limit. Verstappen prevailed to beat his teammate by over 20 seconds in just 24 laps.

He also controlled Sunday’s Grand Prix, but not without challenge from Ferrari. Charles Leclerc was able to break Verstappen’s run of leading every lap since the latter stages of the Miami Grand Prix.

But even after re-emerging from the pits behind both Ferraris, Verstappen worked his way back to the top step of the podium with some calculated overtaking before breaking away once more.

Sergio Perez – 6.5

Sprint: Qualified: P2, Race: P2

Grand Prix: Qualified: P15, Race: P3

It was another case of decent results but unecessary setbacks for Sergio Perez in Austria. Perez brought a (short-lived) challenge to teammate Verstappen in the Sprint, and recovered from 15th to the podium in the Grand Prix.

But despite this, it’s impossible to ignore the Mexican’s miserable Friday. Perez was warned about his misadventures off circuit multiple times by his team, but continued to violate the track limits resulting in all three of his Q2 lap times being deleted.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner made his frustrations clear, and the reality is that given the equipment provided, there are no excuses for continually missing opportunities to rival Verstappen, or failing that, being close to.

2nd place Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari F1-23 with Phil Turner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Chief Mechanic Representing Red Bull, 1st place Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing and 3rd place Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing RB19.
02.07.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 10, Austrian Grand Prix, Spielberg, Austria, Race Day.
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Charles Leclerc 7

Sprint: Qualified: P6 (Started P9), Race: P12

Grand Prix: Qualified: P2, Race: P2

Despite being the slower of the two Ferraris in Austria, the Scuderia made it clear with whom its priorities lie.

A double stack under the Virtual Safety Car in Sunday’s race worked in the Monegasque’s favour and eventually allowed him to take the lead briefly.

There was little Leclerc could do to fend off Verstappen, but otherwise he drove well to claim Ferraris second podium of the season. A weekend slightly marred by a weak Saturday in the Intermediate conditions, but an otherwise important points haul on Sunday.

Carlos Sainz – 7.5

Sprint: Qualified: P5 (Started P4), Race: P3

Grand Prix: Qualified: P3, Race: P6

Sainz often found himself as the fastest driver in Ferraris stable at Spielberg. But despite his pace, he was not only competing against the other 19 drivers for points, but also his own team.

Sainz pleaded the Ferrari pit wall to allow him to pass Leclerc when he had a clear pace advantage. His request was denied and his chances of a podium began to slip away after a slow double stack under VSC.

The Spaniard finished fourth on the road, but track limits violations resulted in penalties that dropped him to sixth. A strong weekend, but held back by a display of poor team cohesion from Ferrari.

Lewis Hamilton – 6

Sprint: Qualified: P18, Race: P10

Grand Prix: Qualified: P5, Race: P8

The team radio conversations between Hamilton and Mercedes team principal summed up the seven-time champions weekend.

It was a miserable weekend for Mercedes with Hamilton struggling to keep the car within track limits on Sunday. It was clear the W14 was not quick, but Hamilton’s frustrations did not help. The Silver Arrows will be hoping for a silver bullet with its upgrade package arriving in Silverstone.

George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W14.
01.07.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 10, Austrian Grand Prix, Spielberg, Austria, Sprint Day.
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George Russell – 7

Sprint: Qualified: P15, Race: P8

Grand Prix: Qualified: P11, Race: P7

Russell was one of two drivers to not receive any track limits warnings on Sunday, but his progress was somewhat masked by a quiet weekend.

Robbed of a chance to better his Sprint starting position by a hydraulics issue in the Sprint, Russell made ground on Saturday by virtue of being the first driver to switch to slicks in the mixed conditions.

On a tricky Sunday for the Silver Arrows, Russell’s 7th place finish was as good as his team could have hoped for after struggling all weekend.

Fernando Alonso – 7.5

Sprint: Qualified: P7, Race: P5

Grand Prix: Qualified: P7, Race: P5

Aston Martin were expecting a strong showing in Austria, however its true pace did not match expectations.

Despite that, Alonso contributed to another strong haul of points for the Silverstone based team helped by staying out of trouble with the Stewards regarding track limits. Another mature and professionally managed weekend from the veteran.

Lance Stroll – 7

Sprint: Qualified: P8, Race: P4

Grand Prix: Qualified: P6, Race: P9

Lance Stroll was in need of a strong weekend in Spielberg and he delivered. For too long he had been unable to match and better teammate Alonso, and Austria could be the morale boost needed for the Canadian.

Stroll qualified well, starting ahead of Alonso on Sunday and he displayed his strength in the mixed conditions on Saturday.

There was potential for more points on Sunday, however a mistimed pitstop under VSC hampered his progress. Overall, a solid weekend for Stroll.

Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren MCL60.
02.07.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 10, Austrian Grand Prix, Spielberg, Austria, Race Day.
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Lando Norris – 9.5

Sprint: Qualified: P4 (Started P3), Race: P9

Grand Prix: Qualified: P4, Race: P4

With a significant upgrade packaged to his MCL60, Norris executed another fruitful weekend at his strongest circuit.

The Briton tumbled down the order on the opening lap of the Sprint when he got caught up in a messy squabble for the top positions, but maximised the cars performance on Sunday.

However, his one-lap and race pace showed a significant step forward for McLaren although driveability issues remain.

Norris looked on for a podium, but was unable to fend off the charging Sergio Perez and Ferraris. Finishing P5 on the road, he was later promoted to P4 when Carlos Sainz received a post-race time penalty.

Oscar Piastri – 5

Sprint: Qualified: P17, Race: P11

Grand Prix: Qualified: P13, Race: P16

Piastri’s performance on paper was exaggerated by the difference in machinery compared to teammate Norris. Piastri was left without the latest upgrades to the MCL60, and suffered as a result.

However, being lapped by his teammate can not solely be put down to the difference in components.

Piastri took damage on the opening lap at Turn 1 which required a front wing change and it was always going to be a tough ask to move up the field in a now updated McLaren.

Pierre Gasly – 6.5

Sprint: Qualified: P18, Race: P10

Grand Prix: Qualified: P12, Race: P10

Gasly was one of many drivers to be penalised post-race for track limits violations. The Frenchman lost out on a P9 finish as a result.
Track limits aside, it was a decent race for Gasly who is yet to find his full form at Alpine. He now leads Ocon in the Alpine head-to-head on race results.

Esteban Ocon (FRA) Alpine F1 Team A523.
02.07.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 10, Austrian Grand Prix, Spielberg, Austria, Race Day.
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Esteban Ocon – 4.5

Sprint: Qualified: P9, Race: P7

Grand Prix: Qualified: P12, Race: P14

Eseteban Ocon had an eventful race and not for the right reasons. The Frenchman was slapped with a 30-second time penalty after the race due to his excursions off track, adding to a five-second penalty received during the race for an unsafe release.

It was certainly a race to forget for Ocon who finished outside the points for the first time in five races, but softened by picking up a few points in the Saturday Sprint.

Valtteri Bottas – 5

Sprint: Qualified: P19, Race: P20

Grand Prix: Qualified: P14, Race: P15

Valtteri Bottas also endured a poor weekend in Austria and never seemed to get to grips with the Alfa Romeo at the Red Bull Ring.

The Finn has finished inside the points on just two occasions this weekend, and is consistently being outshone by teammate Guanyu Zhou.

Guanyu Zhou – 6

Sprint: Qualified: P16, Race: P19

Grand Prix: Qualified: P17, Race: P12

It was a tough weekend for both Alfa Romeo drivers but a 12th place finish, although outside of the points, is a better result than anticipated.

Zhou had the pace on Bottas across the weekend and continues to show signs of improvement as he grows into his role at the team.

Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Haas VF-23 retired from the race.
02.07.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 10, Austrian Grand Prix, Spielberg, Austria, Race Day.
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Nico Hulkenberg – 7

Sprint: Qualified: P4, Race: P6

Grand Prix: Qualified: P8, Race: DNF

Other than Verstappen, Hulkenberg delivered the most impressive drive of the Sprint. Having held P2, Hulkenberg initially had the measure of Sergio Perez but ultimately dropped down the order once his Haas had burned through its tyres. A P6 finish delivered much needed points for the American team.

Hulkenberg’s race was short-lived when he retired due to a power unit failure but would likely have finished outside the points anyway. But his continued qualifying performances demonstrate why Haas opted to secure his services and results on Sunday will follow once the team addresses its tyre issues.

Kevin Magnussen – 5

Sprint: Qualified: P10, Race: P14

Grand Prix: Qualified: P19 (Pitlane start), Race: P18

Kevin Magnussen still isn’t able to extract the same qualifying pace from the VF23 as his teammate and found himself in midfield battles that hampered his race.

The Dane was forced off track by a desperate Nyck de Vries, taking a trip through the gravel. His race was already compromised when he started from the pitlane due to set-up changes in parc ferme.

It was an uphill battle from there as Haas’ characteristic tyre issues slowed his progress, as well as possible floor damage from his encounter with the AlphaTauri.

Yuki Tsunoda – 5

Sprint: Qualified: P13, Race: P16

Grand Prix: Qualified: P16, Race: 19

Tsunoda’s race got off to a terrible start when he took wing damage at Turn 1 and ended up running into the gravel at Turn 4. After stopping under the Safety Car to replace the front wing.

A difficult race worsened by penalties as AlphaTauri continue to search for form.

Nyck de Vries (NLD) AlphaTauri.
02.07.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 10, Austrian Grand Prix, Spielberg, Austria, Race Day.
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Nyck de Vries – 4

Sprint: Qualified: P14, Race: P17

Grand Prix: Qualified: P20 (Pitlane start), Race: P17

Desperate. That’s the only way to sum up de Vries’ weekend in Austria.

The cracks are beginning to show between the Dutchman and his employers, and his performance during the race on Sunday highlighted that he is driving for his future right now. Reportedly being given until the summer break to show his worth, the pressure continues to mount after an unimpressive weekend.

Alexander Albon – 7

Sprint: Qualified: P11, Race: P13

Grand Prix: Qualified: P10, Race: P11

Despite finishing outside of the points, Albon once again outperformed the Williams car on his way to an 11th place finish in the Austrian Grand Prix.

The Thai driver has undoubtedly been amongst the best performing drivers this season, and his weekend in Spielberg was no different. With further performance surely to come to the car, expect Albon to be consistently battling for points.

Logan Sargeant – 7

Sprint: Qualified: P20, Race: P18

Grand Prix: Qualified: P18, Race: P13

It was no surprise to see the rookie become one of many drivers to fall foul to track limits at the Red Bull Ring. But despite picking up penalties, Sargeant still managed to fight his way to his best race result since Bahrain.

The Williams was well suited to the track, and the American was able to utilise the strengths of the FW45. Still finding his feet in F1, Austria should serve as a stabilising result for his continued development.

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