Las Vegas GP driver ratings: Max Verstappen is just “inevitable” but he doesn’t get a 10/10 | F1

While it wasn’t the smoothest of races for Verstappen, he’s just inevitable in F1 2023. He picked up a well-deserved time penalty on Lap 1, and even sustained damage, but it didn’t stop him from winning his 18th race of the year.

There’s literally not much more that Leclerc could have done to win in Las Vegas. He was sensational in qualifying and drove a sensational race. Ferrari’s decision to not pit him under the Safety Car arguably cost him but to Red Bull’s credit, they had great pace on the hards.

One of Perez’s better performances this season. He was unfortunate to pick up damage on the opening lap but drove well after that. Perez was in contention for the victory but lacked race craft in the crucial moments against Leclerc.

After an unfortunate qualifying, Ocon put together a strong race performance. He defied team orders – he was correct to do so – to come away with fourth.

Another fine drive from Stroll, who continued his strong form from Brazil. The stronger of the two Aston Martins on race day.

Sainz had his work cut out after he spun on his own accord on Lap 1. That put him on the back foot as he struggled to maximise the pace of his car. Given the recovery Perez had, Sainz should have been able to do the same, particuarly with Ferrari’s straight-line speed advantage. 

More was on the table for Hamilton in Las Vegas, even with his poor qualifying. His race was severely compromised by contact with Piastri, giving him a puncture in the process.

Russell was enjoying a great weekend up until contact with Verstappen, picking up damage and a five-second time penalty in the process.

Alonso was totally to blame for his Lap 1 spin, ruining Bottas’ race in the process. After that, he didn’t seem to quite have the pace of teammate Stroll.

A sensational drive from Piastri, who deserved better than tenth. Contact with Hamilton cost him, as well as an interesting McLaren tyre strategy which put him on hards twice, meaning he had to stop late.

Pierre Gasly – 8

A missed opportunity for Gasly – and it probably wasn’t his own fault. Staying out under the second Safety Car didn’t help his chances after running as high as fourth in the first part of the race.

Alex Albon – 7

After Williams enjoyed a special qualifying session, they simply didn’t have the race pace to stay in the points.

Kevin Magnussen – 7

A better weekend for Magnussen, which included a rare Q3 outing. No doubt, the stronger of the two Haas cars.

Daniel Ricciardo – 6.5

AlphaTauri probably had the slowest car in Las Vegas. On balance, Ricciardo had the edge over Tsunoda.

Zhou Guanyu – 6

Zhou once again was poor in qualifying as he was knocked out in Q1. Compare that to Bottas, who secured eighth. A tidy race but he wasn’t able to challenge for points after struggling with tyre degradation. 

Logan Sargeant – 6.5

Sargeant was jubilant after qualifying a career-best sixth in Las Vegas. However, Williams struggled with tyre wear and slipped down the order.

Valtteri Bottas – 7

Bottas was one of the stars of qualifying, securing seventh on the grid after Sainz’s penalty. His race was ruined when Alonso spun into the first corner, dropping him to the back of the grid. He then had no pace as Perez clattered into the back of him as he was stuck behind Alonso’s spun car.

Yuki Tsunoda – 6

A tough race for Tsunoda, who did run well after starting on the softs. He retired from the race late on due to a gearbox issue.

Nico Hulkenberg – 6

Hulkenberg was a step behind teammate Magnussen in terms of raw pace. 

Lando Norris – 3

Norris’ race came to an end in dramatic fashion as he lost control of his McLaren over a bump. 

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