POWER RANKINGS: It's close at the top as the scores come in from the final Sprint weekend of the year in Brazil
Max Verstappen made yet more history in Sao Paulo where he claimed a Sprint and race victory double. He is in this week's top-10, but who else do the judges believe deserves to join him? Scroll down below to see this week's scores...
How it works
• Our five-judge panel assess each driver after every Grand Prix and score them out of 10 according to their performance across the weekend – taking machinery out of the equation
• Our experts’ scores are then averaged out to produce a race score – with those scores then tallied up across the season on our overall Power Rankings Leaderboard (at the bottom of the page)
Verstappen scored his 17th win of the season in Sao Paulo, taking his win percentage to 85% in 2023. This means that no matter what happens for the rest of the campaign, he will break Alberto Ascari’s previous record of 75%, set in 1952.
After claiming victory in the Sprint, he returned on race day to produce an even more dominant performance. Both times he had to fend off competition from Lando Norris, and once he did there was no looking back as the Dutchman continues to set the standard.
After a few trying weekends, it was a welcome return to the podium for Alonso and Aston Martin, with the Spaniard receiving top marks for entertainment alone after his tense multi-lap battle with Sergio Perez at the end of the race.
In a qualifying affair that featured drastically changeable weather, he took fourth place but proved that it was no fluke with his pace on Sunday. However, even with that pace he looked set to miss out on the podium until his outstanding overtake on Perez on the final lap before holding on across the line.
It is another weekend in which the McLaren man has proven to be the strongest challenger to Verstappen and Red Bull, as he finished second behind the three-time world champion in both the Sprint and the race.
He impressively qualified on pole for the Sprint but lost out at the start, before making an excellent getaway from sixth on Sunday. He did his best to cause an upset in both events but just did not have the legs on Verstappen – although he will take solace in adding another podium to his growing tally.
Gasly dubbed the Sao Paulo GP as one of Alpine’s best races of the 2023 campaign as the French driver continues to excel in the second half of the season, which he has put down to feeling more comfortable in blue as the year has gone on.
However, it was not as straight forward as it may have appeared as Alpine were lacking pace in qualifying. Gasly was then given a two-place grid drop for impeding, but he put that to the side to impressively recover from 15th.
Alonso’s podium was a major talking point post-race, but Stroll’s clean weekend and return to the points would have filled Aston Martin with the joys of summer, although had he had a better start in the race, could he have finished higher?
He brilliantly qualified third, but a couple of slow starts dropped him down the order. However, the Canadian showed his toughness and his racing skill to make his way back up the order to take a well-earned fifth place.
Tsunoda may have felt that he could have done better than ninth in the race had he not had to manage a few issues, but when you put that result alongside his P6 finish in the Sprint, it was an outstanding weekend from the Japanese racer.
The improvements he and AlphaTauri made over the course of the weekend should also not go unnoticed. He qualified 16th on Friday but steadily improved and was fighting amongst the top teams on Saturday and Sunday. As the battle for P7 in the constructors' championship hots up, Tsunoda might have pulled off a masterclass.
He would have been gutted not to pip Alonso over the line on Sunday but after a few difficult races, finishing third in the Sprint and fourth in the race, while staying out of trouble, is exactly what the doctor would have ordered for Perez.
The Red Bull driver qualified ninth, but only after he was caught behind the yellow flags caused by Oscar Piastri spinning onto the grass. He felt he should have been near the top and he proved that over the course of the weekend, returning to the top three and scoring great points.
Leclerc was left questioning his luck in Sao Paulo as yet again an issue outside of his control cost him dearly. After qualifying an impressive second, he was on the formation lap when a hydraulics failure saw him end up in the barrier.
He took no part in the race, with his only points from the weekend coming in the Sprint where he crossed the line in fifth. It was a good showing from the Monegasque even if it was unfortunately halted early.
It was a similar sort of performance from Sainz, who qualified eighth and finished the race in sixth. He also scored the final point in the Sprint after showing impressive defensive skills to keep Daniel Ricciardo and Piastri at bay.
The Spaniard explained that the layout of the Sao Paulo track could have been what put Ferrari on the backfoot, so in a weekend where their rivals for P2 in the constructors’ championship, Mercedes, stuttered, his points could prove vital.
After a fine run of form in recent races it was a trying weekend for Hamilton and Mercedes in Sao Paulo, although the Briton, as is usual, made the best of an exceedingly difficult situation to score some valuable points.
He made excellent starts from fifth in both the Sprint and the race, but such was the pace and tyre degradation issues of his W14 that he quickly fell back into the clutches of the chasing pack. He wound up seventh in the 100KM dash and eighth in the race with Mercedes left searching for answers ahead of Las Vegas.
Logan Sargeant and Esteban Ocon are the two drivers to miss out on a place in this week’s top-10. Sargeant also missed out on points in the race when he finished 11th, while Ocon did score a solitary point after starting the race in 14th.