POWER RANKINGS: Where do the drivers rank after an entertaining 2023 United States Grand Prix?
It was quite the tense affair in Austin last weekend as Max Verstappen secured his 50th career victory. The Dutch driver also won the Sprint, but is that enough for him to seal top spot in this week’s rankings? Scroll down below to find out…
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)
The end result will sting for a while, but the weekend performance was as good as we have seen from Hamilton all season, as the updates brought by Mercedes this weekend gave him the confidence in the car he had been searching for all year.
He narrowly missed out on pole for both the Sprint and the race, and a better strategy could have seen him win on Sunday. But all in all it was a great weekend that, if not for the disqualification, would have seen him finish second in both the Sprint and the race.
The one thing that you can hold against Verstappen this weekend was that he had his pole-sealing time deleted for exceeding track limits. Apart from that, he showed no signs of letting the fact that he had won the title slow him down.
He was imperious on Saturday during the Shootout and the Sprint, which he won, but you could argue he was even better on Sunday. Coming through the field from sixth, while dealing with brake issues, he saw off great competition from Hamilton and Lando Norris to narrowly win his 50th F1 race.
What was another well-earned third turned into an even better second place once Hamilton was disqualified, handing Norris a fourth consecutive podium finish – a great result giving that McLaren did not expect to be at their strongest in COTA.
Norris caught plenty by surprise in qualifying when his final lap put him up to second. A great start took him ahead of Charles Leclerc and he led pretty well for the first half of the race, but in the end, Verstappen and Hamilton were just a bit quicker on the day. At the end, it was a P4 in the Sprint and second in the race.
It was another stellar weekend for Tsunoda as he scored a valuable five points for AlphaTauri. After a myriad of P11 finishes, it would only have been fair for Tsunoda to worry about another near points miss when he lined up 11th on the grid.
But a strong race after the disappointment of the Sprint, where he finished 14th, saw him display his impressive race craft, tyre management skills, and natural speed in a well-deserved eighth place.
Whisper it quietly but Gasly and Alpine have been in impressive form in recent races. If not for his penalties in Qatar for exceeding track limits – which saw him place 12th – he would have scored four top-10 finishes in a row.
From minute one in Austin, he looked in fine fettle and that was shown in qualifying, where he took seventh. He continued that form on Saturday, scoring a couple of valuable points in the Sprint, before returning and doing the same in the race, in sixth place.
It was a very frustrating end to Leclerc’s weekend, but it all started so well when he scored an outstanding pole position for the race. Unfortunately, his pace over one lap just did not translate to the race, which may not have been helped by Ferrari’s strategy.
He did well on Saturday, narrowly losing out on Sprint pole to Verstappen, before finishing third in the 100KM dash. But Sunday was a bit of a struggle, as he lost the lead of the race at the start and just did not have the pace or tyres to contend, crossing the line in sixth before being disqualified.
Albon has had a string of performances this year that have been good enough for him to finish in the top-10, but he just did not have the pace in his car to score points. That was the case again this weekend before the disqualifications saw him score some points.
His impressive weekend started on Saturday where he qualified eighth for the Sprint but missed out on points when he took the chequered flag in ninth. He returned on Sunday, started 15th, and looked to have lost out again in 11th, but as luck would have it, a stewards intervention went in his favour.
In the end it’s a podium for the Spaniard, which is a positive given how much he struggled in qualifying to start the weekend. Sainz explained that he was struggling in the final sector and that may have been the case in the Shootout when he qualified sixth.
He made the bold call to start on the softs in the Sprint, but it did not cost him anything as he wound up sixth anyway. He performed well on Sunday but just did not have the legs on the top three in the race although he ultimately gained a position with the disqualification.
Plenty has been made of Stroll’s form of late but it’s hard to argue against the fact that he has experienced plenty of bad luck. That continued when a brake issue meant he went into Friday’s qualifying with little to no running in practice.
His Saturday was not much better as he retired from the Sprint with the same brake issue. But after Aston Martin made some changes to both his and Fernando Alonso’s cars, they showed some fighting pace in the race as he made his way from the back of the field to a well-earned seventh place.
His race ended with a suspension failure but his recovery drive was well worth the price of admission. He was knocked out in Q1 for the first time as an Aston Martin driver and could only finish 13th in the Sprint.
But the Spaniard returned on Sunday a man on a mission and battled his way through the field as the lead Aston Martin all day. He pulled off some impressive overtakes in the process, and was chasing Gasly for eighth when he was unfortunately called in to retire his car. An unfortunate end to a great performance.
Narrowly missing out on a place in this week's top-10 is Logan Sargeant, who scored the first points of his Formula 1 career at his home race. He made a slow start after dropping to the back of the field but showed tremendous pace to get back into contention for the points. A mightily impressive showing from the rookie.