POWER RANKINGS: Which drivers cracked the top 10 after a tense 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix?
Max Verstappen took a dominant ninth victory of the season at this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix. The Dutch driver continues to impress the judges and makes an appearance in this week's top-10. But who else joins him on the list? Scroll down for 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)
The Dutch driver’s commanding victory made it a record 12 consecutive wins for Red Bull, breaking McLaren’s 35-year-old record of 11. Verstappen has won 10 of those races and when you look at the fact that he won in Budapest by 33 seconds, it looks easy. But it was not.
He admitted to struggling with the car balance all weekend, as he lost out on pole by the smallest of margins to Lewis Hamilton. But once he got past in Turn 1, there was no stopping him, as he continues his relentless march to a third world title.
The post-Hungarian GP press conference had a funny moment when Verstappen admitted to feeling sad for Norris at the start of the year, when he and McLaren were languishing at the back of the grid, struggling with their car.
Those days seem to be history as Norris narrowly missed out on pole, before sealing the first back-to-back podium finish of his career. But also, it is the second race in a row where he and McLaren have looked like the main challengers to Verstappen and Red Bull.
The rookie will once again feel unlucky to miss out on a maiden podium, as it was revealed damage to the floor of his car hindered his performance on Sunday. After qualifying fourth on Saturday, a terrific start saw him make his way up to second.
But he was undercut by his team mate Norris after the first round of pit stops and lost further places to Sergio Perez and Hamilton leaving him fifth. The wait continues for his first podium, but with the way he is driving it is surely around the corner.
Saturday gave us a reminder, if we needed one, that when Hamilton has the machinery to compete, he is capable of something special. A brilliant final lap in Q3 saw him snatch pole away from Verstappen by the barest of margins – sealing a first pole since 2021.
Unfortunately, he lost out at the start on Sunday, and while his getaway was not poor, he could not account for the others getting away better at the line. He was fourth by Turn 3 on Lap 1, which is where he finished the race. Not the outcome he would have had in mind after Saturday, but it was still a superb performance.
This sport is interesting as sometimes a driver can be at the peak of their powers, but they are unable to score points. This was the story for Albon this weekend, as while he drove brilliantly to have the Williams on the cusp of points, they just did not have the pace.
He was knocked out in Q1 by the slimmest of margins but was in dazzling form on Sunday as he looked to battle his way up to order. Ultimately, he did not have the pace to make it into the points, but it was as impressive a P11 as you are likely to see this season.
As recovery drives go, Russell’s performance on Sunday in Budapest is as impressive as any we have seen this year. After encountering traffic ahead of his final lap in Q1, the Briton could only qualify in 18th for Sunday’s race.
But he put that disappointment to the side and powered his way through the field at a track where it is difficult to overtake. He finished seventh on the road, between the two Ferraris, but gained a place thanks to Charles Leclerc’s five-second penalty.
It should not be underestimated that, having not driven a Formula 1 car competitively since Abu Dhabi in November 2022, it was an impressive return to action for Ricciardo. It's even more impressive when you include the fact that he had to recover from a first lap collision that was not his fault.
After being hit in the rear by Zhou Guanyu, and then hitting Esteban Ocon, Ricciardo dropped down to the back of the field. But in a car that may not be the most competitive, he managed to recover to a commendable 13th. A strong performance on his return.
Coming through the field is fast becoming Perez’s trademark this season, as it was another strong recovery drive from the Red Bull driver. He banished his Q3 demons to make it into the top 10 shootout for the first time since Miami, but could only manage ninth.
However, he was at his aggressive best on Sunday, as he looked to make his way up to the podium places. That he did, as he wound up third – and it could have been second – but he just ran out of legs at the end to catch Norris. All in all, it was a praise-worthy effort from Perez.
He may not be on a run of podiums like he was to start the year, but Alonso’s form has shown no sign of slowing down. With many teams around them improving, Aston Martin have slipped down the pecking order, with Alonso only qualifying eighth.
He may have gone back in the race, but he lost out to faster cars behind him. And while ninth place is not what he would have had in mind when he flew to Budapest, it was still a strong showing from the double world champion.
After finishing seventh in Sunday’s race, Leclerc said that he will be pushing Ferrari to take the next step as he looks to get back into contention for podium places. With the way he is driving, it's hard not to believe he would not make those gains count if Ferrari can bring performance to the SF-23.
The only black mark against his name this weekend was the five-second penalty for speeding in the pit lane that saw him drop from sixth to seventh. Apart from that, it was a strong drive, especially as he was forced to recover from a slow pit stop that dropped him down the order.
Carlos Sainz is once again the driver to narrowly miss out on a place in the top 10. The Spaniard missed out on Q3 for the first time since Jeddah in 2021. But he recovered to finish eighth, helped by a lightening fast start.