POWER RANKINGS: Which drivers impressed our judges at an exciting Sprint weekend in Austria?
Max Verstappen takes top spot after a dominant weekend at the Red Bull Ring, but who else joins him in the top-10? Here are this week's Power Ranking scores from the 2023 Austrian Grand Prix.
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 has had some dominant weekends so far this year but were any more emphatic than what he just did in Austria? The Dutch driver lead the lone practice session, before qualifying on pole for both the Sprint and the race.
From then on, he simply had too much for the rest of his competition, taking commanding wins in both the Sprint and Sunday’s Grand Prix. If he continues to operate at this level, it’s hard to imagine anyone stopping him any time soon.
A performance worthy of winning the race, but also a drive to remind people why Norris is so highly rated by many in the paddock. He was quick all weekend, extracting every ounce of performance out of the new upgrades brought to the MCL60.
He would have been gutted to miss out on points in the Sprint, after his car went into anti-stall on the opening lap, dropping him down the order. But he made up for that on Sunday, with a powerful drive to finish fifth – before gaining a place once Carlos Sainz’s penalty took effect.
Albon continues to get every ounce of performance out of the FW45 and will feel a little hard done by that his efforts were not rewarded with points. He did brilliantly in the Sprint and was running seventh, only for a pit stop to cost him a chance at points.
And then in the race, he was running in 10th before Lance Stroll, on fresher tyres, overtook him. But once again, he put in another competitive drive, underlining his status as one of the star performers this season.
It was a return to the podium for Leclerc, after a difficult few races for him and his Ferrari team. It was not all smooth sailing for Leclerc though as, while he was quick enough to narrowly miss out on pole on Friday, he did not look to have the pace on Saturday.
He then struggled in the first stint on Sunday, having to hold off the faster Sainz to keep hold of second. But once he settled into the race, he showed off the pace we have become accustomed to seeing from him in red, splitting the two Red Bulls on the podium.
For parts of the weekend, Sainz looked to have the measure of Leclerc, especially in the Sprint, where he finished third, and in the early stages of Sunday’s race. However, his efforts were not rewarded with a podium in the race, and he would have been less pleased when he dropped from fourth to sixth due to a 10-second penalty.
However, it was still one of his stronger weekends so far this season, as he even admitted feeling much more comfortable in the car with Ferrari’s upgrades.
Over one lap, few have been better than Hulkenberg so far this season, with the Haas driver once again making it to Q3, where he qualified eighth. And he continued that fine form on Saturday, qualifying fourth in the Shootout, before finishing sixth in the Sprint.
However, all his hard work was undone by a power unit issue that forced him to stop on track in Sunday’s race. If Haas can get their long run performance sorted, they know they have a driver in Hulkenberg who is frighteningly quick at the moment.
It was one of Alonso’s quieter weekends in Aston Martin green so far and he still wound up fifth. He admitted afterwards that they just did not have the pace to compete this weekend, but yet again the Spaniard remained as competitive as ever.
He pushed the AMR23 all weekend to finish fifth in the Sprint and sixth in Sunday’s race – before also gaining a place and moving up to fifth due to Sainz’s penalty.
It was a return to the points for Gasly in Austria, in what was quite the consistent, yet understated, drive from the French racer. He qualified ninth on Friday, before taking a step back on Saturday, but returned to form on Sunday.
Gasly was made to work for it though, as he pulled off some impressive overtakes on his rivals. He was also forced to manage the gap to a charging Stroll in the closing stages for ninth – but lost the place after being given a 10-second penalty by the stewards.
After a run of some tough results, it was a welcomed return to form for the rookie at a track he enjoyed previous success at in Formula 2. He had looked pacy in spurts throughout the weekend, but put it all together in the race.
He briefly ran in the points, but in the end, he leaves Austria without a point on the board. However, this was a positive sign that his performances are improving, which surely means a top-10 finish is not too far away.
Stroll looked to have the upper hand on his team mate, Alonso, for parts of the weekend, including holding him off to secure fourth place in the Sprint. But a poor start from sixth on the grid cost him time and dropped him into the tight midfield in the race.
Eventually, he and Aston Martin made the strategy work out, with the Canadian opting to bolt on a set of mediums towards the end of the race. That allowed him to chase down Albon for 10th, before gaining ninth place after Gasly's penalty.
Narrowly missing out on a place in the top-10 is Lewis Hamilton, after the Mercedes driver’s difficult Sunday in Austria. After a good quali and a start to the race, Hamilton was running in fourth, but a lack of pace cost him, before penalties for exceeding track limits saw him drop from seventh to eighth.