RACE DEBRIEF

    Max Verstappen has been voted driver of the year for the third season in a row by Formula 1’s team principals in our annual poll, following a crushing third world title win in 2023.

    For the sixth year running, we asked each of the grid’s 10 team bosses to submit their list of the top 10 drivers of the year, under the proviso their individual ranking would remain secret.

    We awarded drivers scores based on the current F1 points system, with the top driver in each list receiving 25 points down to one for 10th. Scores were then combined to create our ranking.

    It’s no surprise that Verstappen tops the poll, the Dutchman dominating the season with 19 wins in 22 attempts to finish a staggering 290 points clear of the rest of the pack.

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    Verstappen’s tally of 240 points out of a maximum 250 is 33 better than he achieved last year, and 112 clear of second-best driver in our poll Fernando Alonso, who impressed team bosses with his first campaign at Aston Martin.

    The veteran double world champion clinched eight podiums across the season to finish fourth overall in the drivers’ standings, with P2 in our team principal poll two spots better than last year.

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    Lando Norris, who nailed seven podiums – six of them P2s – completed the team principals’ podium in third, three places up on last year, with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc dropping two places to P4.

    Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton endured his second successive season without a Grand Prix victory on his way to third in the drivers’ championship. He was rated P5 in our poll.

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    Carlos Sainz, the only non-Red Bull driver to win a race in 2023 with victory in Singapore, was sixth, ahead of new entry Oscar Piastri, who impressed in his debut season with McLaren.

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    Alex Albon was another new entry in P8, the Thai driver near single-handedly guiding Williams to P7 in the constructors’ championship and the chunky slice of prize money that comes with it.

    George Russell was the biggest faller, dropping from P3 in 2022 to P9 – the Mercedes driver managing just two podiums as he was outclassed by team mate Hamilton – with championship runner up Sergio Perez rounding out the top 10.

    The team principals who took part in the vote (in alphabetical order) were: Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Bruno Famin, Christian Horner, Mike Krack, Guenther Steiner, Andrea Stella, Franz Tost, Fred Vasseur, James Vowles, Toto Wolff.

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