Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing on the podium with his trophy after winning the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2023. Source: Imago Images
Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing on the podium with his trophy after winning the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2023. Source: Imago Images

The winners and losers of F1 2023

F1 OlyBet 29.11.2023

After 22 rounds, the 2023 F1 season came to an end. Although it was a season for the history books with plenty of inspired racing, it could also be summed up in just four words: Max Verstappen, Red Bull.

To put it simply, Verstappen was untouchable in 2023. The 26-year-old Dutchman clinched his third straight drivers title in October with a quarter of a season still to go. And that did not satisfy him entirely as Verstappen went on to win the last seven races of the season, making it 19 out of 22 in total.

Behind the most dominant season in F1 history – more on that later – was plenty of excitement for the spectators. The third and the seventh driver were separated by just 34 points, with the eighth another 25 points adrift. Red Bull was not always the fastest car in qualifying, and Verstappen registered just nine fastest laps in races. Drivers of five different teams stood on the podium regularly.

Racing fans would like to see such tight margins decide the title winner, but going into 2024, it will be up to the other teams to catch up with Red Bull and Max. The bar has been raised. But first, time to remember the 2023 season – and the winners were …

Max Verstappen

After winning his first GP in 2016 as an 18-year-old, it took Verstappen some time to learn the ropes but we are now witnessing peak greatness. What else can one say? His battle with Lewis Hamilton in 2021 was impressive, but this year, he outdid everyone. In history, ever. 10 consecutive wins, 1003 laps led … it is almost unthinkable that someone could put together a season like that. Expect these records to stand for a long, long time.

Fernando Alonso

Too old and past it? For a 42-year-old who had returned to F1 in 2021 after spending three years away, switching from Alpine to Aston Martin was seen as a gamble, and considering that Alpine tallied three times as many points in 2022, even a foolish gamble. But if the two years Alonso spent with Alpine yielded just one podium, he had eight this year, finishing fourth overall and convincingly outpacing his teammate Lance Stroll. There is still life in the old dog, and hopefully another victory.


First, there was the dispute with Alpine over who would get Oscar Piastri; then the car turned out to be awful. They started as backmarkers and until Austria, the ninth race of the season, team leader Lando Norris had not finished higher than sixth. Since then, Norris had seven podiums, and Piastri won the Qatar sprint. In the end, they were probably the closest package to Red Bull and will look to build from that position going into 2024.

Liberty Media

The owners of F1 are continuing to do a fantastic job, even though the growth of viewership has stabilized a little. Their biggest achievement in 2023 surely has to be returning to Las Vegas 41 years after the last Grand Prix in Sin City. The early signs were troubling when a loose metal cover damaged Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari in practice, but the race was a brilliant spectacle tailored for Vegas.


Talk about a deal that suits both parties. Often heavily criticized (to say it nicely) in the WRC for not being good enough, the tire manufacturer has been a lot happier in F1. With different compounds offering different strategies for drivers, tires are always part of the discussion. Pirelli returned to the sport in 2011 and recently signed an extended deal that covers the 2025-2027 seasons with an option for 2028.

But not everyone can be a winner. The losers of 2023 are …

Sergio Perez

After splitting the first four race wins between them and standing just six points apart, many hoped that Perez would fight Verstappen for the title in 2023. But it is no secret that Red Bull favours the first-second policy (with Verstappen obviously first), so it would take a monumental effort to keep up. The 33-year-old Mexican faltered and barely scraped together enough points to finish second. If it was not clear before, it is now: he will never have a chance to fight for the title at Red Bull.

George Russell

In 2022, Russell outpaced his more illustrious teammate Lewis Hamilton, and even secured his first win in Sao Paulo. But as Hamilton bounced back this year and finished third in the drivers standings, Russell had just two podiums. Somewhat surprisingly, they were equal (11-11) in qualifying, but Hamilton found his killer instinct when it mattered while Russell was steady at best.


This one was a surprise. Who would you think finished last in the constructors championship? Williams, AlphaTauri, and Alfa Romeo all had mediocre seasons, but somehow Haas managed to collect just 12 points despite being virtually regulars in Q3 of qualifying. Their car had a design fault which meant a significant drop in race pace, culminating in a thoroughly forgettable season.

Nyck de Vries

The Dutchman won the Formula 2 crown in 2019 and became the Mercedes test driver afterwards, but a seat in the team seemed far away. A slice of fortune finally fell his way in 2022, when Williams driver Alex Albon suffered from an illness and De Vries was asked to step in; he finished ninth on his debut and was offered a full-time seat at AlphaTauri for 2023. But just ten races into the season, he was dismissed, and it seems the dream is over for the 28-year-old driver.

Jüri Vips

De Vries’s spot went to veteran Daniel Ricciardo, but a hand injury soon left the Australian on the sidelines, and 21-year-old Liam Lawson got his chance in F1 (and performed admirably). Good for him, but it is a story of what could have been as just a year ago, Estonian Jüri Vips was ahead of Lawson in Red Bull’s pecking order. A stupid remark – which was streamed online by Lawson – probably ended his F1 dream. But it should have been him getting the chance.


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