The 2023 season is fast approaching and as we countdown the days to the opening race in Bahrain on Sunday 5th March, we are taking a look at the driver line-up for the season ahead.
As well as driver movements and others losing their seats or retiring, the sport also has three rookie driver’s joining the grid. Here is a round-up of the 2023 line-up to get you prepared for the on-track action.
Red Bull is one of the teams keeping the same driver line-up as 2022. The team won the constructor’s championship at the Austin Grand Prix and had an incredible seventeen race wins across the 2022 season.
The Belgian-Dutch driver dominated the 2022 season despite some reliability issues with the Red Bull. He took his second championship win at the Japanese Grand Prix as well as breaking the record for the number of race wins in a season, with fifteen.
Perez showed a huge leap forward in performance in 2022 taking the win at the Monaco and Singapore Grand Prix. He was in a close battle with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc for second place in the driver’s championship which carried on right until the end of the season. Perez ended up coming third with 305 points behind Leclerc with 308 points.
Ferrari are also keeping both of their driver’s from 2022, however they are going into 2023 with a new team principal, Frederic Vasseur. It was announced shortly after the 2022 season came to a close that Mattia Binotto would be leaving the team at the end of the year, and it was later confirmed that Vasseur would be moving from Sauber (Alfa Romeo) to take his place.
The team started the year off strong but encountered reliability issues with the cars as well as making several strategical errors.
Leclerc had a great start to the year achieving pole position at the Bahrain Grand Prix and then going on to take the win. Over the whole season the Monegasque won 3 races, 9 pole positions, and 3 fastest laps.
Making his F1 debut in 2018 driving for Sauber, Leclerc has worked with Vasseur being his team principal before and they seemed to work well together, so many fans are hoping to see a more successful 2023. He did take second in the driver’s championship but seemed to bear the brunt of a lot of the teams strategical errors.
The Spanish driver managed to achieve fifth in the driver’s championship in 2022 and also bagged his first F1 career win at the British Grand Prix in Silverstone where he also started in pole position. Over the whole season Sainz had 1 race win, 2 pole positions, and two fastest laps.
Mercedes had a new driver line-up for 2022 and are carrying on into 2023 with the same driver’s. George Russell joined seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton at the start of the 2022 season and proved his place on the team. Overall, the team had a difficult year with multiple issues on the W13 cars, however, they made significant developments throughout the year and are ready to come back fighting in 2023.
The seven-time champion had his first season with no race wins in his whole F1 career. However, as it was Russell’s first year with the team and he is in the early stages of his career, Mercedes revealed that Hamilton had instructed the team to carry out the majority of the tests and data collection on his car.
Hamilton narrowly missed out on his eighth championship win in 2021 and will be looking to be in the thick of the competition at the top of the grid in 2023 for fight for this. Hamilton’s contract is due to expire with the team at the end of 2023, however, we are expecting to hear that this will be extended.
The British driver had a great year in 2022 aside from the issues with the car. He was branded as ‘Mr. Consistency’ in the first half of the year for consistently coming in the top 5 race after race.
Despite the challenges with the car, Russell went on to take his first career win at the Brazilian Grand Prix with Hamilton coming in second. On top of his race win he also achieved 1 pole position and 4 fastest laps.
McLaren is the first team to have a new driver line-up in 2023. The team announced during 2022 that they were parting ways with Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo at the end of the season. Ricciardo has signed with Red Bull as a reserve driver for 2023.
Norris has been with the McLaren team since his F1 debut in 2019. Both he and Ricciardo were quite open with their struggles with the 2022 McLaren’s but Norris was able to get just that bit more performance out of the car.
The Belgian-British driver signed an extended contract with the team last February until at least 2025.
Piastri is the first rookie driver to join the grid in 2023. After the Australian driver won the Formula 2 championship in 2021, he was signed as a reserve driver for Alpine for the 2022 season. Prior to this the 21-year-old had been part of the Alpine Academy since 2020 (previously Renault Sport Academy).
Alpine will be having a new driver line-up for 2023 and will be going into the season as an all-French team. Fernando Alonso left the team at the end of the 2022 season to go to Aston Martin and replacing him is Pierre Gasly.
Ocon is in contract with the team until the end of 2024. He finished 2022 ahead of Alonso and came eighth place in the driver’s championship with 92 points. The 26-year-old was involved in great midfield battles but also had some on-track friction with Alonso.
Gasly is joining the team from AlphaTauri, which is the first time he has left the Red Bull umbrella since his F1 debut in 2017. The Frenchman came in 14th in the championship and also picked up a number of penalty points so he will be looking to come back with a better performance in 2023.
Alfa Romeo will be going into 2023 with the same driver line-up as 2022. Valtteri Bottas was joined by rookie Zhou Guanyu at the start of the 2022 season. The team came sixth in the constructor’s championship with 55 points.
The Finnish driver managed to stay out of the drama in 2022 and came tenth in the driver’s championship with 49 points. Bottas made the move from Mercedes at the end of 2021 and is reportedly in contract with Alfa Romeo until the end of 2024.
Chinese driver Zhou Guanyu joined the team at the beginning of 2022 for his rookie season. He was the only rookie on the grid last year and came eighteenth in the driver’s championship. He also managed to get a fastest lap at the Japanese Grand Prix.
The two-time champion is the newest addition to the team. Alonso has moved from Alpine where there was some friction between the Spanish driver and Esteban Ocon. Alonso came ninth in the driver’s championship with 81 points.
Stroll has been with the team since 2019 when they were called Racing Point. The Canadian driver had an on-track collision with Alonso in 2022 which sent Alonso flying up into the air. Hopefully the pair can move past this incident as they move forward as teammates.
AlphaTauri are bringing on another of the rookie drivers for the 2023 season, Nyck de Vries, after Pierre Gasly left to go to Alpine.
Tsunoda has been with the team since 2021. He came seventeenth in the 2022 driver’s championship with just 12 points, however, the team did struggle with some car issues throughout the season. Tsunoda has since said that he feels that he has personally improved significantly.
Nyck de Vries
De Vries is set for his first season in F1. The Dutchman has been a Mercedes reserve driver since 2021 and is a Formula E and Formula 2 champion. De Vries made his F1 debut at the Italian GP in 2022 where he stepped in for Alex Albon very last minute after he was rushed to hospital. He showed fantastic performance and came in the top ten scoring his first points in the sport.
Haas are another team with a new line-up for 2023. They announced shortly after the 2022 season that they were not extending Mick Schumacher’s contract and that they were bringing Nico Hulkenberg on in his place.
Magnussen had been dropped by the team at the end of 2020 but was called back last minute for the start of 2022 when the team cut ties with Nikita Mazepin after Russia invaded Ukraine. The Danish driver quickly proved the team right when he came fifth in the Bahrain Grand Prix. He also went on to get the teams first pole position, and is own, for the Brazilian Grand Prix sprint race.
Hulkenberg is making his return to the sport after being the reserve driver for Aston Martin since 2021. The German driver holds an unfortunate record of the most race starts with no podium finishes. Hopefully, he will be able to come back this season and get on the podium.
The last rookie driver for 2023 has joined Williams after Canadian driver Nicholas Latifi struggled to show the performance needed to keep his seat in the sport. Latifi has since confirmed he has moved to IndyCar.
Albon has been with the Williams team since 2022 after losing his seat at Red Bull. The Thai-British driver only came nineteenth in the 2022 driver’s championship, with Latifi coming twentieth, but is on a multi-year deal with the team.
Sargeant is the first American driver to join the grid since 2015 and is sure to bring in more American fans to the sport as F1 rises in popularity in the US. The team announced that they has offered Sargeant a seat on the team at the Austin Grand Prix so long as he was able to secure enough points on his super licence points.