These are the five 2023 F1 drivers who have proved themselves up to the Summer break. Can they repeat their success in the second half?
Throughout the 2023 F1 season, there are many drivers who have fallen short of their teams’ and fans’ expectations. These drivers have led the headlines throughout this Summer break. But, what about the drivers who have shown their potential and excellence this season? Here are five drivers who have exceeded expectations in 2023:
1.) Fernando Alonso
The sensational “rookie” has been stellar this season. The Spanish driver currently sits in third place in the Driver Championship with a resounding 149 points. Alonso has carried the Aston Martin team to third place in the Constructors’ Championship single-handedly. To put this achievement into context, Aston Martin finished the 2022 season with 55 total points and a P7 finish. There are 10 races left on the season calendar and Aston Martin can build on their current total of a whopping 196 points.
Without question, Alonso was the most obvious candidate to etch his name into this list of drivers. His resume speaks for itself, and he is one of the main keys of success to Lawrence Stroll’s Aston Martin team.
2.) Oscar Piastri
The Aussie who captured the attention this past off season by declining Alpine for Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren seat has been sensational in 2023; however, it did not always appear that he had made the right choice. To start the year, McLaren was struggling for pace and was arguably one of the slowest cars on the grid. Piastri managed P11 on the drivers championship and has 34 points for McLaren.
Ever since Silverstone Piastri and McLaren have shown strong pace. Other than an unfortunate retirement in Spa, has seemed to stay within arm’s length of teammate, Lando Norris. He even had his moment of glory in leading the Belgian Sprint Race for a few laps before being overtaken by Verstappen. Many of our own had Piastri picked as their “Rookie of the Year” prior to the season. These predictions could hold true as Piastri has shown his potential and made people believe that he will be a future star in Formula 1.
3.) Nico Hulkenberg
Nico Hulkenberg has had a solid F1 career throughout his time in the pinnacle of motorsport. He has never been a driver who seemed to fight for race wins or to win a championship, but he gets the job done. During the off season, the German was able to take the Haas seat from Mick Schumacher. However, I think that it is safe to say that he has proven himself to be a great fit for Haas.
In what has been a regression of last year’s Haas team, Hulkenberg has certainly been a bright spot for them. He has 9 of the team’s 11 points and seems to have the better over his teammate, Kevin Magnussen. Hulkenberg has done enough to quiet the skeptics, and he has shown that he can do what Haas has expected of him. His qualifying record this season and his solid race outings have earned him a spot on this list.
4.) Yuki Tsunoda
AlphaTauri is a challenging team to race for (just ask Nyck De Vries). Naturally, there are not many people who believe that the AlphaTauri team will be able to fight for championships. The drivers that join the team have the intention of one day being promoted to the dominant Red Bull driver lineup. With the inconsistent performances of Sergio Perez, Yuki Tsunoda has moved his name closer to earning a spot in the lineup. And while it is definitely a stretch to say he is worthy of replacing Perez, none can deny the greatness of Tsunoda this season.
Tsunoda has taken the slowest car on the grid and managed to put up solid results on a consistent basis. Whether or not he can continue this success remains to be seen, but the young Japanese driver is holding his own and stirring up the rumors for the rest of the season.
5.) Alexander Albon
Alex Albon has been the strongest component of Williams’ success. He has 11 total points and is showing that he can still compete at a high level with a slow car. All things considered Albon has done more than enough to have a place on this list. Undoubtedly the best is yet to come from him.
There are many rumors that have Albon linked to top teams. Ferrari being one of them to replace Carlos Sainz. And while these may just be rumors, it will not be long before teams are genuinely targeting him to be a member of their driver lineups.