Which team has the best driver line-up on the 2023 F1 grid? | Debates and Polls


As another Formula 1 season approaches over the horizon, there are another ten driver pairings that are aiming to achieve success throughout 2023. Four of them remain untouched from last season, while six of the teams welcome a new driver into their ranks.

But which of the driver combinations on the 2023 F1 grid is the best? Vote for which team you think has the best driver line-up and have your say in the comments.

The 2023 F1 team mates

Team Driver 1 Driver 2 Notes
Red Bull Max Verstappen Sergio Perez The reigning constructors’ champions, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez combined for 17 wins in total for Red Bull last year. Despite helping Red Bull to their most successful season ever in 2022, Verstappen enjoyed far more of the success than Perez did, with the more experienced driver adding just two wins to the team’s total to Verstappen’s 15 on his way to the title.
Ferrari Charles Leclerc Carlos Sainz Jnr Charles Leclerc stormed to an early championship lead last season before a combination of Ferrari reliability problems and a Red Bull resurgence took him out of the hunt for the title. Carlos Sainz Jnr broke through with his first career win at Silverstone and was far closer to his team mate by the end of the year. Both are locked down at Ferrari for the years to come.
Mercedes George Russell Lewis Hamilton In Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes have the most successful driver ever, statistically. However, it was his new team mate George Russell who ended up ahead of Hamilton on points at the end of the season, impressing with his consistency through the year and taking Mercedes’ only victory of the season in Brazil.
Alpine Esteban Ocon Pierre Gasly The first new pairing for 2023 sees the only French team now running with a purely French driver line-up. Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly are of similar age, each has a single grand prix win to their names and both have over 100 races of experience. With their rivalry stretching back to karting days, both will be eager to defeat the other this season.
McLaren Lando Norris Oscar Piastri Once of the youngest duos on the grid sees the first rookie of the 2023 season. Formula 2 champion Oscar Piastri finally gets an opportunity to race in F1 as McLaren’s first rookie since Stoffel Vandoorne. He joins Lando Norris, who continues to blossom into one of the most formidable young talents on the grid with the only midfield podium of 2022.
Alfa Romeo Valtteri Bottas Zhou Guanyu Valtteri Bottas‘ move from Mercedes to Alfa Romeo in 2022 appeared to be an inspired one as he quickly racked up points that helped the team finish sixth last year. Zhou Guanyu’s rookie year was impressively free of major errors and the two have worked very well together so far. Both will be eager that the team’s reliability problems are resolved.
Aston Martin Lance Stroll Fernando Alonso After losing a four-time champion team mate, Lance Stroll now has F1’s most experienced ever driver, Fernando Alonso, alongside him in the garage. Alonso was unlucky in 2022 but showed he can still race at a high level while Stroll found himself ahead of Vettel more often in 2022 than many would have predicted. Hopefully the pair will avoid each other on track.
Haas Kevin Magnussen Nico Hulkenberg Haas hang their hopes on two experienced veterans in Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg. Magnussen’s return to F1 in 2022 was more successful than even he predicted, taking many early points and a surprise podium in Brazil. Hulkenberg heads into his first full season since 2019 but has plenty of stand-in appearances in recent seasons to keep him sharp.
AlphaTauri Yuki Tsunoda Nyck de Vries With Gasly departing the team, AlphaTauri turn to Yuki Tsunoda to guide them as their most experienced driver. Tsunoda showed improvement in year two but also found himself in trouble a little too regularly. Joining him is F2 and Formula E champion Nyck de Vries who heads into 2023 as the most well-prepared rookie in recent memory.
Williams Alexander Albon Logan Sargeant Williams’ fears of losing the talents of George Russell were calmed when Alexander Albon quickly earned their trust with some memorable points-scoring performances through 2022. They have also promoted junior driver Logan Sargeant into the team and given him plenty of Friday practice runs to help the stand-out F2 rookie prepare for his debut season.

I say

Formula 1 arguably has one of its stronger fields in its history, with multiple champions and three intriguing rookies joining the grid – including two Formula 2 title-winners making their debuts. But while there is talent throughout the field, it’s hard not to look at the front of the grid for the best driver combinations.

Leclerc and Sainz both made errors at times in 2022

Last year, former Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto hailed Leclerc and Sainz as being the best driver pairing on the grid, but some notable mistakes from both throughout the 2022 season may have harmed that argument as well as contributing to Binotto’s eventual departure. While McLaren’s combination of Norris and Piastri may be looked back in future as a strong one with Norris’s established skills and Piastri’s impressive junior pedigree, there’s just not enough known about Piastri to judge them too highly.

That leaves Red Bull and Mercedes. Typically, the combination of Hamilton and Russell would seem the outstanding one, with Hamilton’s seven titles and Russell demonstrating he has more than enough ability to race at the highest level in his first season with Mercedes. However, Hamilton failed to take a win or even a pole in 2022, while Russell achieved both.

Then at Red Bull, Verstappen is the most outstanding driver on the grid today as the reigning double world champion, but while Perez has been the best wingman Verstappen has had since Daniel Ricciardo, it’s debatable whether Perez’s contribution is enough to make him and Verstappen the grid’s best duo.

But taking Verstappen and Hamilton’s clear brilliance into account and judging which of their team mates is closer to them, Mercedes have to take the edge in this head-to-head with Hamilton and Russell.

You say

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