What you need to know about each Formula 1 driver for the 2023 season

What you need to know about each Formula 1 driver for the 2023 season

Formula 1 cars are returning to the track as teams prepare for pre-season testing this week. 

The drivers head to Bahrain for the three-day session for the only test before the first race on March 5.

There are new faces on the grid for 2023, while a former full-time driver gets another chance in the pinnacle class of four-wheel motorsport.


Check out who is on the grid for 2023 and what lies ahead for them this season. 

Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix
Max Verstappen achieved a record 15 race wins last season.(Reuters: Amanda Perobelli)

Team and number: Red Bull, 1

Championship position in 2022: World champion

Best championship finish: World champion (2021 and 2022)

Max Verstappen was in a league of his own in 2022.


The Dutchman won a record 15 races en route to his second world title in as many years.

He also broke Lewis Hamilton’s record for the most points scored in a single season.

Now a two-time world champion, there is little doubt Verstappen is the man to beat heading into the new season.

A cost cap penalty restricting the amount of time Red Bull can conduct aerodynamic testing could prove decisive if the championship is tight in 2023.

Sergio Pérez

Sergio Perez on the podium at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Sergio Perez won in Monaco and Singapore in 2022.(Reuters: Leonhard Foeger)

Team and number: Red Bull, 11


Championship position in 2022: Third

Best championship finish: Third

Statistically, 2022 was Sergio Pérez’s greatest season in Formula 1.

The Mexican won two races — Monaco and Singapore — and finished third in the championship.

However, there was a sense of disappointment he could not finish second in the championship, with tension between him and Verstappen brewing at the penultimate São Paulo Grand Prix.


But Pérez once again finds himself in a car at the pointy end of the grid. It may be hard to challenge his teammate in the championship, but a victory at the Mexican Grand Prix would provide a legendary moment in the sport.

Charles Leclerc

Charles Leclerc following the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Charles Leclerc was an early leader in the championship last season.(Reuters: Leonhard Foeger)

Team and number: Ferrari, 16

Championship position in 2022: Second

Best championship finish: Second

At one time in 2022, Ferrari fans were dreaming of their first drivers’ championship since 2007.


Charles Leclerc was an early frontrunner in the title race in what appeared to be the quickest car on the grid.

It all unravelled for the driver from Monaco, with a catalogue of driver, team, and mechanical failures taking away their title dream.

Leclerc finished second in the championship, recovering well in the final two races to pip Sergio Pérez.

With a new team principal at the helm, Leclerc will be hoping the errors of last season are fixed and a championship is on the horizon.

Carlos Sainz

Carlos Sainz before the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Carlos Sainz secured his maiden F1 victory in 2022.(Reuters: Aleksandra Szmigiel)

Team and number: Ferrari, 55


Championship position in 2022: Fifth

Best championship finish: Fifth

Carlos Sainz achieved his first F1 victory last season, but that success was often overshadowed by a wretched run.

Mechanical issues, driver errors and costly team decisions robbed Sainz of dozens of championship points, and potentially a win in Monaco.

He was well beaten by his teammate last season, but had been the best-performing driver at Ferrari in 2021.


If he eliminates the errors he made in 2022 and gets the most out of his car, more victories could be on the cards for the Spaniard.

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton ahead of the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton failed to win a race in 2022.(Reuters: Amanda Perobelli)

Team and number: Mercedes, 44

Championship position in 2022: Sixth

Best championship finish: World champion (2008, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020)

2022 was a season we have never seen from Lewis Hamilton.


In a Mercedes which had many problems, the seven-time world champion failed to win a race in a season for the first time in his career.

But the Briton showed a lot of class in what was otherwise a disappointing year.

He willed his car onto the podium on multiple occasions and at times fell victim to team decisions that favoured his teammate.

Mercedes and Hamilton have no interest in fighting for podiums — the fight is for wins and championships. This is what will be expected in 2023.

George Russell

George Russell during practice before the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
George Russell achieved the only win for Mercedes last season.(Reuters: Leonhard Foeger)

Team and number: Mercedes, 63


Championship position in 2022: Fourth

Best championship finish: Fourth

George Russell was arguably the most impressive driver in 2022.

Entering his first season with Mercedes and expecting to be at the front of the grid, Russell consistently finished in the top five while his team struggled to control the bouncing of the car.

He achieved his maiden F1 win at the São Paulo Grand Prix in impressive fashion, and beat teammate Hamilton in the championship.


If Mercedes get the car right in 2023, Russell will have as good a chance as Hamilton to contest the title.

Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon before practice at the Mexican Grand Prix
Esteban Ocon will have a new teammate in 2023.(Reuters: Henry Romero)

Team and number: Alpine, 31

Championship position in 2022: Eighth

Best championship finish: Eighth

Esteban Ocon is coming off an impressive season with Alpine in 2022.


The Frenchman finished ahead of his teammate Fernando Alonso in the championship, guiding the team to fourth in the constructors’ championship.

This season there are new challenges for Ocon, with fellow Frenchman Pierre Gasly joining the team.

Both drivers have plenty to prove and will want to establish themselves as the team’s lead driver.

Pierre Gasly

Pierre Gasly at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix
Pierre Gasly moves from AlphaTauri to Alpine for the new season.(Reuters: Amanda Perobelli)

Team and number: Alpine, 10

Championship position in 2022: 14th


Best championship finish: Seventh

Pierre Gasly has left the Red Bull family and is forging a new path with Alpine.

The former AlphaTauri and Red Bull driver comes to the French outfit with plenty of experience, with one race win and several memorable drives on his resume.

Gasly was the undisputed lead driver for the past three seasons with AlphaTauri, but he enters a new team with a teammate who is well-established at Alpine.

There will be high expectations as he will drive a car that on paper should be faster and more competitive.


Oscar Piastri

Oscar Piastri at the Spanish Grand Prix in 2022.
Oscar Piastri will make his F1 debut for McLaren, after dramatically leaving Alpine as their reserve driver.(Reuters: Nacho Doce)

Team and number: McLaren, N/A

Championship position in 2022: N/A

Best championship finish: N/A

Oscar Piastri is the newest Australian to compete in Formula 1. 

The young Victorian has an impressive resume in the lower categories.


He won the Formula Renault, Formula 3 and Formula 2 championships in consecutive seasons.

In 2022 he was Alpine’s reserve driver and was then announced by the team as Fernando Alonso’s replacement for 2023.

Only one problem — nobody had told Oscar. 

Piastri never signed the contract to be Alpine’s full-time driver, with the young Australian announcing his move to McLaren. 

There will be plenty of pressure on the shoulders of Piastri after his highly publicised move. 


Lando Norris

Lando Norris at the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Lando Norris has another Australian teammate at McLaren.(Reuters: Leonhard Foeger)

Team and number: McLaren, 4

Championship position in 2022: Seventh

Best championship finish: Sixth

After two successful years with one Australian as his teammate, Lando Norris has a new man from down under to partner.


Norris was clearly the best driver who was not driving a Red Bull, Ferrari or Mercedes in 2022.


He is now the most experienced driver in his team for the first time in his career and he will be expected to continue pushing his McLaren as far up the grid as possible.

The young Briton will be going into the new year hoping his time has come to secure his first victory in F1, after his previous teammate Daniel Ricciardo won McLaren’s last race at Monza in 2021.

A race win and ensuring he is well ahead of his rookie teammate will be Lando’s primary goals.

Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas arrives for practice at Singapore Grand Prix
Valtteri Bottas produced some brilliant performances in 2022.(Reuters: Edgar Su)

Team and number: Alfa Romeo, 77

Championship position in 2022: 10th


Best championship finish: Second

Valtteri Bottas was brilliant in 2022, his first season with Alfa Romeo after five years with Mercedes.

The Finnish driver showed plenty of class in a car that finished sixth in the constructors’ championship.

Bottas scored 49 of the team’s 55 points last season, including fifth place at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

There is plenty of excitement around the team, as they prepare to become an Audi works team in 2026.


Bottas will be wanting more success this season, establishing himself as a key part of the team’s exciting future.

Zhou Guanyu

Zhou Guanyu attend an event in Singapore
Entering his second season, Zhou Guanyu will be wanting to build on his accomplishment from the year before.(Reuters: Travis Teo)

Team and number: Alfa Romeo, 24

Championship position in 2022: 18th

Best championship finish: 18th

Zhou Guanyu struggled in his debut season of F1.


The first Chinese driver on an F1 grid managed just six points in his opening campaign, while his more-experienced teammate managed 49.

Zhou finished in the points on three occasions in 2022, with a best finish of eighth at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Alfa Romeo has shown faith in their young driver by keeping him for a second season, but Zhou will need to show a lot more if he is to have a future in the category.

Lance Stroll

Lance Stroll prior to the Mexican Grand Prix
Lance Stroll has another former world champion as his teammate at Aston Martin.(Reuters: Carlos Perez Gallardo)

Team and number: Aston Martin, 18

Championship position in 2022: 15th


Best championship finish: 11th

Lance Stroll enters his seventh season in F1 and has another former world champion as a teammate.

After two years with Sebastian Vettel, Stroll now welcomes Fernando Alonso as his new partner.

Stroll will need to reach a new level to be able to outscore Alonso this season.

The Canadian has finished ahead of a teammate just once in his six years in F1 — 2018 at Williams when his teammate was Sergey Sirotkin.


Despite this, Stroll’s place in F1 does not look in danger with his father owning the team.

However, if Aston Martin is to move up the grid, the team will need more out of the Canadian.

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso before the Sao Paulo Grand Prix
Fernando Alonso shockingly left Alpine to drive for Aston Martin.(Reuters: Amanda Perobelli)

Team and number: Aston Martin, 14

Championship position in 2022: Ninth 

Best championship finish: World champion (2005 and 2006)


Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso shocked many when he announced he would leave Alpine to drive for Aston Martin.

He enters a team who were a constant mid-field team in 2022.

The team finished level on points with Alfa Romeo but finished behind them on countback.

Alonso brings much-needed quality and experience to the team.

The Spaniard produced some excellent driving in 2022, with Aston Martin hoping a faster car and Alonso at his best will move them up the grid.


Kevin Magnussen

Kevin Magnussen arrives at the track for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Kevin Magnussen was a late inclusion before the first race in 2022, but now has had an entire off-season to prepare for this year.(Reuters: Leonhard Foeger)

Team and number: Haas, 20

Championship position in 2022: 13th

Best championship finish: Ninth

Kevin Magnussen made a triumphant return to F1 last season.

The Danish driver was a late replacement at Haas after the team ditched Russia’s Nikita Mazepin in the wake of the war in Ukraine.


Magnussen’s highlight was achieving his first, and the team’s first, pole position during a rain-affect qualifying for the São Paulo Grand Prix.

The scenes from the garage in Brazil were one of the highlights of the year.

The Danish driver finished in the top 10 seven times in 2022.

Now with a full pre-season to prepare for the new campaign, Magnussen will be aiming to achieve more top 10s.

Nico Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg before the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix
Nico Hulkenberg returns to F1 as a full-time driver in 2023.(Reuters: Hamad I Mohammed)

Team and number: Haas, 27


Championship position in 2022: 22nd (drove two races)

Best championship finish: Seventh

Nico Hulkenberg returns as a full-time F1 driver for the first time since 2019, replacing Mick Schumacher at Haas.

Hulkenberg will unite with Magnussen, who he has had a frosty relationship with in the past.

The German driver competed in the first two races of last season, filling in for Sebastian Vettel who was ill.


Hulkenberg currently holds the F1 record for the most races (181) without ever achieving a podium finish.

In the Haas it would seem unlikely for Nico to finally celebrate with a trophy at the end of a race, but stranger things have happened in F1.

Yuki Tsunoda

Yuki Tsunoda before the Sao Paulo Grand Prix
In just his third season, AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda becomes the team’s senior driver.(Reuters: Amanda Perobelli)

Team and number: AlphaTauri, 22

Championship position in 2022: 17th

Best championship finish: 14th


Yuki Tsunoda enters his third season of F1 with plenty still to prove.

The Japanese drive had a tough end to 2022, with just one top-10 finish in the final 16 races last season.

Tsunoda will have a rookie teammate this season, meaning it is imperative for him to finish as the highest-placed driver for AlphaTauri.

Should he struggle against his teammate and not produce good results on-track, there will be questions about his place in the team going forward.

Nyck De Vries

Nyck de Vries during practice of the French Grand Prix
After an impressive performance as a substitute in the Italian Grand Prix, Nyck de Vries gets his first full-time drive.(Reuters: Sarah Meyssonnier)

Team and number: AlphaTauri, 45


Championship position in 2022: 21st (drove one race)

Best championship finish: 21st

Nyck De Vries gets his chance as a full-time F1 driver with AlphaTauri this season.

The Dutchman has one grand prix to his name, filling in for Alex Albon last season at the Italian Grand Prix.

De Vries was sensational around the famous Monza circuit, finishing ninth on debut in the Williams.


Signing with AlphaTauri, De Vries gets his chance to show his talent in F1.

He has a teammate who is desperate for a good season on track.

The Dutchman’s main goal will be to beat his teammate as often as he can.

Alexander Albon

Alexander Albon at a Singapore Grand Prix press conference
Alexander Albon showed plenty of class in a slower Williams last season.(Reuters: Edgar Su)

Team and number: Williams, 23

Championship position in 2022: 19th


Best championship finish: Seventh

Alex Albon achieved three top-10 finishes in 2022, driving a Williams which was the worst car last season.

Albon regularly got the most out of his Williams last year, his first season with the team.

He will be the leader at Williams this season with a rookie driver for a teammate.

If Williams are going to lift themselves off the bottom of the championship table, they will need another superb season from Alex.


Logan Sargeant

Logan Sargeant ahead of the Formula 2 race in Abu Dhabi
Logan Sargeant will become the first American driver to race in F1 since 2015.(Getty Images: Formula 1/Joe Portlock)

Team and number: Williams

Championship position in 2022: N/A

Best championship finish: N/A

Logan Sargeant becomes the first American since 2015 to race in F1.

The 22-year-old has had a solid motorsport career to this point.


He has finished third in the Formula 3 championship on two occasions and was fourth in the Formula 2 championship last season.

Expectations will be tempered for the rookie, who steps into a car not expected to challenge for the top 10 often.

Putting in solid performances and improving each race will be the goal for the American in 2023.

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