2023 Reject of the Year

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Pick your Reject of the Year for 2023!

Poll ended at 31 Dec 2023, 12:53

Alfa Romeo
0
No votes
Everyone Except Max Verstappen and Red Bull
7
21%
Fatigue
6
18%
Haas
2
6%
Lance Stroll
8
24%
Logan Sargeant
1
3%
Nyck de Vries
10
29%
 
Total votes: 34

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Londoner
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2023 Reject of the Year

Post by Londoner »

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It's that most wonderful time of the year - where we determine GPR's Reject of the Year! Start posting your nominations and let the wars begin!
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FalconCapelli
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Re: 2023 Reject of the Year

Post by FalconCapelli »

FIA and Liberty Media. true rejects, true clowns :pantano:
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Shadaza
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Re: 2023 Reject of the Year

Post by Shadaza »

Nyck de Vries - From stand-out super sub to undignified booting.

FOM Greed - The vile approach to blocking more teams, squeezing every coin out of the consumers, and putting shareholders above everything else.
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Re: 2023 Reject of the Year

Post by IceG »

The Americanisation, commercialisation and cheapening of Formula 1:
- Stupid ticket prices/treatment of fans in the land of the free
- Unknown dis-interested celebrities being name-checked by dis-interested commentators
- Too many races and sprints within races
- Too many street circuits (but Las Vegas was excellent IMHO)
- The daft sprint format
- Faffing about with tyre allocations to "improve the show"
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RAK
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Re: 2023 Reject of the Year

Post by RAK »

The staggering lack of competition at the pointy end of the grid has made their nearest competitors look rejectful by association, with the one exception of Singapore.

Miami was utter dross; at least Las Vegas served up a half-decent Grand Prix. But between them and the ridiculous Machine Gun Kelly moment in São Paulo, it really indicates the sort of audiences they're targeting, doing damage to the sport in the process.

The increasing lengthening of the season, particularly with near-meaningless sprint races included, has created a sense of fatigue about the whole sport. And with the return of the Chinese Grand Prix, next season will be even worse.

Several drivers did not show themselves in the best light; in particular, Nyck De Vries showing that his Formula 2 championship might have been the result of a depleted talent pool, but Sergio Perez had only a brief glimmer of a challenge at his record-breaking teammate before it all slipped into an inevitability where the question was less who was going to beat Verstappen at any point during the season and more whether anybody else could beat him.
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Re: 2023 Reject of the Year

Post by dj_vicious »

I'm going to be mean for my first nomination, but:

1) Nyck DeVries. Completely and utterly out of his element in F1. The mid-season firing was justified viden what Lawson and Ricciardo could achieve (albeit with an improved car). His 10 race stint this season was so forgettable it almost works to his benefit, pushing us to remember his Monza '22 glory.

2) The season itself. In spite of a few great races (Zandvoort, Las Vegas) this was one to forget. When you've got 22 races and a driver running away with it in the first 10, fans have a long drag to cope with. Unfortunately when that's mixed with overly prescriptive rules and budget caps that stifle mid-season development, the championship is already decided in the first race. Hats off to McLaren for this mid-season change in form.

Unfortunately the FIA just doesn't have the formula right as of now. You can have budget caps and open development, or restricted development and no budget cap, but you can't really have both while expecting close competition. The result is a 9-month long parade.
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mario
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Re: 2023 Reject of the Year

Post by mario »

RAK wrote: 26 Nov 2023, 16:12 Several drivers did not show themselves in the best light; in particular, Nyck De Vries showing that his Formula 2 championship might have been the result of a depleted talent pool, but Sergio Perez had only a brief glimmer of a challenge at his record-breaking teammate before it all slipped into an inevitability where the question was less who was going to beat Verstappen at any point during the season and more whether anybody else could beat him.
True - it felt as if the season rapidly went from "at least Perez might put up some token resistance" to "oh no, what's Perez done now?".

Perhaps it says a lot about how his season went that, even in Abu Dhabi, Perez was having to climb from the lower end of the top 10 because of self-inflicted mistakes in qualifying, ended up making a clumsy move against Norris - with Norris complaining that he realised the position was lost and tried to avoid Perez, only for Perez to manage to hit him anyway - and thus managed to contrive a way of getting penalised that saw him finish off the podium. It was a bit of an error strewn performance, and yet the fact that this might be considered one of his better performances perhaps underlines how badly his season unravelled.

Whilst de Vries did disappoint, at least it is somewhat mitigated by the fact that he was a rookie that, to some extent, Alpha Tauri probably didn't really want once Ricciardo became available - it's less excusable when Perez is the third most experienced driver on the grid (only Alonso and Hamilton have more races under their belt now), and yet has driven at times like a driver with a fraction of his experience.
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Re: 2023 Reject of the Year

Post by Meatwad »

Sergio Pérez: From looking like a championship contender in the first four races to being absolutely nowhere in most of the remaining races and his seat being under threat. He did get second in the WDC in the end, but that was despite him seemingly doing his best not to, and he was really lucky that four different teams alternated as the second best over the season. Maybe I'm being a bit harsh on him, as being Verstappen's team mate can't be easy, but his struggles were a major reason why the championship "fight" ended up being so absolutely boring. He didn't even have the excuse of lack of experience like Gasly and Albon when they struggled massively (and I can't think either of them would have done worse this year).

The only other candidate I can think of is Stroll. Maybe De Vries and Sargeant might have been worse, but at least they were rookies (and the former didn't even get a full season to get used to F1).
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Re: 2023 Reject of the Year

Post by takagi_for_the_win »

The whole Nyck de Vries debacle: This has to be my personal favourite, purely because of how laughable the whole thing was. Toro Rosso/Alpha Tauri/Racing Bulls/whatever they're calling themselves today's whole raison d'etre is to act as a nursery for graduates of Red Bull's young drivers program, to act as a place where drivers spotted by Red Bull at a young age can step up to F1 and be evaluated with less of a spotlight on them. So with that in mind, the decision to gift a seat to a 28 year old (actually a really, really, really young age, 28 is the new 18 x), positively decrepit by modern F1 rookie standards, would've gone against the grain in any case, never mind given that de Vries had no prior links to the Red Bull organisation at all. Now if de Vries was in fact a totally unnoticed superstar, you could square it off and say fair enough, but de Vries' credentials prior to 2023 kicking off were winning the F2 title against one of the weakest fields in recent memory, doing better than Nick Latifi at Monza in a super low-drag Williams, and being the same nationality as Verstappen. I felt at the time that there was an element of clicking "buy it now" without really thinking it through when de Vries was announced, and he did nothing to change my mind. Miles off the pace and with a penchant for throwing his car into nearby scenery at an alarming rate, he was deservedly booted out halfway through the season.

~~~~~~

Sergio Perez: We'll get the good stuff out of the way here: yes, he came second in the championship; yes, he won two races; yes, there was a veeeery short period of time where the more optimistic commentators thought he could challenge for the title. However, the bad stuff stacks up very quickly. The Red Bull was a rocketship of a car, statistically one of the most dominant cars in F1 history. When armed with such a potent weapon, winning a couple of races is the absolute bare minimum and coming second in the Championship is surely the bare minimum. Behind the wheel of a car that took 14 of 22 poles, and 21 of 22 wins, Checo contrived to qualify in the second half of the grid 8 times; in my eyes, absolutely inexcusable. In those races, and many others where he qualified below the potential of the car, Sundays became a game for Checo of blasting past people from his low starting position in his rocketship of a car. Even then, it wasn't uncommon to see Checo making risky, hamfisted moves that he really shouldn't have had to make given his car advantage. The most damning thing for me, even worse than the qualifying stat, is that it took until November for his 2nd in the championship to be confirmed. The 2023 Merc was very rarely anything other than the third best car in the field - the fact that Perez was genuinely looking over his shoulder at a Merc driver in the standings for a prolonged period is a damning indictment in of itself.

~~~~~~

F1 in general: bit of a two-pronged moan here, but indulge me. On the one prong, it was a crushingly dominant season for Verstappen and Red Bull. Congratulations to them obviously, they have done a tremendous job and deserve all the plaudits, but for the state of the sport this has been a rough season. Domination isn't new; we're only a few years removed from Mercedes' ridiculous run. For me though, the crucial difference is that the first few years of that run saw Hamilton and Rosberg doing their best to drive into each other on a fortnightly basis, and for another few years Vettel and Ferrari were as near as makes no difference equals to the Hamilton/Merc machine. For the last 18 months though, what we've had is more akin to the Red Bull/Vettel seasons of 2011/late 2013, or the Schumacher/Ferrari years of the early noughties. Settling down on a Sunday morning, you know in advance that, barring anything ridiculous, Verstappen will win.

The second part of this moan is more aimed at the sport itself. In economics, there's the concept of a saturation point - a point at which the demand for a product is completely sated, and increasing supply of the product isn't met with a corresponding increase in demand. F1, in my eyes, is well beyond that point. We've just come off the back of a 22 race season, with several races having the (in my opinion) godawful sprint races tacked on. I can't tell you how many sprints there were, purely because I don't care at all. 22 races, spread across a 38 week period, is simply too many. Even if there was a titanic battle at the front between Verstappen, Alonso, Hamilton, Leclerc et al, sometimes less is more; sometimes, it's nice to keep a bit of scarcity. As it was, with Verstappen demonstrating that he was capable of winning from anywhere, the never ending stream of races seemed interminable. And don't even get me started on how each new race had to be more glitzy and special and unique than the last, with teams now doing "special" liveries for any old reason. I appreciate that, in this world, you can't stand still; in my eyes though, F1 is going about it in completely the wrong way.

Maybe I've just become a grumpy old man, but F1 really is losing a lot of its sparkle for me. And as a lifelong fan, as someone who's been getting up at the crack of dawn to watch races since the late nineties, that's sad.
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Row Man Gross-Gene
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Re: 2023 Reject of the Year

Post by Row Man Gross-Gene »

I agree with the Perez nominations.

I'll honorable mention two things:
• Street tracks - a necessary evil I guess, but that doesn't mean I have to like them.
• Sprint races - they don't add to the excitement of the weekend for me as a general rule. That said, I usually make sure to watch them, but I also usually watch qualifying too. I am open to (but not totally convinced by) the argument that they provide more value to Saturday ticket holders.
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Re: 2023 Reject of the Year

Post by Butterfox »

I'll nominate Sergio Perez. But dishounourable mentions to Nyck Devries, Haas, Logan Sargeant, Lance Stroll, Ferrari, Mercedes, Alfa-Romeo, Alpine, the FOM, Sprint Races.
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rachel1990
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Re: 2023 Reject of the Year

Post by rachel1990 »

Going to slightly hijack it and put my driver and team reviews as well

Drivers
1- Max Verstappen- Well when you win 19 out of 22 races- be on the podium for 21 of those races and score points in every single race, then you have to admit he is the driver of the year- Yes the car was amazing but still. A special talent.

2- Lando Norris- Now I know he didn't win a race but still- Top of his game for the majority of the season. Shame that McLaren was rubbish for the first part of the season.

3-Oscar Piastri- The only driver to beat Max on the track with him threatening behind- (Yes I know it was only the sprint and I know Sainz won in Singapore but that doesn't count because he the red bull was nowhere at all that weekend)- and from a rookie- Safe to say Oscar made the right choice
to get out of Alpine

4- Fernando Alonso- Again another one who got out of Alpine at the right time. Last year so many were questioning why he did that- Well its safe to say that Fernando made the right choice, For the first half of the season anyway with consistent podiums. Sadly he slightly faded with the Aston Martin having a much tougher second half of the year but that last lap in Brazil was something else.

5- Alex Albon what a season from Alex- scored all but 1 point of Williams's points and the main reason - the other being James Vowles- why Williams came 7th in the constructors

6- Carlos Sainz the only driver to win a race who wasn't a Red Bull driver- Carlos peaked towards the final part of the year and did get a much-deserved second win in Singapore ( to be frank a much better win than his first)- Shame about the team though

7- Charles LeClerc If the championship was decided by Pole positions then Charles would be a contender. If it was decided by bad luck, Charles would be streaking clear. But no. Tried to compete but the Red Bull was too strong and the Ferrari was too weak. Barring Singapore- where he was nowhere. Typical.

8- Lewis Hamilton HRH Decided to be Mr consistent this year and it paid off by nearly grabbing 2nd in the drivers championship. 6 podiums and was often in the points. Did thrash his teammate as well. But still nothing compared to 2021.

9-Yuki Tsunoda Mr Shouty calmed down a lot this year and was pretty consistent and did do quite well. No smashing it up this year. Another year for Yuki.

10- Sergio Perez I was going to put him a lot lower but quite frankly looking at who is left I feel it's very unfair to rank someone who came second in the drivers' championship so low. however, considering that his teammate thrashed the field and he could not get out of q1 on several occasions means he won't be any higher. Won two races but then did nothing I feel after May until the end of the season. I think he might actually retire after next season tbh.

11- Liam Lawson Only did 5 races but made such a good impression that questions were being asked of not only the Alpah Tauri seat but also the Red Bull seat. But Alas no. Unless Williams fires Logan Sargeant, Liam will have to play the long game and wait for 2025

12-Daniel Ricciardo- It's hard enough to make a comeback once. But then only after two races to get hurt and then miss the next 5 and have to come back again must be even harder. But he did eventually score points (only once) and did a lot better than Nyck and could make Sergio very very uncomfortable next year. Or not. Who knows

13 and 14 Estaban Ocon and Pierre Gasly I am putting them together because quite frankly they have had the same season. 1 podium each in difficult conditions. Whinging on the radio. having a couple of moments that you go woah they are quite good. and then you go meh with them both.

15 George Russell Yes I know this is a bit high but he still helped Merc to second in the constructors and the final race was his best race of the season. Now for the bad news, George was thrashed by Lewis and caused a lot of incidents. Next year will be the acid test.

16 and 17 Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu International Men of Mystery. I don't think I noticed either of them once this year. Meh

18 Nico Hulkenberg Got Haas Best result of the year with 7th in Australia. However, this was the only time he scored points. I am placing him higher than K-mag just because of keeping it on the road. Won't get that Podium with Haas though.

19 Kevin Magnussen Another one with second season Syndrom. did get a point 3 times but made a lot more mistakes. Haas isn't in the mood to change the line-up however so that is a good thing for him at least

20 Lance Stroll Absolutely thrashed by his teammate- this time looked beyond dreadful- Fernando got 8 podiums. 0 for Lance. 206 points. 74 for Lance. Even with broken wrists, this is Latifi bad. Add to this about acting like a spoiled brat and you do wonder if he has decided to take on Goatifi's crown. Without the likeability.

21-Logan Sargent the only driver to be white-washed by his teammate in Quali, scored 1 point (thanks to two drivers getting DNQ in Austin) and still not confirmed. Sorry Logan but let's be honest. Wasting that Second Williams seat.

22- Nyck de Vries The only driver fired this year. Took the most dangerous seat on the grid and the team wanted results straight away and he delivered nothing. Thrashed by his teammate, never troubled the points and the only surprise was when he was fired (before the summer break)

Teams

1- Red Bull Won 21 out of 22 races. Never looked troubled barring Singapore. Total domination. Shame about Perez

2- Willams Went From 10th to 7th. James Vowles has worked wonders with what he has. Great season.

3- McLaren Until Canada they were nowhere. After Canada, they were consistently the second-fastest team on the grid.

4- Aston Martin Until Canada they were consistently the second fastest team on the grid. After Canada, they were nowhere (no thats a little unfair- Fernando was still scoring points- and did get a couple more podiums, it was the spoiled kid in the other car holding them back)

5- Ferrari Kudos for Winning 1 race. Minus points for basically breaking Charles though.

6-Alpine Got 2 podiums and were just well there. Only noticed them a few time

7- Mercedes Absolutely nowhere- Winless for the first time since 2011. only twice did time they looked like winning and the first time the engine blew up (Australia) and the second time they were Dsq'd anyway.

8- Alpha Tauri Unless a late-season boom they were heading for the bottom of the pile but a mid-season sacking did actually help!! Better than last year at least

9-Haas back to last place but at least were interesting.

10- Alfa Romeo The Invisable men of the grid. Did nothing of note.

ROTY Poduim

Bronze- Nyck de Vries Sacked Midseason and proved to be the right call. Nobody missed him and the team improved without him. Not a great look is it Nyck. should have stayed at Williams

Silver-Alfa Romeo Did nothing of note and I doubt anyone would have noticed if they had disappeared off into nothing

Gold- the whole of F1 barring Max Verstappen and Red Bull- Not including Perez

22 races. And Red Bull won 21 of them. Barring Singapore nobody got even close- Even drivers in 2nd and 3rd were told not to race Max. This Budget cap was meant for the best of intentions. It's just made the situation worse. no one can develop the cars anymore and the pecking order remains the same. Too many races, too many sprints (3 sprints in 5 races ffs) Drs trains, a governing body caring more about nose piercings than the safety of drivers in an unsafe country (Saudi anyone) and the same result over and over again. Usually, I would be sad a F1 season is over. This year I could not care less.
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Batty
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Re: 2023 Reject of the Year

Post by Batty »

My top 3:

3. Alfa Romeo - Went from oh wow they could be good to eeesh they are bad.
2. Nyck De Vries - Only driver to get sacked and he was bad lol. From F2 and FE champ to this. Dude didn't even get a home race before he was sacked.

HM before getting into my ROTY
Lance Stroll - Came in injured, probably rushed his injury coming back, and was really inconsistent. However last few GPs he seemed to be getting into the points and driving well. Must be the beard.
Sergio Perez - Nearly lost P2 in the WDC which should have been a slam dunk. He just looked woeful for majority of the season that there were big talks about Ricciardo taking his place.

1. Haas - I mean this team just got everything wrong. The drivers could qualify the car well but then it just floundered bad in the race especially in dirty air. Gunther is probably doing more work on his brand than the team. It speaks volumes that Nico in the old spec at Abu Dhabi did better than Magnussen in the new spec. Shambles.
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Re: 2023 Reject of the Year

Post by Rob Dylan »

1. Max Verstappen – gosh. Well, this was a 10/10 season if ever there was one. In fact, it raises the bar on what a 10/10 season could be, and what an individual sportsman is capable of doing over the course of a whole season. It also usually wasn’t the “he makes it look easy” domination that has punters like me going “well it probably is comparatively easy”. Max was regularly under pressure every other weekend from a rotating list of antagonists, and he invincibly dominated them all. 10/10

2. Fernando Alonso – it’s hard not to upvote Fernando as the feel-good candidate from this season. Without Aston Martin’s terrible mid- and late-season development directions, the 42-year-old would have been an easy third and a possible second in the championship, 22 years after his debut year. When Aston Martin was there, Alonso was the best of the rest driver – he made a complete mockery of Stroll, and ended whatever reputation the Canadian still had left. The occasional dud race and bickering in the final phases of the year, but the highs more than make up for it. In fact, Alonso might have been the only thing worth tuning in to this season for. 9/10

3. Lewis Hamilton – an interesting return to form. We didn’t see the world-beating Lewis Hamilton of 2021 and before, but he was absolutely in charge of the Mercedes team once again after an off-year in 2022. No wins, but his pole in Hungary and his genuine competitive pace when Mercedes did so well in the middle of the season gave him a very clear boost, at the very least for his motivation. He did have one or two blunders, and now that he’s getting on in years he is even starting to slip in qualifying occasionally, but 2023 was absolutely a season Lewis should be proud of. 8/10

4. Lando Norris – another driver who is hard to fault in any major way. He kept out of trouble and, like Alonso, was more kept back on pace by an inconsistent chassis than any fault in his driving. His and McLaren’s upswing from Austria onwards was another feel-good turning point, and we can at least have our fingers crossed that McLaren might actually get their act together for the long term and challenge for championships. 8/10

5. Alex Albon – a difficult driver to rate, given the fluctuating pace of the car, and the fact that he barely had a teammate. But Albon continued his great form from last year and single-handedly, yes single-handedly lifted Williams to 7th in the championship. On one hand it would be a shame if this is his ceiling, but on the other it would be a shame for Williams to lose him. 7.5/10

6. Oscar Piastri – one of the most impressive rookie seasons since his teammate, or Charles Leclerc. Piastri is the real deal, and even won a sprint race. But he’s still young and still makes mistakes. He got into contact with other runners a few times, even if they weren’t necessarily his fault. He could genuinely be on Norris’ pace in the next year or two, and that’s scary! 7.5/10

7. Charles Leclerc – the enigma that is the Ferrari team continues. They have a stable and sensible driver pairing, with the consistent Sainz and the inconsistent Leclerc. However, Charles did what he could to rebuild his reputation after Paul Ricard last year and squeeze every last drop out of a Ferrari car that just didn’t have the race pace to mount challenges for wins. He proved his ceiling was higher than Carlos’, and deserved the last-minute nabbing of fifth place overall, even if it’s for honour only. It feels like he’s coming to terms more with the fact that he won’t win a championship at Ferrari, or at the very least he’s standing up for himself more. 7/10

8. Carlos Sainz Jr. – basically Leclerc but the opposite. Strong and stable driving, generally better at reading a race and standing up to his team’s shenanigans, but less often there at the team’s best moments. Saying that, though, who won Singapore? Carlos did! However, this is a subjective list, so what I say goes. 7/10

9. Yuki Tsunoda – I am probably being harsh here, but I don’t believe Yuki magically got better when his all-destroying teammate left the team and made him lead driver. However, he was there when late-stage AlphaTauri improved. Someone has to finish last, and Yuki made sure that AT weren’t even second-last. It was a decent effort, although the performances of Liam Lawson and even Daniel Ricciardo (Mexico-spec) keep me very sceptical. 6.5/10

10. Esteban Ocon – I have nothing to say of note about Esteban Ocon. He seemed subjectively to me to at least be the better of a consistent duo. 6/10

11. George Russell – a sophomore slump from the only driver on track who obeys the rules. 2023 saw a continuation of the blame-throwing and an impressive accumulation of five-second penalties. He got into contact with half the field, and fell behind Lewis overall in the long run. Chinks in his armour continued to show, like when he hit the wall in Singapore when the pressure was high, or in Canada when there was no pressure at all. However, he did have more reliability issues than Hamilton (as do all of Hamilton’s teammates). Just such a mediocre year from the heir to Lewis. 6/10

12. Pierre Gasly – I have nothing to say of note about Pierre Gasly. A semi-decent job overall. 6/10

13. Nico Hulkenberg – well, he was better than Magnussen. There was a lot of outcry that a man past his prime who never really had a prime is clogging up one of the 20 seats on the grid. But Nico was enthusiastic, clearly wanted to be there, and was at least more deserving of a seat than his teammate. It’s not a great defence but it is A defence. 5.5/10

14. Sergio Perez – Recency bias is always a problem with these year-end rankings. I will be generous to Sergio, just because of how damn good his opening races were. I don’t believe that someone with his high-level performances (two wins and a sprint win) deserves to be anywhere near a Reject of the Year podium. However, there is still a strong case for Perez having one of the worst top-level performances since…well, his predecessors Albon and Gasly. 5.5/10

15. Valtteri Bottas – I understand he drove for 22 races this season. The stats say he was generally ahead of Zhou, at about the same rate as last year. Only thing is, I can’t remember a single thing about Valtteri that happened. 5/10

16. Zhou Guanyu – much like Valtteri, I am having trouble remembering anything Zhou got up to. Last year he at least had successive car failures to reminisce about, but this year he has just sort of been there. This whole “just sort of being there” is one of the reasons Alfa Romeo lost to AlphaTauri in the championship. 4/10

17. Kevin Magnussen – what to say about Haas, though? Mick Schumacher looked better than Mazepin, but then Magnussen made Schumacher look a fool. Now Nico has done the same to Kevin. Outqualified and beaten overall – he was smart in brokering that long-term contract when he did in the February of 2022, because without it I imagine Haas wouldn’t be needing his services after this season. 3/10

18. Daniel Ricciardo – with eight races under his belt, I feel like we saw enough of Daniel to rate his overall efforts. Aside from once in Mexico, they weren’t great. I saw no reason to assume that this man is in any way different after being ousted from McLaren a year early. He was relatively safe from danger, but even his injury was self-inflicted (in that he didn’t pull his hand from the wheel). Liam Lawson was very clearly better and with more potential. 3/10

19. Logan Sargeant – continuous unforced errors, no points, always last. No signs of potential or upswing. Not even a funny candidate to rate. He could at least hide behind the slowness of his Williams. 2/10

20. Nyck de Vries – everyone else can do this more eloquently than me, but yes. Used Monza 2022 to great advantage, then showed he was certainly not it this season. Crashing constantly, notably in Baku. Was supposed to be a world champion and giving some positive points to Formula E. Didn’t really turn out that way, and really questioned the purpose of the Red Bull junior programme (see Lawson). 2/10

21. Lance Stroll – after breaking his arm pre-season, there was no grand redemption story for the Canadian. Trounced in quali, nowhere in races. No spatial awareness, so he hasn’t learned from recent years and accidents. He got sympathetic praise from his teammate, who seemed to be his only supporter (even if Alonso was shedding crocodile tears). He got just about no points when Aston were at their best. There were literally rumours that he was going to start a career in tennis. Seven full seasons and he is no better than he was in 2017, and considerably worse than he was in 2020. Scored 25% of the team’s points and lost them at least fourth in the championship. 1/10

22. Liam Lawson – now here was a driver with a bit of promise in a Red Bull junior car. In his few short races he immediately had it, and was making a fool of Yuki on occasion before being dropped for the returning and underwhelming Daniel Ricciardo. Makes one wonder what the point of the Red Bull junior programme is. UNRATED


Rob Dylan’s Reject of the Year
HM: The Red Bull Junior Programme
HM: Saturation in Formula 1
HM: Everybody other than Max Verstappen and Red Bull
HM: Sergio Perez
HM: Haas (last again), and specifically Kevin Magnussen for all that.
HM: George Russell binning it at Singapore
HM: The Saudi Arabia GP
HM: Logan Sargeant’s re-enactment of Ricardo Rosset at the Australian GP restart
HM: the ongoing refusal to allow more F1 teams to enter the championship


3. Logan Sargeant
2. Nyck de Vries
1. Lance Stroll
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Re: 2023 Reject of the Year

Post by Wallio »

I don't get all the Perez nominations personally. Yes, he had a "bad" year and made numerous mistakes, and yes I nominated him for more than one ROTR, but let's be realistic here, he finished P2 and had the second most wins on anyone. 21 out of the 22 drivers this year would have taken that result.


3.) Logan Sargent - I wanted him to do well, I really did. But when you finish more than one quali with no time set due to track limits, when the team celebrates you breaking a streak of five straight P20 qualifying positions, and when the highlight of your season is you acknowledging (and playing up to be fair) the "WTF IS A KILOMETRE?!?" meme.......yeah you make the list.

2.) Lance Stroll - OK here is the thing. Lance is certainly not a bad shoe by most standards, hell he's not even a reject. But he may be the worst pay driver ever. Hear me out on this. His dad buys into Williams when he was there, then buys out FI/RP outright. THEN buys Aston Martin the company, all to set up a team for his son, and a team to be legitimate and compete. This year sees the team score 8 podiums (one of which should have been a win).....all by Alonso, while Stroll wallows around in Q1 most weeks. How much money per point has daddy Stroll spent on his boy? I know he got hurt more than once this year.....but yeah. All those tennis rumors didn't help either.

1.) Reject of The Year - Haas - It really isn't close. Dead last in the WCC.....again. They delayed their supposed "big" upgrades for months......again. They then took the upgrade off and reverted back to Race 1 spec.......again. They weren't at the budget cap......again. They chose mediocrity...errr "stability" by just re-signing drivers no matter the results......again. They refused to sell......again. Oh but wait! This year we had a new wrinkle! They adamantly led the charge against not just Andretti, but ANY new team coming to F1, ever. They'd go broke if there is an 11th team they claimed, oh poor us they claimed. Bathplug off.
Last edited by Wallio on 29 Nov 2023, 19:14, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2023 Reject of the Year

Post by Spectoremg »

This is a great read.
Only one nomination: Haas. 10 million seasons with deadbeat drivers and zero ambition. It must piss Andretti off just a bit.
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Re: 2023 Reject of the Year

Post by mario »

Wallio wrote: 28 Nov 2023, 18:10 I don't get all the Perez nominations personally. Yes, he had a "bad" year and made numerous mistakes, and yes I nominated him for more than one ROTR, but let's be realistic here, he finished P2 and had the second most wins on anyone. 21 out of the 22 drivers this year would have taken that result.
I guess it comes from the opinion that Perez was sometimes, at best, an irrelevance to Red Bull, and sometimes became more of a liability (not just to his team, but to other drivers as well).

If Perez had managed to finish in 2nd place all season long, his theoretical score would have been 396 points. Now, that is somewhat unrealistic, but there is a perception that a driver with the sort of car he had at his disposal, relatively regular podium finishes were a baseline expectation and finishing with more than 300 points in the season is perhaps not an unreasonable expectation.

As it was, Perez had seven other podium finishes in addition to those two wins - which means that Hamilton, with a car that was markedly worse, almost matched Perez for podium finishes other than a victory (six for Hamilton), whilst Alonso, despite the downturn in Aston Martin's form, was on the podium eight times this season. Compared to expectations of what should have been achievable, there is a sense that Perez should have done much more with the car that he had at his disposal.

Meanwhile, in terms of crash damage, Perez was reckoned to have cost his team quite a bit - not only in terms of the potential financial damage, but also in terms of the potential transfer of IP to other teams (who got to see quite a few interesting details when the car was being lifted for recovery).
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Re: 2023 Reject of the Year

Post by IceG »

Spectoremg wrote: 28 Nov 2023, 18:45 This is a great read.
Only one nomination: Haas. 10 million seasons with deadbeat drivers and zero ambition. It must piss Andretti off just a bit.
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Re: 2023 Reject of the Year

Post by Wallio »

mario wrote: 29 Nov 2023, 10:54
I guess it comes from the opinion that Perez was sometimes, at best, an irrelevance to Red Bull, and sometimes became more of a liability (not just to his team, but to other drivers as well).

If Perez had managed to finish in 2nd place all season long, his theoretical score would have been 396 points. Now, that is somewhat unrealistic, but there is a perception that a driver with the sort of car he had at his disposal, relatively regular podium finishes were a baseline expectation and finishing with more than 300 points in the season is perhaps not an unreasonable expectation.

As it was, Perez had seven other podium finishes in addition to those two wins - which means that Hamilton, with a car that was markedly worse, almost matched Perez for podium finishes other than a victory (six for Hamilton), whilst Alonso, despite the downturn in Aston Martin's form, was on the podium eight times this season. Compared to expectations of what should have been achievable, there is a sense that Perez should have done much more with the car that he had at his disposal.

Meanwhile, in terms of crash damage, Perez was reckoned to have cost his team quite a bit - not only in terms of the potential financial damage, but also in terms of the potential transfer of IP to other teams (who got to see quite a few interesting details when the car was being lifted for recovery).

I don't argue any of that. But is it actually rejectful? If the P2 man is ROTY, then what is P3 on down? And if we base it off of teammate performance, is Sainz Reject of the Decade? What about De Vries or Sargent? This reminds me of all the articles in 2004 talking about BAR's "disappointing season" all because then never won a race. Like.....huh?
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Re: 2023 Reject of the Year

Post by mario »

Wallio wrote: 29 Nov 2023, 19:13
mario wrote: 29 Nov 2023, 10:54
I guess it comes from the opinion that Perez was sometimes, at best, an irrelevance to Red Bull, and sometimes became more of a liability (not just to his team, but to other drivers as well).

If Perez had managed to finish in 2nd place all season long, his theoretical score would have been 396 points. Now, that is somewhat unrealistic, but there is a perception that a driver with the sort of car he had at his disposal, relatively regular podium finishes were a baseline expectation and finishing with more than 300 points in the season is perhaps not an unreasonable expectation.

As it was, Perez had seven other podium finishes in addition to those two wins - which means that Hamilton, with a car that was markedly worse, almost matched Perez for podium finishes other than a victory (six for Hamilton), whilst Alonso, despite the downturn in Aston Martin's form, was on the podium eight times this season. Compared to expectations of what should have been achievable, there is a sense that Perez should have done much more with the car that he had at his disposal.

Meanwhile, in terms of crash damage, Perez was reckoned to have cost his team quite a bit - not only in terms of the potential financial damage, but also in terms of the potential transfer of IP to other teams (who got to see quite a few interesting details when the car was being lifted for recovery).
I don't argue any of that. But is it actually rejectful? If the P2 man is ROTY, then what is P3 on down? And if we base it off of teammate performance, is Sainz Reject of the Decade? What about De Vries or Sargent? This reminds me of all the articles in 2004 talking about BAR's "disappointing season" all because then never won a race. Like.....huh?
I guess that comes down to how closely you tie it into the WDC rankings alone, and how much of it is based on relative performances and how that compares to expectations of performance. After all, to some extent the IIDOTR and IIDOTY awards do rely on the latter concept, given that it relies on a driver outperforming expectations - thus, there is a logic to those taking it in the opposite direction for ROTR and ROTY.

It's perhaps interesting that you bring up Sainz and ask about team mate performance, because if one were to look purely at the numbers, Sainz does actually come off better against Leclerc than Perez against Verstappen.

In terms of qualifying, Verstappen beat Perez 20 times to only two for Perez (only Logan Sargeant was worse in that respect). Added to that, the only two times that Perez managed to beat Verstappen were Saudi Arabia and Miami - i.e. the only times he actually was ahead on the grid was by default due to Verstappen not setting a lap time. The comparison between Leclerc and Sainz was 15-7 in Leclerc's favour - still more favourable in terms of qualifying performance, but Leclerc did not have a comparable level of dominance.

In terms of relative finishing position, once again, you have a near whitewash for Verstappen and Perez - 19-2 in Verstappen's favour - whereas Leclerc only narrowly beat Sainz in that respect, with the final score 11-9 in Leclerc's favour. You might have meant to do Sainz down with that comparison, but statistically the comparison might actually do Sainz more of a favour than you intended it to.
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Re: 2023 Reject of the Year

Post by Row Man Gross-Gene »

When it comes to the Perez RotY nomimation, for me, it's a combination of an absolute deficit in performance to his teammate plus expectations. Mario's stats are the major part of it, but also some others, by all of those metrics I think Perez only beats Stroll and Sargent (of the full-time drivers), both of whom I have low expectations for.

That said, I can see the other side of it, can one really justify saying the second-place driver on the year is the reject? I don't know. Haas is a great choice too, as is Sargent, Stroll, Devries or something more esoteric.
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Re: 2023 Reject of the Year

Post by dr-baker »

One factor that nobody on here has yet considered is Deadbeat Teammate of the Race statistics. Does anybody have that data to compare teammates against?
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Re: 2023 Reject of the Year

Post by Row Man Gross-Gene »

dr-baker wrote: 30 Nov 2023, 06:41 One factor that nobody on here has yet considered is Deadbeat Teammate of the Race statistics. Does anybody have that data to compare teammates against?
That's a legit way to look at it, but it will probably undersell Perez's bona fides as a RotY candidate. His car was too fast to leave him very many places behind.
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Re: 2023 Reject of the Year

Post by Wallio »

mario wrote: 29 Nov 2023, 21:21 I guess that comes down to how closely you tie it into the WDC rankings alone, and how much of it is based on relative performances and how that compares to expectations of performance. After all, to some extent the IIDOTR and IIDOTY awards do rely on the latter concept, given that it relies on a driver outperforming expectations - thus, there is a logic to those taking it in the opposite direction for ROTR and ROTY.

It's perhaps interesting that you bring up Sainz and ask about team mate performance, because if one were to look purely at the numbers, Sainz does actually come off better against Leclerc than Perez against Verstappen.

In terms of qualifying, Verstappen beat Perez 20 times to only two for Perez (only Logan Sargeant was worse in that respect). Added to that, the only two times that Perez managed to beat Verstappen were Saudi Arabia and Miami - i.e. the only times he actually was ahead on the grid was by default due to Verstappen not setting a lap time. The comparison between Leclerc and Sainz was 15-7 in Leclerc's favour - still more favourable in terms of qualifying performance, but Leclerc did not have a comparable level of dominance.

In terms of relative finishing position, once again, you have a near whitewash for Verstappen and Perez - 19-2 in Verstappen's favour - whereas Leclerc only narrowly beat Sainz in that respect, with the final score 11-9 in Leclerc's favour. You might have meant to do Sainz down with that comparison, but statistically the comparison might actually do Sainz more of a favour than you intended it to.

I don't think it can be tied to WDC standings alone. You can have a bad year and be relatively high up (Russell, Stroll) and a good year and be pretty low (Albon, Yuki). But would that qualify anyone as rejectful? It goes back to the old bugbear of "the spirit of the old site", which admittedly is an incredibly subjective metric. I think you need to do something properly stupid/embarrassing/bathpugged up to qualify. Things like Ferrari sending LeClerc out at Monaco last year, or the pile-up at Mugello in 2020.

I must admit the Sainz data is very surprising, because his year certainly didn't pass the "smell test" so to speak. I guess it all goes back to expectations, and in a vacuum, I personally at least had higher expectations for Carlos than Checo. Did I think Checo would get absolutely hammered by Max? Of course. Did I think he would still finish top 5 this year? Yup. So I guess I didn't bat an eye at his form, with certain properly bad weekends being the exception.
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Re: 2023 Reject of the Year

Post by Jarvis »

It was Nyck De Vries but I think that he should've at least got one full season.
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Re: 2023 Reject of the Year

Post by Aerond »

1. LANCE STROLL
2. The looooooooooooooooooooooooooong season
3. Team bosses regarding Andretti
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Re: 2023 Reject of the Year

Post by Rob Dylan »

A short (long) delay in getting this up, but here we are. Seven candidates to vote for in 2023's Reject of the Year competition. After animated internal debate, the mods have decided not to include Sergio Perez in the ballot, and have turned the "Formula 1 in general" option into the "Fatigue" option as we believe that more accurately describes the spirit of the vote. In more detail, you can vote for:

- Alfa Romeo: Anonymous, drifting out of F1 invisibly without a single notable event for either driver this year.
- Everyone Except Max Verstappen and Red Bull: drivers in second being told they are not racing the leader. 21 of 22 races won by a single team. Even his teammate was in the upper midfield half the time.
- Fatigue: street circuits, 22 races plus sprints, oversaturation of media coverage, more and more moves to enfranchisement.
- Haas: Last again in the tables, uninspired line-up, no in-season development, no forward prospects, for the sixth year running.
- Lance Stroll: walloped by a teammate in his early 40s. Never sat on the podium. Barely scraped the top 10. Still colliding with other drivers, still not looking where he's going. Lost his team fourth overall.
- Logan Sargeant: constant unforced errors, slow race pace, clumsy crashes such as in Australia. Without two DSQs he would have been the only full-time driver with no points. All this after three USA races and him being the first USA driver to race in full since Speed.
- Nyck de Vries: a Formula E champion doing nothing for the image of his series. Out of his depth, very expensive, lots of unforced errors, and no faith put in him by the team. Out before summer to make way for last year's Reject of the Year.


This voting can take place all in the run-up to the New Year. Have a Merry Christmas and a happy 2024 everyone - when we reach the other side we'll have discovered our Reject of the Year 2023. Poll is at the top of this thread. You have one vote so use it wisely :dance:
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Re: 2023 Reject of the Year

Post by Batty »

Gotta be Nyck. Dude had so much hype in the F1 previews and such whether he would be the next RB driver since their stocks were low and people were low on Yuki. Nyck was supposed to smash Yuki apparently but dude got sacked and never made it into his home GP.
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Re: 2023 Reject of the Year

Post by mario »

Batty wrote: 20 Dec 2023, 23:50 Gotta be Nyck. Dude had so much hype in the F1 previews and such whether he would be the next RB driver since their stocks were low and people were low on Yuki. Nyck was supposed to smash Yuki apparently but dude got sacked and never made it into his home GP.
I'm curious what press you're referring to, because the general impression I had was that, whilst there was a bit of hype around him, it was more modest than what you're reporting.

The one thing that I do wonder about de Vries is how much effort Red Bull directed towards him over the season and whether there was an element of setting him up to fail.

Perhaps, in some ways, Alpha Tauri seemed to give away more than intended when they talked about de Vries only in the context of 2023 - maybe I am reading too much into it, but it gives the impression that perhaps he was always viewed by the team as little more than a stopgap and only to be used for 2023.

More cynically, once Ricciardo joined the Red Bull family again - is there much of an incentive for Red Bull to keep de Vries about for the long term? It's an open secret that Ricciardo is a potential option to Perez, and given Red Bull have said that they will be marketing their junior team more aggressively, Ricciardo is a far more marketable figure than de Vries.

Now, I don't think that Red Bull actively sabotaged de Vries in any way - but I do wonder if, before the season even began, Red Bull were planning to drop de Vries for Ricciardo at the end of 2023 to try him out as a possible replacement for Perez and therefore might have put relatively minimal effort into supporting de Vries. Similarly, I don't think they would have wanted de Vries to flop in the way he did, but when he did, Red Bull do seem to have decided that they should "never let a good crisis go to waste" and used de Vries's struggles to justify moving Ricciardo into the seat earlier than planned (even if that didn't quite pay off as they might have hoped).
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My Driver Ranking - 2023

Post by Psyclepath »

1. Max Verstappen

19 wins from 22 races is just one record broken by the now-triple champion in this impeccable season. Without misfortunes in Jeddah and Baku, he would probably have won those as well, and several of his wins were in spite of qualifying or race issues. Not only did he break Vettel's record of 9 consecutive race wins with a 10th in Monza, his effort in Singapore to finish 5th on Red Bull's off-weekend was arguably exceptional in and of itself - which he followed with another 7 consecutive victories.

Aided by a revolving door for the best of the rest and a teammate who went AWOL, Max secured 575 points - a record that (even with rapidly expanding calendars) will likely stay for some time. Every race, it was a matter of if, not when, Max would make his way to the lead of the race - and he was unstoppable from there. Max would've comfortably won the Constructors' Championship by himself. Let that sink in.


2. Lando Norris

In a year where McLaren had high highs but low lows, Lando consistently delivered. His early season efforts saw minor points only, but in a poor car this was all that one would ask. When upgrades transformed the car in Austria, he immediately responded with a 4th place, followed by the first of his six 2nd place finishes in Britain. That also meant that in a scramble for 2nd, he finished there more than anyone else. His ability to consistently maximise results won him three consecutive Driver of the Day awards.

He was prone to the occasional mistake, most notably binning it in Vegas, plus some minor errors in qualifying. But Lando gives the impression of being best poised to fight Max. The record for most podiums without a victory may not seem a flattering one, but it reflects his ability to consistently drag cars that aren't quite frontrunning into strong results. It seems a matter of time before his maiden victory.


3. Fernando Alonso

One questions if he's human. After years of bad decisions with team moves, suddenly a movement to Aston Martin saw the legend finally battle at the front. In truth, his talent had never gone - but once more, and despite being 42, we got to see his talent in full flight. His pass on Hamilton in Bahrain was awesome, nostalgic, and a taster of the year we would be treated to. His battle with Perez in Brazil, where he stole 3rd place, reminded of his beautiful aggression. His radio messages were full of positivity, almost like an anti-Alonso!

Even when Aston Martin freefell down the pecking order, he spent much of the year clinging to points finishes. Fernando consistently managed Q3 where Stroll was knocked out in Q1 - although a few shockers late season, such as Singapore, dampened Alonso's year a little. But even so, Alonso showed that nobody quite has his aggression and hunger.


4. Lewis Hamilton

It's easy to look at Hamilton's failure to win races as a sign of his decline, but that really doesn't match the facts. In a year where Red Bull utterly dominated, Hamilton came within a whisper of pinching 2nd in the Driver's standings from Perez. That's despite Mercedes being swamped amidst Aston, Ferrari and McLaren, and almost never being a clear second best car.

Lewis' real skill was a sense of occasion that nobody else quite showed, which was reflected through unlikely podiums in Silverstone and Singapore. His lost 2nd in Austin, courtesy of a questionable disqualification, largely cost him a chance at 2nd in the Drivers' standings. However, clumsily hitting Russell in Qatar, plus off-form races in Vegas and Abu Dhabi, cast questions over whether he still has motivation for next year.


5. Alexander Albon

The Williams was fast in a straight line, making it a very good car for defending. This, coupled with his rapid development into a tyre-whisperer, allowed him to regularly retain or take high positions in the order. His awesome 7th in Canada set up a string of 8 races where he only once finished lower than 11th, with another 7th and two 8ths amidst those.

His securing of 27 points, coupled with the struggles of his teammate, single-handedly gave Williams 7th in the Constructors' Championship. Albon's effort was herculean - and if him and James Vowles can't continue to develop the team, it's probably because another team snaps Alex up in a heartbeat.


6. Oscar Piastri

If like me, you witnessed Oscar's F3 and F2 campaigns, you could only have concluded that this was a star in the making. In fact, by winning the Qatar sprint race, he is technically already a race winner. In his rookie year he showed exemplary maturity and speed with 3rd in Japan and 2nd in Qatar - and he was thwarted of his maiden podium in Britain by a badly timed Safety Car. In Qualifying, he ran Lando extremely close.

However, he struggled against Norris over full-race distance, reflecting a driver still to grow. Finishing with 97 points vs Lando's 205 was partially down to misfortune in Monza, Austin and Interlagos; plus Norris typically getting the team's upgrades first. But crucially, the potential is absolutely there, and Oscar created an excellent foundation to build upon.


7. Charles Leclerc

Driver error, misfortune, and an inconsistent car with a team regularly making strategical errors was a summary of Leclerc's year. Car failures in qualifying and the race in Bahrain gave his season a disastrous start, he spent two-thirds of Miami stuck behind a very feisty Haas, and a hydraulic failure on the parade lap in Brazil exemplified his humiliation. He also obtained 5 poles but converted none of them into wins, giving him a reputation for being unable to capitalise on his opportunities. Given the Ferrari's consistent struggles with tyre wear, this reputation seems a little unfair.

His season of mishaps was rescued in the dying moments by a 2nd in Vegas, where he opportunistically mugged Perez - while he did everything in Abu Dhabi to try and secure Ferrari 2nd in the Constructors'.


8. Carlos Sainz Jr.

With the Ferrari drivers finishing just 6 points apart, it reflected how close Carlos ran his teammate over the course of the season. His standout was of course Singapore, where speed and wily driving earned him gold on Red Bull's off weekend, but his battle with Leclerc in Monza was also exemplary and he won a well-deserved podium.

While not as outright fast as Charles, the Spaniard showed himself as a very intelligent racer who knew how to take his chances, as well as being switched on where race strategy was concerned.


9. Liam Lawson

When Ricciardo was injured during practice in Zandvoort, the Kiwi became the substitute, thrust into the seat with just one free practice session. In a tough race with continually changing conditions and minimal practice, to have kept the car on the road was a mighty achievement.

Monza was his first real weekend, where he finished 11th. Singapore saw him obtain 9th, at that stage AlphaTauri's best result - which he followed with another 11th in Japan, before an error-strewn race in Qatar. Sure, he was flattered by his opportunity coinciding with some dire luck for Yuki, but Lawson's performances showcased his talent, and earned him a place within the silly season chatter.


10. George Russell

It's fair to say that the Brit's year left a lot of doubters, including myself. He had a propensity for throwing opportunities away, such as in Canada and especially Singapore, where his alternative strategy made him a threat for victory. In Brazil, where the Mercedes bizarrely didn't fire, he overdrove and destroyed his tyres.

It's also easy to forget George's stunning 4th in Qatar, where he recovered from last after Hamilton clumsily damaged his car. An 11-11 split in qualifying reflects that the Merc teammates were evenly matched, but to only take two podiums when Lewis took six tells the story of a year filled with missed opportunities.


11. Yuki Tsunoda

Without a constant teammate: make that three teammates of wildly different skill and circumstance, it's very difficult to evaluate Yuki's year. That difficulty is only compounded with the AlphaTauri improving as the year went on, culminating with an 8th in Abu Dhabi. His efforts in Melbourne and Baku to score points told of a fast racer who could outperform poor machinery.

Yuki still showed a proneness to errors: his race in Mexico was clumsy, and he was nowhere in Vegas. Monza probably would've suited the car, but he broke down on the parade lap. The trend of kamikaze Japanese racers continues, and he proved to be a dynamic, exciting driver.


12. Esteban Ocon

There was little to split the two Alpines. With more misfortune than Gasly over the season's course, Ocon was arguably the better Alpine - and even the bigger points scorer if the unpopular sprint races are excluded. There was his excellent podium in Monaco and a lucky but still exceptional 4th in Vegas. In the 15 races where both Alpines finished, he beat Gasly in 10 of them. He would likely have taken the 6th in Singapore that Pierre inherited following Ocon’s clutch failure. Then he endured that scary moment in Baku where he found his pit entry blocked by a horde of prematurely-celebrating camera crew.

However, he was also more error-prone than Gasly. Three penalties during a clumsy race in Bahrain best exemplified this, and his collision with Piastri in Austin was also rather clumsy. There were hints that Gasly was getting the better of him as he settled into a new team.


13. Pierre Gasly

It wasn't easy to be excited by Gasly this year. Stuck alone in the midfield, Alpine found themselves in one of the tightest inter-team battles. While Ocon was the unluckier, Gasly stepped into a new team and increasingly got the better of his teammate as the year went on. Out qualifying Ocon 14-8 was impressive, and his podium in Zandvoort was a stellar drive.

But as mentioned above, Ocon was typically the better Alpine on race day. His lows of taking out Ocon in Melbourne and crashing in Baku qualifying, began his year on a damper. Then there was his drive in Qatar, where he blundered a huge number of track limits. There's a solid setup for Gasly to lead Alpine next year, but this year the Frenchman didn't deliver often enough.


14. Nico Hülkenberg

The return of a solid, but clearly not world-beating, elder statesman’s presence on the grid symbolised Haas’ rut as a team. With three years out of full-time racing, and some epic moments, the decision to have Hülkenberg in the seat proved merited. Nico was an exceptional qualifier, out-qualifying Magnussen 15-7, with 2nd in Canada being possibly the most notable qualifying performance by anyone all year. His drive in the chaos of Melbourne was exceptional, finishing 7th - and a brilliant late-race standing start almost saw his infamous podium duck broken - before a red flag saw positions restored to as on the grid.

But outside of Melbourne, his only points scoring finish was the sprint race in Austria. He started 5th in Canada due to a red flag infringement, one of his few mistakes all year. However, he finished a lowly 15th there, as Haas’ severe tyre wear issues saw him drop helplessly down the order. That was the ballad of Nico’s season: raw speed squandered by a car that destroyed its tyres. The German probably drove better than his results show, but in the circumstances it is regrettably impossible to rank Nico any higher.


15. Valtteri Bottas

With 10 points, Valtteri secured Alfa Romeo 9th in the Constructors', in what was probably the slowest car. In light of that, Valtteri didn't have a bad season. Occasionally, Bottas flattered - his opening drive in Bahrain was exemplary, utilising the Alfa's good straight-line speed to finish 8th. His other points also came from power tracks - he managed another 8th in Qatar, and picked up solitary points for 10th places in Canada and Italy. None of those were races of high attrition, showcasing Valtteri's ability to utilise the Alfa's relatively few strong points for results. He continued his streak of being an excellent qualifier, his gap to Zhou in qualifying was huge.

But at the same time, starts have been a notable weakness - and this year was no exception. The Finn held the worst first lap record of anyone, losing on average 0.72 positions over the course of the season - although in Japan it notably wasn't his fault. Too often Valtteri descended into anonymity, and a disappointing teammate often gave him no yardstick by which he could impress. However, there's no doubting his value to the team, unlike some of the drivers ranked lower on here.


16. Daniel Ricciardo

It may seem harsh to rank the Aussie this low. He had 7 races, split by an injury, and quite a bit of bad luck. His good pace in Hungary and Brazil were derailed by first lap collisions, neither his fault. He had an ailing car in Austin whilst still recovering from injury. Of course, there was his famous Mexico effort, where he qualified an exceptional 4th, raced like a front runner, and secured AlphaTauri's best result all year with 7th.

Were he a less esteemed driver, this would all be mightily impressive. But this man was Daniel Ricciardo, a man whom almost all agree had potential to be a world champion. With only one points finish and being out-qualified by Tsunoda 4-3, Danny Ric didn't quite live up to his name. With a bit more time, perhaps he would have.


17. Sergio Perez

When Sergio won in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan and largely matched Verstappen's pace, it seemed that this would be his best F1 year yet. But neither of those races were trouble-free for Max Verstappen. However, given that the car was always built around Max, Sergio was fulfilling the number two role perfectly.

But it didn't take long to unravel. Then came Miami, where Verstappen ran 10th at the start - only for Sergio to be beaten easily. After that, he entirely lost his way, and his season was blighted with continuous Q2 eliminations - which would in turn compromise his race, forcing him to perform aggressive, risky moves that far too often resulted in mistakes. He made strings of errors in Monaco, Singapore and Qatar. His botched first corner pass in Mexico on Leclerc smacked of desperation, and understeering into Norris in Abu Dhabi epitomised someone who didn't get on with the car. With Max sealing the Constructors' championship on his own, it's hard to see what value the Mexican gave Red Bull. From Monaco onwards, he only saw the podium 5 times - and an arid late season for Hamilton saved him from losing 2nd in the standings, despite an utterly dominant car.


18. Lance Stroll

Having missed pre-season testing due to a cycle injury, Stroll's year was always going to start on the back foot. In fact, to finish 6th in Bahrain with no testing, with some incredibly hairy onboards as his injuries clearly affected his driving, was an excellent result. 4th in Melbourne, and 7th in Baku were also great results. In Spain - when Fernando was off-form, Lance was Aston's leader, finishing 6th.

But his lows were many: notable was Stroll continuously being eliminated in Q1, which occurred six consecutive times from Italy to Mexico. Meanwhile, Alonso made Q3 every race until Austin. Britain to Mexico marked a ten-race streak from which he took a meagre 9 points, and he looked in real danger of losing to an Alpine in the drivers' standings. Then there was Qatar, where frustration infamously got the better of him as he shoved his personal trainer following his Q1 elimination. With some doubting that Stroll has ever merited a place in F1, this season did everything to amplify the doubters. Strong performances in Brazil and Vegas slightly redeemed his season, without which he would probably rank even lower.


19. Kevin Magnussen

Having been Haas' cornerstone for many years, K-Mag was bitterly disappointing this year, securing just 3 points to Hülkenberg's 9. Upon analysis, however, his season, while far from brilliant, was less poor than his anonymity suggests. With his forte being in aggressive racecraft, a car that bulldozed its tyres was rarely going to allow the Dane to showcase his skill.

There was one notable exception: his battle with Charles Leclerc in Miami. There, he fended the Monegasque for two-thirds of the race, with some brilliant defending and counter-attacking. It was one of the best battles of the year. Additional 10th places in Saudi Arabia and Singapore mean that he picked up more points finishes than his teammate - but Miami was the Dane's only standout race all year.


20. Zhou Guanyu

Although Bottas significantly outscored Zhou in 2022, that was largely due to Zhou being blighted by dreadful luck while the car was at its best in the early part of the year. Increasingly that year, Zhou got onto terms with Bottas, and a good springboard was launched from which to start his second F1 campaign.

The Alfa was simply not a good car, so for Zhou to be anonymous was of little surprise. But the momentum was not built upon - and if anything, the gap to Bottas widened, even if the results don't reflect it. He was notably weak in qualifying, often substantially slower than Bottas and losing the head-to-head 15-6. Zhou was typically better on race day, but in races where both drivers finished, Bottas won that battle 11-6. Qualifying 5th in Hungary and finishing 9th in Qatar from last on the grid were his only major highlights, and his Hungary qualifying was wasted by causing a several-car collision when he outbraked himself.


21. Logan Sargeant

For someone who had fought Oscar Piastri in F3, and secured F1 superlicence points in a single F2 season, the American's year was sorely lacking. While an American driver provided excellent marketing for a potentially huge audience, Logan's junior formulae wholly suggested he had the skill to be there, and in Bahrain he ran Albon close - solid for a first outing.

But even for a rookie year, Sargeant failed to live up to the hype. Despite a decent debut, he remained a backmarker while Alex got to grips with the car and fought valiantly among midfield teams. The mounting pressure as he remained pointless descended into a string of accident-prone outings. By the end, he upped his consistency and got a bit closer to his teammate, but the American had shown little improvement from where he started. Albon took an unblemished head-to-head in both qualifying and races where both Williams finished. His solitary point in Austin was secured after Hamilton and Leclerc's disqualification - in other words, he never took a top 10 finish on track. One gets the impression that Williams would almost certainly give him a second chance - but now the pressure rides immensely high.


22. Nyck De Vries

The Dutchman's short F1 career tells an intriguing tale of a driver who was vastly overrated, but also an unfortunate victim of circumstance and some absurd decision-making. The tale could have passed for an epic of misery and surrealness, only to instead encounter an abrupt, George R. R. Martin-esque culling. The story can be summarised as follows: after an excellent 8th place in Monza last year for Williams, coupled with Formula 2 and Formula E championships to his name, Helmut Marko decided to pilfer a Mercedes junior at AlphaTauri for a rookie year. But his F2 season was won at the comparatively late age of 24, and with probably the weakest grid ever seen - while his 8th at Monza was at a track that particularly suited Williams, and with a thoroughly deadbeat teammate to boot.

Despite being the perennial tail-ender in qualifying, he out-qualified and out-raced Tsunoda twice each during his 10-race stint. However, far and away his most memorable weekend was Baku, where he looked wholly out of his depth with crashes in Practice, Qualifying, and Race. He showed little sign of improvement, as he finished last in both Canada and Britain. To be suddenly, unceremoniously dumped for Daniel Ricciardo was cruel, but Nyck's driving did nothing to suggest he deserved an F1 seat.
Alextrax52
Posts: 2933
Joined: 17 Apr 2013, 20:06
Location: Bromborough near Liverpool

Re: 2023 Reject of the Year

Post by Alextrax52 »

I gave my vote to everyone bar Verstappen and Red Bull. Perez started well enough but losing Miami the way he did broke him and it was as if his season disintegrated from the moment he crashed in Q1 at Monaco, he limped over the line for what I thought was the weakest WDC runner up since Frentzen was awarded it by default in 1997, McLaren deserve huge credit for the way they turned their campaign around but let’s not forget how dreadful they were until the upgrades started coming in Austria, Aston Martin started as the closest challengers but even then they were a one car team before falling backwards, Ferrari started 2023 where they left off in 2022 with their car just chewing through it’s tires and the usual mistakes though I thought they improved towards the end, that left Hamilton and Mercedes to finish as best of the rest but truthfully apart from Hamilton’s pole in Hungary and a double podium in Spain they weren’t that inspiring after sticking with the zero side pods initially, they finished best of the rest purely because they were the most consistent of that quartet of teams. All 4 of them need to step up big time to give Verstappen and Red Bull some major headaches next year

Elsewhere

Alfa Romeo: Completely anonymous, All I remember from their year was their Hungary Qualifying which they completely wasted the moment the lights went out and their double points finish in Qatar. They get bonus points for what they’ve changed their name to for next year

Haas: Another wasted season for Haas, it was the usual season pattern: Start reasonably well and score their points early on, undergo absolutely no development as the season progresses and slide down to the back of the grid. Apart from some Gunther Steiner quotes on Drive to Survive what do they actually contribute to the sport? I can’t help but feel there’s a certain famous American name that couldn’t do worse in their place. Driver wise at least Nico Hulkenberg pulled off some starring qualifying laps and the occasional race performance (His Austria Sprint was one of the drives of the year for me) but outside of qualifying 4th, humiliating Charles Leclerc and scoring a point at Miami Kevin Magnussen was pretty terrible all year and he even admitted that when your season highlights are a couple of 10th places it’s probably not been your finest season. I think the Dane especially is lucky to keep his drive for 2024

Logan Sargeant: Speaking of drivers lucky to keep their seats for 2024, Logan Sargeant showed flashes of speed but his knack for accidents especially in the latter half of the year made people wonder whether Nicolas Latifi was all that bad. Was the last driver to be confirmed for the new season and there’ll be no excuses this time around
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