F1i's Driver Ratings for the 2023 Bahrain GP

' '

The winter off-season break is well and truly over, and Formula 1 is back on track where it belongs. There's lots to talk about after the season opener in Bahrain, with a dream start for Red Bull, a troubled night for Ferrari and Mercedes, a nightmare for McLaren - and a fairy tale maiden outing for Fernando Alonso with Aston Martin!

Oscar Piastri (Electrical, Lap 14): 5/10
What every rookie driver needs more than anything is the maximum time in the car in race conditions as possible, so his early exit from the Bahrain Grand Prix after just 14 laps is the worse possible start to Oscar Piastri's new job at McLaren. The young Australian initially thought it was a gearbox issue, the team thought it was the steering wheel, but in the end it was blamed on an unspecified electrical problem that forced him to retire. It's a shame as he was actually quicker than team mate Lando Norris in final practice, but the troubles with the MCL60 simply did't allow the 21-year-old to show what he's capable of this weekend.

Charles Leclerc (Power Unit, Lap 40): 8/10
While not an outright disaster, this certainly wasn't the opening weekend that Ferrari had been hoping for. Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were all over the place on Friday as they tried various extreme set-ups, and that flapping single support strut rear wing looked very worrying (when it wasn't comedic). Leclerc were back on track on Saturday despite shedding bits of bodywork at the start of Q1, but his decision not to undertake a second run in Q3 in order to preserve tyres telegraphed the team's concerns about how the SF-23 is handling tyre degradation compared to Red Bull and Aston Martin. In the end though it was a power unit issue that sidelined Leclerc, despite the team changing two PU components before the race. That has to be very worrying indeed.