F1i's Driver Ratings for the 2023 Spanish GP

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB19 leads at the start of the race. 04.06.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 8, Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona, Spain, Race Day. - www.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com © Copyright: Coates / XPB Images'
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Being back at a traditional permanent circuit after so many street and road courses in a row gave us a welcome opportunity to see how the teams are faring seven races into the 2023 season. While Red Bull were as dominant as ever, there was good news for Mercedes and bad news for Ferrari and McLaren amid mixed fortunes for the drivers in Barcelona.

Logan Sargeant (P20): 3.5/10
The reality of being a rookie in Formula 1 is beginning to bite for Logan Sargeant, with another weekend offering little to recommend it for the American driver. Whatever performance the Williams might have had at the beginning of the season seems to have deserted it, leaving Sargeant and his team mate Alex Albon firmly stuck at the bottom of the timings in all three practice sessions. And of course there was that costly accident in FP3 where Sargeant slid off the track and broadsided the barriers leaving his mechanics with a huge task to get the car ready for qualifying. They did well to get him out (with the aid of some extra minutes courtesy of a red flag stoppage) but he was still slowest in Q1 and ended up joining Charles Leclerc starting from the pit lane after the Williams team continued to work on his car under parc ferme conditions overnight. Sargeant had some fun leading the Ferrari for the first three laps, but after that he spent an afternoon sparring with Albon, Lando Norris and Valtteri Bottas for wooden spoon honours in a race that offered no retirements, safety cars or red flag stoppages that might have given him any opportunities to recover lost ground. Severe tyre degradation in the final stint ultimately decided the matter.

Valtteri Bottas (P19): 4.5/10
When Valtteri Bottas left Mercedes, Alfa Romeo picked him up as an experienced and safe pair of hands to deliver results while his team mate Zhou Guanyu brought in the sponsorship. A year on and that's no longer the case; Zhou is the one who is shining more and more on the race track, while Bottas has become something of a non-entity. The Finn looked to be set for a decent weekend at Barcelona, a track he knows very well, and he was in the top ten in both FP2 and FP3 and ahead of Zhou in the order; but then the dame conditions in qualifying saw him miss the cut at the end of Q1 while Zhou went through and started from 13th. Bottas had a poor start to the race and then pitted early on lap 5 which left him running behind Logan Sargeant for a spell. He peaked in 15th place on lap 27 but was then overtaken by Nico Hulkenberg, before making his second pit stop that dropped him to the back of the field. He managed to pass Logan Sargeant with six laps to go to avoid the wooden spoon, but he had looked painfully inert all afternoon suggesting there must have been a problem on the car although given that Zhou went on to finish in the points, you can't lay the blame on the C43 as a whole for his failure to thrive this week. But credit where its due, Bottas played the team card by making it hard for Kevin Magnussen to pass him and chase down Zhou when it mattered.