F1i's Driver Ratings for the 2023 Austrian GP

Lewis Hamilton (SP10, P8, 4 pts): 7/10
Well aware that the Red Bull Ring had never been a happy hunting ground for Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton still admitted that he had been hoping for better this weekend after their recent package of upgrades had shown such promise. Instead they looked stolidly midfield in Spielberg, not helped by various glitches, miscalls and mistakes that you simply wouldn't expect from the Boys from Brackley (whereas if they were from Maranello ... No, we won't go there.) Hamilton managed to make it into the final round of qualifying while George Russell fell short, but lost a crucial flying lap to track limits at the start of the showdown which left him starting the sprint from P18. Actually he seemed to enjoy himself in that outing, likening it to his old karting days in wet weather in England, and it didn't seem to matter much when he missed out on the points. But it was a very different Lewis on Sunday, sounding very unhappy and frustrated with the world as a whole: knowing the W14 had a nervous back end, they dialled too much front wing out of the car leaving Hamilton unable to corner the car even at full lock, resulting in multiple track limits violations. He fumed about other drivers apparently getting away with the same thing and got rebuked over the team radio, by Toto Wolff telling him: "the car is bad, we know. Please drive it." He was right that other drivers should have been given penalties, but he didn't benefit from them when they eventually came because his own number was up a second time which rather summed up his weekend. Hopefully better things ahead for him next week at Silverstone, the undoubted Home of Hamilton.

George Russell (SP8, P7, 7 pts): 7.5/10
George Russell was no happier with Mercedes' performance this weekend than his team mate Lewis Hamilton or boss Toto Wolff, and while by no means a stand-out event for Russell he did once again demonstrate that when things are not going well, he's the man who can still manage to wring something extra from the situation no matter how unpromising. It didn't start well when he failed to make it through to the final round of qualifying on Friday afternoon, leaving him 11th on the grid. It was even worse in the showdown when he didn't even get to set a time in the second round because of a hydraulic problem necessitating a steering column change which left him starting the wet sprint from P15. After initial progress he was trapped in traffic and decided he might as well be first to switch from inters to slicks despite both Hamilton and Wolff thinking it was at least a lap too soon. It turned out to be a lap late if anything: if he had been even bolder then he might have finished better than eighth and a single point. On Sunday, perhaps emboldened by the sprint success, he put in a solid, unflashy but effective run that saw him in eighth place behind Hamilton for the final 30 lap run to the chequered flag. He got a post-race promotion to P7 at Hamilton's expense that he would probably have rather have done without in all honesty, and he took the same line in the media interviews about it having been a disappointing weekend as his colleagues.