F1i's Driver Ratings for the 2023 Austrian GP

Carlos Sainz (SP3, P6, 14 pts): 8/10
Of the two Ferrari drivers, Carlos Sainz had a slightly better time of things in Spielberg but wasn't quite able to seal the deal when it really mattered. He was ahead of Charles Leclerc in the first (and only) practice but missed out to the Monegasque in qualifying. He did manage to pip him in the showdown, and Leclerc was then hit by a penalty for impeding Oscar Piastri during the session meaning his sprint race was seriously compromised. It freed Sainz to move up to third place ahead of Lando Norris after opting not to take time in pit lane to switch from inters to slicks on the drying track, which just paid off but might not have if the race had been another lap or two longer. On Sunday he held on to third place until deep into the race when he came under intense pressure from Sergio Perez for the final podium spot. Try as he might, the Red Bull was just too overwhelming and Sainz was forced to make way on lap 61. It was all somewhat academic in the end, as in addition to his earlier five second penalty for exceeding track limits (served at his first pit stop) Sainz got handed a another, bigger sanction after the race which dropped him two places to sixth.

Fernando Alonso (SP5, P5, 14 pts): 7/10
Fernando Alonso seemed to have decided that Aston Martin were unlikely to do particularly well at the Red Bull Ring, and that it might be the right time to have a quiet weekend in the countryside rather than overexert himself. He seemed positively languid when faced with the key deleted lap time in qualifying that meant he ended up behind his team mate Lance Stroll for only the second time in their partnership. He was quicker than Stroll in the showdown, but was passed by Stroll on the first lap and that's how it stayed with neither driver opting to take advantage of the drying track to pit for slick tyres toward the end. Alonso insisted that he was trying hard to pass Stroll for fourth in the final laps, but it looked more like a bad bit of amateur dramatics designed to make the boss's son look good - but just call us cynical. Maybe Alonso knew that his reward would come not in heaven but on Sunday, when Stroll was on a three stop strategy and Alonso himself on a conservative two-stopper. Sure enough it handed him sixth place at the line, which got an upgrade thanks to Carlos Sainz' post-race penalty being applied leaving the Aston in fifth. "We haven't shown our best face here," he shrugged, already looking forward to next week's home race for the squad at Silverstone.