A Controversial Season: 2023 Formula 1 Recap

With the Abu Dhabi finale on November 26, the 2023 Formula 1 season comes to a close | Source: F1 Fansite

The main topic of Formula 1 conversation this season was dominance. Just halfway through the season, Red Bull driver Max Verstappen was leading the championship by 125 points and Red Bull had won every race to that point. The trend continued into the second half of the season, as well. Overall, Max Verstappen won 19 of 22 races. 2 of the 3 lost races were won by his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez.

There was a clear dominating team this season and its name was Red Bull. This made almost every Grand Prix predictable and the results proved it:

  • Bahrain 3/5/23: Max Verstappen
  • Saudi Arabia 3/19/23: Sergio Perez
  • Australia 4/2/23: Max Verstappen
  • Azerbaijan: 4/30/23: Sergio Perez
  • Miami 5/7/23: Max Verstappen
  • Monaco 5/28/23: Max Verstappen
  • Spain 6/4/23: Max Verstappen
  • Canada 6/18/23: Max Verstappen
  • Austria 7/2/23: Max Verstappen
  • Great Britain 7/9/23: Max Verstappen
  • Hungary 7/23/23: Max Verstappen
  • Belgium 7/30/23: Max Verstappen
  • Netherlands 8/27/23: Max Verstappen
  • Italy 9/3/23: Max Verstappen
  • Singapore 9/17/23: Carlos Sainz
  • Japan 9/24/23: Max Verstappen
  • Qatar 10/8/23: Max Verstappen
  • United States 10/22/23: Max Verstappen
  • Mexico 10/29/23: Max Verstappen
  • Brazil 11/5/23: Max Verstappen
  • Las Vegas 11/18/23: Max Verstappen
  • Abu Dhabi 11/26/23: Max Verstappen

Predictable. But predictability causes controversy, especially among Formula 1 fans across the globe.

Controversy Among Fans

Formula 1 has over 500 million fans and a third of those have become fans in the last 4 years which means that many of them experienced the tense 2021 season. Many find the 2023 season to be dull in comparison. Having one dominating team (and one dominating driver, in reality) isn’t good for the sport. Viewers aren’t as engaged when the most interesting topics are the battles in the mid field and Lando Norris breaking Max Verstappen’s trophy. To be fair, the latter was pretty engaging for fans.

Lando Norris break Max Verstappen’s trophy after Hungarian GP | Source: sky sports

Despite the predictability, some argue that Red Bull and Max Verstappen’s performance of consistency and excellence is something to marvel at. Additionally, many people in the F1 community argue that it can never be boring.

Karun Chandhok said on the Sky F1 podcast:  “…if you think the sight of cars going at 200 miles an hour plus, or doing 170 miles an hour…or showing the most supreme engineering challenge, in the hands of some of the most talented human beings ever to grab hold of a steering wheel, where we’re at tracks where you’re millimetres away from ruining your afternoon for 70-odd laps in a race…If you think that’s boring, I can’t help you. I really can’t.”

Controversy Among Drivers

Fans aren’t the only ones who struggled with the predictable nature of the 2023 season. Mercedes driver George Russel considered the 2023 season as “less exciting” and noted specific events such as the Azerbaijan Grand Prix to be “dull as [they] expected.”

Alpine driver Pierre Gasly took a much more positive perspective on the season. He considered the analysis that George Russel provided to be premature and compared the season to watching a movie: “If you go to the cinema and after 15 minutes the movie is [bad] but then the last hour and a half is amazing.”


Despite the abundance of controversy surrounding F1, the 2023 season came to a close in Abu Dhabi on November 26, 2023. In this Grand Prix, Max Verstappen fended off an early challenge from Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc and ultimately proved unchallenged and victorious over Charles Leclerc and George Russel. With battles throughout the field for places in the Constructors’ Championship, this race was particularly significant for everyone.

However, possibly the most important of these situations was the spot for second in the team Constructors’ Championship. It was a battle between Ferrari and Mercedes. The results kept shifting back and forth as Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz moved around in the midfield and fought for points while Charles Leclerc and George Russel fought at the top. In the end, Charles attempted to make a last-minute bid to help Sergio Perez with a 5-second penalty to fend off George Russel and secure second in the Constructors’ Championship. Though the risky move was incredibly intelligent, it wasn’t enough and Mercedes secured second. The final results are as follows:


  1. Red Bull: 860
  2. Mercedes: 409
  3. Ferrari: 406
  4. McLaren: 302
  5. Aston Martin: 280
  6. Alpine: 120
  7. Williams: 28
  8. AlphaTauri: 25
  9. Alfa Romeo: 16
  10. Haas: 12


  1. Max Verstappen: 575
  2. Sergio Perez: 285
  3. Lewis Hamilton: 234
  4. Fernando Alonso: 206
  5. Charles Leclerc: 206
  6. Lando Norris: 205
  7. Carlos Sainz: 200
  8. George Russel: 175
  9. Oscar Piastri: 97
  10. Lance Stroll: 74
  11. Pierre Gasly: 62
  12. Esteban Ocon: 58
  13. Alexander Albon: 27
  14. Yuki Tsunoda: 17
  15. Valterri Bottas: 10
  16. Nico Hulkenburg: 9
  17. Daniel Ricciardo: 6
  18. Zhou Guanyu: 6
  19. Kevin Magnussen: 3
  20. Liam Lawson: 2
  21. Logan Sargeant: 1
  22. Nyck De Vries: 0

Now that the 2023 Formula 1 season has concluded, fans are looking forward to what the 2024 will bring to the sport whether it be more trophy-breaking or more competitive races.

About the Author

Michelle Fanjoy
Hey! I am a sophomore at IMSA ('26) and I live in 1503. I enjoy playing tennis and the flute. I also love watching Formula 1, but most importantly, I love writing! I am looking forward to working as a staff writer for The Acronym this year.

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