Formula 1 | F1 drivers under the most pressure in 2023

With the 2023 Formula 1 season now just weeks away from the start of the season in Bahrain, we asked ourselves which drivers will be under the most pressure this year. Some will stake their futures, some have yet to start F1, but all will have a lot to prove.

Here is the first part of our list of eight drivers who will be under pressure in 2023.

Sergio Perez

The Mexican is set to spend his third season with the Red Bull team, who are coming off a year of dominance and two world champions. And while he kept pace with long-term team-mate Max Verstappen earlier in the season, the progress made in the RB18 coincided with an ever-widening gap with his garage neighbour.

Despite everything, Perez proved once again that he is the perfect number 2 alongside the Dutchman, even shining at times with two prestigious victories in Monaco and then Singapore. But it remains a minor disappointment that he was beaten by Charles Leclerc in the drivers’ championship.

It will certainly be very difficult for him to reverse the domestic trend with his team-mate in 2023, but Red Bull will still need him to get close to him, as with the new rules Ferrari and Mercedes could seriously close the gap in F1. . So he can’t afford to be more than half a second behind Verstappen at times, as that means losing more places than he did in 2022.

We can highlight the tension with Verstappen at the end of the season, with the Dutchman failing to follow through on that order at Interlagos, and also the arrival of Daniel Ricciardo as third driver, which definitely adds a bit of extra pressure.

Oscar Piastri

Despite the turmoil surrounding the young Australian’s contract last summer, Alpine F1 announced this year’s stint without his consent before learning that he actually had a valid contract with McLaren. If there is nothing to be ashamed of in the story, the media pressure must have affected it.

As such, his F1 debut will be closely scrutinized, especially as he has dominated the race in recent years in F3 and F2, winning each season in his first season.

He also has the tough task of replacing compatriot Ricciardo in the Woking squad, and pairing up with Lando Norris, who is probably coming off his best season in the top flight, will not be an easy task. However, he has everything to gain against the elder Brit, who will be the most experienced driver in his team for the first time in his career.

Yuki Tsunoda

If it seemed logical to see the Japanese driver dominate Pierre Gasly during his debut in 2021, his progress in 2022 was not necessarily convincing, as the latter is coming off a very average season, even if he is closing in on the Frenchman. Plus, Tsunoda was still the author of some avoidable blunders.

Alongside his new team-mate Nyck de Vries, who has certainly only competed in one Grand Prix but already has a wealth of experience in motorsport, the 22-year-old driver will thus have to manage a completely new status as a top contender. experienced team.

Last year, by his own admission, he admitted that he was not necessarily ready for the role. However, he will have to if he wants to keep his place in Formula 1 at the end of the 2023 season, as his place will surely go to someone else next year if the Dutchman favors him and ultimately fails to make steady progress. .


The first Chinese driver in Formula 1 history, who was criticized even before his debut in the discipline, has finally shown that he has the level to thrive in motorsport’s premier category. He made a few mistakes last year and the balance sheet against Valtteri Bottas (49 points to 6 for the Finn) doesn’t necessarily do him justice.

Unfortunately for Zhou, he closed in on his team-mate as the Alfa Romeo F1 began a long spell of not finishing in the top 10. However, he confirmed after the race that he was safe and fit to continue. In 2023, he must raise the level of the game.

Indeed, after the C42 became more efficient again at the end of the season, it was Bottas who used it to secure sixth place in the constructors’ championship in extreme racing ahead of Aston Martin F1, scoring crucial points. This year, Zhou must demonstrate that he has used his apprenticeship year to be in the game immediately. In addition, Audi will land in 2026 and follow the current driver duo very closely.

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