Round 16 Formula 1 Driver, Rookie, and Constructor Awards

Our team of Formula 1 writers and broadcasters vote on the top performers for each race

Posted on September 19, 2023

  Dane Miller, Stephen Vilardo & Greg Kokot

There are a lot of moving parts and players that go into a successful Formula 1 team.

From the principal to the technical director and mechanics, the team can include anywhere from 300 to 1,200 people.

But the drivers and constructors shoulder the better part of the glory and blame.

Each week, or Formula 1 “Round,” our team of writers and broadcasters vote on awards for the top Driver, Rookie, and Constructor (which designs and builds the engine and chassis).

Our selections for last week’s Singapore Grand Prix appear below, along with a table showing how each writer-broadcaster voted.

— Dane Miller, Series Editor

Summaries by Greg Kokot, Auto Racing Writer

Driver of the Week – Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari
Carlos Sainz finished off a flawless weekend with a masterclass drive, taking home the top step of the podium after qualifying in P1 on Saturday.

Coming off his first pole of the season last week at Monza, Sainz followed it up by finishing at the top of the charts in both Free Practice 1 and Free Practice 3 while his Ferrari teammate finished Free Practice 2 in P1.

With such a strong showing for Ferrari in the free practice sessions and an apparent lack of pace from the Red Bulls, it set the stage for a qualifying session that could have had up to three teams in the mix (Ferrari, McLaren, and Mercedes).

Sainz drove as he had been for the whole weekend and made no mistakes, securing the pole ahead of Mercedes driver George Russell and his Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc.


During the Grand Prix, Sainz managed the pace of the race perfectly, which in turn kept his tires fresh for exactly when he needed them.

After the inevitable safety car at Singapore came out, Ferrari put Sainz on the hard compound tires—seemingly going for a one-stop pit stop strategy—and leaving him to manage for the rest of the race.

The last stint of the race was the most impressive for Sainz.

The Spaniard was challenged by both Mercedes cars that were charging through the field after the German team opted for a two-stop strategy with the faster medium compound tires.

Most notably, Sainz maintained such composure that he slowed himself down enough to be within one second of Lando Norris in second so that Norris could maintain the Drag Reduction System advantage over the Mercedes.

This allowed Sainz himself to defend against the charging Mercedes of Russell and Lewis Hamilton, as Norris was able to stay in front of them with the increased speeds of the DRS.

After the past two weekends, if Sainz is not going to get a new Ferrari contract beyond 2025, he is almost assured of the new Audi seat. And Sainz has now proved that he deserves it.

Constructor of the Week – Ferrari
It is hard to imagine awarding the Constructor of the Week award to any other team besides the Scuderia. The team had a perfect weekend with the fastest car in all sessions and won the race.

After Ferrari’s issues this year, there was a lot of concern around their strategy and how they may handle their cars starting first and third.

There have been plenty of times when the team has botched strategies and pitstops, giving up plenty of positions due to that.

While Leclerc’s fourth-place finish may not have been maximized due to traffic in the pit lane during the safety car, it surely was a great result regardless.

Ferrari implemented team orders, this time actually favoring Sainz and having Leclerc back the pack up so the double stack pit stop could take place.

Ferrari pulled everything off as intended over the race weekend and made no mistakes over the three days.

There have been plenty of times the historic team has been the laughingstock online, but they overcame any issues that had occasionally crept up in the past and capitalized.

The Singapore Grand Prix proved to be the breath of fresh air we all needed in a season that has been boringly dominated by Red Bull.

With such a strong weekend for the Scarlet Red and being handed fourth place by Russell’s miscalculation in Turn 10 on the final lap, Ferrari is in a strong place to fight for second in the Constructor’s Championship.

Ferrari now has 265 points, only 24 behind Mercedes’ 289. It is very much a fight for second as Red Bull still sits on top with 597.

Rookie of the Week – Liam Lawson, Alpha Tauri

In only his third race in a Formula 1 car, Liam Lawson secured the first points of his career. This in itself is worthy of the Rookie of the Week.

But the 21-year-old from New Zealand also seemed to have the upper hand on his much more experienced teammate all weekend, exemplified by securing his first appearance in the final round of Qualifying.

Leading up to the weekend, Lawson talked of Singapore being his favorite track growing up playing the F1 video games. His result showed that he is skilled enough to to handle the very tough and physically demanding street circuit, despite never having driven an actual F1 car in Singapore before.


While standing in for the wildly popular and much more experienced Daniel Ricciardo (who was injured at the Dutch Grand Prix), Lawson has started making the case to replace teammate Yuki Tsunoda at Alpha Tauri.

While it is highly doubtful this will actually happen, Lawson will have another weekend in Japan to prove his skills.

The Grand Prix at Suzuka presents an interesting case as it is Tsunoda’s home weekend in Japan, but also a track that Lawson has been racing at very consistently in Japanese Super Formula.

The battle between these two teammates will be an excellent one to keep an eye on as it could dictate whether Lawson is a viable candidate for another F1 seat outside of Red Bull.

The only seat potentially available opportunity would be at Williams alongside Alex Albon—a driver also technically contracted to Red Bull.

This would present an interesting case where six drivers within F1 “belong” to the Red Bull family.

Whether or not Lawson gets a seat next year, he very well could be in the mix to replace Red Bull’s Sergio Perez in 2025 or even come back to Alpha Tauri at that time.

How Our Writers and Broadcasters Voted

—Driver of the Week—
DaneCarlos Sainz Jr.
GregCarlos Sainz Jr.
StephenCarlos Sainz Jr.
—Rookie of the Week—
DaneLiam Lawson
GregLiam Lawson
StephenLiam Lawson
—Constructor of the Week—

—More from Greg Kokot—