Round 2 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 March 21, 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 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix appear below, along with a table showing how each writer-broadcaster voted.

— Dane Miller, Series Editor

Driver of the Week – Max Verstappen, Red Bull
Starting from 15th due to a mechanical failure during qualifying, Max Verstappen showed why he is the current top driver in Formula 1.

Working his way up through the field to finish second, the Dutchman maximized a poor situation.


Verstappen was able to take advantage of a safety car in the middle of the race, which allowed him to get a beneficial pit stop and brought the field back together.

The Red Bull driver also secured the Fastest Lap of the race, securing a pivotal point in the championship to keep him in first place in the standings.

The biggest takeaway from the race, however, might be his growing rivalry with teammate Sergio Perez.

The radio chatter during the race indicates tensions between the drivers and the team, creating a primary storyline for the rest of the season.

Rookie of the Week – Oscar Piastri, McLaren
The Australian was the second-best rookie finisher in Saudi Arabia, slotting in 15th after contact on the first lap forced a front wing change.


Still, Piastri was strong enough to get his slow McLaren into Q3 (the third round of qualifying) and started the race in eighth.

That’s a respectable accomplishment considering the massive struggles that McLaren has endured to start the year.

Once considered to be fighting for the “Best of the Rest” designation behind powerhouses Red Bull, Ferrari, and Mercedes, McLaren has fallen off this season.

Piastri’s qualifying strength is equivocal to a college quarterback willing his team to a 6-6 season without offensive weapons and a poor defense.

He even outperformed his experienced teammate Lando Norris who is considered a strong driver in his own right.

Constructor of the Week – Red Bull
The substantial pace advantage that Red Bull have is spectacular. No other team on the grid is able to come close to what the Austrian team is producing.

The only other organization that’s close is Aston Martin, and the only reason that team is competitive it’s because it hired away several key Red Bull engineers.

It’s almost comical how much better Red Bull is than the rest of the field.

Their engine and other mechanical parts have shown the potential to break, but the car design and aerodynamics are flawless.

Unless the drivers crash or the engine fails, Red Bull could legitimately win every race this season.

The one-two finish in Saudi Arabia was the second straight of the year and the team has more championship points than second and third place combined.

How Our Writers and Broadcasters Voted

—Driver of the Week—
DaneMax Verstappen
GregMax Verstappen
StephenMax Verstappen
—Rookie of the Week—
DaneOscar Piastri
GregOscar Piastri
StephenNyck de Vries
—Constructor of the Week—
Red Bull
GregRed Bull
StephenRed Bull

—More from Dane Miller—