Round 5 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 May 10, 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 Miami 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 the race from ninth position, Max Verstappen showed why he is the sport’s top driver.

The Dutchman effectively maneuvered through traffic while maximizing the performance of his tires en route to another win at Miami.


His victory is a worrying omen for teammate Sergio Perez’s hopes of winning the Driver’s Championship.

Perez started the Grand Prix on pole, but wasn’t able to manage his tires correctly and lost speed during the middle part of the race.

Starting with an eight-place advantage over Verstappen, the Mexican driver should have been able to hold on to the win.

Perez’s stumble could be an early turning point in the championship battle and indicates the skill gap between the teammates.

Verstappen’s performance was even more impressive considering he started the race on the slower “hard” tires while Perez was on the faster “medium” tire.

There are still plenty of races left, but the battle for the Driver’s Championship may have just taken a deciding turn.

Rookie of the Week – Nyck de Vries, Alpha Tauri

Our team was tempted to forgo giving out a Rookie of the Week award at Miami. All three of the drivers performed terribly and arguably don’t deserve any recognition.

After some internal debate, we unanimously landed on Alpha Tauri’s Nyck de Vries due to his performance in Qualifying.

de Vries

The Dutch driver was the only rookie to get out of Q1 (the first round of qualifying) and outperformed the others in the race.

All three rookies finished the Grand Prix at the bottom of the field, with Logan Sergeant ending the race in last, Oscar Piastri coming second-to-last, and de Vries winding up third-to-last.

But, de Vries did finish the race on the lead lap while the other two ended a lap down. Still, it was a weekend to forget for the rookie drivers. The struggles indicate the difficulty of the layout of the Miami Grand Prix.

Even experienced Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc crashed twice over the three days and second-best team Aston Martin failed to get one of its cars out of Q1.

But perhaps the most telling sign of the track’s difficulty was Lewis Hamilton’s 13th-place starting grid position.

The seven-time world champion’s qualifying position was the worst of his career at a race run in America, underlining the difficulty that the rookie drivers dealt with in Florida.

Constructor of the Week – Red Bull
The Austrian team is unstoppable. Its technical engineers are the best in the business, its race strategy is flawless, and its pitstop execution is unmatched.

Combined with the top driver in the series, Red Bull is in a league of its own. And, to the detriment of the rest of the field, the organization’s lynchpin technical engineer has signed a contract extension into the foreseeable future.

Reports over the weekend surfaced that Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey has agreed to stay with the team for several more seasons, cementing Red Bull’s engineering superiority into the future.

Newey’s technical wizardry is arguably the reason for Red Bull’s success and his extension is pivotal to their continued dominance.

The trickle-down effect of his technical know-how has spurred several teams to hire engineers away from Red Bull, particularly Aston Martin, with Ferrari expected to follow suit as well.

But there’s no replacing the master and no amount of apprentices that other teams hire away will hurt Newey’s ability to design a perfect car.

It may make Formula 1 too predictable, but there’s no denying that Red Bull is currently in the midst of a historically great run.

How Our Writers and Broadcasters Voted

—Driver of the Week—
DaneMax Verstappen
GregMax Verstappen
StephenMax Verstappen
—Rookie of the Week—
DaneNyck de Vries
GregNyck de Vries
StephenNyck de Vries
—Constructor of the Week—
GregRed Bull
*Constructor tiebreaker broken by second place votes

—More from Dane Miller—