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By John Floyd

Motorsport columnist

FLOYD ON F1: Albon the shining light among back markers

The first half of the 2023 season has been one to forget for Yuki Tsunoda and Valtteri Bottas.

It’s the mid-summer break and time to take a look at the championship tables, plus a few thoughts on the second half of the 2023 F1 season.

Alpha Tauri – 10th in F1 standings (3 points)

Yuki Tsunoda: 17th overall on 3 points. Highest finish: 10th (3x 10th places Australia – Azerbaijan – (Belgium).

It has not been the greatest season so far for the young Japanese driver, but let’s face it the AT04 is not exactly the competitive car. It is probably the worst on the grid and it will take a lot of upgrades to even challenge Alfa Romeo.

Nyck de Vries: 0 points. Following a Helmut Marko-decision the young Dutchman found himself unemployed with not a point on the board after 10 races.

Daniel Ricciardo: 0 points. Highest finish: 10th (Belgium Sprint Race).

Not a decision most expected. When the Aussie took over the reins from the Hungarian Grand Prix rumours were a comeback alongside Sergio Perez. It is something I very much doubt as he still has a lot to prove.

Alfa Romeo – 9th in F1 standings (9 points)

Valtteri Bottas: 15th overall on 5 points. Highest finish: 8th (Bahrain plus 10th in Canada).

The C43 is obviously waiting to be upgraded to a set of Audi rings. One wonders will the Finn still be there when that occurs. The car is not about to turn a driver’s fortunes.

Zhou Guanyu: 16th overall on 4 points. Highest finish: 9th (2x 9th places Australia-Spain).

It looked so promising in Bahrain with the Chinese driver setting the fastest lap time. Unfortunately no extra point as he was outside the top ten. It could be a very hard second half of the season.

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Haas – 8th (11 points)

Nico Hulkenberg: 14th overall on 9 points. Highest finish: 7th (Australia). What has happened to the VF23’s race pace? The German is very quick in practice and occasionally qualifying, but fades away during the main event. It’s going to be a tough year.

Kevin Magnussen: 18th overall on 2 points. Highest finish: 10th (2x10th places Saudi Arabia-Miami). Same car same statements the Haas is definitely lacking and is unlikely to improve in the second half.

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Williams – 7th (11 points)

Alex Albon: 13th overall on 11 points. Highest finish: 7th (Canada). A team that certainly needs a break and Albon has proved to be a shining light in the last 10 races and if the FW45 permits, Williams F1 may move up the table.

Logan Sargeant: 0 points. Highest finish: 11th (Britain). A difficult year for the young American. It looked like a point at Silverstone but sadly he had to settle for 11th. Too many expensive off-road excursions must play on his mind and may influence his second half performance.

The next F1 race is on 27 August in the Netherlands.

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