Driver of the year: Max Verstappen. Not much else to say, is there? An extraordinary campaign from him and Red Bull.
Chaos of the year: There are two parts to this award which goes to the Dutch Grand Prix. The opening laps when rain came down and some drivers pitted for intermediates and got a massive undercut. Or, the sudden downpour with 10 laps to go as Zhou Guanyu speared into the barriers and the race was forced to be red flagged. It doesn’t sound that crazy from the description we’ve just given, but trust us, it was chaotic! Just try blogging it.
Weather of the year: It’s not often you look out of a media centre window and can’t see the track anymore. A storm in Sao Paulo during the end of Friday Qualifying caused the session to come to a halt and Fernando Alonso exclaimed “it’s night time!”
Race of the year: The Singapore Grand Prix. We are not saying this because it’s the only one Red Bull didn’t win, it was genuinely a thriller to the end as Carlos Sainz, Lando Norris, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton had a big four-way scrap for the lead in the closing stages. Russell pushed a bit too hard though and crashed on the final lap.
Grid walk moment of the year: Air guitar anyone? Machine Gun Kelly was keen to see Martin’s collaborate with him on the grid in Sao Paulo. Understandably, for the treasure that is Martin, he declined and Machine Gun Kelly gave the camera a thumbs down.
Dramatic finish of the year: 42 years old? Age doesn’t matter if you’re Fernando Alonso and he brilliantly took third place at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix after re-passing Sergio Perez on the final lap before holding him off at the line by 0.053s.
Achievement of the year: Ten wins on the spin is some going. Verstappen was unbeatable from May’s Miami Grand Prix to the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in September.
It’s really not AI image of the year: Toto and Christian. Honest, it’s real!
Calendar of the year: Valtteri Bottas’. Enough said. Sales of the cheeky 2024 offering raised a very impressive £119,000 for Movember too.
Yodeling of the year: Only one winner here and that’s our very own Craig Slater. Yodeling is a big tradition in Austria and it was only right that Craig had a go himself, or maybe not…
Toughest race of the year: A flat-out race in Qatar, due to limits on tyre stints, and the high-speed track led to a massive challenge for the drivers. Esteban Ocon threw up in his helmet and Logan Sargeant couldn’t finish the race. Luckily, Qatar will take place in December next year, so it should be slightly cooler.
Fashion of the year: We’re not talking about Ted Kravitz’s shorts and sandals, but we’re on about an unbuttoned orange shirt and leather trousers when he met Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu in London.
Rookie of the year: You could argue Liam Lawson for this but Oscar Piastri was pretty good as well, particularly as McLaren team-mate Norris has become one of the most highly rated F1 drivers on the grid. A Sprint win in Qatar was the highlight for Piastri and it will be fascinating to see how he gets on in 2024.
Rumour of the year: No, not whether or not Lewis Hamilton was going to Ferrari, but whether Fernando Alonso was dating Taylor Swift. Never has a back catalogue of songs been quoted so frequently in the space of four days as was the case in Baku.
Qualifying of the year: Monaco quite literally was qualifying of the year – although we’ve had some great ones in 2023 – but the drama of Verstappen brushing the barriers in the final sector to steal pole from Alonso was breathtaking.
Surprise of the year: Hamilton pipped Verstappen to pole position by 0.003s at the Hungaroring to end his pole-less run. It was a brilliant lap from Hamilton, even with a little wide moment at the final corner.
Opener of the year: How can you not love a bit of Richard Ashcroft and his iconic ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ ahead of the British Grand Prix. Norris and Hamilton were on the podium too at Silverstone which was a brilliant moment.
Photographer of the year: Another Martin moment for you. This time at the Monaco Grand Prix when MB went up to interview an 89-year-old photographer, who enjoyed the conversation so much that she asked for his card!
Big number of the year: That would be the 1,200+ incidents of track limit breaches reviewed by stewards in the 71-lap Austrian GP. That worked out at 17 a lap!
Not taking no for an answer of the year: Stewart, Federer, security, and Martin’s Miami GP Grid Walk.
Overtake of the year: Leclerc threw everything at the Red Bulls in Vegas and caught Perez by surprise on the last lap into the final braking zone. From some distance back, boom, Leclerc chucked his Ferrari in there and beautifully got the car stopped to take second place.
Saga of the year: Andretti’s bid to enter F1. The outcome of which is still to be resolved.
Trophy smash of the year: Norris’ trademark celebration of slamming the champagne on the ground in Hungary didn’t quite go right as he knocked over Verstappen’s winning trophy. The $45,000 trophy was replaced thankfully and it’s fair to say Norris was more careful in future podiums during the season.
Verstappen and GP moment of the year: We enjoyed this almost married couple relationship throughout the season and the best of it probably came in Belgium qualifying when Verstappen scraped into Q3. Verstappen wasn’t happy about his preparation laps – s*** execution” was how he bluntly described them – and Gianpiero Lambiase, his race engineer, fired back. Verstappen apologised as he inevitably then topped the final stage.
National anthem of the year: Antoine Delie’s alternative Belgium national anthem performance was quite something. However, it did look like Alonso and Russell were trying not to laugh!
Podium of the year: Canada, where multiple champions Verstappen, Alonso and Hamilton were joined by multiple-title-winning designer Adrian Newey. You needed a calculator to work out the combined number of world titles.
Mistaken weather forecast of the year: Only George Russell thought it was raining at the Spanish Grand Prix. It turned out just to be sweat on the inside of his visor instead.
Announcement of the year: Now we’re not talking about a piece of news here but an actual announcement. Famous sports announcer Bruce Buffer shouted “Sergio Checo Perez” right in the driver’s face ahead of the Las Vegas Grand Prix. To make it worse, Perez appeared to think he was going to be interviewed, so stood next to Buffer for 20 awkward seconds.
Shock exits of the year: Nothing quite compares to the triple departures announced by Alpine on the Friday of the Belgian GP. Team boss Otmar Szafnauer and long-serving sporting director Alan Permane were out at the end of that very weekend, while Pat Fry was headed to Williams.
24 races in 2024! Watch every round of next season live on Sky Sports F1, starting with the Bahrain Grand Prix from February 29-March 2. Stream F1 on Sky Sports with NOW