The Dutch driver Max Verstappen (Red Bull) maintained his undisputed dominance in F1 this Sunday by winning the Brazilian GP, his 17th victory in 20 races in 2023, ahead of the British Lando Norris (McLaren) and the Spanish Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin).
Verstappen, who started on pole, had no rival in the 71 laps run on the Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo and completed a perfect Brazilian GP, achieving the best time on Friday and winning the sprint race on Saturday.
With the victory at Interlagos, where he had barely won in 2019, Verstappen established new records for a season: that of victories (17), the highest percentage of victories, even with two races to go (77.2% in the case that neither of them will win) and being the first pilot to exceed 500 points by reaching 524.
«I couldn't make mistakes. Running here with high degradation is not the easiest, you can't relax. Everything we did was good, the strategy, so I'm very happy," Verstappen said.
– Bumpy start –
The start of the Brazilian GP was very eventful. On the presentation lap, the hydraulic system of Charles Leclerc's Ferrari failed and the Monegasque, who started second, ended up off the track, crashing into the protection and unable to race.
Just a few seconds after the start, before reaching the first corner, the German Nico Hulkenberg (Haas) and the Thai Alex Albon (Williams) collided and the latter ended up colliding with the Dane Kevin Magnussen (Haas), leaving both out. .
The accident left a lot of damage on the track and even a flying wheel that hit the car of Australian Daniel Ricciardo (Alpha Tauri). Ricciardo and the Australian Oscar Piastri (McLaren) were the most affected but were saved by the red flag, which allowed them to go to the pits to repair their vehicles.
The big beneficiary in the first start was Lando Norris, who started sixth and with a great start, managed to take second place before the red flag appeared.
– Second exit –
After a half-hour break, another start was made, with Verstappen at the top, comfortably leading, followed by a firm Norris in second position and with Fernando Alonso overtaking Lewis Hamilton on the inside, in third, in the second corner. straight.
Hamilton was hampered by a problem with his front wheel and had no chance to fight for the podium, losing steam as the laps went by.
With Verstappen dominating at will and Norris firmly in second place, all the excitement focused on third position, thanks to the great comeback made by the Mexican Sergio Pérez.
– Alonso-Pérez Fight -After starting ninth initially and sixth in the second start, Pérez went after Alonso in the final laps, although the two-time world champion showed off his experience with a great defense.
Using DRS on all the straights, the Mexican managed to pass Alonso on the last lap, although the Spaniard, in a historic finish, gave him back the advance in the last few meters with an overtake on the outside. Both drivers reached the finish line together, separated by just 0.053 seconds, to the delirium of the public.
«If it wasn't the best overtaking this year, it was the closest thing to it. “It was a very strategic race,” said the veteran Spanish driver, about the maneuver that gave him a place on the podium.
It was Alonso's ninth podium at Interlagos, the first he has achieved on the Brazilian circuit since 2013.
With the victory, Verstappen further isolates himself in first position in the F1 world championship with 524 points, just like Red Bull, champion of several races in the constructors' world championship. While his teammate 'Checo' Pérez, second with 258, widens the gap with the British Lewis Hamilton (226), who has his third place threatened by Fernando Alonso (198), Lando Norris (195) and Carlos Sainz (195 ).
Far from being discouraged by losing third place this Sunday, 'Checo' Pérez congratulated Alonso and assured that "it was a great dispute, very fair."
After the Brazilian GP, the F1 season will still have two more races before ending: in Las Vegas, on November 19, and in Abu Dhabi, on November 26.
Final classification of the Brazilian Grand Prix:
1. Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull)
the 305.879 km in 1 hour 56:48.894
2. Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren-Mercedes) at 8,277
3. Fernando Alonso (ESP/Aston Martin-Mercedes) 34,155
4. Sergio Pérez (MEX/Red Bull) 34,208
5. Lance Stroll (CAN/Aston Martin-Mercedes) 40,845
6. Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP/Ferrari) 50,188
7. Pierre Gasly (FRA/Alpine-Renault) 56,093
8. Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes) 1:02.859
9. Yuki Tsunoda (JPN/AlphaTauri-Red Bull) 1:09.880
10. Estéban Ocon (FRA/Alpine-Renault) 1 lap away
11. Logan Sargeant (USA/Williams-Mercedes) 1 lap away
12. Nico Hülkenberg (GER/Haas-Ferrari) 1 lap away
13. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/AlphaTauri-Red Bull) 1 lap away
14. Oscar Piastri (AUS/McLaren-Mercedes) 2 laps
- The other pilots did not finish the test.