Another Formula 1 Grand Prix, another win for Red Bull Racing.
Max Verstappen was able to power through in the first turn from his second place starting position to take the lead from Lewis Hamilton and lead every lap from there to take Red Bull’s 11th win of the season.
“We had a really good start,” Verstappen said after the race to F1 Media in the podium interviews. “We had a good bite. And I knew when we got the inside that corner was mine.
“Just late on the brakes [into that corner]. Heavy car. Luckily, it all worked out well and could go out and do my race. And today, the car was really, really quick.”
Hamilton just missed out on a podium in fourth. Oscar Piastri ran second to Verstappen for much of the first stint before losing it to teammate Norris after the first pit stops, then faded to fifth by the end of the race.
George Russell had a great recovery drive to finish sixth after starting 18th. Charles Leclerc lost seven seconds on his first pit stop due to an error, then was penalized another five seconds due to speeding on his second pit stop. Leclerc ended up finishing seventh, just ahead of teammate Carlos Sainz in eighth.
There have been 11 Grand Prix in 2023. Red Bull’s win in the final round of 2022 at Abu Dhabi means that Red Bull now has a dozen wins in the last dozen races. This winning streak is now the longest in F1 history.
There was a turn 1 accident in the midfield. Zhou Guanyu started in fifth but fell back dramatically on the start. Then, entering turn 1, he hit Daniel Ricciardo from behind, who then hit Esteban Ocon. Ocon then rode up Pierre Gasly’s wheels and briefly went up in the air.
Both Alpine drivers were able to make it back to the pits, but retired afterwards. Ocon’s seat actually broke in two and had to go to the medical center after the retirement. Ricciardo was able to finish 13th while Zhou ended up 16th.
The only other incident on the day came in the closing laps, when Logan Sargeant spun his Williams out near the back of the pack. Sargeant was able to drive back to pit road and park his car without causing a safety car.
Verstappen now leads the driver points by 110 over Perez. Although the championship seems to be wrapped up for the Dutchman, an insurmountable lead at this point in the season would still be a far-off 310, meaning it will be about five or six races before a clinch could actually happen.
The next round of the Formula 1 season will be the Belgian Grand Prix, at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. Tradition dictates that Spa comes after the summer break; instead, it is the final race before it and is a Sprint weekend. Lights go out for the race itself on Sunday, July 30th at 9 a.m. ET, with coverage on ESPN.
About the author
Michael has watched NASCAR for 20 years and regularly covered the sport from 2013-2021. He moved on to Formula 1, IndyCar, and SRX coverage for the site, while still putting a toe in the water from time-to-time back into the NASCAR pool.
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