Max Verstappen put in another dominant drive from pole to collect his 17th victory of the 2023 Formula 1 season in Sao Paulo on Sunday (Nov. 5).
Verstappen led the race from lights out and held firm control over the duration of the event despite an early challenge from Lando Norris. Fernando Alonso finished third after making a daring pass on Sergio Perez on the final lap and racing the Mexican to the line in a heart-stopping drag race.
“The starts were very important today,” Verstappen told Sky Sports’ Mark Webber after the race. “Both were, I think, very good. After that, the whole race was about the management of the tires … especially that middle stint, we could create a gap.
“It all looked quite good, but with the high [tire degradation] around here, you are constantly correcting the car. So your focus always needed to be there, but luckily it worked out great today.”
The race opened with a multi-car crash when Alex Albon and Kevin Magnussen made contact entering turn 1 on the opening lap, collecting Oscar Piastri and Daniel Ricciardo in the process. Albon and Magnussen were forced to retire, while Ricciardo and Piastri was able to finish as the second-to-last and last car running (13th, 14th) after going behind the wall for repairs.
Charles Leclerc‘s day ended before it began when the Ferrari driver found himself in the barriers on the warmup lap. Leclerc was able to get the car rolling, albeit not in racing condition which necessitated a retirement.
Alfa Romeo found a double dose of poor luck in Brazil, ending their day with a double retirement. Zhou Guanyu was the first of the team’s drivers to retire with an engine failure on lap 24. Valtteri Bottas followed on lap 40 with his own technical problems.
George Russell was the final – and highest running – driver to retire from the race. An already-frustrating weekend for Mercedes went from bad to worse when Russell was told by the team to retire the car in order to avoid a catastrophic failure. The team had already struggled for pace throughout the weekend, culminating in a retirement for Russell and an eighth-place result for Lewis Hamilton.
Next up for F1 is the penultimate race of the season in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Grand Prix will go green on Sunday, Nov. 19, at 1 a.m. ET with coverage on ESPN.
About the author
Alex is the IndyCar Content Director at Frontstretch, having initially joined as an entry-level contributor in 2021. He also serves as Managing Director of The Asia Cable, a publication focused on the international affairs and politics of the Asia-Pacific region which he co-founded in 2023. With previous experience in China, Japan and Poland, Alex is particularly passionate about the international realm of motorsport and the politics that make the wheels turn - literally - behind the scenes.
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