Max Verstappen took his 17th race victory of the season as the Dutchman dominated the rest of the field yet again to win the 2023 Brazilian Grand Prix by over eight seconds.
Red Bull’s newly-crowned triple world champion put in another perfect display as he capped off another faultless weekend by taking pole position in qualifying, winning the sprint race and then coming home in P1 during Sunday’s Grand Prix.
The drama at Interlagos began before the race even started as Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc crashed during the formation lap. As he tried to warm up his tyres, his car suffered a huge fault which sent the Monegasque national straight into the barriers after which he was unable to continue.
It didn’t take too much longer for the next incident to occur either, as the red flag came out following a huge opening corner collision between a number of cars. Alex Albon and Kevin Magnussen were thrown into the barriers whilst Daniel Ricciardo and Oscar Piastri were forced to pit and resumed a lap down after the restart.
From there, it proved to be the Verstappen show as he defended once from a Lando Norris advance before pulling away to win by a sizeable margin. Norris himself finished in P2 as his recent great form continues, whilst Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso rounded out the podium positions.
The veteran Spaniard and Sergio Perez had an almighty battle across the final few laps before the Aston Martin driver pipped his on track rival on the line at the death.
Perez, Lance Stroll, Carlos Sainz, Pierre Gasly, Lewis Hamilton, Yuki Tsunoda and Esteban Ocon all picked up points as the Sao Paulo faithful enjoyed their latest home race.
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CHEQUERED FLAG: MAX VERSTAPPEN WINS THE 2023 BRAZILIAN GRAND PRIX!! It’s yet another dominate display from the Dutchman who take this 17th win of the season. He was chased all the way by Norris who finishes in P2 again, whilst Alonso rounds out the podium spots.
Perez had overtaken the Spaniard on the second-to-last lap but the veteran bites back to overtake him on the last lap before finishing less than a second in front of the Mexican driver.
Lap 69: The Alonso-Perez is the only close battle left to track as Verstappen leads by 8 seconds to Norris.
Elsewhere, every other gap is over three seconds.
Lap 66: Perez is still failing to get past Alonso for P3. The Mexican driver could really do with that podium finish!
Lap 63: This is a masterclass in defensive driving from Alonso. He’s using his battery to perfection and is placing his car exactly where it needs to be to fight off Perez for the final podium spot.
Lap 60: Perez goes for the dive on Alonso at corner one but he can’t quite make the move work.
Lap 58: Well, an atrocious day for Mercedes finishes in the worst possible way as Russell is the latest driver today that’s forced to DNF.
Lap 56: Perez is so close to the back of Alonso and this is going to be a matter of time you’d think. Verstappen comes in for his final pit stop of the race.
Lap 53: The top two positions look sealed in this race barring any late drama but Perez is closing in quickly on Alonso. Can the Aston Martin driver hold out here?
Lap 50: Gasly puts in the fastest lap of this race for Alpine as he chases after Hamilton for P8.
Lap 47: Verstappen now holds a 6.5 second lead out front ahead of Norris who in turns sits 16 seconds ahead of Alonso. Perez pits to try and undercut the Aston Martin driver but he could have been too far back for that to work.
Lap 44: Gasly gets past Russell on the start/finish straight and promotes himself up to P8.
Lap 43: Russell could find himself out of the top ten soon if his poor pace continues. Gasly is just a second behind as of now as the Mercedes driver is told to lift and coast due to engine temperatures.
Lap 41: Out of nowhere, Alonso finds some pace and he pulls away from Perez in the battle for P3. That Aston Martin looks like a rocket ship again after the team reverted back to their original set up from earlier in the season.
There’s another DNF to mention too, as Bottas suffers a failure and is also out.
Lap 37: Norris improves on his own fastest lap of this race but he’s still nearly five seconds behind Verstappen out front. Perez is now pressuring Alonso for P3 and Sainz gets past Hamilton for P6 on the road.
Lap 35: Here comes Sainz!! The Spaniard throws open his DRS down the start/finish straight and he gets past Russell. It’s only a matter of time until he gets past Hamilton too as well you’d imagine.
Lap 32: Russell can’t get past his teammate for now but Sainz is closing quickly behind. This is turning into a bit of a nightmare for Mercedes.
Perez is also closing in on Alonso for the final podium spot.
Lap 29: Sainz nearly collides with Tsunoda in the pits but the Spaniard has the intelligence to just back off and he should avoid a penalty there.
Russell and Hamilton and now scrapping over P6.
Lap 27: Russell’s day goes from bad to worse as Stroll overtakes him on the start/finish straight. Simply put, Mercedes don’t have the pace here in São Paulo this afternoon.
Lap 25: Perez is back ahead of Hamilton just one lap later though. He fails to make the move at corner one but manages to blast past his British opponent on the back straight.
Zhou Guanyu is out of this race elsewhere. He has an engine problem and is forced to retire.
Lap 23: Perez is in the pits but he comes out behind Hamilton. The undercut works perfectly for Mercedes.
Lap 21: Both Mercedes box after Hamilton and Russell have struggled so far. That should bring about a chain reaction over the next few laps.