It was an optimal race weekend for Red Bull’s main man Max Verstappen, who earned enough points to be crowned Formula 1 world champion for the third consecutive season with a second place finish in Saturday, October 7 Sprint Race, before storming to victory in the 2023 Qatar Grand with the title already under his belt on Sunday, October 8.
While the title was already spoken for ahead of Sunday’s race, the GP was certainly not without drama, which began unfolding on the first lap when Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and George Russell collided. The British pair got off to a great start, outpacing Verstappen into turn one, but came together very shortly thereafter, leaving a frustrated Hamilton out of the race and Russell at the back of the pack.
Verstappen didn’t look back and cruised to his 14th and least consequential victory of the season, leading McLaren pair Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris across the line in second and third place respectively. Australian rookie Piastri earned a career-best GP result while also claiming the fan-voted driver of the day award, having started the race in P6.
Russell put in a fine recovery drive to take fourth at the chequered flag, having gained an edge over Charles Leclerc, who pushed a problematic prancing horse to a respectable fifth-place finish. The Monegasque’s teammate, Carlos Sainz was ruled out of the race as a result of a fuel system problem.
The F1 circus will now pack up and head over to the Americas, or more specifically the Circuit of the Americas for the United States GP on Sunday, October 22.
Featured image: REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed