Verstappen pips Norris to win Brazilian GP Sprint

Verstappen pips Norris to win Brazilian GP Sprint

Max Verstappen comfortably won the last sprint race of 2023 at the Brazilian Grand Prix, with Lando Norris splitting the Red Bulls in second place.

Max Verstappen easily overcame pole sitter Lando Norris to secure victory in the Brazilian Grand Prix Sprint on Saturday. After the 24 lap race, the Red Bull star finished over four seconds ahead of the McLaren.

Russell had taken advantage of Sergio Perez’s slow Red Bull by jumping into the lead early in the race, and he later took full advantage of overhauling Norris by making a great move into the tight Turn 10 right-hander near the end of the middle sector.

For a brief period, he was within Verstappen’s DRS range, but Norris quickly closed the gap, with the McLaren driver taking back second place on lap five with a simple pass through the first corner.

However, Verstappen was too far ahead for Norris to catch, as the triple world champion maintained the distance ahead of the McLaren rather easily and then pulled away to the finish.

Perez eventually made a come back to the podium as well, initially overtaking Russell and then Lewis Hamilton, who had overtaken him with a brilliant round-the-outside pass into Turn 4 on the opening lap.

However, it took the Mexican a pair of attempts as Russell managed to gather momentum right away and try to overtake Perez on the outside into Turn 4 by utilizing the DRS. But a few laps later, Perez cemented his move.

Hamilton maintained a comfortable lead over Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari throughout the race before losing ground in the closing laps, after Mercedes’ impressive opening lap faded to a subdued and rather depressing fourth and seventh.

Yuki Tsunoda and Leclerc easily overtook the seven-time world champion as the Mercedes appeared to be exceedingly slow on the start-finish straight.

Tsunoda secured AlphaTauri’s first sprint race points in sixth place thanks to a very skillful drive, but teammate Daniel Ricciardo’s drive overwhelmed him and certainly prevented the team from finishing with double points.

Tsunoda led the Ferraris with ease in the first part of the race, but Ricciardo tried to take advantage of Carlos Sainz’s need to make use of lift-and-coast strategy for the better part of the race to secure the final points slot.

Midway through the race, Ricciardo overtook Sainz by sweeping around the outside as the two battled around the first corner, however the Ferrari quickly recovered the lead heading into Turn 4.

A few laps later, Ricciardo tried the maneuver again around the same spot, but maybe it would have appeared wiser to remain in position for the DRS. When Sainz moved once again in the exact same manner, Ricciardo was further passed by Oscar Piastri and dropped to tenth place.

The Alphatauri managed to overtake the McLaren and eventually caught up to Sainz on the penultimate lap, but Sainz was able to overtake the Ferrari thanks to Hamilton falling behind and receiving a tow and the DRS on the final lap.

By the conclusion of the race, Piastri had fallen well behind the three drivers, complaining that he might have picked up some damage on the first lap.

After a strong start, the McLaren rookie moved up to seventh position by Turn 3, passing Tsunoda by going around the outside and maybe tripping over some debris.

The two Astons of Alonso and Lance Stroll ended up just outside the top ten followed by the Alpines of Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon, with Alex Albon finishing where he had started in P15.

2023 Brazilian Grand Prix Sprint Results

1Max VerstappenNEDOracle Red Bull Racing24 Laps
2Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team+ 4.287s
3Sergio PerezMEXOracle Red Bull Racing+ 13.617s
4George RussellGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team+ 25.879s
5Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari+ 28.560s
6Yuki TsunodaJPNScuderia AlphaTauri+ 29.210s
7Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team+ 34.726s
8Carlos SainzESPScuderia Ferrari+ 35.106s
9Daniel RicciardoAUSScuderia AlphaTauri+ 35.303s
10Oscar PiastriAUSMcLaren F1 Team+ 38.219s
11Fernando AlonsoESPAston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team+ 39.061s
12Lance StrollCANAston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team+ 39.478s
13Pierre GaslyFRABWT Alpine F1 Team+ 40.621s
14Esteban OconFRABWT Alpine F1 Team+ 42.848s
15Alex AlbonTHAWilliams Racing+ 43.394s
16Kevin MagnussenDENMoneyGram Haas F1 Team+ 56.507s
17Zhou GuanyuCHNAlfa Romeo F1 Team Stake+ 58.723s
18Nico HulkenbergGERMoneyGram Haas F1 Team+ 60.330s
19Valtteri BottasFINAlfa Romeo F1 Team Stake+ 60.749s
20Logan SargeantUSAWilliams Racing+ 60.945s

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