Max Verstappen’s 2023 domination has continued with a commanding win in this morning’s Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.
An early red flag for a start line incident led to the three-time World Champion having to overcome a second race start, and he did so with ease before fending off an early Lando Norris challenge to race home for an 8.277-second victory.
Aston Martin’s torrid run of form of late came to an end with Fernando Alonso featuring on the podium in third, overtaking Sergio Perez on the final lap and triumphing in a drag to the line to top the second Red Bull by just 0.053 seconds.
Verstappen took an easy lead on the first start after fellow front-row starter Charles Leclerc didn’t even make the grid, having suffered a hydraulic failure and spinning into the barriers on the formation lap.
Norris and Lewis Hamilton made good starts off the third row, with Norris passing both Aston Martins ahead on the inside, while Hamilton did the same around the outside, resulting in the McLaren slotting into second and the Mercedes third at Turn 1.
The race’s early red flag came as a result of contact between Alex Albon, Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen, which saw Albon’s Williams and Magnussen’s Haas make heavy contact with the outside barriers.
Both had got off to a good start and went around Hulkenberg, with Albon on the outside and Magnussen on the inside. A narrowing gap resulted in Albon clipping the front of Hulkenberg’s car, spinning across in front of him and collecting Magnussen.
The spinning Haas collected the rear of Oscar Piastri’s McLaren before spinning into the wall, damaging the Australian’s rear wing.
Albon’s left tyre came off in the contact, nudging Hulkenberg before bouncing up and landing on the rear wing of Daniel Ricciardo’s AlphaTauri.
Ricciardo and Piastri boxed behind the Safety Car, which circled for a lap before a red flag was called to clear the cars and significant debris, putting the Australians a lap behind.
Having someone alongside on the restart made no difference for Verstappen, who led into Turn 1 once again, with Norris holding off Hamilton to retain second.
A battle between the two leaders followed over the ensuing laps, with the McLaren testing the Red Bull but not finding a way through. A quick Lap 8 for Verstappen put Norris out of DRS range, where he remained for the rest of the race.
Having moved into third, Alonso was under pressure from Perez in the closing stages after the Red Bull had successfully passed both Mercedes drivers.
Perez looked set to secure the podium on the penultimate lap when he took third, but Alonso fought back to retake the position around the outside at Turn 4 on the last lap to cross the line just ahead.
Lance Stroll came home in fifth, having also found a way past Hamilton, while the sole Ferrari of Carlos Sainz finished sixth, ahead of Alpine’s Pierre Gasly.
Hamilton continued dropping the order as he struggled for pace, eventually settling for eighth as teammate George Russell was forced to retire.
Yuki Tsunoda and Esteban Ocon rounded out the top ten, with the latter having done well to avoid the startline incident.
Logan Sargeant was almost rewarded with his second points finish of the season in coming home eleventh, ahead of Hulkenberg.
Ricciardo and Piastri were never able to recover their lost ground, coming home as the last finishers in 13th and 14th, respectively.
Joining Leclerc, Albon, Magnussen and Russell as non-finishers were the Alfa Romeo pairing of Guanyu Zhou and Valtteri Bottas.
Formula 1 returns for the penultimate round of the season on November 19, being the highly anticipated Las Vegas Grand Prix.
Header Image: Getty Images/ Red Bull Content Pool