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Formula 1

Edge of disaster, pole position and mayhem: Our standout moments from the 2023 season

The RacingNews365 team has selected our standout and favourite moments from a thrilling 2023 F1 season.

Hamilton Piastri Italy Sunday
Special
To news overview © XPBimages

In terms of the World Championship, the 2023 season was not a lot to write home about.

Max Verstappen pretty much had it sown up from the Miami Grand Prix onwards, but there will still a season of thrills and shocks behind him.

The RacingNews365 team has come up with their best and standout moments from the 2023 season. Make sure to let us know yours in the comments below!

Team members who voted: Jake Nichol, Rory Mitchell and Fergal Walsh.

Jake Nichol - Monaco Q3

24 Grands Prix were planned for the 2023 season, but only one offers the challenge of the Monaco Grand Prix.

Sunday in Monaco is usually a poor race, with little overtaking, but, for me at least, I'm prepared to accept a dud of a Grand Prix (even if we didn't get that this year!), for the spectacle of qualifying.

Monaco qualifying is always one of the highlights of the season - and Q3 this year was a stunning demonstration of threading a bucking, 1000bhp beast trying to throw you in the wall around F1's most famous streets.

After the first runs, Fernando Alonso was 0.396s up on Max Verstappen with the Ferraris sandwiching the two World Champions.

Verstappen then climbed back to provisional pole, but out of nowhere, Esteban Ocon popped the Alpine P1 before Charles Leclerc snatched it away. But there was a twist to come.

Alonso, chasing his first F1 pole since the 2012 German Grand Prix went 0.022s faster than the home favourite, leaving Verstappen 0.205s to find to take pole.

Exiting Sector 2, Verstappen was 0.204s down on Alonso, but his final sector was breathtaking - reminiscent of Ayrton Senna all those years ago.

The speed he carried through the exit of the Swimming Pool was incredible, the RB19 teetering on the edge of disaster.

But Verstappen danced through Rascasse and Anthony Noghes - even hitting the pit-wall as he floored it to the line.

The end result? Pole position by 0.084s.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Rory Mitchell - Lewis Hamilton taking pole at Hungary

Watching Lewis Hamilton take his first pole since the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix felt like closing a chapter.

His 2022 still had that controversial end to the 2021 title race overhanging, and it's crazy when you consider his last race win was at the same race that year.

The atmosphere from the fans in the stands was electric, as it was somewhat unexpected after Mercedes' run of races prior to Hungary.

For what it's worth, I thought Lando Norris would snatch pole from Max Verstappen. But the McLaren driver was just 0.085s, with the Dutchman just 0.003s off.

Fine margins, but it did give some glimmer of hope to Mercedes fans over a potential win at a circuit notorious for its overtaking difficulty. It's a shame the Grand Prix did not follow through with this excitement, after Verstappen pulled off a move into Turn 1 and raced into his seventh straight victory of 2023.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Fergal Walsh - Melbourne Mania

This year’s Australian Grand Prix set a new record for the most red flags in a single race at three. The event began and ended in manic fashion, forging one of the most memorable Grands Prix in some time.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc made contact with Lance Stroll on the opening lap and was eliminated from contention. Soon after, he was joined on the sidelines when Alex Albon hit the barrier and deployed debris over the track, resulting in a red flag.

A brief Virtual Safety Car was deployed when George Russell’s engine gave way but there were few other talking points in the race until Kevin Magnussen hit the wall at Turn 2, resulting in a second red flag.

With so much at stake with just two racing laps left, the race was restarted in a standing formation - and the result was an unyielding effort that resulted in disaster.

At the back of the field, Logan Sargeant speared into the rear of fellow rookie Nyck de Vries before they even reached the first corner.

Sergio Perez found himself being demoted to the rear of the field when he ran out of space on the exit of the first corner, while in a scrap for third place, Carlos Sainz tipped the rear of Fernando Alonso, sending the two-time World Champion into a spin.

A wide moment for Pierre Gasly saw him rejoin the track alongside team-mate Esteban Ocon through Turn 2 and the duo made contact, resulting in terminal damage for both cars.

Into Turn 3, Lance Stroll out-braked himself and ran wide into the gravel just as Race Control deployed a third red flag - the race ultimately ended under the Safety Car via a rolling formation, with the order taken from the previous restart minus those who were eliminated in the chaos.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

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