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F1

The stories behind the best photos of the 2023 F1 season so far

Since the start of the 2023 F1 season, Michael Potts has been travelling to Grands Prix capturing photographs for RacingNews365.com. At the midway point of the campaign, he picks out his top shots so far and shares the stories behind them.

Best of 2023 13
Article
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

F1's summer break is in full swing as team personnel catch up on much-needed rest, which gives us a chance to look back on the opening 12 races.

Photographer Michael Potts has followed the sport across the world capturing the best shots for RacingNews365 and is on hand to tell the stories behind them!

			© RN365/Michael Potts
	© RN365/Michael Potts

Perez and Verstappen at the start of the season

The Rivals, or at least for the first 4 races!

There seemed to be quite a good battle brewing between the two, only for Max to blow it away with a faultless display of driving.

			© RN365/Michael Potts
	© RN365/Michael Potts

Max winter testing

This shot of Max in Bahrain comes at sunset.

There are these dome structures in the background giving it a sort of outer-worldly view. You can see the flow vis paint at the bottom of the car showing how the air moves around the RB19.

			© RN365/Michael Potts
	© RN365/Michael Potts

Leclerc's abandoned Ferrari

Charles was not far off the two Red Bulls in qualifying but his challenge faded during the race and when his engine blew on lap 40 as Ferrari's resistance ended.

Fernando Alonso overtook Carlos Sainz to claim a vital third place and announce Aston Martin as the main title challenger.

			© RN365/Michael Potts
	© RN365/Michael Potts

Lewis and Will Smith

Will Smith made a surprise visit to the grid at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix to cheer on close friend Lewis Hamilton.

Lewis wasn't expecting to see him and there was a great moment between the two celebrities before the start of the race.

			© RN365/Michael Potts
	© RN365/Michael Potts

Verstappen, Azerbaijan

Baku is one of the most picturesque tracks on the calendar and this shot of Max driving up towards the castle section at sunset is one of my favourite views on the circuit.

It is such a tight section, you get a chance to see the F1 cars dance up the hill between the city walls. This would be the last race that Max didn't win.

			© RN365/Michael Potts
	© RN365/Michael Potts

Max and George duel into Turn 1, Azerbaijan

At the start of the sprint race, George Russell got side by side with Verstappen after Turn 1, pushing the Dutch driver dangerously wide within a whisper of the concrete barriers which line the circuit.

It has been very rare that another driver has been able to put pressure on Verstappen at the start.

			© RN365/Michael Potts
	© RN365/Michael Potts

Perez holds off Max Verstappen in Miami

This was a heart-in-mouth moment thinking back to Azerbaijan 2018 as the two Red Bulls were near each other coming down the straight.

I had been waiting for many laps hoping to see this battle light up.

Here Perez perfectly placed his car to defend against Max at the corner, but Max would fly past moments later to take the lead, and no other driver would lead again for the next 248 laps - the third most consecutive laps lead by any driver in F1's history.

			© RN365/Michael Potts
	© RN365/Michael Potts

Fernando third in Miami

Alonso was back on the podium in Miami after missing out in Baku and his joy is evident!

It has been an amazing year for Aston Martin, claiming six podiums in 12 races and while the team's form has dipped recently the team are still right up there in the battle for best of the rest.

			© RN365/Michael Potts
	© RN365/Michael Potts

Hamilton, Monaco

Lewis is known for his outrageous fashion choices and this was one of my favourite outfits he has worn this season - the 23/24 shirt [24 on the reverse side] by Belgian designer Dries Van Noten.

Here he is walking towards the pits in Monaco.

			© RN365/Michael Potts
	© RN365/Michael Potts

Hulkenberg crashing in Monaco

Hulkenberg had tapped his back right wheel in the barrier coming into the Nouvelle chicane.

It happened at such high speed that I was very happy to have been able to capture it. I was very low down to get this shot and it does give you a great perspective of the crash.

			© RN365/Michael Potts
	© RN365/Michael Potts

Norris, Monaco

Photographed as he was driving towards Rascasse through the barrier - you can get wonderfully close to the cars before they straighten.

I took this shot at 4000th of a second to make sure everything was beautifully sharp. There is little space to be able to pan at this point.

			© RN365/Michael Potts
	© RN365/Michael Potts

Perez, Monaco

During the race, the heavens opened and Perez got a bit out of control going into the swimming pool complex, and he would touch the barrier a little out of shot.

It was a weekend to forget for the Mexican. Coming in with so much pressure to take the title fight to Max, things unravelled in qualifying and he became bogged down in the race.

On a track that was supposed to favour him, Max completely dominated and effectively ended any title opposition.

			© RN365/Michael Potts
	© RN365/Michael Potts

Sainz, Montreal

During the practice session, on a fairly damp track, Sainz lost control of his car at fairly high speed and bounced into the barrier; as he did so, water flew into the air creating a rather dramatic image.

			© RN365/Michael Potts
	© RN365/Michael Potts

Sonny Hayes and Joshua Pearce, Silverstone

I was caught by surprise a bit, I did not expect to see both these actors, in their race suits walking down the grid at the start of the British Grand Prix.

All weekend there was filming taking place inside the paddock for the new F1 movie starring Brad Pitt and Damson Idris.

It was an incredible experience to be part of a live movie set - and I am sure it was interesting for the actors to be working during an active Grand Prix weekend.

			© RN365/Michael Potts
	© RN365/Michael Potts

Riccardo returns

This was taken on Thursday before the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Daniel Riccardo made a shock return to F1 at the expense of Nyck de Vries.

It was a huge moment in the year, but this photograph captures a bit of the joy and fun and excitement Daniel had before the start of his first race weekend back.

			© RN365/Michael Potts
	© RN365/Michael Potts

Hamilton, Belgium

Lewis Hamilton makes a pit stop during the Belgium Grand Prix weekend in very wet conditions.

It is always dramatic seeing the pit crews at work and with the added rain, makes a rather beautiful image.

			© RN365/Michael Potts
	© RN365/Michael Potts

Piastri leading Verstappen in the Belgium Sprint

At the start of the year, we all thought Oscar had made a terrible choice going to what was at times the worst performing car on the grid when he had an option to be in Alpine who were at least fighting for points at the start of the year.

Since McLaren's transformation, Piastri now has the tools to show us what a talent he is.

Leading a sprint is just the start. You can see how close Max gets as he prepares to pass down the Kemmel straight.

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