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Brazilian Grand Prix 2023

Verstappen wins again in attritional Brazilian Grand Prix

All the action was behind Max Verstappen as the Red Bull driver took yet another F1 victory at Interlagos.

Verstappen Norris Brazil
To news overview © XPBimages

Max Verstappen led from start to finish to secure victory in an attritional São Paulo Grand Prix.

Lando Norris finished second for McLaren in what turned out to be a lonely race for the Briton, though the same could not be said for Fernando Alonso, who held off Sergio Perez by a matter of metres at the line.

But it was a miserable day for Mercedes and Ferrari, with neither team featuring in the top five.

Result Race - Brazilian

# Driver Team Time Tyre
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Chaos at the start

Verstappen was due to defend his pole position from Ferrari's Charles Leclerc who started second on the grid.

But Leclerc would fail to reach the start as a hydraulic issue hit at Turn 6 on the formation lap, leaving the Monégasque in spinning into the barriers.

With the Ferrari quickly removed from the circuit there was no delay to the start, which saw Verstappen hold his lead.

Both Aston Martin drivers were sluggish and swamped by Norris and Hamilton, who assumed second and third but behind, a meleé ensued.

Alex Albon took to the outside of Haas duo Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg but, as the Dane drifted to the right, his teammate had nowhere to go other than into the Williams.

This pitched Albon into the side of Magnussen, leaving both out of the race with heavy damage. The rear left tyre from the Williams flicked back into the path of oncoming traffic, hitting Daniel Ricciardo's rear wing. Oscar Piastri was also hit by a spinning Haas.

With red flags thrown for a debris clean-up and barrier repair, AlphaTauri and McLaren got to work on the Australian duo's cars, with both required to take to the restart from the pit lane. As they had pitted at the end of the opening lap and did not follow the Safety Car around on lap two, both were a lap down.

Mercedes struggles

When the race got back underway, Hamilton attacked Norris into Turn 1 but locked up and allowed Alonso a chance into Turn 4 - an opportunity the Spaniard duly took.

It wasn't long before Perez pounced on the Silver Arrows, first taking George Russell and then Hamilton to move into fourth.

Russell was unhappy with the situation and, when being overtaken by the Mexican, asked "are we working together or not". The fallout continued after the pit stop window as, following a move by Lance Stroll into fifth and with Carlos Sainz rapidly closing, the Briton was baffled as to why Hamilton was not moving aside.

"I have stayed quiet on the radio because I thought it was quite obvious," said Russell on lap 32, moments before Hamilton complained about the state of his tyres.

Sainz swiftly dispatched Russell's W14 on lap 35 with the assistance of DRS, before setting off after Hamilton for a top-six berth.

That move came two laps later as the Spaniard swept around the outside into Turn 4.

Russell's race got worse before it got better as he dropped into the clutches of Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda before he pitted.

Stunning podium battle

Gasly would go on to make easy work of making his way past Hamilton after both drivers made their second stops.

By lap 56, Perez had latched onto the back of Alonso's Aston Martin to secure DRS assistance in the battle for third on the road.

But two-time champion Alonso was cunning in his car positioning through the final sector to fend off the advances of Perez, frustrating the Red Bull driver.

Lap 59 saw Mercedes retire Russell with "high and worsening" power unit oil temperatures, ensuring there was no failure on-track.

Norris pitted with 12 laps remaining, some four laps after Verstappen, in the hope a Safety Car would hive him the chance of taking the lead with a cheap stop, but returned to the track 13 seconds behind the Dutchman.

Behind, Perez was relaunching his bid for third with a move to the outside of Turn 1. Alonso was wise to the move and squeezed his rival to keep the high ground.

Try as he could, the Red Bull driver could not find his way past until the penultimate lap of the race, where he was able to make a lunge past Alonso's robust defence.

Attack soon turned to defence as Perez shut off Alonso's return serve into Turn 4. The Aston Martin came back with a brave move into the same corner on the final lap to take third after a drag race to the line, behind Norris and race winner Verstappen.

Stroll refound his mojo to finish fifth in the second Aston Martin, Sainz's Ferrari and Gasly's Alpine sixth and seventh.

Hamilton's slide saw him slip to eighth and well out of contention with the Frenchman, with Tsunoda unable to close in on the Mercedes. The Japanese driver finished ninth ahead of Esteban Ocon, who rounded out the points finishers.

Logan Sargeant didn't put a foot wrong in finishing 11th for Williams, with Hulkenberg, Ricciardo and Piastri the only other finishers.

Both Alfa Romeos retired with the same issue, joining Russell, Albon, Magnussen and Leclerc as the retirees.

F1 2023 Brazilian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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