Red Bull Clinches Constructors Championship with Verstappen Win
The 2023 Japanese Grand Prix was a momentous event held at the renowned Suzuka International Racing Course in Suzuka, Japan. The race was a spectacle of speed, precision, and exhilarating competition. Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing started from pole position, setting the fastest lap and ultimately clinching the race. This triumphant victory allowed the Austrian constructor, Red Bull Racing, to secure their sixth Constructors’ Championship, marking a back-to-back win following their 2022 success. After a dismal outing in Singapore, Red Bull struck with a vengeance and reminded the rest of the Formula 1 team and their fans who is the best team in the series.
The championship journey didn’t stop there, as the team also triumphantly secured the Drivers’ Championship, leaving only Sergio Pérez in the title contest behind Verstappen. The race was also a significant milestone for McLaren, with Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri finishing on the podium. This achievement marked their first double podium since the 2021 Italian Grand Prix and heralded Piastri’s inaugural career podium.
In a dazzling display on Saturday afternoon at Suzuka, Max Verstappen effortlessly outshined the competition, clinching pole position in Japan. The Red Bull Champ secured the 29th pole of his F1 journey, leaving behind his McLaren adversaries, Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris.
Holding the provisional pole by a substantial margin, the dual-time world champion further polished his final lap, clocking in at 1m 28.877s, outpacing Piastri by a notable 0.581s. Norris trailed in the third spot for McLaren, just 0.035s behind Piastri’s time.
Charles Leclerc emerged as the foremost Ferrari, landing the fourth spot, with Carlos Sainz at sixth, while Sergio Perez in the second Red Bull nestled in the fifth position – concluding 0.773s behind his squad mate, Verstappen’s pole-securing time.
Mercedes’ duo, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell secured the seventh and eighth positions, respectively. Yuki Tsunoda, the local hero, claimed the ninth spot for AlphaTauri, and Fernando Alonso from Aston Martin capped off the top-10.
The race was held on 24 September 2023 at 14:00 local time (UTC+9). Oscar Piastri dropped to third as the race began, with Lando Norris taking his position. Valtteri Bottas hit the car of Alexander Albon, bringing out the safety car. Lewis Hamilton was forced into the grass after trying to pass Sergio Pérez, who caught some damage. Pérez also received a five-second penalty for infringing on safety car regulations.
In lap 5, Bottas was hit by a locked-up Sargeant and retired four laps later. Pérez would then hit Kevin Magnussen, taking the Haas driver out of the race. Meanwhile, Lance Stroll and Albon also retired. Both Mercedes ran wide at Spoon Curve as George Russell attempted to overtake his teammate, who subsequently pitted for fresh tires.
Polesitter Max Verstappen led the field away with a dominant 16 seconds ahead of second-placed Norris. Behind, Piastri passed Russell for third place. Soon, Charles Leclerc passed Russell for fourth. Verstappen won the race 20 seconds ahead of Norris and Piastri, the latter receiving his first career podium, and Verstappen, who had had the fastest lap, allowing Red Bull Racing to win their sixth Constructors’ Championship, their second in a row. Norris and Piastri’s podium finish marked McLaren’s first double podium since the 2021 Italian Grand Prix and Piastri’s first career podium.
Qatar is next on the schedule, and with the Constructors Championship wrapped up, teams will be fighting for second place; if Verstappen wins again, the Driver’s championship will be a done deal.
|1||MAX VERSTAPPEN||NETHERLANDS||RED BULL||1:34.183|
|6||CARLOS SAINZ JR||SPAIN||FERRARI|
|8||FERNANDO ALONSO||SPAIN||ASTON MARTIN|
|11||LIAM LAWSON||NEW ZEALAND||ALPHA TAURI|
|12||YUKI TSUNODA||JAPAN||ALPHA TAURI|
|13||ZHOU GUANYU||CHINA||ALFA ROMEO|
|RETIRED||ALEXANDER ALBON -LAP 26||THAILAND||WILLIAMS|
|RETIRED||LOGAN SARGEANT-LAP 22||UNITED STATES||WILLIAMS|
|RETIRED||LANCE STROLL-LAP 20||CANADA||ASTON MARTIN|
|RETIRED||SERGIO PEREZ-LAP 15||MEXICO||RED BULL|
|RETIRED||VALTERRI BOTTAS-LAP 7||FINLAND||ALFA ROMEO|