Max Vertappen won his third consecutive world championship after crossing the finish line first, and with the fastest lap, in Qatar for the Qatar Grand Prix. Verstappen had won the Constructors Championship for his team, Red Bull, at the previous race in Suzuka, Japan. He now takes home his own trophy in Round 18 of the 2023 Formula 1 season.
After crossing the checkered line and closing out the Grand Prix in Doha, Verstappen radioed to his Red Bull team, “Yeah good win! Another win that’s… unbelievable.”
This was Verstappen’s 14th first place finish of the 2023 season and his 49th career win.
Team Mclaren earned a double podium and secured its 500th podium mark for the franchise. Oscar Piastri solidified P2, with teammate Lando Norris clenching third.
Mclaren has been working hard to gain points on team Aston Martin who are right above them in the Constructors League. After this weekend Mclaren has 219 points to Aston Martins 230.
If team Mclaren keeps up consistent race results then we could see a change in the standings before the final race in Abu Dhabi that closes out the 2023 season.
Norris passed Mercedes driver, George Rusell, in points for the drivers standings. After Norris’ podium win and after Russell’s fourth place finish, Norris currently stands four points ahead.
Piastri won Saturday’s sprint race. The Mclaren driver maintained the lead throughout the 17 laps and earned his team eight extra points on top of his 18 points from his P2 finish.
Lewis Hamilton did not finish the race in Qatar after crashing into the left side of his Mercedes teammate, Geroge Russell. On Turn 1 of Lap 1 Hamilton took the outside in an attempt to pass Russell who was trailing front runner, Verstappen. Hamilton turned into the front left side of Russell’s car and sent Russell spinning into the dirt. Russell was able to make it back on the track and catch up to the rest of the drivers, but Hamilton’s car was retired due to damage from the impact.
“Yeah obviously gutting and.. Massie apology to everyone back at the factory. I think it’s just probably a racing incident, but…I take full responsibility for it.” Hamilton said. “I don’t think George had anywhere to go, so.”
Mercedes driver Rusell, despite having a rough, finished the race in fourth. The British driver went from P18 after his accident in Turn 1 with his teammate Hamilton, and overtook 14 places on the grid, earning Mercedes its only points from the weekend.
George Rusell radioed to the Mercedes garage a little while after the collision with Hamilton, “Lost for words, honestly. Just seen the replays on the TV screen. Could not do anything. Totally sandwiched.” Russell said.
The garage radioed back and told Rusell to “keep his head down. Keep it in this race.”
The Spanish Ferrari driver, Carlos Sainz, did not get the chance to race in Qatar, after his car suffered a fuel leak problem, causing the car to be retired before it even could reach the track.
Sainz’s teammate, Charles Leclerc, placed fifth and earned ten points for Ferrari. Leclerc is currently eight points behind his teammate in the drivers standings.
The Formula 1 teams race next in Texas for the United States Grand Prix on Oct 22. at the Circuit of the Americas. The race will commence at 12 p.m.