RACE REPORT | F1 Qatar 2023

Formula 1 World Champion Max Verstappen showed his dominance once again by winning the Qatar Grand Prix, his 14th victory of the season in his 17th race.

The Dutch Red Bull driver continued his successful weekend at the Losail circuit, where he had earlier secured pole position in qualifying and second place in Saturday's sprint race to confirm his third world championship title. The McLaren drivers joined the podium, ending another successful weekend for the team. Australian F1 rookie Oscar Piastri took second place after his triumph in Saturday's race, reaffirming his strength after a third place finish in the previous race in Japan. His teammate Lando Norris scored his third consecutive podium finish, which included second places in Suzuka and Singapore.

Lewis Hamilton, who last triumphed in 2021, attempted to threaten Verstappen's position but his chances were thwarted shortly after the start when he found himself in third place behind his teammate George Russell. There was an unfortunate collision between the two British drivers for second place at the first corner, and the seven-time world champion and defending champion from last year's Qatar Grand Prix was forced to end the race early. Russell, however, was able to continue and gradually worked his way up to fourth place.

The race did have a few pit stops due to tyre problems, but Verstappen maintained a confident lead until the end. The reason for these stops was due to concerns about excessive tyre wear in the local conditions. The organisers decided that drivers could run a maximum of 18 laps on one set of tyres. Given the 57 laps of the race, this condition was crucial and failure to meet it would have meant elimination.

Verstappen also set the fastest lap of the race and certainly secured the win, while his teammate Sergio Pérez struggled with off-track issues and repeatedly received penalties for illegal exits. Pérez eventually placed ninth, which was significantly worse than his recent performances.

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