Verstappen does it again: Your recap of the Spanish Grand Prix 2023

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We are back this week, once again, for a recap of the latest F1 Grand Prix!

Monaco GP Recap

Last Sunday, May 28, we watched the Monaco GP with anxiety.

With unfortunate results in the free practices on Friday and Saturday, two drivers failing to finish the race, and consistent rainfall, the race ended with Max Verstappen (Red Bull) in P1. Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) and Esteban Ocon (Alpine) finished respectively on the podium in P2 and P3.

This is one of the few races not ending with a Red Bull 1, 2, with Sergio Perez (Red Bull) finishing in P16.

With these results in mind, Verstappen, Perez, and Alonso still remain the top three drivers to begin the Spanish GP this weekend.

2023 Spain Grand Prix

With no surprise again, Red Bull takes home P1 with Dutch driver Max Verstappen in a hefty lead in Barcelona.

The 66-lap event held at the Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya started off strong with Max Verstappen taking pole position for the race on Saturday’s Qualifiers.

This Grand Prix is win number 40 in Formula 1 history for Verstappen and his fifth career win of this 2023 season. This has landed Max Verstappen in P1 at 170 points on the Driver Standings.

In the successful qualifiers for many drivers, the pole positions had Verstappen in P1, and Carlos Sainz (Ferrari), Lando Norris (McLaren), Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), and Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) in P2, P3, P4, and P5, respectively.

Image credit: F1

The Race

McLaren’s Lando Norris almost immediately encountered damage on his vehicle after a minor hit by Hamilton, but continued driving.

Hamilton, who in the 2022 year competed neck-to-neck with Verstappen, has finally started to land his spot on the podium once again. In lap eight of the race he took P3, and after keeping this position consistent, in lap 29 he overcame Sainz and moved to P2.

I am so happy after today. I didn’t expect us to come here this weekend and finish second. I was able to keep everything under control today. We couldn’t keep up with the Red Bull of Max as they are in another league, but this is still a really positive result. For George to come through from P12 to P3 is also spectacular.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

Behind him, in lap 11 George Russel (Mercedes) moved to P5.

In lap 26, Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) finally started overtaking other drivers, moving to P14 at turn one. Red Bull pitted with Verstappen in an incredible time of 2.2 seconds, sending the driver back on the road in no time.

In lap 31, Sergio Perez of Red Bull skilfully drove past Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) to P8, soon after to P7 in lap 33 over Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri), and to P6 after Esteban Ocon (Alpine).

Two laps later, Russel pushes past Carlos Sainz to secure his spot in P3. This was an outstanding move from the British driver who started the race in P12.

Unlike the majority of the previous races, no car endured major damages, and no safety flags or vehicles were deployed throughout all 66 laps.

In Lap 52, with less than 15 to go, Alonso made a major overtake against Ocon, flying to P7. He drove quite closely to the French driver, barely missing the pit lane.

Four laps later, Tsunoda received a 5-second penalty at turn one of the circuit for forcing driver Zhou Guanyu (Alpha Romeo) off the road in defence, after he tried to overtake him. This caused the Japanese driver to drop out of points for the race.

Race Results

Image credit: F1

This has clearly been an amazing race for Max Verstappen, who lead every lap dominating the drivers succeeding him. He took home fastest lap of the race at 1:16.330, adding an extra point to his standings. 

Hamilton came in at P2, for his 11th podium finish on this circuit. This indeed pushed him to be voted for Salesforce Driver of the Day, 2023.

George Russel had a spectacular performance, recovering from P12 to finishing in P3 on the podium.

It was a pretty good race today! This morning, I had a lot of confidence that I could move forward from P12 and thought that P5 or P6 was achievable. […] I was able to make some good overtakes and bring it home on the podium. This result highlights all the hard work and efforts that have gone on at the factory to bring these upgrades.

George Russel, Mercedes

What’s Next?

With Verstappen leading the board with 170 points and Perez far behind with 117, F1 fans are left to wonder if Verstappen has a lead that no competitor can catch up to. As always, only time will tell…

In the meantime, the full results of the Spanish Grand Prix can be found on the official Formula 1 website.

Image credit: F1

We’ve had another strong weekend and that’s of course what I like to see for the Team, hopefully we can keep this up throughout the year. To win here again feels incredible. It’s a massive pleasure to drive a car like this.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull

The next race is the 2023 Canadian Grand Prix, taking place at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve from June 16 to 18.

Feature Image Credit: F1

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Aspiring Journalist
Fourth-year Journalism Student and Sports Editor of BRIG Newspaper at Stirling University

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