HomeFormula 1Max aces Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace as Lando and...

Max aces Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace as Lando and Fernando emerge on the podium

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Can Racing ever be dull when Formula 1 caravan contests at Brazil, the land of perhaps its greatest ever driver in Ayrton Senna? 

In giving fans tons of overtaking and closely contested battles, something they truly love, the fiftieth edition of the Brazilian Grand Prix saw a familiar figure as winner, over 2,00,000 overjoyed fans and millions of eyeballs feasting on great action over the course of 71 laps. 

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With a multi car pile-up in the midfield, a race retirement even before the actual Grand Prix could begin, then a red flag session owing to tons of debris, and eventually, a handy result for Lance Stroll of Aston Martin; the third last race of the season was second to none in terms of unexpected results. 

Contrasting emotions, some filled with excitement while the others besieged with disappointment peppered the 2023 Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos, a venue where legends have been created and fortunes been shattered in the past. 

Typically when you think of the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, you think of Lewis Hamilton winning his first of the seven world titles and Massa’s bitter disappointment, both events happening in the course of the final lap of the 2008 edition. You also think of Alonso being stunned while Vettel claiming glory for Red Bull. 

And then there’s Kimi Raikkonen’s thrilling world championship securing victory of 2007, a feat that saw the Finn outclass Hamilton by a scant margin of one point. 

But in the present context, São Paulo, the home of the Brazilian Grand Prix, will be remembered for the temerity of a certain Max Verstappen, ever the frontrunner of the ongoing season and the man who’s, quite simply, mauled the rest of the grid. 

That said, the 2023 race began with 19 cars on the grid barring a Ferrari and ended with 5 overall retirements. Not a great day at all for the likes of both Alfa Romeo drivers- Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu, George Russell, the winner of last year’s race here as well as Kevin Magnussen and Alex Albon of Haas and Williams, respectively. 

Even before lap one could begin, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc needed answers to why “I’m so unlucky,” citing a power steering issue during the formation lap that saw the SF 23 #16 screeching into the barriers. 

Unfortunately, poor luck for little fault of the Monegasque who was due to begin from second on the grid was the only plausible answer. 

But at the front of the grid, there was a close battle between McLaren’s Lando Norris and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, the latter the race winner on this occasion. 

Even as the main man at McLaren was able to challenge the Dutch driver for a few laps, trying as hard as he possibly could to put pressure on the reigning world champion, it wasn’t going to be enough for Lando as Verstappen chipped away after a close battle that lasted for a few initial laps. 

Max Verstpapen’s teammate Sergio Perez was able to secure a fourth, finding himself outpaced by none other than Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin in the final lap; the veteran Spaniard usurping the Mexican by a gap as tiny as 0.053 seconds in the end. 

Norris gaining yet another P2 was the Briton imitating his personal best F1 finish. Meanwhile, Alonso picked his 106th career podium and his eighth podium of this year. 

Lance Stroll who got a fifth and hence, his best race result this year since Australia’s P4, was finally able to go one better than his  results at Bahrain and Spain, wherein the young Canadian had scored a P6. 

Carlos Sainz jr., the only Ferrari in contention of point scoring was dealing with a clutch issue towards the closing stages of the contest but would consider his P6 a handy finish. Gasly, who was overtaken by Sainz, winner of Singapore, finished on eighth. 

Sir Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, meanwhile, had a day to forget. The 2021 world champion and the only driver who can still possibly challenge every single youngster on the grid on pure pace could only grab an eighth. 

Alpha Tauri’s Yuki Tsunoda grabbed a decent ninth while Alpine’s Esteban Ocon bagged a tenth. 

A race that was full of overtaking and close battles ultimately belonged to the ultimate battler- Max Verstappen. In winning his second Brazilian Grand Prix, the first coming in 2019 and his seventeenth overall of the 2023 season, the three time world champion was clearly the class of the field. 

As only two races remain before yet another enthralling season comes to an end, the sport’s focus now shifts from the heat of Brazil to the dizzying heights of Las Vegas, in what’ll be F1’s maiden appearance at the venue. 

In this Drive to Survive age of racing, it can be said for certain that the one who survives the constricting street course that lies up ahead, will drive to glory.  

But the big question is, will that driver be Max Verstappen? 

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Dev Tyagi
Dev Tyagi
Dravid believer, admirer of - the square drive, Drew Barrymore, Germany, Finland, Electric Mobility, simplicity and the power of the written word! Absolutely admire contributing to KyroSports

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