Sao Paulo (Brazil), Nov 6: Max Verstappen clinched a dominant victory in the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, making it a record-breaking 17th win for the world champion in 2023 Formula 1 season.
There was drama before the race had got underway when Charles Leclerc went off on the formation lap after losing the hydraulics, forcing him to retire, F1 reports.
When the lights went out, Verstappen made a clean start into the lead, but a heavy collision between Alex Albon and Kevin Magnussen behind resulted in the red flags being thrown.
It was another strong getaway from Verstappen at the restart, who resisted a challenge from Norris to hold P1 before going on to clinch his second win of the weekend after coming out on top in Saturday’s Sprint.
"The starts were very important today; both of them were very good. Then after that the whole race was about the management of the tyres. We were good on any tyre, but I think especially that middle stint, we could create a bit of a gap, so I thought that was very strong there.
"It all looked quite good but with the high [degradation] around here, you were constantly correcting the car, so your focus always needed to be there, but luckily it worked out great today," said Verstappen.
Norris claimed a solid second place, while Fernando Alonso completed the podium after holding off Sergio Perez in a thrilling battle to the line.
Lance Stroll added to Aston Martin’s tally by taking fifth, ahead of the sole Ferrari runner of Carlos Sainz in sixth. Pierre Gasly was the lead Alpine in seventh, while Lewis Hamilton ended a tough day for Mercedes in P8. Yuki Tsunoda and Esteban Ocon rounded out the top 10.
There are now just two races remaining on the 2023 F1 calendar, with the first of those being the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix, which will take place from November 17-19. (IANS)