With a victory in the Japanese GP from Max Verstappen Red Bull has taken the Constructors Championship for a second year in a row.
After coming from an incredible past week for the Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz in Singapore many thought Red Bull’s dominance was finally fading away. Little did everyone know that they weren’t going to give an inch in this weekend’s Japanese GP.
With the session starting, Logan Sargent found himself a ticket out of qualifying. He crashed into the wall, bringing with him a red flag. In the last minutes, Alex Albon managed to pass only having one timed lap.
With Fernando Alonso on the limit, Pierre Gasly was looking to take him down. However, with a low-paced Alpine, he wasn’t able to get the right time to pass. Liam Lawson had another good qualifying session managing a solid P11.
Verstappen came hard since the first moment and got a 1:29:012 in his first timed lap. The two McLarens wanted to make things difficult for the Dutch driver, but weren’t able to get a time near him. Oscar Piastri was the closest to Max’s time with a 1:29:458, a 0:00:446 difference.
Max came even faster in his second attempt beating all the sectors’ records and managing a 1:28:877, beating his already great time. None of the McLarens managed to close the gap and Verstappen took pole position in the Japanese GP. Piastri and Norris took P2 and P3.
It was lights out and action didn’t wait a second to start. Valtteri Bottas collided with Alex Albin right in the first straight, causing damage to both cars. Lando Norris quickly took the position away from Oscard Piastri and attacked Max Verstappen immediately.
The action continued in the Japanese GP, both Alpha Tauris were fighting for the position from the beginning. However, things cooled down due to a Safety Car. Since the first collisions left a lot of debris, the Safety Car was brought out and many damaged cars entered the pits. That was the case of Sergio Perez who suffered a collision at the beginning as well.
As soon as the Safety Car went in things got hectic once again. Logan Sargent looked up and collided with Bottas. With the car suffering from all the damage, Valtteri had to retire from the Japanese GP.
With Dad out of the house, the kids went parting. Both Mercedes drivers were fiercely fighting each other, pushing each other to the limits and even out of the track. Team orders didn’t wait to come as they were quickly told to stop fighting.
Yet another collision occurred, Perez had an incident with Kevin Magnussen and had to put his second front wing. However, he was then called to retire the car. Checo was handed a 10-second penalty due to the incident but he had already retired the car when the decision was made.
While in the back everything was chaos, Verstappen was in a race of his own with more than 10 seconds of lead in almost the entire race.
Serio Perez rejoins
On lap 40, Perez started his car once again and a lap later exited the pit rejoining the race. This caused lots of confusion since he had already retired the car many laps ago. Nonetheless, a loophole in the FIA regulations permitted Red Bull’s team to fix the car (taking in mind the closed park regulation) and since it was in safe conditions sent it back out. With this, they were looking to serve the penalty and not get penalized with grip position in the next race.
After serving his penalty Perez returned to the garage and retired the car one more time.
On lap 49, George Russell was ordered to give the position to his teammate Lewis Hamilton since he was the faster car. Russell complained but did as he was told. The bad news for him was that Carlos Sainz was very close and overtook him very easily. Losing the position in just the last part of the race.
With 19 seconds spear, Max Verstappen won the Japanese GP and with it the 2023 Constructors Championship for Red Bull. This is their second title in a row with both years being of complete dominance (mainly this one).
Even so, this isn’t the only achievement of the day. Oscar Piastri got his first Formula 1 podium finish on McLaren’s first double podium of the season. Lando Norris got P2 and Oscar Piastri P3.
Can someone put a real challenge to Red Bull’s dominance?