Max Verstappen wins Qatar Grand Prix, 14th victory of the season

Max Verstappen clinched victory with ease at the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix, claiming his 14th victory this season on Sunday. Verstappen, who won the Formula 1 title for the third time after finishing second in the Qatar sprint race, finished ahead of the McLaren duo of Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris on race day. The Red Bull driver started on pole, avoided colliding with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell at the first corner, and then easily led the rest of the race to his 14th Grand Prix victory in 2023.

Russell and Hamilton’s Mercedes started behind Verstappen on the grid but crashed at the first corner, halting Hamilton’s race. Piastri surged to second place when Fernando Alonso and Charles Leclerc slowed to avoid a collision. Piastri’s second-place finish extends an outstanding streak for the Australian rookie, who won the Qatar sprint race on Saturday after finishing third in the Japanese Grand Prix two weeks ago.

Norris has finished on the podium in four consecutive races, including the sprint, but a maiden career victory remains elusive due to Verstappen’s dominance. Hamilton and Russell sabotaged their own strategy to track him down. The Brits positioned just behind the Red Bull on the grid, would have hoped to work together to stop the three-time champion. Their ideas disintegrated in seconds when Hamilton collided with the other Mercedes at the first corner.

The seven-time world champion Hamilton’s car was sent into the gravel and out of the race. Hamilton initially blamed Russell for the crash over the radio but accepted responsibility in later comments. Russell was able to continue, but damage to his front wing necessitated a pit stop at the conclusion of the first lap, forcing him to crawl back up the order from the back.

Verstappen was then free to take out into the distance. He didn’t need the win because he had already secured the 2023 drivers’ championship in Saturday’s Sprint race, but he never seemed likely to pass up the chance to win the Grand Prix. I think what made the race was my first stint, and after that I could just manage my pace, making sure that the tires were in a good window, Verstappen said after winning the race. But the McLarens were quick again today. I had to push for it. It’s definitely a tough race out there, the Dutchman added.