Hello this Australian Grand Prix was one of the craziest races I’ve seen, we know Albert Park always creates drama and action. The race put Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton head to head at several points and fighting for a win, on the final restart as we saw throughout the race they went wheel to wheel but Verstappen manage to hold off Hamilton.
A Brazilian court ordered Nelson Piquet Sr to pay £780,000 in damages to Lewis Hamilton. The three-time champion made racist and homophobic comments towards the seven-time champion in November 2021, at the height of Hamilton’s bitter title rival Max Verstappen, the partner of his daughter Kelly.
Hamilton called for “archaic mindsets” to change after the footage surfaced. Piquet later apologised for his “ill-thought-out” racially abusive remark about the British Mercedes driver. These comments were made before the scandal in Abu Dhabi and referred to Hamilton and Verstappen crash at Silverstone earlier in the ear.
Piquet said he “made no defence” of the remarks, but added the term he used “is one that has widely and historically been used colloquially in Brazilian Portuguese as a synonym for ‘guy’ or ‘person’ and was never intended to offend”.
In another interview that surfaced later, Piquet used racist and homophobic language when describing how Hamilton missed out on the 2016 championship to Nico Rosberg.
The charges against Piquet were brought by four human rights groups, including Brazil’s National LGBT+ Alliance, which wanted Piquet to pay 10 million Brazilian Reals for alleged moral damages. Judge Pedro Matos de Arrudo said the amount of compensation was given “so that, as a society, we can someday be free from the pernicious acts that are racism and homophobia”.
Responding to the courts decision, Hamilton added, “I still believe we generally shouldn’t be giving people who are generally full of hate a platform. I would like to acknowledge the Brazil government. It is pretty amazing what they have done holding someone accountable, showing that it is not tolerated.”
The group of Just Stop Oil protesters have given a mix of suspended sentences and community orders. The crown said their actions risked causing “serious harm” as some sat on the Silverstone track as F1 cars raced past. The group were given a mix of suspended sentences and community orders.
Footage from the race showed Yuki Tsunoda and Esteban Ocon passing three men and two women who were sitting on, or being dragged off, the track on 3 July 2022. Victoria Lindsell, speaking on behalf of Just Stop Oil, said she was “relieved” by the “lenient sentences”.
Teams have, subject to a formal vote at the commission, agreed to a stand alone sprint format to be tried for the next race in Baku. This gives the FIA to press ahead with finalising the regulatory details in time for Baku.
Various potential formats have been under discussion, including the possibility of a one-lap qualifying format for the sprints, but that idea has now been abandoned, in part because of the complications of readying the timing software to cope with the format.
The plan is to have Grand Prix qualifying as planned on Friday with a second sprint qualifying on Saturday morning, although the sprint qualifying will be shortened version of the usual three-session format. The idea is for technical penalties for any changes to the car or grid penalties to be applied for the Grand Prix.
While any driver who incurs a grid penalty for triggering an incident in the sprint is likely to serve it in the next sprint rather than in the following day’s main race, although that has yet to be confirmed.
FP1 saw Max Verstappen top the times with an 18.705 that put him four-tenths ahead of Lewis Hamilton in mixed conditions. Hamilton spilt the Red Bull’s after going seven-tenths faster than Sergio Perez. The opening session in Albert Park proved to be chaotic and was interrupted by two red flags, the second of which brought the session to an early close.
FP2 saw Fernando Alonso top the times with an 18.887 that put him half a second ahead of Charles Leclerc. Verstappen once again found himself caught out by oversteer through Jones then was unable to improve once the conditions change that left him third a tenth and a half behind Leclerc
FP3 saw Verstappen edge out Alonso by a tenth and a half with a 17.565 as the track rubbered in following rain overnight. The dutchman improved throughout the session as Esteban Ocon was third for Alpine ahead of George Russell.
Qualifying saw Verstappen beat Hamilton and George Russell by two-tenths of a second in mixed conditions. Verstappen despite the changeable conditions set a 16.732, for a while in Q3 it looked as if Alonso would be Verstappen’s closest challenger but he was two-tenths off. Perez was the surprise early knock out repeating his error from FP3 he beached the Red Bull at Turn Three.
Verstappen took victory ahead of Hamilton, despite losing the lead at the start the dutchman retook the lead at the first of several restarts. The race was blighted by accidents and red flags, at the final restart he was able to hold off the Mercedes in what looked to be a rerun of the closing stages of the 2021 Abu Dhabi title decider. Alonso was third that was despite a collision on the restart with two laps to go.
Mercedes believes it is unrealistic for it to close the gap to Red Bull this season, but insists that will not stop it trying. One of the big questions at the moment is how to close the gap to Red Bull which is about a second between them and the rest of the field in race.
Red Bull has played down talk that it is a shoe-in for the F1 title this year, rivals are not anticipating being able to slash its advantage in the short term. While Mercedes has admitted it could take many months before it can start threatening Red Bull. That could mean that Max Verstappen could sail to his third world championship.
Asked by Motorsport.com if the large gap to Red Bull made it realistic to believe it could catch it in 2023, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said: “We’re just two races in this year, but is it realistic when we look at the gaps? No, it’s not. But, we just want to give it all we have and then see what the outcome of that is. We’ve been able to catch up a lot last year with a car that was bouncing way too much, and that in a way was overshadowing everything.”
I don’t think Mercedes have gone backwards this season, rather Red Bull has made a huge step forwards. They have accepted and plan to introduce a new concept at Imola in mid-May, having accepted the design is wrong, this is a big u-turn from when they said they were sticking to the zero sidepod concept pre-season.
Wolff suggested that it could take up to a year before Mercedes finally has in place a complete package that can take on Red Bull equally. I think this could have to possibly been their last chance to challenge for a championship under these current regulations
Asked about his future he said, “”I think I can contribute. But, if one day I come to the conclusion, or people that are close to me are going to tell me that I’m not [contributing], then I will consider giving the baton to somebody else. I would have no shame that I’ll criticise from the sidelines, from a TV screen and know it better. But, until then, I think I still have fun doing it.
Nico Rosberg believes that George Russell is Lewis Hamilton’s “ultimate test” on his quest for an eighth drivers’ championship. Russell we know beat Hamilton in the championship last season, with Rosberg describing his successor as a “future world champion.”
He said, “For Lewis, it was a nice comeback today and it gives him some comfort after a dark day yesterday (Saturday). George is the ultimate test, he is a future world champion. It is difficult for Lewis to stay in front. George had an awesome season last year and that is continuing.”
while Hamilton may not currently be where he would like, Rosberg is convinced he will bounce back. The evidence of this is several races in his career and his 2008 season where he won the championship. Hamilton suggested his deficit in Saudi Arabia was caused by a “50/50” set-up choice that went against him, rather than any fundamental speed differences between himself and Russell.
Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz have accused Mercedes of exaggerating their lack of pace. Through out the build-up to this weekend the team said they wouldn’t be able to compete at the front until that philosophy change expected for Imola, but the conditions in Albert Park on Saturday afternoon played to their strengths.
Asked if he was surprised by Mercedes’ pace, Alonso said, “Not really. I think they were very fast in Jeddah already and they were fast in P2. They are always fast. If you read their comments, it seems they have a car that is (going) out of Q3, but it is not that car.”
Sainz agreed, adding, “I agree. They are a lot faster than people think, I think, especially in the race. In Jeddah, in the race they had a pace very close to Fernando. Lewis and George, they were flat out and we couldn’t keep up with them.”
But Alonso while unimpressed by Mercedes’ handling of their start to the season, urged the team to stop Verstappen.
Following the race Hamilton changed his tone to say Mercedes “can close that gap” to Red Bull after scoring second to Max Verstappen. The seven-time champion while still saying he feels uncomfortable in the car changed his tone to “tough (but) not impossible.”
Hamilton added “But still, considering we’ve been down on performance, we’re clearly down on straight [line] pace compared to the Red Bulls, for us to be up here fighting with Aston [Martin, third in Melbourne] is just amazing at this point in the season. We just have to keep on fighting. A big, big thank you to all the people back at the factory. Let’s keep pushing.”
There are also a few reliability issues with the power unit as we saw Russell retire, like the McLaren in Bahrain. Hamilton continued: “It’s really unlucky for George today. On our side, we’ve got to look into our reliability – it’s generally been really good. So, that’s really unfortunate. Otherwise, to get those points is really amazing
Following FP2 Max Verstappen said he expected the track to be busy in FP3 after a wet and interpreted Friday. He topped FP1 with a 18.705 on the soft, putting himself four-tenths ahead of Lewis Hamilton.
Reflecting on Friday, Verstappen said, “I mean, to be honest, it was not even so much about the car, it was just very low grip out there. The tarmac seems to be really slippery, already last year, and it’s quite tough to switch on the tyres. When you want to go out and immediately push it’s really difficult, then with the interruptions and red flags, like we had, you never really get into a rhythm.”
Asked how the car felt during his small windows in clear air, and around the various stoppages, Verstappen added: “I think it was alright. It’s a bit difficult to tell. I think we never really got into a window where I felt like we were on top of the tyres, so that’s a bit of studying to do for tonight, but it should be okay.”
Meanwhile, teammate Sergio Perez was left to rue a mistake on his first soft-shod lap in FP1, before a GPS issue triggered a red flag, and then lost another qualifying-style run as he tried to beat the rain at the start of FP2.
Perez had what he described as a “terrible day” on Saturday with him going off three times in FP3 before crashing out in Q1, in total he went off four times on Saturday. Perez said: “It was really bad, a terrible day. We had this issue in P3. We thought we had fixed it but obviously, we didn’t so I really hope we are able to fix it come the race or it will be very difficult to race like this.
“I don’t want to go too much into detail, I don’t think it is worth it for us. We have to work together as a team to overcome this problem.”
Team principal Christian Horner added, “He never really recovered from P3 and then the [Q1] lap, which was never going to be a consequential lap, he, unfortunately, locked up and went off. You saw him grab the brakes a couple of times, lock up and run deep.”
As we know Verstappen took his first win in Albert Park, after passing Hamilton but there was some friction between them. The Dutchman soon complained over the radio that Hamilton pushed him wide and out of the confines of the track, but ended up retaking the lead later in the race.
He said, “From my side, I just tried to avoid the contact, it’s quite clear on the rules what is allowed to do now on the outside, but clearly, it’s not followed. But that’s okay. We had good pace, we passed [Hamilton] anyway but it’s something for the next race to take into account. We had a very poor start and then [on] Lap 1 I was careful because I had a lot to lose, and they had a lot to win.”
Carlos Sainz started the weekend by outlining the specific problems hurting Ferrari’s early form. We know that Ferrari has decided to alter the aerodynamic profile of the car trying to match the straight-line speed of the Red Bull, which they struggled to do last year.
However, this has come at the expense of peak downforce levels on the SF-23 and so it consequentially struggles more in the corners compared to its predecessor. They were expected to be the closest challengers to Red Bull this year, but they look to me not to have made the step forwards needed over the winter to challenge Red Bull.
When asked by Motorsport.com to explain what he and team-mate Charles Leclerc are feeling behind the wheel regarding Ferrari’s early 2023 issues, Sainz replied: “Honestly our analysis from the first few races is [that] there’s no fundamental issue with the car, it’s just a very peaky car, a very unpredictable car in the race.”
Charles Leclerc described FP2 as the “most positive” session of the season, as the team started to show some form and a step forwards. He was second in the session following the changes with him almost four and a half tenths off Fernando Alonso. He ssaid, “I feel like the feeling is a bit better than the other races, so that is positive. It is probably our most positive FP2 of the season, which doesn’t mean much, but at least it is a Friday that finishes on a positive note.”
“Now we need to work, do another step in the right direction tomorrow and hopefully we will be a bit closer to the Red Bulls tomorrow [in qualifying], and especially [during the race].”
One of the problems Ferrari has had in the opening races is their race pace against Red Bull and Alpine, but going into qualifying Leclerc seemed more optimistic about qualifying. Sainz finished sixth in FP1 before going one better in FP2 to round out the top five positions, as he echoed Leclerc’s sentiments.
Adding “We did seem to understand a bit better and find a couple of things that could help us in the future, but until we don’t put it into practice in a proper quali lap, we will not know.”
Leclerc put his poor driving during qualifying down to poor driving and “miscommunication” with Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz. The Monacan started the race in seventh after being six-tenths of in qualifying.
Ferrari has opted against introducing upgraded aero parts for this weekend, unlike Mercedes and Red Bull, Leclerc still shouldered responsibility for the lacklustre result, saying he “wasn’t driving well” before being held up behind Sainz.
Leclerc said: “Q1 and Q2, clearly, I wasn’t on it. I wasn’t driving well. I wasn’t putting everything together, so that was my fault. Q3, I managed to fare a bit better. In the car, I was quite confident I could put everything together. Unfortunately, I don’t know what happened in the second run of Q3, whether it was a miscommunication with Carlos or whatever.”
Leclerc did report that Ferrari was in no worse shape than how it turned out in Saudi Arabia, which means keeping pace with Mercedes and Aston Martin in the race should be feasible. I think like Mercedes Ferrari has a better race car and while they look to be still lacking in qualifying.
Sainz has called his demotion “the most unfair penalty I’ve ever seen in my life” and wants to discuss it with the FIA stewards. He made contact with Alonso on the second restart sending his fellow Spaniard into the wall at Jones leading to the third red flag.
He lined up for the final lap in fourth but was given a five-second penalty for the incident, so when the race ended under safety car conditions he was relegated to 12th when the penalty was applied.
An angry Sainz wished to review the penalty with the stewards, stating over team radio: “No, this is unacceptable! They need to wait until the end of the race to discuss with me.”
Sainz later felt he needed to see the stewards to talk through the incident and penalty before giving his full take on it. He said, “I think it is the most unfair penalty I’ve ever seen in my life. Before talking to you and saying any really bad stuff or bad words, I’d prefer to go back to the stewards, have a conversation with them and maybe I can come back and talk again.”
The steward said in the ruling that Sainz was “wholly to blame for the collision”. That I think based on that and what we have seen in the past the ‘wholly to blame’ because in their view it was clear cut, is why he got the penalty. Despite their normally being more leniency in a start/restart situation, they suggested that Sainz could have avoided the contact.
McLaren announced that they have signed a senior Aston Martin aerodynamicist Mariano Alperin as part of an aggressive recruitment drive to boost the performance. Following the difficult start to the season and the departure of technical director James Key and the appointment od David Sanchez, suggest a reset in its bid to return to the top.
Motorsport.com, says it has learned its bid to expand the aero department has now resulted in it concluding agreements with fifteen individuals, some who have joined already and some who will need to serve gardening leave before being able to move across. This to me suggests that longer term plan, like Ferrari they are now fifteen years without a drivers championship, they have gone backwards from last year.
It is understood that the senior staff include personnel from a range of top teams like Ferrari, Red Bull and Aston Martin. One of the key figures is Aston Martin’s head of aero performance and analysis Alperin, who has played a role in the transformation of the British manufacturer that is currently Red Bull’s nearest challenger in F1.
The new Technical Executive Team made up of Sanchez (car concept), Peter Prodromou (aerodynamics) and Neil Houldey (engineering and design)
Going into the weekend, McLaren said they were planning a B-spec car before the summer break as the second of three major upgrades. They will be hoping these upgrades along with the third will deliver a few tenths before the summer break.
Stella said, “In terms of development [the Baku package] is just the first step. We would expect definitely another major upgrade, which will interest more areas of the car and be much more apparent. That is what somebody may call kind of a B-spec car.”
Oscar Piastri had his made his debut at his home Grand Prix this weekend. He said following practice he spoke to F1TV, “Very, very special obviously to be here at home. Nice track. The walls are a bit closer than they look on TV! I feel like it was a good day. So, it feels like we are in a pretty decent place, and we will see how we go tomorrow.”
About his day he said, “It’s hard to get a read on every Friday, where everyone else is; with the weather today, I think some of the more quali-style runs were probably cut short for most of us. Hopefully, tomorrow is dry; I think it’s going to be very cold – typical Melbourne. But I’m looking forward to it. I think we are in a reasonable place [relative] to where we have been the last few races,” he added.
Norris’s running early on during FP1 spent most of his running on aero development and FP2 was on it more in FP2. He said “So far, so good. Hard to say because I didn’t do the most amount of running. But, from the little I did, I think it was a good reading, good understanding, and decent feeling for tomorrow.”
Following qualifying, Norris admitted that he hasn’t been driving at his best although he rejected suggests of overdriving the car. The Englishman had a messy session on Saturday only managing thirteenth three-tenths off the cut off for Q3.
asked by Motorsport.com whether his mistakes were down to a car that’s inherently hard to drive or down to him to overdriving the MCL60 to chase performance that isn’t there, Norris admitted it was a combination of the two. And he candidly shared that he hasn’t found his groove yet. Norris replied, “It’s a combination. It’s tough, especially when you’re kind of close-ish. I don’t want to just settle for a P13 or P12, so it’s just a little bit of overdriving potentially.
‘I’m not quite finding the rhythm that I want and the knowledge of every corner where the limit is exactly, so I wouldn’t say I’m probably driving at the level I feel like I should hold myself to. But [it’s also] a tricky car to drive, one that is easy to go over the limit on anyway.’
We know that he had problems in Jeddah as well when he kissed the wall which lead to him being knocked out in Q1.
Piastri admitted his error lead to him being knocked out by a few hundredths in Q1. Team boss Andrea Stella appreciated Norris’ trademark self-criticism, but he disagreed with the notion that either he or Piastri is overdriving the draggy MCL60.
Instead, Stella felt the team should take the full blame for producing a car that lacks downforce and is difficult to master. Stella replied when asked him about Norris’ comments, “I don’t think Lando is overdriving the car, I think the car is tricky to drive, especially in braking, you always see it so much on the limit of front-locking or a bit of rear-locking.”
Alpine has revealed that an attempt to get some of Pierre Gasly’s licence penalty points wiped was derailed by opportunism from its rivals. The Frenchman is two points away from an automatic one race ban.
However most of these points are from minor offences like track limits, his situation prompted discussion over the winter about whether the system needed a rethink to ensure innocent drivers did not fall foul of a rule originally intended to eradicate dangerous driving.
While the rules have been alters to remove offensives like track limits to focus more on specific cases of dangerous driving. Points awarded for previous offensive following the clarifications have not been wiped. Gasly’s 10 licence points have come from a mixture of driving incidents and sporting rule breaches.
Asked by Motorsport.com in Saudi Arabia if he welcomed the new way that points were given out, he said: “I won’t even answer that question. You get it [my response] the way that you want. But I won’t make a comment.”
Otmar Szafnauer is clear that, if the FIA has accepted that handing out penalty points for track limits is wrong, then those drivers who have been punished for them should have those points removed.
Sazafnauer told Motorsport.com, “There’s two elements to the rule. “One, going forward, what should you get penalty points for? And I think it’s right that you should get penalty points for not things like track limits, but dangerous driving, which was always the intent.”
I don’t see how its good governance to overturn these regulations after the points have been awarded, it could be seen as bending the rules as we know if you’re wing if one mill out you get thrown out of the race.
Gasly has asked Alpine for more time to adapt and improve his speed following his switch to the team, this was revealed by Szafnauer following practice. The Romanian said, “He’s enjoying the team, he likes his engineering team and the mechanics, and we like him.
“He’s fast but it will take time at the margin to eke every little bit out of the car and he’s still getting comfortable with us. I talked to him after the last race [in Saudi] and he said, ‘Look, give me a couple more races and there’s a couple of tenths in me’.”
It does take to adapt to new teams and what might have not helped is the tight midfield pack, I think Gasly has delivered as best he can after changing teams and they know they needs upgrades to make progress.
In the race Ocon and Gasly collided on the third restart which resulted in both their retirement. While they have said they are not friends following their rivalry in karting and junior careers, but Ocon insists their smash at Albert Park will quickly be forgotten.
Ocon said, “After the chaotic restart it could have been anyone I collided with – a lot of cars were going off. It ended up being Pierre not leaving me much space but no hard feelings. He came and apologised and, as I say, it could have been anyone.”
Gasly added: “I am extremely disappointed with the outcome of the race. I can’t believe what has happened in the end. I don’t even want to comment on the end. I am gutted.”
The collision prevented Alpine from scoring points on what looked to be a strong weekend, during the race itself Ocon looked to be challenging Carlos Sainz for fifth. During that phase of the race Ocon looked to be gaining pace but he also admitted that the team lost out the safety cars and red flags before they crashed into each other.
The stewards decided to take no further action despite both drivers being called to the stewards for allegedly breaching an article of the FIA International Sporting Code pertaining to driving standards. Gasly already has 10 of the 12 points necessary on his race licence to be suspended from an event.
The FIA reasoning states: “The stewards heard from the driver of Car 10 (Pierre Gasly), the driver of Car 31 (Esteban Ocon), a team representative and reviewed positioning/marshalling system data, video and in-car video evidence and determined that it was a first-lap racing incident. Both cars recognised and accepted this as such. In the circumstances, we took no further action.”
Team principal James Vowles says that the Grove outfit is keeping its options open before deciding on a power unit supply for 2026. Mercedes have supplied Williams through out the hybrid era, but under the regulations they could be forced to drop one team if a new supplier comes in.
under the 2026 PU regulations, a manufacturer can only supply three teams, including its own works outfit, “unless agreed otherwise by the FIA.” Ferrari will lose Sauber to Audi in 2026 and thus an extra supply will be available from Maranello.
The other option is Honda, who will spilt with Red Bull and possibly Alpha Tauri, when its technical partnership comes to an end as they will develop their own PU with the support of Ford.
That leaves Honda without a partner for 2026, but Williams will need to show signs of a potential long-term improvement in form in order to attract Honda. Vowels said, “We are at the moment still in the process of making sure we understand all the options available to this team.”
“The rules contain some lines which state that theoretically as taken in 2025 this is the number of teams a PU manufacturer can supply. Same rules, by the way, that should have limited [Mercedes] this year down to less PU supplies than they currently have.”
These are natural conversations when you have a change in regulations, but given his links to Mercedes you would believe this is a bit of politics and public negotiation over the deal. But return to Honda would harbour, in a similar way to McLaren back in 2014 to success but as we saw it took until 2020 for Honda
Team Principal Gunther Steiner says that returnee Nico Hulkenberg’s experience is already paying dividends for the team. We know Haas chose to replace Mick Schumacher in favour of the experienced Hulkenberg to partner Kevin Magnussen.
Steiner said “I think he has given us what we were looking for. And we could see it immediately. I mean, Kevin struggled in qualifying, Nico didn’t. But Kevin is not upset about it. Actually he is pretty happy that Nico didn’t struggle, because he knows he just needs to get there.”
Haas is now nudging up against the cost cap limit, the sort of damage bills incurred by Schumacher in a series of crashes last year would be even more stressful for the team. Steiner acknowledged that those are areas where Hulkenberg’s experience can help.
Following the race the stewards rejected the protest by Haas about the way the second restart starting order was determined. The order based on how the cars were before the grid was formed rather than how things shook out early on that lap.
This was based on Article 57.3 of the Sporting Regulations that states the order for restarts: “will be taken at the last point at which it was possible to determine the position of all cars.”
Had the positions been taken there, then it would have meant its driver Nico Hulkenberg would have been classified seventh ahead of Lando Norris. Both he and Haas agreed that using GPS data to determine the order at the safety car line was not completely reliable. In the end, the stewards felt that in the interests of keeping the grand prix running as promptly as possible, it was best to use the starting grid as the restart order.
A statement from the stewards said: “This determination needed to be done in the context of a timed race event and therefore the decision of Race Control and the Race Director needed to be made promptly; with the exercise of appropriate discretion and by using the most appropriate information available to them at the time.”
Porsche has confirmed they have formally put their plans to enter the sport on ice to focus on Formula E. Motorsport-Total.com, Porsche has now decided against pursuing options in grand prix racing.
This comes after earlier this year a planed deal with Red Bull collapsed over a dispute over Red Bull’s concerns about its independence. At the time, the German manufacturer was clear that it would continue to evaluate other options on the grid as F1’s new sustainable fuel rules from 2026 were attracted to it.
In September after negotiations with Red Bull broke down, the official line was that Formula 1 would remain “an attractive environment” that would “continue to be monitored.”
This prompted widespread speculation about many options being on the table, including with the Williams team or even a partnership with Michael Andretti, who has been trying for several years to get into F1. But these options have failed to materialise so its confirmed that the F1 project has been shelved for the time being as the company’s motorsport focus will be elsewhere.
I think from reading the statement it doesn’t close the door for ever, but more for now, while also saying it not actively looking for other option.
Facts and stats (F1.com)
- Today’s Grand Prix was the first F1 race in history to feature three red flags. The last time a race finished under the Safety Car was at Monza in Italy in 2022
- Verstappen gave Red Bull only their second win in Melbourne, his eightieth podium in the sport tied with Ayrton Senna.
- Verstappen and Hamilton have now finished one-two (in either order) 34 times, more than any other driver pairing in history.
- Fernando Alonso took a third consecutive podium finish for the first time since 2013.
- Lance Stroll following teammate Alonso home, there were two Aston Martins in the top-four for the first time in the history of the marque.
- Lando Norris in sixth and teammate Oscar Piastri P8, McLaren scored points for the first time in 2023. Those were the first points of Piastri’s F1 career and he scored them on home soil.
Max Verstappen, I think without the drama we had through out that race could have had a much bigger win, but again he showed maturity as a driver and still the question remains over the next month what can the other teams do to catch Red Bull. There had been accusations that Mercedes had been over stating their difficulties going into this weekend but they finished second which won’t help their case in playing down the performance.
We now have this long spring break between now and Baku all the teams will be looking to close the gap to Red Bull. But I think their will still be questions about how the race was handled around the restarts and safety cars. We need to continue to understand how we apply the rules. Aston Martin are still their and we need to get to Baku to see if anyone makes a big jump over the Easter break when they have an extra week when they get back to Europe.
The FIA will be facing questions about the restarts, but they are maybe too cautious their in my view did have enough laps if it was a one lap sprint that’s when you need to question it. Alpine will have a few questions for their drivers following their collision it will be interesting to see how that’s resolved.
McLaren had a much better weekend than the opening two races, but they still are not their they will be hoping the upgrades will bring them into the midfield fight. Ferrari had a difficult weekend, Carlos Sainz with that penalty a
Red Bull – Honda RBPT
|1||Max Verstappen||NED||Red Bull – Honda RBPT||02:32:38.371||25|
|3||Fernando Alonso||ESP||Aston Martin – Mercedes||+00:00.769||15|
|Sergio Perez||MEX||Red Bull – Honda RBPT||01:20.285||1|
|1||Max Verstappen||69||Red Bull||123|
|2||Sergio Perez||54||Aston Martin – Mercedes||65|
|5||Carlos Sainz||20||McLaren – Mercedes||12|