The Qatar GP will be remembered for many things, being boring isn’t one of them!
- When Max Verstappen won his third world champion during the sprint race and formally became one if the “Greats”.
- Rookie Oscar Piastri won his maiden F1 event by achieving 1st place in the Spint Race.
- When Lewis Hamilton and George Russel crashed in the 1st lap causing Lewis to withdraw.
- When Carlos Sainz withdrew before firing a shot in anger due to car trouble.
- When Max romped home in the main race.
- A race where the FIA mandated 3 tire changes and only 18 laps were permitted on each tire.
In a dramatic turn of events at the Qatar Grand Prix F1 sprint race, Max Verstappen secured his third Formula 1 world title, finishing second in a race marked by chaos and strategy. The 19-lap event was characterized by three safety car periods, with drivers on soft tires making significant early gains before facing challenges as their rubber grained.
Qatar Grand Prix F1 Sprint – The First Safety Car
The race began with McLaren’s Oscar Piastri holding the lead from pole. However, the early stages saw cars on soft tires, including George Russell, Carlos Sainz, and Charles Leclerc, making significant moves.
The first safety car was deployed following an incident involving Liam Lawson, who spun off the track.
Qatar Grand Prix F1 Sprint – The Second Safety Car
Upon the race’s restart, Russell took the lead from Piastri with a daring move. However, another safety car period soon followed due to an incident involving Logan Sargeant.
As the race progressed, Verstappen, showcasing his championship mettle, climbed back to third and then second, capitalizing on the challenges faced by soft tire runners.
Qatar Grand Prix F1 Sprint – The Third Safety Car
The third and final safety car intervention was a result of a three-way collision involving Esteban Ocon, Nico Hulkenberg, and Sergio Perez. This incident effectively sealed Verstappen’s title as Perez, his closest competitor, was eliminated.
Qatar Grand Prix F1 Sprint – Piastri Won!
In the final laps, Piastri showcased his talent by maintaining his lead over Verstappen, eventually winning the sprint race.
Qatar Grand Prix F1 Sprint – Verstappen is Now a Three Times World Champion
Verstappen’s second-place finish was more than enough to secure his third consecutive world championship, placing him among the F1 greats. Lando Norris of McLaren completed the podium, finishing third.
The race also saw notable performances from Lewis Hamilton, who managed to climb the ranks after starting from a lowly 12th position, and the Ferrari duo of Sainz and Leclerc, who faced challenges in the latter stages of the race.
Reflecting on his championship win, Verstappen expressed immense pride in his team and the journey they’ve undertaken this season. He emphasized the joy of being part of such a dedicated group and the incredible feeling of being a three-time world champion. Looking ahead, Verstappen remains committed to pushing the boundaries and maintaining the momentum in upcoming races.
The Qatar Grand Prix sprint race will be remembered not just for Verstappen’s championship win but also for the sheer unpredictability, strategy, and drama that unfolded on the track.
Qatar Grand Prix Results – The Final Sprint Race Results
|1||Oscar Piastri||MCLAREN MERCEDES||19||35:01.3||8|
|2||Max Verstappen||RED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT||19||+1.871s||7|
|3||Lando Norris||MCLAREN MERCEDES||19||+8.497s||6|
|7||Alexander Albon||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||19||+19.864s||2|
|8||Fernando Alonso||ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES||19||+21.180s||1|
|9||Pierre Gasly||ALPINE RENAULT||19||+21.742s||0|
|10||Valtteri Bottas||ALFA ROMEO FERRARI||19||+22.208s||0|
|11||Yuki Tsunoda||ALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT||19||+22.863s||0|
|13||Kevin Magnussen||HAAS FERRARI||19||+24.970s||0|
|14||Zhou Guanyu||ALFA ROMEO FERRARI||19||+26.868s||0|
|15||Lance Stroll||ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES||19||+29.523s||0|
|NC||Nico Hulkenberg||HAAS FERRARI||11||DNF||0|
|NC||Esteban Ocon||ALPINE RENAULT||10||DNF||0|
|NC||Sergio Perez||RED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT||10||DNF||0|
|NC||Logan Sargeant||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||2||DNF||0|
|NC||Liam Lawson||ALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT||0||DNF||0|
|Note – Leclerc and Stroll received five-second time penalties for leaving the track without justifiable reason multiple times.|
Qatar Grand Prix F1 Main Race
The starting grid is shown below
|1st||Max Verstappen||Red Bull|
|4th||Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin|
|9th||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo|
|15th||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin|
|18th||Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo|
|Pit lane||Sergio Perez||Red Bull|
The 57-lap race started in dramatic fashion with Lewis Hamilton and George Russel coming together on the 1st lap causing Lewis to withdraw. This ruined the best opportunity the two have had to challenge Max in 2023.
This brought the safety car out and, although George was still able to race, he had to come from 14th position on the track.
On lap 13 Fernando Alonso was the first of the front three to pit, staying on mediums, and came back onto the track all the way down in 15th!
Oscar Piastri had a quicker pitstop and came back on track ahead of Alonso.
The Max pitted for new tires on lap 18 and came back out behind new race leader Alex Albon!
However, the Williams then pitted, and Max retook the lead. By this time Verstappen was approximately eight seconds ahead of Piastri – this rookie is incredible.
On lap 27 both Oscar Piastri and Fernando Alonso pitting for their mandated 2nd stop. Lando Norris moved up to 2nd place.
Lando Norris pitted on lap 29, and achieved the fastest pit stop of the season (1.8 sec) well done McLaren!
Fernando Alonso Hit the Gravel
On lap 34 Alonso went into the gravel and gets punished by Charles Leclerc overtaking him. He rejoined the track off the escape road, quite erratically!
That earned him a penalty. It also meant he ended up in seventh place.
Max pitted on lap 35 and came out 7 seconds ahead of 2nd place driver. Oscar Piastri.
On lap 37 Logan Seargeant complained of feeling ill. Team principal, James Vowles, suggested he pit and retire – Sargeant insists he’s staying out. Logan finally retired on lap 40.
The rest of the race was run fairly predictably with none of the drama of the earlier laps.
The Qatar Grand Prix Results are Listed Below
|1||Max Verstappen||RED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT||57||27:39.2|
|2||Oscar Piastri||MCLAREN MERCEDES||57||+4.833s|
|3||Lando Norris||MCLAREN MERCEDES||57||+5.969s|
|6||Fernando Alonso||ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES||57||+49.032s|
|7||Esteban Ocon||ALPINE RENAULT||57||+62.390s|
|8||Valtteri Bottas||ALFA ROMEO FERRARI||57||+66.563s|
|9||Zhou Guanyu||ALFA ROMEO FERRARI||57||+76.127s|
|10||Sergio Perez||RED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT||57||+80.181s|
|11||Lance Stroll||ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES||57||+81.652s|
|12||Pierre Gasly||ALPINE RENAULT||57||+82.300s|
|13||Alexander Albon||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||57||+91.014s|
|14||Kevin Magnussen||HAAS FERRARI||56||+1 lap|
|15||Yuki Tsunoda||ALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT||56||+1 lap|
|16||Nico Hulkenberg||HAAS FERRARI||56||+1 lap|
|17||Liam Lawson||ALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT||56||+1 lap|
|NC||Logan Sargeant||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||40||DNF|
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