Verstappen overcame a 5s penalty to beat Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and his Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez.
Verstappen barged his way past Leclerc at the first corner, much to the polewinner’s anger, and was given a 5s penalty but kept his track position at the front in the early stages.
Leclerc passed Verstappen just before his first pitstop, while Perez charged through the field after an early pitstop to change his front wing after a first-corner collision.
The race was interrupted when McLaren’s Lando Norris crashed out heavily on lap three, and again after Verstappen and Mercedes’ George Russell clashed just after half distance.
Perez and Leclerc swapped places, just as Verstappen caught them. Verstappen then passed them both to score his 18th win of the season. Perez took second when Leclerc ran wide, but Leclerc repassed him on the final lap to deny a Red Bull 1-2.
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2023 F1 Brazilian Grand Prix results
|Cla||Nº||Driver||Car / Engine||Laps||Time|
|1||1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda RBPT||50||–|
|3||11||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull/Honda RBPT||50||-2.241|
|5||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin/Mercedes||50||-20.067|
|6||55||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Ferrari||50||-20.834|
|9||14||Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin/Mercedes||50||-25.964|
|14||3||Daniel Ricciardo||AlphaTauri/Honda RBPT||50||-48.525|
|15||24||Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||50||-50.162|
|17||77||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||50||-1’25.350|
|18||22||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri/Honda RBPT||46||–|
How the 2023 F1 Brazilian Grand Prix unfolded
Polesitter Leclerc couldn’t hold on to his advantage on the short sprint to Turn 1, with Verstappen shoving him wide at Turn 1 to grab the lead. Moments later, Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz both spun, and Perez needed a new front wing on his Red Bull, as did Alonso after being nerfed in the run-off by Valtteri Bottas (whose Alfa Romeo had been pushed from behind by Perez). Sainz dropped to 17th.
Russell ran third, ahead of Pierre Gasly (Alpine) and Alex Albon (Williams). Logan Sargeant (Williams) passed Kevin Magnussen (Haas) for sixth on the Strip on the opening lap, just before a virtual safety car to pick up debris.
The race went green again on lap three, with Verstappen running 1.8s ahead of Leclerc, but only until Turn 12 when Norris crashed out, just missing his McLaren team-mate Oscar Piastri. That caused a safety car period, during which Sainz and Lance Stroll (Aston) took a ‘free’ pitstop for hard tyres.
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The race resumed on lap seven, with Verstappen getting the jump on Leclerc – who complained that he overslowed his Red Bull before jumping on the gas – ahead of Russell, Gasly and the Williams duo. Verstappen was then handed a 5s penalty for forcing Leclerc off the track.
Alpine’s Esteban Ocon snatched seventh from Magnussen, and Piastri followed suit after swapping eighth on lap 11. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), who like Piastri was on hard tyres, then passed Magnussen for ninth. Ocon, Piastri and Hamilton surged past Sargeant on lap 15.
Leclerc got into Verstappen’s DRS range just before one-third distance, and Russell was the first frontrunner to pit on lap 16.
Leclerc DRS-ed past Verstappen into Turn 14 on lap 17, before Verstappen made his first stop and took his 5s penalty. Leclerc ran long on his medium tyres, as Perez – who’d been on fresh hard tyres since his early stop – passed Ocon for second.
Verstappen dropped to ninth, behind Russell. Hamilton and Piastri clashed wheels, sending both to the pits due to punctures.
Leclerc stopped on lap 22, promoting Perez to the lead and Stroll into second. Sainz and Alonso were next up, ahead of Russell and Verstappen.
Russell DRS-ed past Alonso, as Verstappen did likewise under braking at Turn 1. Russell and Verstappen quickly caught Sainz, the pair moving ahead on the Strip at half distance.
Leclerc passed Stroll for second, just as Verstappen and Russell collided as the Dutchman took fourth, and a second safety car was required to clear the debris from his front wing. Russell was given a 5-second penalty for causing the clash.
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Perez, Stroll, Verstappen, Russell, Sainz and Alonso all took second pitstops, with Verstappen not changing his front wing and gaining a spot from a delayed Stroll.
The race went green again on lap 29, with Leclerc leading Perez, Gasly, Piastri, Verstappen, Ocon, Stroll, Albon and Russell. Piastri lunged past Gasly for third at Turn 5.
Perez overtook Leclerc into Turn 14 with 17 laps to go, as Verstappen passed Gasly for fourth and then picked off Piastri for third. Gasly and Ocon swapped fifth before Ocon made it stick, despite the team telling them to hold position.
Leclerc reclaimed the lead at Turn 14 with a bold lunge on lap 36, just as Verstappen caught them. Verstappen cruised past Perez and chased after Leclerc for the win.
Verstappen outbraked Leclerc with 12 laps remaining and pulled away. Leclerc outbraked himself with seven laps to go, handing the runner-up spot to Perez.
Verstappen backed off to try and help Perez, but Leclerc grabbed second from Perez just a couple of corners from the finish line.
The penalised Russell finished fourth on the road, ahead of Ocon, Stroll and Sainz – but he dropped to eighth due to the added 5s.
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2023 F1 Brazilian Grand Prix fastest laps
|Cla||Nº||Driver||Car / Engine||Time||Delay||Km/h|
|2||1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda RBPT||1’35.614||0.124||233.476|
|5||11||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull/Honda RBPT||1’35.939||0.449||232.685|
|6||55||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Ferrari||1’35.984||0.494||232.576|
|8||14||Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin/Mercedes||1’36.559||1.069||231.191|
|9||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin/Mercedes||1’36.584||1.094||231.131|
|12||3||Daniel Ricciardo||AlphaTauri/Honda RBPT||1’37.108||1.618||229.884|
|14||24||Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1’37.375||1.885||229.253|
|16||77||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1’37.562||2.072||228.814|
|18||22||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri/Honda RBPT||1’37.587||2.097||228.755|
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