Red Bull Clinch the Constructor Championship in Japan
After a poor outing in Singapore, Max Verstappen wasted no time getting back to business by winning the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka. The win marked Verstappen 13th win of the 2023 season. Verstappen also secured the fastest lap of the race securing 26 points on the weekend. Red Bull’s win streak was broken in Singapore but that didn’t matter as the team raised the constructors trophy with 6 more rounds still to be raced. Given that the championship is sorted Red Bull will be putting their efforts into the development of next years car with no further reason to fit upgrades for the RB19. Red Bull have won 15 of the 16 races this season.
Verstappen stated the Following After the Race
“It’s an unbelievable weekend. To win here was great. I think the car was working really well on every [tire] compound. But of course, the most important was also to win the constructors’. So, I’m very proud of everyone working at the track but also back at the factory. We’re having an incredible year.” Verstappen leads the standings with 400 points to teammate Perez’s 223 points. He can clinch the title in Qatar needing only 3 more points in the next 6 race weekend to reach an unpassable number of points by an opponent.
Verstappen got away from the turn 1 drama at the start of the race and was able to navigate a few on track incidents to steer clear of the pack. Behind Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri fought it out with Lando Norris getting the best of his rookie teammate Oscar Piastri. Despite this the double podium for McLaren is part of the stark turn around the team has produced since the mid season break. Early season reliability issues and early retirements plagued the McLaren drivers leaving fans wondering if they’d even be in podium contention in 2023.
Charles Leclerc Keeps Ferrari in the Discussion
Ferrari have had a difficult season struggling to keep up with the Red Bulls. While there have been glimpses of promise nothing ever seems to stick long term. However, Leclerc was able to to play damage control today with teammate Carlos Sainz as the pair finished P4 and P6 on the grid. The finish places Ferrari 20 points behind Mercedes in the Constructors standings. The pressure is on for Mercedes to perform if they want to hold that second spot. The Mercedes finished P5 and P7 scoring 16 points on the weekend. With 6 rounds to go anything can happen. Now that the top spot has been claim our focus will be on following the number 2 and 3 spots in the championship. Both Ferrari and Mercedes are far off from clinching their final positions.
Elsewhere on the grid there were 5 DNFs at Suzuka with Williams suffering from yet another double DNF.
Race Finishing Order
- Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
- Lando Norris (McLaren)
- Oscar Piastri (McLaren)
- Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
- Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
- George Russell (Mercedes)
- Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin)
- Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
- Pierre Gasly (Alpine)
- Liam Lawson (AlphaTauri)
- Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)
- Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo)
- Nico Hülkenberg (Haas)
- Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
DNF — Alex Albon (Williams)
DNF — Logan Sargeant (Williams)
DNF — Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
DNF — Sergio Pérez (Red Bull)
DNF — Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)