Verstappen secures world title after Qatar Grand Prix Sprint

Qatar Grand Prix 2023: Verstappen secures third World Title after Sprint

October 7, 2023

Max Verstappen secured his third consecutive World Title after finishing second in the Sprint at the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix. As his teammate and championship rival, Sergio Pérez, crashed out, he was left with no chance of catching the Dutchman.

The Sprint was won by pole-sitter Oscar Piastri, who finished on top of the podium for the first time in Formula One, albeit it wasn’t a traditional race.

Verstappen left the Sprint with seven points, while Sergio Pérez left with none, which mathematically ruled him out from contending for the championship.

The Dutchman joins the likes of Jackie Stewart, Jack Brabham, Niki Lauda, Nelson Piquet and Ayrton Senna as a three-time World Champion. 

Oscar Piastri got things underway in the Sprint. Second-placed Lando Norris and and third-placed Max Verstappen had a horror start as both dropped back, with George Russell and Carlos Sainz making up places. Sergio Pérez also had a poor start and was in P10, while AlphaTauri’s Liam Lawson dropped his car into the gravel to retire early and bring out the Safety Car. 

Once the Safety Car came in, Russell picked up the lead from Piastri, with Esteban Ocon further down making a move on former teammate Fernando Alonso. Logan Sargeant brought out the Safety Car for a second time as he went into the gravel as well.

Piastri re-took the lead on the main straight on Lap 11, with Verstappen up to P3. Pérez crashed out of the race on the same lap, going off at Turn 2 after coming together with Ocon and Nico Hülkenberg, which ended the race for all three drivers as the Safety Car came out for a third time. 

The Safety Car came in on Lap 14 with Piastri leading from Russell and Verstappen, while Pierre Gasly got past Lewis Hamilton on the restart for P8. Verstappen eventually breezed past Russell for P2 on Lap 16, going on the inside at Turn 1. Norris picked off both the Ferrari drivers on Lap 17 to move up to P4.

Piastri held on to see off Verstappen to win the Sprint as Hamilton got the two Ferrari drivers on the final lap to secure P5. Norris secured a double podium for McLaren with a P3 finish. 

Aditya Chaudhuri

Hailing from the City of Joy, the things that bring me joy are cricket, a good non-tilt CS:GO session, F1 and movies.

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