After their shock defeat at Singapore, Max Verstappen and Oracle Red Bull Racing came back swinging at the 2023 Formula One Japanese Grand Prix and the result was a dominant victory for the two-time champion, to help the team clinch its sixth constructors’ title. Finishing behind Verstappen was Lando Norris taking back-to-back second place finishes for McLaren. In third place was Norris’ teammate, Oscar Piastri with a fine drive to score his maiden podium in his Formula One career.
As the race happened
For the top three it may have been a regular start but behind them there was chaos all around with multiple incidents up and down the field. One of the victims was Red Bull’s Sergio Perez who had to make an additional stop to replace his damaged front wing.
Perez’ day didn’t get any better as the Mexican copped a five-second time penalty for a safety car infringement and then copped another five-second time penalty later on for causing a collision with the Haas of Kevin Magnussen. The resulting damage forced Perez out of the race, but not without a weird scenario of him being sent back out on track to serve the five-second time penalty instead of letting it carry over as a grid-drop penalty in the next race.
Meanwhile up front, it was a comfortable finish for Verstappen, Norris, Piastri and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in fourth place for Ferrari, while seven-time champion, Lewis Hamilton finishing a close fifth ahead of the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz.
Oscar Piastri’s podium is the first rookie podium since Lance Stroll’s third place for Williams scored at the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. With Perez’ DNF, Verstappen only needs a top five finish at the sprint race of the Qatar Grand Prix to secure his third world driver’s championship. The 2023 Formula One Qatar Grand Prix is set to take place between October 06-08.