Max Verstappen, driving for Red Bull, maintained his unrivalled dominance in the Formula One 2023 season by winning his fifth consecutive race at the Austrian Grand Prix, greatly securing his road to a third world championship crown. However, amid the thrilling celebration, issues regarding violating track limits resulted in post-race fines and reshuffling of race results.
Red Bull’s Reign Continues Unabated
Max Verstappen left his rivals in the dust after converting his pole position into an early lead. His unrelenting march to victory was distinguished by superior racing pace and faultless team execution. Verstappen now leads his teammate Sergio Perez by 81 points in the title battle. The focus was also shared by a dramatic podium duel between Perez and the Ferraris.
Charles Leclerc, driving for Ferrari, secured second place, thanks to his impressive driving skills and strategic defence from his teammate, Carlos Sainz. Despite Perez’s powerful charge, Sainz kept him back, allowing Leclerc to establish a substantial advantage. Perez eventually managed to pass Sainz and claim third place, forcing Sainz to settle for fourth.
A Surfeit of Post-Race Penalties
A significant number of track rules violations marred the exhilarating race, prompting a post-race investigation and severe penalties. Over 1,200 track limits violations were reported during the race, according to FIA authorities. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Alpine’s Pierre Gasly were among those who suffered a ten-second penalty, resulting in substantial changes in the final race standings.
Following the penalties, Lando Norris of McLaren and Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin moved up to fourth and fifth place, respectively. Sainz dropped to sixth, while Hamilton’s penalties dropped him to eighth, trailing George Russell, who rose to seventh. Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and Gasly completed the top ten.
Hamilton’s Struggles Continue
Hamilton’s performance in the Austrian Grand Prix was less than ideal. He finished seventh before penalties for track limit infractions dropped him to eighth. Throughout the race, the seven-time world champion was visibly agitated, frequently complaining about his car’s performance and questioning penalties for other drivers.
In an unusual move, Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff, had to interject on the radio, urging Hamilton to continue driving despite the car’s issues. The result of this race further underscored the current struggles of Mercedes, once the dominant force in the sport.
Silverstone will be the next
The overwhelming performance of Verstappen and Red Bull is set to continue as Formula One moves on to the next race at Silverstone. With no signs of slowing, the potential of a clean sweep this season is becoming more realistic.
Despite the controversy and rescheduling, the Austrian Grand Prix provided a fantastic spectacle for fans and led to an exciting rest of the season.