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Max wins sprint race in Sao Paulo: 'We managed quite well'

Published on 04 November 2023 by Kees-Jan Koster

Max Verstappen took victory in the sprint race at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace. Starting from second on the grid, the three-time world champion immediately overtook polesitter Lando Norris, who finished second. Sergio Perez, in the second Oracle Red Bull Racing car, secured third place after multiple battles.

“It was of course important to get ahead at the start”, says Max. “The initial launch was not great, but the second part of the start was amazing, and we got past Lando. Then it was all about management, the tyres are wearing a lot on this track. 24 laps on one tyre set is very long, so I tried to maintain a constant lap time. We managed the race quite well.”

Max continues: “Last year was very difficult for us. Today was much better. Nobody could push flat out, to keep the tyres under control. We did that well today.” Are you encouraged by your pace today for a potential victory tomorrow? “It is a great start, and we learned a lot during the sprint race. Hopefully we can do something similar tomorrow.”

Except for the Haas cars and Logan Sargeant, everyone starts the sprint race on soft tyres. From second on the grid, Max has the best start and immediately overtakes Lando Norris when entering the first corner. George Russell is also fast from the start and overtakes Sergio Peres and not much later also Norris. The Mexican Red Bull Racing driver is also overtaken by Lewis Hamilton and falls back into P5. Max is in the lead, ahead of Russell and Norris.

Perez has taken back fourth place from Hamilton at the beginning of lap four, but Hamilton is not giving up, giving Charles Leclerc a chance to join the fight. Norris can overtake Russell with the help of DRS and regaines second position. Perez overtakes Russell when starting lap six, but a couple of corners later the roles are reversed again. Two laps later Perez manages to overtake the Mercedes of Russell and hold on to second position.

Daniel Ricciardo in his AlphaTauri and the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz are fighting for P8 and the final point to score in the sprint race. The Australian is briefly ahead of the Spaniard but cannot hold on to the position. This scenario is repeated in lap fourteen, but then Ricciardo loses another place when he is overtaken by Oscar Piastri.

Max and his team decide to up the pace a bit, especially in the high speed corners, as Norris stays within one and a half seconds of the Dutchman. Leclerc overtakes Hamilton in lap 21 relatively easy for P5. Then Yuki Tsunoda is also gaining on the Brit. The Japanese driver overtakes the seven-time world champion who falls back into sixth position.

Max wins the sprint race, more than four seconds ahead of Norris. Perez finishes in third place, ahead of Russell, Leclerc and Tsunoda. Hamilton finishes in seventh position, narrowly ahead of Sains, who takes the finial point.

Contest Brazilian GP: win a by Max Verstappen signed Red Bull Racing Driver Cap 2023! 

Results sprint race Brazil:

1Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT2430:07.2098
2Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Mercedes24+4.287s7
3Sergio PerezPERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT24+13.617s6
4George RussellRUSMercedes24+25.879s5
5Charles LeclercLECFerrari24+28.560s4
6Yuki TsunodaTSUAlphaTauri Honda RBPT24+29.210s3
7Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes24+34.726s2
8Carlos SainzSAIFerrari24+35.106s1
9Daniel RicciardoRICAlphaTauri Honda RBPT24+35.303s0
10Oscar PiastriPIAMcLaren Mercedes24+38.219s0
11Fernando AlonsoALOAston Martin Mercedes24+39.061s0
12Lance StrollSTRAston Martin Mercedes24+39.478s0
13Pierre GaslyGASAlpine Renault24+40.621s0
14Esteban OconOCOAlpine Renault24+42.848s0
15Alexander AlbonALBWilliams Mercedes24+43.394s0
16Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari24+56.507s0
17Zhou GuanyuZHOAlfa Romeo Ferrari24+58.723s0
18Nico HulkenbergHULHaas Ferrari24+60.330s0
19Valtteri BottasBOTAlfa Romeo Ferrari24+60.749s0
20Logan SargeantSARWilliams Mercedes24+60.945s0