Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix 2023 - Verstappen wins at Suzuka

BY Sean Loo

Max Verstappen has staged a triumphant return to the top, claiming a resounding victory at the Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix as Red Bull claim constructors' championship.

This was no ordinary win; it was a performance that not only dazzled but also secured the Constructors' Championship for Red Bull for the second consecutive year.

Max Verstappen started from pole position and, from the very first moment, it was evident that he meant business. He catapulted off the line and never looked back.

But the Suzuka circuit is a demanding mistress, and she didn't disappoint. The race got off to a nail-biting start, with multiple collisions painting Turn 1 in chaotic colours. Debris littered the track, prompting the appearance of the safety car. And when the dust finally settled, five cars were forced to retire, victims of the relentless Suzuka challenge.

Sergio Perez, Verstappen's partner in the Red Bull garage, had a day to forget. A nightmare unfolded for the Mexican, with his race taking an early nosedive. A new front wing was a necessity after just the opening lap, and to add salt to the wound, he collected a pair of time penalties for separate infractions.

McLaren had every reason to celebrate. Both their drivers graced the podium with smiles as wide as the Suzuka straight. Lando Norris clinched a hard-fought P2, while Australian sensation Oscar Piastri secured his maiden F1 podium. It was a day to remember for McLaren, a testament to their rising star power.

In the midst of the race, Mercedes and Ferrari engaged in a spirited battle, jostling for supremacy in the middle of the pack. Positions four through seven were their playground, with tactics and strategy at the forefront. However, George Russell, who opted for a daring one-stop strategy, slipped to the tail end of this quartet as the race drew to a close.

Elsewhere on the grid, AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda and Liam Lawson, despite impressive qualifying performances, couldn't translate their speed into points. The Suzuka circuit can be unforgiving, and on this day, it remained elusive for them.

The Suzuka circuit, with all its challenges, once again proved why it's a beloved stage for motorsport drama. And as the F1 season hurtles forward, we can only anticipate more thrills, spills, and unforgettable moments on the track.