Spanish GP 2023
JUNE 4, 2023
Race Notes - Verstappen cruises to Spanish GP win
By Mark Karp
Max Verstappen won the Spanish GP in his Red Bull-Honda flag to flag, over Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes GP in second, 24.090 seconds behind. George Russell in the second Mecedes took third place, 32.389 seconds behind the winner.
The win is Verstappen 40th career victory. Verstappen leads the World Championship by 53 points over Perez in second. The podium position is Hamilton’s 193rd podium finish. The win is Red Bull’s 99th Formula One win. Mercedes overtakes Aston Martin for second place in the Constructors Championship.
Sergio Perez (35.812s) in the second Red Bull finished fourth, followed by Carlos Sainz (45.699s) in the Ferrari in fifth, Lance Stroll (1m03.320s) in the Aston Martin-Mercedes in sixth, his team mate Fernando Alonso (1m04.127s) in seventh, Esteban Ocon (1m09.242s), Guanyu Zhou (1m11.878s) in the Alfa Romeo-Ferrari was ninth, abd Pierre Gasly (1m13.530s) in the AlphaTauri-Honda took the final point in tenth place.
Before the start the weather is warm, but there are threats with the weather, with rain possible after the race begins.
Verstappen starts on pole, with Sainz alongside on the front row, Norris and Hamilton on row 2, Stroll and Ocon on row 3, Hulkenberg and Alonso on row 4, and Piastri and Gasly, with grid penalties, rounding out the top ten.
Verstappen starting of medium tyres. The rest of the top ten on soft tyres. Perez nd Sargeant on mediums, and Leclerc starting on hard tyres.
Leclerc will start from the pit lane. Norris having work done to his McLaren on the grid.
At the appointed time and with clouds rolling in, the field went around on the formation lap, the lights went out and the race began with Verstappen leads into the first corner, with Sainz and Hamilton behind. Stroll passes Hamilton for third, Norris pits on the first lap.
Perez up to tenth, Alonso up to sixth.
On lap 3 Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m20.402s.
Verstappen leads Sainz by 1.5 seconds, followed by Stroll, Hamilton, Ocon, Alonso, Russell, Hulkenberg, Zhou and Perez in tenth.
On lap 5 Zhou passes Hulkenberg for eighth.
On lap 6, Perez passes Hulkenberg for ninth.
On lap 7 Russell passes Alonso for sixth place on the front straight.
On lap 8 Hamilton passes Stroll for third place, Piastri passes Hulkenberg for 11th.
On lap 9 Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m19.894s.
Perez passes Zhou for eighth place.
At lap 10 Verstappen leads Sainz by 5.3 seconds, followed by Hamilton (7.0s), Stroll (10.1s), Russell (12.7s), Ocon (14.1s), Alonso (15.5s), Perez (16.6s), Piastri (20.8s) and Gasly (22.9s) in tenth place.
On lap 12 Hulkenberg sets fast lap at 1m19.527s.
Leclerc has worked his way up to 11th place.
Ocon pits from sixth place and takes on medium tyres and rejoins in13th.
On lap 15 Stroll pits from fourth for hard tyres and rejoins in 12th.
Sainz pits from second for medium Tyree and rejoins in ninth behind Leclerc.
On lap 18 Piastri pits for hard tyres.
On lap 19 Alonso pits and takes on hard tyres, and rejoins tenth. Gasly pitted for mediums and rejoins 16th.
At lap 20 Verstappen leads Hamilton by 9.0 seconds, followed by Russell (17.9s), Perez (25.1s), Sainz (30.3s), Stroll (39.1s), Ocon (41.9s), Tsunoda (43.2s), Alonso (46.8s), and Zhou (47.7s) in tenth place.
Russell asks the team if he can make just one pitstop.
On lap 23 Gasly passes Devries for 14th.
The top four drivers have not pitted yet.
Gasly passes Magnussen for 13th.
On lap 25 Hamilton pits from second place for medium tyres and rejoins in fifth behind Sainz.
On lap 26 Russell pits for medium tyres and rejoins in sixth behind Stroll.
On lap 27 Verstappen pits from the lead and takes on hard tyres and rejoins still in the lead.
On lap 28 Perez pits from second
Russell reports a few rain drops out on the circuit.
On lap 28 Russell sets the fast lap at 1m18.878s
Hamilton passes Sainz for second place.
On lap 29 Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m18.707s.
Perez passes Alonso for eighth place.
At lap 30 Verstappen leads Hamilton by 13.0 seconds, followed by Sainz (16.6s), Russell (20.3s), Stroll (26.6s), Ocon (28.8s), Tsunoda (30.1s), Perez (32.5s), Alonso (34.8s), and Zhou (39.0s) in tenth place.
Russell is closing on Sainz in third.
Perez passes Tsunoda for seventh place.
On lap 34 Perez passes Ocon for sixth place.
On lap 35 Stroll pits from fifth and switches to hard tyres and rejons in 13th. Ocon pits for hard and rejoins 14th.
Russell passes Sainz for third place.
Piastri and Gasly both pit.
At lap 40 Verstappen leads Hamilton by 15.8 seconds, followed by Russell (25.7s), Sainz (30.4s), Perez (34.0s), Alonso (45.3s),, Leclerc (57.4s), Stroll (1m01.4s), Ocon (1m03.5s) and Tsunoda (1m04.2s) in tenth place,
On lap 42 Sainz pits from fourth for hard tyres and rejoins sixth.
Leclerc pits for hard tyres and rejoins in 14th behind Gasly,
Verstappen complains to the team that he is “struggling under braking with overheating.”
On lap 46 Russell pits for soft tyres and rejoins in fourth.
Magnussen sets fast lap at 1m18.069s.
Red Bull warns Verstappen that he has exceeded track limits twice.
On lap 48 Russell sets fast lap at 1m18.057s.
Alonso passes Zhou for ninth.
Russell goes quicker with a 1m17.875s.
Alonso passes Tsunoda for eighth place.
Mercedes tells Russell that he will catch Perez quickly, he trails 9
Hamilton pits from second place for soft tyres and he rejoins still in second place.
Perez pits from third for soft tyres and rejoins in fifth.
Alonso passes Ocon on the front straight for seventh place.
Verstappen complains he is struggling on the hard tyres.
On lap 53 Verstappen pits for soft tyres and
Perez sets fast lap at 1m16.666s.
Perez passes Sainz for fourth place.’
At lap 55 Verstappen leads Hamilton by 16.6 seconds, followed by Russell (22.5s), Perez (30.0s), Sainz (33.8s), Stroll (45.8s), Alonso (48.0s), Ocon (51.3s), Tsunoda (52.8s), and Zhou (53.7s) in tenth place.
Tsunoda and Zhou battling for ninth place,
On lap 60 Red Bull tells Verstappen that he has has been given a black and white flag for exceeded track limits a third time, and he will be given a penalty if he does so again. Verstappen says he wants to go for fastest lap, the team tells him they can not risk it.
On lap 61 Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m16.330s.
Verstappen crosses the checked flag ahead of Hamilton and Russell.