Verstappen overcame a 5-second penalty to beat Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez.
Verstappen pushed his way past Leclerc at the first corner, much to the anger of the pole winner, and was given a 5-second time penalty, but retained his track position at the front in the early stages.
Leclerc passed Verstappen just before his first pit stop, while Perez charged through the field after an early pit stop to change his front wing after a first corner collision.
The race was interrupted when Lando Norris of McLaren crashed heavily on the third lap, and again after Verstappen and George Russell of Mercedes collided just after half distance.
Perez and Leclerc switched places just as Verstappen overtook them. Verstappen then passed them both and scored his 18e win of the season. Perez was second when Leclerc went wide, but Leclerc passed him on the final lap, denying a Red Bull 1-2.
2023 Brazilian Grand Prix Results
|1||1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda RBPT||50||–|
|3||11||Sergio Perez||Red Bull/Honda RBPT||50||-2,241|
|5||18||Lance walk||Aston Martin/Mercedes||50||-20,067|
|6||55||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Ferrari||50||-20,834|
|9||14||Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin/Mercedes||50||-25,964|
|15||24||Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||50||-50.162|
|17||77||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||50||-1’25,350|
How the 2023 Brazilian F1 Grand Prix unfolded
Polesitter Leclerc was unable to maintain his lead during the short sprint to Turn 1, with Verstappen pushing him wide at Turn 1 to take the lead. Moments later, Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz both spun, and Perez needed a new front wing on his Red Bull, as did Alonso after being taken out in the run-off by Valtteri Bottas (whose Alfa Romeo was out of the race pushed). behind Perez). Sainz dropped to 17e.
Russell came third, ahead of Pierre Gasly (Alpine) and Alex Albon (Williams). Logan Sargeant (Williams) passed Kevin Magnussen (Haas) for sixth place on the Strip on the opening lap, just before a virtual safety car to pick up debris.
The race turned green again on the third lap, with Verstappen 1.8 seconds ahead of Leclerc, but not until Turn 12 when Norris crashed and narrowly missed his McLaren teammate Oscar Piastri as his left rear wheel appeared to fail. This led to a safety car period, during which Sainz and Lance Stroll (Aston) took a ‘free’ pit stop for hard tires.
The race restarted on lap seven, with Verstappen making the jump on Leclerc – who complained he slowed his Red Bull too much before jumping on the gas – ahead of Russell, Gasly and the Williams duo. Verstappen was then given a 5-second time penalty for forcing Leclerc off the track.
Alpine’s Esteban Ocon took seventh from Magnussen, with Piastri following suit after switching eighths on lap 11. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), who, like Piastri, was riding on hard tires, then passed Magnussen for ninth place. Ocon, Piastri and Hamilton passed Sargeant on lap 15.
Leclerc entered Verstappen’s DRS range just before a third distance, and Russell was the first front runner to pit on lap 16.
Leclerc passed Verstappen on lap 17 and entered Turn 14, before Verstappen made his first stop and took his 5-second penalty. Leclerc ran long on his medium tyres, while Perez – who had been on fresh hard tires since his early stop – passed Ocon for second.
Verstappen dropped to ninth place, behind Russell. Hamilton and Piastri had a wheel collision, sending both to the pits due to punctures.
Leclerc retired on lap 22, promoting Perez to the lead and Stroll to second. Sainz and Alonso were next, ahead of Russell and Verstappen.
Russell passed Alonso, as Verstappen also did under braking in Turn 1. Russell and Verstappen quickly overtook Sainz, with the pair moving ahead at half distance on the Strip.
Leclerc passed Stroll for second, just as Verstappen and Russell collided as the Dutchman moved into fourth, and a second safety car was needed to clear debris from his front wing. Russell was given a 5 second time penalty for causing the collision.
Perez, Stroll, Verstappen, Russell, Sainz and Alonso all took a second pit stop, with Verstappen not changing his front wing and gaining a place through a delayed Stroll.
The race turned green again on lap 29, with Leclerc leading Perez, Gasly, Piastri, Verstappen, Ocon, Stroll, Albon and Russell. Piastri overtook Gasly for third place in Turn 5.
Perez overtook Leclerc at Turn 14 with seventeen laps to go, while Verstappen passed Gasly for fourth and then edged out Piastri for third. Gasly and Ocon swapped fifths before Ocon held onto the ball despite the team telling them to hold position.
Leclerc regained the lead at Turn 14 with a daring lunge on lap 36, just as Verstappen overtook them. Verstappen drove past Perez and chased Leclerc for the win.
Verstappen slowed Leclerc with twelve laps to go and drove away. Leclerc outbraked himself with seven laps to go and gave second place to Perez.
Verstappen pulled back to try to help Perez, but Leclerc took second place from Perez just a few corners from the finish.
The penalized Russell finished fourth on the road, ahead of Ocon, Stroll and Sainz – but he dropped to eighth due to the added 5s.
2023 F1 Brazilian Grand Prix fastest laps
|2||1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda RBPT||1’35,614||0.124||233,476|
|5||11||Sergio Perez||Red Bull/Honda RBPT||1’35,939||0.449||232,685|
|6||55||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Ferrari||1’35,984||0.494||232,576|
|8||14||Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin/Mercedes||1’36,559||1,069||231,191|
|9||18||Lance walk||Aston Martin/Mercedes||1’36,584||1,094||231,131|
|14||24||Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1’37,375||1,885||229,253|
|16||77||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1’37,562||2,072||228,814|