Max Verstappen secured his third world title at the chaotic Qatar Grand Prix, where a sprint race filled with incidents and collisions unfolded at the Lusail circuit. The sprint race was won by McLaren’s Oscar Piastri, while Verstappen, who had dropped from third to fifth on the opening lap, mounted a fierce comeback but settled for second place.
The race witnessed three safety car deployments due to a series of accidents, creating a dramatic spectacle under the floodlights. Verstappen’s path to the championship was essentially confirmed when his Red Bull teammate, Sergio Perez, was involved in a collision with Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg, leading to his retirement from the race.
The Dutch crowned the title win with a victory at Sunday’s Grand Prix, where Piastri, the man who was ahead of him yesterday, came second. Ferrari’s Lando Norris completed the podium.
Sunday’s race was marked by an early collision involving both Mercedes drivers, which led to Lewis Hamilton exiting the race very early. Verstappen’s teammate and this year’s runner up, Sergio Perez, finished 10th no thanks to a five-second penalty.
With Verstappen already crowned this year’s champion, other teams are left scrambling for points to finish well on the leaderboard, so we can expect them to take the rest of the season seriously. But Red Bull’s dominance is such that we can expect Verstappen to keep winning races, even when it does not matter to neither him nor the team.
And so we gradually end the 2023 season. Although there are still a few races left, we can expect that teams are already preparing for 2024, even though they are very limited as far as changes they can make to their cars. Still, this weekend’s result is expected to push some teams to put up changes, no matter how little, that will ultimately improve their performance next season.