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Catching up with Formula One: Las Vegas

Written by Sofia Costantino Edited by Hugh W

Are you ready to dive into the high-speed world of Formula One? Whether you're a seasoned fan or a newcomer to the sport, there's never been a better time to catch up with everything happening on track this year.

This article has got you covered, from the latest race results and driver standings to the biggest shocks and controversies. So buckle up and get ready to experience the thrill of the race like never before!

3rd place finish in the 2023 Sao Paulo GP, Fernando Alonso 0.053sec ahead of Sergio Pérez; Credits: Formula One via X

Welcome back to your brief catch-up, this past week we witnessed one of the most exciting and appreciated circuits of all: the Sao Paulo Formula One Grand Prix at Interlagos' José Carlos Pace circuit.

As usual, we saw a comfortable win from Max Verstappen, achieving his seventeenth win in the most dominant season of world motorsport, in which the Dutchman continues to break records.

This time with the highest percentage of wins by number of valid races made in a championship. In the absence of two events to complete the 22 scheduled for 2023, the 17 wins represent 77.2%, which already exceeds the mark established 71 years ago by the Italian Alberto Ascari, who, with the Ferrari type 500 in 1952, won 6 of the 8 races (75%).

But beyond the undisputed dominance of the three-time champion and the Red Bull team, which has 18 victories in 19 GP races contested so far, the races have been able to focus on the performance of the other teams and drivers.

Even more relevant has become what can be the fight for the runner-up between Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton and other positions not only in the championship but in each particular race.

Credits: Motorsport images.

Sao Paulo 2023, may be considered one of the best fights for third place in the history of the category, thanks to the last 18 laps contested by Fernando Alonso and Sergio Pérez. The Asturian with an extraordinary defence, culminating in an overtaking of the Mexican on the last lap after being passed on the previous lap, to finish crossing the finish line just 53 thousandths of a second ahead of the Aston Martin AMR23 of the Red Bull RB19.

Credits: Motorsport images.

Although the telemetry of speeds, braking, battery loads, race lines and fuel use have allowed us to analyse how Alonso managed to keep a superior single-seater in line, this information did not reach the spectator, nor did the frequent conversations of both drivers with their respective engineers, drawing up strategies.

Briefly, the Spaniard permanently changed his race lines to avoid giving rise to possible studies of the feasibility of overtaking in unusual places, while the traditional ones assisted by the DRS were neutralised with a good battery charge in the sectors with several curves, and thus achieved good engine power and maximum top speed.

Without a doubt, the good reading of the circuit by his team helped for optimal preparation of the single-seater that was demonstrated by the position achieved on the starting grid: Alonso 3rd and his team-mate Lance Stroll in 5th.

Credits: Motorsport images.

On the other hand, it may have influenced Checo’s conservative handling, taking into account that he was scoring important points in fourth place in his fight for the first 1-2 championship for his Red Bull team, taking advantage of the poor performance of the Mercedes.

Hamilton, finishing in eighth, with 2 races remaining has a 32-point disadvantage to the Mexican. The British 7-time World Champion, after two-second places (disqualified at Austin) in the previous races, did not have a quick car, possibly due to a shorter preparation as well as with a higher ride height clearance.

Perhaps, the result of a mishap with the bottom board at the Circuit of the Americas, which resulted in early deterioration of the tyres and slow speed.

Credits: Motorsport images.

Just as Aston Martin showed a valuable recovery from lost efficiency after the first incredible races, the McLaren team continues to show with its regularity that it is currently the second force behind Red Bull, we have seen great performances from both drivers, rookie Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris.

With a new podium for Norris, we sense he’s getting closer to his much-needed and awaited by many, first Formula One win. With 7 podiums this season, he has already reached Nick Heidfeld's record of most podiums without a win (13).

2 world champions and one future champion?; Credits: Motorsport images.

For his part, all-time legend, the 42-year-old Fernando Alonso, made this grand prize unforgettable, it made us remember the memorable fight for second place in Dijon-Prenois in the 1979 French GP between Gilles Villeneuve and René Arnoux, who eclipsed (as this time) the victory of his fellow Frenchman Jean-Pierre Jabouille and first of his Renault all-Gallon team (Renault turbo-charged engine, Michelin tyres and Elf fuel) in Formula one.

But for Nando, despite winning his two drivers’ championships on this track, leaves Interlagos with a negative record with 20 presentations: more podiums (9) in the same Grand Prix without wins.

This weekend we are witnessing for the first time in history the Las Vegas Grand Prix, which has involved lots of critics and mixed opinions from fans all over the world, but no one can deny that this weekend will probably be one of the most exciting and entertaining shows. Make sure to be back next week to read what happens in Vegas (in this case it will certainly not stay in Vegas) and to be prepared for the last race of this year: Abu Dhabi!


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