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Catching up with Formula One: Texas

Written by Sofia Costantino, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri

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!

Max Verstappen, the 2023 world champion with his unbelievable team! Image Credits: Motorsport images

Max Verstappen became the driver's champion of the 2023 Formula One season, a cakewalk, in a season of utter dominance for the Dutchman, conquering his third consecutive title. Six grand prizes were still to be taken before the end of this season, when he became mathematically unattainable, with second place in the Sprint race preceding the Qatar GP.

While it was only a matter of time before he successfully retained his crown, the retirement of his team-mate Sergio Pérez, on the eleventh lap of the sprint race, allowed him to only finish in the top six, and add at least three additional points, and thereby out of the reach of the only one who could “disturb him”.

Thus, Verstappen entered the select club of triple champions, an elite club consisting of Australian Jack Brabham (1959, 1960 and 1966), Scotsman Jackie Stewart (1969, 1971 and 1973), Austrian Niki Lauda (1975, 1977 and 1984), as well as Brazilians Nelson Piquet (1981, 1983 and 1987) and Ayrton Senna (1988, 1990 and 1991).

In addition, he has the chance to match or surpass the four titles won by the Frenchman Alain Prost (1985, 1986, 1989 and 1993) and his fellow former Red Bull racer Sebastian Vettel (2010 to 2013), the five by Argentina’s finest, Juan Manuel Fangio (1951, 1954 to 1957) and maybe even the seven by Michael Schumacher (1994, 1995, 2000 to 2004) and Lewis Hamilton (2008, 2014, 2015 and from 2017 to 2020).

Certainly, the streak of more titles is very feasible, taking into account on the one hand, the clear superiority of the single-seater, with regulations remaining largely the same until 2026, and on the other hand, the commitment, interest and hunger for victory of the driver, who currently does not have too many problems on the track, due to little to no race-winning competition.

Image Credits - Motorsport Images

The way and timing of achieving success has also not been very conventional. The first in 2021, hyped more so as it went right down to the last race of the season, both drivers level on points after 21 races, and was favored by an arbitral decision.

Last season, Verstappen won it without knowing it, in a shortened Japanese Grand Prix, but which awarded the total points for having been restarted and completed in the lap time, but not laps. Finally, in 2023, the title is unprecedented in a Sprint race, not a main Grand Prix.

Finally, if the season turned out to be uncompetitive, Red Bull and/or Max Verstappen are the least to blame. It's the rest who failed to match the reigning champions. Hopefully, for the coming year there will be more competitiveness for the benefit of the show, and to at least make the Dutchman sweat a little more.

Image Credits - Motorsport Images

Now that Max Verstappen and his Red Bull team have won the 2023 Drivers and Constructors title, what is expected for five remaining rounds in this Formula One season?

This weekend kicks off a triple header, with the US Grand Prix on the outskirts of Austin, the Texan capital, then continuing in Mexico City, and non-stop to Sao Paulo, for the Brazilian Grand Prix. In addition, the Circuit of the Americas and Interlagos will be sprint race weekends. A two-week break, and the sport would return stateside, for the much-awaited inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix, before heading to the usual season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The 2023 grid; Image Credits - Motorsport Images

Despite the dominant campaign of Red Bull and Max Verstappen, who more than beating, and in fact, almost doubled their closest competitors (Mercedes 331 points behind the leader with 657, and Sergio Pérez 209 behind the Dutchman with 433 units), historically, the early championships, however crushing they may be, change by motivation, interest or irregular performance of the single-seaters.

Several examples uphold this phenomenon. In 1992, Nigel Mansell won the title in the extraordinary Williams/Renault FW14B at the Hungarian Grand Prix, with five rounds to go.

He would only achieve one more race win in the sport, though.

In 2002, Michael Schumacher with the Ferrari F2002 was crowned in July at Magny-Cours, with six races still to be contested. Although he climbed to the podium in all the competitions of that campaign, after France he managed to win in three. The other three would be won by his teammate Rubens Barrichello, who had achieved the victory in just one, before the German’s title victory.

In 2015, a campaign dominated by Lewis Hamilton and the Mercedes W06, after the Englishman claimed the title in the US Grand Prix, his team-mate Nico Rosberg triumphed in the last three races, ending on a high, a boost that led him to the title of the following season, which he started with four consecutive wins.

The superiority of the triple champion with the RB19 is such that it will probably be enough for him to continue his winning path, even though his disposition may drop to another level, but it could be practically imperceptible.

The largely background runner-up battle between Sergio Pérez and Lewis Hamilton is not so important for the protagonists. The Mexican is on track to net his best-ever championship position in Formula One, apart from being able to stay in Red Bull and/or the sport itself.

And for the hepta-champion, jumping from sixth (2022) to second place would be a great achievement with a difficult single-seater, as well as getting even with a squire who annoyed him enough in 2021, to even influence the loss of the championship.

Lando Norris and rookie Oscar Piastri celebrating their win! Image credits - Motorsport Images

Closer to a win at the end of the season are the McLaren drivers, the team with the best technical development and performance across the last eight races, especially in the last three, accumulating five podiums and 104 points (compared to Red Bull's 74, Ferrari's 70, Mercedes' 53, and only 15 for Aston Martin).

Australian rookie Oscar Piastri (winner of the Qatar Sprint) and team-mate Lando Norris are both very close to achieving their first Formula One win, and moving to fourth place in the constructors' standings (11 points off Aston Martin) and establishing themselves as a potent force in the 2023 season.

The Circuit of the Americas, home of the US Grand Prix since 2012, was initially dominated by Lewis Hamilton who scored five wins in the first six races, who hasn’t triumphed at the track since 2017, with victories by Kimi Raikkonen in 2018 (Ferrari), then-teammate Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) in 2019 (not raced in 2020) and the last two by Max Verstappen and Red Bull, with Hamilton a close second.


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