Sao Paulo Grand Prix: Verstappen Sets New Formula 1 Record as Leclerc Crashes on Formation Lap

Sao Paulo Grand Prix: Verstappen Sets New Formula 1 Record as Leclerc Crashes on Formation Lap

Ero Samson
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
  • The Formula 1 season headed to Brazil for the 2023 Sao Paulo Grand Prix
  • The race at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace Circuit was an eventful one
  • Max Verstappen set a new Formula 1 record with his victory on the night

The 2023 Sao Paulo Grand Prix proved to be a thrilling event, with Red Bull and Max Verstappen maintaining their season-long dominance by securing yet another victory at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace.

Chaos, multiple crashes and retirements, and loads of intense moments characterised the race at the iconic track known as Interlagos.

Unfortunately, Ferrari's Charles Leclerc had a forgettable race weekend despite an excellent qualifying session on Friday and earning a strong starting position to challenge Verstappen.

Formula 1, Max Verstappen, Brazil Grand Prix
Max Verstappen celebrates on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil. Image: Mark Thompson.
Source: Getty Images

Instead, the Monégasque driver suffered a hydraulic failure during the formation lap and crashed out of contention.

A red flag would further herald the race at Interlagos after a first-lap collision involving William Racing's Alex Albon and Haas' Kevin Magnussen.

Several other drivers, including Mercedes' George Russell and both Sauber Alfa Romeo cars, also retired, as reported by Sky Sports F1.

Verstappen sets new F1 record

Meanwhile, per, Verstappen's victory at Interlagos marked his 17th win of the 2023 season, making him the first driver in the sport's history to achieve this remarkable feat. This achievement followed his flawless Sprint race win at the same circuit.

The Dutch driver is now just one win away from matching the career wins of four-time Formula 1 champion, Sebastian Vettel, which stands at 53 victories.

Since his victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on December 12, 2021, Verstappen has accumulated a total of 33 race wins, surpassing Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso.

The action-packed race also witnessed Alonso narrowly edging out Verstappen's teammate, Sergio Perez for the final place on the podium by a mere 0.053 seconds.

Despite the disappointment on the final lap, the Mexican driver can take solace in his overall impressive race weekend and the widening gap between himself and his closest challenger, Lewis Hamilton, which stands at 39.

The Formula 1 world will now shift its focus to the Las Vegas Grand Prix in the USA, as Verstappen aims to extend his remarkable record in what can be described as an unprecedented season.

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Lewis Hamilton on finishing above Perez

Sports Brief also previously reported on Mercedes driver, Hamilton discussing finishing above Perez and what he feels is important to him in this season.

The Briton downplayed his chances of leapfrogging the struggling Mexican driver following his P2 finish at the race at the Autodromo Hermono Rodriguez.

The seven-time F1 champion also spoke about his priority being set on ensuring Mercedes finished above Ferrari in the Constructors' Championship ranks.

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Ero Samson
Samson Ero is a sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry. He graduated from Nigerian Institute of Journalism (2021-2023).
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