Verstappen wins Interlagos F1 sprint ahead of Norris and Perez

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It’s time for the last Sprint Race of the 2023 season! Will Lando Norris manage to convert his first Sprint Shootout Win into his first ever Formula 1 win, or will championship winner Max Verstappen beat him to it?

All drivers are running soft tyres for the shortened race, bar for the Haas drivers and Sargeant.

The two front row drivers both had a very strong start, but ultimately Verstappen took the lead into Turn 1, whereas Sergio Perez lost a position to George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, with the younger British driver going on to overtake Norris into turn 10 as well for P2.

Oscar Piastri also ran wide off track in the first lap, re-joining in tenth. The AlphaTauri drivers, with Tsunoda stating in sixth and Ricciardo in eight, both lost positions at the beginning of the 24 laps long race.

It was not a great Sprint start for Perez, who is passed by Hamilton as well on Lap 2, but one lap after it’s the other way round as the Red bull driver takes back P4 from the British driver, who is almost overtaken by Leclerc as well.

On Lap 5 Russell drops out of the DRS zone and is passed by Norris, whereas Verstappen has developed a 1.5s advantage on the British duo.

Photo credit: Red Bull Racing

Further back in the grid, Alonso passes Magnussen for P12 as Ocon completed a move on Hulkenberg, but is cleared back shortly after, whereas Albon in P18 mentions that Valtteri Bottas’s car ahead of him is leaking oil.

On Lap 8 Perez tried a move on 2022 Brazil GP winner George Russell for third but runs deep, and he is passed back three corners later heading down to Turn 4. On Lap 10 the Red Bull driver strikes again, and is able to make it last.

Daniel Ricciardo attempted to snatch Sainz’s P8 for his first Sprint race point, but ultimately the Ferrari driver was able to reclaim the place ahead of the Australian like Russell did.

Oscar Piastri found his way through and secured a P9 off Ricciardo with a daring move into turn 7, whereas Alonso and Gasly battle very closely for P11, with the Spanish driver able to make it stick.

After only five laps, Perez has developed a 7.5s gap over Russell, who mentions on the radio how fast the Red Bull drivers are today. On lap 17 Tsunoda started to creep up on Charles Leclerc in P6, with Lance Stroll passing Gasly just like his teammate had done earlier.

Charles Leclerc with three laps to go overtook Hamilton for P5, with Tsunoda following him through on the next lap as the Brit’s rear tyres were finished. A bit further back down the pack, Ricciardo repassed Piastri for P9. The McLaren driver is also overtaken by Alonso, but he manages to pass him back again.

Max Verstappen takes his fourth Sprint race win in commanding fashion, followed by polesitter Lando Norris and his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez.

Russell ended his race in P4, and Charles Leclerc moved up a spot from his starting position to join the top 5. Yuki Tsunoda scored AlphaTauri’s first ever Sprint Race points in P6, managing to hold back off Hamilton and Sainz, who round out the points scorers