Dutch driver Max Verstappen during the Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg, July 2, 2023. JOE KLAMAR / AFP
The weekends follow one another and look alike for Max Verstappen. The Dutch Red Bull driver won his fifth victory in a row of the season on Sunday July 2 on the Austrian Grand Prix circuit. Winner of seven of the nine races contested since the start of the season, the Dutch world champion has further increased his comfortable lead in the drivers’ standings.
On the grounds of the Red Bull team, adversity never seemed able to worry the figurehead of the team with red bulls. Second, Monegasque Charles Leclerc signed Ferrari’s best result of the season, and Max Verstappen’s team-mate Sergio Pérez completed the podium, after climbing from 15th to 3rd place during the race at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg.
Already a clear leader before the weekend, the Dutch Verstappen, double title holder, leaves the mountains of Styria with a stratospheric lead of 81 points over his closest rival, his teammate Pérez. At 25, “Mad Max”, winner for the 42nd time in formula 1, is heading more than ever towards a third world title in a row. “I don’t want to think about that, I’m focused on working with the team and we worked well all weekend, so I’m just happy and looking forward to Silverstone”at the British Grand Prix, Sunday July 9, the winner reacted hotly.
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The Dutch driver became, on Sunday, the record holder for victories at the Austrian Grand Prix, with four successes, ahead of the Frenchman Alain Prost. Verstappen even signed his fifth victory on this circuit, since in 2021, the Grand Prix of Styria was disputed there – due to calendar changes linked to the Covid-19 pandemic – and saw the Red Bull driver to take with.
For Ferrari, in great difficulty this season, this Grand Prix is still a breath of fresh air. The Scuderia could even have achieved a double podium if Pérez had not returned to Carlos Sainz (4th). “It feels good to be back on the podiumslipped smiling Charles Leclerc, who had not tasted it since April 30 in Baku. We optimized what we had in our hands (…), it’s a good thing for the future, the team has really done a wonderful job to bring changes faster than expected. »
Behind Sainz, Lando Norris (McLaren) finished 5th ahead of the two legends Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) and Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes). As for the French from Alpine, Pierre Gasly, who started in ninth position, finished in the same place, as did Esteban Ocon, 12th on the grid as at the finish.