Verstappen seals record 17th win in Sao Paulo GP

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Red Bull's Max Verstappen took a record-extending 17th win of the 2023 Formula 1 season with victory in Sunday's Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

Red Bull Racing's driver Max Verstappen (L) of the Netherlands and McLaren's driver Lando Norris of Britain compete during the 2023 Formula One Grand Prix of Sao Paulo at Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Nov. 5, 2023. (Xinhua/Zhou Yongsui)

Starting from pole position, the Dutchman held the lead into Turn 1 and pulled away from the field to take a typically dominant win in a race that was restarted after a start line clash between Alex Albon and Kevin Magnussen had damaged the barriers.

"The starts were very important today. Both of them were very good," said Verstappen.

"After that the whole race was about the management of the tyres. We were good on any tyre, but I think especially that middle stint we could create a bit of a gap, and I thought that was very strong there.

"It all looked quite good, but with the high degradation around here you were constantly correcting the car, so your focus always needed to be there, but luckily it worked out great today."

Behind Verstappen, McLaren's Lando Norris vaulted from sixth on the grid to move into second at the first corner, and put in a strong drive to remain there for the rest of the race.

Fernando Alonso rounded out the podium in his Aston Martin, with the Spaniard putting on a masterclass in defensive driving to fend off the advances of Verstappen's teammate Sergio Perez, who finished fourth, just 0.05 seconds behind Alonso.

Lance Stroll took fifth on a good day for Aston Martin, with Carlos Sainz sixth in the sole Ferrari, after teammate Charles Leclerc had spun off on the formation lap on the way to the grid with a supposed hydraulic issue.

Pierre Gasly finished seventh in his Alpine, ahead of an unhappy Lewis Hamilton, whose Mercedes was notably off-form in Sao Paulo.

Yuki Tsunoda took ninth to score some valuable points for AlphaTauri, and Gasly's teammate Esteban Ocon rounded out the top ten.

The next round of the 2023 F1 World Championship is the first-ever Las Vegas Grand Prix on November 18, representing the first time since 1985 that a Grand Prix is to be staged on a Saturday. 

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