After Red Bull’s first non-win in a Formula 1 race since November 2022 in Singapore, normal services resumed at Suzuka Circuit.
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. ended the record-breaking 15-race winning streak of Red Bull and the record-breaking 10-race winning streak of two-time reigning world champion Max Verstappen in the Singapore Grand Prix at Marina Bay Street Circuit, with Verstappen having what was by far his worst weekend of the 2023 Formula 1 season.
But as many expected, Verstappen’s first non-win since April and Red Bull’s first non-win since November 2022 was a bit of an outlier.
Verstappen and Red Bull were the overwhelming favorites to win the Japanese Grand Prix heading into this past race weekend at Suzuka Circuit, and there was never any reason to think otherwise during the weekend.
Verstappen dominated the entire weekend, taking the pole position by more than a half second over McLaren’s Lando Norris, and was never under threat during the race, aside from Norris’s great start. He won the race by roughly 19 seconds.
Normal services did indeed resume in the “Land of the Rising Sun”, with Verstappen atop the podium and the Dutch and Austrian national anthems playing proudly once again.
The win was Max Verstappen’s 11th in the last 12 races, and it was his 13th of the 2023 Formula 1 season.
His 2023 single season win total trails only his record-breaking 15-win mark from last year. Excluding his own career total of 48 victories, his 28 wins since the start of last season would rank eighth on the all-time wins list.
With Verstappen having won the Japanese Grand Prix and teammate Sergio Perez having been forced to retire from the race, Verstappen’s third consecutive world championship is all but wrapped up. Perez trails Verstappen by 177 points with 180 points left on the table.
Verstappen has already secured the tiebreaker due to his vastly greater win total, so he needs to score just two points in the season’s final six races to secure the title no matter what else happens.
With 48 career wins and six races remaining on the 2023 schedule, Verstappen can still ascend to as high as third place on the all-time wins list before the end of the year. He currently sits in fifth, with Alain Prost in fourth with 51 and Sebastian Vettel in third with 53.
Lusail International Circuit is scheduled to host the next race on the 2023 Formula 1 schedule on Sunday, October 8. The Qatar Grand Prix is set to be broadcast live on ESPN2 beginning at 12:55 p.m. ET. If you have yet to begin a free trial of FuboTV, do so today!