Formula 1

Formula 1: Piastri wins sprint as Verstappen wins a third World Driver’s Championship

@redbullracing on X

Oscar Piastri wins his first race in Formula 1 in the Qatar sprint race, whilst Max Verstappen’s 2nd place was good enough to secure a third world title.

The race start saw Oscar Piastri get off very well as he maintained 1st place into turn 1. His teammate however wasn’t so lucky, as he would find himself getting overtaken by Russell, Verstappen and both Ferraris in the first two corners.

Just behind, Liam Lawson would lose control and end up beaching his car, which would bring out a brief safety car. When green flag running resumed, Piastri looked like he had initially gotten a good getaway, although George Russell was able to overtake him for the lead at turn 6, making use of his grippier soft tyres.

It was not long after the safety car came in that it needed to come back out, as Logan Sargeant would spin his car and beach himself. Whilst the multiple safety cars would help the soft runners to protect their tyres, Piastri’s engineer reassured him that the mediums were still expected to be the better tyre by the end.

The medium advantage wouldn’t be immediately apparent to Piastri as Russell was able to build a gap of 1.5 seconds, and would see himself under a little pressure from Carlos Sainz. However this advantage would only last one lap, as Piastri would begin to gain, and Verstappen would overtake Leclerc for 4th, and taking 3rd from Sainz the next lap.

Piastri would then make an easy move into turn 1 on lap 10. A little further behind Norris would go on to make a move around the outside of Leclerc to head into 5th place, and the soft runners were beginning to look incredibly vulnerable.

Moments later though, a third safety car would be called after an incident between Ocon, Hulkenberg and Perez. Ocon had unintentionally sandwiched Hulkenberg, not knowing Perez was on the outside, and all three would make contact and end their sprints. The incident also mathematically confirmed Max Verstappen as a 3-time world champion.

Lando Norris found himself falling backwards once the race got back underway, as Leclerc managed to get the overtake into turn 1. He would eventually be able to get past both Leclerc and Sainz in the space of just four corners, the soft tyres now far past their best.

Russell was able to stick with Piastri initially, though would be overtaken on the next lap by Max Verstappen. Verstappen would find himself a little over 2 seconds behind Piastri with only a couple of laps left, and whilst he would gain somewhat on the leader, it would not be enough to challenge for the win.

The last lap would see a number of overtakes occur. Norris was able to take 3rd place from Russell, Hamilton would overtake both Leclerc and Sainz to go 5th, and Albon would take the final points paying position from Alonso.

Whilst not a Grand Prix victory, Piastri becomes the first driver to win a race in his debut season since Lewis Hamilton back in 2007.

Verstappen now joins Ayrton Senna, Jackie Stewart, Jack Brabham, Nelson Piquet, and Niki Lauda in becoming a three time World Driver’s Champion. Only five drivers have won more in the history of Formula 1.


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