Brazilian Grand Prix: Max Verstappen overhauls Lando Norris in entertaining Sprint

Henry Valantine
Max Verstappen leads the Brazilian Grand Prix Sprint.

Max Verstappen in the lead in sprint action.

Max Verstappen won the Brazilian Grand Prix Sprint on Saturday, overtaking Lando Norris at the start and holding onto the lead throughout.

Sergio Perez recovered from a tricky start to make a couple of bold overtakes and finish third, with George Russell, Charles Leclerc, Yuki Tsunoda, Lewis Hamilton and Carlos Sainz rounding out the points places.

There was dicing throughout the field over the course of 24 laps at Interlagos, in a race that could lay claim to being the most entertaining Sprint of the season in the last run-out of the format this year.

Max Verstappen leaps past Lando Norris in first braking zone at Interlagos

Norris had a strong initial getaway, but Verstappen had enough of his Red Bull alongside him into the first braking zone at the Senna S to make a move for the lead and stay there.

Behind him, Sergio Perez fell back behind both Mercedes drivers, Lewis Hamilton passing him around the outside in the braking zone at Descida do Lago in an impressive move.

Things would not improve for Norris either, who lost another place to Russell halfway around the first lap as he dropped from first to third.

Perez did not give up his fight against Hamilton, staying within DRS range and getting back past the Mercedes driver in fourth by lap 4 heading down along the start/finish straight.

Neither did Norris against Russell, making the same move a lap later against the sister Mercedes into the first braking zone of the lap at Interlagos as he sought about keeping in touch with Verstappen.

Perez and Russell enjoyed a healthy dice for third place, with the Red Bull driver getting ahead of the Mercedes into the Senna S before Russell got him back on the run down to Descida do Lago, using the DRS tow to full effect.

But two laps later, Perez tried again into the same corner – making it stick this time by pulling far enough away on the back straight to put him into the top three.

Daniel Ricciardo was fighting to make his way into the points, pulling off a daring move around the outside of Carlos Sainz into the Senna S, but the Ferrari driver saw him coming and adjusted his line accordingly to re-pass the AlphaTauri on the back straight.

Oscar Piastri was waiting to pick up the pieces, and he pounced as he spotted his compatriot off-line in the following corners, finding the inside line on the braking zone after the double right-hander of Ferradura to nab P9 from Ricciardo. recommends

Revealed: The contract status of every race on the F1 2023 calendar

F1 2024 driver line-up: Who is confirmed for next season’s grid?

At the front, Norris was keeping Verstappen honest, but the Red Bull driver had enough in hand to keep the McLaren at arm’s length throughout.

Hamilton was struggling for pace towards the end in his Mercedes, meanwhile, appearing to lose grip on his tyres as Leclerc and then Yuki Tsunoda both found their way by on consecutive laps, with Ricciardo making his way back past Piastri a few metres behind.

And after an entertaining dice throughout the field, Verstappen would remain untroubled in front as he took Sprint honours at Interlagos, ahead of Norris and Perez.

Brazilian Grand Prix 2023: Sprint classification

1 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull 30:07.209 24 laps
2 Lando NORRIS McLaren +4.287
3 Sergio PEREZ Red Bull +13.617
4 George RUSSELL Mercedes +25.879
5 Charles LECLERC Ferrari +28.560
6 Yuki TSUNODA AlphaTauri +29.210
7 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes +34.726
8 Carlos SAINZ Ferrari +35.106
9 Daniel RICCIARDO AlphaTauri +35.303
10 Oscar PIASTRI McLaren +38.219
11 Fernando ALONSO Aston Martin +39.061
12 Lance STROLL Aston Martin +39.478
13 Pierre GASLY Alpine +40.621
14 Esteban OCON Alpine +42.848
15 Alexander ALBON Williams +43.394
16 Kevin MAGNUSSEN Haas +56.507
17 Guanyu ZHOU Alfa Romeo +58.723
18 Nico HULKENBERG Haas +60.330
19 Valtteri BOTTAS Alfa Romeo +60.749
20 Logan SARGEANT Williams +60.945

Read next: Fernando Alonso responds to heavy Esteban Ocon collision at Interlagos