Sergio Perez won the first sprint race


The first sprint race of 2023 was confidently won by the Mexican driver of Red Bull, ahead of Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen.

Sergio Perez won the first sprint race

Based on the new sprint weekend format, Leclerc won the morning sprint qualification. Although, Red Bull's race pace was expected to be better than Ferrari’s. Perez, who started from second place, however, could not overtake immediately.

The placings were still happening when Yuki Tsunoda hit the wall at Turn 15. As a result, considerable debris appeared on the track and one of the tyres flew off the car. First there was a virtual and then a regular safety car period.

Leclerc restarted the race well, but Perez soon caught up and overtook him on lap 8. It could have thought that the Ferrari driver would be far behind after that, but that was not the case. He was able to stay within 1 second for laps, although there was no attempt to overtake, and, in fact, Leclerc had to pay more attention to the driver behind him.

Max Verstappen had been able to only qualify for third place, and he did not advance after the start either. He didn't have a good start and as a result George Russel was placed alongside him. They battled through corners, at least two contacts occurred between them, one of which caused a hole in the Red Bull's sidepods, but none of the drivers were penalised. At the restart, however, the Dutchman returned to his original third place and caught up to Leclerc. It seemed that Verstappen would be easily ahead of him, he was within 1 second for laps, but he couldn't overtake him (probably because of the damaged car).

Behind the Top 3 (Sergio Perez, Charles Leclerc, Max Verstappen), George Russel, Carlos Sainz, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Lance Stroll scored points as well.

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