There have been five great races in Formula 1 2023? Maybe not all-time classics but certainly some interesting races that kept us on the edge of our seats towards the end of the race.
Max Verstappen may have come out on top in 19 of the 22 races in 2023 too, although he was pushed hard in some on his way to victory.
Lead battles have been few and far between, with most of the action taking place behind Verstappen, who won an unprecedented 10 wins in a row.
5) Italian Grand Prix 2023
We actually start off with the race Verstappen won his 10th consecutive race to surpass Sebastian Vettel‘s record of nine from 2013.
Ferrari took the fight to Red Bull when Carlos Sainz took pole position and led the opening 15 laps before Verstappen brilliantly picked him off going into the second chicane.
Sergio Perez also worked hard to overtake Sainz, who had a massive battle against Charles Leclerc, who nearly hit the back of his Ferrari teammate on the last lap.
Up front, Verstappen made history and Red Bull took a memorable 1-2 on Ferrari‘s home soil at the Italian Grand Prix and made an important win look easy in the end.
4) Dutch Grand Prix 2023
Mixed conditions created mayhem at the Dutch GP as several drivers pitted at the end of the first lap for intermediates as others stayed out.
Perez benefitted the most and took the lead as Verstappen came out in 13th after his pit stop but came through the field brilliantly as the battles continued behind.
More rain came towards the end of the race, forcing the event to be red flagged when Zhou Guanyu crashed hard at Turn 1.
There was some confusion when both Red Bulls pitted as Perez lost second place to Fernando Alonso, who couldn’t do anything about Verstappen.
Perez received a five-second time penalty amid the chaos due to speeding in the pit lane, so Pierre Gasly stood on the third step of the podium for Alpine.
3) United States Grand Prix 2023
Lando Norris made the perfect start to take the lead from Leclerc at the United States GP, with Verstappen back in sixth due to a mistake in qualifying for track limits.
Norris tried to get away, knowing Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton were going to be threats later in the race. Verstappen crucially undercut Hamilton at the first round of pit stops and set about chasing Norris.
He overtook the McLaren driver at the halfway mark of the race but it wasn’t over yet. Norris tried to undercut Verstappen but failed as Hamilton went longer to give himself fresher tyres for the final part of the race.
Hamilton had a great tussle with Norris and eventually got by at Turn 1. Verstappen was suffering from brake issues which set up a tense finish but Hamilton couldn’t quite get there and crossed the line two seconds behind his rival.
Unfortunately, Hamilton and Leclerc were both disqualified post-race for excessive plank wear, so lost their respective second and sixth places. Nevertheless, the race itself was a great game of strategy between three different teams.
2) Las Vegas Grand Prix 2023
Las Vegas certainly lived up to all of the hype with the most lead changes on track of the year. Verstappen aggressively got to the front off the start but was handed a five-second time penalty for forcing Leclerc off the track.
Leclerc overtook Verstappen before the first pit stops anyway and was favourite to win until a safety car for debris changed the complexion of the race.
Verstappen and Perez, who was near the back early in the race, both pitted for fresh tyres as Leclerc stayed out. The timing of the safety car was perfect for Perez, who traded positions with Leclerc and Verstappen for the top places.
Verstappen overtook both drivers and a mistake from Leclerc gave Perez second place with seven laps to go. However, the Ferrari driver didn’t give up and made arguably the move of the season with a last lap lunge at the final braking zone on Perez to snatch the position back as Verstappen won.
1) Singapore Grand Prix 2023
Perez and Verstappen‘s surprise Q2 eliminations set the Singapore GP up perfectly and it was Sainz who took full advantage with a stunning performance.
Pole-sitter Sainz kept the lead as Leclerc jumped Russell on the run down to Turn 1. Then came a game of cat and mouse as the Ferrari drivers controlled the pace and kept the field bunched together.
A safety car for debris mixed up the race and most of the leading runners pitted apart from Verstappen and Perez, who thus went backwards on the restart with overtakes everywhere.
At the front it was Sainz leading Norris, Leclerc, Russell and Hamilton in a group. Esteban Ocon came to a halt which triggered a virtual safety car and Mercedes elected to pit both Russell and Hamilton onto new medium tyres.
With fresher rubber, the Mercedes duo were taking more than a second out of the leaders with 23 laps remaining. They closed their 18-second deficit and overtook Leclerc to get onto the tail of second-placed Norris.
Smartly, Sainz gave Norris DRS to protect the McLaren driver, who was just able to fend off Russell when the pair briefly went side by side on the run down to Turn 16.
It was incredibly intense and Russell crashed on the final lap at Turn 10, such was the pace, and Sainz ended Red Bull‘s 100 percent winning streak in 2023, which proved to be the only race Verstappen and Perez didn’t win all season.