Round 18 F1 GFT AI Driver Rankings: Verstappen wins Qatar GP and secures his 3rd F1 World Championship
8 October 2023
By Bob Francis, Managing Editor
Go Full Throttle Racing News
Lusail International Circuit, Qatar — Max Verstappen continued his mission this weekend in Qatar by dominating Qualifying to earn Pole for Sunday’s Grand Prix and finishing 2nd in Saturday’s Sprint race- carefully executing a conservative strategy to collect enough points to lock up the 2023 Drivers Championship. Verstappen then drove away from all competitors to win Sunday’s Qatar GP never being challenged for the win. That’s win number 14 for Max on the season where he has led 769 laps in 17 Grand Prix's.
Very tough day for 7x F1 Champion Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell went wheel-to-wheel moments after the start at the Lusail International Circuit, with Hamilton attempting to go around the outside of his teammate through Turn 1, creating a violent collision where Hamilton’s race was over seconds after it started.
With Hamilton out of the race, and Russell forced to pit for a new front wing at the end of the opening lap, two of Verstappen’s main rivals had been neutralized and the now 3x world champion never looked back.
GFT F1 AI Driver Rankings following the Qatar GP
“I think what made the race was my first stint,” said winner Verstappen. “After that I could just manage my pace, making sure that my tyres were always in a good window. But the McLarens were quick again today, I had to push for it, so it was definitely a tough race out there.”
The next stop on the 2023 F1 calendar will be Austin for the United States Grand Prix weekend, which takes place from October 20–22.