Round 8 F1 GFT AI Driver Rankings: Max Verstappen Wins Spain GP, Mercedes Upgrades Pay Off
4 June 2023
By Bob Francis, Managing Editor
Go Full Throttle Racing News
BARCALONA, SPAIN — Same script, new track. Max Verstappen earned pole position in a thrilling qualifying session in Barcelona, then maintained his advantage throughout the Spanish Grand Prix for his 5th win in 7 races. It was Verstappen’s 3rd win at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, while further increasing his lead in the championship standings.
Other storylines from Spain: Checo Perez struggled in qualifying and started 11th, but was able to rally to a 4th place finish. The big story from Barcelona was the Mercedes upgrades. After weeks of talk and lingering questions, even through qualifying, saw a strong performance by Hamilton and Russell who delivered a double podium with Hamilton P2 and Russell P3. Hamilton was still 25 seconds behind Verstappen indicating there is still work to do for Mercedes to contend with Max and Red Bull for wins- but a huge step forward.
After a string of podium finishes, Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso was only able to produce a 7th place finish. Ferrari’s woes continued as Sainz faded from his starting position of P2 to finish P5 while Leclerc rallied from a 19th place on the starting grid to an 11th place finish.
There were no changes in the rankings as Max Verstappen dominated the field, led most laps and took the fastest lap point in addition to the win. Verstappen now leads Perez by 53 points and Alsonso by 71 points in the Championship Drivers points.
The next stop on the 2023 F1 calendar will be Montreal’s Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve for the Canadian Grand Prix weekend, which takes place from June 16–18.