Red Bull driver Max Verstappen delivered another commanding performance en route to victory in the 2023 Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, leading home the Mercedes machines of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, with teammate Sergio Perez fourth.
Click here to subscribe to our print edition!
Verstappen controlled the race from lights out to the chequered flag to chalk up his fifth win of the 2023 season and his third triumph at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, while further increasing his lead in the championship standings.
Mercedes enjoyed a much-improved display to take a double podium, Hamilton surviving a first-lap clash with McLaren’s Lando Norris and overcoming an early battle with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, and Russell working his way up from 12th on the grid with a series of overtakes.
Perez put in a solid recovery drive – after starting 11th – to take fourth, just missing out on the final podium spot to Russell after a charging final stint, with Sainz completing the top five, having dropped away from the sharp end as the race developed.
Fernando Alonso could not add another podium to his, and Aston Martin’s, tally with a quiet run to seventh on home soil. However, alongside teammate Lance Stroll’s sixth place, the green machines bagged a solid haul of points.
After his podium heroics in Monaco, Esteban Ocon had to settle for an eighth position this time out, while a five-second time penalty given to Yuki Tsunoda – for forcing Zhou Guanyu off the track – meant the Alfa Romeo driver and the other Alpine of Pierre Gasly rounded out the points.
Charles Leclerc also gained a spot from Tsunoda’s sanction but could not secure a point after wholesale changes to his Ferrari post-qualifying – and his first Q1 exit since the 2019 Monaco Grand Prix – saw him start from the pit lane.
Tsunoda slotted in ahead of McLaren’s Oscar Piastri and AlphaTauri teammate Nyck de Vries, who were the first of the drivers a lap down on Verstappen, followed by Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg and the lead Williams of Alex Albon.
Norris was forced to pit for a new front wing after his incident with Hamilton at the start and had a lonely race to 17th, with the other Haas, Alfa Romeo and Williams machines of Kevin Magnussen, Valtteri Bottas and Logan Sargeant bringing up the rear.
Verstappen’s win means Red Bull continues their unbeaten start to the campaign, with the reigning double world champion – who also earned the fastest lap bonus – moving 53 points clear of nearest rival Perez in the race for the drivers’ title.
Mario Isola, Motorsport Director, Pirelli:
On a track that is particularly demanding for the tyres, we witnessed a race in which all three available dry compounds came into play; each one used extensively. The C1 covered 41.6% of the laps completed, then came the C2 (30.6%) and the C3 (27.9%). The decision to introduce the new 2023 C1 specification compound meant that a two-stop strategy was on the cards and was used by most of the teams. Compared with our pre-race predictions, we saw that the Medium was more competitive, partly due to the track temperature being significantly lower than last year’s race. Initial analysis suggests that degradation on all the compounds was lower, even with the softest C3. Notable examples of this were the first stints for the two Mercedes drivers, with Russell doing 25 laps and Hamilton 24, or Alonso’s middle stint (25 laps) running a heavy fuel load and yet running at a pretty competitive pace.
It’s been a hectic weekend for Pirelli. Apart from F1 here in Barcelona, we were also working at all three car racing series in which we are the sole tyre supplier – in Sardinia with the WRC and in France at Paul Ricard with the GT World Challenge Europe. Additionally, there was our two-wheeled commitment and in Misano (Italy), we celebrated Pirelli’s 20th anniversary as the sole tyre supplier in the SBK Championship. Pirelli is staying in Barcelona with two days of crucial testing this coming week aimed at next season. The programme is focused on the development of compounds that can be used without the usual pre-heating procedures
How the race was won from the tyre point of view:
Max Verstappen continues on his winning way, victory in the 2023 Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix being the Dutchman’s fifth from the seven races so far in the season. It’s his 40th career win. Proof of the reigning world champion’s dominance can be seen from the fact he secured the third Grand Slam of his career – the win, pole position, fastest race lap and leading for all laps. He did this previously in Spielberg in 2021 and Imola last year.
The Mercedes drivers filled the other podium places. Lewis Hamilton, who, along with Michael Schumacher, has won six times in Barcelona, was second, followed by George Russell.
Of all the cars that started from the grid, only Red Bull opted for anything other than the Soft tyre. Verstappen and Perez began to on the P Zero Yellow medium. Logan Sargeant (Williams) and Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) started from the pit lane, the former on Medium, the latter on P Zero White hard.
It took a lot of work to predict strategies for the Spanish Grand Prix, partly due to the low level of degradation on the compounds and the chance of rain arriving, although that was ruled out after a few laps. The first four all took the chequered flag on Softs. The Red Bull pair went from Medium to Hard (Verstappen after 26 laps, Perez 23), while Mercedes opted for the Medium in the middle stint. Aston Martin went for Softs for the first two stints, doing the last on the hardest compound. Others to finish on the Hard tyre were the Ferrari, Alpine and Alfa Romeo drivers and Logan Sargeant (Williams).
The Haas drivers were the only ones to pit three times. They started on Softs, switching to Mediums for the second stint, Hards for the third, and finishing the race on Mediums again. Lando Norris also pitted three times, but the first time it was to change the front wing at the end of the opening lap.
The fastest on the Hards was Alonso. Aston Martin’s Spaniard clocked a time of 1m18.083s on lap 49. Kevin Magnussen was quickest on Mediums in 1m18.069s, while Max Verstappen set the fastest race lap on Softs in 1m16.330s.
In his second stint, Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) did more laps (34) than any other driver on the hardest compound. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) did 32 on the Medium tyre in his last stint. Leclerc, Alonso and Russell did 25 laps on the Soft.
The track temperature dropped during the race. When the red lights went out, the track sensors recorded 30.9°C; at the end, it was 26.7°C (the highest on the grid was 31.3°C).
Pirelli is staying at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit for two days of testing for next season’s tyres, with Ferrari and Mercedes running on Tuesday and Wednesday. They will be trying various compounds to be used without being preheated. The next round of the Formula 1 World Championship is the Canadian Grand Prix at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve from 16 to 18 June.
2023 Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix Race Results
|1.||1||Max Verstappen||Netherlands||Red Bull Racing||1:27:57.940||26||170|
|2.||44||Lewis Hamilton||Great Britain||Mercedes-AMG Petronas||+24.090s||18||87|
|3.||63||George Russell||Great Britain||Mercedes-AMG Petronas||+32.389s||15||65|
|4.||11||Sergio Perez||Mexico||Red Bull Racing||+35.812s||12||117|
|5.||55||Carlos Sainz||Spain||Scuderia Ferrari||+45.698s||10||58|
|6.||18||Lance Stroll||Canada||Aston Martin F1 Team||+63.320s||8||35|
|7.||14||Fernando Alonso||Spain||Aston Martin F1 Team||+64.127s||6||99|
|8.||31||Esteban Ocon||France||Alpine F1 Team||+69.242s||4||25|
|9.||24||Zhou Guanyu||China||Alfa Romeo F1 Team||+71.878s||2||4|
|10.||10||Pierre Gasly||France||Alpine F1 Team||+73.530s||1||15|
|11.||16||Charles Leclerc||Monaco||Scuderia Ferrari||+74.419s||0||42|
|12.||22||Yuki Tsunoda||Japan||Scuderia AlphaTauri||+1 lap||0||2|
|13.||81||Oscar Piastri||Australia||McLaren Racing||+1 lap||0||5|
|14.||21||Nyck De Vries||Netherlands||Scuderia AlphaTauri||+1 lap||0||0|
|15.||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Germany||Haas F1 Team||+1 lap||0||6|
|16.||45||Alexander Albon||Thailand||Williams Racing||+1 lap||0||1|
|17.||4||Lando Norris||Great Britain||Mclaren Racing||+1 lap||0||12|
|18.||20||Kevin Magnussen||Denmark||Haas F1 Team||+1 lap||0||2|
|19.||77||Valtteri Bottas||Finland||Alfa Romeo F1 Team||+1 lap||0||4|
|20.||2||Logan Sargeant||USA||Williams Racing||+1 lap||0||0|
2023 Constructor Standings
|1.||Red Bull Racing||860|
|2.||Mercedes-AMG F1 Team||409|
|5.||Aston Martin F1 Team||280|
|6.||Alpine F1 Team||120|
|8.||Alfa Romeo Racing||16|
|10.||Haas F1 Team||12|
Here are the team-by-team highlights:Red Bull Racing
Oracle Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen drove to a dominant grid-to-flag victory in the 2023 Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya by 24.090s over Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, as team-mate Sergio Pérez just missed the podium after driving through the field.
Defending world champion Verstappen came into the Spanish Grand Prix after a brilliant win the previous weekend in Monaco and maintained his form in Barcelona.
After qualifying on the pole for the first time in Spain, the Dutch driver was never headed as he dominated his rivals to cruise to his fifth win from the seven races so far this season and maintained the team’s unbeaten season to date.
Team-mate Sergio Pérez, meanwhile, just missed the podium after driving through the field from 11th place on the grid.
The Mexican failed to make Q3 on Saturday after running off-track at Turn 5 during Q2 but fought through the field impressively. He just came up short in his chase of Russell to make the podium, however, and finished in fourth place.
Verstappen now leads Pérez in the Drivers’ Championship standings by 53 points, 170 to 117, ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix on June 18.
Max Verstappen, Driver, Red Bull Racing
To win here again feels incredible. It’s a massive pleasure to drive a car like this. It was important to try and keep the lead into turn one; it was quite tight. From there onwards, it was about managing the tyres, and I created a big gap. We went on to the hards, but I didn’t seem to have much grip; I was sliding around quite a lot. The pace was okay, but I couldn’t create more of a gap, so we switched to softs, and then I just needed to bring it home. We’ve had another strong weekend, and that’s what I like to see for the team. Hopefully, we can keep this up throughout the year.
Sergio Pérez, Driver, Red Bull Racing:
I am disappointed with today. We’ve ultimately paid the price for a bad qualifying. We did have a good strategy, but looking at where we started from, there was only so much we could do. I think P3 was possible, but if we wanted more points, I would have had to take more risks on lap one and potentially compromise my race. George went really deep on that first lap, gaining a lot of positions, but we took it easier to ensure we had more of a clean start. Then we got stuck behind the Aston Martin, and Alonso was quite hard to pass, so I couldn’t progress through the field as quickly as we would have liked. This weekend, in general, has been a step back, and we weren’t quite there, but there are plenty of things we can do better. All in all, we brought home 12 points today, and I think, looking forward, Canada should be a strong race for us. Everything is pretty close right now, so that will be interesting.
CHRISTIAN HORNER – CEO and Team Principal, Red Bull Racing
Another great performance from Max. The start was strong. He had to be firm but fair with Carlos Sainz into the first turn, and from there, he managed the race really well. We ran all three compounds today, and he had the pace to cover whatever was going on behind him, finishing with a 24-second gap by the end of the race. Max was totally in control. But it’s not just Max; the whole Team is operating at an elite level. We have a phenomenal car, we have two great drivers, and we are continuing to evolve and become more polished.
It was a good recovery from Checo, especially the second part of the race, and I think that will give him much more confidence. He had a difficult Monaco, a difficult qualifying, but a better Sunday. Looking at the gap between the two drivers, the pressure is off now, and we know what Checo is capable of. I’m sure he will refind that form from the early races in the near future.
Red Bull Racing Honda best pictures:Aston Martin Formula One Team
Both cars finish in the points as Lance and Fernando give their all at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Hear from Fernando, Lance and Team Principal Mike Krack after the 2023 Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix.
Two cars into the points on a challenging but fruitful afternoon at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya where Lance came home ahead of team-mate Fernando.
Friday and Saturday were busy days for the team under changeable conditions, with red flags punctuating the action. Sunday was a caution-free race under grey skies while our fans added the colour and noise, unfurling two huge AMF1 Team flags at Turn Nine before the race began.
From fifth on the grid, Lance started on a used set of Softs and enjoyed a stunning start to the Grand Prix. He kept up a solid pace, pitting twice, and finishing sixth for his best result since Australia.
Fernando also completed a two-stop strategy but went longer on the used Softs. Like Lance, he closed out the race on new Hard compound. He took P7 at home as Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One® Team left Spain with another healthy points haul.
Scroll down to read the post-race comments from Lance, Fernando and AMF1 Team Principal Mike Krack after Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix.
We didn’t have as much pace today on both the Soft and Hard compounds, so it was a tricky race for us. We tried to go longer on our strategy and hoped it would pay off later with fresher tyres, but our rivals had a little more pace.
I think the sixth and seventh positions were the maximum for us. I thought our performance seemed better in qualifying, so I think we need to look at why and aim to bounce back for Canada.
We still scored some solid points and we had no risk at the end of the race. I want to thank the fans for their passion, energy and support this weekend. It was very emotional and special for me.
It was a fun battle with Lewis [Hamilton] on the first lap; I’ve pulled that move off before so I knew there was a gap and figured Lewis would leave me a bit of space, which he did. That put me in a good position going into Turn Five and I could hold the place.
Then, from about five laps in, we really struggled with the pace. My tyre degradation was higher than expected but the cars around us didn’t seem to have the same issue, so it’s something we’ll look to understand for the coming races.
We bring home some good points finishing sixth and seventh, but I think we’d been hoping for slightly more today. I’m looking forward to heading to Canada, my home race, in a few days’ time.
Mike Krack, Team Principal:
It was good to have both Aston Martins finish well this afternoon and we come away from Barcelona with 14 points. Lance and Fernando pushed hard all afternoon, made some important overtakes, and showed great teamwork.
We should not be disappointed with this result – even though we did not quite have the pace to fight for the podium today. It was in the first stint on the Softs that we did not quite have the performance to catch the cars ahead and in the second and third stints, we managed our pace and had a comfortable advantage over the teams behind us.
Before we leave Spain, I want to say a big thank you to the passionate fans: their energy has been very motivating throughout this race week, and we have really enjoyed racing here.
Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team best pictures:
It was a decent weekend out on track for the Team at the 2023 Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, with Lewis storming to a second-place finish and George moving up the field from P12 on the grid to P3 at the chequered flag. We scored our first double podium of the year and moved ahead of Aston Martin, into P2 in the Constructors’ standings.
Lewis Hamilton finished second and George Russell third in the 2023 Spanish Grand Prix. Starting P4 and P12 respectively on the Soft tyre, both drivers made progress in the early stages. George vaulted to P7 on the opening circuit, with Lewis moving up to P3 within the first 10 laps.
After running a longer first stint, Lewis and George both switched to the Medium compound and used their strong race pace to move up to P2 and P3 just after the halfway point of the Grand Prix.
A final stop for another Soft tyre saw Lewis running in a comfortable second, with George managing the gap to Sergio Perez as he occupied P3. Both drivers saw out the final laps to claim the Team’s first double podium finish since Brazil last year.
With a significant points haul, the Team has now moved into second place in the Constructors’ Championship.
I am so happy after today. I didn’t expect us to come here this weekend and finish second. I was able to keep everything under control today. We couldn’t keep up with the Red Bull of Max (Verstappen) as they are in another league, but this is still a really positive result. For George to come through from P12 to P3 is also spectacular. I feel incredibly grateful to the whole Team, everyone back at the factory to Team LH all over the world who are always sticking by me.
We are learning more and more about the car. I am hoping that the car continues to be like it was this weekend. I am hoping from here onwards we are in a good place. For sure, there will be some circuits where the car isn’t quite in the right window but hopefully, the next few races should suit us.
It was a pretty good race today! This morning, I had a lot of confidence that I could move forward from P12 and thought that P5 or P6 was achievable. After a good start, our pace was just there from the very beginning. We knew after Friday that we had a good race pace, but you can never be 100 per cent sure if it will translate to the Grand Prix. I was really pleased it did, I was able to make some good overtakes and bring it home on the podium.
This result highlights all the hard work and efforts that have gone on at the factory to bring these upgrades. We had a strong race here last year, so the next couple of races will be key to see if we can consistently produce results like this and close the gap to Red Bull.
Toto Wolff, Team Principal & CEO
I’m really pleased with the hard work that has been done in Brackley and Brixworth and happy for everyone in the Team. It’s a good result but we need to be realistic too. The lower temperatures today and on Saturday really suited us; it was nice and fresh, not too hot nor too cold, and the car was in a mega window.
We took a decision to go in another direction early in the season; it was a risky move, but everyone has just pushed forward and we’ve got a good race car. We now need to just keep chipping away. We are a good Team at grinding away; once there is a clear direction we just go for it. Let’s keep our expectations real though. We’ve got a long way to go to catch Red Bull but it’s good to see we are moving in the right direction.
Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director
It’s great to see both cars on the podium again. It’s been a while! We’re obviously pleased with the result but it’s more satisfying to see the progress with the car. The Team have been working flat out since the Bahrain test to bring improvements to the car, and it’s nice to see that the recent updates appear to have brought performance.
The drivers did a great job balancing the need to push to overtake today with the tyre management requirements. The Team also did really well optimising the race. For sure this track suits the car, especially in the long run, so we’re realistic about our chances in Montreal. We seem to be moving in the right direction though and that’s the main thing. We’ve made good progress in the championship; Max is clearly out of arms reach for us at the moment, but we had fun today and we’re looking forward to the next races.
Mercedes-AMG F1 Team best pictures:
Scuderia Ferrari leaves Spain with ten points courtesy of Carlos Sainz’s fifth place. Charles Leclerc finished just outside the points in 11th place, having started from pit lane, as the team decided to change several components following the difficulties he experienced yesterday in qualifying. Carlos and Charles both felt an improvement from the car thanks to the updates introduced here, but the inconsistency of the car meant Sainz was unable to fight for a podium finish and Charles missed out on points.
The race. Carlos started on Soft tyres and held second place off the line, while Charles found that his Hard tyres did not deliver the performance he had expected. For his first stop, Sainz took on Medium tyres and then worked on defending his third place, once he had been passed by a faster Lewis Hamilton for second. Unfortunately, Carlos was also unable to fend off George Russell and dropped to fourth. At his second stop, he took on Hard tyres, eventually crossing the finish line behind Sergio Perez in the Red Bull. In his first stint, Charles was struggling a lot on the Hards, swapping over to new Softs on lap 15 after which his pace was good enough to take him to just outside the points places. He made his second stop on lap 42, taking on Hards once again, this set worked better than his first one and he continued to try and get into the top ten. However, for a long time, the Monegasque found himself in a train of cars that were able to use DRS and it was only in the final two laps that he could mount an attack on Pierre Gasly to get into the top ten, but he was unable to do so.
Canada in a fortnight. The World Championship resumes in two weeks’ time when the Canadian Grand Prix takes place in Montreal from 16 to 18 June.
Carlos Sainz #55
It was a tough race. Unfortunately, we couldn’t fight at the front as our pace is pretty much dictated by tyre management and degradation. I know Sundays have been frustrating so far this season, but we gave it our all on track this weekend and we will keep working on this new package and on developing our car.
Thank you to everyone out there in the grandstands cheering for us every day! It’s always a pleasure to race at home.
Charles Leclerc #16
Today in terms of balance the car was alright, but the performance was not at all consistent. We ran the Hards twice, but with the first set, I struggled a lot, while with the second one, it was reasonably good and I was catching Pierre (Gasly) towards the end.
We really must analyse all the data, because while the upgrades seem to work as expected, we are always slightly caught out by what is happening with the tyres and we struggle to get them in the right window which is a big problem. We ran the same tyre twice in the same race and we went from having a very bad car to quite a good one towards the end of the race. Now we will go back to the factory and find out what went wrong yesterday in qualifying because that’s what put us in a tricky situation today. There’s a lot of work to do.
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal
We made a step forward this weekend in terms of our qualifying pace, with Carlos on the front row after the best Saturday of his season so far. However, it is clear that, in terms of race pace, Red Bull and Mercedes are quicker than us.
As for the upgrades, I think we have made a step forward overall if you compare this weekend with Miami. Clearly, we know it is still not enough. Our problem is not our outright performance, it is our lack of consistency. Charles’ first set of Hards was a sort of a nightmare but then on his last set of the same compound he was happy with the balance: we must assess this inconsistency. Now we will focus completely on this issue before Canada. For sure we will continue to develop the car but this is a matter of improving by tenths of a second, whereas in the race we are looking for seconds at the moment. There is something in the car that we must unlock if we want to move forward.
Scuderia Ferrari best pictures:McLaren Racing
Hear from McLaren Formula 1 driver Lando Norris, Oscar Piastri, and Team Principal Andrea Stella after the 2023 Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix.
Contact between Lando and Hamilton on the opening lap means Lando tumbles down the field. Oscar loses two places, leaving him P12. Lando pits, replacing his damaged front wing, and swaps to Hard tyres. He comes out in the last position. Oscar moves up the pack and slots into P8.
The pit window opens. Oscar boxes for the Hard tyres and comes out in P15, and Lando swaps to the Medium tyres. We reach the halfway point, and Oscar and Lando are in P11 and P20, respectively. Cars pitting off ahead of Oscar shuffling him up to P7. Oscar boxes and swaps to Medium tyres. He’s P12 with 27 laps to go.
After moving up the grid to P15, Lando boxes for Soft tyres. He comes out in P19. Oscar drops to P13, passed by Leclerc. Lando passes Sargeant and Magnussen. The chequered flag waves. Oscar finishes P13 and Lando P17.
Today we had a difficult afternoon. We just didn’t have the pace, compared to what we had yesterday, which is more or less what we expected, so it was difficult for us. At the start I didn’t see the Red Bull go off track, misjudged how much the cars in front were going to check up and I just clipped the front wing. It was the smallest of touches, but it cost us a lot, although I don’t think we would have finished in the points anyway. It was a difficult day for us as a team, but we’ll keep working hard to try to improve.
It was a disappointing afternoon. Our pace in quali didn’t translate to the race, so it was tough. But it’s important we focus on taking the positives from Saturday’s quali result where our one-lap pace looked very strong. We now just need to work on the race pace as we head to Canada in two weeks’ time.
Following a very positive qualifying session, today’s Spanish Grand Prix was a more realistic showing of our current competitiveness. We knew it would be more difficult to perform at the top of the field on race pace today given the hotter conditions. The situation was compounded by contact on the first lap between Lando and Lewis Hamilton, which resulted in Lando pitting for a new front wing and falling 30 seconds behind the field.
I would like to praise the team today. Despite a difficult position, both Lando and Oscar both kept pushing, their engineering teams put in maximum effort to extract everything from the cars, and the garage crew delivered good pit-stops. Back at the factory, everyone is working hard to deliver upgrades and looking to the future when we hope to be fighting for more competitive positions.
McLaren Racing best pictures:Alpine F1 Team
BWT Alpine F1 Team added five points to its 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship tally today after Esteban Ocon finished eighth and Pierre Gasly tenth in the 2023 Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
The race was largely uneventful with both drivers on a two-stop strategy using all three tyre compounds. Esteban was in a race-long battle for a place in the top six – eventually ending in eighth – with Pierre on the cusp of the top ten after a tricky start to the 66-lap Grand Prix in which he lost four positions on the opening lap.
In the end, Esteban battled hard to take eighth and four valuable points with Pierre claiming tenth at the chequered flag for a solitary point. The team remains fifth in the Constructors’ Championship with 40 points.
We leave Barcelona with double points again so I think we can be satisfied with our work this weekend. We finished eighth in the end and I don’t think there was much more we could have done today, with our race pace perhaps lacking a bit compared to our competitors who finished in front. We’ll definitely take a look to see how we can improve that but, overall, it was a strong Saturday and a decent Sunday for us. We can be proud of the last couple of weeks but we know there is work to do to keep heading in the right direction.
Another double points finish but we always striving for more. On my side, it’s frustrating after such a strong qualifying yesterday and also the fact we showed a good race pace today capable of fighting in the top six. Unfortunately, the penalties and the poor start had a big impact on my race, and we’ll collectively review to see what we can improve for next time. The car is performing well – that’s three points-scoring finishes in a row – and we must keep striving for more. I’m looking forward to a bit of time off before taking on Canada in two weeks.
Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal
We come away from the Spanish Grand Prix with five points after Esteban finished eighth and Pierre tenth. It was a tough race with varying strategies and game plans. For Esteban he did a good job to be in the mix for the top six, just missing out in the end and there are certainly a couple of aspects from his race to be improved for next time. Pierre already lost six places due to the grid penalty after a superb qualifying yesterday where he was fourth and then lost another four positions on lap one after being caught on the wrong side of a scrum of cars in the opening turns. He did a great job to recover those places in the end to score a point. Of course, we are aiming for more than minor points – like last week in Monaco – but the performance of the car is solid and we’re taking the fight to those ahead. There are some things we must improve – small details to get right – and we look forward to racing in Canada later this month ready to keep battling for those higher positions.
Alpine F1 Team best pictures:Haas F1 Team
MoneyGram Haas F1 Team drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen finished 15th and 18th respectively at the Spanish Grand Prix, Round 8 of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, held Sunday at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain.
In a race in which all 20 starters were classified, Hulkenberg and Magnussen brought the VF-23s home in P15 and P18 respectively to lodge another double finish.
MoneyGram Haas F1 Team maintains a seventh place in the Constructors’ Championship on eight points.
It was a tough day in terms of tire management. At the beginning of every stint, it was quite competitive compared to everyone we were fighting, but our tires just fell off quickly and we had to three-stop which wasn’t optimal. Hopefully, we can try and learn about what caused it to improve, but certainly, it was a tough race. When you have a bad weekend like this, you tend to find some interesting answers and that’s what I’m hoping for now – onto the next one.
It was tough. Unfortunately, the degradation was really high for us and we had to three-stop whereas the competition didn’t. It looks at first glance that over one lap we’re competitive but in the long run we still have some homework to do and some pace to find.
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal:
Quite a disappointing result today, we just couldn’t get the tires to stay alive. We did one more pit stop than everyone else, but even if we hadn’t stopped, we would’ve gone slower and ended up there anyway. We need to go back to the drawing board and try to find a solution to our tire degradation.
Haas F1 Team best pictures:
Alfa Romeo F1 Team KICK brought home two precious points from the Spanish Grand Prix as Zhou Guanyu delivered a flawless race in Barcelona. The Chinese driver made a leap forward at the start, settling into the top ten during his first stint: a good strategy saw the team react to the unfolding situation on track and, by the end of the afternoon, this resulted in Zhou crossing the line in tenth place – and immediately promoted to ninth, following a penalty to Yuki Tsunoda.
Valtteri Bottas’s race was compromised at the start, as damage to the floor of his C43 from some debris had a severe impact on his car’s performance. In a race with no yellow flags, on-track incidents or retirements, Valtteri, starting in 16th, had no chance to recover to the points. The Finn ran line astern with Zhou for a few laps in the middle of the race, eventually playing the team game and providing a good rear guard action to his team-mate before finishing in 19th.
The two points gained see the team reach a tally of eight, equalling Haas and moving closer to the rivals ahead.
Valtteri Bottas (car number 77):
First of all, congratulations to Zhou and the team for getting points; he showed good pace, and that’s encouraging for the next races, as proof of the hard work put in by the team back home in Hinwil and here at the track. From my side, we found damage to the floor, probably from some debris picked up at the start of the race, and that cost us quite a big chunk of performance: as a result, I just lacked pace altogether today, I wasn’t able to put up a fight with anybody and it was quite a long race for me. I know we can put this race behind us and quickly come back on the right track before heading to Montreal in two weeks. The circuit will be once again completely different, and hopefully, it’ll suit our car. We had a decent race in Montreal last year, scoring a very good result for the team: hopefully, we’ll be able to replicate that and keep this streak running.
Zhou Guanyu (car number 24):
I really enjoyed today, it was a well-executed race from my side: I think these have been some of the best two days for me in Formula One, in terms of performance. I had a good first lap, and that was crucial to give us the opportunity to get something out of this race: our pace was strong, although there were times in which we had to manage our tyres wisely. I knew I had to keep the pressure on the others to bring home a result and, when the opportunity was there, I tried to force them to make a mistake. In the end, I knew I had the pace to take Yuki [Tsunoda]: I had DRS, I was half a car ahead going into the corner, but I wasn’t given any space and didn’t have any other choice than to take the escape route to avoid contact. In the end, things worked out well and we were able to bring home two points, which was a good result.
Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Team Representative:
Today, we showed that we’re ready to fight for every single lap, every single tenth of a second on the track. We have shown that by working together with determination and as a team, we can deliver the result we all, and our drivers, deserve. The field is very close, we saw that today: every thousandth of a second matters so we need to be aggressive and have a results-driven mentality. We had a hard fight on track with the Haas, the Alpines, and the AlphaTauris and to come out of this with points is a very positive result. Zhou drove very well, pushing every lap and working with the team on how to improve his performance. He is making good progress: especially after a tough weekend in Monaco, he showed the ability to bounce back with confidence and the points he scored are a good reward. Valtteri suffered a difficult Saturday, and today he suffered damage to his car that dashed any hope of a comeback. He will get back stronger in Montreal. We had a strong race as a team, with the right strategy calls from the pit wall and good execution. The team worked really hard and we’re grateful for their effort: the last few weeks haven’t been easy but we knew we would get back. We keep fighting, together with our partner Ferrari, which has helped us to today’s result. We had a reasonable pace throughout the weekend and we confirmed that the good things we showed in practice were not a fluke. We saw that our race pace is better than our qualifying pace, which is something we will address as a priority as we aim for another step forward ahead of Montreal. There’s no time to sit down now, there’s work to be done every day both trackside and in Hinwil, and we have full confidence in our ability to deliver.
Alfa Romeo F1 Team best pictures:Scuderia AlphaTauri
Scuderia AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda drove a strong race from 14th on the grid and had the pace to score points, but a five-second penalty handed down after making contact with Alfa Romeo driver Zhou Guanyu in the first turn left the Japanese driver 12th at the finish, while team-mate Nyck de Vries came home two places behind in 14th.
Nyck de Vries
Obviously, as a team, we wanted more. Although I had a good start, I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and got stuck on the inside, so we lost too many places and then got stuck behind other cars. We tried to undercut, but I was struggling to get past, which cost me a lot of time. Certain moments of the race were good and the last 25 laps on the medium compound were very competitive, so I think we just need to try and put it together better. This weekend has been competitive from the start, so I definitely think we are making progress with the car. Canada will be a different type of track, but I’m confident we can build on our improvements and capitalise on every opportunity.
I’m super disappointed and frustrated. I think the penalty I was given for forcing another driver off the track was very harsh but it’s something I have to accept. There was little space, but still, I thought it was enough. On the positive side, the team did a fantastic job to improve the brake issues we’ve been having and to put me in the fight for points the last two race weekends. It shows that the car is improving and the hard work is paying off. The weekend is done now and I’m looking ahead to the next race in Canada.
GUILLAUME DEZOTEUX – Head of Vehicle Performance
Until the very last moments on the grid, we monitored the weather closely as it was raining a few kilometres away. Surprisingly, it never arrived and we ended with a two-stop race, close to our predictions.
“Yuki drove fantastically. He was able to stay with Ocon for most of the race, which is encouraging regarding our race pace. Unfortunately, while defending Zhou in Turn 1, he didn’t leave enough space at the apex and received a five-second penalty for this, ending up P12. Nyck had a strong start, although he lost a couple of positions in the opening laps and ended up in a train of cars for most of the first and second stints. Nyck’s third stint on the medium tyre looked strong and he was able to close on Piastri towards the end of the race finishing P14.
This weekend feels a bit like a missed opportunity, as we believe we had a package strong enough for points and being closer to the midfield in qualifying. Nevertheless, we have learned a lot about our car in a wide range of conditions and this will give us valuable data for the developments coming in the future.
Scuderia AlphaTauri Team best pictures:Williams Racing
The race wasn’t easy, but it was better than I thought it would be. We were fighting and beat three cars on merit. Considering where we were on Friday and Saturday, I’m pleasantly surprised with how today went. You get no prizes for P16 but if there was some rain we could’ve maybe had something. This weekend showed that, unfortunately, when it comes to these proper race tracks like Barcelona we do struggle and lack a bit of downforce. We’ve got some upgrades coming soon and hopefully, once we get that increase in performance we can fight more in the midfield like the start of the year.
Until then it’s about maximising the car we’ve got. Hopefully, we can do a bit better when we get to Canada. Starting from pit lane didn’t cost us too much as we caught the back of the pack pretty quickly. The first two stints were pretty good which was positive, but that last stint was tricky. We need to understand why it changed from stint to stint as I couldn’t find the pace or grip. We’ll get rested up and ready for Canada in a couple of weeks.
Williams F1 Team best pictures: