Piastri’s podium breakthrough as Verstappen edges closer to 2023 F1 title

Save articles for later

Add articles to your saved list and come back to them any time.

Melbourne’s Oscar Piastri has taken another huge step forward in his Formula 1 career, finishing on the podium for the first time.

He became the first rookie racer in six years to stand on the podium with his third-place finish at the Japanese Grand Prix behind Max Verstappen and Lando Norris.

Piastri also became the first rookie in the past decade to lead an F1 race before runaway series leader Verstappen returned to dominant form on Sunday afternoon, winning at Suzuka and moving a step closer to securing his third consecutive Formula 1 drivers’ championship.

Lando Norris (left) and teammate Oscar Piastri (right) with Red Bull team principal Christian Horner and Japanese F1 Grand Prix winner Max Verstappen.Credit: Getty Images

The Red Bull driver, who missed out on the podium a week ago in Singapore, started from pole and held on for his 13th win of the season.

McLaren’s Norris was second, 19.4 seconds behind Verstappen, while teammate Piastri was third.

With Verstappen’s win, Red Bull secured this year’s constructors’ title, their sixth overall and second in a row.

Verstappen increased his lead over Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez to 177 points. He could wrap up his third consecutive title at the Qatar Grand Prix from October 6 to 9.

It was a disastrous day for Perez, who was given a penalty for hitting Haas driver Kevin Magnussen and retired from the race after serving the penalty.

Verstappen saw his record 10-race winning streak come to end at Marina Bay in Singapore and came to Japan determined to get back on top of the podium. Prior to Sunday’s race, he led every session at the fast Suzuka circuit, where he wrapped up last year’s championship in a rain-shortened race.

Conditions on Sunday were ideal and Verstappen took full advantage.

The race got off to a thrilling start with Verstappen, Piastri and Norris going wheel-to-wheel but the Red Bull driver held his lead through the first two turns.

The safety car came out on the first lap when Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas made contact with another car, resulting in debris on the track. Verstappen was able to quickly retake the lead after his first pit stop and was never seriously challenged.

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc was fourth followed by Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.

– With AP

Most Viewed in Sport

From our partners

Source: Read Full Article