Verstappen’s pole position led him to the first corner despite fierce competition from the McLaren teammates Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri. Verstappen hung onto his lead, driving a dominant race from start to finish.
Piastri managed to get ahead of Norris by taking advantage of a virtual safety car while in the pit. However, Norris showed better form in the mid-race stage, forcing the McLaren team to switch their positions.
Mercedes‘ George Russell, who gambled on a one-stop strategy, appeared to pose a threat to McLaren‘s second and third positions. However, he was overtaken during the final stages of the race by Piastri, Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), and Carlos Sainz (Ferrari).
The 2023 F1 Japanese Grand Prix results saw Max Verstappen, driving a Red Bull/Honda RBPT, claim the top spot, completing 53 laps. Norris and Piastri, both from the McLaren/Mercedes team, came in second and third. The Ferrari duo, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr., finished fourth and sixth, respectively, separate by Mercedes‘ Lewis Hamilton in fifth.
Aggressive early racing in favour of the pole-sitter Verstappen, who started on medium tyres like most of the top 10, nearly saw the fast-starting McLarens of Piastri and Norris beat him to the first corner. Norris charged ahead of his teammate to momentarily secure second place.
The race required an immediate safety car due to a collision between Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) and Alex Albon (Williams) even before the first turn. Debris flew across the track, damaging Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa car. Additionally, a four-way clash occurred with the Ferraris, Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), resulting in a pit stop for Perez to replace a damaged front wing.
Verstappen sat 11 seconds clear of Piastri by half distance, with Norris – behind his teammate despite clocking the fastest lap on hard tyres at this point. A car swap occurred on lap 27 between the McLaren drivers, an action that grudgingly took Piastri a lap to comply.
Fresh-tired Piastri managed to get a third place from Russell on lap 42 around the outside of Turn 1. Leclerc also managed to overtake for fourth place a couple of laps later. Hamilton and Sainz closed in on Russell with five laps to go, Russell was ordered to relinquish his fifth position to Hamilton, and Sainz overtook him a lap later for sixth.
Verstappen was victorious by a margin of 19 seconds ahead of Norris, Piastri, Leclerc, Hamilton, Sainz, and Russell, securing the constructor’s championship for Red Bull.
The fastest laps of the 2023 F1 Japanese Grand Prix were dominated by Verstappen with a time of 1 minute 34.183 seconds, followed by Norris and Hamilton with times of 1 minute 35.247 seconds and 1 minute 35.611 seconds, respectively.