2023 F1 Spanish GP: Winners and losers
The 2023 F1 Spanish GP is done and dusted and we have the familiar face of Max Verstappen on top of the standings once again.
The Red Bull driver won the race unchallenged and had no real contender to be worried about. It was interesting to see Mercedes make a jump while Ferrari and Aston Martin struggled this weekend.
In all of this though, once the 2023 F1 Spanish GP race weekend is over, who would be sitting in a corner chuffed at how it all panned out, and who will be miffed that things didn't go his way? Let's take a look.
2023 F1 Spanish GP
Max Verstappen is making this far too easy this season and the 2023 F1 Spanish GP was no different. It's hard to deny that when you know that all you have to do is not make a mistake and you'll win, it's a nice place to be in the sport.
At the same time though, all one needs to do is look across the other Red Bull garage to see how easy it is to make a mistake. Verstappen now leads the championship by 53 points from Sergio Perez.
Title battle? What title battle?
A P4 was a salvaging act from Perez but once again he should not have found himself in that position.
The Mexican is slowly but steadily starting to see the reality of being Max Verstappen's teammate. And slowly but steadily, he's starting to become the second driver at Red Bull again.
What an impressive weekend for Mercedes and a well-deserved double podium for the team as well. The team was skeptical of what it could achieve if everything aligned the way it should.
While qualifying was not straightforward, the race was and the drivers showed the kind of superiority with the package that hasn't been seen until now.
Kudos to the German team and hopefully this acts as the launching pad for the team to hunt down Red Bull's advantage at the front.
Ferrari proved at the 2023 F1 Spanish GP that the team is just not ready to be fighting for the title just yet.
There are far too many moving parts within the team that are not aligned properly and with all due respect, some of the in-race decisions have proven to be a complete joke.
The Fred Vasseur-led Ferrari did not look too dissimilar to the Mattia Binotto-led team at the 2023 F1 Spanish GP and this should worry the drivers because the much-needed improvement is just not coming.
In all fairness, Sauber needs to look around and find a replacement for Guanyu Zhou for next season.
The Chinese driver is just not the upcoming star that would ideally fit the criteria of a young driver in a midfield team and his results and pace in general have not stood out.
Having said that, all of that cannot discount the beautiful drive that Zhou had at the 2023 F1 Spanish GP.
Zhou exposed the underperforming senior driver in the other car and brought points home for Alfa Romeo. Kudos to him! He deserves all the plaudits.
This was the perfect opportunity for Lando Norris to get a strong weekend in for McLaren.
The conditions were somewhat overcast at the start of qualifying, just the way the car preferred. Everything was ideally the way it was supposed to be for the young driver to convert a P3 start into points.
Unfortunately, it was not supposed to be as the first-lap contact with Lewis Hamilton destroyed Lando's race. He trundled his way to the pits to change his front wing but at the same time, it was at this very moment that Norris found himself out of contention for any meaningful points in the race.
Norris will be gutted by that incident as it robbed him of a strong overall weekend.