Double podium for McLaren
Red Bull have secured their sixth Constructors' Championship. With six races still remaining in the season, they currently stand at 623 points, double that of Mercedes who are in second place with 305.
Returning to the top after a challenging weekend in Singapore, the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix is the 48th win of Max Verstappen’s career. In a showcase of his driving prowess, he dominated the race and finished a substantial 19.4 seconds ahead of Lando Norris in second.
Given Verstappen's outstanding performances so far this season, it appears increasingly likely that he could claim the Drivers' Championship by the end of Qatar’s sprint race.
Despite Verstappen’s reign and his likelihood of winning the remaining races, the season has been enlivened by the changing fortunes of other teams as upgrades have ebbed and flowed, adding intrigue and excitement to the season’s battles.
Although there was a significant gap between first and second, McLaren definitely have a cause for celebration. Achieving a double podium is a remarkable feat, especially considering the challenges they faced at the start of the season. Their impressive turnaround has seen Norris secure four second place finishes in the last seven races, making him the second highest scoring driver since the Austrian Grand Prix, behind only Verstappen.
Rookie driver Oscar Piastri also delivered a strong performance in Suzuka, earning his first podium after beginning the race from the front row. His qualifying result made him the fifth Australian in history to start from the front row in a Formula 1 race and the first rookie to do so since Nico Hulkenberg at the 2010 Brazilian Grand Prix.
Elsewhere in the standings, Lewis Hamilton is trailing Sergio Perez by only 33 points in the Drivers’ Championship and remains a contender for second place. Meanwhile, Mercedes hold a slender 20-point lead over Ferrari in the Constructors' Championship. Securing second place in both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ is within reach for Mercedes, but consistency will be crucial.