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Formula 1: Verstappen returns to victory, Red Bull double in Japan

Red Bull strikes again.

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Formula 1: Verstappen returns to victory, Red Bull double in Japan

Red Bull strikes again. After the Australian disillusionment, the Austrian team signed its third double of the season in Japan. On the Suzuka track, the RBs were simply untouchable.

Leading almost the entire race, Max Verstappen scored his third success of the season, the 57th of his career. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) and Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) complete the podium.

Author of his fourth pole in as many races, Verstappen negotiated the first start in Japan well. The first ? Yes, because the race was quickly interrupted. From turn 3, Daniel Ricciardo and Alex Albon were left behind in the peloton. The two cars crashed into the wall of tires without any damage to the drivers and this immediately caused the red flag. Race interrupted for thirty minutes, time to repair these essential protections for the drivers. The second start was a copy and paste of the first, but this time without incident.

Very quickly, the Red Bulls escaped in front. To never see them again. Behind, the battle raged for third place between Sainz, Norris and Leclerc. The first two quickly opted for a two-stop strategy with a stop on the 11th lap for the McLaren, then imitated by Sainz, while Leclerc started a single-stop strategy. And that would spice up the race.

At a crazy pace and after his early stop, Norris then had the means to envisage the podium but his team missed its strategy. Third near halfway, McLaren chose to cover Leclerc, who made his first and only stop on lap 26, dooming the Briton's chances of getting on the box.

Because during this time, Sainz remained on the track and would benefit from much fresher tires at the end of the race to eat up all these beautiful people. And the scheme was perfectly executed. On lap 36, the Spaniard came out with new mediums and quickly overtook Norris then Leclerc to score his 20th career podium. Eight seconds behind Perez and around twenty behind Verstappen, a sign that the Red Bulls have taken off again in Asia.

For the rest, we will note Leclerc's good race with his only stop, the Monegasque went from 8th place to 4th place. Special mention also for Yuki Tsunoda, 10th, who scores a point at home with his Racing Bulls. Finally, a word about Alpine. Another very complicated race for the Blues, who even touched each other at the start. This contact damaged the car of Pierre Gasly (16th) far, far away as did Esteban Ocon (15th). See you in two weeks for the return of the Chinese Grand Prix to the calendar.

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