Tag: Sergio Perez

2023 F1 Monaco Grand Prix Preview

Arguably the most iconic track in all of racing, the Monaco Grand Prix takes center stage again this weekend. A year ago the race began behind a safety car on the formation lap before being red flagged due to the pouring rain. Haas has both their cars out of the race by lap 27, with Mick Schumacher’s crash bringing out another red flag.

The story of the day was pole sitter Charles Leclerc pitting well after Sergio Perez and being double stacked with his teammate Carlos Sainz, losing far too much time and falling all the way off the podium. Perez took home the win with Sainz in second and Max Verstappen in third.

This weekend there is a chance of rain all weekend but, after having last weekend’s race in Imola called off due to the immense rain and flooding in the region, it does appear to be a relatively dry weekend. Currently it appears the chance of rain during qualification and race day sitting right around 20%. If there is rain, Pirelli will get the chance to debut their new intermediate and wet tires that don’t require tire warmers.

Ultimately, I anticipate some mild weather coming into play in the strategy of the day which, based on recent seasons, doesn’t bode well for Ferrari despite the fact they may have the best car for the circuit. I anticipate this being the first non-Red Bull win of the season, with Fernando Alonso my pick to end his win drought given how quick the Aston Martin is in the corners and the fact the track will limit the Red Bull DRS impact. That doesn’t mean Red Bull won’t see the podium, as I expect the Perez to have another excellent showing on a street circuit and finish second. Leclerc is my pick to round out the podium and give him his first podium in his hometown.

Other stories to watch will be how Mercedes does this weekend, as they are expected to debut a number of upgrades in Monaco despite it being a track that is easy to clip a wall. With many other teams holding off on their upgrades another week, this may be Mercedes making a desperate swing to regain traction as a top three team, but I am not optimistic.

A driver I think is a lock to finish in the points despite not being one of the top teams is Valtreri Bottas, as I expect him to actually finish in the top eight on Sunday.

We will also see the return of F2 and F3 giving us a full weekend of racing to take in as Monaco becomes the first European race of the season.


2023 F1 Miami Grand Prix

There were plenty of fireworks early in the Miami weekend with a car hitting the wall in both of the Friday practices. Come Saturday the practice was relatively uneventful in terms of incidents, and Max Verstappen put together a blistering 1:27:558 fastest lap. Then came qualifying, where plenty of drama ensued.

In Q1there were a number of incidents that were investigated by the stewards, but ultimately no penalties were handed down. On his home soil, Logan Sargeant had an abysmal weekend, finishing dead last in qualifying and later being one of two backmarkers and finishing P20. Also out in Q1 was Yuki Tsunoda, both McClarens, and a shock in Lance Stroll. Q2 provided another shocker when Lewis Hamilton failed to qualify in the top six for the first time and even failed to make Q3. Once Q3 began, the initial story was Verstappen making a mistake on his first flying lap and heading back to the garage before putting in an official time. That came back to bite him as Charles Leclerc spun out and hit the wall in the closing minutes, drawing a red flag and the end to qualifying, putting Sergio Perez at P1 and Verstappen at P9.

Come Sunday all eyes were on Verstappen and the question of whether or not he could be the first race winner from P9 since 1984, which he went on to accomplish with little struggle amazingly. Perez finished second, extending the battle at the top of the championship from the rest of the pack and giving Red Bull a stranglehold on the constructors race. Fernando Alonso found himself on his fourth podium in five races, finishing third. The story of the race really was the Red Bulls as there was not a single yellow flag during the race, much less a safety car. The big incident on the day was Carlos Sainz getting a five second penalty for speeding into the pit lane, although that didn’t impact the final standing as he finished more than eight second ahead of Hamilton behind him.

The overtake of the day and the driver of the day both also goes to Verstappen, with an impressive move to get ahead of Leclerc and Kevin Magnussen in a single turn.

In other open wheel news, the F1 Academy raced in Valencia. Initially Marta Garcia won double pole, but ultimately had her lap time deleted due to track infringements, giving fellow Spaniard Nerea Marti the pole out of Q1. Come race day, Hamda Al Qubaisi won race one with Marti in second and Lena Buhler getting her first podium of the season. Race two saw Bianci Bustamante on top of the podium with Buhler continuing a strong weekend and Al Qubaisi getting on the podium again. Race three was the first ever Sunday race for the F1 Academy, and Garcia took home her third win in six races, while Marti and Abbi Pulling rounded out the podium.

The F1 world takes the next week off before F1 through F3 hit the track in Imola, and the F1 Academy stays in Spain, but heads to Barcelona.

2023 F1 Miami Grand Prix Preview

Formula 1 is the only open wheel circuit taking to the streets of South Beach this weekend, but they are not the only ones on in the F1 family racing. F1 Academy will have their second weekend of races in Valencia, Spain on Saturday and Sunday, with qualifying taking place Friday. During Thursday’s testing, the two fastest laps were put in by the Al Qubaisi sisters, with Amna putting in a 1:34:143 second only to Hamda who finished her best lap in 1:34:071. Among the three other fastest racers in practice, it should come as no surprise Abbi Pulling is in the group, as is the Championship leader Marta Gacia, racing on her home track. In fifth is a fellow Spaniard who calls Valencia home in Merea Marti.

It would almost be a shock to see Garcia not secure at least one pole and one race win, but the other four are clearly excellent competition for her this weekend, as is the rest of the field, as every team scored at least a point in the first weekend of the F1 Academy, and there were seven different people who stepped onto the podium a week ago.

Clearly the focus this weekend will be on the streets surrounding Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, and even plenty of focus inside the stadium as the Paddock has been moved onto the football field this weekend. Last season was the inaugural race for F1 in Miami, and it was pretty well dominated by Max Verstappen who won the race and secured the fastest lap. The other two podium spots belonged to Ferrari as Charles Leclerc finished second after securing pole in qualifying, and Carlos Sainz finished third.

After seeing what the Red Bulls did this past weekend in Baku, it is hard pressed to believe they won’t finish 1-2 yet again this weekend, where I would anticipate seeing Verstappen defending his title with Sergio Perez finishing second. In a single lap setting, Charles Leclerc certainly has an argument to be the best in the sport and expect to see him prove it again by being the pole sitter, but ultimately falling down to third again this weekend.

Currently the weather looks like it will be kind as the highs are in the mid-80s all weekend with limited chances of rain, so we should see slicks all weekend long. In the first race most teams went with a single stop strategy going from mediums to hards, and we will probably see another single stop weekend.

One driver to really keep an eye on is going to be Logan Sargeant as it will be his first home circuit race and he is one of two racers still without a point this season. He had a good showing in qualifying in Baku, but the pressure of a home circuit is always tough, but it would make for a great story as Sargeant is the first American to take the cockpit of an F1 car in 8 seasons.

2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Recap

The streets of Baku are are typically good for some wild action, but the weekend’s featured races were actually rather calm compared to other years. The non-featured races were a whole different story though, especially the F2 sprint.

In qualifying, American Brad Benavides crashed bringing out a red flag leading to him starting at the back of the field in both the sprint and featured race, two races he ended up not finishing either. The big incident of the weekend though came at the end of the sprint when a massive crash in turn one took out six cars.


The driver of the weekend in F2 is unquestionably Oliver Bearman, who had the fastest lap in practice, qualified in pole position, won the sprint, and stood atop the podium in the featured race. American Jak Crawford snuck onto the podium in the sprint finishing third and came away with another point finishing tenth in the featured race. Championship leader coming into the weekend Ayumu Iwasa really struggled, qualifying 17th, retiring during the sprint, and finishing twelfth on Sunday finishing the weekend with zero points, allowing Theo Pourchaire to take over as the Championship leader after four weekends.

The F1 weekend was the first double qualifying weekend with there only being a single practice on Friday followed by the featured race qualifying. Then Saturday had the sprint qualifying followed by the sprint race, then the traditional Sunday featured race.

Pierre Gasly had a Friday to forget as smoke came pouring out of his car in practice and he found the wall later on in Q1that also saw Carlos Sainz and Zhou Guanyu spin and Nyck de Vries hit the wall. The surprise in Q2 was Sainz off the track again and George Russell in the Mercedes that had so many upgrades in the month break missed Q3. Ultimately it was Charles Leclerc getting a Baku hat trick, grabbing his third consecutive pole in Azerbaijan.

Leclerc continued his qualifying dominance in the sprint qualifying, grabbing pole there as well. The sprint race saw Leclerc hold on for a bit before Sergio Perez was able to get by and dominate the race, finishing nearly 4.5 seconds ahead of Leclerc, with Max Vertappen also making the podium.

Unlike a year ago when Perez beat Leclerc to the first turn, Leclerc held onto the lead early on Sunday, but eventually lost his spot to Verstappen and not long after Perez, as the Red Bulls looked were easily the fastest cars on the track yet again. On lap 10, de Vries went down the escape road that led to a safety car, but before the safety car was determined, Verstappen entered the pit lane, costing his multiple positions. Perez took over the lead of the race and got his pit in during the safety car and didn’t look back completing the double finishing two seconds ahead of his teammate. Leclerc held onto third despite being more than 21 seconds behind Perez, but it did give Ferrari their first podium on a Sunday this season.

With two laps to go George Russel pit for soft tires and managed to secure the fastest lap on the final lap of the day, earning himself an extra point.

With the double, Perez has closed the gap to Verstappen who now only holds a six point lead at the top of the driver standings, while Fernando Alonso is 27 points behind Perez. Red Bull has more than double their nearest competitor in the constructor standings, as it appears they will be running away with that championship this season.


Meanwhile, in Austria the F1 Academy got underway, with Abbi Pulling grabbing herself a double podium, but it was Marta Garcia who stole the weekend. While Amna Al Qubaisi won the middle race of the weekend, Garcia found herself on top of the podium twice, including the first ever F1 Academy race. Garcia came away with 58 points this weekend, while Al Qubaisi securing 36 points, and her younger sister Hamda finishing the weekend with 26 points, one more than Pulling.