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Memorable moments of F1 2023

As F1 2023 comes to a close in Abu Dhabi, we take a look back at some of the most memorable moments from the season so far.

Fireworks light the sky at the end of the race

Fireworks light the sky at the end of the race

Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

When Max Verstappen won the season-opening Grand Prix in Bahrain, little did we know this year would be one of the most record-breaking in history, with 18 victories (so far) for the Dutch driver and just one non-Red Bull win all season.

That may suggest this season has been dull and un-dramatic, but in actual fact, there has been plenty to talk about. These are just some of the memorable moments…

EPIC ALONSO

Fernando Alonso and Aston Martin caused a stir from the start. The three-time world champion showed he meant business with not one but two stunning wheel-to-wheel moments on his way to a shock podium at the opening race in Bahrain.

In a thrilling battle with Lewis Hamilton that lasted almost a lap, the pair traded places several times before Alonso took the place at turn 10. He then went on to catch Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz for an equally hard but fair battle that also went Alonso’s way.

The Aston man went on to claim six podiums in the first eight races but the team failed to keep pace with development and he has only had two podiums in the last nine races. The odds of another to close out the season are.

AUSTRALIAN ANNIHALATION

The third race of the season in Australia was filled with drama – with two safety car periods, one virtual safety car and an all-time record three red flags. The odds of a safety car this weekend is 5/6, the odds of more than one are 5/2while a red flag is at 9/2.

The Safety Car Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23

Photo by: Lionel Ng / Motorsport Images

The Safety Car Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23

Back in Australia, the race was stopped after six laps when Alex Albon hit the barriers and a second red came out when Kevin Magnussen’s wheel detached in a crash. At the restart, Sainz and Alonso collided, Pierre Gasly helped team-mate Esteban Ocon into a double retirement for Alpine, and Logan Sargeant rammed Nyck de Vries in the back.

The race was stopped again, positions were re-set, and it re-started behind the safety car with the 12 remaining cars taking the checkered flag without any further racing. It was the lowest number of finishers all season, and the odds of less than 16 cars finishing this weekend are 10/1.

OCON’S MONACO MAGIC

In Monaco, Ocon secured Alpine’s first podium since 2021 with a third-place finish after overcoming an early race clattering from Sainz’s Ferrari and a rain shower that left other drivers bashing barriers and confusing their tyre tactics. He was the first French driver on the podium at Monaco since Olivier Panis in 1996.

Sadly, for him, it remains his only podium of the year but at the last race in Las Vegas, he managed to finish fourth. So, could a possible season-ending comeback could be on the cards? Unlikely. The odds of him getting back on the podium are 100/1.

PUSHING THE LIMITS

Track limits continued to make a mess of things this season, most notably throughout the Austrian Grand Prix weekend. In qualifying, 47 lap times were deleted and during the race, the FIA reported more than 1,200 instances of cars leaving the track.

In the end, several drivers were given time penalties during the race and a further 12 punishments were handed out after the race – meaning, embarrassingly, almost half the field were reprimanded and three of the top ten dropped places.

HAMILTON ENDS HIS DROUGHT

Hamilton put his Mercedes back on pole in Hungary for the first time since Saudi Arabia in 2021, ending his longest barren spell since 2007. It was just three-thousandths of a second better than Verstappen’s time – but that mattered not. It was his ninth pole at the track, giving him an outright record for poles at a single track having previously held it jointly with Ayrton Senna (8 in Imola) and Michael Schumacher (8 in Suzuka).

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W14

Photo by: Erik Junius

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W14

Since then, however, the closest Hamilton has got to pole is two third fastest times in Qatar and the USA. The odds of him getting a shock pole to finish the season off are 20/1.

DUTCH DELIGHT FOR VERSTAPPEN

In front of home fans in the Dutch Grand Prix, Verstappen delivered a performance that left his Red Bull team principal Christian Horner declaring him “untouchable” as the best driver in the world. After a double downpour put him down in 13th, he lapped at times two seconds faster than the rest of the field to climb through to the front.

It equalled Sebastian Vettel’s nine-race winning streak and was the eighth time this season Verstappen had won from pole. He has done so three times since, and the odds of him getting another pole and victory are 8/13.

PIASTRI SPRINT PERFECTION

Oscar Piastri has had a strong rookie season and although he has been out-scored by team-mate Norris 195 to 89, there is one thing he has that Norris does not: a victory (albeit in a sprint race).

The Australian has run particularly well in the sprints, starting and finishing second in Belgium and then going one better in Qatar with pole and victory. He went on to take second in the main race too, but has not been able to match that since. The odds of him getting on the podium in the final race of the year are 7/2.

 THE APHATAURI HOT SEAT

Alpha Tauri has had three different drivers alongside Yuki Tsunoda this season, with former Formula E champion Nyck de Vries disposed of after ten races and Daniel Ricciardo stepping in only to break his wrist and step back out for rookie Liam Lawson.

New Zealander Lawson’s excellent performances made it tough for Ricciardo to return, but when he did, he put his car fourth on the grid in Mexico and finished seventh. His performances since have not been quite as strong – but the odds of him finishing on a high with 18/1 for a top-six finish and 9/4 for a top 10.

Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri AT04

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri AT04

SINGAPORE THREE-WAY

Verstappen had a nightmare in Singapore, unbelievably failing to get into the top-ten qualifying shootout – and with the dominant leader out the way and struggling for set-up, the stage was set for what was one of the greatest race finishes in years, with Sainz, Norris, Russell and Hamilton in a nose-to-tail chase for victory.

Sainz cleverly and carefully backed up second-placed Norris to give his rival the benefit of DRS, helping to keep him ahead of the faster Mercedes pair. Russell then crashed out on the final lap, clipping the wall and going straight into the barriers to hand the podium to Hamilton. The odds of this weekend having more than one leader are 9/4.

FIGHT TO THE FINISH

In Mexico, the drama was further back, with a spectacular race for third place. Up front, Verstappen had a comfortable advantage over second-placed Norris, but behind Alonso was hounding down Perez in the closing laps. He grabbed third on the final lap, but in front of his home fans Mexican Perez was not giving up that easily.

As the pair came to the final corner, Perez jinked out to try and take back the place – but missed out by just 0.053 seconds. To put that in perspective, only three F1 races have had closer finishes when it comes to an actual victory – and the odds of this weekend’s race being won by less than six seconds is 6/4.

FROM POTHOLE TO PERFECTION

The most recent race at Las Vegas was in danger of being remembered for all the wrong reasons after disruption marred the build-up, Verstappen complained about the show and the track was damaged barely minutes after the action began. It was not a good start, but it all turned out well in the end as the race was filled with drama.

Verstappen got a penalty for pushing Leclerc off track, crashed into Russell and raced to victory with a damaged wing; Norris had a dramatic crash; and Leclerc passed Pérez on the final lap to take second – stopping a Red Bull one-two finish. The Champions will want to at least end with a double podium finish, and the odds of that are 1/1.

KEEP TRACK OF THE ACTION

To keep track of the action, wherever you are, the F1 Live Tracker from bet365 – is a good place to go – covering all the information you could possibly need, from all the practice sessions, through qualifying, sprints and the race itself.

Starting grid

Photo by: Erik Junius

Starting grid

It allows users to track each driver’s position from the starting grid to the finish, live throughout the race, with current leaderboard information, the latest fastest lap, current lap times, number of pitstops by driver, current tyre settings and driver gaps.

To make it simple to catch up, a timeline details all the important race updates – including all the key overtakes and incidents – and it also allows two drivers to be compared head-to-head within the race, highlighting them on the tracker.

On top of that, all the safety car updates, red flags and yellow flags are covered, while track information such as temperatures, humidity and chance of rain makes it possible to keep tabs on potential changes and challenges and more easily predict what could happen.

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