Red Bull have sealed the 2023 F1 Constructors’ title following yet another win at the Japanese Grand Prix. Their untouchable nature throughout the season has been obvious – but behind them, absolute chaos to determine the rest of the standings could be afoot.
Despite Sergio Perez’s retirement in Suzuka, Max Verstappen’s 13th win of 2023 ensured that the teams’ title came back to Milton Keynes for a second successive year. This is Red Bull’s sixth championship, cementing their status as an all-time great F1 outfit.
Their sheer dominance over the rest of the field has meant that this season’s F1 Constructors battle has been a one-horse race, really. After Japan, Red Bull have more than double the points of their closest rival. This gap will surely continue to increase in the final six rounds of the season, too.
Whilst we’re here, why not check out the current standings in full?
2023 F1 Constructors’ standings after the Japanese Grand Prix
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Although Red Bull have run away, it is all to play for with regard to the minor placings. Bragging rights, as well as the all-important millions of dollars in prize money, are on the line as each squad looks to finish as high up as possible in the standings.
Let battle commence: the race for second
Firstly, just 20 points separate Mercedes from Ferrari. The Scuderia may have won a race in 2023, but the Silver Arrows have proven that consistency is key. Lewis Hamilton, in particular, has remarkably finished in the points at every round so far this season.
However, since the summer break, Ferrari have hit back. Carlos Sainz has strung together some great drives. Meanwhile, Charles Leclerc always has the potential to pull a big performance out when you least expect it.
These two storied teams will likely be battling all the way to the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi.
Can McLaren get Aston Martin for fourth?
McLaren’s mid-season renaissance is among the most startling that the sport has seen in a while.The British squad were off to their worst start in years after the first few rounds but now have registered multiple podiums.
By comparison, Aston Martin are trending in the wrong direction. They began 2023 as the nearest challenger to Red Bull. Now, though, they have tailed off rather dramatically. Fernando Alonso must have a bad back from carrying the team to results, too.
The culmination of this is that McLaren are within touching distance of Aston. They are 49 points back from Aston after Japan; and crucially, their car currently seems much better than the AMR23.
Following the double podium in Suzuka, Lando Norris was bullish about McLaren’s chances at securing P4 in the Constructors.
“I didn’t think it was that close. But yeah, if it’s 49 [points], then I definitely think so [McLaren can catch them],” he said in the FIA post-race presser.
Fighting talk indeed – although he and Oscar Piastri have just six races to bridge the gap.
The scrap at the bottom
Just 16 points separates seventh through to tenth in the Constructors of this 2023 F1 season. This is not a large gap – when you are scrapping for small points, though, this could be massive.
Still, Williams, Haas, Alfa Romeo, and AlphaTauri will ensure that even the action towards the back of the field will be engrossing. As mentioned earlier, the higher you finish in the standings, the more prize money you get. And this is more crucial for the teams at the bottom than any other.
Williams have a top driver in Alex Albon who has delivered all of their points in 2023. However, certain tracks do not favour his car’s characteristics. This could leave the British squad vulnerable to Haas, who are just nine points behind them.
Alfa Romeo have had a tough campaign, with a Valtteri Bottas DNF in Japan providing yet another brutal weekend. Despite this, a few P8s/P9s/P10s could see them leapfrog Haas into eighth.
Do not rule out AlphaTauri, either. Liam Lawson scored some valuable points in his temporary role, plus the car has looked better since the summer break. We will have to see if Daniel Ricciardo’s return can add some late-season spark to the Faenza squad.
Yes, Red Bull may have robbed us of the drama of a Constructors’ battle through their superiority. But with the teams so evenly matched, and so much at stake, we should see a truly gripping last few races.
Featured image credit: Getty