The Dutchman converted his dominant pole position into a 13th win from 16 races that puts him on the brink of a third consecutive world championship. 

It means that Verstappen can now seal the 2023 world title in the Qatar Grand Prix sprint race. 

Lando Norris, who briefly edged into the lead on the run to Turn 1 with a fast start, took second place ahead of McLaren teammate Oscar Piastri, who claimed his first podium in third. 

Charles Leclerc was fourth, ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, who held off the second Ferrari of Carlos Sainz to secure fifth. 

George Russell was a frustrated seventh after a bid to make a one-stop strategy work failed to come off. 

Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso settled with eighth place ahead of the Alpine duo of Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly, who completed the points-scoring places in the top-10. 

It was a nightmare race to forget for Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez, who retired twice. 

Perez made two trips to the pits for a pair of front wing changes - for picking up damage in separate clashes with Hamilton and Kevin Magnussen - before boxing initially on Lap 15. 

However, with Perez carrying a five-second time penalty for a Safety Car infringement, Red Bull sent the Mexican back into the race for a single lap in order to serve his punishment.

After a brief return, Perez’s misery was finally ended as he pulled in to retire on Lap 43.