Max Verstappen has made a habit of finishing on the top step of the podium this season and this week in Vegas was no different, as he claimed his 18th win of the 2023 season. George Rees returns to provide a roundup of the Las Vegas GP.
A fast-starting Verstappen forced pole sitter Charles Leclerc off the track into the first corner, which would earn the world champion a five second penalty for his actions. Damage for Fernando Alonso, Sergio Perez and Valtteri Bottas would lead to an early pit stop under a virtual safety car for the debris on track, while a lap later Lando Norris brought out a full safety car for a hefty shunt that would almost collect his teammate.
Leclerc would retake the lead on lap sixteen as Verstappen struggled with his tyres and was forced to box. Contact between rookie Oscar Piastri and Lewis Hamilton would give both drivers a puncture, making a tough weekend for the seven-time world champion even tougher after a rough qualifying saw him exit in Q2.
A finishing position of seventh place would see Hamilton end the weekend poorly and miss out on second in the drivers’ championship. Contact between Hamilton’s teammate, George Russell and Max Verstappen would lead to a five second penalty for the Mercedes driver, greatly damaging his race and resulting in a disappointing P8 finish for the man who started the race on the second row.
A poor qualifying for Perez, also seeing him out in Q2, would be followed by an exceptional race for the Mexican. Managing to claim a third-place finish and just missing out on second as Leclerc put in a fantastic last lap move to clip second from the Redbull driver.
Perez was able to claim second in the world championship as Hamilton dropped out of view
After a questionable season for Verstappen’s teammate, with rumours circulating about his future, Perez was able to claim second in the world championship as Hamilton dropped out of view of that much needed runners up position.
A strong weekend for Ferrari places them just four points behind Mercedes in the constructors’ championship heading into the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi. While Ferrari have been putting in some impressive performances in the last few races, Mercedes appear to have gone backwards with the gap to third being drastically reduced after this weekend’s grand prix.
Second place would be a huge result for both teams
Second place would be a huge result for both teams after a record-breaking season for the Redbull team, as they look to close the gap to the current world champions for next season.
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