Max Verstappen claims a record-extending 18th win of the 2023 season in an action-packed race; pole-sitter Charles Leclerc’s chances dented by the timing of a Safety Car before he snatches second from Sergio Perez with a final-lap overtake
Last Updated: 19/11/23 7:53am
Max Verstappen overcame a collision and penalty to win a chaotic race as Formula 1’s return to Las Vegas resulted in a thrilling contest.
Pole-sitter Charles Leclerc denied Verstappen’s Red Bull team a one-two by overtaking Sergio Perez on the final lap, having cruelly had his chances of victory ruined by the second of two Safety Cars.
Leclerc had been the favourite for victory after establishing an advantage over Verstappen, who was made to serve a five-second penalty at the first round of pit stops for forcing the Ferrari off track when overtaking at the first corner.
However, when Verstappen pitted under the Safety Car, the Dutchman’s fresher tyres enabled him to surge back through the field and eventually pass Leclerc with 13 of the 50 laps remaining.
Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll also took advantage of the chaos to seal impressive fourth- and fifth-placed finishes.
Carlos Sainz recovered from 12th on the grid to finish sixth, having had his weekend ruined by a controversial 10-place grid penalty handed out for exceeding his engine part allowance after an incident caused by a faulty water valve cover in first practice on Thursday.
Lewis Hamilton advanced from 10th to seventh, overcoming two collisions, the second of which – with McLaren’s Oscar Piastri – resulted in a puncture, while his Mercedes team-mate George Russell was demoted from fourth on the track to eighth after receiving a five-second penalty for his collision with Verstappen.
McLaren’s Lando Norris caused the first Safety Car after a huge shunt on lap 4, which saw the British driver sent to hospital for precautionary checks.
More to follow…
Las Vegas GP result
1) Max Verstappen, Red Bull
2) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
3) Sergio Perez, Red Bull
4) Esteban Ocon, Alpine
5) Lance Stroll, Aston Martin
6) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
7) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
8) George Russell, Mercedes
9) Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin
10) Oscar Piastri, McLaren
More to follow…
After the thrills of Las Vegas, Formula 1 heads to Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit for the 2023 season finale and another stunning spectacle under the lights. Watch the Abu Dhabi weekend live on Sky Sports F1, with lights out on Sunday at 1pm. Stream F1 on Sky Sports with NOW