Verstappen wins at COTA

Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris join the three-time champion on the podium for his 50th F1 win

AUSTIN, TEXAS - OCTOBER 22: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB19 leads Pierre Gasly of France driving the (10) Alpine F1 A523 Renault and Esteban Ocon of France driving the (31) Alpine F1 A523 Renault at the start during the F1 Grand Prix of United States at Circuit of The Americas on October 22, 2023 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202310220648 // Usage for editorial use only //

Max Verstappen secured the 50th F1 race win of his career as he took victory at the United States Grand Prix in Texas.

The three-time champion held off a late charge from Lewis Hamilton, having battled to get ahead of Lando Norris, who held on for the final spot on the podium.

There were just 16 cars on the grid at the start of the race as Haas and Aston Martin decided to start both of their cars in the pitlane.

On the front row, Norris made the better start, getting ahead of Charles Leclerc going into the first corner and quickly pulling away at the front of the field.

His McLaren teammate, Oscar Piastri, made contact with Esteban Ocon further back, and while both were able to maintain their positions, Ocon soon started to lose places to those behind, having seemingly picked up damage.

The Frenchman soon fell to the back of the field, and after losing more than six seconds in a lap he retired his car just seven laps into the race, while Piastri had to park his McLaren a few laps later.

Ferrari started to come under pressure, with Leclerc dropping down to third as Hamilton showed strong pace, while Verstappen moved up to fourth as Carlos Sainz dropped down to fifth.

Verstappen’s recovery from a disappointing qualifying continued as the champion battled past Leclerc, and was the first of the front runners to stop for new tyres, coming in after 17 laps.

The Red Bull driver switched onto a new set of medium tyres, committing him to a two-stop strategy, while McLaren switched Norris onto a different compound when he stopped a lap later, leaving a one-stop race as an option.

Mercedes tried to keep their drivers out longer in a bid to make just one pitstop, but both Hamilton and George Russell started to struggle, forcing the team to make a change.

Norris was soon caught by Verstappen, and tried to stay close to the Dutch driver knowing that the Red Bull man would have to stop again, but instead McLaren elected to stop Norris again sooner than those around him.

Verstappen stopped one lap later, and despite a slow pit stop was able to rejoin just ahead of Norris. Hamilton stopped later so had fresher tyres towards the end of the race, and started to close in on the rear of Norris’s McLaren.

Norris defended hard, but Hamilton did move ahead with six laps to go, and attempted to close the five-second gap to Verstappen ahead.

Fernando Alonso looked to be heading for points after starting in the pitlane, having pulled off some impressive overtakes throughout the race, but a floor problem forced him to retire late on.

Meanwhile, Alex Albon’s hopes of a top 10 finish came to an end when the Williams driver, sitting 11th, was handed a five-second penalty for track limits infringements.

Hamilton got the gap to Verstappen down to 1.5s on the final lap, but backmarkers allowed Verstappen to maintain the gap and hold on for the victory.

Yuki Tsunoda secured the bonus point for the fastest lap of the race, having made a late pitstop.

Provisional classification:

1 Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

3. Lando Norris (McLaren)

4. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)

5. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)

6. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

7. George Russell (Mercedes)

8. Pierre Gasly (Alpine)

9. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)

10. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)

11. Alex Albon (Williams)

12. Logan Sargeant (Williams)

13. Nico Hulkenberg (Haas)

14. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)

15. Guanyu Zhou (Alfa Romeo)

16. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)

17. Daniel Ricciardo (AlphaTauri)


Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin)

Oscar Piastri (McLaren)

Esteban Ocon (Alpine)

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