Viva F1 Las Vegas Results! Max Verstappen Wins Entertaining Grand Prix

Jackson Wheeler
14 Min Read


Yes, Max Verstappen won again—for the record-extending 18th time this season—but it was an enthralling fight up front as Formula 1 cars raced along Las Vegas’ iconic Strip for the first time.

Verstappen Wins—This Time It Was Fun

Max Verstappen won again, but it was comfortably the most entertaining of his 18 victories this year. The Las Vegas Strip Circuit delivered in fine fashion its first time out as Verstappen prevailed in a three-driver fight for the win beneath the lights.

Verstappen took the lead for good on lap 37 of 50 and held off Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc by a comfortable 2.07 seconds. Red Bull’s Sergio Perez completed the podium in third, and no other driver was within 18 seconds of the lead at the checkered flag.

Verstappen had to fight back from a penalty—for running Leclerc wide into Turn 1 on the opening lap. He also came out on top in a battle with George Russell—one for which Russell was penalized—to stand atop the podium as the clock struck midnight in Las Vegas (3 a.m. ET), having sung Viva Las Vegas on the cooldown lap.

f1 grand prix of las vegas race

Sebastian Vettel’s win at Las Vegas early Sunday morning was the 53rd of his F1 career.

Getty Images//Getty Images

It was the 53rd victory of Verstappen’s career, tying Sebastian Vettel for third on the all-time list.

“It was a tough one,” said Verstappen. “I tried to go for it [with Leclerc] at the start. I think we both braked quite late, then I just ran out of grip and we ended up a bit wide, so the stewards gave me a penalty for that. Of course, that put us a little bit on the backfoot.

“I had to pass quite a few cars, then the Safety Car (came out) again. At the point already there was a lot going on in the race. Once we had the message to the end we could go flat-out. You could clearly see with the DRS around here it was very powerful, so even when you would take the lead, if the guy behind would stay in the DRS, he would still have an opportunity to come back at you. I think it created quite a lot of good racing, so it was definitely a lot of fun.”

Leclerc put in an accomplished performance to grasp the lead from Verstappen prior to the first round of stops, but his prospects were hampered by the timing of the safety car mid-race.

Ferrari opted for track position over fresh tires and Leclerc battled brilliantly, initially prevailing against Perez to hold on up front, before having to cede the lead to the recovering Verstappen. Leclerc went wide at Turn 12, losing second to Perez, but superbly hunted down the Mexican and lunged into Turn 14 on the final lap to re-capture the runner-up spot. It was one of the moves of the season and gave Leclerc a richly-deserved second position.

“I mean what a race,” Leclerc said. “Honestly, I enjoyed it so much. I am of course disappointed to only finish second but at the end that was the best we could do.”

It was a peculiar day for Perez, who started 11th and ran a long stint to benefit when the safety car was called, passed Leclerc for the lead, only to be twice re-passed by the Ferrari driver as well as teammate Verstappen. It marked the second successive race in which Perez has lost a place in a final lap battle. Despite that, Perez secured second spot in the championship, building an insurmountable points advantage over Lewis Hamilton.

Mercedes’ Trio of Incidents Prove Costly

After its dismal weekend in São Paulo, Mercedes had another lackluster result in Las Vegas, though this time it was a sequence of incidents that hampered its prospects.

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Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton finished seventh at Las Vegas after an early incident.

Jared C. Tilton//Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton was hit by Carlos Sainz into Turn 1, costing him places, while during his recovery he made minor contact with Oscar Piastri, though it was sufficient to give him a puncture. Hamilton had to complete a whole lap with damage, re-joining in last place, from where he recovered to seventh.

“It was a really challenging race,” said Hamilton. “I was grateful that I was able to still come back from re-joining in last to score some points. There are strengths in our car but sometimes it’s hard to extract all the performance from it. That is what happened in qualifying yesterday but I am pleased we were able to show our pace in the race.”

Russell preserved his grid spot of third during the early stages and was battling for second when he tangled with Verstappen into Turn 12. Russell dropped to ninth after pitting and while he recovered to fourth the time penalty for instigating the Verstappen clash relegated him to eighth at the flag.

“Today was on me; I simply didn’t see Verstappen,” said Russell. “He was totally in the blind spot, and we made contact; it was completely my fault. It was a real shame as we were on course for a podium. It changed the dynamic of the race too with the Safety Car. It feels like we’ve thrown another one away today and I am really disappointed right now. It is the story of our season.”

Mercedes’ bad day means Ferrari is only four points behind the Silver Arrows in the battle for second in the Constructors’ Championship.

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Lando Norris of McLaren had a short day at the office on Sunday.

Chris Graythen//Getty Images

Norris’ Run Ends With Nasty Crash

Lando Norris arrived in Las Vegas as one of the in-form drivers, with five podiums from his last six events, and a stirring recovery display in his non-podium result in Mexico City.

But his Las Vegas weekend was one to forget as a Q1 exit in qualifying was followed by a nasty crash in the opening stages of the race. Norris hit a bump through the high-speed left-hander of Turn 11 and was pitched into a heavy impact with the wall, before sliding along the track until suffering a second, less violent, impact with the TecPro barriers deep into the Turn 12 run-off.

Norris was taken to a hospital as a precaution though was discharged a few hours later after being given the all-clear.

“There’s a bump in that place,” said McLaren team principal Andrea Stella. “There’s a bump and you can see all cars spark when they go through this bump, and I think the combination of this bump and the cold tires might have surprised him. Otherwise we don’t see any issue with the car or of a different nature.

“It’s the same bump for everyone. So it just depends on your speed, the condition of your tires, how your car is positioned over the bump there, the position of the car ahead, so there are multiple factors. Just maybe Lando made the assumption that there was enough grip, but it’s a very tricky place. I’m sure all drivers will comment that that’s something that needs to be fixed.”

Norris’ exit, combined with Oscar Piastri only rounding out the top 10, trimmed McLaren’s advantage over Aston Martin to 11 points in the battle for fourth in the championship.

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Logan Sargeant started the race on the third row but was unable to finish in the points.

Chris Graythen//Getty Images

Williams Goes From Third Row to No Points

Williams locked out the third row of the grid after one of its strongest performances in qualifying for several years, and held position through the early stages of the race. But its prospects unraveled as the first stint progressed and it slipped out of contention for points. Alex Albon started fifth but fell to 12th, while Logan Sargeant relinquished 10 places as he dropped from sixth to 16th by the checkered flag.

“I suffered quite badly from graining today, it was difficult for us and the Safety Car didn’t help with most getting a pitstop with little consequence,” said Albon. “It’s one of those races that we’ll need to review after as I thought we were managing quite well but after the Safety Car in the middle of the race, I was racing everyone on old tires. I could just about manage my own race, but I had to push a bit more and it creates this cycle which is difficult to manage.”

Sargeant agreed that the mid-race neutralization hampered any chance Williams had of leaving with points.

“I don’t think there’s a lot we did wrong today,” said Sargeant. “As a team, we came around fifth and sixth after the first lap which was the goal. I felt like we managed that first stint relatively well but as expected the quicker cars started to come through towards the end of it. We went with our strategy and boxed for the Hard tyre with the plan to take us to the end. I don’t think we were in a bad position until that second Safety Car came out and it killed any chance we had.”

Fortunately for Williams, its opportunity missed did not prove fatal in its defence of seventh in the standings, with none of its rivals scoring. That should be the backmarker battle wrapped up given that Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit rarely turns the order on its head.


F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix

Results

  1. Max Verstappen, Red Bull, 50 laps
  2. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, +2.070 seconds
  3. Sergio Perez, Red Bull, +2.241
  4. Esteban Ocon, Alpine, +18.665
  5. Lance Stroll, Aston Martin, +20.067
  6. Carlos Sainz, Ferrari, +20.834
  7. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, +21.755
  8. George Russell, Mercedes, +23.091
  9. Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, +25.964
  10. Oscar Piastri, McLaren, +29.496
  11. Pierre Gasly, Alpine, +34.270
  12. Alex Albon, Williams, +43.398
  13. Kevin Magnussen, Haas, +44.825
  14. Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri, +48.525
  15. Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo, +50.162
  16. Logan Sargeant, Williams, +50.882
  17. Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo, +1:25.350
  18. Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri, +4 laps
  19. Nico Hulkenberg, Haas, +5 laps
  20. Lando Norris, McLaren, +48 laps

Constructors’ Championship Standings

  1. Red Bull 822
  2. Mercedes 392
  3. Ferrari 388
  4. McLaren 284
  5. Aston Martin 273
  6. Alpine 120
  7. Williams 28
  8. AlphaTauri 21
  9. Alfa Romeo 16
  10. Haas 12

Drivers’ Standings

  1. Max Verstappen 549
  2. Sergio Perez 273
  3. Lewis Hamilton 232
  4. Carlos Sainz 200
  5. Fernando Alonso 200
  6. Lando Norris 195
  7. Charles Leclerc 188
  8. George Russell 160
  9. Oscar Piastri 89
  10. Lance Stroll 73
  11. Pierre Gasly 62
  12. Esteban Ocon 58
  13. Alex Albon 27
  14. Yuki Tsunoda 13
  15. Valtteri Bottas 10
  16. Nico Hulkenberg 9
  17. Daniel Ricciardo 6
  18. Zhou Guanyu 6
  19. Kevin Magnussen 3
  20. Liam Lawson 2
  21. Logan Sargeant 1
  22. Nyck de Vries 0

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Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at Speedofdaily.com, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
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