Verstappen secures 50th career win after United States Grand Prix victory

Verstappen secures 50th career win after United States Grand Prix victory

Recently crowned three-time world champion Max Verstappen secured his 50th career victory in the United States Grand Prix on Sunday.

Verstappen, who qualified sixth in his Red Bull car, battled his way through the pack to seize the lead before finishing ahead of Mercedes’ resurgent seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton by 2.225 seconds. McLaren’s Lando Norris rounded out the podium.

Norris had the best getaway ahead of the rest of the party when the lights went out. The McLaren driver quickly took the lead of the race as Leclerc slid back into his Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz’s line of sight. Meanwhile, Max Verstappen was closing in quickly on Lewis Hamilton, who had slid to fourth.

Oscar Piastri was following in sixth place in the sister McLaren after moving up four places in the opening lap. Russell was behind Esteban Ocon, who was in seventh. Perez and Gasly, who both started out losing three spots like Russell, made up the top ten.

The Ferrari team, however, soon found themselves in trouble as Sainz lost third on lap 4 to Hamilton and then fourth on next lap to Verstappen.

Charles Leclerc was shortly displaced by Hamilton for second place, and after passing him on lap 7, Hamilton appeared to be running more than half a second faster per lap than the pole-sitter. Verstappen adopted a more cautious strategy and only succeeded in overtaking Leclerc on lap 11.

Alpine’s Esteban Ocon became the first to retire from the race due to damage that forced a return to the pits after colliding with Piastri at the start of the race.

A few laps later, Piastri was instructed to employ large lifts at the end of the straight to cool the car, which was presumably prompted by the sidepod damage sustained after contact with Ocon. At the conclusion of that lap, the Australian retired from the race.

The first cars began to pull over for pit stops on lap 10. The two Alfa Romeos, both Williams cars, and both Haas cars, along with Lance Stroll pitted for a switch from their starting medium to hard tyres.

The race leader’s lead had once again shrunk to under 2 seconds by lap 15, with Hamilton taking 2 to 4 tenths away for every overtake. Verstappen was faster still as he ran in third, five seconds behind , but went faster only by a few tenths.

Verstappen surprised everyone by being the first of the leading contenders to pit. He went for a switch to a new set of medium tyres at the end of lap 16, and later resumed in ninth place, 2.5 seconds ahead of Ricciardo and 2 seconds behind Tsunoda.

The idea to pit was picked up by several teams, resulting in stops for Norris, Sainz, Perez, and Gasly.

Following a flat tire in Turn 1, Hamilton completed two more laps before pitting and resumed the race in fifth place, ahead of Sainz but much behind Verstappen, who had been ahead by the same length of time.

On lap 23, Leclerc made the final pit stop, switching from medium to hard Pirelli tires. As a result, Norris reclaimed the race’s lead, 2.5 seconds ahead of Verstapen and 7.3 seconds farther behind Hamilton. Sainz continued to trail Perez by 3.5 seconds while also running 3.5 seconds behind the lead.

The medium tyres on Verstappen’s car as opposed to the hard ones on Norris’ car allowed him overtake the McLaren on lap 29. Hamilton also went on to outperform Norris on the same hard tyres, as his Mercedes team even encouraged him to push harder.

The first driver to pit for the second time was Norris. There being no more fresh mediums, the McLaren driver fitted another pair of new hard tyres. Red Bull followed suit a lap later, and even though the stop was a full second slower, Verstappen still came out ahead of Norris by two seconds.

Sainz was in lead over both Verstappen and Norris, but Ferrari quickly pitted the Spaniard, moving him back down to fifth.

Hamilton pitted from the lead on lap 39 as Verstappen passed Leclerc on his way to Turn 1 to retake the lead. The Mercedes exited the pitlane to rejoin between Norris and Sainz. A half lap later, on the back straight, Norris overtook Leclerc as well and while attempting to close the 1.2-second gap to Verstappen, the McLaren driver set the quickest lap time.

Hamilton set to work as soon as he switched to his new medium tires—as opposed to the cars around him, who continued to drive on their worn-out hards.

On 20-lap-old hard tyres, the Mercedes was significantly faster than Leclerc, but Hamilton wasted valuable time by trailing Leclerc through the twisty sector before overtaking him on the back straight after the Ferrari driver defended in Turn 1.

Aston Martin was gathering data on their new aerodynamic package as the battle leading the way intensified with 15 laps left as Alonso and Stroll continued to stay abnormally within striking distance of each other.

Once both drivers had finished their second stops, Alonso stood in 10th place and Stroll, who was using the new aero package, was only 4.4 seconds behind him in 11th place.

The Aston Martin pair had overhauled Tsunoda before Alonso reported a rear suspension issue and with a lap that was six seconds slower than the leader, the Spaniard fell behind Stroll and Tsunoda.

Alonso completed another lap that was noticeably off the pace before stopping and retiring the car. It seemed that the floor had been damaged.

Hamilton kept pushing and overcame Norris. Now the lead over Verstappen was just over 5 seconds, and even if it shrank as Verstappen continued to whine about his brakes and demand his mechanic to stop talking while braking, it was still sufficient to win yet another Grand Prix.

In the meantime, AlphaTauri dominated the quickest lap this weekend. It appeared that Ricciardo would win fastest lap four laps from the finish, but Tsunoda was also brought into the pits a lap later.

The Japanese driver, who was in 10th place, earned an additional point for himself and the team by posting the fastest lap on the final lap.


1Max VerstappenNEDOracle Red Bull Racing56 Laps
2Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team+ 2.225s
3Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team+ 10.730s
4Carlos SainzESPScuderia Ferrari+ 15.134s
5Sergio PerezMEXOracle Red Bull Racing+ 18.460s
6Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari+ 24.662s
7George RussellGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team+ 24.999s
8Pierre GaslyFRABWT Alpine F1 Team+ 47.996s
9Lance StrollCANAston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team+ 48.696s
10Yuki TsunodaJPNScuderia AlphaTauri + 74.385s
11Alex AlbonTHAWilliams Racing+ 86.714s
12Logan SargeantUSAWilliams Racing+ 87.998s
13Nico HulkenbergGERMoneyGram Haas F1 Team+ 89.904s
14Valtteri BottasFINAlfa Romeo F1 Team Stake+ 98.601s
15Zhou GuanyuCHNAlfa Romeo F1 Team Stake+ 1 Lap
16Kevin MagnussenDENMoneyGram Haas F1 Team+ 1 Lap
17Daniel RicciardoAUSScuderia AlphaTauri+ 1 Lap
 Fernando AlonsoESPAston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One TeamDNF
 Oscar PiastriAUSMcLaren F1 TeamDNF
 Esteban OconFRABWT Alpine F1 TeamDNF

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