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Race report
Formula 1 United States GP

F1 United States GP: Verstappen beats Hamilton for sprint race victory

Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton to win the sprint race at Formula 1’s 2023 United States Grand Prix, with Charles Leclerc third – adrift for Ferrari and under late pressure from Lando Norris.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

At the start in Austin, Verstappen and Leclerc moved away seemingly in unison, but the Ferrari gained in the start’s second phase.

As he came slightly alongside the Red Bull, Verstappen edged his rival right across the track and close to the grass by the pitlane exit.

That left Leclerc pinched very tight on the inside of the uphill left-hand hairpin and with Hamilton swinging around on the outside line he was able to get a run on the Ferrari – coming by on the exit off the track in a move that was not assessed by race control.

By the end of the first lap of 19, Verstappen and Hamilton were well clear of Leclerc, and they continued to pull away across the race’s opening half as they were able to lap in the mid 1m39s with the Ferrari back in the 1m40s.

Hamilton made inroads into Verstappen’s lead early and had DRS for a few laps, but by the sixth tour he was back over a second ahead – the Dutchman’s fear of a drivability issue that impacted his sprint qualifying performance put down to sliding in the wind by Red Bull.

From there, Verstappen remained the only one of the leaders able to regularly stay in the 1m39s, which meant his lead quickly rose over Hamilton and was 3.3s by the end of lap 10.

There was little action in the second half of the race, with Verstappen continuing to pull away from Hamilton to an eventual winning margin of 9.4s, with Leclerc a further 8.5s back in third.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

There was at one stage big gap back to Lando Norris in fourth as the leaders had been able to scamper clear thanks to Carlos Sainz, using his softer rubber while the rest of the field ran the medium compound, to gain past Norris and Oscar Piastri at the start.

But the Spaniard then was soon under massive pressure as his rubber’s less durable nature came to the fore.

Sainz was getting most attention from Norris early on as Piastri went backwards fast, with Sergio Perez soon joining the two good friends and former team-mates in a battle for fourth at the mid-point in the race.

On lap 10, Norris finally got by Sainz at Turn 12 at the end of the track’s long back straight and so was facing a 6.7s gap to Leclerc, which he ate up over the rest of the race – finishing just 0.8s behind the GP polesitter who Norris will start alongside on Sunday.

Perez passed Sainz on the lap after Norris and held onto fifth to the end, albeit 4.0s adrift of Norris, with Leclerc just ahead.

Sainz held onto sixth a chunk ahead of Alpines’s Pierre Gasly, who was promoted into seventh thanks to George Russell’s five-second time addition being applied at the finish – the sanction earned for an off-the-track pass on Piastri exiting Turn 15 on lap three.

Russell felt he was pushed off, but the stewards decided his move was illegal, with Alex Albon putting the Mercedes under huge pressure for the final point with a late charge of personal best laps in ninth, which put him just 0.3s behind Russell once the Briton’s penalty had been applied.

That meant Russell held onto the final point in a race where Piastri tumbled to 10th behind Albon – an investigation into their battle early being given as no further action – and the Australian picked up a warning for track limits abuse.

The race’s only retirement was Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll, who was retired in the pits after the team picked up another brake problem on his AMR23.

F1 United States GP sprint race results

 
 
         
Driver Info
 
 
 
   
Cla Driver # Laps Time Interval km/h Pits Points Retirement Chassis Engine
1 Netherlands M. Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1 19

-

      8   Red Bull Red Bull
2 United Kingdom L. Hamilton Mercedes 44 19

+9.465

9.465

9.465     7   Mercedes Mercedes
3 Monaco C. Leclerc Ferrari 16 19

+17.987

17.987

8.522     6   Ferrari Ferrari
4 United Kingdom L. Norris McLaren 4 19

+18.863

18.863

0.876     5   McLaren Mercedes
5 Mexico S. Perez Red Bull Racing 11 19

+22.928

22.928

4.065     4   Red Bull Red Bull
6 Spain C. Sainz Ferrari 55 19

+28.307

28.307

5.379     3   Ferrari Ferrari
7 France P. Gasly Alpine 10 19

+32.403

32.403

4.096     2   Alpine Renault
8 United Kingdom G. Russell Mercedes 63 19

+34.250

34.250

1.847     1   Mercedes Mercedes
9 Thailand A. Albon Williams 23 19

+34.567

34.567

0.317         Williams Mercedes
10 Australia O. Piastri McLaren 81 19

+42.403

42.403

7.836         McLaren Mercedes
11 France E. Ocon Alpine 31 19

+44.986

44.986

2.583         Alpine Renault
12 Australia D. Ricciardo AlphaTauri 3 19

+45.509

45.509

0.523         AlphaTauri Red Bull
13 Spain F. Alonso Aston Martin Racing 14 19

+49.086

49.086

3.577         Aston Martin Mercedes
14 Japan Y. Tsunoda AlphaTauri 22 19

+49.733

49.733

0.647         AlphaTauri Red Bull
15 Germany N. Hulkenberg Haas F1 Team 27 19

+56.650

56.650

6.917         Haas Ferrari
16 Finland V. Bottas Alfa Romeo 77 19

+1'04.401

1'04.401

7.751         Alfa Romeo Ferrari
17 China Z. Guanyu Alfa Romeo 24 19

+1'07.972

1'07.972

3.571         Alfa Romeo Ferrari
18 Denmark K. Magnussen Haas F1 Team 20 19

+1'11.122

1'11.122

3.150         Haas Ferrari
19 United States L. Sargeant Williams 2 19

+1'11.449

1'11.449

0.327         Williams Mercedes
dnf Canada L. Stroll Aston Martin Racing 18 16

3 laps

    1   Retirement Aston Martin Mercedes

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