Max Verstappen has claimed his 50th Formula One victory as he crossed the line in Texas first to take top spot!
It wasn’t an easy victory for the Dutchman who was noticeably stressed with many heated team radios coming throughout the race from the Red Bull driver.
Completing the top three is the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris who takes third place.
A jumbled-up starting grid to what we’ve been used to. With Verstappen starting in sixth he found himself behind both Mercedes, both of the Ferrari’s and the McLaren of Lando Norris.
Both Aston Martin drivers and both Haas drivers started from the pit lane for this weekend’s Grand Prix.
Norris got the better start over Leclerc and took the lead by turn 1 as the drivers set off for 56 laps of racing.
Russell was noted for leaving the track and gaining an advantage but the Stewards decided no further action was needed.
By lap four, Norris had built a lead of 2.4s over Leclerc who was overtaken by Lewis Hamilton on lap six as he started his journey to catch his fellow Brit.
Esteban Ocon’s race came to a sudden end as he retired the car on lap 7. As Ocon’s race came to an end, it was Zhou Guanyu who was the first driver to pit and it came a few laps earlier than expecte. Zhou’s pitstop slowly started the chain reaction as drivers began to dive into the pits.
After such a high last time out for Oscar Piastri, where he claimed his first victory in F1, heartbreak struck for the Australian who had to retire his car on lap 11.
By lap 15 we were left wondering did Hamilton really have pace over the Red Bull of Max Verstappen or was Verstappen going for the long game?
The current World Champion pitted and went onto another set of mediums meaning he was committed to a two-stop strategy for this race. This raised many questions for strategies with other teams up and down the grid as to whether they were going one or two-stop.
Business as usual was resumed by lap 28 as Verstappen took the lead but it wouldn’t be a case of just building the gap, Verstappen knew he had another pit stop before the chequered flag so it was all still to play for.
But Verstappen pitted for hards on lap 36 causing Norris and Hamilton to pit in the following laps!
It was an action-packed race from start to finish with overtakes until the very end!
The rest of the top 10 concluded with Carlos Sainz ahead of Sergio Perez and his teammate Leclerc.
George Russell took the seventh place spot followed by Pierre Gasly and the Aston Martin of Lance Stroll. With Yuki Tsunoda concluding the final points position.
Daniel Ricciardo had a disappointing return to F1 as he finished in 17th (last of the drivers who crossed the line) as he made his second return to F1 following his broken hand which he sustained earlier in the season.
To note it was a special race for two of the Brits on the grid, as it was Lando Norris and George Russel’s 100th race in F1, after starting their F1 careers back in 2019.
F1 is back next weekend as we head to Mexico for Round 20 of the 2023 season.