Formula 1

Formula 1: Verstappen saunters to victory in US Sprint

@F1 on X

Max Verstappen took a comfortable win in the Sprint race for the United States Grand Prix, leading Lewis Hamilton by 9 seconds.

The start of the Sprint saw Leclerc get away well to challenge Verstappen for the lead going into turn 1. Verstappen moved to aggressively cut off Leclerc, forcing him to take a narrow line into turn 1, and allowing Lewis Hamilton to make his way round the outside. Further behind Piastri and Sainz made minor contact with one another, although no damage seemed to have been picked up by either driver. Sainz would then go on to take 4th from Norris by the end of the first lap, making good use of being the only driver on soft tyres.

Oscar Piastri spent the better part of the opening laps gradually falling down the order without much to defend with. Perez was able to get past him on lap 3 at turn 12, with Russell doing the same round the outside just three turns later, however in doing so he left the track, and would be given a 5 second penalty as a result.

Piastri would then fall out of the points after Gasly overtook him at turn 1 on lap 5, with Albon then demoting him to tenth soon after. Things stabilised for the Australian after that, as it turned out his lack of pace was down to trying to call his tyres down, with their temperatures being more manageable for the rest of the race.

Hamilton had actually stuck with Verstappen for a few laps, and Verstappen hadn’t felt entirely comfortable with the balance of his car, though he would soon break away, not to be challenged once more until the end of the race.

Carlos Sainz would find that his soft tyres were no longer at their best as early as lap 5, as he started to be pressured by Lando Norris. However, overtaking the Ferrari proved to be a difficult task for the Brit, who would only be successful in his attempts to get past on lap 10, having been attempted a move once before on lap 7, only to be re-overtaken.

Norris overtaking Sainz would leave the Spaniard vulnerable to losing another spot to Sergio Perez, who was able to easily snatch 5th away on lap 11.

Things began to settle down in the race after that. The only significant battle coming in the form of Russell’s attempts to overtake Sainz, and was not finding as much luck as Perez had done a few laps prior. He would ultimately fail to get past the Ferrari in the end, and his 5 second penalty meant that he fell behind Gasly to finish in 8th place.

Lance Stroll’s race ended a few laps before the end, with his brakes having seemingly given up. He had been in 13th place at the time he was told to retire.

This is the third Sprint victory for Max Verstappen this season, the most any single driver has had in a single season. It is also Lewis Hamilton’s best Sprint result since the very first one at Silverstone in 2021, where he also finished second place behind Verstappen. The result means his gap to 2nd place in the drivers standings is down to 27 points.


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