Las Vegas GP 2023
NOVEMBER 19, 2023
Race Notes - Verstappen takes Vegas win
By Mark Karp
Max Verstappen won the Las Vegas Grand Prix in his Red Bull-Honda. Charles Leclerc, after leading the first segment of the race, made a last lap pass on Sergio Perez to takes second place, 2.070 seconds behind the winner. Perez finished third, 2.241 seconds behind Verstappen.
The win is Verstappen 18th for the 2023 season, and 53rd career win. The win is Verstappen 6th straight win in America.
Perez by finishing third clinched second place in the Drivers Championship over Lewis Hamilton.
Esteban Ocon (18.665s) in the Alpine-Renault finished fourth, followed by Lance Stroll (20.067s) in the Aston Martin-Mercedes in fifth, Carlos Sainz (20.834s) in the second Ferrari was sixth, Lewis Hamilton (21.755s) in the Mercedes GP was seventh, his team mate George Russell (23.091s) with a 5-second penalty, finished eighth, Fernando Alonso (25.964s) in the second Aston Martin was ninth, and Oscar Piastri (29.496s) in the McLaren-Mercedes took the final point position in tenth place.
Before the start, a ll drivers on medium tyres except Hamilton on hard tyres in tenth.
At 10p on Saturday night the drivers got ready for the start and came around on the formation lap for the newly minted version of the Las Vegas Grand Prix.
The cars lined up on the slightly curved start straight, the lights went out and the race began with coming to the inside of turn 1 and takes the lead ahead on Lelcerc, both cars going wide off the track in turn 1, followed by Russell, Gasly, Albon, Sargeant, Magnussen, Ocon, Stroll and Hulkenberg in tenth.
Alonso spins, and several cars have minor contact.
Perez pits and takes tyres, Bottas and Alonso pit.
On lap 3 Norris spins and crashes, and then goes wide in the run, the safety car is out. Stroll and Sainz pit.
Hamilton says on the radio that he hit debris.
Ferrari tells Leclerc that the stewards are exaining the original start.
At the end of lap 6 the safety car comes in and the race resumes with Verstappen taking the lead over Leclerc, Russell, Gasly, Albon, Sargeant, Magnussen, Ocon, Hulkeberg and Piastri in tenth place. Hamilton in 12th, Perez in 16th.
On lap 8 Verstappen is given a 5-second penalty for pushing Leclerc wide on the opening lap, and continues in front with a 2.3 second lead.
On lap 10 Piastri passes Magnussen for eighth place.
Ricciardo passes Tsunoda for 14th. Tsunoda pits.
Sainz and Alonso battling for 16th.
On lap 13 Perez passes Ricciardo for 12th. Ferrari radios Sainz that he will need to retire the car, he runs in 14th.
On lap 15 Verstappen leads Leclerc by 0.6 seconds. Russell pits from third for hard tyres and rejoins in 13th.
On lap 16 Leclerc passes Verstappen for the lead. Verstappen immediately pits, takes his 5-second penalty and rejoins on hard tyres in 11th.
Piatri pits. Hamilton with a tyre puncture pits and rejoins 19th.
On lap 19 Perez passes Ocon for second place.
At lap 20 Leclerc leads Perez by 14 seconds, followed by Ocon, Stroll, Sainz, Alonso, Russell, Zhou, Verstappen, Gasly in 10th, Albon, Piastri, Bottas, Sargeant, Magnussen, Hulkenberg, Tsunoda, Hamilton, and Ricciardo in 19th.
On lap 20 Verstappen passes Zhou for eighth.
On lap 22 Leclerc pits from the lead for hard tyres and rejoins third, Perez leads.
Russell passes Alonso for fifth. Later in the lap Verstappen passes Alonso for sixth.
Piastri sets fast lap.
On lap 24 Russell passes Sainz for fourth, Verstappen follows as well and takes fifth.
Ocon sets fast lap.
On lap 25 Verstappen comes down the inside of Russell and passes for fourth, the two contact with some damage but continue. Leclerc passes Stroll for second.
On lap 26 the safety car comes out. Perez dives in the pits. Sainz, Stroll, Alonso, Russell and Verstappen, as well as other drivers pit.
Behind the safety car Leclerc leads Perez, Gasly, Piastri, Verstappen, Ocon, Stroll, Albon, Russell, Sainz in tenth, Sargeant, Alonso, Zhou, Magnussen and Ricciardo in 15th.
Russell is given a 5-second penalty for his contact with Verstappen.
At the start of lap 29 the race resumes. Alonso passes Sargeant for 11th. Piastri passes Gasly for third.
Perez trails Leclerc by half a second.
Hamilton passes Hulkenberg for 15th.
On lap 32 Verstappen passes Gasly for fourth. Piastri sets fast lap.
Perez in DRS passes Leclerc for the lead.
Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m36 603s.
On lap 33 Verstappen passes Piastri. Ocon passes his team mate Gasly for fifth place.
Verstappen sets another fast lap at 1m35.596s.
On lap 35 Leclerc passes Perez for the lead once again.
Verstappen sets another fast lap at 1m36.239s.
On lap 36 Verstappen passes his team mate Perez for second place. Verstappen trails Leclerc by half a second.
On lap 37 Verstappen passes Leclerc for the lead.
On lap 38 Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m36.100s.
On lap 40 Russell passes Albon for eighth. Latter in the lap Sainz, Alonso, and Hamilton get past Albon.
At lap 41 Verstappen leads Leclerc by 1.3 seconds, followed by Perez (2.2s), Piastri (8.1s), Ocon (11.1s), Gasly (14.0s), Stroll (14.6s), Russell (17.2s), Sainz (19.1s), and Alonso (20.0s) in tenth.
On lap 41 Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m35 920s.
On lap 42 Stroll passes Gasly for sixth, who has a battery issue.
On lap 43 Leclerc locks up and goes wide at a corner, and Perez passes him for second place.
Piastri pits from fourth for his mandatory tyre change and rejoins 11th.
On lap 44 Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m35.614s.
Alonso passes Gasly for eighth. Later in the lap Hamilton passes Gasly for ninth.
On lap 47 Hamilton passes Alonso for eighth place.
Hulkenberg retires off track.
On lap 47 Piastri sets fast lap at 1m35.490s.
On lap 49 Russell passes Stroll for fifth place.
On the final lap under DRS Leclerc takes second place from Perez.
Verstappen crosses the line after 50 laps and takes the win, over Leclerc and Perez. Verstappen singing the song Via Las Vegas on the radio on the cool down lap.