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2023 F1 Las Vegas GP results: Max Verstappen wins wild race

Verstappen overcame a 5s penalty to beat Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and his Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez.

Verstappen barged his way past Leclerc at the first corner, much to the pole-winner’s anger, and was given a 5s penalty but kept his track position at the front in the early stages.

Leclerc passed Verstappen just before his first pitstop, while Perez charged through the field after an early pitstop to change his front wing after a first-corner collision.

The race was interrupted when McLaren’s Lando Norris crashed out heavily on lap three, and again after Verstappen and MercedesGeorge Russell clashed just after half distance.

Perez and Leclerc swapped places, just as Verstappen caught them. Verstappen then passed them both to score his 18th win of the season. Perez took second when Leclerc ran wide, but Leclerc repassed him on the final lap to deny a Red Bull 1-2.

2023 F1 Brazilian Grand Prix results

Cla   Nº   Driver   Car / Engine   Laps   Time 
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda RBPT 50 -
16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 50 -2.070
11 Sergio Pérez Red Bull/Honda RBPT 50 -2.241
31 Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 50 -18.665
18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin/Mercedes 50 -20.067
55 Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 50 -20.834
44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 50 -21.755
63 George Russell Mercedes 50 -23.091
14 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin/Mercedes 50 -25.964
10  81 Oscar Piastri McLaren/Mercedes 50 -29.496
11  10 Pierre Gasly Alpine/Renault 50 -34.270
12  23 Alexander Albon Williams/Mercedes 50 -43.398
13  20 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 50 -44.825
14  3 Daniel Ricciardo AlphaTauri/Honda RBPT 50 -48.525
15  24 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 50 -50.162
16  2 Logan Sargeant Williams/Mercedes 50 -50.882
17  77 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 50 -1'25.350
18  22 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri/Honda RBPT 46 -
19  27 Nico Hülkenberg Haas/Ferrari 45 -
4 Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 2 -

How the 2023 F1 Brazilian Grand Prix unfolded

Polesitter Leclerc couldn’t hold on to his advantage on the short sprint to Turn 1, with Verstappen shoving him wide at Turn 1 to grab the lead. Moments later, Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz both spun. Perez needed a new front wing on his Red Bull, as did Alonso after being nerfed in the run-off by Valtteri Bottas (whose Alfa Romeo had been pushed from behind by Perez). Sainz dropped to 17th.

Russell ran third, ahead of Pierre Gasly (Alpine) and Alex Albon (Williams). Logan Sargeant (Williams) passed Kevin Magnussen (Haas) for sixth on the Strip on the opening lap, just before a virtual safety car to pick up debris.

The race went green again on lap three, with Verstappen running 1.8s ahead of Leclerc, but only until Turn 12 when Norris crashed out, just missing his McLaren team-mate Oscar Piastri, as his left-rear wheel appeared to fail. That caused a safety car period, during which Sainz and Lance Stroll (Aston) took a ‘free’ pitstop for hard tyres.

The race resumed on lap seven, with Verstappen getting the jump on Leclerc – who complained that he overslowed his Red Bull before jumping on the gas – ahead of Russell, Gasly and the Williams duo. Verstappen was then handed a 5s penalty for forcing Leclerc off the track.

Alpine’s Esteban Ocon snatched seventh from Magnussen, and Piastri followed suit after swapping eighth on lap 11. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), who like Piastri was on hard tyres, then passed Magnussen for ninth. Ocon, Piastri and Hamilton surged past Sargeant on lap 15.

Leclerc got into Verstappen’s DRS range just before one-third distance, and Russell was the first frontrunner to pit on lap 16.

Leclerc DRS-ed past Verstappen into Turn 14 on lap 17, before Verstappen made his first stop and took his 5s penalty. Leclerc ran long on his medium tyres, as Perez – who’d been on fresh hard tyres since his early stop – passed Ocon for second.

Verstappen dropped to ninth, behind Russell. Hamilton and Piastri clashed wheels, sending both to the pits due to punctures.

Leclerc stopped on lap 22, promoting Perez to the lead and Stroll into second. Sainz and Alonso were next up, ahead of Russell and Verstappen.

Russell DRS-ed past Alonso, as Verstappen did likewise under braking at Turn 1. Russell and Verstappen quickly caught Sainz, the pair moving ahead on the Strip at half distance.

Leclerc passed Stroll for second, just as Verstappen and Russell collided as the Dutchman took fourth, and a second safety car was required to clear the debris from his front wing. Russell was given a 5-second penalty for causing the clash.

Perez, Stroll, Verstappen, Russell, Sainz and Alonso all took second pitstops, with Verstappen not changing his front wing and gaining a spot from a delayed Stroll.

The race went green again on lap 29, with Leclerc leading Perez, Gasly, Piastri, Verstappen, Ocon, Stroll, Albon and Russell. Piastri lunged past Gasly for third at Turn 5.

Perez overtook Leclerc into Turn 14 with 17 laps to go, as Verstappen passed Gasly for fourth and then picked off Piastri for third. Gasly and Ocon swapped fifth before Ocon made it stick, despite the team telling them to hold position.

Leclerc reclaimed the lead at Turn 14 with a bold lunge on lap 36, just as Verstappen caught them. Verstappen cruised past Perez and chased after Leclerc for the win.

Verstappen outbraked Leclerc with 12 laps remaining and pulled away. Leclerc outbraked himself with seven laps to go, handing the runner-up spot to Perez.

Verstappen backed off to try and help Perez, but Leclerc grabbed second from Perez just a couple of corners from the finish line.

The penalised Russell finished fourth on the road, ahead of Ocon, Stroll and Sainz – but he dropped to eighth due to the added 5s.

2023 F1 Brazilian Grand Prix fastest laps

Cla   Nº   Driver   Car / Engine   Time   Delay   Km/h 
81 Oscar Piastri McLaren/Mercedes 1'35.490   233.779
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda RBPT 1'35.614 0.124 233.476
16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1'35.669 0.179 233.342
44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1'35.716 0.226 233.227
11 Sergio Pérez Red Bull/Honda RBPT 1'35.939 0.449 232.685
55 Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 1'35.984 0.494 232.576
63 George Russell Mercedes 1'36.071 0.581 232.365
14 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin/Mercedes 1'36.559 1.069 231.191
18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin/Mercedes 1'36.584 1.094 231.131
10  31 Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 1'36.637 1.147 231.004
11  10 Pierre Gasly Alpine/Renault 1'36.913 1.423 230.346
12  3 Daniel Ricciardo AlphaTauri/Honda RBPT 1'37.108 1.618 229.884
13  23 Alexander Albon Williams/Mercedes 1'37.357 1.867 229.296
14  24 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1'37.375 1.885 229.253
15  20 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1'37.455 1.965 229.065
16  77 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1'37.562 2.072 228.814
17  27 Nico Hülkenberg Haas/Ferrari 1'37.565 2.075 228.807
18  22 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri/Honda RBPT 1'37.587 2.097 228.755
19  2 Logan Sargeant Williams/Mercedes 1'37.740 2.250 228.397
20  4 Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 1'59.327 23.837 187.079
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