Max Verstappen clinched a thrilling victory at the Las Vegas Grand Prix, overcoming a five-second penalty and a fierce challenge from Charles Leclerc. While Verstappen celebrated, his teammate Sergio Perez narrowly missed out on a Red Bull one-two finish, overtaken by Leclerc in a dramatic final lap showdown.
Between the lines:
– Max Verstappen took the lead at the first corner and maintained it despite a five-second penalty for leaving the track.
– Charles Leclerc fought back mid-race with a one-stop strategy, briefly regaining the lead before Verstappen reclaimed it.
– Lando Norris experienced a significant crash, prompting a visit to the hospital for checks.
– Sergio Perez was close to securing a second-place finish but was pipped by Leclerc in the last moments of the race.
– The race was marked by strategy calls, tire management, and a series of minor collisions and safety car periods.
The Las Vegas Grand Prix was nothing short of a high-stakes thriller, with the glitz of the Strip setting the stage for a battle of strategy and speed. Verstappen, starting from second after Sainz’s penalty, immediately took the lead, which he held onto despite a penalty for a track limits infringement. His response to the penalty? A cheeky “send them my regards,” indicative of his confidence in the RB19’s pace.
Leclerc’s one-stop strategy seemed promising, but ultimately, the Ferrari couldn’t match the Red Bull’s speed. Perez, hoping for a Red Bull one-two, was outmaneuvered by Leclerc’s last-gasp lunge, a testament to the Monegasque’s tenacity.
The race was punctuated by incidents, including a significant crash for Lando Norris, which brought out the safety car and saw the McLaren driver taken to hospital for precautionary checks. Meanwhile, Hamilton, starting tenth, had a scrappy race but managed to avoid retirement despite some close calls.
Pit stops and tire strategies played pivotal roles, with Verstappen’s penalty not proving detrimental thanks to his and Red Bull’s masterful race management. Leclerc’s late pit stop was slow, but he managed to rejoin in a strong position, setting up the nail-biting finale.
In the end, Verstappen’s dominance was clear, but Leclerc’s last-lap heroics stole the show, ensuring the Vegas Grand Prix would be remembered for its high-octane drama. As the dust settled, Verstappen could be heard channeling the spirit of Vegas, singing “Viva Las Vegas” on his victory lap, a fitting end to a race where the Dutchman once again proved his championship mettle.