Max Verstappen, 26, is already a world champion – but that doesn’t make him any less hungry to win Formula 1 races. And on Sunday night he won the drag race in Texas. Lewis Hamilton (38) came in second place.
This is the sixth time in his career that the Dutchman has won a sprint race in Formula 1. Three of them have come in 2023.
He won by nine seconds – despite only running 19 laps. Hamilton and Charles Leclerc took the other two podium places.
“I’m amazed at the differences between the best in such a short race,” says Viaplay commentator Atle Gullbrandsen.
Verstappen had the best start, followed by Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton.
Leclerc had to find himself overtaken by Hamilton, who consequently took up the pursuit of Verstappen. But he had to give up quickly. He did not have the opportunity to follow the Red Bull profile.
Max Verstappen was fastest during Friday’s qualifying – but that didn’t help – his time was disallowed because he was off the track. He is therefore only ranked sixth best in Sunday’s main race.
But he fought back on Saturday and earned a qualifying time in a shootout before the sprint. With the best starting track, there was no doubt that Verstappen would win the Texas sprint race.
– It will be different to start sixth on Sunday, but it will be interesting, says Verstappen in an interview on the field after the victory on Saturday.
– It would be great if we could keep Max behind us, says Lewis Hamilton.
Regarding Saturday’s race, he says:
– I tried to get closer to Max – but it was impossible to keep up with his speed.
George Russell had a turbulent day. He initially received a three-place qualifying penalty, then received a five-second penalty in the same race after being passed by Oscar Piastri. Russell finished eighth.
The main race takes place on Sunday at 21.00.
Results and points for the World Sprint Championship in Austin:
1. Max Verstappen – 8, 2. Lewis Hamilton – 7, 3. Charles Leclerc – 6, 4. Lando Norris – 5, 5. Sergio Perez – 4, 6. Carlos Sainz – 3, 7. Pierre Gasly – 2, 8 .George Russell – 1.
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