United States Grand Prix: Review

Published on 24 October 2023 at 20:00

Formula 1 returned to the United States for the second out of three races in the United States for the United States Grand Prix, held at the Circuit of The Americas in Texas.


Image Credit: Gongora/NurPhoto via Getty Images


Verstappen wins... But not as comfortably


It has been no secret this season that Max Verstappen has dominated the 2023 season, breaking many records in the process. However, this weekend was not as straightforward for the world champion.


Verstappen would start off with qualifying sixth during Friday's qualifying. The Dutchman went off the track at Turn 19 on his final run - that would have narrowly got him pole. However, with his off he would start Sunday's race from sixth.


Saturday would see a more comfortable day for the 26-year-old, securing the sprint shootout pole and winning the sprint race from Lewis Hamilton by nine seconds.


Sunday's race saw Verstappen having to give it his all to win the race. The Dutchman was complaining about brake issues throughout the majority of the race - often getting annoyed at his race engineer throughout the race also.


McLaren's Lando Norris lead the race for the first stint, whilst Hamilton also had great pace during the race. However, Verstappen would still come out on top, despite a late surge from Hamilton towards the end of the race, rapidly gaining on the reigning world champion.


Hamilton and Leclerc disqualified


Despite the race being finished, there was still more drama. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc were summoned to the stewards due to a plan infringement, breaking Article 3.5.9. e) of the 2023 F1 Technical Regulations.


Random checks were happening with the top four cars. The FIA found that Verstappen and Norris' cars were fine, whereas Hamilton and Leclerc's were not. The FIA's statement was:


"The skids located in the area -825 ≥ XR ≥ – 1025 are found to be not in compliance with Article 3.5.9. e) of the 2023 F1 Technical Regulations.”


Hamilton finished the race just behind Verstappen in second and Leclerc finished in sixth, despite starting the race from pole. However, both would be completely disqualified from the race, which could hurt Hamilton's hunt for P2 in the drivers' championship.


The results in disqualification had some significant changes in the results. It lead to Williams securing a double points finish, resulting in Logan Sargeant's first point in Formula 1.


Carlos Sainz would be promoted to the podium. It was not the first time the Spaniard would be promoted to the podium after the initial results. The 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix saw him get a podium finish after Hamilton would receive a penalty for his collision with Alex Albon. The Ferrari driver also got promoted to the podium at the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix after Sebastian Vettel was disqualified from second due to a lack of fuel.


With 50% of the cars being randomly tested being illegal, many have raised the point of the potential of other cars being illegal that have not been checked. Should the FIA check all the cars after the race instead of randomly testing a few?


Final Results


1. Max Verstappen

2. Lando Norris

3. Carlos Sainz

4. Sergio Perez

5. George Russell

6. Pierre Gasly

7. Lance Stroll

8. Yuki Tsunoda (Fastest Lap)

9. Alex Albon

10. Logan Sargeant

11. Nico Hulkenberg

12. Valtteri Bottas

13. Zhou Guanyu

14. Kevin Magnussen

15. Daniel Ricciardo

NC. Fernando Alonso

NC. Oscar Piastri

NC. Esteban Ocon

DSQ. Lewis Hamilton

DSQ. Charles Leclerc


Nathan Hartley

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