Formula 1: Max Verstappen wins sprint race at United States Grand Prix
Austin (US): Max Verstappen converted pole position into a dominant Sprint victory at the United States Grand Prix as the Dutch driver took the chequered flag comfortably ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc.
Verstappen led all three sessions in the Shootout before winning from pole in the 100KM dash. He kept ahead of Leclerc at the start, before pulling out a nine second gap on Hamilton to claim his third Sprint win of the season on Saturday.
He will start from sixth on Sunday, after his pole lap in qualifying was deleted for exceeding track limits, but is still targeting another victory.
Verstappen had looked under pressure from his 2021 title rival Hamilton in the early portion of the Sprint. As well as that he was heard complaining of engine and driveability issues, but he says it was all under control.
“It was always like eight, nine tenths for a few laps, but that was all controlled into the braking zone,” said Verstappen as quoted by Formula 1. “The DRS, with such big wings on this track, is quite powerful. Once I cleared the DRS, we all settled into our own rhythms, and I think the pace of the car was very good today.”
Hamilton overtook Leclerc on the exit of Turn 1 at the start, and while he stayed within DRS range of Verstappen early on, he had to settle for second, with Leclerc holding off Lando Norris at the end to take the final spot in the top three.
Verstappen scored his sixth Sprint win in 11 events and also clinched the unofficial ‘Sprint Championship’ this season. The Dutchman leads start to finish in a Sprint for the second time this year after the Red Bull Ring. He’s also led five Grands Prix start to finish in 2023.