Verstappen Steam Rolls Competition in US Grand Prix Sprint

October 21, 2023Ramon Jones
Formula 1

Max Verstappen starting from P1 got to work almost immediately showing no intention of riding out the remainder of the season. With the championship already decided Verstappen has his sights on secured a third win at the United States Grand Prix. Securing pole in the sprint race was a redeeming moment for Verstappen as he missed out on pole position in the Grand Prix due to an error where he exceeded track limits and had his best lap time deleted. That did phase him in the sprint shootout and thus he was was able to utilize track position to take home the sprint win.

After the race Verstappen had the following words regarding whether the result will carry over to the the Grand Prix, “I’m definitely going to try. It’s five cars to pass which is never straightforward. But with the pace I think we had today, hopefully with more fuel in the car tomorrow it will be even better. We will find out tomorrow but for sure this was a very positive day for us and hopefully we show something similar out there tomorrow.

Verstappen Continued on His Strong Performance

“We had a strong day out there today. It was quite tight at the start with Charles but after that we could focus on our own race. The pace of the car was really good, a bit better than we expected, we looked after our tires quite well. Starting in P6 tomorrow will be interesting, we’ll try and stay out of trouble on the first lap and then we’ll take it step by step making our way through the field. Hopefully we can have some fun out there tomorrow.”

Sergio Perez Still not on pace for Podium Sergio Perez finished P5 in the sprint race. with rumors flying about whether he will retire relinquishing his 2024 seat. He said, “I’m just laughing at it,” referring to the retirement rumors. “There’s nothing I can do. I am fully focused on my job. That really sums up my season. A guy said something about me and then all of a sudden, it becomes true. But I have a contract for next year and I have no reason not to complete that contract. I’m going to give my very best to it. I’ve done a commitment. But more than that, it will not be my final contract in F1.”

Hamilton Is Closing in on Second Place fight

Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) finished P2 in the sprint allowing him to further cut into Sergio Perez’s lead in the drivers championship. Perez now only holds a 27 point lead over Hamilton. With more points available in the Grand Prix it is imperative for Perez to finish ahead of Hamilton to prevent anymore ground being lost. The feat will be difficult considering Hamilton will start the grand prix from P3 while Perez will start in the middle of the pack at P9.

Hamilton had the following words about tomorrows race, “Starting ahead of Max tomorrow is helpful. Ultimately, I think he will be breathing down our necks before too long given the pace that he had today. I think that will open up a good fight though between ourselves, the Ferraris and the McLarens. We’re all quite similar in pace this weekend by the looks of it so I hope we get to have a good battle tomorrow. Keeping Max behind would be awesome but if not, we’ll do everything we can to finish on the podium and bring home good points.”

Hamilton’s focus doesn’t appear to be on Perez. Its clear he is competing with the man who bested him this year and that is all he is focused on. Hamilton is just focused on bringing home as many points as he can. In a season where Mercedes thought all was lost, Hamilton ahs been able to salvage a solid result in a year where many discounted him.

Leclerc Will Need to Find Pace in Grand Prix

After securing pole position for the grand prix Leclerc could only muster the pace to finish P3 in the sprint. Leclerc lost a position after starting P2 in the race. After the race he had the following comments, “There was an opportunity at the start so I went for it and tried to overtake Max [Verstappen] in the first corner. I lost a position to Lewis [Hamilton] there, Mercedes were a bit stronger in terms of race pace than we expected and so now we have to work on being a step ahead for the race.

We have quite a lot of data available for analysis, as we ran our two cars on different strategies, which helped us to gain an insight into the behavior of the soft compound. Hopefully this will give us an advantage tomorrow and we will do everything we can to bring home the win.”

The US Grand Prix will start tomorrow at 2:00pm local time.

United States GP Sprint Result (Top 10)

1) Max Verstappen, Red Bull (8 points)
2) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes (7 points)
3) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari (6 points)
4) Lando Norris, McLaren (5 points)
5) Sergio Perez, Red Bull (4 points)
6) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari (3 points)
7) Pierre Gasly, Alpine (2 points)
8) George Russell, Mercedes (1 point)
9) Alex Albon, Williams
10) Oscar Piastri, McLaren