Red Bull’s Max Verstappen beat Charles Leclerc to victory at the Las Vegas Grand Prix on Saturday night.
Verstappen had been given a five-second penalty when he was ruled to have pushed polesitter Leclerc off the track at the first corner, where Fernando Alonso was also involved in contact with Valtteri Bottas after the Spaniard lost grip and span.
Shortly thereafter, Lando Norris lost grip and slammed into the barrier while running behind McLaren team-mate Oscar Piastri; the Briton was winded after the shunt and was taken to hospital as a precaution.
Having pitted on the opening lap of the race, Sergio Perez was afforded a cheap stop when Verstappen and George Russell collided – the Mercedes driver receiving a penalty of his own as a result. This elicited a Safety Car, allowing Perez to re-join in second behind leader Leclerc.
The Mexican made his way through with just under 20 laps to go before Leclerc grabbed the lead back. Perez would then cede his spot to team-mate Verstappen, who went on to pass Leclerc to take victory in an intriguing three-way battle.
Perez pinched second from Leclerc when the Monegasque out-braked himself at Turn 12, but Leclerc came back at him once more to split the Red Bulls.
Esteban Ocon claimed fourth after a tight battle with Alpine team-mate Pierre Gasly, with Lance Stroll coming in behind in fifth.
Carlos Sainz, the recipient of an unfortunate grid penalty after Thursday’s practice incident, came home sixth with Lewis Hamilton in seventh for Mercedes.
Russell’s penalty forced him down to eighth behind his team-mate, with Fernando Alonso and Piastri rounding off the points. The Australian set the fastest lap following a late stop.
Gasly ended up outside the points in 11th, followed by Alex Albon and Kevin Magnussen. Zhou Guanyu beat Daniel Ricciardo to 14th, and they were followed home by Logan Sargeant and Valtteri Bottas.
Yuki Tsunoda’s AlphaTauri and Nico Hulkenberg’s Haas fell victim to late reliability failures.
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