VERSTAPPEN TAKES VICTORY IN VEGAS
Formula One returned to Las Vegas for the first time in over 40 years. Max Verstappen came out on top and is the first winner in Vegas since Michele Alboretto in 1982. Leclerc for the 12th time has failed to win a race from pole but does take an important second place. Sergio Perez finishes third in an excellent performance from the Mexican driver which also means Red Bull have secured their first ever 1-2 in the Drivers Championship.
Heading into turn one Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) and Max Verstappen (Red Bull) who go wide into turn one with the Red Bull pushing the Ferrari wide but ultimately it is Verstappen who leads with George Russell (Mercedes) in third. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari), Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) and Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) all spun and dropped down with plenty of work to do over the rest of the race. Pierre Gasly (Alpine) is fourth and Alex Albon (Williams) completes the top five.
With all the contact and spinning on the first lap there is of course debris scattered on the track which caused the VSC. Lasting only one lap when on lap three we saw the green flag
There was no changes to positions until Lando Norris (McLaren) crashed after losing the grip heading into turn twelve and is sent into the wall and the full Safety Car is deployed.
On lap seven the green flag is back out and we go back to full speed.
On lap 16 Leclerc retakes the lead from Verstappen as Max pits and the lead will be added to with the five second penalty for Max in regards to the first lap and first corner incident. This was just the beginning of the crazy fight for the lead of this race which went down to the final few laps of the race...
17 laps in and Lewis Hamilton has a puncture after contact with the sole remaining McLaren of Oscar Piastri who pitted straight away and Hamilton continues to drop down the order. Hamilton eventually is able to pit and rejoins in 19th and last.
Leclerc pits on lap 22 and Perez now holds the lead of the race.
Having pitted earlier and adding the five seconds into his pit stop Verstappen is working his way up the grid and comes to passing George Russell who make contact and the Mercedes has front wing damage, Verstappen gets away with no damage...
This causes Safety Car on the very next lap (Lap 26) for the debris on track and almost everyone pits. Leclerc is now back in the lead from Perez in second and Gasly in third.
Lap 29: Green flag.
Not long after the green flag (Lap 32) Perez takes the lead. And at this point Perez looks set for a victory at yet another street track but still has a charging Verstappen making his way up the field in fifth.
The fight for the lead didn't end there...
Lap 35: Leclerc leads
Lap 37: Verstappen leads the race...
Lap 47: Nico Hulkenberg (Haas) is out and pulls down a slip road and so no need for a Safety Car.
Lap 48: Yuki Tsunoda (Alpha Tauri) is out - a gearbox issue for the Alpha Tauri.
The next race is the season finale - the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
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