On Saturday at the Circuit of the Americas, Max Verstappen comfortably secured his third sprint race win of the Formula One season, starting from the front position. He will now aim for another victory at the United States Grand Prix, continuing his dominant performance this season.
Unfortunately, Verstappen lost his chance at starting in first place for Sunday’s race due to an unusual error during his last lap in qualifying on Friday. However, he made a strong comeback the following day and claimed pole position for the 19-lap sprint race.
Max Verstappen has already clinched the season championship title with 14 wins in the grand prix and has emerged victorious in three out of the five sprint races held thus far.
He forced Charles Leclerc from Ferrari into the first turn, a left-hand uphill switchback, in order to maintain the lead at the beginning of the race.
After that, the focus was on creating a gap between the two cars ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton had overtaken Leclerc at the first turn and was now attempting to chase down Red Bull’s Sergio Perez for second place in the drivers’ rankings in the remaining five races of the season.
Mercedes debuted their latest upgrades for the season, aiming for them to be the final ones. Hamilton trailed Verstappen for four laps before falling behind, ultimately securing second place with Leclerc in third.
Due to exceeding track limits on the penultimate corner of his last qualifying lap, Verstappen surrendered his pole position for Sunday’s grand prix race. As he aims for his 15th win of the season, he will begin the race from sixth place on the grid.
Max Verstappen has emerged victorious in the past two races held in Austin. It has been a consistent trend since 2012 for the winner at Circuit of the Americas to start from the front row, but Verstappen has defied this pattern by winning from sixth place in Belgium and ninth place in Miami during this season.
Following Verstappen’s error during qualifying, the stewards have slightly expanded the race lanes in three specific corners, including the one where Verstappen made his mistake. This adjustment will apply to both the sprint race and the grand prix on Sunday.