The day before, Max Verstappen had destroyed his rivals. In just 19 laps of the race, the world champion took 9.4 seconds from his first chase. Quite a few people realized that Sunday's Grand Prix would be a cakewalk for the Formula 1 driver – despite starting from sixth place. However, this was not the case.
on the contrary. The main race in Texas developed into a lively exchange of blows between three teams. Mercedes and McLaren challenged the class leader. He has weakened. The brake problem made things difficult for Verstappen and pushed him into the clutches of Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris.
Austin highlights in the exhibition
The McLaren driver led the Grand Prix for long periods in the early part of the race. Until Verstappen broke it on lap 28. At the back, Hamilton emerged as a bigger competitor. But even the Austin specialist with five victories at this racetrack can no longer prevent the world champion from achieving his 15th win of the season. Verstappen also celebrated his third consecutive US Grand Prix win and the 50th of his career.
After the finish, there was another hammer blow: during the inspection, the organizers discovered that Hamilton's Mercedes and Charles Leclerc's Ferrari had violated the rules. The floor panel at the back of both cars had become very worn. Thus, Norris rose to second place and Carlos Sainz could get the trophy for third place.
Austin saw a slight decline in viewership compared to last year. In 2023, the organizer counted 432,000 fans during the event days. The crowd at Sunday's race witnessed the 18th race of the season held without leaving. Safety car driver Bernd Maylander had a quiet day at work. Not a single car went off the track.
Four cars spun off pit road: two Haas and two Aston Martins after violating applicable Parc Fermé rules. The starting grid looked very empty. Perhaps this is a warning example for Formula 1 that Andretti should be included on the race track. Three drivers were stranded prematurely: Fernando Alonso made it to lap 49, Oscar Piastri made it to lap 10, and Esteban Ocon only made it six. The collision initially caused permanent damage to both McLaren and Alpine.
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