Max Verstappen emerged on top at the end of an action-packed 2023 Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix, beating Ferrari rival Charles Leclerc and Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez to the chequered flag in a race punctuated by several incidents and Safety Car periods.
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Verstappen took the lead from Leclerc at the start of the race but was promptly handed a five-second time penalty for forcing his rival off the track and then got overtaken by the pole-sitter before serving it at the first round of pit stops.
Leclerc went longer into the race before changing tyres in an opening stint dominated by graining concerns, only for a Safety Car shortly afterwards to allow Verstappen and several other drivers to pit again under caution.
At the decisive restart, Leclerc initially controlled proceedings from Perez, who had benefitted from an early stop after an incident on the first lap, though ageing tyres meant he came under severe pressure.
Verstappen lit up the timesheets in the final laps to clear both his teammate and the leading Ferrari for a landmark win in the City of Lights, while Perez had followed him through to form a one-two, only to be re-passed by a determined Leclerc on the final lap.
Behind, a remarkable rise from Esteban Ocon netted fourth place for himself and Alpine, despite being narrowly beaten by Mercedes’ George Russell to the line. However, Russell had been carrying a five-second time penalty for a clash with Verstappen that brought out the aforementioned Safety Car.
Russell’s penalty also promoted the Aston Martin of Lance Stroll to fifth, while Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz and the sister Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton – who clashed at Turn 1 – also benefitted to take sixth and seventh positions.
Fernando Alonso and Oscar Piastri completed the points in their respective Aston Martin and McLaren machines, the Spaniard recovering from a Lap 1 spin and the Australian rookie the only papaya car to make it to the flag after teammate Lando Norris suffered a heavy crash early on.
Pierre Gasly had held points for the majority of the race after starting up in fourth, but a tumble down the order for the Alpine saw him cross the line in 11th, with Alex Albon suffering a similar fate in his Williams.
Kevin Magnussen and Daniel Ricciardo had lonely races en route to P13 and P14 for Haas and AlphaTauri, with the Alfa Romeos of Zhou Gaunyu and Valtteri Bottas – the latter another caught out at Turn 1 – and Williams rookie Logan Sargeant among the final finishers.
AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda and Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg both pulled off the track in the closing stages amid apparent technical trouble, meaning they joined Norris on the list of retirements and watched the finish from the sidelines.
After a spectacular three days of action under the lights in Las Vegas, F1 will move swiftly on to the Yas Marina Circuit for the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix next weekend.
Mario Isola, Motorsport Director, Pirelli:
That was 90 action-packed and spectacular minutes of racing, which must have pleased all the spectators here in Las Vegas tonight and those watching on television or online. Overtaking, collisions, safety cars, mistakes and great feats of driving: the best of what this sport has to offer was all there condensed into 50 laps. It was the best possible advert for Formula 1 in the United States, a perfect combination of the racing side and the show, as exemplified in the prize-giving ceremony.
Coming onto the technical summary of the evening, we saw that our predictions prior to the race in terms of strategy were proved right: there wasn’t much difference between a one-stop and a two-stop. The Hard proved to be the most effective race tyre, even if it suffered a bit from graining. The Medium, chosen for the start by three-quarters of the field, behaved reasonably well, although it needed to be treated a bit more carefully, especially in the early stages. In fact, even those fighting hard for the win, like Leclerc, were able to extend the first stint almost to half distance.
The Soft, used only by Stroll and Tsunoda for the start, delivered a nice advantage off the line but was clearly less competitive over a long distance. Again today, we saw how track conditions had reset due to it being reopened to normal traffic overnight, which made cleaning up the graining on the tyre surface more difficult.
How the race was won from the tyre point of view:
For a start, the majority of drivers (15) went with the Medium, while Stroll and Tsunoda preferred the Soft, with Hamilton, Piastri and Zhou opting for the Hard. The first Safety Car saw several drivers take the opportunity to switch immediately to the C3 to try and move up the order, thus mixing things up with those who chose to stay out on track. The second Safety Car, following the collision between Russell and Verstappen, which left debris strewn on the track, then saw the advantage swing in favour of those who had pitted very early on and had not yet made a second stop, as it minimised time lost in pit lane.
As for tonight’s longest stints, Sargeant did 35 laps on a set of Hards, and Bottas did 26 on the Medium tyre also noteworthy, considering the fuel load at that point, was Leclerc’s 21 laps on the set of C4 he used from the start.
Next week, the final round of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship takes place in Abu Dhabi. The compounds chosen for this event are the C3 as P Zero White hard, the C4 as P Zero Yellow medium, and the C5 as P Zero Red soft. On the Tuesday after the race, the Yas Marina circuit hosts a day of testing in which all teams are taking part.
2023 Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix Race Results
|1.||1||Max Verstappen||Netherlands||Red Bull Racing||1:29:08.289||25||549|
|2.||16||Charles Leclerc||Monaco||Scuderia Ferrari||+2.070s||18||188|
|3.||11||Sergio Perez||Mexico||Red Bull Racing||+2.241s||15||273|
|4.||31||Esteban Ocon||France||Alpine F1 Team||+18.665s||12||58|
|5.||18||Lance Stroll||Canada||Aston Martin F1 Team||+20.067s||10||73|
|6.||55||Carlos Sainz||Spain||Scuderia Ferrari||+20.834s||8||200|
|7.||44||Lewis Hamilton||Great Britain||Mercedes-AMG Petronas||+21.755s||6||232|
|8.||63||George Russell||Great Britain||Mercedes-AMG Petronas||+23.091s||4||160|
|9.||14||Fernando Alonso||Spain||Aston Martin F1 Team||+25.964s||2||200|
|10.||81||Oscar Piastri||Australia||McLaren Racing||+29.496s||2||89|
|11.||10||Pierre Gasly||France||Alpine F1 Team||+34.270s||0||62|
|12.||45||Alexander Albon||Thailand||Williams Racing||+43.398s||0||27|
|13.||20||Kevin Magnussen||Denmark||Haas F1 Team||+44.825s||0||3|
|14.||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Australia||Scuderia AlphaTauri||+48.525s||0||6|
|15.||24||Zhou Guanyu||China||Alfa Romeo F1 Team||+50.162s||0||6|
|16.||2||Logan Sargeant||USA||Williams Racing||+50.882s||0||1|
|17.||77||Valtteri Bottas||Finland||Alfa Romeo F1 Team||+85.350s||0||10|
|18.||22||Yuki Tsunoda||Japan||Scuderia AlphaTauri||DNF||0||13|
|19.||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Germany||Haas F1 Team||DNF||0||9|
|20.||4||Lando Norris||Great Britain||Mclaren Racing||DNF||0||195|
2023 Constructor Standings
|1.||Red Bull Racing||860|
|2.||Mercedes-AMG F1 Team||409|
|5.||Aston Martin F1 Team||280|
|6.||Alpine F1 Team||120|
|8.||Alfa Romeo Racing||16|
|10.||Haas F1 Team||12|
Here are the team-by-team highlights:Red Bull Racing
Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez continued their 2023 dominance with a brilliant win and third, respectively, for Oracle Red Bull Racing at the first ever Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix, with the team’s 20th season win breaking the previous constructors’ record of 19 wins that Mercedes set in 2016.
Verstappen got past Leclerc at the start but was handed a five-second penalty as Pérez had to go in the pits with a front wing change after a few laps, with Leclerc overtaking Verstappen on lap 16 – forcing the three-time world champion into the pits for a tyre change.
Pérez overtook Leclerc for the lead on lap 32, only for the positions to reverse on lap 35, with Verstappen getting past both to lead on lap 37 as he held on for his record 18th victory with Leclerc edging out Pérez on the last lap to end in between the two Oracle Red Bull Racing drivers.
Max Verstappen, Driver, Red Bull Racing
The race was exciting, fun and very hectic! We really had to work hard for it today. There was a lot of overtaking and racing, which made it really fun. It was a tough start on the mediums, but once we went on to the hard tyre, it was better. The five-second penalty at the start was unfortunate. I really didn’t mean to push Charles off, we both braked late into turn one, and there was no grip. We had a lot more pace in the car after we pitted for hard. I also had a damaged front wing, so I definitely lost a lot of downforce with that. It was still driveable, so we opted to carry on. We were pushing flat out to the end, and on the final lap, I tried to help Checo to give him a bit of slipstream. It’s a shame we couldn’t convert the one-two in this race, but it’s great that we’ve secured the one-two in the Championship this year. Now we head to the final race in Abu Dhabi.
Sergio Pérez, Driver, Red Bull Racing:
It was a very intense race from the start, damaging my front wing, thinking everything was over, but then the pace on the hard during the first stint was tremendous, and that really brought us back into the race. The safety car came at the right time for us, and from then on, we were looking good. I overtook Charles, and I thought I was going to pull away from him, but we were carrying a little bit too much wing on the car, and I couldn’t. It’s a shame I lost second place, but we were lacking a little bit of top speed. I am very proud to secure the Team’s first one-two in the Drivers’ Championship tonight. It’s a massive piece of history for us. It has been a very intense year. The highs in the year have been extremely high, but the lows have been super low. As a driver and a human being coming back from those tough moments is what I take the most from this season. Mentally it was very tough at times, but we have managed to overcome all those issues and get the job done. Thanks to my Team and everyone who supported me.
CHRISTIAN HORNER – CEO and Team Principal, Red Bull Racing
That was a great race. The speeds around here are insane. With long, fast straights, lots of slipstreams and big breaking zones, Las Vegas was not short on excitement. Max revels in a race like that, even though he was on the end of a penalty, the way he came back, the way he fought, it was fantastic. I think he may have changed his mind about Vegas. Checo was brilliant today as well. He came from a nose change at the back of the field, making his way up to lead the race eventually. He was so unlucky to lose out on second place, but it was enough to see him secure second place in the Championship, and we are extremely happy for him and the team. It was a fantastic drive from both of them, and it sums up the year we have been having. So, Max’s 18th win was a 20th victory for us and our first P1 and P2 in the Drivers’ Championship. It really has been a fantastic year. One more race to go, and we certainly won’t be letting our foot off the gas just yet.
Red Bull Racing Honda best pictures:
Incidents leave a strong pace without true reward; the team left rueing what could have been on the streets of Sin City.
The battle for P2 in the Constructors’ Championship will go down to the final race in Abu Dhabi; our advantage over Ferrari is now four points.
It was a really challenging race. I started on the Hard tyre, which was tricky in the beginning. I had a big hit from Sainz into turn one and was then trying not to hit other cars ahead of me. I fell back several places. After that, I was focused on making my way back through the pack, and I was feeling great. The tyres were feeling good, and the pace was strong. I went up the inside of Piastri, and I am not sure exactly what happened. I felt a big hit from behind, but I think it was a racing incident. I didn’t have a puncture immediately, and as I passed the pit entry, I felt the rear moving. I had to do a whole slow lap on it.
I was grateful that I was able to come back from re-joining in the last still to score some points. There are strengths in our car, but sometimes it’s hard to extract all the performance from it. That is what happened in Qualifying yesterday, but I am pleased we were able to show our pace in the race. I am also grateful that the race was exciting. I wasn’t expecting the track to be so great, but there were lots of racing and overtaking opportunities. For all those who were so negative about the weekend, I think Las Vegas proved them wrong.
Today was on me; I simply didn’t see Verstappen. He was totally in the blind spot, and we made contact; it was completely my fault. We knew they were much quicker than us, and I was happy to concede the position. I knew our fight wasn’t with Verstappen, and tyre management was more important. It was a real shame as we were on course for a podium. It changed the dynamic of the race, too, with the Safety Car. It feels like we’ve thrown another one away today, and I am really disappointed right now. It is the story of our season.
There are positives we can take into Abu Dhabi. We were in the fight for second on the road today, but we will have to put in a strong showing in the final race to claim P2 in the Constructors’ Championship.
Toto Wolff, Team Principal & CEO
It’s frustrating to say, but today was another example of a Grand Prix where we’ve had good pace and not got the result that pace deserved. Once George was given the five-second time penalty, it was pretty much game over for him in terms of the podium. He definitely had the speed to challenge those at the front, maybe not Verstappen, but possibly Leclerc and Perez. It is what it is, though. Lewis also had contact, twice in fact, with neither his fault. He was starting further back on the grid, but as others around him showed, there was still a good result up for grabs. His pace was strong throughout, but those two incidents cost him today. We now need to refocus ahead of Abu Dhabi. It’s a tight battle in the Constructors’ Championship, and we hope to be able to deliver a strong result there.
Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director
There wasn’t anything that went our way tonight. Sainz made contact with Lewis at the start, which cost him a number of positions. We then had a puncture with Lewis after contact with Piastri and didn’t have enough time to react and box him before he went past the pits. Finally, George got a penalty after contact with Max. Overall, those three incidents contributed to a frustrating race for us this evening.
Our list of positives isn’t a long one, but it was at least encouraging that the car had a good pace. We weren’t as good at controlling the graining on the Medium tyre as the Ferrari, so we need to look into that. However, the pace on the Hard tyre was strong, so as bad as this race was, it wasn’t anything as painful as Brazil, where we were just plain slow. It’s going to be an exciting battle with Ferrari for P2 in the Constructor’s Championship in Abu Dhabi. We’ll use the next few days to prepare for that. The points gap is small enough that it will, in all likelihood, come down to who scores the most next Sunday. Everything to play for!
Mercedes-AMG F1 Team best pictures:
The 2023 Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix was meant to be spectacular, and it did not disappoint. Looking at the finishing order, with Charles second behind Max Verstappen and ahead of Sergio Perez and Carlos in sixth, one could be forgiven for thinking it had been a race like any other this year.
However, between the walls on the Strip, Scuderia Ferrari was a true front-runner to the point that there can even be a bit of disappointment at the final result, as Leclerc had a genuine possibility of taking the win. Carlos, too could have finished higher up the order if he had not been caught up in the chaos on the opening lap, which saw him spin and have to fight his way up the order from the back of the pack. However, overall this was a positive day as the SF-23 proved to be competitive, just as expected, resulting in Ferrari making up 16 of the 20 points by which it trailed Mercedes coming into this weekend in its fight for second in the Constructors’ championship. In a few days’ time, it will be all to play for in Abu Dhabi.
Carlos Sainz #55
It’s been a good weekend for the team, even though it was a tough race for me. We struggled with engine temperatures because we were racing in the middle of the pack, and it was difficult to make up positions quickly.
However, we nailed the strategy switching to a two-stop, and the second part of the race was better, making up a few places to finish P6. It was a case of damage limitation after the penalty and scoring very important points for the Constructors’ championship. I can’t wait to race in Abu Dhabi next week. The fight for second is still on, and we’ll do everything we can to take it!
Charles Leclerc #16
I didn’t leave anything on the table today, and the team executed the race perfectly, so I am satisfied with our performance. Unfortunately, we had just pitted 5 laps before the Safety Car, and I struggled to get our used Hards back up to temperature at the restart. That’s where Max (Verstappen) and Checo (Perez) gained an advantage on fresh tyres, and unfortunately, that cost us the win.
That said, it was an exciting race with really good battles and a lot of adrenaline. I’m glad that the weekend came together well and that the inaugural Grand Prix in Las Vegas was exciting for drivers and fans. I look forward to coming back next year!
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal
This first race in Las Vegas delivered the show that everybody was expecting, so well done to Formula 1, as this was one of the best races of the season. From our side, there were several positive aspects, even if it wasn’t a straightforward race with Safety Cars, thrilling duels and amazing overtakes. We scored good points and were not far off a win with Charles, who would have deserved that result. I think we overtook a Red Bull three times in the race, and our performance was good with both cars considering Carlos staged a great comeback after what had been a tough weekend with what happened in FP1, the penalty and the spin at the start.
With Charles, we had put everything in place to bring home the win as we had looked after the tyres at the beginning, and then we overtook Max on track. The Safety Car didn’t help him, as he struggled with graining after the restart but was able to manage it, and in the closing stages, he was again very competitive, to the point of overtaking Perez for P2. I think Charles delivered one of the best drives of his career today, while Carlos also had a very strong second part of the race.
We must keep the momentum going into Abu Dhabi. Both drivers are doing a fantastic job, and I believe we can catch Mercedes in Abu Dhabi. We won in Singapore when Red Bull was off the pace, but this time we were fighting them right up to the final corner.
Scuderia Ferrari best pictures:McLaren Racing
Hear from McLaren F1 drivers Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri and Team Principal Andrea Stella after the 2023 Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix.
An unfortunate end to our Las Vegas GP weekend. I just bottomed out on the restart, lost the rear and hit the wall. Not the way we wanted the weekend to end, especially considering the pace looked promising on Oscar’s side. Big thanks go to the medical staff for checking me over and to the team for the work they’ll now put in on the car. One week to reset and go again for the season finale in Abu Dhabi.
P10 and fastest lap, it felt like we kinda deserved a bit more from that race. The pace was good. In the end, it didn’t make too much difference. We were caught out by starting on the Hard in that kind of position when the Safety Car came out. We’ll take the positives, a lot better than yesterday, and the pace in the car is still pretty good.
First of all, the most important thing today is that Lando is in good condition after what looked like a scary accident in a very fast section of this circuit.
Today, the car had a strong pace. Oscar managed to recover from P18 into the points in what could have been a much stronger result were it not for the need to add a stop at the end after his earlier puncture. Despite this, he recovered to P10 and took the extra point for the fastest lap. Two points aren’t many compared to those we have scored in recent weeks, but they’re important in our battle for fourth in the Constructors’ Championship.
“It’s been a tricky weekend in Vegas. We now regroup, rest when we can, and prepare to go again in the season finale. We’re looking forward to a much smoother weekend in Abu Dhabi on a circuit that should be more favourable to our car.
McLaren Racing’s best pictures:Aston Martin Formula One Team
Lance recovers from P19 to P5 with a stellar drive under the sparkling lights of the 2023 Formula 1 Las Vegas, while Fernando shrugs off a spin to take more points.
The team earned 12 more points in Las Vegas and entered the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi with a total of 273 points.
I am happy to come away from this race weekend with some points. Especially since I was facing the wrong way after the incident at Turn One at the race start. We made the most of the Safety Car and then gained some places back. Overall, I thought the racing was fun tonight, and there were some great battles on track. There was quite a lot of graining and low levels of grip, but as a sport, we will take a lot of learnings for racing in Las Vegas next year. We head to Abu Dhabi and will give it our all in the battle for fourth position in the Constructors’ Championship.
That was a fun race! I gained 10 positions in the first corner with a lot of other drivers going wide, moving up from P19 to P9, so it immediately felt like it was all to play for. From that point, we were on the front foot and attacking throughout the race with a quick car. We made some good strategy calls, pitting under both Safety Cars, and then I was able to pass a few cars into Turn One to secure P5. It was a great track to race at, and I’m pleased we were able to put on a good show for the fans.
Mike Krack, Team Principal:
I think Las Vegas truly delivered on the hype with a very entertaining race this evening. Aston Martin certainly played its part in putting on a great show for the fans, and both Lance and Fernando were in the thick of some great battles. We went into the race with a good understanding of the tyres, and the strategy team made excellent calls today. Full credit to Lance to recover from the back of the grid to take two consecutive fifth places. He had a very strong race and made the most of an early switch to the Hard tyres to secure a good track position. From there, he delivered one of his best races of the year with a strong pace and important overtakes. Fernando recovered well from the opening lap incident to score a couple of important points too. I thought the circuit produced some really good racing today, alongside all the spectacle – so well done to everybody involved in delivering this Grand Prix.
Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team best pictures:Alpine F1 Team
BWT Alpine F1 Team scored 12 points from the 2023 Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix as Esteban Ocon climbed twelve places from sixteenth place on the grid to finish in fourth place at the chequered flag. Team-mate Pierre Gasly was unfortunate to finish outside of the points, having started from a season-best fourth place on the grid, as he crossed the line in eleventh.
The team now heads to Abu Dhabi for the final race of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
What a night in Las Vegas to be outside of the points to finish in fourth place! I would like to say a massive congratulations to the team for this great result and amazing recovery. It was a chaotic start, and we managed to keep it clean and gain eight positions on lap one. After that, we had to be patient, execute a clean race and manage the tyres was really the key. I made some good overtakes along the way, and to finish fourth at this amazing venue is really a great result, especially considering how I was left feeling after Qualifying. There is one more race to go in Abu Dhabi next week, and we will aim to carry this momentum into the season finale
It’s a disappointing outcome on my side of the garage to go from fourth on the grid to outside of the points in eleventh place. There are many things for us to review, as that is not what we set out to achieve today. It was a good start under tricky conditions, the first stint was fairly well-managed, and we were comfortably in that top-four mix. As soon as we put the Hard tyre on, we just seemed to struggle, the tyres grained, and the whole second stint was a challenge just to get to the end. It was a frustrating night, and it’s a pity for us. That said, it’s been a very good weekend for the team, with fourth place in Qualifying and then Esteban’s fourth place in the Race. We will do our analysis and come back next weekend for the season finale in Abu Dhabi, ready to end the season as best as we can.
Bruno Famin, Interim Team Principal:
Overall, it’s been an encouraging weekend for the team in Las Vegas. While yesterday in Qualifying belonged to Pierre after a brilliant single lap effort, today, it was about Esteban, who drove superbly to rise from sixteenth to fourth to score 12 points. He did well to avoid the chaos at the start and then pieced together two well-managed stints to look after the tyres well and maintain the competitive pace to the end. For Pierre, we have some things to assess. As a team, we will carefully analyse this weekend’s performance – better than we anticipated – before heading to Abu Dhabi for the final race next weekend.
Alpine F1 Team best pictures:Williams Racing
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance
Williams F1 Team best pictures:
Scuderia AlphaTauri duo Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda finished in 14th and 18th place, respectively, to leave them in eighth place in the 2023 FIA Formula One constructors’ standings with one Abu Dhabi race left.
I was coming into the race optimistic. We knew we’d struggle with the race start and restarts today because we missed something here this weekend regarding tyres and getting them to work on this slippery surface when it’s cold and they’re new. We thought we could get them working after a couple of laps and get back onto the pack, but we never really got there. It’s not an excuse. It’s just something we lacked and struggled with this weekend and something we’ll be looking into in our post-race analysis. There were a few cars fading at the end of the race, so we had a little more pace than them, but we still weren’t a top 10 car. We’re racing again next week at a medium downforce circuit, so I’m optimistic going into it. It’s a quick turnaround and a different story, so the next couple of days are about resting and recovering.
We split the setup between our two cars and gambled a little with my car, but it didn’t work in the end. I had a clean start today and was happy I kept out of trouble, which allowed us to gain quite a few positions, but unfortunately, we didn’t have the pace to finish in the top 10. We’re happy we challenged ourselves because we knew we’d struggle with our pace, so we had to try something, and I liked the challenge. Today, it didn’t pay off, but in the end, it didn’t matter as we had to retire my car. Looking ahead to Abu Dhabi, we’ll still aim to score points. Anything can happen, so we’ll try our best.
Jody Egginton (Technical Director)
It was a difficult race tonight, with front tyre graining affecting both cars massively until the final stints when the situation improved, and we were able to extract a slightly more representative pace from the car.
With Yuki starting last, we gambled with the soft tyre for the race start, and initially, this worked quite well, helping him move forward to P12. However, soon after the Virtual Safety Car, the front tyre graining dramatically worsened, and we were forced to box earlier than ideal. We struggled with similar graining issues for the remainder of the race, which required quite some management. Additionally, a suspected Power Unit issue meant we had to retire the car towards the end of the race.
Daniel’s race was also affected by graining in the first stint, but some adjustments at the stop and a move to the hard compound tyre meant the graining was under control. Once the tyres were suitably far into the working range, Daniel was able to extract some better performance in the second half of the race.
Summing up the weekend, it’s frustrating not being able to get more on top of the setup requirements of this circuit and extract more performance from our car. However, tonight’s race has highlighted in detail the areas of setup we need to review, and fortunately for us, Williams has not scored points, so the fight for seventh in the Constructors’ Championship moves to the final race in Abu Dhabi. Theoretically, the last track of the year should suit our package better than here, so everyone’s now fully focused on giving both our drivers a better car to maximise our chances of achieving this next weekend.
Scuderia AlphaTauri Team best pictures:Haas F1 Team
MoneyGram Haas F1 Team finished the 2023 Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix, Round 22 of the World Championship, with Kevin Magnussen 13th, while Nico Hulkenberg was forced to retire on Saturday night at the Las Vegas Strip Circuit.
I feel like we had the degradation and pace to score points, but we didn’t, so I need to review it and see how we could’ve done better. It feels like we had good degradation for once and pace in the race, even at the end of the stints. There was lots of track evolution throughout the race, which was fine and part of the challenge. I’ve enjoyed it.
Something happened, and I lost power, so we’ll look into it. I thought the race pace wasn’t too bad. Actually, I had a good start, but with the accident in Turn 1, I had to go wide around the outside and lost a lot of places, so then was behind already. After that, I felt pretty comfortable in the car, and I felt we had more pace, but there was always traffic and for graining protection, you couldn’t push as much as you wanted, so that was limiting. All in all, I would say it was one of the better races, though.
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal:
Both drivers fought hard today to get the best out of the car, and I think they did, and we stayed in front of our normal opponents. We couldn’t get close to the big guys, and both cars got stuck behind a Williams – they’re very fast down the straights – so we couldn’t get through. For Nico, unfortunately, something happened with the engine, and Kevin came home P13. I don’t think we did anything wrong.
Haas F1 Team best pictures:
Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake saw its chances of a strong finish in the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix vanish on lap one, as Valtteri Bottas was taken out by Fernando Alonso and then hit from behind by Sergio Perez at the first corner. The damage sustained meant the Finn could not convert his excellent seventh place on the grid into points, finishing 17th. Team-mate, Zhou Guanyu, fought bravely from the back and ran briefly on the edge of the points before eventually finishing 15th.
A disappointing result after such a promising Saturday, but the team can at least get confidence from the pace shown before tonight as they prepare for the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi.
Valtteri Bottas (car number 77):
I started in a very strong position, but unfortunately, my race was pretty much ruined at the first corner. After the contact with Fernando [Alonso], I got hit on the rear end, damaging my diffuser and compromising any chance to progress and recover the positions I had lost. It was a long race after that, with a lack of pace and of grip as well. Obviously, it was really disappointing, especially as we were confident we could have had a good result today and never got the chance to show our true performance. As a positive from the weekend, our one-lap pace definitely improved, which allowed us to get into Q3 yesterday. None of our direct competitors brought back points, which leaves things still open as we head to Abu Dhabi for the final race of the season: we’ll be giving it all to make it back into the top ten and try to finish the season well.
Zhou Guanyu (car number 24):
The race was quite fun for me tonight, with some good battles and good moves, even though, in the end, we didn’t get any points. I had to take evasive action at the start, so I couldn’t really take advantage of the chaos ahead of me, and we chose to pit when the Safety Car came in. That meant having to do 30 laps on medium tyres: the strategy worked well and allowed me to make up a few places and get into a battle with Lewis [Hamilton] and Fernando [Alonso] but with no further chances to pit, I was exposed in the final ten laps: when the tyres were over, my lap times started dropping off and I ended up 15th. That’s how we ended there: starting where we did. However, on the 17th, we didn’t have a lot of chances to score points, but at least we had some fun battling. Now, let’s focus on Abu Dhabi: it is the final race of the season, and we’re determined to have a good weekend.
Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Team Representative:
It is clear that, unfortunately, this is not our season. Tonight, we had a strong grid position with Valtteri in P7, but that was nullified at the first corner already, as Alonso spun in front of him: Valtteri had nowhere to go and was also hit from behind by Perez, suffering heavy damage to the floor and diffuser. We saw a loss of more than 20 points of downforce, and that made the car nearly undrivable: Valtteri still brought it home, but it wasn’t possible to salvage a good result. It’s a shame, as we said earlier in the weekend, that his race pace was very good, especially with the hard compound. We chose a reverse strategy for Zhou, starting on hards and moving on to mediums: the early Safety Car did not help, but we noticed that in the end, the pace we had was not enough for him to finish in the points. At least our direct competitors didn’t score either: we head to Abu Dhabi with one final chance to get points and finish the season on a positive note.