Oracle Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen reached a milestone of 50 Formula One Grand Prix wins with victory in Sunday’s United States Grand Prix. The Dutchman drove to glory over Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton and McLaren’s Lando Norris, whilst team-mate Sergio Pérez rounded out the top five at the Circuit of the Americas.
However, Hamilton was later disqualified by race stewards for failing the plank wear inspection on his car (along with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc), promoting Norris up to second, Carlos Sainz to third and Pérez to fourth.
Starting from sixth place on the grid after having his fastest lap deleted for exceeding track limits during Friday’s Q3 session, Verstappen was chasing his third straight win at the Circuit of the Americas after wins at the Texas venue in 2021 and 2022.
Despited the difficult start position and a brake problem that affected the Dutchman from the very first lap of the 56-lap race, Verstappen drove with absolute precision to claim victory, despite a late charge from Hamilton that saw him finish just 2.225s adrift at the chequered flag.
Verstappen was clear that the brake issues made this one of his toughest races of the year, however the 2023 world champion managed the situation masterfully to secure his 15th race win of the season from 18 Grands Prix.
Verstappen has now already equalled his record for most wins in an F1 season, set in 2022, and with four Grands Prix still to go he has the chance to extend that record significantly.
After starting ninth on the grid, Sergio Pérez drove a strong race up through the field. His fifth at the finish was later converted into fourth after Hamilton’s disqualification and allowed the Mexican to extend his lead over the Brit in the fight for second place in the Drivers’ Championship ahead of his home Grand Prix next weekend.
Max Verstappen, Driver, Red Bull Racing
It feels incredible to win my 50th Grand Prix here in Austin. I’m very proud, of course, but I want to keep pushing for more. Starting in P6 today was interesting, I worked my way slowly through to the front. We didn’t have a massive pace advantage today and I was struggling with my brakes. I didn’t have the same feeling in the car as I did yesterday, so that made the race much tougher than anticipated. You could see it was very close at the end there. We had to rely on the strategy today and the team did a great job with that.
Sergio Pérez, Driver, Red Bull Racing:
I wanted more for today, obviously. At times we had really good pace, but we are still lacking that consistency. It was a hard race. The Ferrari seemed to have improved, but I also think we made a good step from yesterday. It was quite difficult to overtake, especially because the exit of Turn 11 was quite tricky, as it was very windy and rough over there. We had a few occasions where we could have undercut people, so I think we need to review that as a team. I think we know what we did wrong across the weekend, so we are really optimistic going into future races. We need to make sure we learn from this weekend as there are some good understandings to make for Mexico. There is a bit more pace in there and I am massively looking forward to my home Grand Prix.
CHRISTIAN HORNER – CEO and Team Principal, Red Bull Racing
Before the race, all our simulations were telling us that the two stop was the fastest race for us and that’s what we committed to. The debate was, “do we run the hard in the middle stint or the medium?” We knew going up against Lando Norris that they committed to the two hards, so we felt going medium, medium was the best strategy. It was crucial for Max to make use of that, get the pass, take the track position and then run our fastest race to the end of the race.
Max was dealing with a brake issue throughout the race, as I’m sure you could hear. It was tough for him and I think his focus was largely on that, although he was able to overcome any issues and bring home the victory. His half century. Another phenomenal achievement for Max.
“Checo also drove well. He’s had some tough races, but he had good pace today and I think he’ll take a lot of confidence from that. Hopefully that will put him in a good space before his home race next weekend. As all eyes turn to Mexico, we look forward to seeing what’s to come and what we can achieve.