Verstappen wins in Las Vegas; 'Checo' comes third and consolidates runner-up in the world championship
The Dutch Max Verstappen (Red Bull) He signed his eighteenth victory of the season in Las Vegas by beating the Monegasque team Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) and the Mexican Sergio 'Checo' Pérez (Red Bull) in a race in which he had to fight until the last laps to extend his dominance.
For now, with his result the pilot from Guadalajara managed to consolidate himself as Formula 1 world runner-up, even though he started eleventh in the race.
The city of Las Vegas, which is characterized by its nighttime activity in the casinos, also had the circuit 'built' through its streets and returned, 41 years later, to host Formula 1 with a race full of overtaking that compensated for the problems with the sewage system that started on Friday.
In a start in which the Dutchman Max Verstappen (Red Bull) made the first corner long and forced the Monegasque Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) to go wide, which deserved only a 5-second penalty according to the criteria of the stewards, It was that first turn in which the first two Spaniards complicated their options.
Both Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) and Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) They spun on the first turn of the start as a result of poor grip due to the low temperature of the Las Vegas asphalt -20 degrees Celsius-.
Alonso had a good reaction in the first meters, But when braking on the inside the tires did not respond as expected, he went wide, lost the rear of the car and spun. Crossing the track, the Finnish Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) collided with his front wing and the Mexican Sergio Pérez (Red Bull) could not avoid both cars.
Incident that caused All three had to stop in the pits after the first lap. As did Carlos Sainz who also entered long into turn 1 and touched the British Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes).
Three drivers, Alonso, Sainz and 'Checo' Pérez who were left out of position, at the back of the grid during the first few laps in which They put on a show, overtaking each other on several occasions. and in which they were grouped after the safety car came out due to an accident by the British Lando Norris (McLaren) on lap 3.
The race fulfilled what was promised. Ease of overtaking on the long 1.9 kilometer straight, also caused by several pilots being out of position. Furthermore, on this occasion, the fight reached the first position.
Verstappen, accustomed, except in the Singapore GP, to dominating with ease, He found himself in difficulties due to the five-second penalty and, above all, by the wear on their tires.
On lap 16, Leclerc overtook him and the Dutchman had to stop in the pits due to his high degradation. He complied with the time penalty that made him start eleventh, in traffic and behind the British George Russell, who, when he tried to defend his place on lap 25, touched Max and caused the second safety car of the night to come out in Las Vegas.
For the eighteenth time, out of 21, It was Max Verstappen who took victory on Sunday. Checkered flag and the usual headline, but different in its achievement.
The five-second penalty and traffic made him sweat to get the victorywith the aforementioned safety car, which regrouped on the grid, helping him in his hunt for a Leclerc whom he overtook on lap 37, of 50, in turn 14, where most of the overtakings were seen.
A Monegasque driver who, once again, has a great Saturday but crashes on Sunday. Of the 24 times that he has started in first position, He has only managed to win in five. In Las Vegas this statistic grew, which haunts the Ferrari driver who left, at least, with the good taste in his mouth of snatching second place from Pérez on the last lap.
For his part, 'Checo' Pérez saw how, once again, I lost a place in the last meters, as happened with Alonso in Brazil.
Carlos Sainz could recover from the 10 second penalty which he received on Friday for changing the battery after a manhole cover destroyed the bottom of his Ferrari. A mistake by the organization that hindered his chances of victory. He qualified 2nd, started 12th on the grid, spun in the first corner and finished in a creditable 6th position.
His compatriot Fernando Alonso could not make up as many places. His good start was met with a lack of grip and a spin that dragged him through the rest of the race, in which he finished ninth. Meanwhile, his teammate, Canadian Lance Stroll, had his best race of the year, took advantage of the starting touches to advance ten positions and finished sixth in Las Vegas in the penultimate Grand Prix of the year.
Abu Dhabi, In seven days, he waits to give the final sign to the season.
(With information from EFE and Aristegui News)
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