Las Vegas Grand Prix winner Max Verstappen described the race as “a lot of fun”, having previously criticised Formula 1’s newest event.Charles Leclerc to win, Verstappen said the layout provided good racing.
“You could clearly see with the DRS around here it was very powerful,” said Verstappen. “So even when you would take the lead, if the guy behind would stay in the DRS, he would still have an opportunity to come back at you.
“Which I think created quite a lot of good racing here today. So it was definitely a lot of fun.”
Verstappen got ahead of Leclerc at the start but was penalised for forcing his rival off the track as he did so. He was then passed by Leclerc and after serving his penalty suffered damaged when he tangled with George Russell. He made another pit stop during a Safety Car period but from there was able to work his way back into the lead.
“It was a tough one,” said Verstappen. “I tried to go for it at the start, I think we both braked quite late and then I just ran out of grip and we ended up a bit wide so the stewards gave me a penalty for that.
“Then of course, that put us a little bit on the back foot. I had to pass quite a few cars and, of course, the Safety Car. So at that point there already was a lot going on in the race.
“Then once we had the message to the end that we can go flat-out I had to pass a few cars to get into the battle with them.”
Red Bull decided not to replace Verstappen’s damaged front wing when he made his second pit stop. “We were happy not to touch it because it looked already quite broken,” said Verstappen. “Of course the structure was fine, but it’s never ideal, there was always a bit more understeer in the car, but luckily we could still win the race.”
Before the race several drivers expressed concerns the low-grip track surface would make it difficult to overtake. However Verstappen said the surface actually produced good racing.
“I think the low degradation, with the Tarmac here, you could really push on the tyres, which I think was good. So like I said it was a lot of fun out there.”
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and
2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix
- Tost blames track inspection oversight for Sainz’s damage in Las Vegas
- Hard to repeat “rare” combination of factors behind Vegas shunt – Norris
- Las Vegas Grand Prix “got a lot more hate than it deserved” – Sargeant
- Williams’ “incredible” Vegas qualifying made us “poor” in race – Vowles
- Piastri is first rookie to take two fastest laps in a season since Hamilton