Formula 1’s third race in Las Vegas, following the Caesars Palace Grand Prix in 1981 and ‘82, was yet another box-ticking exercise for Max Verstappen and Red Bull.
The 2024 F1 calendar will include one returning event he has already won – the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix – and one he hasn’t – the Chinese Grand Prix, last held 100 races ago.
This was also Verstappen’s sixth consecutive win in the USA, comprising a hat-trick at the Circuit of the Americas, wins in both Miami races and now the Las Vegas Grand Prix to boot.
Verstappen’s 53rd grand prix win of his career puts him level with Sebastian Vettel in third place on the all-time list. The reigning champion has now covered more ground in the lead of grands pix than all but three of his peers, having surpassed Ayrton Senna’s total last weekend. Verstappen’s 29 laps at the front in Las Vegas brought him up to 13,582 kilometres.
In the eighth F1 season to featured at least 20 rounds, Verstappen became the first driver to score 20 grands prix podiums. Red Bull have also broken the record for most wins in a season, previously set by Mercedes in 2016, by taking their 20th win of the campaign.
Mercedes hit a statistical landmark in Las Vegas, but not one they would have wanted to. Following another poor round in Brazil, they had neither of their cars in the top six for two races running, which last happened over the Monaco and Azerbaijan grands prix in 2021.
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Red Bull’s closest rivals last weekend were Ferrari. Charles Leclerc took the 23rd pole position of his career and his fifth of the season. The last driver to start this many grands prix from pole position in a season without winning one was Juan Pablo Montoya in 2002. Leclerc has now led 31 grands prix, matching Stirling Moss.
Leclerc also topped the speed trap figures during the race at 350.5kph. That puts the new Las Vegas Strip Circuit only behind the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez (361.9 km/h) and Monza (359km/h) for top speeds on the F1 calendar.
The Ferrari driver finished second thanks to a last-lap move on Verstappen’s team mate Sergio Perez. Nonetheless the Red Bull driver scored his 35th grand prix podium, putting him level with world champions Emerson Fittipaldi and Juan Manuel Fangio on the all-time list. Perez had gone six grands prix without a podium, matching the drought he had as a Red Bull driver through the end of 2021 and ’22.
Alpine’s Esteban Ocon finished fourth and now has the seventh-longest career for a driver who has never set pole position. He tied with Eddie Cheever on 132 grand prix starts.
Lance Stroll came in next having climbed 14 places from his starting position. That’s the second-biggest position gain seen this season, after Perez’s 15-place climnb at this year’s Australian Grand Prix. Stroll’s opening lap gain of 10 places was last bettered by Haas’s Kevin Magnussen at this year’s Austrian Grand Prix when he overtook 11 cars on the opening lap.
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Stroll’s team mate Alonso reached the chequered flag in a grand prix for a record 300th time. But he only finished ninth, which means he and fellow Spaniard Carlos Sainz Jnr head into this weekend’s final round level on points. If Alonso fails to out-score the Ferrari driver, he will finish behind Sainz in the standings as he has done every season they have faced each other with the exception of 2016.
Although he only finished 16th, Williams’ Logan Sargeant still had reason to smile on race day as he started from a career-best sixth place. With team mate Alexander Albon one place ahead of him, the team had its best combined starting position since the 2017 Italian Grand Prix.
McLaren’s Oscar Piastri finished tenth but got an extra point for setting the fastest lap. That is the second of his rookie season, which is a rare achievement: The last driver to achieve the same was Lewis Hamilton in 2007.
Have you spotted any other interesting stats and facts from the Las Vegas Grand Prix? Share them in the comments.
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