Oscar Piastri, McLaren, Las Vegas, 2023

Piastri is first rookie to take two fastest laps in a season since Hamilton

2023 Las Vegas GP stats and facts

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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.

Verstappen’s victory in Formula 1’s inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix means he has now won 29 different grand prix. Singapore’s is the only one on the 2023 calendar left to conquer.

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.

Mercedes had a second poor weekend in a row
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.

Drivers hit stunning speeds at Las Vegas
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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Hamilton took a pair of fastest laps in his first season
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

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Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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11 comments on “Piastri is first rookie to take two fastest laps in a season since Hamilton”

  1. Pierre Gasly’s best 2023 starting position, while Esteban Ocon suffered his fourth Q1 elimination in nine GPs.

    Sergio Perez failed to reach Q3 for the ninth time this season, which is embarrassing for a driver in the outright fastest team.

    Logan Sargeant became the first US driver in qualifying top ten since Eddie Cheever in the 1987 Detroit GP, which coincidently was also for P6.

    Williams had both drivers qualifying in the top six for the first time since the 2016 Russian GP.

    Mclaren’s last double-Q1 elimination coincidently also happened in the US, i.e., Miami GP.

    Charles Leclerc equaled Niki Lauda with the second most pole positions for Ferrari after Michael Schumacher.

    1. @jerejj Great selection! Although you should clarify that Sargeant is the first American to qualify in the top 10 for a GP held in the US not overall. Michael Andretti definitely qualified in the top 10 in some races of 1993

      Also I’d accidentally flagged your comment for no reason, my apologies. The report button is too close to the reply button, I think, and once you touch once accidentally you can’t cancel it unfortunately…

  2. Another pretty useless statistical fact that tells nothing when isolated from the full context. In any case, he is quite fast on a single lap, though not as fast as at least a few drivers on the grid (including his team mate). It will be interesting to see his progress in the next season. The sad fact is that his form is going down for a while now, relative to Norris, but also to the whole grid. At the moment Piastri doesn’t seem impressive at all, whatever is the reason. Kinda like Russel in Mercedes, just worse.

  3. I have one for the next race. If Mclaren, Williams, or Aston Martin drivers, plus Hamilton / Russel who are also british fail to win in Abu Dhabi it will be the first time since 1952 that the british national anthem wil not have been heard once all season!

    1. Nice historical stat that’ll in all likelihood become true, so mentioning that beforehand is spot-on despite being somewhat off-topic to Las Vegas GP stats.

    2. That’s the kind of stat we need!

    3. You can rule out the performance on the grid at Silverstone (with Damian Lewis) on musical grounds.

  4. There is a chance that after Abu Dhabi, Max will be the recordholder of a particularly silly* statistic, points/race entered. The record is now LCDH’s with 14.01, but Max has 13.92. After a quick-and-d1rty calculation, I reckon that with a Max’s win LCDH needs to be at least 8th to save the record, but if Max also makes flap then it is 7th.

    *Silly because the scoring system has changed so much along F1’s history, The average finishing position of JM Fangio was 2.25, surely the best ever, but he has only 5.44 points/race entered, while Max’s average finish position is 3.82

  5. Second consecutive race where the podium positions have changed on the last lap – the last time this happened was Abu Dhabi 2021 (which was also the previous time there was a change in the top 2 on the last lap) and Bahrain 2022 (Perez spinning and stopping on the last lap from P3).

    First time that there has been a change in the top 2 in the last lap without a late safety car since Azerbaijan 2017 (Bottas passed Stroll for 2nd just before the line).

    Second time Verstappen has raced in the same country 3 times in the same season (Italy in 2020, USA in 2023). On both occasions he managed the same result in all 3 races (DNF in 2020, win in 2023).

    Red Bull will finish 1st and 2nd in the Drivers’ Championship for the first time.

    Russell confirmed as P8 in the Drivers’ Championship – the lowest for a full-season Mercedes driver since 2012.

    First race with 19 classified finishers since Austria.

    Thanks to statsf1 and the official F1 site for some of these.

    1. Although technically 3 retired, i.e., didn’t reach the chequered flag, a race with 19 actual finishers still awaits.
      Max of course isn’t the only driver to have raced in the same country 3 times in the same season, but yes, the only one with coincidently matching final results or outcomes.

  6. Max has now broken Schumacher’s record of most consecutive races as championship leader, Schumacher had 37 and Max is now consecutive races 38 championship leader and this will be 39 if he starts the Abu Dhabi race.

    Regardless of Abu Dhabi result max will have broken the season % records for points and laps lead.
    Points % (counting all races & current point system):
    Schumacher in 2002 scoring 380 of 425 points = 89.41%
    Verstappen in 2023 scoring 496 of 550 = 90.18% with max possible 521 of 550 = 94.73%

    Laps lead %:
    Clark in 1963 leading 506 of 708 laps = 71.47%
    Verstappen in 2023 leading 951 of 1,325 laps = 71.77% with max possible 1,009 of 1,325 = 76.15%

    Leclerc scored his 23rd Pole position, 1 more than Alonso, but like with the previous 12 poles failed to convert his pole to a win bringing his Pole to Win ratio to just 17.39% (4 of 23) with only Coulthard 16.67% (2 of 12) and Arnoux 11.11% (2 of 18) doing worse of the multiple win from pole winners.

    Verstappen scored his 20th podium of the season and his 21st in a 12 month period (22 races) breaking Lewis record of 20 podiums in a 12 month period first achieved between France 2018 (June 24th) and France 2019 (June 23rd) – in those 22 races he only failed to reach the podium at Austria and Mexico 2018.

    Verstappen extended his own record of most wins in a 12 month period to now 19 wins (22 races), Lewis is 2nd with 15 wins in a 12 month period (22 races) set in same period as his 20 podiums record.

    Verstappen extended his own record of most wins in a 36 month period to now 44 wins (68 races), Lewis is 2nd with 35 wins in a 36 month period (59 races) set from Spain 2018 to Spain 2021.
    Similarly he extended his record of most wins in last 50 races from 35 to 36 wins, joined 2nd are Lewis/Schumacher with 31 wins.

    In the Singapore GP 2023 video made by Lollipopman F1 comics (really recommend to watch all of them) the Max character made the comment “It’s ok, I’ll start another streak from Japan” and after his record breaking win streak of 10 wins earlier in 2023 Max indeed now has a new win streak already up to 6 wins. Max is the 2nd driver to have 2 consecutive win streaks of 5 or more wins in 1 season.
    Schumacher in 2004 achieved a win streak of 5 wins, then Monaco happened followed by another streak of 7 wins.

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