Max Verstappen Overcomes Penalty, Crash to Win Las Vegas Grand Prix

Posted on: November 18, 2023, 11:49h. 

Last updated on: November 20, 2023, 12:48h.

There was no surprise ending to the inaugural Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix on Saturday night. Favorite Max Verstappen of Team Red Bull raced to his 18th victory in 21 races this season.

The start of the Las Vegas Grand Prix.
The race gets underway at 10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18. (Image:

However, the start and middle of the 50-lap event packed plenty of excitement, as Verstappen overcame a collision and a five-second penalty that once conspired to place him in fifth position.

Verstappen was penalized for forcing Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc’s car off the track in the first corner. But five seconds was no sweat for the Dutch champ. Nor was the front-wing damage he suffered in a crash with Mercedes’ George Russell.

The 26-year-old Dutch driver handily fought his way back, overtaking Alpine’s Pierre Gasly, McLaren’s Oscar Piastri, and then Red Bull’s Segio Perez and Leclerc, the two of whom traded the lead early on.

Max Verstappen savors his victory at the inaugural F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix on Saturday night. (Image:

No Stopping Verstappen

Leclerc finally succumbed to the Verstappen magic in Lap 37, then found himself in a tight race for second with Perez. That was only decided when his Ferrari zoomed past Perez’s Honda on the final straight.

Esteban Ocon’s Alpine took fourth place, while Lance Stroll grabbed fifth for Aston Martin, and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Lewis Hamilton — who also had contact — finished sixth and seventh. Russell finished eighth because of a five-second penalty for causing his collision with Verstappen.

Behind them, Fernando Alonso finished ninth after spinning his Aston Martin. Piastri rounded out the top 10 finishers.

McLaren’s Lando Norris suffered a race-ending crash on lap four, when he spun into the barriers at high speed, fortunately ending up in the run-off area.

Verstappen already holds the record for most single-season victories in a season. He set it with his 16th win this season last month in Mexico City, breaking his own record set last year.

With one more Grand Prix to go, next week in Abu Dhabi, Verstappen could finish the season with 19 wins in 22 meetings, a record unlikely to be challenged in the future by anybody — with the possible exception of Verstappen.

Race Results

1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:29:08.289 25
2 Charles Leclerc Ferrari +2.070s 18
3 Sergio Perez Red Bull +2.241s 15
4 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault +18.665s 12
5 Lance Stroll Aston Martin +20.067s 10
6 Carlos Sainz Ferrari +20.834s 8
7 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +21.755s 6
8 George Russell Mercedes +23.091s 4
9 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin +25.964s 2
10 Oscar Piastri McLaren Mercedes +29.496s 2
11 Pierre Gasly Alpine Renault +34.270s 0
12 Alexander Albon Williams Mercedes +43.398s 0
13 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari +44.825s 0
14 Daniel Ricciardo Alphatauri Honda +48.525s 0
15 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo Ferrari +50.162s 0
16 Logan Sargeant Williams Mercedes +50.882s 0
17 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo Ferrari +85.350s 0
18 Yuki Tsunoda Alphatauri Honda Did not finish 0
19 Nico Hulkenberg Haas Ferrari Did not finish 0
NC Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes Did not finish 0