F1 Driver of the Day – United States GP 2023

Max Verstappen took his 50th victory in F1 at the Circuit of the Americas.

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Max Verstappen overcame brake problems to win the 2023 United States Grand Prix, but the fan vote for Driver of the Day went to Lando Norris, who finished third.

Norris, celebrating his 100th Grand Prix start at the Circuit of the Americas, led the race’s early stages after jumping Charles Leclerc at the start.

After stopping on Lap 18, Norris and Verstappen fought for the race win until the three-time world champion got past on Lap 28 and quickly left the McLaren behind.

Lewis Hamilton would eventually finish second after the Mercedes passed Norris on Lap 49, leaving him to cruise home to his sixth podium of 2023 despite a late charge by the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz.

Tight at the front

A packed crowd at the Circuit of the Americas braved the scorching temperatures for the second GP on American soil in 2023.

Norris jumped off the line better, taking the lead from Leclerc exiting Turn 1 with Hamilton and Verstappen following closely behind.

Esteban Ocon didn’t give Alpine’s new starstudded investors much cheer by retiring on Lap 6 after making contact with Oscar Piastri on Lap 1, with the Australian also retiring five laps later.

After clearing Leclerc on Lap 11, Verstappen was the first of the front runners to pit on Lap 17, jumping Hamilton and Carlos Sainz into second following the opening round of stops.

Verstappen then set about reeling in race leader Norris, and on Lap 28, the three-time world champion caught the McLaren and took the lead into Turn 15.

McLaren decided to box Norris for a second stop on Lap 33, with Verstappen following suit two laps later and just retaining track position over the Brit despite a slow stop. 

Hamilton tried to stick with Verstappen and Norris by clearing Leclerc on Lap 43 for third and then pulling a switch back on the younger Brit six laps later.

Despite having a five-second gap, Verstappen pushed hard to secure his 50th Formula 1 win as brake issues gave Hamilton a chance to spoil the Red Bull party, before ultimately running out of laps. 

Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
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