Red Bull’s Max Verstappen sang “Viva Las Vegas” as he celebrated a record-extending 18th victory of the Formula One season on Saturday and joined Sebastian Vettel in third place on the all-time winners’ list.
The triumph was the 53rd of the triple world champion’s career, and sixth in a row, and came after a five-second penalty for forcing Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc off track at the start and then a later collision with Mercedes’ George Russell.
It was also Red Bull’s 20th win in 21 races, another record for a single season, and completed a sweep of three U.S. wins in 2023 for their 26-year-old Dutch driver, who was also dominant in Miami and Austin.
“It was a tough one,” said Verstappen, whose race suit further revved up the Sin City hype with flourishes in homage to the signature jumpsuit of the late “King of Rock and Roll”, Elvis Presley.
“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.
“That put us a little bit on the back foot, I had to pass quite a few cars … It was definitely a lot of fun.”
Leclerc, who had started on pole position, denied Red Bull a seventh one-two finish of the season by passing Mexican Sergio Perez on the last lap to seize back second place in a race full of incident.
(Published 19 November 2023, 09:48 IST)