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Max Verstappen overcomes penalty to win Las Vegas Grand Prix

Verstappen overcomes penalty to win Las Vegas Grand Prix
© Reuters
Max Verstappen overcomes a penalty handed to him from a first-corner incident to win the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen has further showcased his dominance throughout 2023 to win the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Starting in second, Verstappen was handed a five-second penalty for his part in a first-corner incident with Charles Leclerc, while he found himself as far down the field as fifth at one point.

However, the already-crowned world champion powered back through the pack to claim a record-extending 18th victory of the campaign.

Ferrari driver Leclerc will be disappointed to have only earned second, particularly having stuck with Verstappen during the early stages when his Red Bull rival refused to give him first place back after the aforementioned incident - instead preferring to take his penalty at the first pit stop.

Nevertheless, the fact that Verstappen was back in front with 16 laps remaining and Leclerc was left requiring a last-lap overtake of Sergio Perez suggests that the end result may have been a foregone conclusion.

Just 2.241 seconds covered the podium places, ahead of Alpine's Esteban Ocon whose one-stop strategy paid off to edge out the cluster of cars behind him.

Ocon went from 16th to fourth while Aston Martin's Lance Stroll brilliantly earned fifth from 19th on the grid, with Carlos Sainz Jr, Lewis Hamilton, George Russell, Fernando Alonso and Oscar Piastri claiming the minor points places.

Perez and Hamilton have now guaranteed second and third place in the Drivers Standings, but the battle is on for fourth with just 12 points separating Sainz Jr, Alonso, Lando Norris and Leclerc.

With regards to the Constructors Rankings, Mercedes are now only four points in front of Ferrari for second, with that fight going down to next week's season-concluding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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Charles Leclerc at the Las Vegas GP on November 15, 2023
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