The Circuit of the Americas race is already over. In the state of Texas, the win went to none other than Max Verstappen. Behind him, Lewis Hamilton crossed the line second on the bumpy asphalt in Austin. Rounding out the stage was Lando Norris.
Norris got off to a strong start when the lights went out. The British driver took off like a rabbit and immediately took the lead. Verstappen took it easy and dropped back to fifth after the first lap. At that point, Norris had opened up a gap of more than two seconds to the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. While Norris was fine, his teammate Oscar Piastre was having a tough time.
The Australian hit Esteban Ogan’s car on the opening lap and it didn’t go as expected. Under the watchful eye of investor Anthony Joshua, Okon retired with a huge hole in his side. A few laps later, Piastre also went around the track at a snail’s pace and it was over for him too. By then Verstappen and Hamilton were already busy catching the Ferraris.
Verstappen, who started in the medium, then somewhat surprisingly became the first top rider. He was given access to a new medium, which set a two-stop operation in motion. However, Hamilton and Norris appeared to be heading for a one-stop as both opted for harder tyres. Norris was still in the lead, but behind him Verstappen stepped on the accelerator.
Despite Verstappen arguing with his brake pedal and his engineer, he went for it. He launched an attack on Norris that gave him the lead. Verstappen ended up in clear air and he started to get more and more of a gap on Norris. During the second wave of pit stops, Hamilton and Norris went back in, but they couldn’t beat Verstappen.
Verstappen held on to the lead, taking his fiftieth victory. It was exciting for a while as Hamilton overtook Norris in the closing stages. The seven-time world champion went all out and almost closed the gap in the final rounds. However, he was one lap short and Verstappen was crowned the winner in Austin.
Circuit of the Americas – October 22, 2023
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