Tue, 05 December 2023
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen sang «Viva Las Vegas» after racing to a record-extending 18th victory of the season and joining Sebastian Vettel in third place on Formula One’s all-time winners’ list.
The triumph was the 53rd of the triple 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 collision with Mercedes’ George Russell.
According to Reuters, Leclerc finished second after starting on pole position, losing and regaining the lead and then losing it again before passing Sergio Perez on the final lap to deny Red Bull a seventh one-two of the season.
The win was Red Bull’s 20th in 21 races, another record for a single season, and delivered the racing that had risked being swamped in a wave of hype as Vegas hosted a grand prix for the first time since the 1980s. RedBull also completed a sweep of three US 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 paid homage to the signature jumpsuit of the late «King of Rock and Roll», Elvis Presley. Red Bull played the timeless Elvis song over the team radio, after pop star Justin Bieber waved the chequered flag, and Verstappen showed he is a far better driver than singer by joining in.