Race Weekend Central

Max Verstappen Dominates F1 Sprint at COTA

Max Verstappen began his tour as the newly-crowned three-time Formula 1 World Champion with a win in the F1 Sprint at Circuit of the Americas on Saturday (Oct. 21).

Verstappen led the Sprint from start to end after winning pole during Saturday morning’s Sprint Shootout qualifying session. Lewis Hamilton followed Verstappen to the checkered flag ahead of Charles Leclerc, who will start Sunday’s Grand Prix on pole.

“We could do our own race, control the pace a bit, and I had a bit of fun at the end pushing a bit more,” Verstappen said after the race.

“I do need [race pace] tomorrow. Starting [sixth place] is going to be a bit different than today. But it makes it interesting and hopefully we can have a bit of fun out there tomorrow.”

See also
Charles Leclerc Takes Pole at COTA After Max Verstappen Track Limits Violation

The Red Bull driver had to defend aggressively from Leclerc’s Ferrari off the line, pushing Leclerc off the racing surface and consolidating his lead into the first turn. Verstappen controlled the pace from that point on before ending the day almost 10 seconds ahead of Hamilton.

Daniel Ricciardo collected a 12th-place result in his first race session for AlphaTauri since breaking his wrist at Zandvoort. Ricciardo’s teammate Yuki Tsunoda came home 14th.

Logan Sargeant finished 19th and last-car-running, just over a quarter of a second behind Kevin Magnussen in the second of three home races this season for the American rookie.

Lance Stroll was the only retirement from the Sprint, continuing what has been, so far, a disappointing weekend for Aston Martin.

The 2023 United States Grand Prix will go green at the Circuit of the Americas on Sunday, Oct. 22, at 3 p.m. ET with coverage on ESPN.

About the author

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Alex is the IndyCar Content Director at Frontstretch, having initially joined as an entry-level contributor in 2021. He also serves as Managing Director of The Asia Cable, a publication focused on the international affairs and politics of the Asia-Pacific region which he co-founded in 2023. With previous experience in China, Japan and Poland, Alex is particularly passionate about the international realm of motorsport and the politics that make the wheels turn - literally - behind the scenes.

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