Lando Norris earned a third-place result after looking to be set up for a win during the middle stages of the race, only to be undermined by an unsuccessful tire strategy.
“The whole race I was struggling with the brakes,” Verstappen told Sky Sports’ Jenson Button after the race. “Around here there are quite a few braking points and I couldn’t really have the same feeling as yesterday so that definitely made my race a bit tougher out there today. But yeah, you can see it was very close at the end.”
Verstappen took the lead from Norris on lap 28 after starting the race in sixth place. Norris’ hard tires looked to be giving up on him compared to Verstappen’s softer, faster mediums. Norris ultimately pitted for a second set of hards and briefly kept Verstappen at attention before eventually falling back into the grips of Hamilton, who ended the race on a set of medium tires.
Another handful of laps may have made the difference between the second-place result Hamilton found and his first win since Jeddah in 2021. The seven-time champion was clawing Verstappen into reach as the race wound down, cutting four seconds out of the Dutchman’s lead over the last five laps. It proved too little, too late for Hamilton, who took his sixth podium of the season excluding Sprint races.
Charles Leclerc ended his day in sixth after starting on the pole but losing the lead to Norris off the line. The driver from Monaco struggled with pace and strategy throughout the day and was eventually asked by the team to allow teammate Carlos Sainz to pass him late in the race. Leclerc vehemently pressed the team for an explanation of the decision, suggesting that he wanted to speak with the team after the race.
Esteban Ocon was the first retirement of the race after picking up damage in a tussle with Oscar Piastri. Piastri was struck by his own misfortune a few laps later when he was ordered to retire his McLaren due to overheating issues.
Fernando Alonso, who had put together a scorching charge from starting in the pit lane to running in the points-scoring positions before a rear suspension failure ended his day with nine laps to go.
American Logan Sargeant came home – at home – in 12th after driving a quiet but effective race for his second-best result of the season.
Next on the F1 calendar is the Mexico City Grand Prix, to be held on Sunday, Oct. 29 at 4 p.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by ESPN.
About the author
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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