Verstappen Blitzes 2023 US Sprint

(Image credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Roundup of Sprint Saturday at 2023 US Grand Prix as Max Verstappen dominated proceedings. 

Having qualified sixth for the main race on Sunday, Verstappen roared back to dominate Sprint Shootout Qualifying and subsequently sped away to his third sprint win of the campaign.

Lewis Hamilton meanwhile continued his strong weekend as he finished second ahead of Charles Leclerc to round out the top three.

Now here is a full roundup of Sprint Shootout and the Sprint Race in Texas, USA.


Sprint Shootout


In a tweak from the usual SS1 format, teams were mandatory forced to run the medium rather than hard tyre, with Hamilton first out on track and set the benchmark time of 1m 36.402 which was soon bettered by Leclerc whio went 0.100 seconds quicker.

Once everyone had set a lap time, the elimination zone compromised of; Kevin Magnussen, Daniel Ricciardo, Lance Stroll, Logan Sargeant and Oscar Piastri, although Piastri improved in the tenth minute to 11th fastest and dropped Valtteri Bottas into the bottom five.

As the checkered flag fell, Ricciardo, Stroll and Piastri all survived as Nico Hulkenberg was eliminated in 16th position, ahead of Magnussen, Bottas, Yuki Tsunoda and Sargeant.

Verstappen meanwhile topped SS1 with 1m 35.997 set in the eighth minute of the segment.



Verstappen was first out on track as drivers once again ran medium tyres in this segment and set the benchmark time of 1m 35.181 in the fourth minute, whilst seven drivers held back to save their medium tyre for one flying lap at the end of the session rather than two runs.

Once the checkered flag fell, Ricciardo qualified 11th ahead of Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon whilst Stroll outqualified Guanyu Zhou for 14th position on the Sprint grid by just 0.001s.

Up top, Verstappen finished fastest as his benchmark lap time wasn’t beaten despite the Dutchman spinning at Turn 9 on his final flying lap.



Due to heavy tyre degradation on the soft tyre across one flying lap, those who made it through to SS3 decided to stay in the pits for the opening two minutes before Verstappen led a queue of cars out onto the circuit for a single lap shootout.

Verstappen proceeded to set the benchmark time of 1m 34.538 with barely a minute left on the clock which proved enough for the Sprint pole ahead of Leclerc and Hamilton, as the top three were split by just 0.069s.

Lando Norris qualified fourth ahead of Oscar Piastri, Carlos Sainz, Sergio Perez, George Russell, Alex Albon and Pierre Gasly.

Russell post-session was handed a three-place grid penalty after he impeded Leclerc at the end of SS1, which dropped him to 11th on the grid for the Sprint.

Position Driver Team Time
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1m 34.538
2 Charles Leclerc Ferrari + 0.055
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes + 0.069
4 Lando Norris McLaren + 0.101
5 Oscar Piastri McLaren + 0.356
6 Carlos Sainz Ferrari + 0.401
7 Sergio Perez Red Bull + 0.503
8 George Russell Mercedes + 0.661
9 Alex Albon Williams + 0.828
10 Pierre Gasly Alpine + 1.359
11 Daniel Ricciardo AlphaTauri 1m 35.978
12 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin + 0.109
13 Esteban Ocon Alpine + 0.159
14 Lance Stroll Aston Martin + 0.203
15 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo + 0.204
16 Nico Hulkenberg Haas 1m 36.749
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas + 0.173
18 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo + 0.173
19 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri + 0.196
20 Logan Sargeant Williams + 0.437


Sprint Race

(Image credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

At lights out, Verstappen forced Leclerc wide towards the pit exit wall to retain his lead which allowed Hamilton to sweep round the outside of Turn 1 to take second from the Monegasque, whilst Sainz – who was only driver on soft tyre – overtook Norris for fourth into Turn 12.

Russell meanwhile improved to eighth which became seventh on Lap 3 as he followed Perez in passing Piastri, although he overtook the Australian off track at Turn 16 into Turn 17 which earned him a five-second time penalty.

Up front, Verstappen fought off an initial challenge from Hamilton to cruise to victory as he became the first driver to win three sprint races in one season.

Leclerc settled for third as Norris passed Sainz for fourth on Lap 10 with Perez following through a lap later, whilst Sainz settled for sixth as Gasly benefitted from Russell’s penalty to finish seventh ahead of the Brit who was demoted to eighth in the classification.

In the drivers’ standings, Perez’s lead over Hamilton in the battle for second was trimmed to 27 points ahead of the Grand Prix.

McLaren meanwhile closed the gap to fourth-placed Aston Martin in the constructors’ standings to six points after neither Alonso or Stroll failed to score points for the latter team.

Position Driver Team Laps Time
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 19 3..m ..
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 19 + 9.465
3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 19 + 17.987
4 Lando Norris McLaren 19 + 18.863
5 Sergio Perez Red Bull 19 + 22.928
6 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 19 + 28.307
7 Pierre Gasly Alpine 19 + 32.403
8 George Russell Mercedes 19 + 34.250
9 Alex Albon Williams 19 + 34.567
10 Oscar Piastri McLaren 19 + 42.403
11 Esteban Ocon Alpine 19 + 44.986
12 Daniel Ricciardo AlphaTauri 19 + 45.509
13 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin 19 + 49.086
14 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 19 + 49.733
15 Nico Hulkenberg Haas 19 + 56.650
16 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 19 + 64.401
17 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo 19 + 67.972
18 Kevin Magnussen Haas 19 + 71.122
19 Logan Sargeant Williams 19 + 71.449
RET Lance Stroll Aston Martin 16 Brakes

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