Hello and welcome to This Las Vegas Grand Prix, well while the winner was no surprise, I think the streets of Sin City lived up to expectations. Max Verstappen’s record-breaking run continued with his eighteenth win of the season despite losing out following an opening-lap collision with Leclerc.
The sports new showcase street circuit created a show worthy of the lights of Sin City lots of overtaking against the iconic backdrop of Vegas. For the. first time Red Bull has secured the one-two in the driver and Lewis Hamilton best of the rest.
Motorsport.com says it has learned that the FIA is to tighten the process that allows teams to request a right of review. It says the governing body is set to reduce the period where teams can seek a review from fourteen days to four, In addition a fee will be introduced, whereas currently there is no charge.
The plan for change was discussed before the recent request for a review from Haas regarding track limits offences committed by rivals at the US GP, which was eventually rejected by the FIA. Right-of-review requests have become more common in recent years with three other requests this season.
The governing body intends to tweak both the International Sporting Code and its own judicial rules for 2024, which apply to all FIA competitions.
Originally, there was no time limit on a right of review request, so a team could in theory challenge the result of a race that took place months earlier. That was subsequently changed to fourteen days, a limit that Haas took full advantage of when collating its evidence. The plan is to change that to ninety-six hours from the end of the competition, although in exceptional circumstances the stewards will be able to extend the deadline to four days.
A fee equivalent to the cost of an appeal – currently €6000 in the case of F1 – will be introduced. That will be refunded only if the right of review is upheld by the stewards. In addition, there are set to be changes to how the appeal system works.
At the moment teams can submit a notice of intention to appeal, and then have 96 hours during which they can decide whether or not they then pursue the matter with a formal appeal.
From now on, even if the notice is withdrawn the matter will be referred to the International Court of Appeal, and the team concerned could receive a penalty if it was deemed that they gained an advantage through the process. Currently, no fee is payable unless the team then proceeds with the appeal. Henceforth, that fee will have to be paid upfront, accompanying the notice of intention to appeal.
In the eight minutes we had in FP1, Charles Leclerc topped the times with a 40.909 ahead of both Haas by two seconds with Nico Hulkenberg P2 and Kevin Magnussen P3. The session was then abandoned after Carlos Sainz crashed after hitting a water valve on The Strip along with Esteban Ocon. On the track, engineers and officials were working to inspect 30 water valves along the Strip. They then switched to filling them in with a mixture of asphalt and resin in an effort to get FP2 going.
At 02:30am after a two-and-a-half-hour delay, FP2 was extended to ninety minutes, Leclerc topping the session with a 35.265 going half a second faster than Sainz. Fernando Alonso was third, the Aston Martin driver a hundredth behind his fellow Spaniard and almost three-tenths faster than the Red Bull of Sergio Perez. Valtteri Bottas split the two Red Bulls, he was nearly half a tenth behind Perez and was half a tenth ahead of Max Verstappen.
FP3 saw George Russell top the times with a 34.093 going nearly three-tenths faster than Oscar Piastri before the session was red-flagged with five minutes to go. Logan Sargeant was third eight thousandths faster than Verstappen, It took until the final quarter for the top times to tumble again.
Qualifying saw Leclerc beat Sainz to pole by half a second with Verstappen joining the Monacan on the front row. Leclerc had set a provisional pole with a 33.021, while Sainz unlike his teammate and Verstappen did a double warm-up lap but that didn’t pay off in Q3 with Verstappen and Leclerc set their fastest times on the first hot lap. But the Spaniard spilt the two, going three-tenths faster than Verstappen.
Verstappen won the drama-filled race by two seconds after overtaking Leclerc on the final lap. But the Dutchman’s eighteenth win of the season wasn’t without drama he had lost out at the start and gained a penalty for forcing the Ferrari off at the start. Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez was third despite being overtaken by Leclerc on the final lap, the Mexican finished two and a half tenths behind allowing him to seal second in the drivers. His main rival for the runners-up spot Lewis Hamilton could only manage seventh.
In the teams preview ahead of this weekend, CEO and team principal Toto Wolff the team ‘understands our mistakes’ that led to their dismal performance in the Sao Paulo GP and are now looking forward to the “big challenge” that awaits the sport on the new Las Vegas GP street circuit.
Last week Wolff said they made a “fundamental” error in the way they set up the car in Sao Paulo describing it as a “nightmare” which the team believed was a set-up miscue giving way to major struggles for pace and tyre wear. He said they now know what went wrong with setting up the W14 for Interlagos, although did not elaborate specifically on what that was.
Despite winning last years race in Interlagos, Wolff described it as “probably our most difficult weekend of the season. After promising performances in the US and Mexico, we didn’t perform at our best in Brazil. We have been hard at work to identify the wrong turn we took with the set-up; we have done that. We understand our mistakes and can explain our performance loss to the field.”
I think Interlagos is as I wrote last week, a very different a more technical circuit without the really long straights we have in Mexico City or Austin. Prior to the weekend, he said “We have prepared the best we can, using the limited information we have, and there are some unique characteristics we can anticipate. The schedule is offset compared to other races.”
“We’ll be running at night, where ambient and track temperatures will likely be in the single digits. Plus, the track layout itself is unusual with many slow corners but long straights. It’s going to be a big challenge for us all and we’re looking forward to taking it on.”
Hamilton added in Wednesday’s press conference “It’s still not a world championship-winning car and I don’t even think it’s probably a race-winning car still. That’s what we’re going to have to work on for next year” the seven-time world champion said for the next two weeks the focus was beating Ferrari to second in the constructors.
George Russell said he believed that the chilly night-time conditions that the floodlit track sessions are set to take place under could make the event a “weekend of opportunity” in a season totally dominated by Red Bull and Max Verstappen.
Russell said, “It’s definitely going to be a bit of an unknown because these Pirelli tyres are challenging at the best of times. But they’re developed to operate in warm climates. We always talk about the temperature of the tarmac and it normally operates between 30-60 degrees whereas estimates are probably between 10-15 degrees here. So twice as cold as the tyres are used to dealing with.”
Russell says he and Hamilton have been aligned in their feedback on the W14 through this year. He insists Mercedes understands why they have been off Red Bull’s pace – and now intended to turn that understanding into a big 2024 step forward.
Following practice both Hamilton who was ninth and Russell twelfth in FP2, said they enjoyed the track and in the wee hours Friday morning Mercedes was the first to switch to longer runs with the analysis of the data suggesting that they are in the hunt with Ferrari and Red Bull on average. But it doesn’t look like there is a lot between Ferrari and Mercedes.
Hamilton told Sky Sports, “We’re travelling at some serious speeds out there. It’s incredibly fast and it’s a lot of fun – I had so much fun today. I’m so glad we did get to run again. They did a great job to fix it and it was an interesting session.”
said Russell “It’s a very fast circuit, the highest top speeds of the year probably, and obviously racing at night is pretty spectacular. I think it is going to be an interesting race weekend. Every lap you do you are learning. You are all going faster, the track is getting faster, your braking points are changing.”
Hamilton missed out on a place in Q3 by two hundredths, it was a difficult weekend as the seven-time champion said it “wasn’t working” I don’t think Vegas was a circuit that suited the car as we know said all season its very tight behind Red Bull for best of the rest and we know that has fluctuated to which team race to race.
Russell fared better, though, to qualify fourth, and will start third due to Sainz’s penalty. This is not a complete surprise as they struggled in Baku and Monza which have a similar make-up of long straights and slow-speed corners, also they have also found it difficult finding grip and heat into the tyres.
Hamilton said, “Just not that great. Yesterday was feeling a little bit better and we were looking relatively competitive. Made some changes overnight, P3 was pretty poor, put me on the backfoot, and I was just trying to recover basically in qualifying which is never the place to do so. Just struggled with the grip. The car just wasn’t working for me. It’s definitely difficult when you can’t even get through Q2, but it is what it is.”
Max Verstappen went into this weekend describing the race as “99% show and 1% sporting event.” The triple world champion said he is “not looking forward” to the razzmatazz around the race, the first time Formula 1 cars have raced down the city’s famous Strip.
Other leading drivers were more equivocal about the hype. Wednesday night saw a lavish opening memory headlined by Kylie Minogue and Journey, and culminated in the drivers being introduced to a sparsely populated crowd in light rain by being lifted into view on hydraulic platforms under a sound-and-light show.
Verstappen added: “They are still going to make money whether I like it or not. But I am also not going to fake it. I voice my opinion in positive and negative things. That’s just how I am. Some people like show a bit more, I don’t like it at all. I just grew up looking at the performance side of things. I like to be in Vegas but not so much for racing.”
Serval drivers including Lewis Hamilton have been unhappy with the extra demands placed on them, including a request by F1 for them to support a party at the Wynn Hotel, one of the founding partners of the race, at 22:30 that evening.
A number of drivers defied Domenicali and did not attend, including Verstappen, while Aston Martin sent neither Alonso nor his team-mate Lance Stroll, with team owner Lawrence Stroll attending instead.
The timing of the event with the race starting at 22:00 PST (06:00 GMT) means they are effectively operating on times normally found in Japan or Melbourne, with them having to shift back to European time in just a weeks time for the final race in Abu Dhabi a twelve hour time difference
Requiring drivers to attend the party meant some teams had to change their media schedules on a day that is typically set aside for interviews. This has a knock-on effect for other meetings, such as engineering preparation for the race weekend. The set-up of this weekend has seen the media centre shifted from the paddock to a hotel, the sport’s bosses decided not to include a media centre in the paddock, preferring to devote the space to corporate guests.
Verstappen’s former teammate Daniel Ricciardo criticises the ‘unaffordable general admission’ tickets, saying that entry should be affordable to everyone. Adding “If [there are] some crazy packages and people want to spend that, all good. Maybe this is another weekend where this is the crowd they want to go after and that is the business plan.”
It was another difficult qualifying for Sergio Perez who was knocked out in Q2, the feeling I have was that his side of the garage was not on it strange as we know that at street circuits and at night races the track ramps up the further into the session and evening we go, while he was P5 I found it odd not sending him back out.
he said to his engineer: “We finished quite early, no?”. His concern proved to be valid as he subsequently found himself bumped down to P12. Perez said after the session “We had a strategy before qualifying with the team, and obviously we don’t know this place, and we were thinking what was the best programme, and we went this route.
“Obviously after that, it’s easier to know that it was the wrong call. Already in Q1 we were a bit lucky to get through because we didn’t get our final lap coming back to the pits. Then Q2 just finishing the session a little bit too early meant that there was some evolution still on track, and we were in the pits.”
As I suspected he confirmed that part of the issue was getting the temperature into the tyres, but I think that everyone knew that going into qualifying and that multiple out laps were going to be key to get heat into the tyres. That as Perez admitted getting temperature into the tyres was a challenge.
he said, “Yeah, it hasn’t been straightforward. I think you saw in qualifying people doing different sorts of programmes. And some people got caught out with it, and we were one of them.”
Going into the weekend Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were hopeful that the circuit plays to their strengths. Last time out in Sao Paulo, Leclerc failed to start the grand prix due to a hydraulics issue causing him to crash on the formation lap.
The Monacan said “I love street tracks, first of all, so I cannot wait to be out on track tomorrow and to try this street track. I’ve had quite a few laps on the simulator, but the amount of data is limited for now because we haven’t done any real laps yet. But the ones I did virtually I enjoyed, so I hope that it will fit our car as well, which on paper should fit a bit more than the last few races, which I hope will give us a great result coming Sunday.”
Last time we raced on a street circuit, which was Singapore two months ago to the day on Saturday, it was Sainz who took the only non-Red Bull to win a Grand Prix. That also was a street circuit and night race, but under different conditions the exact opposite of Vegas.
Sainz added, “Better hopes than recently, mainly because the track looks a bit more suited to us than recent tracks. Long straights like in Monza, tight corners like in Monza or Singapore, maybe there is the combination of Turn 1 and 2 [in Las Vegas] where we will not be very quick, but the rest of the track, our car should be better suited than recent events, and hopefully that should give us a better opportunity.”
One of the biggest stories on Thursday was Carlos Sainz’s accident and the huge damage caused to his Ferrari after his car hit a drain cover during the opening laps of FP1. The damage to the car forced Ferrari to essentially build the Spaniard a new car and thus break limits on both engine and gearbox meaning through no fault of his or teams meant he started last.
The team did try to appeal against a penalty for using parts outside his pool, and while the stewards accepted that these distances were “mitigating, unusual and unfortunate circumstances,” ultimately decided they had no choice given the wording of the regulations to give him a ten-place grid penalty. It been reported that the stewards spent four hours studying the regulations to try to find a loophole.
The stewards added, “if they had the authority to grant a derogation in what they consider in this case to be mitigating, unusual and unfortunate circumstances, they would have done so, however, the regulations do not allow such action.”
Sources suggest that the stewards spent over two hours looking for a way for the Ferrari driver to avoid a penalty. I think that the rules don’t allow for this situation and they had to apply a penalty, but it’s incredibly harsh given this was caused by the circuit rather than driver error or reliability.
But the feeling from the FP2 session is that Ferrari were looking quite competitive with their main rival McLaren looking to struggle because of its ongoing aerodynamic inefficiency issues being exposed on another straights-dominated layout a la Monza. Norris felt “the grip was poor and it’s easy to go through the tyres quite quickly, which is what we were doing”.
Despite taking pole, Leclerc believes that he “didn’t do a good enough job.” He took pole after teammate Sainz and Verstappen abandoned their final laps, pipping Sainz by four hundredths. However, he believes he could have gone faster with his lap five hundredths slower than the his Q2 topping time.
Leclerc said: “Obviously, it’s an incredible event and to be starting from pole tomorrow is great. However, a bit disappointed with my laps in Q3. I didn’t do a good enough job, but it was enough for P1. So that’s all we need.”
“I think my best lap was in Q2, which the track evolution is big here, so I should have done it in Q3, but I didn’t. But again, it’s like this and we are starting from pole, so I cannot complain.” We know that Leclerc is a good qualifier but the challenge is getting everything right in the race he has not won from the front row since Melbourne 2022. But can Ferrari repeat what they did in Singapore?
After the race, Leclerc believed that the midrace safety car denied him the opportunity to fight for the win. The safety car was caused at half distance by the Verstappen-Russell collision at Fashion Show Mall.
While the safety car gave Sergio Perez a cheap second pitstop, as he pitted from the lead for fresh hards to return in second place behind Leclerc, Red Bull also pitted Verstappen for new hard tyres and he came out in fifth. Leclerc, who had only made his first pitstop five laps earlier, was kept out by Ferrari as he attempted to make his one-stop strategy work.
The timing of the stop and the safety car didn’t allow Leclerc to go after Verstappen for the win, but he did manage to catch and pass Perez on the last lap. But it was his best result since Spielberg at the start of July.
While pleased with his best result since the Austrian GP, Leclerc felt victory could have been his without the safety-car intervention. Leclerc reflected, “Mixed emotions, on one hand, I am extremely happy with today’s performance. We didn’t leave anything on the table and, until the very last corner of the last lap, I gave it my all and managed to get that second place. But, on the other hand, I’m disappointed, as I really believed that without the safety car the win was ours.”
I think this was a good race for Ferrari, the whole weekend in fact but I think it was still going to be hard for them to beat Verstappen. They got the strategy right and appeared not to have the tyre issues they had in the past, but Leclerc also conceded that had he pitted under the safety car it was unlikely to have improved his result fighting against two Red Bulls ahead of him at the restart.
McLaren says the improvements it needs next year to close the gap next year to Red Bull it will have to beyond just aerodynamics. The team has had the biggest turnaround from the start of the season where it was near the back having admitted it got its concept wrong, following the recent upgrades they have been the closest scorers and challengers to Red Bull since the summer break.
Having made impressive progress this year, it is aware that it still has more work to do before it can think about challenging the dominant Red Bull on pure pace terms. But its biggest weakness, which team principal Andrea Stella, believes is the only thing between McLaren and Red Bull is the way its rival has the edge on tyre degradation.
As the team pushes on with its 2024 design, Stella says that the progress it needs to make to close down the deficit goes beyond just downforce. he said, “We have set some targets, let’s say, but I can’t say in which area and how. But what I can say is that it’s not only aero.”
Asked by Motorsport.com how much of the tyre degradation issue was down to aerodynamics, and how much mechanical, Stella said: “It’s a combination of both. I can’t say much more than that.” However, while it looks to continue to progress its aware that Red Bull’s two biggest rivals, Mercedes and Ferrari have underdelivered and are changing their philosophy for 2024.
One important aspect about McLaren’s current form is that it was achieved with a car that in its launch-spec was not what the team wanted.
Stella says that some aspects of the MCL60 have been retained, but the team has had to bring through a lot of overhauled elements throughout the campaign. he said, “The car we launched in March, there are some elements that have been developed with continuity, but most of it has been developed in discontinuity. Especially when it came to the floor, bodywork, rear wing, and to some extent the front wing.”
Lando Norris crashed out early on after running over a bump at Wynn Hotel which was a flat-out corner, but the team say that bump should be sorted out for next years race. The Briton spun and went backwards into the outside wall, coming to a stop in the run-off area. After passing through the medical centre, Norris was sent to a nearby hospital for precautionary checks but was soon cleared and released.
When asked what caused the crash, his team principal Stella said: “There’s a bump in that place. And you can see all cars sparkle when they go through this bump. I think the combination of the bump and the cold tyres might have surprised him. I think that bump, if we carry on racing at night time, should be fixe, because the tyres will always be cold, low grip and it becomes a very tricky corner.”
“Already during the weekend, we saw cases of oversteer in that place. So independently of the timetable, we would strongly recommend that this bump is smoothened out.”
I think it was unlucky but there were other factors at play according to Stella, but we don’t know the full picture and there are so many variables in racing maybe Norris thought there was enough grip and at that stage in the race maybe not had enough heat in the tyres was a factor.
Teammate Piastri had a difficult race after being forced into an extra stop following contact with Hamilton, in which he also showed strong race pace and fine overtakes to get back into contention. Stella added, “It was a bit of a surprise as to how quick we were, so it’s a shame that because we had started the race on hard tyres, then we needed to pit before the due time because of the contact with Hamilton. With the safety car placed wherever it was placed, it was always going to be a bit of an unfavourable race for somebody that started on the hard.”
Esteban Ocon was one of the biggest winners from what he described as a ‘pretty chaotic’ race, after coming from sixteenth to fourth. The Frenchman picked up eight places during the opening lap dramas before showing really good pace once the race settled down picking up four more places following the safety car..
Ocon said “It’s an amazing feeling. I’m again alive, you know, after yesterday… Yesterday we were injured but the healing power of the Deadpool helmet made the difference today! It definitely was a crazy race. We stayed away from the graining, from the degradation that everyone had [on the tyres] and managed to come back from P16 to P4. It just feels awesome.”
Alpine have had an up-and-down season but despite that Q1 elimination, looked to be quite strong as we know how tight that midfield fight has been with Aston and McLaren in the second half of the season, as well as a few collisions. They were one of the strongest teams on tyres this weekend which while not as big of an issue as we thought it would be.
Gasly looked to be Alpine’s danger man heading into the race, after securing his best qualifying of the season. But having sat in P3 at the Lap 29 Safety Car restart after a strong opening to the race, Gasly blamed a switch to hard tyres for his fall to an eventual P11 – having had a thrilling battle with Ocon en route.
Gasly said “I think we had a great start, running in fourth, I think even third at some points. But fitting that set of hards was pretty chaotic for us; I grained the tyres quite early on, and just had no pace for the majority of the second part of the race. I tried to defend as much as I could but it’s quite frustrating, I must say, after such a good [qualifying].”
Daniel Ricciardo has said it is fair to question whether Formula One’s due diligence over the safety of the Las Vegas track went far enough after Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari was wrecked by a loose drain cover in Friday’s opening practice session.
Asked after FP1, “It’s a fair question. We’re like, yeah it’s a late day, but two cars got ruined. Along with that there is a financial thing there for the teams, which is a big issue for them, but then you brought up the biggest issue which is safety.”
“So fortunately Carlos is OK, but those things could be greater — when I say greater I mean bigger consequences. I don’t know, I think it’s easy to say we did opening ceremonies and focused on other things and did they do their due diligence on the track? But with everything that happened today, you could ask some questions like did they do enough?
Going into the weekend Fernando Alonso believed that no driver “will not have two laps the same” over the 2023 Las Vegas weekend due to a major track evolution factor on the new surface. In recent years new asphalt like we saw most noticeably in Istanbul 2020 as well as new circuits in Lusail, Jeddah and Miami has been very slippery for the cars, even with Pirelli bringing its softest tyres, as is the case for the Vegas weekend.
When asked by Motorsport.com to outline any particular areas of the 3.86-mile track where drivers could gain or lose time on what is a straight-heavy layout, Alonso instead highlighted the track evolution aspect as the area that could catch some out. He said, “A street circuit, very low downforce – just getting that confidence into the car [will be important]. The braking areas, I think that will be very important.”
“With the conditions of the track and not having any support races, I think the amount of track evolution during the weekend is going to be bigger than normal. So, that will challenge everyone. I guess we will not have two laps the same over the weekend. Every lap of the track will be a little bit better than the lap before – from FP1 to the last lap of the race.”
Following practice in the early hours of Friday morning, Alonso believed that the team had a “couple of tenths” in hand. In FP2 the two-time champion was third half a second off Leclerc’s session topping time he is the only driver who was alive last time we raced in Vegas back in 1982. Speaking about practice, “It is an interesting circuit for sure. With a lot of very different corners and these long straights, which at night the tyres, they lose temperature a little bit. I think the race is going to be fun, a lot of opportunities to overtake as well, so let’s see tomorrow if we can optimise things.” Alonso believes there is more pace for Aston Martin to find ahead of qualifying
Asked whether the cooler temperatures the drivers faced on day one could play a factor come qualifying and the race, Alonso answered: “It should not be too bad. I think qualifying eventually you put the temperature in the tyre. I think [there] could be a little bit more adrenaline if there are any Safety Cars or things like that where the tyres can lose the temperature. That will be a little bit more tricky, but it will be the same for everybody and we should be ready.”
am mate, Lance Stroll, also enjoyed a strong day as he wound up eighth in FP2, with the Canadian racer later giving his view on events. Stroll when asked to describe the track said, “Fun [and] fast. It was cool driving through Vegas… For sure a bit of a challenge getting the tyres up to temperature and all that, but we will see how we go tomorrow.”
Questioned on what we can expect from Aston Martin come qualifying, Stroll responded: “It’s tight but I think we were pretty competitive today, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
Team principal James Vowles hopes Logan Sargeant’s breakthrough seventh place in Las Vegas Grand Prix qualifying can be a turning point for the American rookie. The American has despite showing flashes of potential has had a season littered by rookie errors while teammate Alex Albon has been one of the stand-out drivers.
But in recent weeks, Sargeant has shown a much steadier approach, which he was able to convert into seventh place on the grid on a Las Vegas street circuit that suited the efficient Williams much better than the preceding events. In Q2 and Q3 he stayed within two-tenths of Albon, who qualified one place ahead, after being a tenth quicker in Q1.
Speaking to Motorsport.com/Autosport, Vowles hopes Sargeant’s seventh place, which will become sixth on the grid after Carlos Sainz’s penalty, can be a turning point regardless of the outcome of Saturday’s race. he said, “I hope so. I think certainly, when you score your first point, it creates a turning point for you.”
“When you start performing against your team-mate that is one of the best in the world and be within a few tenths, and against everyone else on the grid, then you find another turning point. This gives you the confidence to know that you have the ability required.” He says the American has got better at managing risk v reward rather than trying to over-deliver.
Sargeant’s relief at finally putting his car on the grid position it deserves was evident from his joyous outburst on the team radio, and he was still beaming when asked if this was his best weekend performance in F1 so far.
Sargeant added, “So far, absolutely. It means a lot after putting so much hard work into trying to be able to do these things. And it’s very irritating when in the past rounds you see that potential, but you don’t do it.”
Going into the weekend the team announced they would splitting its cars for the Las Vegas weekend, with Nico Hulkenberg running the old aero package and Kevin Magnussen the newer spec. this was a choice made by the driver’s preference.
The team took a different direction with the upgrade package, first seen at the US GP last month, and has since earned some solid midfield grid positions. However, the cars are still proving hard in their tyres over a race stint, leaving the helpless drivers to drop down the order.
Speaking about the decision to spilt strategy, team principal Guenther Steiner said, “The main drive behind this was Nico feels that for him the old spec suits him better, and Kevin is the opposite We’ve opted to give them what they want, we have two races to go and nothing to lose, so we’ve tried to do what we can.”
This isn’t normal to see, we do see it but that tends to make weekends more difficult for the teams.
Regarding the specific challenges of the night event, he added: “The low temperatures are a challenge, as everyone knows you need to keep the tyres higher than the minimum temperature, which is higher than five degrees, so we always need to keep them a bit warmer, but it depends also a lot on the asphalt. It’s a combination of temperature and roughness of asphalt, but I don’t think degradation can get much worse for us than in Brazil.”
Guenther Steiner says he has no regrets about pursuing a right of review request over track limits at the US Grand Prix, despite it being rejected. The Haas team principal says despite being rejected the governing body FIA admitting it did a “bad job” was a win.
The team compiled video and photographic evidence which they believed was the new and relevant information that would trigger a review. The US GP stewards deemed otherwise, while urging the FIA to find a better solution for track limits, and specifically Austin’s Turn 6.
Asked about the failed bid, he said “I don’t regret it. Obviously, we were conscious that it will be difficult to make it stick, but at least we tried. What came out is that the stewards actually said the FIA is doing a bad job. And I think that’s what was done.”
The stewards also noted that Haas should have submitted a protest immediately after the US race rather than waiting and making a review request, but Steiner didn’t agree with that assertion. Arguing that the FIA should have had a way of enforcing the rules around track limits.
The US manufacturer General Motors, which owns Cadillac and Ford, has confirmed it will build F1 power units from 2026. The news comes as growing evidence of how the sport is continuing to grow in America as well as strengthen the bid by Andretti to enter the sport in 2026 has been accepted by the FIA however it has yet to agree a deal with Liberty Medi.
Michael Andretti, who joined forces with GM last year, recently said his team is ready to join as early as 2025, although that could be delayed until 2026. His bid, which was approved by the FIA in October, included a technical partnership with Cadillac, although until now there had been no commitment to a full-engine deal.
Under the current regulations, if bid is approved, Andretti would have to seek a short-term deal with an existing power unit manufacturer until Cadillac’s engines are ready in 2028. The team has already held talks with Renault about a supply deal, although the conversations were with the French manufacturer’s previous management.
If Andretti joins in 2025, Renault will be bound under F1’s rules to supply the team regardless as they currently have the fewest customers. In 2026, Renault, Honda and Audi will all have one works team each (Alpine, Aston Martin and Audi, respectively) and no customers. Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull Power Trains are the other engine builders signed up for 2026 when new engine rules will see electrical energy make up 50% of the overall power output.
Facts and stats (F1.com)
- Red Bull today broke Mercedes’ single-season record of 19 wins in a year (set in 2016).
- Verstappen tied Sebastian Vettel’s 53 career wins, putting him third in the all-time list behind Michael Schumacher’s 91 and Lewis Hamilton’s 103. Verstappen is the first driver ever to win in the same country three times in a single year after his US victories in Miami, Austin and now Las Vegas.
- Verstappen also was the first driver in three hundred races other than Hamilton to win a race in multiple of hundreds, Hamilton won in Bahrain 2014 and China 2019. The 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, the winner was Fernando Alonso.
- Piastri’s two points were the only ones scored by McLaren tonight, the fewest since the team’s pointless race in Canada. Team mate Lando Norris crashed out for his first retirement since Sao Paulo 2022. Until tonight he had the second-longest finishing streak behind Verstappen.
|1||Max Verstappen||NED||Red Bull – Honda RBPT||01:29:08.289||25|
|3||Sergio Perez||MEX||Red Bull – Honda RBPT||+00:02.247||15|
|Oscar Piastri||AUS||McLaren – Mercedes||01:35.490||1|
|1||Max Verstappen||549||Red Bull||822|
|4||Carlos Sainz||200||McLaren – Mercedes||284|
|5||Fernando Alonso||200||Aston Martin – Mercedes||273|