To say that the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit Of The Americas in Austin, Texas was full of twists and turns, will be an understatement. A race which saw Oracle Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen take his 50th Grand Prix win even when he started from sixth position, superb overtakes from Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton to climb his way to second and Lando Norris finishing third (his fourth podium in a row), in the McLaren.
But even as the dust settled on the track, it was announced that Lewis Hamilton had been disqualified from the race, along with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc- who finished sixth in the race, for a technical breach. They were disqualified because of excessive plank wear, which goes against the rules set in Article 3.5.9 e of the 2023 Formula One Technical Regulations. That means Norris is now bumped up to second position, with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz promoted to third.
The start of the race was as action-packed as it could get. Norris got a great run from second position to take the lead, Leclerc battling with his teammate Sainz for second position, while Hamilton had a big scruff with Verstappen looking to overtake him at turn one.
Piastri was able to charge up the field to gain a whopping four positions even before the first lap ended! But a contact with Ocon damaged Piastri’s side pod and later resulted in both drivers retiring early from the race.
Hamilton’s Mercedes showed great pace the whole race, with overtakes done on both Ferraris in a span of three laps. Verstappen on the other hand seemed to have his hands full with the car. While he did have good race pace, he also had brake issues which meant he had to be extra careful in his driving.
Norris was able to keep his lead for nearly half the race, being able to show great pace at the start of each tyre stint, but high degradation meant he could not keep the pace for long. Verstappen was able to overtake him at lap 28 and from then on, Norris was unable to match the Red Bull’s pace.
Further down the order, even though Fernando Alonso started the race from P17, he was able to overtake others to get to tenth position. But all that was short-lived, as he had to retire from the race at lap 51 because of loss of floor performance. This has been a weekend to forget for Aston Martin, salvaged only by Lance Stroll’s P9 which was upgraded to P7 due to the aforementioned disqualifications.
The disqualifications also meant that Alexander Albon got P9, with his Williams teammate Logan Sargeant scoring his maiden point in 10th position, that too on home soil.
The drivers championship seems to be heating up for P2 and P3 as a disqualification for Hamilton sees Sergio Perez extend his lead, and Alonso’s DNF sees Sainz and Norris closer to him than Alonso would like. In less than a week’s time, Formula One will be heading to Mexico for the Mexican Grand Prix scheduled to be held at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.