F1 preview: A lap at the United States Grand Prix
Max Verstappen collected his sixth victory in the F1 Sprint at the Circuit of the Americas after seeing off an early challenge from Lewis Hamilton. The Red Bull star started on pole position and never looked like relinquishing his place as leader of the pack, despite the efforts of the seven-time world champion to stay close to him.
The Dutchman only had 19 laps to complete but still stretched out a nine-second gap to Hamilton, who was in the DRS range for the opening four laps before losing touch with the RB19. He will have a different task entirely for Sunday’s race, however, as he starts sixth after his qualifying lap time was deleted.
Charles Leclerc joined them on the podium after holding off a late fight from Lando Norris, with Sergio Perez recovering from 10th on the grid to complete the top five.
Hamilton’s team-mate George Russell could have no complaints after the Mercedes driver was demoted to eighth following his illegal overtake on Oscar Piastri beyond the white lines, earning himself a five-second penalty from the stewards.
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Kravitz savaged by Horner’s brutal dig
Christian Horner took a brutal dig at Sky Sports reporter Ted Kravitz during the broadcast of the sprint shootout in Texas on Saturday, questioning the accuracy of his claim regarding Red Bull driver Max Verstappen.
The pit lane reporter had commented on a potential issue facing Verstappen during the sprint shootout, leading the Sky Sports F1 crew to question Horner on the existence of the problem in the No.33 car’s garage.
Speaking in response to the question Horner snapped back: “Ted’s always talking… usually not out of his mouth.” This response prompted Simon Lazenby to step in, calling the Red Bull team principal’s accusation “unfair”.
Horner then went on to clarify his actual answer, stating: “There’s always things electrically you can tidy up. There’s some driveability stuff that Max wants us to tune before the race. [There was no issue] from a reliability point of view.”
Horner wants sprint rules changed
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes more changes are required to improve the format of sprint races in F1 after Max Verstappen dominated in Austin.
Horner suggests reverse grids could be the way forward to add more uncertainty into the equation, as the current concept doesn’t offer enough excitement for the viewers at the track and at home.
“I still think there are things that can be done to evolve the Sprint race,” he said. “There’s an element of tuning that needs to be done to the format but I think certainly we’ve learned a lot from the Sprint that will apply to the race.
“You’ve got to add a bit more jeopardy to it. Whether you reverse the top 10 or something, but then you have to add enough points to make it worth the drivers’ while to really go for it.
“When you win a sprint race, it doesn’t quite mean as much as a Grand Prix. We’re in a process where we need to be open to change and evolution. The concept is fine, but the execution, we can do a better job in making it more exciting for the viewer.”
Hamilton gives Verstappen verdict after sprint battle
Lewis Hamilton has admitted Max Verstappen’s consistency and pace was ‘impressive to watch’ after finishing behind the Red Bull star.
The 38-year-old was inside the DRS zone early on before dropping back at around a second a lap later on.
And Hamilton said he was powerless to stop Verstappen as he raced off into the distance.
“I was trying to lean on [Verstappen], but I knew that he was finding it easy just to keep that gap around a second,” he said.
“I didn’t know he would pull away like he did, but he just had so much rear end, he was just cruising. It was impressive to watch.”
Good morning and welcome to Express Sport’s LIVE coverage of the United States Grand Prix.
It’s race day in Austin and we’ll have all of the latest news and build-up as it arrives, so stay tuned throughout the day.
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