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Formula 1: 5 Things We Learned from the United States Grand Prix 

Max Verstappen notched up his 50th Grand Prix victory at the Circuit of the Americas on Sunday as he won the United States Grand Prix.


Max Verstappen notched up his 50th Grand Prix victory at the Circuit of the Americas on Sunday as he won the United States Grand Prix.

He also clinched a 15th win of the 2023, but it wasn’t one-way traffic for the world champion. Lewis Hamilton ran his rival close towards the final lap. However, Hamilton and third-place finisher Charles Leclerc were disqualified for a technical breach.

We take a look at five things we learned from the United States Grand Prix:

5. The Circuit Of The Americas Track Needs To Resurface

Max Verstappen complained about the track’s surface and said: “It needs to be redone because at the moment it feels like it’s better suited to a rally car. I’m jumping and bouncing around.”

The track’s uneven surface and bumpiness were likely the largest contributing factor to Hamilton and Leclerc being disqualified. The FIA’s technical delegation ruled that their cars didn’t meet the minimum plank thickness regulations. Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin had a smashed floor which forced the two-time world champion to retire.

4. The Sprint Race Format Remains Flawed

COTA didn’t deliver a great tussle. Verstappen drove into the sunset with Hamilton and Leclerc behind the world champion. It’s not hard to compare the COTA Sprint to Qatar’s Sprint. However, F1’s organisers would do well to discuss whether COTA suits the short format race.

3. Haas’ Upgrades Didn’t Work Out

The grid’s only American-owned team introduced a heavily upgraded car to Austin that showed off a different side pod design. However, the changes had little impact on moving up the grid as Nico Hulkenberg managed 15th place and Kevin Magnussen finished in 18th. The duo didn’t score any points in the GP either, and Magnussen said: “I think we had a better race than we would have if we hadn’t changed.”

2. Mercedes Show Signs Of Resurgence

Lewis Hamilton was arguably two laps away from reeling in Verstappen for the win. Despite the disqualification, Hamilton showed how far Mercedes has developed the W14 and how it delivered a strong strategy call. Perhaps there was an error of judgment to leave Hamilton out one or two laps longer in his first stint.

1. Perez Took A Big Step To Secure Second Place In The Drivers’ Standings

Sergio Perez took full advantage of Hamilton’s disqualification to score 16 points over the weekend. The Mexican driver increased his lead to 39 points in the drivers’ standings and has a good chance of a podium finish at his home race this weekend.

Revised Result Of The United States Grand Prix:

  1. Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull) 1hr 35mins 21.362sec,
  2. Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren) at 10.730,
  3. Carlos Sainz (ESP/Ferrari) 15.134,
  4. Sergio Perez (MEX/Red Bull) 18.460,
  5. George Russell (GBR/Mercedes) 24.999,
  6. Pierre Gasly (FRA/Alpine) 47.996,
  7. Lance Stroll (CAN/Aston Martin) 48.696,
  8. Yuki Tsunoda (JPN/AlphaTauri) 1:14.385,
  9. Alex Albon (THA/Williams) 1:26.714,
  10. Logan Sargeant (USA/Williams) 1:27.998,
  11. Nico Hulkenberg (GER/Haas) 1:29.904,
  12. Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Alfa Romeo) 1:38.601,
  13. Zhou Guanyu (CHN/Alfa Romeo) 1 lap,
  14. Kevin Magnussen (DEN/Haas) 1 lap,
  15. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/AlphaTauri) 1 lap,
  16. Fernando Alonso (ESP/Aston Martin) 7 laps
  17. Fastest lap: Yuki Tsunoda (JPN/AlphaTauri) 1:38.139


Esteban Ocon (FRA/Alpine), Oscar Piastri (AUS/McLaren, Fernando Alonso (ESP/Aston Martin)

Disqualified: Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes) 2nd; Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari) 6th

World Championship Standings


  1. Max Verstappen (NED) 466 pts – world champion
  2. Sergio Perez (MEX) 240
  3. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) 201
  4. Fernando Alonso (ESP) 183
  5. Carlos Sainz (ESP) 171
  6. Lando Norris (GBR) 159
  7. Charles Leclerc (MON) 151
  8. George Russell (GBR) 143
  9. Oscar Piastri (AUS) 83
  10. Pierre Gasly (FRA) 56
  11. Lance Stroll (CAN) 53
  12. Esteban Ocon (FRA) 44
  13. Alex Albon (THA) 25
  14. Valtteri Bottas (FIN) 10
  15. Nico Hulkenberg (GER) 9
  16. Yuki Tsunoda (JPN) 8
  17. Zhou Guanyu (CHN) 6
  18. Kevin Magnussen (DEN) 3
  19. Liam Lawson (NZL) 2
  20. Logan Sargeant (USA) 1
  21. Nyck de Vries (NED) 0
  22. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) 0


  1. Red Bull 706 pts – world champions
  2. Mercedes 344
  3. Ferrari 322
  4. McLaren 242
  5. Aston Martin 236
  6. Alpine 100
  7. Williams 26
  8. Alfa Romeo 16
  9. Haas 12
  10. AlphaTauri 10

Sean Parker is a motorsport journalist and sports content creator at The South African. He has worked for the country's premier motoring publications, and is a Formula 1 contributor to, the Bet Central podcast, and Vision View Sports radio.

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