Verstappen again: world champion wins Austin Sprint
Max Verstappen just keeps winning in Formula 1. The three-time world champion also wins the sprint in Texas. But the Red Bull star has to catch up in the main race in Austin.
At the finish, the triple champion was more than nine seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes after 19 laps. “Simply wonderful,” said Verstappen on the pit radio. Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc came third in Texas.
At the start, Verstappen defended his leading position hard against Leclerc, pushing the Monegasque man far to the edge of the track. Leclerc therefore had to let Hamilton pass in the first corner. The Brit then went after Verstappen, but was unable to get within striking distance of an overtaking maneuver.
After the first third of the race, Verstappen gained more and more distance from Hamilton and controlled the action until the finish. For the Dutchman it was his third victory in the fifth sprint race of the season. He had already won the format, which was shortened to around 100 kilometers, in Austria and Belgium.
Hülkenberg only in 15th place
Nico Hülkenberg was once again far behind. The Haas driver had to be content with 15th place. His team’s hopes for a comprehensive package of new components for the car have not yet been fulfilled, at least in Texas.
Verstappen had already clinched his third world title two weeks ago in Qatar. However, the 26-year-old made a driving mistake in qualifying for the main race in Austin on Friday. His best time was canceled because he briefly went off the track. Therefore, Verstappen only starts the Grand Prix in the evening (9 p.m./Sky) from sixth place. Leclerc took pole position.