Max Verstappen overcomes early penalty to win thriller in Las Vegas

The world champion had to fight back after a five-second penalty and make a series of passes before beating Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc into second and his Red Bull teammate, Sergio Pérez, into third. Verstappen had taken the lead off the start but was given a penalty for forcing Leclerc off track in doing so. Told of the penalty when he already had over two seconds on Leclerc, Verstappen was entirely unperturbed. Verstappen held his place at the restart on lap seven and tried putting distance on Leclerc to overcome the five seconds he would lose at his first pit stop. He finally pitted on lap 21 and emerged in third place, still with four seconds on Verstappen. Racing resumed on lap 28 with Leclerc leading from Pérez, who had gained a huge amount of time taking his stop under the safety car. On fresher tyres, the Mexican driver passed Leclerc for the lead on lap 32. Verstappen remained very much in the fight and was chasing down the leaders, moving up to third place by lap 33, while Leclerc came back at Pérez.

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