The Formula One season is coming to a close following an exciting Las Vegas Grand Prix. The final drivers’ leaderboard is starting to take shape as teams prepare for one more race in Abu Dhabi.
Max Verstappen battled off a penalty and a collision with George Russell to win the penultimate race of the season. The Dutchman’s triumph was his 18th of 2023, with Charles Leclerc unable to overcome the Red Bull ace.
It was another disappointing weekend for Mercedes. After key figures from the Silver Arrows spent the fortnight following their terrible Brazilian Grand Prix display complaining about their car, Lewis Hamilton and Russell finished seventh and eighth in Las Vegas.
The result did, however, see Hamilton cement his position in third in the Drivers’ World Championship, meaning he is obliged to attend the FIA gala award ceremony at the end of the year or face a punishment if he skips it again having snubbed the previous two editions. Verstappen, meanwhile, got pulled up by his father Jos for comments he made about the Las Vegas Grand Prix following some intense criticism of the Red Bull driver, which will no doubt somewhat have spoiled his weekend.
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Hamilton could face punishment
Lewis Hamilton risks a punishment after securing third-place in the F1 world drivers’ championship leaderboard.
The Briton came seventh in Las Vegas but was able to confirm third behind Red Bull duo Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez in the overall standings.
However, that could put Hamilton at risk of a fine if he does not attend the end-of-season FIA awards evening.
According to the rulebook, it is mandatory for the top three drivers to attend the event. Article 6.6 states that “drivers finishing first, second and third in the championship must be present at the annual FIA Prize Giving ceremony”.
Hamilton paid a fine in 2021 for not attending after being controversially denied the world championship in the final race of the year. He was not present in 2022 having not finished in the top three in that year’s leaderboard.
Should the Mercedes star fail to turn up this year, he could face a repeat of the punishment he was given two years ago.
Verstappen told off by dad
Max Verstappen’s dad has told his triumphant son that he must air his frustrations in a ‘neater way’ after the Dutchman’s scathing criticism of the Las Vegas Grand Prix.
Verstappen – who won Sunday’s race – was not looking forward to his first outing in Sin City, raising concerns about the track.
The 26-year-old also said he felt like ‘a clown’ during a glitzy opening ceremony featuring several A-list celebrities.
Not one for the glamour, Verstappen was brutal in his criticism of the event. But father Jos believes it must be channelled differently
“I do think he can say things, but in this case in a neater way. I told him that directly,” former F1 star Jos told De Telegraaf.
Verstappen privately aired his grievance with an F1 member of staff before the race.
Jos added: “Once in a while he needs that too. I also think the battery is running out a bit, with a lot of people. But that Max likes racing, you saw that today. I understand his opinion, but you can’t kick blindly at everything.”
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