until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula 1

Winners and losers from F1's 2023 United States Grand Prix

6 min read

A three-way fight for victory is something Formula 1 has rarely been able to shout about in 2023, so the Max Verstappen-Lewis Hamilton-Lando Norris scrap in the United States Grand Prix was one to savour - even if one of them was counted out of the final result.

But will all three reflect on their initial finishing positions as the best they could have achieved? And who else in the F1 field has reason to be cheerful?

Here's our pick of Austin winners and losers.


Max Verstappen

When the best are up against it, they still tend to find a way to win. That's what Verstappen and Red Bull did at Austin.

Sure, it probably owed a little to indecision from Mercedes and McLaren around their pitstops. But Red Bull forced the issue first with its call to bring Verstappen in and ultimately seemed to have a handle on the fact a two-stop was the way to go best of the the three in contention for victory.

And still it wasn't plain sailing, but Verstappen managed his pace just as much as he needed to make it to the finish with a (small) margin in hand.

It wasn't a vintage Verstappen/Red Bull win - but it was yet more evidence of why it's the combination to beat in F1 at the moment. - Jack Cozens

Lance Stroll

It was far from Aston Martin's strongest weekend but this was easily Stroll's best of the second half of the season so far.

He finished ahead of Alonso in the sprint and was only a few seconds behind him in the grand prix when Alonso slid down the order and retired with suspected floor damage.

Stroll got himself into that position with some neat moves around the outside of Turn 12 in quick succession on Ricciardo and Sargeant.

Starting from the pitlane was clearly the right decision from Aston but a points finish wouldn't have been possible without Stroll's solid execution.

A much-needed strong weekend. - Josh Suttill

Yuki Tsunoda

Never mind that attrition and disqualifications aided his result; Tsunoda got the maximum available to him ensured he was the one to benefit from retirements ahead.

The foundation for that was getting the AlphaTauri right on the cusp of Q3 again and then, even if the pace wasn't there to match the recovering Astons later on, building an important margin over the chasing pack of Alfa Romeo, Haas, Williams drivers plus team-mate Daniel Ricciardo that seemed to trip over each other mid-race.

And credit as well to AlphaTauri for being bold and going for the fastest lap, even if it did give Tsunoda a "heart attack". Although 10th - as it was on the road before the Hamilton/Leclerc exclusions - probably wasn't at risk given Alex Albon was carrying a five-second penalty, it still needed to execute its stop well to ensure Tsunoda came out ahead and could have a crack at getting the fastest-lap point he ultimately secured.

Points opportunities look thin for all four teams battling at the bottom of the constructors' championship, but scores like this all add up. If Tsunoda keeps putting himself in the same position there's a chance to haul AlphaTauri off the foot of the table. - JC


What was initially going to be a painful 11th and 12th place finish for Williams turned into a first double points finish since the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix for the team.

Austin has never been the team's happiest hunting ground but Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant plugged away on the peripheries of the top 10 and were promoted inside with Hamilton and Leclerc's disqualifications.

10th place for Sargeant gives the under-pressure rookie his first point in F1. A just reward for a solid Sunday where he was only a couple of steps behind Albon. - JS


Lewis Hamilton

This was Hamilton at his very best - when the chips are down you can always expect him to come out fighting, despite his questioning of the Mercedes strategy over the team radio during the race - so it's unfortunate that his exclusion drops him from being a clear winner into our US GP losers' section.

Verstappen might have just been out of reach in the end but, if there were a few more laps left, there’s no doubt Hamilton would have challenged the Red Bull.

Knowing that will no doubt hurt, though ultimately not as much as his disqualification will. Even if there are positives to take - Hamilton was the fastest driver on the track for a significant portion of the race, and Mercedes’ upgrade is clearly a step forward - it's a big dent in his hopes of catching Sergio Perez for second in the drivers' standings. - Rob Hansford

Lando Norris

Norris did his best to dress himself up as being content with third place - now second, of course - and the McLaren probably was the third-fastest car on race day at Austin.

But his "aye aye, that was a tough one" reaction on the cooldown lap was more telling - suggesting more was probably there for the taking had the execution been spot on.

It might seem harsh to have him in this section considering it was his fourth podium in a row.

But we've come to expect so much from this combination of late that, given Norris spent a significant amount of time in the lead, his late slip away from the fight at the front leaves him a little to be disappointed by. - JC

Charles Leclerc

Leclerc would have found himself in this section even without his disqualification, such was his race.

Any optimism of a strong race was dashed as soon as the lights went out as Norris got the better start, mugging the Ferrari into the first corner. From there, Leclerc drifted back into something of a no-man’s land in fourth as Hamilton passed him at the end of the opening stint.

As if that wasn't bad enough, Ferrari compromised him with its strategy choice and he was soon asked to let team-mate Carlos Sainz past so Sainz could try and challenge Norris for the podium. That challenge didn’t materialise - though of course Sainz did end up in the top three - and Leclerc will feel even harder done by as he also dropped behind Perez to finish sixth on the road, 24 seconds off the lead, before his exclusion.

Regardless of that, this is a race that will no doubt cause more discussions behind closed doors at Ferrari. OK, a win wasn’t necessarily a realistic target, but Leclerc should have at least been in the fight for the final step on the podium. Slides through the order like that aren’t good enough when you’ve had such a strong starting position, and Leclerc will know it too. - RH

George Russell

While Hamilton was Verstappen's closest challenger, Russell was scrapping for lesser points positions.

A tardy start made his life more difficult but really Russell didn't have the pace this weekend to fight for much more than seventh, which became fifth post-race.

In the race he could have got Leclerc anyway with a lap or two more given the Ferrari was ailing on hard tyres, but really Russell should have been comfortably clear.

Russell will hope this is a one-off after a strong recovery drive in Qatar. - JS

Fernando Alonso

This was shaping up to be a vintage Alonso comeback from the pits to the points before suspected floor damage prevented him from salvaging a solid result from an otherwise dire weekend.

Without the floor issue, Alonso may have even picked off Gasly for what ended up being sixth. Instead he added losing his 100% 2023 grand prix finishing record to the 100% Q3 record he lost on Friday. - JS

Lap-one clashers

Neither Oscar Piastri nor Esteban Ocon had a particularly strong sprint race but their chances of making amends in the grand prix soon came to nought when they clashed on the opening lap.

Both drivers carried on initially only to then retire from the damage sustained. - JS

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