Max Verstappen was forced to overcome a five-second time penalty in Las Vegas en route to victory, his 18th win of the Formula 1 season.
Max Verstappen acknowledged that the five-second time penalty he received at the Las Vegas Grand Prix for forcing Charles Leclerc wide at the first corner was likely the correct decision. Verstappen took the lead while off the track and chose to maintain his position, resulting in the penalty. After struggling on the Medium compound, Verstappen served the penalty in the pit lane and then successfully reclaimed the lead by overtaking Leclerc and teammate Sergio Perez. Reflecting on the incident, Verstappen attributed the overshoot to the low grip conditions at the start and admitted that he didn’t intend to push Leclerc off the track. Although initially unhappy with the decision, Verstappen now believes that it was the right call and that the penalty made it harder for him to regain the lead.