Mercedes had a terribly unlucky race at the Las Vegas GP. Both their cars could’ve fought for the podium, but they finished 7th and 8th.
Even though Mercedes have shown a lot of pace in every weekend, they haven’t capitalized on Sundays like they usually do. The Formula 1 Las Vegas GP was yet another example of such a weekend. Despite having the pace to challenge for the podium positions, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell finished 7th and 8th respectively. Crucially, they lost 16 points to Ferrari. This means that just 4 points separate Mercedes and Ferrari going into the final race of the F1 2023 season.
George Russell’s Mishap
George Russell was having a strong race at the Las Vegas GP. But an incident with Max Verstappen damaged his floor. He still had great pace and finished 4th at the chequered flag. However, the incident with Verstappen gave him a 5-second penalty which relegated him to 8th.
This incident in particular was very innocuous at Turn 12 of the Las Vegas GP. Max Verstappen was hunting down George Russell and went for a surprise move. George didn’t see him and turned into him, damaging the Dutchman’s front wing as well.
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Lewis Hamilton’s Night of Misery
Lewis Hamilton made 15 overtakes on track at the Las Vegas GP, the most by a driver in a dry race this Formula 1 season. And he didn’t get overtaken even once. Yet, he finished 8th at the chequered flag, bumped up to 7th because of a penalty to his Mercedes teammate.
He had a mega start at the Las Vegas GP. But a touch by Carlos Sainz and a pile-up in front of him threw him off, and he lost positions. He was steadily gaining positions when he went for an opportunistic move on Oscar Piastri.
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The two cars only had a little tyre face to tyre face contact. Yet, that was enough to give him a puncture. Moreover, he passed the pit entry right after the puncture. This meant he had to do a whole lap with a flat tyre.
Despite all this, he kept his head down and once again climbed up the order at the Las Vegas GP. With so much pace, Mercedes would surely think about the what-ifs.