Verstappen wins in Las Vegas on weekend marred by controversy

The Las Vegas Grand Prix recovered from a tricky start and delivered a superb race won by Max Verstappen.

The Dutchman took another step forward in the record books, equalling Sebastian Vettel on 53 wins, overcoming a five-second time penalty.

Charles Leclerc finished second for Ferrari, fending off Red Bull’s Sergio Perez.

The weekend struggled to get up and running after Carlos Sainz fell foul to a loose manhole cover.

The floor of the Spaniard’s Ferrari was destroyed after just 9 minutes of first practice.

The schedule was further delayed as repairs were made to the circuit as midnight approached.

Three-time world champion Max Verstappen has spoken out against F1’s newest venue and said: “I think it’s 99% show and 1% sport. 

“They (F1) still make money if I like it or not so it is not up to me. 

“But I’m not going to fake it. I always voice my opinion in positive things, in negative things, that’s just how I am.”

Second practice was delayed until 2:30 am local time as fans were shunned by the circuit. 

Spectators and guests who paid up to 3,000 dollars for their seats were told to leave the circuit after just 9 minutes of running. 

Despite Sainz not being at fault for the manhole cover coming loose, the Ferrari driver will have to take a grid penalty for the Grand Prix after damaging the SF-23’s energy store.

Formula 1 has finally cracked the United States market, hosting three races in the nation.

In the past, F1 floundered across the pond and suffered a disaster in 2005 as just six cars started at Indianapolis.

Their new owners Liberty Media have emphasised the importance of the American audience, but the classic F1 mess this weekend will do no favours for their reputation.