*** ----> Verstappen battles through to win Las Vegas Grand Prix thriller | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Verstappen battles through to win Las Vegas Grand Prix thriller

AFP | | Las Vegas                                              

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

World champion Max Verstappen claimed the 18th win of his record-breaking season, overcoming a five-second penalty to power to victory in a thrilling Las Vegas Grand Prix on Saturday.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc overtook Red Bull’s Sergio Perez on the last lap to grab second place ahead of the Mexican with French driver Esteban Ocon of Alpine finishing fourth at the end of a race which saw multiple lead changes and plenty of overtaking.

Verstappen had been highly critical of the return of Formula One to Vegas after a 41-year absence, saying the event was “99 percent show”, but as he drove past the finish line he celebrated with a chorus of ‘Viva Las Vegas’ on the team radio. “He loves a race like that.

Even though he was on the end of a penalty. When he came back... the way he fought.

I think he changed his mind about Vegas,” said Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

The show was certainly evident with pre-race grid packed with a host of celebrities from the world of music, sport and entertainment as memories of the embarrassment of the opening practice session on Thursday being stopped early due to a loose water valve on the track, faded.

When the race was under way, the low grip on the track made sure there was no shortage of incident, overtaking and lead changes, as the night race delivered the entertainment the American promotors had craved from the new event.