Editor’s note: The above video shows KXAN’s coverage of the first day of the Grand Prix weekend on Friday, Oct. 20, 2023.
AUSTIN (KXAN) — Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen sped to his third consecutive victory in the United States Grand Prix on Saturday at Circuit of the Americas, and some celebrities were in Austin to see him do it.
Prince Harry of Sussex, musician Joe Jonas, professional golfer Rory McIlroy, actor Patrick Dempsey, “Ginger Spice” Geri Halliwell and others were on hand to take in the race.
Verstappen started the race in sixth place but climbed to the front of the pack, holding off Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton over the last few laps to claim his 15th win of the season and 50th of his career. Hamilton, along with Ferrari driver and sixth-place finisher Charles Leclerc, were disqualified Saturday night after officials found illegal skid blocks under their cars.
MORE THAN THE SCORE: Stay up to date on sports stories like these, and sign up for our More than the Score sports newsletter at kxan.com/newsletters
Verstappen said he was having issues with his brakes during the race but was very pleased he was able to hit a career milestone at COTA.
“It’s incredible to win my 50th grand prix here. Very proud,” he said. “Of course, we will keep trying to push for more.”
Verstappen is the only driver to win the US Grand Prix at COTA who didn’t start in the front row. During qualifying, Verstappen exceeded track limits while navigating some tight turns that bumped him down to sixth. Following the session, track officials modified the track to give drivers more room to work with.
Information from AP sports writer Jim Vertuno was used in this report.