Max Verstappen wins F1 US Grand prix

Tue 26 Oct 2021, 11:55:38
Austin: If there ever was a time for Max Verstappen to flinch in this riveting Formula One championship battle with Lewis Hamilton, it would have been in the closing laps of the U.S. Grand Prix.

The young Dutchman seeking his first world championship was being chased by the seven-time champion, and Hamilton was rapidly closing in on the lead under the hot Texas sun at the Circuit of the Americas.

The intensity of the tightest championship race in years might have derailed a different driver — especially when Hamilton pulled within 1 second on the final lap — but Verstappen thrived under pressure and won his eighth race of the season.

“It was exciting, the pressure was on, not knowing how quick Lewis was going to get you,” Verstappen said.

“We managed to hang on at the end.”

The victory doubled Verstappen’s lead over Hamilton to 12 points in the standings with five races remaining and could prove to be a pivotal win in this classic championship battle.

Verstappen and Red Bull won on a track where Hamilton and Mercedes have been dominant for years — Hamilton is a five-time winner at COTA — and he made Verstappen work for the win.

Hamilton chased Verstappen over the final 18 laps and maybe if there had been one more lap, he might have caught Verstappen and reclaimed the points lead.

The 24-year-old now has some breathing room heading into Mexico City, a high-altitude stronghold for Red Bull.

Hamilton is seeking a record eighth F1 title, and fifth in a row.

“Congratulations to Max, he did a great job today. It was such a tough race,” Hamilton said. “Got a good start and gave it absolutely everything, but in the end of the day, they just had the upper hand this weekend.”

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