SportFormula 1

Max Verstappen Holds On for United States Grand Prix Win

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen defended a late challenge from his title rival Lewis Hamilton to win the US Grand Prix on Sunday in Austin, Texas.

Verstappen’s impressive victory extended his championship lead to 12 points with five races to go.

Mercedes’ Hamilton took the lead at the start but lost it when Verstappen made an early first pit stop and tried an off-set strategy aimed at fighting for the win in the final laps.

Hamilton was on Verstappen’s tail with two laps to go but it was not enough.

The Briton crossed the line just 1.3 seconds behind Verstappen after one of the most hard-fought races of a classic Grand Prix season.

“That was sheer class, Max,” the Red Bull team principal said over the radio on the slowing down lap. “What a drive.

And it was indeed one of Verstappen’s greatest victories, under the most intense pressure from Hamilton and Mercedes which might end up like crucial in the championship run.

“We lost out in the start and we had to try to do something else. The tire wear is quite high here and we went aggressive. I was not sure it was going to work. But it is super-nice to hang on,” Verstappen said after the race.

Hamilton congratulated his opponent after the race and emphasized that he gave his best to turn things around.

“Max did a great job today. It was such a tough race. I got a good start, gave it absolutely everything but at the end of the day they just had the upper hand this weekend and I couldn’t really do more,” said Hamilton.

“What an amazing crowd – to perform in front of you guys is such an honor. This is definitely our acceptance into the US. I hope we get more races out here and the sport continues to grow.”