Max Verstappen recovered from sixth on the grid to take a nerve-wracking win at the United States Grand Prix, as the Red Bull man held off a fast-approaching Lewis Hamilton and the McLaren of Lando Norris to claim his 50th Formula 1 race win.
After a quiet start, Verstappen gradually picked off his rivals one by one in what was a tense Austin affair. He took the lead from Norris, who had earlier taken first place on the opening lap ahead of pole-sitter Charles Leclerc.
Hamilton, on new mediums, chased down Norris for second with a few laps to go and looked to close in on Verstappen for the win – in a reverse scenario of what happened in last year’s race where Verstappen chased down Hamilton for the win – but to no avail as he settled for second.
Norris held off the late advances of Carlos Sainz to take his fourth podium in a row, ahead of the other Red Bull of Sergio Perez, who overtook a very frustrated Leclerc late in the event to finish fifth.
Leclerc ended up sixth for Ferrari, with George Russell in seventh, as the Alpine of Pierre Gasly came home an impressive eighth. Lance Stroll recovered from a pit lane start to finish ninth for Aston Martin, as Yuki Tsunoda rounded out the top-10 – while also claiming a valuable point for AlphaTauri in the form of a fastest lap.
Alex Albon’s five-second time penalty for exceeding track limits did not cost him a position as he finished 11th, although he will be investigated after the race for multiple breaches of the same offence. The Thai racer was followed by his Williams team mate, Logan Sargeant, in 12th.
Nico Hulkenberg was the lead Haas on the day as he finished 13th, ahead of the Alfa Romeos of Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu, with his team mate, Kevin Magnussen down in 16th. The returning Daniel Ricciardo was the last of the remaining runners for AlphaTauri.
There were three drivers who failed to see the chequered flag as Fernando Alonso, Oscar Piastri, and Esteban Ocon all retired from the race due to issues with their respective cars.
Note: Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc have both been disqualified from the United States Grand Prix. Following the race in Austin, their cars were inspected and irregularities were spotted by the FIA Technical team after a plank wear inspection was carried out.
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Photo's: Formula 1 | Oracle Red Bull Racing