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Formula One United States Grand Prix: Verstappen holds off Hamilton



Image of fans watching the USA Grand Prix

Formula One United States Grand Prix: Verstappen holds off Hamilton

Max Verstappen managed to hold off Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton to secure Red Bull’s first win at the Circuit of The America’s since 2013, in the United States Grand Prix.


How the race unfolded

Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin), George Russell (Williams) and Fernando Alonso (Alpine) all started at the back of the grid, after they all took engine penalties.

Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas started ninth after the Finn served his five-place grid penalty for taking a sixth internal combustion engine.

The majority of the grid started on the medium compound tyres, apart from Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz & Alpha Tauri’s Yuki Tsunoda who started on the soft compound tyres.

Hamilton got a great getaway and Verstappen tried to cover him off into turn one. However, the Mercedes’ 44 controlled the inside line and guided the number 33 Red Bull wide on the exit of turn one. Despite being hounded by both Red Bull’s behind, Hamilton managed to stay ahead into the second corner.

The fight for third in the Constructors championship was shining throughout. Both McLaren drivers, Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris, bullied Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz down the back straight. As the pack ventured into the triple right hander, Ricciardo took the inside line and gained fifth place from the Ferrari Spaniard.

Esteban Ocon pitted extremely early, on the fourth lap, to swap his front nose after the French Alpine driver sustained front wing damage in the first lap carnage. As a result, the Alpine driver exchanged his medium compound tyres for the white-walled hard tyres.

Despite Hamilton’s best efforts, Verstappen remained within DRS range on lap nine, ranging between 0.5 to 0.9 of a second behind the leading Mercedes. While Bottas had remained 10th after losing a place at the start.

On lap 10, Verstappen ventured into the pit lane to swap his medium tyres for the hard compound – in an attempt to undercut Hamilton. It was a fast stop with the Dutchman stationary for 2.9 seconds.

Hamilton didn’t respond to Verstappen’s early pit call and remained out on track.

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez came in for his first pit stop, on lap 13, as he exchanged his medium tyres for a set of used mediums, in an attempt to force Hamilton’s hand. Which was successful as the seven-time world champion pitted a lap later. As a result, Verstappen was able to undercut the Mercedes.

Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly had early drama before the race had begun as the French driver had power unit trouble. However, during the race, on lap 15, Gasly was crawling along as he had damaged his suspension and became the first retirement of the race.

On lap 28, the Virtual Safety Car was deployed as a marshal had to go onto the track to retrieve some debris. This only lasted for a brief moment before the race was back underway.

A lap later, both Alonso and Verstappen pitted to start the second round of pit stops. While Hamilton was told to extend his stint by six laps.

At the end of lap 37, Hamilton pitted to exchange his used hard tyres for a new set. The lead switched hands once again as Verstappen overtook Hamilton, who was trundling through the pit lane. With much younger tyres, Hamilton’s charge to steal the race win from Verstappen had begun.

Verstappen, who was being hunted down by Hamilton on lap 44, had arrived at the back of a tussle for a championship point between Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi & Kimi Raikkonen and Tsunoda. The Dutch driver struggled to clear his back markers, and lost four seconds to Hamilton who was 4.4 seconds behind the Dutch Red Bull.

Alonso became the third retirement of the race, on lap 51, as he suspected that he had rear wing damage. This meant both Alpine’s retired in Austin, after Ocon retired with a suspected mechanical problem.

In a thrilling end to the US Grand Prix, Verstappen managed to hold off Hamilton’s charge to secure the win of the race. Verstappen now leads the championship by 12 points over, his title-rival, Hamilton.



1. Max Verstappen, Red Bull

2. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

3. Sergio Perez, Red Bull


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Kamron is currently a third-year student, studying Sports Journalism at the University of Sunderland. While he enjoys watching his local teams: Newcastle United and Whitley Warriors, Kamron also enjoys other sports such as Formula One and the NBA.


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