F1 preview: A lap at the United States Grand Prix
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Max Verstappen extended his lead in the F1 Drivers’ Championship on Sunday, beating Lewis Hamilton in the United States Grand Prix. The Circuit of the Americas hosted an exciting race between the two title contenders who finished just 1.3 seconds apart.
Mercedes looked strong heading into the weekend, but Red Bull had the upper hand ahead of the race, with Verstappen on pole position.
Hamilton managed to go up the inside of the Dutchman off the line and overtake to lead the race, but Red Bull’s decision to pit first switched proceedings.
With Verstappen leading for most of the race, Hamilton rapidly gained on his title rival in the latter stages after making his second pit stop later than him.
But Red Bull’s main man held out for a monumental win in the States, extending his lead in the driver standings to 12 points.
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After his latest victory, Verstappen admitted he had doubts over whether Red Bull’s tactic would work but is thrilled that it paid off.
He said: “Of course, we lost out in the start, so we had to try and do something else.
“The tyre wear is quite high around this track, so we went aggressive, and I wasn’t sure it was going to work.
“The last few laps were tough. I was a bit sideways through the high-speed corners but super happy of course to hang on.”
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Hamilton seemed puzzled by Red Bull’s speed but didn’t regret waiting to pit.
“I don’t know. I don’t think [we should’ve pitted earlier],” Hamilton explained.
“I think I gave it everything. I think we gave it everything we had, and they [Red Bull] were just quicker than us this weekend.
“For whatever reason, I can’t pinpoint it. It looked like they just had better rear end, a little bit less sliding than we had.
“I had a great start. I gave it absolutely everything today, and just, unfortunately, couldn’t convert it at the end.”
With just five races to go, Verstappen takes a healthy lead into the Mexican Grand Prix in two weeks after his eighth win of the season.
The 24-year-old is vying to prevent Hamilton from lifting a fifth successive F1 world title by achieving what would be his first ever triumph.
Have your say on whether Verstappen will dethrone Hamilton as world champion below in Express Sport’s latest F1 poll.
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