The Dutch driver triumphs in the seventeenth act of the World Championship and still stretches over his direct rival in the race for the title.
Max Verstappen wins in Austin ahead of Lewis Hamilton and doubles its lead over the Mercedes champion in the general classification. Hamilton closes in the Red Bull exhausts but he has to be satisfied with the second step of the podium. The third is by Sergio Perez with the other Red Bull while the challenge between Ferrari and McLaren ends with the fourth place of Charles Leclerc in front of Daniel Ricciardo.
It didn’t help Lewis Hamilton shooting to perfection at the traffic lights and take the lead of the US GP at the first corner of the Circuit Of The Americas. There Mercedes reacted with a lap or two late at the first pit stop of Verstappen who thus took the lead and then set up a central part of the race of … active defense, then managing a critical final, faced with a set of tires much less fresh than that of the seven-time world champion who he pushed right into the wake of Red Bull number 33 but without the possibility of attempting an attack. At the end of a weekend that was in favor of Mercedes, Verstappen and Red Bull deal a very hard blow to their rivals, even if not yet that of the knockout. In the general classification the Dutchman doubles his lead over Lewis: from six to twelve points (287.5 to 275.5) which are not even thirteen just because Lewis – in his final forcing on the hunt for Red Bull – manages to win the bonus point of the fastest lap of the race. So there was not in Texas that close confrontation that many expected: not at the start, not in a tense and very tight ending but never from “short irons” like other times during the season.
The challenge between Verstappen and Hamilton has practically eclipsed everyone else’s race. Sergio Perez takes home a third place it would seem obvious and obligatory that he adds precious points to his team’s hunt for the Constructors’ title, especially in light of the sixth place in Valtteri Bottas who – after the Turkish glories – is back in the ranks and finished sixth after starting ninth: with McLaren and a new engine.
Ferrari closes at the foot of the podium with a superlative Leclerc and a Sainz instead struggling with a rather complicated Sunday. The Monegasque is 25 seconds off the finish line lto McLaren by Daniel Ricciardo, managing in the central phase of the GP to run on the times of the first three and briefly giving the illusion of being able to go hunting for Perez. Conditioned from the start on soft tires, Sainz finds himself in tussle with McLarens several times. A turn taken by Ricciardo damages his SF21 and forces him to give the green light to Bottas but the Spaniard manages to defend himself from Lando Norris. At the end of the day land Rosse collect four points more than their direct opponents and now the delay from McLaren in the Constructors’ Championship drops to only three and a half points: 254 to 250.5.