Verstappen Beats Hamilton In Tense USA F1 With Perez In Tow.

Red Bull have won their first USA Grand Prix since 2013 with Max Verstappen extending his World Championship lead and also securing a victory after a tense battle with Lewis Hamilton who fought tooth and nail to catch the Red Bull F1 driver. It was such a quality race event, with the strategies playing out differently for each team. We had Verstappen pitting earlier than Hamilton afterwards knowing he would not have the time to come out in front although it was a race to the finish and so close it was a nail biter!

With five laps to go the gap between Verstappen and Hamilton was reduced to 1.7s. It was unfortunate for Mercedes-AMG fans with the Red Bull car having just enough pace to keep Hamilton at bay. Sergio Perez was consistent once again finishing in the top five and showcasing how important his results have been in order to support the title bid of Verstappen. Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas did not have the same pace of finishing in a lonely P9.

The battle between principals is also heating up with exchanges of opinion between Toto Wolff and Christian Horner. On one side of the sport, you have the driver battle then you have the team principal battle which is quite interesting to watch. Both are masters of their crafts and showcase the best of their team’s abilities when under pressure.

The fans were amazing over the weekend and loved every minute of the track action. It is definitely a favourite for the drivers as they work with the bumpy circuit year upon year. Now with 12 points ahead, Verstappen has a bit of breathing room that enables him to slightly relax knowing he has the dominant car and a racing style that does cause a stir amongst the paddock.

2021 United States Grand Prix, Sunday – Jiri Krenek

Max Verstappen:

“It was an exciting race and it feels incredible to win here in front of all the fans. The pressure was on for the whole race and not knowing how quickly Lewis would catch up. I actually thought I had a decent start, but Lewis had an even better one. So we went for an aggressive strategy after losing the lead into turn one and we pitted early in the first stint. Then for the middle stint we were in that undercut range, so we had to respond and we went for track position which made the last stint very long, especially in this heat. The last two laps were definitely difficult on the tyres, there wasn’t much grip left. But, then with two laps to go, I had the Haas in front of me and I was able to benefit from the DRS, so we managed to hang on in the end. We definitely gave it our all today as a Team and it was great to have Checo up there with me on the podium.”

Lewis Hamilton:

“Firstly, congratulations to Max, he did a brilliant job today. And also, a big thank you to the amazing crowd we’ve had in Austin all weekend, to perform in front of such packed grandstands and passionate fans has been a real honour. I really thought for a second we might be able to win, I gave it absolutely everything out there. It was such a tough race, but unfortunately, we couldn’t convert it. Red Bull just had the upper hand, and we couldn’t match them. It looked like they had a better and more stable rear end on their car, with less sliding. The start was obviously great and closing the gap towards the end, but I got into the dirty air and the tyres overheated in the last few laps. Thank you to the team for amazing pit stops and so much hard work over the weekend. We didn’t quite get it this time, but we’ll move onto the next one.”

Sergio Perez:

“That was the hardest and longest race of my life. I wasn’t feeling great before the race and then my drinks system stopped working on the first lap and with the hot weather today it was very physical and a pretty tough afternoon. I was struggling massively and by lap 20 I was done, so it was a shame I couldn’t keep up with Max and Lewis but there are a lot of positives to take from this weekend and back to back podiums are always nice. It’s a good result for the Team, the undercut worked well and Lewis had no option but to cover me which helped Max out in front, so we can be very happy as a Team. I’m so looking forward to Mexico, the Team have done well there in the past and I think we’ll have a good package for my home race. I can’t wait and I hope to be on the podium again in front of my home fans.”

Toto Wolff:

“This really was a race of interesting strategic games and great battles. We thought we had a sniff at the victory with Lewis and he put in a brilliant charge in the final laps, but in the end it wasn’t enough. In the first stint, the car wasn’t quick enough on the Medium and then Red Bull went for a super-aggressive first stop, before covering it the second time. We thought our offset strategy, going longer, would be enough at the end to get them, but the moment you get within touching distance of the car in front, it makes it very difficult to make a move. In the end, we were close, but not close enough, so Red Bull deserved to win today. For Valtteri, he also struggled with overtaking and moving through the field, but we used the longer stints to make up some places and he put in a strong move on Sainz on the penultimate lap to take sixth. It’s not the weekend we hoped for, but we know there are still many opportunities to come. We are right there, we are in the fight and we’re enjoying the battle. So, let’s see what the next one brings.”

Christian Horner:

“What an incredible victory and double podium for the Team! It’s our first US GP win since 2013 and what a way to do it. At the beginning of the race we had really good pace on the mediums and Max was able to put pressure on Lewis, but we know that he is so strong at the end of the race and he went long which bought himself an advantage. So we went for track position and Max held on and managed the race superbly, especially his last stint on the hard tyre to have enough left to keep his lead at the end. It was a tough race for Checo with no drinks system, but again the way he managed the race was fantastic and you can see him growing in confidence with his second podium in consecutive races. He produced a phenomenal drive and with his home race coming up he’s finding his form, which is crucial for us at this time of year. It’s five to go now, and we know that there are a couple of races where Mercedes will have the edge and a couple where we will be strong, so the rest of the season is going to be really tight.”

POSNODRIVERCARLAPSTIME/RETIREDPTS
133Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA561:34:36.55225
244Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES56+1.333s19
311Sergio PerezRED BULL RACING HONDA56+42.223s15
416Charles LeclercFERRARI56+52.246s12
53Daniel RicciardoMCLAREN MERCEDES56+76.854s10
677Valtteri BottasMERCEDES56+80.128s8
755Carlos SainzFERRARI56+83.545s6
84Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES56+84.395s4
922Yuki TsunodaALPHATAURI HONDA55+1 lap2
105Sebastian VettelASTON MARTIN MERCEDES55+1 lap1
1199Antonio GiovinazziALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI55+1 lap0
1218Lance StrollASTON MARTIN MERCEDES55+1 lap0
137Kimi RäikkönenALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI55+1 lap0
1463George RussellWILLIAMS MERCEDES55+1 lap0
156Nicholas LatifiWILLIAMS MERCEDES55+1 lap0
1647Mick SchumacherHAAS FERRARI54+2 laps0
179Nikita MazepinHAAS FERRARI54+2 laps0
NC14Fernando AlonsoALPINE RENAULT49DNF0
NC31Esteban OconALPINE RENAULT40DNF0
NC10Pierre GaslyALPHATAURI HONDA14DNF0
2021 United States Grand Prix, Sunday – Jiri Krenek