Max Verstappen has won a nail-biting fight with Lewis Hamilton in the 2021 United States Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton finishing second for Mercedes, Red Bull claimed a double podium finish with Sergio Perez driving a commendable race in front of a roaring Texas crowd.
Verstappen started from pole, but Hamilton got the better start into the uphill climb into turn one. Hamilton was in the lead but had two raging Red Bulls chasing behind. While the top three started to pull away from the pack, Perez in P3 started to fall back gradually to the two cars in front.
The 56 lap race was destined to be a two-stopper with a high degree of tyre degradation at the Circuit of the Americas. Verstappen attempted the undercut on Hamilton on lap 11 when he stopped to switch from a set of medium tyres to the hard compounds. Hamilton pitted on lap 14 only to come out behind Verstappen for a successful undercut for the Dutchman and Red Bull.
Verstappen then pitted on lap 29 for another set of hard tyres while Perez followed suit the next lap. Mercedes again decided to go longer with a 16 second lead over Verstappen.
With fresher tyres, the Dutchman started to close the gap. When Hamilton stopped on lap 37, the lead to Verstappen was 11.5 seconds. Verstappen took the lead when Hamilton was in the pit lane resulting in the Texan crowd going wild.
Hamilton 8.8 seconds behind the leading Red Bull was on a fresher set of tyres. The defending champion started to close the gap. With five laps to go, Hamilton closed the gap to Verstappen and tensions began to rise on both Mercedes and Red Bull garages.
With three laps to go Verstappen was in the lead and Hamilton chasing him down. the two were split by a mere 1.7 seconds. However, Verstappen managed to hold on somehow, fending off a last-lap challenge from Hamilton with DRS. No matter how hard Hamilton tried, he just couldn’t get close enough to attack the Red Bull.
Verstappen took victory over Hamilton by a mere 1.2 seconds. With no hydration in the car, an exhausted Perez finished third for Red Bull to claim a double podium. The remaking top 10 drivers included Leclerc, Ricciardo, Bottas, Sainz, Norris, Tsunoda, and Vettel respectively.
With the win, Verstappen now leads Hamilton by 12 points in the drivers’ championship heading to Mexico City for the 2021 Mexican Grand Prix.
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