By Robert Haile
Formula One leaves Austin, Texas and heads to Mexico with the drama and tension after the US Grand Prix delivered on excitement.
Pole Sitter and eventual race winner Max Verstappen has extended his lead in the championship over defending champion Lewis Hamilton.
Verstappen said: “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.”
The start of the race didn’t go Verstappen’s way as Hamilton took the lead as the pair went into the first corner then the two Red Bull drivers tried to fight back as the lap progressed.
In the battle for third in the constructors championship McLaren and Ferrari drivers changed places before settling into their starting positions.
Verstappen stopped first with Sergio Perez coming in three laps later with Hamilton giving up the lead when he pitted a lap later at 14.
The Red Bull drivers stopped handing the lead back to Hamilton but with the Mercedes driver would need to stop again.
After pitting Hamilton was eight seconds adrift from Verstappen cutting it down to two and a half with ten laps left.
The final two laps had the gap down to one second and Mick Schumacher about to be lapped by the two drivers but didn’t cause any disruption as Verstappen stayed in front.
Red Bull teammate Perez finished third with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc beating McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo to fourth.
Valtteri Bottas finished sixth as Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz beat McLaren’s Lando Norris to seventh helping Ferrari close the gap in the constructors championship.
Yuki Tsunoda scored his first points for AlphaTauri since the summer break finishing ninth with Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel rounding out the point scoring in tenth.
Formula One will return in Mexico on November 5-7 for the eighteenth round of the season.
- Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – 287.5
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – 275.5
- Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) – 185
- Sergio Perez (Red Bull) – 150
- Lando Norris (McLaren) – 149
- Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) – 128
- Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) – 122.5
- Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) – 105
- Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) – 74
- Fernando Alonso (Alpine) – 58
- Esteban Ocon (Alpine) – 46
- Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) – 36
- Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) – 26
- Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) – 20
- George Russel (Williams) – 16
- Nicholas Latifi (Williams) – 7
- Kimi Räikkönen (Alfa Romeo) – 6
- Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo) – 1
- Mick Schumacher (Haas) – 0
- Robert Kubica (Alfa Romeo) – 0
- Nikita Mazepin (Haas) – 0
- Mercedes – 460.5
- Red Bull – 437.5
- McLaren – 254
- Ferrari – 250.5
- Alpine – 104
- AlphaTauri – 94
- Aston Martin – 62
- Williams – 23
- Alfa Romeo – 7
- Haas – 0