Max Verstappen wins F1 U.S. Grand prix, extends title chase lead

AUSTIN, Texas — Max Verstappen held off Formulation Just one title rival Lewis Hamilton more than the ultimate thrilling laps of the U.S. Grand Prix on Sunday to acquire his eighth race of the period and double his guide in the championship standings.

Verstappen, who entered the Circuit of the Americas with a 6-point lead in excess of Hamilton in the standings, now leads the seven-time champion by 12 factors with five races remaining.

Hamilton in his Mercedes was bearing down on Verstappen above the remaining 18 laps and experienced minimize the Red Bull driver’s lead to fewer than 1 second by the ultimate lap. But he couldn’t make the pass at the close and settled for second.

Verstappen, the 24-yr-old Dutchman chasing his to start with championship, now has some respiration room heading into Mexico Metropolis, a superior-altitude stronghold for Red Bull.

Hamilton, a 5-time winner at COTA who could not capture Verstappen in the conclude, is trying to get a file eighth F1 title.

“Congratulations to Max, he did a great task currently. It was these a challenging race,” Hamilton reported. “Got a fantastic start out and gave it totally almost everything, but in the close of the working day, they just experienced the upper hand this weekend.”

As the recognition of Formulation Just one explodes in the U.S., the championship rivals delivered a dramatic finish beneath a blazing Texas solar in front of an approximated group of 140,000. It was a person of the biggest sporting events given that the get started of the pandemic and drew the loaded and renowned to the Austin circuit.

Between the celebs in attendance ended up actor Ben Stiller, rapper Meghan Thee Stallion, golfer Rory McIlroy and tennis winner Serena Williams, who all participated in the pre-race grid stroll. Shaquille O’Neal hosted a post-race DJ dance party and delivered the winner’s trophy to the podium, where the 7-footer loomed substantial in excess of Verstappen and Hamilton.

Sunday was the closing race in the Circuit’s original 10-calendar year contract, but the U.S. Grand Prix is on the 2022 race calendar. Observe President Bobby Epstein has said he expects to get a new lengthy-expression offer from F1.

“It’s amazing to be listed here, but also to see so lots of (admirers) about the keep track of,” Verstappen mentioned right before stepping to the podium as lovers rushed on the observe. “Ideally we can do this for quite a few several years to appear.”

Verstappen and Hamilton ended up locked in a tense combat all weekend, 1st when Verstappen named Hamilton a “stupid idiot” and flipped him the center finger for the duration of Friday practice. Then Verstappen edged Hamilton for pole placement on the remaining lap of qualifying Sunday.

It established up a fierce combat for the guide headed into the first convert mainly because the winner at COTA has usually arrive from the front row. Hamilton quickly jumped earlier Verstappen and the two traded the guide four occasions above 56 laps.

But Hamilton just could not make a single far more move in the finish. It really is a skipped victory at a circuit the place Mercedes have been dominant and Sunday’s result could establish pivotal if Verstappen hangs on to dethrone Hamilton.

Verstappen has had higher anticipations considering the fact that he initially joined the F1 grid as a 17-12 months-aged in 2015. Hamilton, at 36 a sequence veteran, has been the dominant figure in F1 for a decade and has gained 4 consecutive championships.

One more Hamilton title will split his tie with Michael Schumacher for most in F1. But he has not been in a combat like this in a very long time.

The U.S. Grand Prix was canceled in the 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic and returned with a flourish as followers poured in to view the F1′s best championship duel in yrs.

Sergio Perez finished third to place both of those Red Bull’s on the podium, but the Mexican raced without entry to water and referred to as it one particular of the most bodily race he’s ever skilled.

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