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Formula One

Verstappen pips Hamilton to USA Grand Prix

Max Verstappen won the US Grand Prix after holding off title rival Lewis Hamilton to extend the championship lead to 12 points at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

Red Bull’s driver started in Pole but quickly lost the lead to his Mercedes rival, regaining it on Hamilton’s first pit stop and held him off for the final two laps and winning by 1.3 seconds.

For Oxfordshire based Williams George Russell finished 14th and Nicholas Latifi 15th, but it was a good result for the Englishman considering he started in 20th place. George ran a two-stop race on medium Pirelli tyres, taking new sets of hard tyres on laps nine and 31.

Nicholas also started on medium Pirelli tyres and pitted twice, initially stopping on lap five for the hard Pirelli compound and a front-wing change following contact at the start of the race. He made his second stop on lap 25, taking a fresh set of hard tyres.

What did the Williams Team say?

Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance:

It was difficult today with the hot track and gusty conditions making the tyre management difficult. George had a good opening lap and showed good pace, especially on his first Prime set, but the short VSC hurt the tyre temperature. In the final stint, we were able to match Stroll’s pace and considering that we took a PU penalty, George’s finishing position was creditable.

Nicholas was unfortunate at the first corner, losing places and damaging his front wing. We considered the damage from data and photographs and, with an opportunity to cover Ocon’s early stop, we decided to pit early and attempt an effective one-stop race using his two Prime tyres. Having lost track position early, the blue flags become an issue at crucial times during the race and hurt the tyres; catching back up with the field becomes very difficult. Once Ocon had retired, Nicholas was effectively in a lonely race with Haas, which he was able to manage comfortably to the end.

George Russell:

I had some good fun today but we didn’t really have the pace this weekend to challenge for the points paying positions. I made a good start and moved from P20 up to P14 but was then struggling to keep Fernando (Alonso) and Sebastian (Vettel) behind me. Once they were past it was a long, lonely race from then on in. It was a tricky weekend overall but none of our rivals scored any points so it’s onwards to Mexico.

Nicholas Latifi:

Unfortunately, my race came undone in the first corner. One of the Haas cars made a lunge up the inside, and I could tell I was going to become sandwiched. Sadly, I was in the middle of a pack of cars so there wasn’t much I could do as it was too late to back out. I picked up some front-wing damage and that meant I had to pit much earlier than we wanted to, so our second and third stints were then much longer than ideal. I think our pace was also impacted by trying to keep the tyres in the right window, which I’m sure was a challenge for everybody, so it was definitely a race to learn from.

 

Track: Circuit of The Americas, USAWeather: Hot and dry conditions
Lap Length: 5.513 km / 3.425 milesTemperature: Air: 27-30°C Track: 36-39°C
PosDriverTeam

Time/Gap (Fastest Lap)

Grid

Tyre Changes

1.M. VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda

1:34:36.552

(1:39.096)

1

2 (10, 29)

2.L. HamiltonMercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team

+ 1.333

(1:38.485)

2

2 (13, 37)

3.S. PerezRed Bull Racing Honda

+ 42.223

(1:39.566)

3

2 (12, 30)

14.G. Russell, FW43B-04Williams Racing

+ 1 LAP

(1:41.120)

20

2 (9, 31)

15.N. Latifi, FW43B-02Williams Racing

+ 1 LAP

(1:41.818)

14

2 (5, 25)

28-Mar-21Bahrain Grand PrixBahrain IC
18-Apr-21Emilia Romagna Grand PrixImola
02-May-21Portuguese Grand PrixAlgarve International Circuit
09-May-21Spanish Grand PrixCircuit de Catalunya
23-May-21Monaco Grand PrixMonte Carlo
06-Jun-21Azerbaijan Grand PrixBaku City Circuit
20-Jun-21French Grand PrixCircuit Paul Ricard
27-Jun-21Styrian Grand PrixRed Bull Ring
04-Jul-21Austrian Grand PrixRed Bull Ring
18-Jul-21British Grand PrixSilverstone
01-Aug-21Hungarian Grand PrixHungaroring
29-Aug-21Belgian Grand PrixSpa-Francorchamps
05-Sep-21Dutch Grand PrixZandvoort
12-Sep-21Italian Grand PrixMonzaItalian
26-Sep-21Russian Grand PrixSochi Autodrom
10-Oct-21Turkish Grand PrixIstanbul Park
24-Oct-21USA Grand PrixCircuit Of The Americas
07-Nov-21Mexican Grand PrixAutodromo Hermanos Rodriguez
14-Nov-21Brazilian Grand PrixAutódromo José Carlos Pace
05-Dec-21Saudi Arabia Grand PrixJeddah Street Circuit
12-Dec-21Abu Dhabi Grand PrixYas Marina Circuit

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