Red Bull leaves the US with a P3 and a win that puts Max Verstappen 12 points clear of Lewis Hamilton in the title contention. The weekend had started off with Sergio Perez topping the last two free practice sessions and carried on with Verstappen claiming the pole position on Saturday.
"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,” commented Christian Horner after the race.
On the first lap Hamilton took the lead into Turn 1 after a fantastic start. Verstappen stood close behind him for the first ten laps, when he came into the box for an early switch to hard tyres and re-took the lead when the Mercedes stopped to pit. Both cars had a second stop and Hamilton found himself chasing down the Dutchman with a fresher set of tyres. The two came very close, but brilliantly managed to keep him behind until the chequered flag and claimed his 8th victory of the season.
“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,” commented the Team Principal.
Things in Austin weren’t easy for his teammate Sergio Perez as well: he managed to step on the podium despite not feeling his best and his drinking system not working for the entire race making it physically challenging indeed. A remarkable performance that didn’t go unnoticed and left Horner quite pleased with the Mexican.
“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,” he said.
“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.”