By the slimmest of margins, Max Verstappen managed to win the U.S. GP despite a stunning effort by Lewis Hamilton in the last few laps.
This weekend was really just (mostly) good natured racing. There wasn’t much drama, no super controversial moments, no one gaining positions undeservedly. Just good old-fashioned racing.
Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen gave us a fantastic battle throughout the entire race. It was a clash of titans that spanned the entire race as the pair leapfrogged each other. It really was a spectacle from the entire team on both sides.
While Verstappen was leading for most of the race, you could see that by the end, victory was no guarantee. Red Bull raced on a knife’s edge.
It’s worth mentioning the stunning start from Hamilton that caused Verstappen to veer into the Mercedes and cause him to under brake and go off the track, conceding P1 to Hamilton.
Sergio Perez we’ve learnt still isn’t quite there with his teammate, Verstappen, but he has certainly made quite an improvement. He almost outqualified Max for the first time this year but just missed out after a slight stumble on his hot lap.
Now during the race, he was behind the pace of the leaders by quite a margin but he held his own and held P3 very comfortably. It’s more impressive when you know that Perez’s drinking mechanism had failed on the very first lap.
“I couldn’t drink at all,” said Perez. “I struggled massively physically. Since lap 20, I was pretty much done… I think my toughest race ever physically.”
There was a tonne of action in the midfield. The race was hotter than ever between Ferrari and McLaren as they were stacked from P4 to P7. Charles Leclerc got ahead of the pack but Carlos Sainz was sandwiched between the two McLarens.
You know what Sainz has shown us this season? He’s a little scrapper. He fought a hard battle but unfortunately eventually lost out to a very on-form Daniel Ricciardo. This wouldn’t be their last battle as the two would duke it out for the rest of the race.
Some drama was present too when Ricciardo and Sainz made contact in the closing laps, with Sainz calling it “dirty” and claiming he “did that on purpose.” Sainz suffered a slightly damaged front wing.
I think it’s safe to say that Daniel Ricciardo is back, though. His recent win at Monza must have given him a much-needed confidence boost because he is taking more risks and finding more pace in his McLaren.
Valtteri Bottas kind of struggled this race. He’s shown that he is not good at climbing positions when he’s stuck in the middle of the grid. Yeah, he did manage to grab P6, but it was an effort overtaking Sainz at the end there and the Spaniard had a damaged front wing!
It was also a shocker weekend for Alpine who unfortunately had to retire both cars. Esteban Ocon started from the back and stayed there and Fernando Alonso also struggled to gain any positions. It seems both cars suffered issues with the back end of the car.
The same problems plagued Pierre Gasly, forcing him to retire as well. It seems the track was particularly destructive for certain cars. Thankfully, Yuki Tsunoda, Gasly’s teammate at AlpaTauri, didn’t suffer the same issues and managed to finish in the points, which I’m sure he’s happy about.