US GP: Verstappen resists Hamilton charge to claim victory in Austin

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Max Verstappen withstood the pressure of 'Hammertime' as he claimed a crucial win at the United States Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver lost the lead to Lewis Hamilton at the start but a bold strategy gave him track position, and he just had the pace to hold on in the closing laps for his eighth victory of the season.

Race Review

A strong start from Hamilton gave him the lead at Turn 1 despite Verstappen's big efforts to stay ahead.

Carlos Sainz and the two McLarens went side-by-side throughout the opening lap, with Daniel Ricciardo taking fifth.

Despite losing the lead, the Red Bull did look quicker than the Mercedes ahead as Max was able to stay within a second comfortably.

But without the straight-line speed to pass, the Dutchman instead used the undercut to reclaim the lead.

On the hard tyres, the pendulum swung back to Hamilton, who began to close in quickly on Verstappen out front.

Fernando Alonso battled with the two Alfa Romeos, making contact with Kimi Raikkonen as they battled through Turn 1.

The Spaniard complained the Finn gained the place by going off track, but the stewards not investigating, he then passed Antonio Giovinazzi by going wide at Turn 12.

He was forced to hand the place back to the Italian, however, before eventually passing after Giovinazzi saved his place by going off track.

Behind, Perez couldn't keep pace with the leaders in third while Charles Leclerc had a quiet race in fourth.

Sainz was pushing to repass Ricciardo for fifth but a slow second stop scuppered Ferrari's undercut attempt.

Starting ninth after a grid penalty, Valtteri Bottas dropped a place at the start and only gained three places up to P7, jumping Lando Norris at his second pitstop.

Verstappen would pit early again for fresh hard tyres, with Mercedes reacting by extending Hamilton's stint to have eight laps fresher rubber in the fight until the end. 

The world champion entered 'Hammertime' after his final stop, gaining over a second at times on the Red Bull.

Despite his slow stop, Sainz had the pace to come back at Ricciardo, with the pair touching as they went wheel-to-wheel exiting Turn 13.

That allowed Bottas to catch up behind, making it a three-way battle for fifth.

Out front, Hamilton continued to close the gap but Verstappen paced his race to perfection, having the pace to keep Lewis at bay and claim victory in Austin.

Perez capped off another good weekend for Red Bull in the Constructors' Championship in third, his second consecutive podium finish.

Leclerc cruised home fourth, Ricciardo held onto fifth ahead of Bottas, who passed Sainz for sixth.

Norris was eighth ahead of Yuki Tsunoda in ninth and Sebastian Vettel rounded out the top 10.

Further down, issues forced both Alpines to retire along with Pierre Gasly, who reported a suspension issue on his AlphaTauri.

Back at the front, victory for Verstappen extends his championship lead to 12 points over Hamilton heading to Mexico, a circuit where both drivers have won twice in the past four races.

Full results from the US Grand Prix can be seen below.