Kurt Verlin
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Verstappen and Hamilton Dominate 2021 United States Grand Prix

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Verstappen leading Hamilton on track
Photo: Honda
2021 United States Grand Prix results

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton were once again in a class of their own at the 2021 United States Grand Prix, completing the race nearly 45 seconds ahead of third-place driver Sergio Pérez.

So far this Formula 1 season, at almost every race where reliability or collisions are not a factor, the two championship rivals have been heads and shoulders above the rest of the competition. This time, it was Verstappen who came out on top after a nail-biting finish.

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For the young Dutch driver and the Red Bull Racing team, it was more than just your usual victory. In the past, Hamilton has made a habit of winning at the Circuit of the Americas, and indeed, he may have even been the faster man yesterday. But smart pit strategy and excellent tire management enabled Verstappen to maintain track position, a crucial advantage in this era of the sport. Extending his championship lead by six points at a traditionally Hamilton-favored track puts Verstappen in a good position as the season approaches its end.

Though Pérez was leagues behind by the checkered flag, to his credit he was mostly hanging on to the frontrunners in the first part of the race. But his drink system failed and after lap 20, the dehydration was already kicking in. According to the man, it was the hardest race of his career: he lost strength in his hands and legs, his vision was affected, and to make matters worse, he’d also been sick before the race had even started. In hindsight, it’s an achievement he managed to finish on the podium.

As for the drivers behind them, they simply don’t have a car as fast as the Red Bull-Honda or the Mercedes, and Valtteri Bottas started further behind due to yet another engine-related grid penalty. Still, we got a great battle for fourth and fifth place between Ferrari and McLaren, with Charles Leclerc once more coming out of that scrap the clearly faster man. Spectators were also treated to a few nice duels between the Aston Martin Racing and Alfa Romeo Racing drivers.

2021 has been one of the best F1 years in recent memory. Let’s hope the upcoming 2022 regulations only make things better rather than worse as traditionally, rules changes tend to separate teams rather than bring them together.

2021 United States Grand Prix championship standings