Max Verstappen praised Red Bull’s strategy which won him the United States Grand Prix, but admitted he doubted it would work early in the race.Lewis Hamilton at the start, but Red Bull got him back ahead by bringing him in first for his pit stop. They repeated the strategy when the drivers pitted again, but that allowed Hamilton to attack Verstappen on much fresher tyres at the end.
Verstappen held on, however, and took a win which extended his championship lead to 12 points. He praised his team’s tactics on the radio after the race. “I like the way we played this strategy,” he said, “it’s good to be aggressive sometimes.”
Speaking after the race Verstappen admitted he wasn’t sure the team’s pit stop decisions were going to pay off.
“Of course we lost out in the start, so we had to try and do something else,” he said. “But the tyre wear is quite high around this track.
“So we did go aggressive and I was not sure it was going to work. But the last few laps were fun. A bit sideways through the high speed corners but super happy, of course, to hang on.”
Verstappen won by just 1.3 seconds at the chequered flag after Hamilton slashed the Red Bull driver’s lead during the final stint. Hamilton said Red Bull were too quick for Mercedes over the weekend.
“Congratulations to Max, he did a great job today,” said Hamilton. “It was such a tough race.”
While Verstappen was quicker than Hamilton in the opening phase of the race on the medium compound tyres, Mercedes appeared stronger after switching to the hard rubber.
“I got a good start, gave it absolutely everything,” said Hamilton. “But at the end of the day, they just had the upper hand this weekend and we couldn’t really ask for more.
“But a big, big thank you to my team for great pit stops, great hard work throughout the weekend and what an amazing crowd, to perform in front of [them] is such an honour.”
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2021 United States Grand Prix
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