Texas [US], October 25 (ANI): Max Verstappen won a spectacular duel with title rival Lewis Hamilton in the 2021 United States Grand Prix, with Red Bull gaining ground on Mercedes thanks to Perez's podium finish - and the championship leader extending his lead to 12 points.
From second on the grid, Hamilton enjoyed a stellar start off the line as the lights went out in Austin, and despite Verstappen squeezing him as far as possible down the inside to the run-up to Turn 1, the Briton gained P1 from the Dutchman to lead going into the esses. Perez, starting third, followed and began to lose hundredths, then tenths, to the leaders.
"Red Bull championship hopeful Verstappen opened the pit window on Lap 11, pitting from medium tyres to hards, while Mercedes' reigning champion Hamilton followed in on Lap 14 only to emerge second behind the under-cutting Red Bull driver. But there was another pit stop to come under the scorching Texas sun," read an official F1 report.
Charles Leclerc drove brilliantly to P4 for Ferrari having held off Daniel Ricciardo of McLaren at the start, the Australian having made up one place at the expense of Carlos Sainz early on.
That left Valtteri Bottas sixth for Mercedes ahead of Carlos Sainz, the Ferrari driver passed for the place late on by the Mercedes man who recovered from ninth on the grid.
Ricciardo's teammate Lando Norris took eighth having lost a place to Bottas after the second set of pit stops. Behind Norris was Yuki Tsunoda in P9, the rookie having started 10th on soft tyres but handled the fragile compounds masterfully, gaining a place as AlphaTauri teammate Pierre Gasly retired with suspension issues. (ANI)