Verstappen wasn't sure 'aggressive' strategy would work

Max Verstappen admitted he hadn't been completely convinced that Red Bull's aggressive strategy in Sunday's United States Grand... The post Verstappen wasn't sure 'aggressive' strategy would work appeared first on F1i.com.

Verstappen wasn't sure 'aggressive' strategy would work

Max Verstappen admitted he hadn't been completely convinced that Red Bull's aggressive strategy in Sunday's United States Grand Prix would work.

Verstappen qualified on pole position but lost the lead of the race to Lewis Hamilton heading into the first corner at the Circuit of the Americas, meaning the team had to come up with a radical response.

That ended up in an early first pit stop on lap 11 that allowed him to undercut the Mercedes and retake the lead. He was also one of the first drivers to stop a second time on lap 29.

It meant that Verstappen had to make his final set of hard compound tyres last for 27 laps, while Hamilton stayed out eight laps longer giving him fresher rubber that allowed him to cut the gap between them by up to two seconds a lap.

“We lost out at the start, so we had to try and do something else,” Verstappen explained to former F1 champion Jenson Button in parc ferme after the chequered flag.

"The tyre wear is quite high around this track, so we did go aggressive," he acknowledged. “I was not sure it was going to work."

But Verstappen was able to preserve his tyres long enough that by the time Hamilton got close to DRS range with three laps remaining, he was able to respond and stay just out of reach until the finish.

"The last few laps were fun!" he said. "A bit sideways through the high speed corners, but super happy of course to hang on.”

"I really didn’t think he was going to pull that off," admitted Red Bull team principal Christian Horner speaking to Sky Sports F1.

"The first set of hards that came off, we were pretty much down to the canvas, and we were thinking we wouldn’t have much at the end left."

"To lose a race in the last couple of laps would have been really painful. Max just held on, he did a brilliant job and had just enough at the end there.”

Verstappen's victory, together with Hamilton claiming second place and a bonus for setting the fastest lap during his final charge means that the Dutch driver now has a 12 point lead in the drivers championship with five races remaining.

Meanwhile third place in the race for Verstappen's team mate Sergio Perez compared to sixth for Valtteri Bottas means that Mercedes' lead in the constructors standings has been reduced to 23 points.

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Hamilton admits Red Bull 'had the upper hand' in Austin

Lewis Hamilton admitted that Max Verstappen and Red Bull had simply been too good to beat in this... The post Hamilton admits Red Bull 'had the upper hand' in Austin appeared first on F1i.com.

Hamilton admits Red Bull 'had the upper hand' in Austin

Lewis Hamilton admitted that Max Verstappen and Red Bull had simply been too good to beat in this weekend's United States grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas.

Although COTA has been a Mercedes stronghold during the modern hybrid engine era, this time it was Red Bull who had all the cards even though Hamilton succeeded in taking the lead of the race at the start.

Verstappen retook the top spot by pitting early on lap 11, and again on lap 29. Hamilton stayed out longer hoping that the fresh rubber would have him late race advantage, but he fell short of catching and passing his rival in the final laps.

“It was such a tough race," Hamilton told the media in parc ferme after the chequered flag. “Congratulations to Max, he did a great job today.

“I got a good start, gave it absolutely everything,” he continued. “But at the end of the day, they just had the upper hand this weekend.

"They were just quicker than us this weekend, for whatever reason, I can't pinpoint.

“We gave it everything we had and they were just quicker than us,” he told Sky Sports F1 later. “It looked like they had better rear end, less sliding.

"I gave it everything, but unfortunately could not convert it at the end," he lamented. “I felt for a second we might be able to win the race, but we have to wait for the next one.”

Hamilton said that his momentum was broken once he hit the dirty air spilling off the back end of the Red Bull, with high temperatures and overheating tyres also a factor.

"But we couldn’t really ask for more," he insisted. "A big, big thank you to my team for great pitstops, great hard work throughout the weekend.”

Despite the disappointment of finishing second and falling 12 points behind Verstappen in the drivers championship, Hamilton's spirits were boosted by an outstanding capacity crowd this weekend.

"What an amazing crowd, to perform in front of you guys is such an honour," he told the fans as they surged onto the track after the finish, the first 'track invasion' since the pandemic.

"This is definitely our acceptance into the US, what a place to be," he added. "It's a real honour to be out here, I hope we get more races out here.

"I hope that this will continue to grow because you can tell just how great the fans are out here, so I hope we get to come out more."

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The post Hamilton admits Red Bull 'had the upper hand' in Austin appeared first on F1i.com.

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