Formula 1

Verstappen wins at the 2021 US Grand Prix as both him and Lewis put on an immaculate show!

The Dutchman wins his 8th race of the season, and now has a 12-point lead in the championship over Lewis.

The 2021 US Grand Prix was an enjoyable race, and the ending could be crucial in deciding the outcome of the championship in the end! Max held off a quick and charging Lewis to win his 8th race of the season, and also what could possibly be one of his most crucial wins yet.

At the start, Lewis jumped Max into Turn 1, though there was further drama down the field. Stroll and Latifi made contact, and so did Ocon and Raikkonen. All 3 except Raikkonen had to pit to change tyres, and fell well down the order as a result.

The McLarens battled hard with Sainz on Lap 1, and a great tussle ensued. Ricciardo managed to get past Sainz at the quick right hander, and from there on nothing much really happened apart from the odd overtake. The round of pitstops ensued, and Red Bull undercut Lewis with Max.

Gasly retired with a car issue, and limped back to the pits. Alonso and Raikkonen had a fantastic tussle, and made contact as well, with the Finn coming out on top.

Fernando later made a very opportunistic but successful move on Giovinazzi, and despite making the move stick had to return the place to the Italian because the FIA told him to. Sainz and Ricciardo raced hard, and the Aussie pushed the Spaniard a bit hard, damaging Sainz’s front wing end plate.

Fernando retired after a suspected suspension failure, but everyone’s main focus was on Lewis and Max, the Briton chasing down the Red Bull driver at a very rapid rate! Max got very unlucky with traffic, and the gap was just 1.7 seconds with 7 laps to go!

Lewis kept inching closer, but even with 8 lap fresher tyres he couldn’t get past the Red Bull in the final few laps, getting affected by dirty air. Even with the help of DRS on the final lap, Lewis just fell short and Max won the race!

The Dutchman took his first win since the Dutch GP, and was followed home by Lewis just behind in P2, and Checo Perez in P3. Max managed to keep a quick-charging Lewis at bay in the end despite being on 8 lap older tyres, and that’s no easy feat! A superb and possibly important win as well, considering how close this championship is playing out to be.

Let’s now look at how each team performed today!

Red Bull

The only team with two cars on the podium, Red Bull did well, though got quite lucky in the end. Their start was a bit poor, but still the team managed to undercut Lewis at the first round of pitstops, and eventually held on, albeit just to win the race with Max.


Sergio had a quiet race, finishing over 40 seconds behind Max though stayed out of trouble and achieved only his 4th podium of the year. His deficit to the leaders can be excused for a very good reason as well- he had no water in the sweltering Austin heat since Lap 1! The reception he got was tremendous though, and the reception will be even better in 2 weeks’ time, at his home race in Mexico! A good weekend for Red Bull, then.

Sergio Perez emerged as a TRUE companion to his teammate and deserves bonus credits for Max’ victory. Mind you, Max’ gestures after the race proved it as well. If anything, Bottas definitely could take a lesson or two on how not to be frustrated by your teammate and rather support him when your chances of a championship are non-existent. Perez made a bunch of fans here in Austin.


I must say, Charles is an absolute jewel. Not just off-track but, on-track as well. He displayed immense pace, and held on to a commanding P4, finishing just 10 seconds behind the much better car of Perez. What one needs to understand is that his Ferrari is a superbly inferior car this year and next year, Charles could very well be a championship title contender. His pace over the McLarens was amazing, and he took away some fantastic points for him and the team, with 12 points.


Carlos drove very well, and was also battling for a potential P5 finish. Late-race contact with Ricciardo damaged his front wing, and from there on the lack of downforce made him struggle to stay ahead of Bottas, the Finn overtaking him with about 2 laps to go. Still, P7’s not bad! A good weekend for Ferrari, then.

Alfa Romeo

Kimi had a tough race, though the final outcome could’ve been much better. He battled all race, though his battle with Fernando was the best out of the lot. He drove alright, though made a mistake and spun with 4 laps to go while he was running P10, and spun. He recovered and finished P13, though it could’ve been so much more.


Antonio had a more difficult race, being overtaken on many occasions. His most memorable moment of the race was a weird one, when he was overtaken by a very opportunistic Fernando at the end of the back straight. He would’ve finished 12th, but thanks to Kimi’s spin he was promoted to 11th. Alfa could’ve scored a point here, but it just wasn’t meant to be.


Both Williams were invisible for the entire race. George silently made his way up the order from 20th to 14th at the flag, though nothing of note happened to him apart from one moment, where he was overtaken by Seb at the fast right hander round the outside.


Nicholas had a tough start, as he was sandwiched by one of the Haas cars into Turn 1 on Lap 1, and he took out his fellow countryman Stroll in the process. He got front wing damage, fell down the order and couldn’t recover, finishing 15th.


For the first time since Hungary, Yuki managed to score points with P9. The Japanese driver loves to hold up Merc cars it seems- he held off Lewis in Turkey, and he did the same here with Bottas! His race was relatively quiet, though he did well to finally score some well-deserved points.


Pierre was driving well up until a suspension failure ruined his chances on Lap 15. A possible double points finish for AlphaTauri was ruined then and there, though I’m certain that they will come back stronger at Mexico next weekend.


It was a calamitous day for the team from Enstone, with neither car finishing the race. Esteban suffered front wing damage on Lap 1 after contact with an Alfa, and slipped down to last place. He ran in 17th for a while until around Lap 46, when he retired with suspension damage.


Fernando also had to retire on Lap 50, though he had a much more eventful race. His battles with the Alfa cars were palpable, and just amazing. He was even running in the points positions for a bit, until he suffered the same fate as his teammate on Lap 50, when his suspension also bid adieu mid-race. A terrible weekend for the French team.

Aston Martin

Aston scored one point on Sunday, at the hands of a quick Seb Vettel. The German started in 18th, and on Lap 53 was promoted to 10th after Kimi’s spin. He had a great battle with Alonso at one stage, giving us all 2010 and 2012 vibes, it was amazing to see! 10th was the best he could manage, and a good recovery after starting at the back of the grid.


Lance’s race was ruined on Lap 1 itself, when he was spun around by his fellow countryman Latifi. He couldn’t do much more henceforth, and finished 12th in the end. He would’ve certainly had a shot at points had it not been for the collision, and Aston will be hoping for better points in the future!


The Brackley-based team had a difficult day, getting outplayed strategy-wise with Lewis. The Briton jumped Max at the start, though he was undercut by Max at both pitstops. A quick note on Lewis’ start though. Max had told Martin Brundle that he’d be pointing his car straight and won’t even look to cut Lewis at the start. He did point it straight. But, Lewis’ superhuman reaction made Max desperate to try and cut him off yet, Lewis came victorious. In fact, if it was anyone other than Sergio at P3, Max would’ve been running P3 for sure from the beginning.

In the dying stages, it seemed like he would easily overtake Max, but the Red Bull driver held on to take the win, though it was very, very close. Both these drivers deserve all the credit they get and irrespective of your following, you’ve got to feel for Lewis. He drove a faultless race yet the strategy call from his team did him bad. This has been the case this year with Mercedes. Not to take away from Max’ drive of a champion. Max is giving Lewis the battle he deserves being a 7-time champion.


Valtteri struggled a bit on his first stint, initially getting overtaken by both AlphaTauri cars in the initial stages of the race. He lacked proper fighting pace, and struggled to make up ground. He was stuck behind Sainz for many laps, and only passed him with 2 laps to go. Finishing in P6, Valtteri certainly hoped for more, but 8 points was all he managed to achieve in the end.


Both McLarens seemed like they had a personal battle with Sainz today, as both had tussles and battled with the ex-McLaren driver! Daniel overtook Carlos on Lap 1, but both had a race-long battle. They made contact on Lap 43, which damaged Sainz’s front wing endplate. The Aussie did eventually finish in 5th, albeit 24 seconds behind Leclerc.


Lando also had a hard battle with Carlos, and the two had a fantastic scrap mid-race. Lando however, lacked that sheer pace he has shown on many occasions this season, and was a decent way back from Sainz toward the end. He finished 8th in the end, and did ensure McLaren scored double points yet again.


It might have been their home race, and they did show consistency- by finishing last and second last, just like how they have at every race this season. Mick was the better of the two cars (as has been the case since Bahrain), and even managed to lap consistently close to those in front of him. He finished a distant 18th in the end.


I do not know what to say about Nikita. Every time the timing tower refreshed itself, he kept losing time to those in front. Both me and my friend noticed that within the span of 20 seconds, he lost a whole 2 seconds to the car in front. I think that this Reddit post sums up Mazepin’s entire race perfectly. Yet again, a consistently bad weekend for Haas, as it has been for the whole season.

In Conclusion

An exciting end to the race, and despite some parts of the race being a bit stagnant the race was fun to watch. Having to stay up till 2:30AM was a bit of a challenge for those of us in India like me, but I’m never going to complain about F1’s timings- I’m just thrilled to watch F1! 2 weeks from now, it’ll be another late weekend for us, with Mexico having the same timings for the race as this weekend. Let’s bid adieu to the land of steak and fries, and head over to the land of tacos, burritos, enchiladas and tequila next! Can’t wait.

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Sahil D.

Love sleeping, video games and aviation, but F1 is life! I'm addicted to F1 and it's happenings, and I really love open-wheel motorsport! Feel free to check out any of my articles- I try my best to write without an element of bias, so you as the reader can form your own opinion! :)

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