Max Verstappen holds on for United States GP win from charging Lewis Hamilton

Red Bull's Max Vertappen defeated Lewis Hamilton's late challenge to win the US Grand Prix.
With five races remaining, Verstappen won in an impressively mature, controlled and strategic manner.

Hamilton led at the start but was beaten by Verstappen who made an early pit stop. Verstappen tried an off-set strategy to try and win the race in the final laps.

With two laps remaining, the Mercedes was at Verstappen’s tail but it wasn’t enough.

It was a thrilling battle in front of 140,000 people at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin. This was the final weekend in which Formula 1 felt that its popularity had reached new heights in the US.

After a hard-fought race, Hamilton was just 1.3 seconds ahead.

Red Bull's principal Red Bull said, "That was sheer class Max," during the slowing down lap. It was a great drive. It was one of Verstappen’s greatest victories under extreme pressure from Hamilton, Mercedes.

Hamilton defeated Verstappen, polesitter, off the line despite strong defence by the Dutchman

What happened to the race?

Verstappen started in pole position but lost the lead at the first corner after Hamilton made a better escape and passed his rival on its inside.

Hamilton was close behind Verstappen in the first laps. Red Bull noticed that Verstappen had a pace advantage. They decided to attempt to take the lead on track, and then defend it.

Verstappen was brought in by Hamilton and Mercedes for an early pit stop on lap 10. This left Hamilton and Mercedes with little choice but to try and go long and get back at Verstappen later in race.

They couldn't delay their first stop for as long as they wanted because Verstappen was within striking distance of Sergio Perez, and red Bull brought Perez in just two laps after Hamilton to force Hamilton to pit.

The race quickly became a fight between Hamilton and Verstappen in the second stint. Perez lost his grip and had to spend the remainder of the race watching Ferrari's Charles Leclerc who drove an impressive race behind the big three.

Verstappen pitted on lap 29, still with 27 laps to go. Hamilton continued for eight laps, Mercedes trying his best to give Hamilton as much tyre advantage in the last part of the race.

Hamilton was only nine seconds behind Hamilton when he resumed the race after his stop on lap 37. Hamilton measured his pace during the first laps of the last stint to protect his tyres. He then unleashed his speed, closing the gap from 8.4secs back down to 3.9 in five laps.

Hamilton led by 1.5secs with six laps remaining. Verstappen took the lead on the next lap, making it look like Hamilton had taken too much.

Hamilton was able to get under a second with just two laps remaining, but it was too late. He held on to his win.

On Sunday, more than 140,000 people viewed the race.

They said it!

After a successful weekend, F1 officials spoke out about the increased popularity and interest in F1 in America.

Verstappen stated that "We lost in the beginning and had to try something else." We were aggressive because the tyre wear was very high. It was not going to work. It is so nice to keep going."

Horner added, over the radio, to Horner: "His tires were eight laps older than yours and it was something I didn't expect you to do."

Verstappen responded: "I like how we did that. It's okay to be aggressive at times.

Hamilton stated that Max did a fantastic job today. It was a very difficult race. Although I had a great start and gave everything, they won the race. I couldn't have done more.

"What an incredible crowd! It is an honor to perform in front you guys. This is our acceptance into America. "I hope that we have more races here and that the sport continues its growth."

Drivers in the US have a lot of fun playing basketball, which has helped them relax.

Alonso makes a hilarious comeback

Leclerc finished 24.6 seconds faster than McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo in Ferrari. The two teams are continuing their battle for third place in the constructors’ championship.

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes driver, moved up from ninth to sixth on the grid following a five-place penalty for his engine. He is now sixth ahead of Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz, McLaren and Ferrari drivers.

Although irrelevant to the points, it was amusing for viewers. Fernando Alonso's campaign for consistent stewarding was continued during race in battle with Alfa Romeo drivers.

He first complained to Kimi Raikkonen that he had passed him at the first corner. The stewards said no further action was required.

Alonso was furious at the decision and passed Raikkonen's teammate Antonio Giovinazzi later with a late lunge into Turn 12, which carried him off the track.

Alonso was told to give the spot back. This decision led Alan Permane, Alpine sporting director, to intervene with Michael Masi, race director.

Alonso pulled a valid pass on Giovinazzi at that corner, but the Italian held on and went off track. The Spaniard was then told to surrender.

Alonso, who was in 12th place, retired late with what he claimed over the radio as a rear-wing failure.

On race day, several stars were visible in the paddock, including Megan Thee Stallion.

Driver of the Day

The winner would have been well-deserved - both title contenders were outstanding in their own ways. Verstappen is the one who deserves this award for his mature approach to measuring his tyres, and controlling the race from the front after he was given the lead by his team. Honorable mention to Leclerc who ran a masterful and unobtrusive race.

What's next?

Two weeks from now, the Mexican Grand Prix - a popular hunting ground for Red Bull and Mercedes, but Mercedes is afraid of another loss. Hamilton will be left with a mountain to climb over the four remaining races if that happens.