Max Verstappen wins in Austin. The second is Lewis Hamilton and the third is Sergio Perez. Max Verstappen came away with his 8th win of the 2021 season. The Dutchman lost 1st place at the start, but after changing his tires he returned to the same place from where he started the race.
The Red Bull driver made a smart move in the second tire change as well. He went to the pit again, kept his pace, and kept the tires to the end. In the end, this strategy paid off, although Hamilton quickly reduced his difference.
However, the Mercedes driver failed in his intention to put Verstappen under pressure to try to overtake him again. Verstappen and Red Bull did a flawless job today that resulted in a new win on a track that suited their biggest competitors.
Lewis Hamilton finished in 2nd place. The Briton overtook Verstappen at the start, keeping the position until he went to the pit, but after that, Hamilton was no longer in a position to regain the leading position. The seven-time champion was 8 seconds behind after the second stint.
Towards the end, he reduced it to one second, but everything was left to try because he could not endanger the faster Verstappen today. Sergio Perez started from 3rd place. He crossed the finish line at that spot. The Mexican did a very good job of collecting new points when it comes to the fight for the constructors' championship.
Towards the end of the season, Checo entered the form that his team had been waiting for a long time. Charles Leclerc finished in the place of the best of the others - 4th. For Ferrari and Leclerc, this is a great indicator that they are heading in the right direction with the new engine, as this track does not suit them.
Daniel Ricciardo took advantage of the start, when he strongly attacked Ferrari's Sainz. After that, with a smart strategy by McLaren, he came to 5th place.
Valtteri Bottas finished in 6th place. The Finn obviously couldn’t do anything more to get to a higher position.
The driver of the Mercedes struggled to overtake the Ferrari (Sainz), which had a damaged front wing. The 1: 20.128 lag was still too much behind the fastest Verstappen, considering that Hamilton was 1.3 seconds behind. Carlos Sainz had a very problematic race.
He initially found himself in the sandwich of two McLaren, one of which overtook him. The Spaniard stabilized during the race, but the mistake of his mechanics made it even harder for him to change the tires slowly. Sainz had an incident with Ricciardo - there was contact.
The Ferrari driver's front wing was damaged on that occasion, so he could not take more than 7th place. Lando Norris, who finished in 8th place, was not so noticeable in the race. Lando tried to attack Sainz, but his teammate took advantage of it.
By the end of the race, the McLaren driver no longer appeared in a position to attack the Ferrari driver. Yuki Tsunoda finished in 9th place. The young Japanese had several great fights with much faster and more experienced drivers. He tried to keep them all (in the allowed way), but he couldn't do it anymore.