Max Verstappen sailed to his 13th victory this season at the United States Grand Prix after an epic battle at the Circuit of the Americas to bring home this year’s constructors’ championship title for Red Bull.
The 2022 world champion dedicated his triumph in Texas to the team’s founder Dietrich Mateschitz, who died on Saturday.
Just two weeks after his title win, Verstappen fought his way to the chequered flag after a slow pitstop hampered his early efforts.
As a result of the 11.9s stop, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton took the lead with Charles Leclerc in second, but after the Dutchman shot past the Ferrari, he had his sights set on his former rival.
It quickly became clear that Max Verstappen had a major speed advantage over Lewis Hamilton, and despite the British driver’s best efforts, the Red Bull made a successful overtake at Turn 12.
Verstappen held the lead until the end, bringing home the Constructors’ title and ending Mercedes’ eight-year streak.
Speaking after the hectic race, Verstappen told reporters: “It was a tough one.
“It was all looking good but then the pit stop was a bit longer than we would have liked, so I had to fight my way forward again.
“We gave it everything out there today, and of course it’s a very difficult weekend for us, so this one is definitely dedicated to Dietrich.
“We had a big chance to win the constructors here, and you want to do that in style, and I think we did that today.
“This is a great track for battling. If you pass in one corner, you can come back in the next, and it’s really enjoyable to drive here.”
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton (P2) spoke about coming close to the win in Texas and said: “We came here with upgrades and we closed the gap a little bit.
“It was so, so close and I did everything I could to try and stay ahead but they were just a little bit too quick today.
“Great strategy, great race by Red Bull and again my condolences to the team.
“The car was a handful today and firstly, it felt amazing to be in the lead.
“That is something we have been working so hard on throughout the year and we have had so much hope.
“But it is OK, we will hold on to that, we will keep pushing and we will try and give everything we can in these next 3.
“It will come to us at some stage.”
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc (P3), then told Sky Sports: “I’m satisfied in a way because we started P12, so podium is a good achievement,” he said.
“But looking at the race it’s obviously a little bit disappointing. We had the pace, but then we had a little bit too much deg towards the end of the race.
“In the end, P3 starting from P12 is not that bad.”