F1 pundit Martin Brundle praised Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen for their captivating battle at the United States Grand Prix, stating they're both "at the top of their game".
The Red Bull driver came out on top thanks to an aggressive strategy call by his team, meaning he now sits 12 points up on his championship rival.
Brundle lauded both drivers for their efforts in what was the latest chapter of their enthralling fight for the 2021 F1 World Championship.
"I have no doubt that Sunday's USA GP will be considered a significant pivot point when eventually looking back at this year's outstanding world championship," Brundle wrote in his column for Sky Sports.
"A great duel between two brilliant drivers at the top of their game, it was effectively a 14-point swing for whoever won between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.
"For the seventh time this season Verstappen and Hamilton lined up on the 'front row', which is a misnomer because pole position is eight meters ahead of second place on a grid, and so on.
"That didn't deter Lewis, lightening reactions and the perfect minimal wheelspin saw him gain all those eight meters. Max tried his best to squeeze his championship rival but had to yield. He was lucky that it was his team-mate Perez in third otherwise he'd have lost another place."
Brundle admits he expected Hamilton to find a way past Verstappen in the closing stages given his tyres were eight laps fresher, especially given Mercedes pulled off a similar feat in Spain earlier this season.
He added: "Mercedes had a fast car on significantly younger tyres with Lewis at the wheel, and surely now he was going to grab the lead in the closing stages? That's how I would have betted and Red Bull were very nervous too, no doubt remembering Barcelona earlier in the year.
"The sinuous layout of particularly the first sector of this track seemed to make the lapped runners more impactful on the leaders than usual, but using some DRS scavenged from lapping Mick Schumacher's Haas going into the last lap Max somehow managed to tease enough grip out of his rear tyres to find enough traction in the critical Turn 11 hairpin to win by 1.3 seconds.
"I feel privileged to be watching these two craftsmen at work."
F1 Podcast: Were Mercedes caught out by Red Bull's aggressive strategy call in Austin?
It's time for the latest episode of the RacingNews365 podcast, with F1 journalists Dieter Rencken, Thomas Maher and Mike Seymour discussing the tense strategy battle between Mercedes and Red Bull and much, much more from the United States Grand Prix.