Max Verstappen has insisted he was always in control of his short-lived battle with Lewis Hamilton in the United States Grand Prix Sprint.
The Dutchman started on pole at the Circuit of the Americas and fended off an initial attack from Ferrari's Charles Leclerc into Turn 1, with Hamilton's Mercedes taking advantage to move into second.
Leclerc was forced onto the red-painted apron on the inside of the run up the hill to the first corner and addressing the incident that ultimately allowed Verstappen to sweep to a convincing victory, the three-time World Champion said: "It was quite tight but luckily there is a lot of space going into Turn 1, so that definitely helped.
"After that, we could do our own race, control the pace a little bit and have a bit of fun at the end, pushing a little bit more."
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Settled into a rhythm
Hamilton's charge saw him remain within DRS range for multiple laps before Verstappen eventually broke the one-second barrier before easing to victory.
"It was always eight-or-nine-tenths for a few laps so that was all controllable into the braking zones," explained Verstappen.
"But the DRS with such big wings are quite powerful here. Once I cleared the DRS, we all settled in our own rhythms and I think the pace of the car was very good today."