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Formula 1

Verstappen surprised by Hamilton at Turn 1: I thought I had a decent start!

Red Bull's Max Verstappen said that he felt he'd made a good start to the United States Grand Prix, until a Mercedes drew alongside him...

Verstappen Hamilton USA
To news overview © Mercedes

Max Verstappen's United States Grand Prix became a whole lot tougher right as the red lights went out to start the race.

Launching his Red Bull from pole position, Verstappen immediately came under pressure from Lewis Hamilton and was powerless to stop the Mercedes driver pushing up the inside and taking the lead.

Verstappen's reaction time to the lights was 0.33 seconds, with Hamilton edging that by just 0.03 seconds. With his slightly faster reaction time and maximising his traction to take the optimal racing position on the inside into Turn 1, Hamilton was able to force Verstappen to go the long way around and yield as they accelerated into Turn 2.

That could have been a race-deciding move, had Red Bull not employed an aggressive undercut strategy to reclaim the lead, and Verstappen explained afterwards that he was slightly surprised to go into Turn 1 and have the Mercedes alongside.

"I thought I had quite a decent start, but I think Lewis just had a really good start," Verstappen told the media, including RacingNews365.com.

"Then, of course, as soon as he was alongside me, that was more or less it, right? I just went around the outside to try and avoid any trouble from behind, because it's quite a tight hairpin, so I just decided to go the long way round."

Hamilton has had his fair share of poor starts this season, and the reigning World Champion was delighted to have hooked one up perfectly to put Verstappen under pressure.

"Yeah, [it was a] great start. The goal was to get in the lead and [I] finally got a good start," Hamilton said.

"I've not had as good a start as that for a long time, so I was really happy with it, and then it was just about staying clean, coming out ahead and holding onto it.

"It felt good at the time, to get into the lead. I thought, 'OK, this is step one', but they were just too quick."

Verstappen now leads Hamilton by 12 points in the standings.

Also interesting:

Video: Check out the sports cars Verstappen drives away from the track!

While Max Verstappen is most known for his performances in a Red Bull F1 car, his passion for motorsport can be seen in what he drives when he's away from the track.

F1 2021 US Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


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