Lewis Hamilton bullish in bid to keep Max Verstappen behind at US Grand Prix

Max Verstappen comfortably won the F1 Sprint Race, but starts the 2023 US GP from sixth

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Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has said ‘anything’s possible’ when assessing his chances of keeping Red Bull‘s Max Verstappen behind during the 2023 United States Grand Prix.

The British driver finished second in the Sprint Race on Saturday at the Circuit of the Americas, with recently crowned triple world champion Verstappen taking P1, but the Dutchman is at a disadvantage for the Grand Prix at the same venue on Sunday.

Of course, he has a phenomenal car available to him and starting P6, as he will in Austin, probably won’t be a hugely detrimental factor to his chances of victory but, even so, he will still need to fight past the likes of Hamilton, and front row sitters Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris if he wants to take another win this season.

Out in front from the off during a pretty dull Sprint Race on Saturday, Verstappen never really looked under threat from Hamilton or anyone else, but he needs to get to the head of the pack in the US GP via overtakes and strategy.

US GP 2023 Sprint winner Max Verstappen of Red Bull shakes hands with second placed Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Hamilton assesses Verstappen’s US GP chances

Seven-time world champion Hamilton has said that it might be possible to make it tough for the Red Bull driver to come though the field, despite Verstappen‘s superior pace advantage.

“Anything’s possible,” Hamilton told the press. “It depends. I mean, he’s got at least half a second on all the cars ahead of him per lap, pretty much.

“So that should be enough to get by but there is degradation and those sorts of things and strategy.

“I assume he will be climbing relatively fast. So we will have a job on our hands up ahead to try and hold him back but it’s a track that you can overtake so it is likely that he will be finishing high up tomorrow.”

Even starting in sixth, Verstappen will still be the favourite for victory at the Circuit of the Americas, but there are some quick cars in front of him that will provide at least some extent of a challenge.

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