Verstappen and Hamilton drove their hearts out in Austin

The United States Grand Prix showed exactly why the battles and racing between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen in 2021 was so good

-

The second half of the 2022 United States Grand Prix gave us a throwback to 2021, no, not the incidents or the controversy on and off the track, but two drivers racing like their lives depended on it.

Max Verstappen came out on top with a stunning drive which Dietrich Mateschitz will surely have looked down on with great pride.

It looked like the two-time world champion was going to cruise to victory after he took the lead from Carlos Sainz off the start line.

But, a slow second pit stop put Lewis Hamilton in the net led with Verstappen also dropping behind Charles Leclerc.

At that point, Hamilton had every chance to keep his streak of winning a race in every F1 season he’s competed in alive. However, Verstappen had other answers.

The key to Verstappen’s fightback

Verstappen had it all to do behind Leclerc with Hamilton seven seconds up the road and just 21 laps remaining.

He was furious, stating on the team radio: “Beautiful f***ing beautiful.”

“Max just got his head down and I just thought there was only going to be one outcome of that race,” said Christian Horner post-race.

“There’s a hunger within him I’ve never seen from another driver.”

Verstappen came charging back and was on the attack to try to overtake Leclerc.

We haven’t had enough of this in 2022 and it was a beautiful fight as the pair passed and re-passed each other, reminiscent of the Bahrain and Saudi Arabian GP at the start of the season.

Verstappen got the job done on Lap 39 and somehow still had enough life left in his medium tyres to slowly close the gap on Hamilton.

He proved numerous times last year that he is every bit as good as Hamilton with his tyre management and that was crucial on Sunday because few drivers can race another driver very hard and still have some rubber to go in pursuit for the lead.

Hamilton at his best too

With the possibility of a race win, we saw the very best of Hamilton as he tried to get every ounce of performance from his hard tyres.

He was punching in personal and occasional fastest sector times in a bid to keep Verstappen at bay.

The straight line speed of the Red Bull meant Verstappen was taking a couple tenths from Hamilton on the long back straight each time, but there was very little to separate them in the corners.

Both drivers were pushing the limits in tricky, gusty conditions, using everything they had from their respective cars and tyres. There was a real intensity to the Grand Prix. The combination of Verstappen in the RB18 though prevailed.

Even a late jiggle to the left from Hamilton in the braking zone at Turn 12 didn’t put off the Dutchman.

After that, the seven-time world champion tried to stay with his rival and his only opportunity to get back was a divebomb at Turn 1 on the lap after he was overtaken.

Verstappen resisted the pressure and took a stunning win. He’s had many of them over the last two years.

Huge credit to Hamilton as well because if he was against any other driver, he may have just held on.

It would be a magical moment in F1 history if he were to win in either Mexico, Brazil or Abu Dhabi to keep his streak alive.

The United States GP showed exactly why 2021 was so good, for the right reasons. Two of the best F1 drivers ever, at the top of their game, fighting for the win. It doesn’t get better than that.

Nigel Chiu
Nigel Chiuhttps://total-motorsport.com/author/nigel-chiu/
Nigel Chiu is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who worked at Total-Motorsport for 18 months until May 2023. He has been following F1 since 2007 and hasn’t missed a Grand Prix weekend since. Nigel’s worked with several motorsport websites, plus Eurosport and subsequently went on to work with Sky Sports F1 where he travels to multiple F1 races each season.
- Advertisment -

LATEST NEWS

Adrian Newey, the Chief Technical Officer of Red Bull during 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Aston Martin executive gives cryptic update on Adrian Newey deal

0
Aston Martin’s technical director Dan Fallows has admitted Adrian Newey would be “a great asset” to any team but...
Oscar Piastri with the winners trophy at the 2024 Hungarian GP | McLaren F1 Team

Piastri wants McLaren discussion after Hungarian GP team orders chaos

0
Oscar Piastri called for a McLaren discussion regarding the team orders situation at the 2024 Hungarian GP as he...
The start of the 2024 Hungarian GP | Mark Thompson / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Driver Ratings – 2024 Hungarian GP

0
Oscar Piastri stunned fans at the Hungaroring by taking his first career victory at the 2024 F1 Hungarian Grand...
Nick Cassidy walking down the pit lane at the 2024 London E-Prix | Formula E

Emotional Cassidy ‘incredibly sad’ to miss out in dramatic Formula E title race

0
Nick Cassidy was almost lost for words after he dramatically lost the 2024 Formula E title to Pascal Wehrlein...
Kyle Larson of the #5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning 2024 NASCAR Cup Series Brickyard 400 | NASCAR / Getty Images

Why NASCAR waited and ended the Brickyard 400 under caution

0
Kyle Larson, a Hendrick Motorsports driver, winning the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the thirty-year anniversary of...
Max Verstappen leads Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes during the 2024 Hungarian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen slams Red Bull over shocking 2024 Hungarian GP performance

0
Max Verstappen slams Red Bull for a shocking display at the 2024 Hungarian GP, calling the car slow and...
Oscar Piastri celebrates winning the 2024 Hungarian GP | McLaren F1 Team

Emotional Oscar Piastri relives maiden F1 win at Hungarian GP

0
An emotional Oscar Piastri said his 2024 Hungarian GP victory was a “dream come true” as he took his...
Colton Herta wins the IndyCar 2024 Grand Prix of Toronto | Penske Entertainment: Travis Hinkle

Colton Herta Triumphs in Toronto, Ending 40-Race Winless Streak

0
Michael Andretti’s jubilant reaction following the IndyCar Grand Prix of Toronto at Exhibition Place was unmistakable as Colton Herta...
Pascal Wehrlein celebrates winning the Formula E championship at the London E-Prix | Formula E

Victory and redemption: Pascal Wehrlein’s road to becoming Formula E champion

0
Following a wide-open battle that boiled down to the very last race of the 2024 season, Pascal Wehrlein officially...
Mitch Evans looks on at the 2024 Portland E-Prix | Formula E

Evans hits out at Jaguar: Team were working against me in Formula E finale

0
Mitch Evans feels his Jaguar team were working against him during the Formula E finale in London as he...
- Advertisment -