Verstappen calls U.S. Grand Prix win a gamble that paid off
After the United States Grand Prix, Max Verstappen admitted that he had taken a gamble by twice entering the pits early for new tires. However, Red Bull's tactical choices paid off as Verstappen managed to keep his rival Lewis Hamilton behind him and strengthened his leading position in the Formula 1 World Cup standings in Texas.
"Because I lost first place at the start, we had to try something different. We decided to go for a super aggressive strategy. I wasn't sure if it would work," Verstappen said after the finish. He twice went in for new tires considerably ahead of Hamilton. "It was a logical decision. That's why we got ahead every time. It meant that I had very little tires left at the end of my second stint. I had to keep it up. It worked out just well enough."
The Red Bull driver saw the Briton's Mercedes come very close in the final laps, but the seven-time world champion could not manage a final attack as Verstappen remained cool. "The last rounds were great fun. I'm very happy that I was able to keep the lead," said the Dutchman, who received the winner's trophy from former top basketball player Shaquille O'Neal.
Verstappen increased his lead over Hamilton in the World Cup to 12 points, with five Grands Prix to go. In two weeks, the title fight will continue in Mexico, where Red Bull has always performed strongly in recent years. "I am very happy that we ran up points here. We could have easily fallen behind," Verstappen told Ziggo Sport. "We have to try to get a real advantage in Mexico and then in Brazil. Those two races are very crucial for us for the end of the championship."