Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has extended his lead in the Formula One world championship after winning the United States Grand Prix, despite title rival Lewis Hamilton passing him on the first corner.
Dutchman Verstappen used pit-stops to get back out in front and now appears the championship favourite with five races remaining this season.
Defending champion Hamilton overtook pole-sitter Verstappen at the start with the 24-year-old going off the track momentarily in an epic opening to the latest enthralling instalment in one of the best F1 title battles for years.
But Verstappen undercut the Mercedes driver with an early pit-stop and just hung on after both boxed a second time to win by 1.3 seconds.
“Sheer class. That was classy. What a drive. What a drive,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner told Verstappen on the team radio directly after the race.
Seven-times world champion Hamilton – who grabbed a bonus point for fastest lap – now trails Verstappen by 12 points in the standings.
In a radio message to Hamilton, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said: “Lewis, a brilliant drive, even if we don’t like the end result.”
Red Bull’s Mexican Sergio Perez finished third in front of a crowd of 140,000 spectators at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas.
Charles Leclerc was fourth for Ferrari while Australian Daniel Ricciardo finished fifth for McLaren.