Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen reflect on their Lap 1 and Turn 1 tussle – this time cleaner between the two – in the F1 US GP.

The seven-time world champion Hamilton was pretty happy with his F1 US GP start – for a change – abode his Mercedes where the Brit started from second place alongside his championship rival Verstappen in the Red Bull.

“It was a great start and the goal was to get in the lead and finally got a good start – I’ve not had as good a start as that for a long time so I was really happy with it,” Hamilton said after the race. “Then it was just about staying clean and coming out ahead and holding onto it so it felt good at the time, to get into the lead, I thought this is best step one but, as I said, they were just too quick.”

Verstappen did try to close the road for Hamilton but going uphill, the Brit had the inside line to take the lead where the Dutchman was pushed off the track. The Dutchman noted that he was trying to stay calm behind the Mercedes car and look for the opportunity to clear the Brit to take the lead of F1 US GP.

“I mean, what can you do? We tried to stay close and it seemed like on the Medium tyre we had a really good pace because I could stay in the DRS,” said Verstappen. “I thought I had quite a decent start but I think Lewis just had a really good start, and then of course, as soon as he was alongside me, that was more or less it, right?

“So 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.” As Hamilton touched on Red Bull being faster, Verstappen eventually drove ahead of him until the chequered flag by 1.3s despite the slow launch from the start which cost the Dutchman the race lead going into the first turn.

With Red Bull’s under-cut strategy, the Dutchman pitted on Lap 11 to change from medium tyres to hard and with Hamilton going long on both his stints, he eventually struggled to catch him in the end.

“As soon as we went to the hard tire it seemed like maybe that pace wasn’t there as much, which was a bit surprising but nevertheless we managed to hang on and of course that first stop was very early on – but luckily it worked out,” said Verstappen.

The story was co-written by Oprah Sagal

Here’s Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton at the start: https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/video.2021-united-states-grand-prix-hamilton-overtakes-verstappen-at-race-start.1714529396115451386.html