United States Grand Prix: Hamilton misses a lap and several millimeters in Austin | Formula 1 | Sports

Two weeks after celebrating his third Formula 1 World Championship title, Max Verstappen arrived refreshed at the next event on the calendar, in Austin, where the Dutchman held a feast of his own and left nothing for the rest. If anything, first place Which is something that Charles Leclerc took almost seriously if we take into account that Monaco crossed the finish line sixth, behind his teammate Carlos Sainz, who initially occupied fourth place before the hosts ruled out Lewis Hamilton (second) and Leclerc himself, a circumstance that put the Spaniard on the spot. The final step of the podium, in the same way that made Lando Norris go on to finish second. Fernando Alonso was forced to abandon the race with five laps to go, in a weekend to forget for Aston Martin, which began with a serious problem with the brakes of both cars, which hurt what came next.

After four hours of analysis and listening to the testimonies of Ferrari and Mercedes, the FIA ​​technicians concluded that the Hamilton and Leclerc cars did not comply with the technical regulations, given that the tables in the flat bottom of the car did not have the minimum regulatory thickness of nine. Millimeters as a result of friction with asphalt and pavements.

Despite losing pole position on the grid after his fastest lap was disqualified for exceeding track limits in the final qualifying round, Verstappen has plenty of cars and hands to change that. On Saturday he won the sprint race with almost no effort, and on Sunday he continued the celebration to achieve his 15th win of the year, a number that allows him to equal the record he set himself last season. If we take into account that there are still four stops remaining before the conclusion of the World Cup in Abu Dhabi, at the end of November, it is only natural that the Red Bull rider will raise the bar to a much higher level, let’s see who is more handsome than that. With this victory, the boy born in Hasselt (Belgium) has already collected fifty children and what remains.

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For any of his rivals, starting from sixth would be damning. For Mad Max, this becomes a treat, the spice he needs to keep him from falling asleep at the wheel. This time, in Texas, the Red Buffalo brand changed the usual script, which includes releasing Verstappen’s ropes so he can dominate like a beast; For a less aggressive but equally effective strategy, rely on slow cooking to avoid gum deterioration. However, the Red Bull wonder boy had to sweat more than expected, especially due to the braking behavior that the driver himself described as “rubbish”, which clearly affected him in the final section of the race, in which. Lewis Hamilton found himself with a chance to win two years after the last time (Saudi Arabia, in 2021).

Lewis Hamilton at the moment of the race held in Austin.Chandan Khanna (AFP)

From Mercedes they put a carrot on Hamilton, who was devouring his rival and who was one lap away from putting the tyrant in serious trouble. The podium was completed by Lando Norris, the leader during the first quarter of the test, but he could do nothing to prevent the wolves that came from behind from ending up swallowing him up.

In what was a quiet exercise in the Energy Team’s workshop, Verstappen’s voice blaring over the radio so that his track engineer, Gianpiero Lambiasi, would not speak to him while braking, was the truest reflection of the pressure he was under. . Good news for the fans, who are certainly burning with the desire to maintain that equality next week, in Mexico.

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