Verstappen wins US Grand Prix

Sports Desk, Oct 23 (EFE).- Dutch Red Bull driver Max Verstappen on Sunday grabbed his 13th Formula One trophy of the season by winning the US Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, a contest in which his team – with the victory and the fourth-place finish of teammate Sergio “Checo” Perez – took the constructors’ title, which it had not won since 2013 in a resounding tribute to team owner and founder of the energy drink, Austrian businessman Dietrich Mateschitz, who died on Saturday.

Although Verstappen had clinched the F1 season championship two weeks ago in Japan, the win on Sunday tied him with Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel for most wins in a single season, with three races still left to run.

Red Bull has won six driver championships and five constructors’ titles.

Spain’s Carlos Sainz, driving for Ferrari and starting in the coveted pole position, had to drop out of the race on the first lap after he and Mercedes pilot George Russell collided, while Alpine driver Fernando Alonso also collided with the car driven by his teammate-to-be – next year, that is – Canada’s Lance Stroll, with Aston Martin, although Alonso fortunately was able to finish the race and place seventh.

Verstappen, 25, made a bad pit stop on Lap 35, thus allowing British driver Lewis Hamilton, with Mercedes, to move into the lead and have a chance to secure his first win of the season, but the Dutchman made up lost ground steadily and just six laps before the end of the 56-lap contest was able to pull ahead again and hold that lead until the end, besting the Briton by 5.023 seconds.

Hamilton, a seven-time F1 champion, placed second and Monaco’s Charles Leclerc rounded out the podium in third, while Perez finished fourth and Russell fifth.

It was Alonso in sixth, just barely beating McLaren’s Lando Norris.

“Of course, it’s a very difficult weekend for us and this one is definitely dedicated to Dietrich himself for what he has done for everyone,” said Verstappen, adding: “We had a big chance to win the ‘constructors’ here and of course you want to do that in style and I think we did that today.”

EFE caf/sab/bp

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