Max Verstappen fights his way to a runner up finish in F1 US Grand Prix

Max Verstappen earned a surprise podium for Red Bull at the US Grand Prix Sunday, rallying back from his starting spot of 18 on the grid.

Verstappen is known as a fighter. Overtaking for fun last time out in Japan after engine penalties saw him start 16, the young Dutchman repeated the feat and even bettered it at the Circuit of the Americas to take second place on the podium.

“A bit unexpected but a good start, a good first lap and then very quickly we were back into P5, P4 and we could just follow the leaders and we had really good pace,” said Verstappen. “We made the right call to undercut Valtteri (Bottas) and then from there onwards we could do our own race and I think in the end we could put a bit of pressure on (Kimi Raikkonen) but unfortunately in the last three, four laps I ran out of tires on the super-soft compared to the guys on the soft around but still very happy.”

Toward the end of the race, Verstappen had championship leader Lewis Hamilton all over the back of his Red Bull. Hamilton, knowing that a win would see him clinch a fifth title, was biding his time and waiting for the right moment to attack.

A slight mistake by Verstappen at turn 12 after the long back straight in the closing laps gave Hamilton this opportunity and the two diced throughout the stadium section of the trac; but the Dutchman held on around the long turn 15, 16, 17 and 18 complex, taking the racing line as Hamilton ran around the outside and eventually wide.

“At that time I was really struggling with the rear tires and I locked up into turn 12. There was a good fight through the hairpins and at the right hand corner I was just pushing as much as I could but hanging on but clearly also Lewis was already on the edge so happy of course to stay in second.”

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