Like much of the Formula 1 community, sporting director Ross Brawn of the F1 organization was on the edge of his seat on Sunday afternoon watching the duel between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.
“The return of Formula 1 to the United States has provided us with a fantastic duel,” Brawn wrote in his weekly column for F1.com . “ Mercedes opted for a different strategy that gave Lewis Hamilton an advantage in terms of tires at the end, but it was not clear if it would be enough. In the end it turned out not to be the case.” Max Verstappen defended his lead on tires that were quite a few laps older. It was due to a daring strategy that Red Bull Racing chose after Verstappen had to relinquish the lead at the start of the race.
“This was a race where you couldn’t take your eyes off the screen for a moment, keep an eye on the difference and know the tire strategy to see how the race developed,” said Brawn, who particularly enjoyed the fact that both Hamilton as Verstappen stayed clear in the race. “Until the end it was unclear who would win, but Lewis and Max made no mistakes and that is the best thing about this championship. We have two drivers who are driving fantastically and I have not been able to spot any faults from either man.”
Despite both drivers’ flawless performances, Brawn still chooses Verstappen as his Driver of the Day . “Max was under terrible pressure from Lewis for a long time. He kept his head up after losing the lead in the first corner, took the initiative and controlled from then on. He kept his tires well under control and the fact that he remained clear for 56 laps was very impressive.” Red Bull driver Sergio Perez gets an honorable mention from Brawn: “He was best of the restand finished on the podium for the second time in a row, it’s good that he is getting better and better. He had a shot at pole on Saturday and was just strong on Sunday, despite not being fit. If he shows that every weekend, he’s the right man for Red Bull. It would have been even better if he could have put the pressure on Lewis, but those two [leaders] were in a league of their own.”