Verstappen hält Hamilton in Schach und baut die WM-Führung mit dem Sieg in Austin aus

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Verstappen hält Hamilton in Schach und baut die WM-Führung mit dem Sieg in Austin aus
© keystone Teaserbild
Verstappen hält Hamilton in Schach und baut die WM-Führung mit dem Sieg in Austin aus
© keystone Max Verstappen unterwegs zum Sieg. Max Verstappen gewinnt zum ersten Mal den Grand Prix der USA. Der Niederländer siegt im Red Bull vor Lewis Hamilton im Mercedes und baut seinen Vorsprung als WM-Leader aus.

In Austin steht Verstappen nach einem Grand-Prix-Wochenende als Sieger da, das für die Roten Bullen vorerst nichts Gutes versprochen hat, in dessen Verlauf er und sein Team aber die Vorteile schrittweise auf ihre Seite gezogen haben. Aus einer knappen Sekunde Rückstand im ersten Training hatte Verstappen im Qualifying einen Vorsprung von zwei Zehnteln gemacht.

Mit der Eroberung der Pole-Position hatte Verstappen die Basis zum ersten Sieg auf dem Circuit of the Americas gelegt – auf einem Terrain, das bisher Hoheitsgebiet der Equipe Mercedes war. Seit Beginn der Hybrid-Ära vor sieben Jahren hatten die Weltmeister mit Ausnahme von 2018, als Kimi Räikkönen im Ferrari dominierte, alle Rennen gewonnen.

Verstappen musste beim reibungslos verlaufenen Start zwar Hamilton passieren lassen, eroberte die Führung im Zuge der ersten Boxenstopps aber wieder zurück und blieb danach auf dem Weg zum achten Saisonsieg in jedem Moment souverän, auch wenn Hamilton in der Schlussphase noch aufzuschliessen vermochte. Richtig spannend wurde es in der letzten Runde, als Hamilton sich nochmals gefährlich näherte. Für ein Überholmanöver war er aber zu weit entfernt.

Verstappen hält Hamilton in Schach und baut die WM-Führung mit dem Sieg in Austin aus
© keystone Hamilton erwischte den besseren Start und konnte zunächst die Führung erobern.

Der Niederländer brach in Austin in die Phalanx von Mercedes auf eine Weise ein, die Respekt und Achtung verdient. Wohl auch von Rivale Hamilton. Dritter wurde Verstappens Teamkollege Sergio Perez.

Spannendes Finale winkt

Die Prognose, dass der Weltmeister zum ersten Mal seit fünf Jahren erst beim Saisonabschluss Mitte Dezember in Abu Dhabi gekürt wird, ist nicht allzu gewagt. Zu gross ist die Ausgeglichenheit bisher, zu zahlreich sind die (fünf) Wechsel an der Spitze der Gesamtwertung und zu gering der Punkteabstand. Auf 12 Punkte verdoppelte Verstappen seinen Vorsprung auf Hamilton.

Das Team Alfa Romeo blieb in Texas ohne Punkte. Kimi Räikkönen lag bis drei Runden vor Schluss an 10. Stelle, kam dann aber von der Strecke ab und fiel dadurch hinter seinen Teamkollegen Antonio Giovinazzi und den Kanadier Lance Stroll im Aston Martin auf den 13. Platz zurück. (ram/sda)

What a drive by @Max33Verstappen 👏

He earned that 👊#USGP 🇺🇸 #F1 pic.twitter.com/iNDm2xSgQB

— Formula 1 (@F1) October 24, 2021

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