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Only American-based F1 team runs US Grand Prix in Texas; Verstappen gets the win

Kannapolis-based Haas F1 Team survives COTA
Haas drive Nikita Mazepin competing in the US Grand Prix on Sunday.
Haas drive Nikita Mazepin competing in the US Grand Prix on Sunday.(Haas F1 Team)
Published: Oct. 24, 2021 at 4:38 PM EDT
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KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (WBTV) - Max Verstappen held off a furious charge by Lewis Hamilton in the closing laps to win the United States Grand Prix on Sunday at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX.

Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin, driving for the Kannapolis-based Uralkali Haas F1 Team, finished in p16 and p17 respectively.

“It was a great event for Formula 1 in Austin - the fans were fantastic,” said Team Principal Guenther Steiner. “Our race was much of the same as the rest of this year, but we don’t give up. The drivers got the cars home safe and we did a lot of learning, and that’s the best we can do this year. We have five more to go and we keep working towards 2022.”

Schumacher took the start from 16th on Pirelli P Zero Yellow mediums and fought as high as 14th before settling into a rhythm. Schumacher came in after 11 of 56 laps for White hard tires and then made a second scheduled stop on lap 35, reverting to the medium compound. Schumacher saw his tires through to the checkered flag to register 16th place.

“It was fun – I enjoyed it,” Schumacher said. “Overall, we expected worse so we’re happy with what we managed to do with the package we had. I had some tight battles, especially at the start and we were right in the mix, and all of those things are preparing me for next year. We were catching up to Latifi in the last few laps and I think with five more laps we probably would’ve been close enough to make a move. I really enjoy being in the States and the fans are great spectators – I’ve loved racing in front of them.”

Mazepin started from 17th on medium tires but was unfortunately forced to pit at the end of the opening lap due to a loose headrest, leaving him out of sequence on strategy. Mazepin took on hard tires at the unscheduled service and then made a second stop on lap 25 for a fresh set of mediums. Mazepin stopped for a third time on lap 38, for mediums, and came home 17th.

“Unfortunately, it wasn’t very busy because at turn two on the opening lap the headrest came off in my car,” Mazepin said. “It was quite a sketchy lap because my headrest lifted and blocked both of my mirrors. I had to ask the team if there was anyone around me, hoping there wasn’t because I couldn’t know where to turn in or not, and then that’s over 25 seconds of race time for an unnecessary pitstop. It made it pretty difficult from there onwards as I was driving on my own and trying to make one pitstop work, but with these temperatures and these tires, it was just not possible.”

Verstappen’s win is the 18th of his Formula 1 of his career. Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez finished in p3 to join Verstappen and Hamilton on the podium.

Red Bull driver Sergio Perez finished in p3 to join Verstappen and Hamilton on the podium.

Officials estimated the weekend attendance at approximately 400,000.

Next up is Round 18 of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship is the Mexican Grand Prix hosted at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, Mexico City. Practice – Friday November 5. Qualifying – Saturday November 6. Race – Sunday November 7.

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