There is another US GP behind us, which served as a tense strategic showdown between Red Bull and Mercedes, and from an organizational point of view, with the surpluses themselves. If we have doubted this in recent years, we can now say definitively that the Americans have taken Formula 1 as their own.
The owner of Formula 1, the American corporation Liberty Media, has done a lot in recent years to popularize the elite class of motorsport in the US. The Netflix series Drive to Survive, which finally brought Formula 1 closer to a younger audience, certainly contributed significantly to this.
A new generation of racing stars, led by Max Verstappen, Lando Norris, Charles Leclerc, and others, has won the hearts of American youth, who also learn about the background of the racing circus through the Netflix platform, which plays at least as important a role in Formula 1.
If a decade ago in Indianapolis we were still watching a more or less casual atmosphere, in Austin, we can follow the sold-out grandstands of euphoric fans watching F1 in an atmosphere we used to be used to only in European venues. So American owners have managed something in a few years that Bernie Eccleston hasn’t had in decades.
The strategic thriller eventually belonged to Verstappen, who withstood the pressure in the style of champions and stopped Hamilton’s rush at the end of the race. The Dutchman increased his advantage of five races before the end of the season to 13 points, taking a new step towards the premier world title.
In a tactical sense, Red Bull outplayed Mercedes with an aggressive strategy in Austin, which was a bit too conservative given its position in the championship. Early stops brought Verstappen their eighth win of the season, and both title contenders left all competition far behind, as Sergio Perez was already more than 40 seconds behind in third place.
Texas poker is thus behind us, and the Heads Up between Verstappen and Hamilton for the Championship will continue as early as in Mexico.