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Hamilton-Verstappen’s F1 duel gets off to a good start in Texas

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen (Netherlands) withdrew from the pits during a practice session at the Circuit of the Americas on Friday, October 22, 2021 in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo / Daron Cummings)

Austin, Texas – Mercedes drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton were faster than Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in their first practice at the F1 US Grand Prix on Friday.

Bottas was the fastest in the first session as Hamilton and Verstappen went 2-3. Mercedes’ power surge on the car-dominated truck shows Verstappen’s work to do on Sunday to maintain his slim championship lead. Verstappen leads Hamilton by 6 points with 6 races remaining.

The Texas Race is the first of a two-part swing in North America where the series heads to Mexico City next week. Both races were canceled in 2020 by a coronavirus pandemic.

Mercedes dominates the Austin track and has won five times since its opening in 2012. Hamilton won four of these races, and teammate Bottas won in 2019.

Verstappen is chasing his first championship. There are seven in Hamilton. One-eighth is the most in the history of the series and will push Hamilton ahead of Michael Schumacher.

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Hamilton-Verstappen’s F1 duel gets off to a good start in Texas

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