Formula 1

Verstappen excited about ‘unique’ United States GP experience

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Max Verstappen - Formula 1 - 2018 Japanese GP
Credit: Red Bull Content Pool (Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Max Verstappen has said that he is looking forward to sampling the many quirks that the United States Grand Prix has to offer.

Verstappen lost a podium at the Circuit of the Americas 12 months ago, following a post-race investigation on a last lap move he made on Kimi Räikkönen. Adjudged to have made the move with all four wheels over the white line at Turn 17, the stewards handed the Dutchman a time penalty – relegating him to fourth.

Verstappen’s father, ex-Benetton and Arrows driver Jos, labelled the decision as “bulls**t” on Twitter.

Previewing Formula 1’s seventh visit of Austin, Texas, Verstappen expressed his eagerness to return to a venue that has “all you want from a race track”.

“As always I am really looking forward to getting back to the US,” beamed Verstappen.

“COTA is really fun to drive, it has long fast straights, slow tight corners and quick flowing sectors, all you want from a race track in one.

“The trickiest part is probably Turn 1 as you are blind to the apex coming up the hill.”

The Aston Martin Red Bull Racing driver took third place at the Japanese Grand Prix a fortnight ago, shrugging off separate collisions with Scuderia Ferrari duo Räikkönen and Sebastian Vettel to finish 14 seconds adrift of victor Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen pressured the second Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport of Valtteri Bottas for second late in the race.

From one unique atmosphere at the Suzuka International Race Course to another, Verstappen praised the adventurousness of the American organisers – who introduced driver presentations for one race only last year, voiced by legendary boxing announcer Michael Buffer.

“When we race in America it is always unique to any other round, as you saw last year with the driver presentation they always go the extra mile,” the 21-year-old added.

“While staying in Austin there are so many options for good food, the meat and BBQ restaurants make you venture out and get stuck in.

“This year I will stop off in Miami for an event on the way to Austin so I’m excited to see a bit more of the country and sample a few of their local dishes.”

With four rounds of the 2018 championship remaining, Verstappen still has a mathematical chance of finishing in the top three of the Drivers’ Championship – but requires a large point swing over Räikkönen and Bottas. The Dutchman has 173 points to the pair’s tally of 196 and 207 respectively.

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DTM, Formula 1 writer and deputy editor for The Checkered Flag. Autosport Academy member and freelance voice over artist.
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