Max Verstappen has beefed up his personal security as he prepares for a hostile reception at Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez’s home race in Mexico.

Verstappen was jeered by Perez’s supporters at last weekend’s podium presentation in Austin as the triple world champion celebrated his 15th win of the season.

Chants of “Checo, Checo” – in support of Perez – were also audible during the Dutch national anthem.

A crowd of nearly 400,000 are expected at the high-altitude Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez over the course of the weekend, with practice starting on Friday and it is understood Verstappen will be flanked by multiple security guards in the paddock.

Perez’s fans are unhappy Verstappen did not help the Mexican secure second place in last season’s championship after he ignored a team order at the penultimate round in Brazil.

Perez has won only twice this season – his last victory in Azerbaijan on April 30 – with Verstappen racing to his third title in as many years.

The paddock in Mexico City has become one of the most manic on the calendar, with drivers mobbed as they make their way from the motorhome to the garage.

And Perez is also expected to have a bigger entourage than normal to cover-off his enthusiastic fanbase.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner and the team’s motorsport advisor Dr Helmut Marko will also be accompanied by security guards.

Speaking after last weekend’s race in Austin, Horner said: “I don’t think Max is going to get the warmest reception in Mexico, but that is water off a duck’s back to him.

“One year you are the villain and the next year you are the hero.”

Perez heads into this weekend’s round 206 points behind Verstappen. However, he is 39 points clear of third-placed Lewis Hamilton, who was disqualified from second at the Circuit of the Americas for running an illegal floor on his Mercedes.

Lewis Hamilton was crowned Formula One world champion for the third time after winning the United States Grand Prix, on this day in 2015.

Hamilton, then 30, became only the second British driver after Sir Jackie Stewart to achieve the feat after edging Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in a thrilling race.

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, who would have kept the title race alive with three grand prix remaining had he finished second in Austin, came third.

Hamilton also became the 10th Formula One driver to win at least three world titles and went on to win his seventh in 2020 and joined Michael Schumacher at the top of the all-time list.

On a wet track in Austin, Hamilton started second on the grid behind Rosberg and made an aggressive start by pushing the German wide at the first corner to take the lead.

Rosberg slipped to fourth behind Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo, but – as the track dried – the Red Bull pair lacked the pace to challenge and the race developed into a battle between the two Mercedes team-mates.

Hamilton trailed with eight laps to go, only to pounce on a mistake by Rosberg, who ran wide after losing traction out of a hairpin on turn 12, allowing the Briton to retake the lead and comfortably hold on for victory.

It was his 10th win of the season and sealed his third drivers’ title after previous successes in 2008 and 2014.

Hamilton went on to equal Schumacher’s Formula One record by winning four consecutive world titles in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Toto Wolff said Mercedes must take Lewis Hamilton’s disqualification from the United States Grand Prix on the chin – and make sure it does not happen again.

Nearly four hours after Hamilton finished second in his most competitive race of the season – one he could have won if Mercedes did not fluff their strategy lines – the stewards declared his car did not comply with the regulations.

The depth of the new floor on Hamilton’s upgraded Mercedes was adjudged to be “outside the thresholds outlined in Article 3.5.9 e).” – which states that the plank cannot wear to below 9mm thickness.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who finished sixth, was disqualified for the same breach following Sunday’s 56-lap race at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas.

Mercedes said the sprint format – which allows for just one hour of practice before parc ferme rules heavily constrict changes to the cars – had a bearing on Hamilton’s disqualification.

But team principal Wolff said: “In the end, all of that doesn’t matter. Others got it right where we got it wrong and there’s no wiggle room in the rules.

“We need to take it on the chin, do the learning and come back stronger next weekend in Mexico.”

Four cars were chosen at random following the race. Both winner Max Verstappen’s Red Bull and Lando Norris’ McLaren passed the scrutineering checks.

Hamilton’s demise elevated Norris to runner-up behind Verstappen, who claimed the 50th win of his career and 15th from 18 this season, and Carlos Sainz to third.

Sergio Perez was promoted to fourth to extend his lead over Hamilton in the fight for second place in the championship from 27 points to 39.

Hamilton crossed the line just 2.2 seconds adrift of Verstappen after Mercedes’ move to attempt a one-stop strategy backfired and probably denied the seven-time world champion his first victory in 686 days.

But despite expressing frustration at his team’s strategy, Hamilton was asked if he has been provided hope that he could taste victory before the season is out.

“Yes, definitely,” replied the 38-year-old. “The steps that we were able to take this weekend has given me a little bit more confidence to throw the car into the corners.

“There are still some of the fundamental issues that we’re having with the car, which won’t change until next year. But it was really positive to feel that the decisions we are taking are the right ones.”

Hamilton will be back in action at this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix with rounds to follow in Brazil and Las Vegas before the campaign concludes in Abu Dhabi on November 26.

Lewis Hamilton has been disqualified from second place in Sunday’s United States Grand Prix for driving an illegal car.

Nearly four hours after the chequered flag fell on Hamilton’s most competitive race of the season – one he claimed he should have won if Mercedes did not fluff their strategy lines – the stewards declared his car’s machinery did not comply with the regulations.

The depth of the new floor on Hamilton’s Mercedes was adjudged to be “outside the thresholds outlined in Article 3.5.9 e).” – which states that the plank cannot wear to below 9mm thickness.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who finished sixth, was disqualified for the same breach following Sunday’s 56-lap race at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas.

Hamilton’s demise elevated Lando Norris to runner-up behind Max Verstappen, who claimed the 50th win of his career and 15th from 18 this season, and Carlos Sainz to third.

Sergio Perez was promoted to fourth to extend his lead over Hamilton in the fight for runner-up in the championship from 27 points to 39 with four races left.

Mercedes’ sporting director Ron Meadows, trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin and reliability chief Richard Lane were summoned to fight Hamilton’s corner with the FIA’s four stewards – which included former British driver Derek Warwick – at 6pm local time (midnight BST).

After 30 minutes, the trio emerged from the FIA offices in the paddock before Hamilton’s punishment was handed down at 7.16pm local time (1.16am BST). It is understood Mercedes will not appeal the FIA’s verdict.

A statement from the FIA read: “During the hearing the team acknowledged that the measurement performed by the FIA Technical Team was correct and stated that the high wear on the skid pads was probably a result of the unique combination of the bumpy track and the sprint race schedule (on Saturday) that minimised the time to set up and check the car before the race.

“The stewards note that the onus is on the competitor to ensure that the car is in compliance with the regulations at all times during an event.”

It continued: “In this particular case, the rear skid in the area defined in the technical delegate’s report was outside of the thresholds outlined in Article 3.5.9 e) of the FIA Formula One Technical Regulations, which includes a tolerance for wear.

“Therefore, the standard penalty for a breach of the technical regulations is imposed.”

Four cars were chosen at random following the race. Both Verstappen’s Red Bull and Norris’ McLaren passed the scrutineering checks.

Michael Schumacher was disqualified from the 1994 Belgian Grand Prix for an illegal floor, allowing Damon Hill to win the race.

The post-race penalties on Sunday night saw Williams’ Logan Sargeant claim his maiden point in F1 – the first American to score in the sport since Michael Andretti 30 years ago for McLaren at the Italian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton said Mercedes’ strategy cost him his first victory in nearly two years at Sunday’s United States Grand Prix.

Hamilton conceded a 10-second swing to Max Verstappen when Mercedes left their star driver in no man’s land as they attempted a one-stop strategy at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin.

Hamilton was less than two seconds behind early leader Lando Norris and five seconds clear of Verstappen, who started only sixth, as they approached the opening round of pit stops.

But when Verstappen and Norris stopped for fresh rubber on lap 16 and 17 respectively, Hamilton was told to stay out – with an alternative strategy to Verstappen viewed as the only way to topple the all-conquering Dutchman. It quickly proved the wrong decision.

Asked if he could complete another five laps on his current set of tyres, Hamilton replied: “I am not sure, man. It is pretty tough.”

Hamilton then locked up before his race engineer Peter Bonnington was back on the intercom to inform his driver that Verstappen – who on new tyres had just lapped three seconds faster than the Briton – was now likely to gazump him when he eventually stopped.

“No s***, man,” yelled Hamilton, with his tyres falling off the cliff. “I am struggling out here.”

Hamilton came in four laps later than Verstappen with a slow front-right tyre change adding to his woes. When he emerged from the pits, he had dropped to third, five seconds adrift of Verstappen and 7.5 sec back from Norris.

Hamilton saw off Norris with a dozen laps to go, but he could not reel Verstappen in – taking the chequered flag an agonising 2.2 sec behind.

Asked if he felt he should have claimed his first win since the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 686 days ago, had it not been for Mercedes’ offset strategy, Hamilton was defiant.

“Yes,” he said without hesitation. “I do think we would have been in a position to fight with Max.

“We made our life a lot harder today than it needed to be. There are lots of areas where we could have been better.”

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff added: “At the moment, we have mixed feelings because there is the pain of just having lost a race that we could have won.”

Hamilton was later facing the prospect of being disqualified from the race after the floor of his Mercedes was found not to be compliant with the regulations.

Leclerc’s Ferrari also failed the post-race check. Hamilton and a Mercedes team representative will meet with the stewards at 1800 local time (00:00 BST).

Hamilton, in his revamped Mercedes machine, could count himself unfortunate to drop from third to fourth at the start.

The seven-time world champion enjoyed a decent getaway, but he was blocked by Norris under braking allowing Carlos Sainz to sneak through. Norris had seen off pole-sitter Charles Leclerc with a lunge at the first bend to assume top spot.

As Norris set about building a lead – already two seconds clear of Leclerc at the end of the second lap – Hamilton set about passing both scarlet cars.

First up was Sainz. Hamilton used the tow to latch on to the back of Ferrari on the 210mph drag to Turn 12, and, assisted by DRS, drew alongside Sainz before sliding underneath the Spaniard.

Hamilton has won six times across the Pond, with five of those victories here in Austin, and the 38-year-old required only two laps to swat Leclerc aside for second.

Deeper on the brakes at Turn 12, Hamilton sailed round the outside of the Monegasque at the left-hander, with Norris now three seconds up the road.

Behind, and Verstappen, struggling with his brakes, was not finding it as easy to make progress.

He was stuck behind Leclerc for an additional five laps before finally making his move on the Monegasque.

He trailed Norris by seven seconds and Hamilton by four. Hamilton was now 1.9 sec behind Norris and would have taken the lead had Mercedes used the undercut. But, on the day, Mercedes got it wrong, and Hamilton knew it.

“You have given me a hell of a gap to close,” he said after his first stop.

On lap 28, Verstappen dived underneath Norris for the lead at Turn 12. Norris had a nibble back at the Red Bull heading into the ensuing right hander, but he failed to make it stick.

Hamilton was back into the pits for a second time on lap 37 of 56, changing to the faster medium compound.

Hamilton had the bit between his teeth and within 10 laps he was crawling all over the back of Norris’ McLaren.

Norris slung his McLaren to the inside on the entry to the first corner in a move to stop Hamilton, but the older Brit gained better traction out of the bend to slingshot by in his Mercedes.

Verstappen was five seconds ahead and Hamilton started to catch his old nemesis only to run out of laps.

Verstappen joined Hamilton (103 wins), Michael Schumacher (91), Sebastian Vettel (53) and Alain Prost (51) in the half-century club with his 15th win from the 18 rounds so far.

The Dutchman, jeered on the podium – possibly by supporters of his Mexican team-mate Sergio Perez – said: “To take my 50th career win makes me very proud and we will try to push for more.”

Sainz took fourth ahead of Perez with Leclerc sixth and George Russell seventh for Mercedes.

Max Verstappen defied Lewis Hamilton to win a cat-and-mouse United States Grand Prix at a sizzling Circuit of the Americas in Austin.

Verstappen has been on easy street this season, but the triple world champion was made to fight for the 50th win of his career – becoming only the fifth driver to reach a half-century.

Indeed, at one stage, Hamilton dared to dream of ending a losing streak which stands at 686 days and counting.

Yet, as so often been the case this year, Verstappen’s speed in his all-conquering Red Bull machine came to the fore.

He moved ahead of Lando Norris on lap 28 of 56 to all but seal the win. Hamilton might bemoan a questionable strategy decision which saw him lose 10 seconds to Verstappen in the opening round of pit stops. But in reality, he probably did not have the pace to stop the Dutchman from claiming his 15th wins from the 18 rounds so far.

He crossed the line an agonising 2.2 sec behind Verstappen with Norris hanging on to the final spot on the podium.

Hamilton could count himself unfortunate to drop from third to fourth at the start. The seven-time world champion enjoyed a decent getaway, but he was blocked by Norris under braking allowing Sainz to sneak through. Norris had seen off pole-sitter Leclerc with a lunge at the first bend to assume top spot.

As Norris set about building a lead – already two seconds clear of Leclerc at the end of the second lap – Hamilton set about passing both scarlet cars.

First up was Sainz. Hamilton used the tow to latch on to the back of Ferrari on the 210mph drag to Turn 12, and, assisted by DRS, drew alongside Sainz before sliding underneath the Spaniard.

On the following lap, Verstappen, who started in sixth after his pole lap in qualifying was chalked off for exceeding track limits, relegated Sainz another place when he made his move at the same corner.

Hamilton has won six times across the Pond – with five of those victories here in Austin – and the 38-year-old required only two laps to swat Leclerc aside for second.

Deeper on the brakes at Turn 12, Hamilton sailed round the outside of the Monegasque at the left-hander, with Norris now three seconds up the road.

Behind, and Verstappen was not finding it as easy to make progress.

He was stuck behind Leclerc for an additional five laps before finally making his move on the Monegasque. He trailed Norris by seven seconds, and Hamilton by four.

In the Mercedes garage, Prince Harry cut a pensive figure as he gnawed at his fingernails. The Duke of Sussex has been something of lucky charm for Hamilton.

He was a guest of Mercedes when Hamilton secured his second title in the 2014 season decider in Abu Dhabi, leading the congratulations to his fellow Briton on the radio.

Verstappen was the first in for new rubber at the end of lap 16 with Norris stopping the next time round.

But Hamilton stayed out. Were Mercedes attempting a one-stopper? Hamilton did not seem convinced.

Asked if he could complete another five laps on his current set of tyres, Hamilton replied: “I am not sure, man. It is pretty tough.”

Hamilton then locked up before his race engineer Peter Bonnington was back on the intercom to inform Hamilton that Verstappen – who on new tyres had just lapped three seconds faster than the Briton – was now likely to gazump him when he eventually stopped.

“No s***, man,” yelled Hamilton. “I am struggling out here.”

On lap 20, in came Hamilton, and a slow front-right tyre change added to his woes by costing him a needless second. When Hamilton emerged from the pits, he had dropped to third, five seconds adrift of Verstappen.

“I came out so far behind,” he said with a hint of dejection.

When the opening stops were completed, Norris led Verstappen by 2.4 sec with Hamilton 7.5 off the lead.

By virtue of taking on another set of mediums, Verstappen had to stop again, but Norris and Hamilton – now both on the hards – could, if their rubber allowed, go all the way to the end.

Hamilton, failing to make any inroads and sensing his best chance of ending a 22-month winning streak had faded, expressed his frustrations.

“You have given me a hell of a gap to close,” he said.

On lap 28, Verstappen dived underneath Norris for the lead at Turn 12. Norris had a nibble back at the Red Bull heading into the ensuing right hander, but he failed to make it stick.

The question now was whether Norris, and indeed Hamilton – now less than five seconds off the lead – could make their tyres last.

The answer arrived on lap 34 when Norris dived in for a fresh set of boots. Verstappen followed in on lap 35, and despite, a slow left-rear tyre change, retained his position ahead of Norris.

Three laps later and Hamilton was in, changing to the faster medium compound. Hamilton had the bit between his teeth and within 10 laps he was crawling all over the back of Norris’ McLaren.

Norris slung his McLaren to the inside on the entry to the first corner in a move to stop Hamilton, but the older Brit gained better traction out of the corner to slingshot by in his Mercedes.

Verstappen was five seconds ahead and Hamilton started to reel his old nemesis in only to run out of laps. Sainz took fourth ahead of Sergio Perez with Leclerc sixth and George Russell seventh for Mercedes.

Max Verstappen saw off Lewis Hamilton’s early challenge to claim victory in Saturday’s sprint race at the United States Grand Prix.

For the first time since their 2021 championship duel for the ages, Verstappen and Hamilton ran line astern in the 19-lap dash at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas.

But Hamilton was unable to prevent Verstappen from taking the spoils, and accumulating yet another win of this most one-sided of Formula One campaigns.

Hamilton took the chequered flag a distant 9.4 seconds adrift of Verstappen with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc third.

Verstappen, crowned champion of the world for a third time in Qatar a fortnight ago, took pole position earlier on Saturday and then put his elbows out at the start to ensure Leclerc did not sneak up his inside on the uphill drag to the opening bend.

Verstappen moved over to his left to squeeze the Ferrari man allowing Hamilton a clean shot at Leclerc on the exit of the first corner.

Hamilton ran over the kerbs and past the Monegasque, and then set his sights on Verstappen.

Hamilton has not won a race for nearly two years, the longest losing streak of his career. Indeed, 685 days have passed since he claimed victory at the penultimate round of the 2021 campaign in Saudi Arabia.

But for half-a-dozen laps here, Hamilton will have dared to dream that a victory could be on the cards.

Hamilton has triumphed six times in America – with five of those victories in the Lone Star State – and his early pace certainly provided Verstappen with food for thought.

The seven-time world champion stayed within one second of Verstappen to provide him with a possible DRS slingshot past his Red Bull rival.

“Driveability is not there,” moaned Verstappen on the radio. “I lost the rear completely.”

Hamilton then hinted his nemesis was gaining an advantage by using more of the track than is allowed.

“Max has gone off quite a few times,” said the Mercedes driver.

Hamilton has lauded the improvements from his updated machine, but the superiority of Verstappen’s Red Bull came to the fore.

Six laps had passed and Verstappen was suddenly out of DRS range. A slim hope of victory for Hamilton was dashed.

Yet the 38-year-old, who starts third for tomorrow’s 56-lap main event, will expect to be a contender again.

And his chances of a possible win will be aided by Verstappen starting only in sixth after his pole lap in Friday’s qualifying was deleted for exceeding track limits.

Lando Norris took fourth spot ahead of Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez, with Carlos Sainz sixth.

George Russell finished seventh but was demoted to eighth after he served a five-second penalty for an illegal move on McLaren’s Oscar Piastri.

Max Verstappen bounced back from his mistake in qualifying for the United States Grand Prix to put his Red Bull on pole position for today’s sprint race.

Verstappen will line up from only sixth place for Sunday’s main event at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas after his quickest lap was chalked off for exceeding track limits here on Friday night.

But less than 24 hours later, the triple world champion atoned for his error to seal top spot ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc by 0.055 seconds for the 19-lap dash to the chequered flag later today.

“The last lap was not great but we are still on pole so it shows the car is working well,” said Verstappen, with less than a tenth separating the top-three drivers.

“It will be an exciting afternoon with cars close to each other so we don’t know what will happen in the sprint race. Normally in the race we are okay, but this track is demanding.”

Lewis Hamilton finished third, seven hundredths behind Verstappen, with Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri fourth and fifth respectively for McLaren. George Russell qualified eighth.

It was not all plain-sailing for Verstappen after he spun on the exit of Turn 9 in Q2.

Verstappen took too much kerb on the entry to the left hander which sent him onto the grass and into a pirouette.

But after he completed a 360-degree spin, Verstappen was able to make it back to his garage and into Q3.

Hamilton also survived a hairy moment in the opening phase of qualifying when he nudged the back of Yuki Tsunoda’s AlphaTauri.

“Check my front wing,” said Hamilton on the radio. “One of the drivers blocked me and we touched.”

Hamilton was able to continue and although the stewards noted the incident, no further action was taken.

Daniel Ricciardo, absent from the last five races with a broken hand, out-qualified Tsunoda to progress to Q2 and finish 11th.

Tsunoda starts 19th, one place ahead of Logan Sargeant who propped up the order for the second day in a row at his home event.

The sprint gets under way at 5pm local time (11pm BST).

George Russell said he has banned himself from using social media and reading the news because it does not bring him any positivity.

The Mercedes driver has a combined following of nearly seven million on X and Instagram.

But Russell, 25, who was involved in a first-corner collision with team-mate Lewis Hamilton at the last round in Qatar, says he has stepped back from using the platforms.

Speaking to the PA news agency, Russell said: “I stopped using Twitter (‘X’) about six months ago.

“I work with a social team and everything that is posted is in my own words and is signed off through me. I want to stay connected with the fans. But I don’t use the app and I have started to do the same with Instagram.

“I respect that everyone has an opinion. But I don’t need to read the praise because that doesn’t bring me anything, and I don’t need to see the negative comments because that doesn’t bring me anything either.

“But when I stopped using Twitter (‘X’), whenever I was on my phone I was on Instagram, and when I stopped using Instagram, I thought I needed to look at something, so I started to read the news. But every headline was negative.

“Other than being informed about what is going on in the world, reading negative headlines one after another didn’t bring anything to me, so now I am totally off social media.”

Russell heads into the final five rounds of the campaign eighth in the standings, 62 points and five places adrift of Hamilton.

“It all stemmed after the summer break when I didn’t use my phone at all,” added Russell, who will line up from fifth on the grid for his 100th race in Sunday’s United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin.

“During that period when I had my family and friends around me, I had an average screen time of 15 minutes. In a normal week I have an average screen time of three hours.

“I saw a post that said, ‘if you use your phone on average for four hours a day, by the time you die you will have spent 15 years looking at your phone’.

“And when I read that, I was like, ‘Jesus I could spend 15 years of my life on my phone.’ I can do something wiser than scrolling through Instagram memes.”

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc took pole position for the United States Grand Prix after Max Verstappen’s lap was deleted for exceeding track limits.

Verstappen looked to have qualified first in his Red Bull at a sizzling Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, only to see his lap – five thousandths of a second quicker than Leclerc – chalked off by the stewards.

Verstappen dropped from first to sixth with Lando Norris taking second for McLaren ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.

Leclerc’s team-mate Carlos Sainz finished fourth with George Russell fifth for Mercedes.

Verstappen, who wrapped up his third world title in Qatar a fortnight ago, is bidding to join Hamilton, Michael Schumacher, Alain Prost and Sebastian Vettel by reaching 50 victories.

But the Dutchman’s quest will start from back down the grid after he put all four wheels off the track at Turn 18 following a rare mistake.

Verstappen headed into the final runs a quarter of a second down after he took aim at his team for putting him on track too close to Sergio Perez in the other Red Bull.

“Well f****** done there,” he yelled over the radio. “What the f*** was that in the last corner?!”

His subsequent error then allowed Leclerc to take the 21st pole of his career, 0.130 sec ahead of Norris, who finished nine thousandths clear of Hamilton.

Daniel Ricciardo is back in the saddle after missing five races with a broken hand sustained in practice for the Dutch Grand Prix on August 25.

The 34-year-old Australian progressed to Q2 before lining up in 15th, one second off the pace and four places behind Yuki Tsunoda in the other AlphaTauri.

Aston Martin have brought a number of upgrades across the pond, but both their drivers were sent for an early bath.

Fernando Alonso managed only 17th with team-mate Lance Stroll – on a torrid run of form – two places further back.

Meanwhile, American rookie Logan Sargeant, whose seat with Williams has not been confirmed for next season, will line up from last position at his home race.

Lewis Hamilton raised the prospect of challenging Max Verstappen for pole position at the United States Grand Prix after he finished third in practice.

Hamilton trailed Verstappen by 0.281 seconds in the sole running before qualifying later on Friday with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc splitting the rivals.

But the seven-time world champion, in his upgraded Mercedes, clocked the fastest first and second sectors before hitting traffic in the final part of his speediest lap at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas.

Verstappen claimed his third world title in as many years at the previous round in Qatar.

But Hamilton’s early pace at a track where he has enjoyed so much success over the years suggests he might be able to give the Dutchman a run for his money in qualifying for Sunday’s 56-lap race.

Leclerc could also be a contender in the Lone Star State after he finished just 0.156 sec behind Verstappen.

Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez took fourth spot, three tenths back, a place ahead of Haas’ Kevin Magnussen with George Russell sixth for Mercedes.

Oscar Piastri survived a hairy moment when he temporarily lost control of his McLaren through Turn 8.

The Australian rookie, who won the sprint race in Lusail a fortnight ago, looked destined for the barriers after he ran on to the grass at high speed.

Piastri wiggled one way to the next but managed to catch his out-of-control machine to avoid a big shunt. He sustained minor damage to the floor of his McLaren in the accident and finished only 19th.

Lance Stroll was rooted to the foot of the time charts after he completed just five laps following a brake failure on his Aston Martin.

Qualifying takes place at 4pm local time (10pm BST).

Lewis Hamilton said Formula One must not become “too soft” and challenged his fellow drivers to embrace pain amid a safety backlash following the last round in Qatar.

Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate George Russell branded the race a fortnight ago “beyond the limit of what is acceptable” as temperatures in the drivers’ cockpits exceeded 50 degrees.

Canadian Lance Stroll said he faded in and out of consciousness because of the extreme heat and humidity in Lusail.

London-born driver Alex Albon was treated for acute heat exposure, while his rookie Williams team-mate Logan Sargeant was forced to park his car through illness. Alpine’s French driver Esteban Ocon also vomited during the race.

Following a series of complaints, F1’s governing body, the FIA, launched a review and said it noted with “concern” the impact the race had on the “well-being” of those who took part.

But speaking ahead of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix in Texas, Hamilton, 38, said: “This is an extreme sport and you don’t have marathon runners who pass out after a marathon saying the event should be shorter.

“We get paid very highly for what we do, and, from my perspective, when I have not been feeling great at the end of a race I just train harder.

“So I don’t want them to shorten the races and make it easier for us. I want it to be extreme. I want to feel the difference. I want to feel pain in my body. That’s what this is about. We have got to be careful with the changes we make. It’s like, ‘let’s not get too soft’.”

Hamilton’s participation in Qatar lasted a handful of seconds following his race-ending collision with Russell at the opening bend.

But the seven-time world champion, second only to Fernando Alonso, 42, in terms of age and experience on the current grid, believes the conditions in Malaysia – last seen on the calendar in 2017 – were more challenging than those in Qatar.

He continued: “Obviously I didn’t do the race, so I didn’t get to feel the pain that the drivers felt. But I have been here a long time. And Malaysia was much hotter.

“If I was in the race in Qatar, of course I would have struggled to get out afterwards. But I know what it’s like to lose four or more kilos and barely being able to stand. I love that.

“That’s what makes it closer to what it was like back in the day. We are supposed to be elite athletes and to be elite, you need to be pushing to the limit.”

The drivers are set for another challenging weekend with record-breaking temperatures of more than 30 degrees anticipated in Austin.

Qualifying for Sunday’s 56-lap race at the Circuit of the Americas takes place at 4pm local time (10pm BST) on Friday.

Lewis Hamilton said Formula One must not become “too soft” and challenged his fellow drivers to embrace pain amid a safety backlash following the last round in Qatar.

Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate George Russell branded the race a fortnight ago “beyond the limit of what is acceptable” as temperatures in the drivers’ cockpits exceeded 50 degrees.

Canadian Lance Stroll said he faded in and out of consciousness because of the extreme heat and humidity in Lusail.

London-born driver Alex Albon was treated for acute heat exposure, while his rookie Williams team-mate Logan Sargeant was forced to park his car through illness. Alpine’s French driver Esteban Ocon also vomited during the race.

Following a series of complaints, F1’s governing body, the FIA, launched a review and said it noted with “concern” the impact the race had on the “well-being” of those who took part.

But speaking ahead of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix in Texas, Hamilton, 38, said: “This is an extreme sport and you don’t have marathon runners who pass out after a marathon saying the event should be shorter.

“We get paid very highly for what we do, and, from my perspective, when I have not been feeling great at the end of a race I just train harder.

“So I don’t want them to shorten the races and make it easier for us. I want it to be extreme. I want to feel the difference. I want to feel pain in my body. That’s what this is about. We have got to be careful with the changes we make. It’s like, ‘let’s not get too soft’.”

Hamilton’s participation in Qatar lasted a handful of seconds following his race-ending collision with Russell at the opening bend.

But the seven-time world champion, second only to Fernando Alonso, 42, in terms of age and experience on the current grid, believes the conditions in Malaysia – last seen on the calendar in 2017 – were more challenging than those in Qatar.

He continued: “Obviously I didn’t do the race, so I didn’t get to feel the pain that the drivers felt. But I have been here a long time. And Malaysia was much hotter.

“If I was in the race in Qatar, of course I would have struggled to get out afterwards. But I know what it’s like to lose four or more kilos and barely being able to stand. I love that.

“That’s what makes it closer to what it was like back in the day. We are supposed to be elite athletes and to be elite, you need to be pushing to the limit.”

The drivers are set for another challenging weekend with record-breaking temperatures of more than 30 degrees anticipated in Austin.

Qualifying for Sunday’s 56-lap race at the Circuit of the Americas takes place at 4pm local time (10pm BST) on Friday.

Having had a fairly successful taste of Formula Four (F4) action recently, Tommi Gore has developed an insatiable hunger for more, as he hopes to chart a fruitful career on the circuit.

Gore’s passion and, by extension, unflinching desire to make it big in motorsport is of no surprise given the fact that he comes from a proud racing family that has made its mark in local and regional racing. His father Douglas ‘Hollywood’ Gore is a multiple rally and Dover champion, while his grandfather, Neil, raced at Vernamfield.

And already the young Gore has a solid platform on which he can build, having competed in the final round of the Radical Cup in the United Kingdom, and the final round of the FIA Formula 4 CEZ Championship, over the past month.

At the Radical Cup event held at the Donington Park Circuit, Gore driving for the Rob Weldon-owned Raw Motorsports team, had a series of mixed results in qualifying, but capitalised on wet conditions to not only win in the final race, but also the Sunoco Driver of the Weekend award. 

“This was my first event outside of the Caribbean, and with only one other event in a similar Radical SR3, I know it was going to be difficult to adapt to this new track. But I saw the rain as an opportunity on the final day because I have always been confident in the rain even though I had never driven a Radical in the rain prior.

“So, it was an amazing experience and also great to place my stamp on the international scene and show the world that Jamaicans can be competitive in any genre of any sport that we are passionate about,” Gore told SportsMax.TV.

That performance was followed by the Formula 4 opportunity and while the call for Gore to journey to Hungary came at the last minute, the budding driver knew it was a no-brainer.

“Needless to say, I immediately booked the flight, called sponsors and emailed my professors to advise them that I would miss class,” Gore shared.

For Gore, it was the big break he had longed for, and as fate would have it, he performed beyond expectations.

The 18-year-old placed third in the second race of the weekend, as he staved off the challenge of champion Ethan Ischer and claimed the final podium spot. He also topped the Rookie class in each of his qualifying races and was later named top rookie for the weekend.

“Prior to that weekend I had never even sat in a Formula car let alone drive one, so the Jenzer Motorsport Team’s expectations were very low going in. But by qualifying, I was in the top four and was able to fight for a podium. I finished fourth overall in races one and three to finish out a very solid performance,” Gore shared.

“This was a jaw dropping opportunity, the professionalism of the team and preciseness needed to be on pace with the front runners was beyond imaginable; to only be two tenths of a second off the fastest lap by the final race was applauded by the team, especially knowing that I went up against drivers with two years in these same cars,” he added.

Though the end results were on point for the most part, Gore was not shy to admit that both outings in England and Hungary were mentally and physically draining.

In fact, he recalled that the last minute advise from his father, coupled with his stubborn determination to rise above challenges, as the fuel that drives his ambitions.

“Honestly, they (the races) were not easy; it was very physically and mentally challenging to be on my best performance to seize the opportunities presented. Fortunately, my dad has always been a large figure in my career, from watching his legendary battles with David Summerbell Jnr at Dover Raceway, to him giving me those last-minute tips while on the grid before a race,” Gore reasoned.

He also credits the likes of Peter Rae, Craig Lue, Collin Daley Jnr and Chris Issa for their role in moulding his career into what it is at present.

With his immense potential now clear for all to see, the jovial driver remains optimistic that he will reap the fruits of his labour in the near future.

“My personal goal is to become a paid driver for a racing team, whether that be in prototype cars such as the Radical or Formula cars such as the F4. So, I’ll keep putting in the work, showing what I can do and then let the rest sort itself out,” Gore ended.

Lewis Hamilton and his fellow Formula One drivers could be fined up to one million euros following a dramatic change to the sport’s rulebook.

Ahead of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix, F1’s governing body announced it has increased the maximum sanction that stewards can impose on a driver from 250,000 euros (£218,000) to 871,500 euros (£760,000).

The FIA said the amount had been static for the last 12 years and “does not reflect the current needs of motor sports”.

But their decision was met with surprise by the grid’s drivers. Daniel Ricciardo, back in action after missing five races with a broken hand, calling it “scary”, and Haas’ Kevin Magnussen branding the move “ridiculous”.

Hamilton, who next season will start a new £100million two-year deal with Mercedes, said: “If they are going to fine us one million euros, let’s makes sure that 100 per cent of that goes to a cause.

“There is a lot of money in this industry and there is a lot more that we need to do to increase diversity, improve access and create more opportunities for people who don’t have an opportunity to get into a sport like this.

“That is the only way they will get that money from me.”

Hamilton also accused the FIA of “poor communication” following the governing body questioning his status as “a role model” after he walked across the track at the previous round in Qatar.

Hamilton, 38, was fined £43,350 – half of which is suspended for the remainder of the season – in the hours after the race on October 8 in which he crossed the circuit following a first-corner crash with Mercedes team-mate George Russell.

But seven days after the incident in Lusail, and in a largely unprecedented move, the FIA said Hamilton’s actions are under review.

A spokesperson for the governing body said: “In view of Lewis Hamilton’s role model status, the FIA is concerned about the impression his actions may have created on younger drivers.”

It is understood that the FIA plan to meet with the seven-time world champion here in Austin.

It is unlikely Hamilton will face additional penalties – with the FIA opting against taking the case to the International Court of Appeal to increase his fine – but harsher punishments could be handed out in the future for a similar infringement.

“I don’t think I was singled out,” added Hamilton. “Ultimately, it was just poor communication. I don’t think what they said is what they meant.

“They are looking into how they can tackle these things going forward to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“There was a karting incident where a kid was hit when he walked on to the track so we need to make sure we focus on safety and that was the root of it. But they need to speak to their PR agent to do a better job.

“Their actual point is important. When I sat in the stewards’ office I put my hands up and acknowledged that in the heat of the moment it was the wrong decision. I apologised at the time.”

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