Max Verstappen secured one of his most impressive and potentially most important wins of his career at the US Grand Prix.

His victory in Texas yesterday was his eighth of the season and puts the Dutchman in a great position in the Driver’s Championship ahead of rival Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton finished the race in a close second place despite taking the lead in the first lap.

Mercedes will see  it as a missed opportunity and could be detrimental to Hamilton come the end of the season.

Red Bull’s typically aggressive strategy gave 24-year-old Verstappen the edge in what was a very entertaining race.

Following this victory, the Dutchman takes a 12-point advantage over seven-time champion Hamilton into the final five races.

The decisive moment of the race came in lap 10.

Red Bull’s gamble to bring Verstappen into the pits early came off as he secured track position.

“We decided to take the gamble and bank some free air,” said team boss Christian Horner.

“It was going to put us under pressure at the end, because invariably they would go long.”

Red Bull’s next strategy was to force Hamilton into the pits earlier than his team would have wanted.

Pitting Sergio Perez, Verstappen’s teammate, forced Mercedes to respond.

With both title contenders now on hard tyres, Hamilton had to run longer than the Dutchman in the second stint to build a tyre off-set and pit towards the end of the race to come back in the closing laps.

Hamilton emerged from his final stop with an 8.8 second gap to make up, but accomplished driving from Verstappen shut the Englishman out.

The close of this season will be a very exciting watch as Hamilton and Verstappen scrap it out for the Drivers’ Championship in the last five races.

Red Bull will be quietly confident with the Dutchman’s 12-point lead, but anything can happen in racing and Lewis Hamilton should never be written off.

(Red Bull image courtesy of Unsplashed, licence free)