Max Verstappen overtook Lewis Hamilton with six laps to go to win a thrilling US Grand Prix and deny the Mercedes driver his first win of the season.

Erstappen appeared on course to sail to the checkered flag and emulate Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel with a record 13 wins in one year.

But the two-time world champion ran into trouble at the Autodrome of America with the final pit stop as he was held stationary for 11.1 seconds as Red Bull struggled to spin his front left tyre.

With just 20 laps to go, Verstappen’s miserable stop allowed Hamilton to take the lead.

“Beautiful, bloody beautiful,” Verstappen said over the radio as a red mist descended on the Red Bull driver.

Verstappen fell behind Charles Leclerc after a tire problem, but he edged past the Ferrari driver with 15 laps to go as Hollywood star Brad Pitt watched the drama unfold from the back of Hamilton’s Mercedes garage.

As the lap counter ticked down, Hamilton’s lead began to erode and with 10 laps to go, Verstappen was two seconds clear of his Mercedes rival.

It’s close

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen (R) of the Netherlands is ahead of Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain during the Formula One United States Grand Prix at the Autodrome of America, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

On 50 of 56 laps, the gap was just half a second when Hamilton’s silver mirrors suddenly claimed Verstappen’s blue car. Verstappen wasted no time in making his move.

At 190mph heading into Turn 12, the newly crowned two-time world champion charged into Hamilton’s slipstream before turning left and putting his Red Bull in the center of the top.

Hamilton tried to get back at the man who so emphatically denied him a record-breaking world crown in Abu Dhabi 10 months ago, but Verstappen held his nerve – despite a series of cautions for exceeding track limits – to claim the spoils and deny Hamilton his first win of the season.

Leclerc finished third ahead of Sergio Perez as Red Bull secured their first constructors’ title since 2013.

George Russell finished fifth, one place ahead of Land Norris. Fernando Alonso crossed the line in seventh despite being sent airborne and out of control after colliding with Lance Stroll at 280mph.

Alonso caught the wall before being able to limp back to the pits for repairs. Pieces of the Aston Martin fell from Stroll’s car into oncoming traffic, but the grid was unscathed.

Verstappen secured his second title in Japan two weeks ago, but a cloud hung over his championship party in Austin after Red Bull breached the sport’s financial rules.

It was also confirmed on Saturday that Dietrich Mateschitz, the Austrian billionaire who founded Red Bull in 1984 and secured their entry into the F1 grid 21 years later, has lost his long battle with cancer.

An emotional Verstappen dedicated his career to Mateschitz after his death was announced on Saturday night. And moments after the grid stood shoulder-to-shoulder to pay their respects to Matesycz with a standing ovation, the Dutch rider got off to a textbook start, passing pole-sitter Carlos Sainz.

With Russell sending him out of the race after he crashed his Ferrari with a thud, Sainz would suffer further.

It’s close

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz of Spain (center) is spun by Mercedes driver George Russell of Great Britain (right) in Turn 1 during the opening laps of the Formula One United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas on Sunday, Oct. March 23, 2022 in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Verstappen was on cruise control until the flag but recovered from a desperate pit stop to claim his 33rd career win, moving him ahead of Alonso to sixth on the all-time list, behind only Hamilton (103), Schumacher (91 ), Sebastian Vettel (53), Alain Prost (51) and Ayrton Senna (41) ahead of him.

Verstappen said: “It was a tough race. Everything looked good, but the pit stop was longer than I would have liked.

“I had to give it my all and I pushed to the end to come back. This win is definitely dedicated to Dietrich and what he has done for everyone.”

It is noteworthy that only last month Verstappen celebrated his 25th anniversary.

Verstappen has failed to win just six of 19 rounds in a completely one-sided campaign, and with three rounds remaining in Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi, it seems inconceivable that he will not become the sole holder of the most wins in a single campaign.

“So close, but so far,” Hamilton said over the radio. “Let’s keep pushing.”

Hamilton added: “We were so close. I did my best to stay ahead, but they were too fast today.

“I’m broken. The car was a handful. It was amazing to be in the lead. It’s something we’ve worked so hard on and I had so much hope for, but we’ll stick with it, keep pushing and try to give our best in the next three races. He will come to us.”