Max Verstappen was jeered and booed on Sunday after he showed battling qualities and raw determination to claim his 50th career victory and third in successive years at the United States Grand Prix.
The newly-crowned three-time world champion overcame race-long brake problems and close scraps with rivals after starting sixth on the grid to come home just 2.225 seconds clear of resurgent seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes.
He revealed his tension and impatience several times in curt coarse responses in radio exchanges with his Red Bull team race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase as Hamilton closed in during the closing laps.
“No talking in the braking man!” he rapped at his engineer.
His 50th win leaves him one short of four-time world champion Frenchman Alain Prost on 51 with four-time champion Sebastian Vettel (53) and seven-time champions Michael Schumacher (91) and Lewis Hamilton (103) further ahead.
But Verstappen was booed, not cheered, when he appeared on the podium to receive his victor’s trophy as many of the crowd cheered for his team-mate Mexican Sergio Perez.
The 26-year-old Dutchman appeared not to have heard or taken any notice of the crowd reaction and made no immediate comment.
“Starting in P6, the whole race I was struggling a lot with the brakes so I couldn’t really have the same feeling as yesterday,” he said. “So that definitely made my race a bit tougher out there.
“Here you can see it was very close at the end and with the back-markers, and the tyres already going, it makes it all a bit more difficult.
“Of course, you don’t want to destroy the tyres, but at the same time I was struggling a lot on the braking so it took quite a while to at least find a bit of a middle way.”
He said he was proud to win his 50th Grand Prix in Austin.
“It’s incredible to win my 50th Grand Prix here so I’m very proud, of course, and we will just keep trying to push for more.”
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