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Verstappen on Ferrari struggles: That's what happens when you stop cheating!

Verstappen on Ferrari struggles: That's what happens when you stop cheating!

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Verstappen on Ferrari struggles: That's what happens when you stop cheating!

Verstappen on Ferrari struggles: That's what happens when you stop cheating!

Max Verstappen was in bullish mood after Ferrari endured a United States Grand Prix struggle, saying the red cars had been forced to stop "cheating".

Valtteri Bottas won the race, having taken pole the day before, ending a run of six straight qualifying triumphs for the Scuderia.

Upgrades to the power unit and chassis had unlocked the potential of the SF90 coming out of the summer break, but that strength seemed to have dulled at the Circuit of the Americas.

It was revealed before the race that Red Bull had proposed a fuel flow system to the FIA, which prompted the governing body to clarify that similar systems would be deemed illegal.

This was seen as an attempt by Red Bull to out the secrets of Ferrari's success and, although Scuderia chief Mattia Binotto said the technical directive had nothing to do with the team's lack of pace, their performance dropped off remarkably.

Both Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc made poor starts, the German enduring a particularly torrid time as he dropped from second to seventh and then suffered a dramatic suspension failure on lap eight, while Leclerc started and finished fourth, albeit 52 seconds down on race-winner Bottas.

When Ferrari's struggles were put to Verstappen post-race, he could not resist a dig.

"Yes, that's what happens when you stop cheating," he told Ziggo Sport.

"Fortunately, that has now been carefully looked at, but we must keep an eye on that."

Verstappen finished third at the Circuit of the Americas, just running out of laps to take second place from Lewis Hamilton, whose result was enough to rap up his sixth world drivers' championship.

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