Red Bull’s Max Verstappen held his lead from pole by a tight margin over the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton after the opening lap of the United States sprint.
After taking the sprint pole earlier in the day, Verstappen was tasked with defending from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc into turn one. An excellent getaway for the Dutchman resulted in him maintaining his lead.
Behind him a battle for second place unfolded between Hamilton and Leclerc. The British driver started from third. A strong run through turn one allowed him to close up behind Leclerc before squeezing past the Monegasque into turns three and four after a poor start from the Ferrari.
Further back, the other Ferrari of Carlos Sainz enjoyed a strong start on the soft tyres. With the rest of the field on mediums, the Spaniard took advantage of his early tyre advantage and passed both McLaren's to rise from sixth to fourth in the opening lap.
A pacy looking Sergio Perez tried to find his way through at the start from seventh but had to wait to make his move.
Alexander Albon in the Williams looked to capitalise on the sprint format to score some crucial points after his impressive shootout performance. From eighth on the grid, he held his spot but looked vulnerable to Alpine's Pierre Gasly from behind.
Lastly, after receiving a three-place grid-penalty after impeding Leclerc earlier in the day, George Russell made up one spot over Daniel Ricciardo and began to make his charge towards the points.
READ MORE: Russell misery continues as Mercedes star handed FURTHER penalty