How many races Max Verstappen needs to hold off Lewis Hamilton and win his first F1 title

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Race winner Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing and second placed Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrate on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of USA at Circuit of The Americas on October 24, 2021 in Austin, Texas.
Race winner Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing and second placed Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrate on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of USA at Circuit of The Americas on October 24, 2021 in Austin, Texas.
Photo by Chris Graythen

 • Max Verstappen won an exciting US GP on Sunday. 
 • The win helped the Red Bull driver extend his championship lead.
 • Verstappen now leads Lewis Hamilton by 12 points. 
 • For motoring news, go to Wheels24.


It is "necessary" for Max Verstappen to win two more races this season to win the 2021 world championship.

Heading into Austin, Dr Helmut Marko indicated that Red Bull's Dutch star driver needed at least two more Grand Prix wins and four podiums to hold off Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton.

But the Austrian now says one more win won't be enough.

"Ten wins are necessary for the title," said the 79-year-old.

READ | Max Verstappen holds off Lewis Hamilton for nail-biting end to US Grand Prix

The US GP was Verstappen's eighth win of 2021.

"We feared that we would be behind in Russia, Turkey and the USA," Marko told ORF.  "So this gives us strength."

Those extra two wins might be forthcoming in the course of the following international triple header, with Red Bull very confident about the high-altitude races in Mexico and Brazil.

"The next few tracks are very strong for Red Bull," Hamilton agrees. "It will be tough. Definitely."

However, some believe only Red Bull's audacious strategy enabled Verstappen to pass Hamilton during the first pitstop phase in Austin.

"Mercedes made a mistake," said former Bridgestone engineer Kees van de Grint, speaking to RTL GP.

"They waited too long to follow Verstappen in, even though a child could have calculated that despite being faster, Hamilton would never be able to win after that."

Marko also credits Verstappen's "unbelievable" management of his tyres, adding that Hamilton's Mercedes "seems to be not so good with full tanks".

"That's why we dared the undercut; otherwise, it wouldn't have worked."

What is clear is that the 2021 battle is far from over, even though Verstappen is now 12 points ahead with just five races to go.

"Their duel is not just a fight for the world title," declared Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper.

"It is a war of generations - a head-to-head between two different champions who could not possibly be more different in culture, history and style."

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