Max Verstappen pushed so hard in his recovery drive to finish second in the United States Grand Prix that he “destroyed” a pair of his Formula 1 racing boots.

The Red Bull driver, who started from 18th on the grid following a penalty for taking on a new gearbox after damaging his suspension during qualifying, charged through the order to finish second behind Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.

Verstappen jumped Valtteri Bottas in the pit stop window and later gained a place on Lewis Hamilton when the championship leader was forced into a two-stop strategy, before closing onto the back of Raikkonen, who held on for a popular victory.

“It was a bit unexpected but a good start, a good first lap, and then very quickly we were back into P5, P4 and we could just follow the leaders and we had really good pace," Verstappen said. 

“We made the right call to undercut Valtteri and from there onwards we could do our own race.

“I think in the end we could put a bit of pressure on but unfortunately in the last three or four laps I ran out of tyres on the Supersoft compared to the guys on the soft around me.

“But I’m still very happy. I destroyed my shoe - I think I was pushing a bit hard but it felt good.”

Verstappen was also forced to defend from Hamilton in the closing stages as the Briton looked to move himself into a position to win the title, but the Dutchman was able to hold on in a thrilling battle in the final sector.

Reflecting on the duel, Verstappen said: “At that time I was really struggling with the rear tyres. I locked up through Turn 12 and then there was a good fight through the Esses.

“Then Lewis came close and yeah, we had a few corners where I had to close the door a little bit. Then he tried around the outside – but I was on the edge already in the fast corners so I was just sliding a lot.

“I saw also that Lewis ran out of room and then, of course, if you go a bit wide you get a lot of marbles on the tyres so it takes like a lap before they have grip again. So happy to finish second.”

Formula 1 - Circuit Of The Americas

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