Verstappen lost the lead to Hamilton at the start, but an aggressive early stop from Red Bull allowed him to retain track position.

Mercedes went long to give Hamilton fresher tyres at the end of the race but it wasn’t enough as Verstappen kept his cool to take Red Bull’s first win in Austin since 2013.

“It was exciting,” Verstappen said after the race. “The whole race the pressure was on because not knowing how quick Lewis was going to get you. We went very aggressive on the first stop after losing the lead at the start. 

“Then again during the middle stint Lewis was within that undercut range so we had to respond. We had to go early again. And the last stint was very long, in this heat especially. Yeah we managed to hang on at the end, with just enough in the tyres to push. 

“With two laps I had the Haas in front of me and going into the last sector he was in front and especially with worn tyres it’s not easy to follow. Of course luckily then he stayed in front so he gave me that DRS, so whatever I lost I think it stabilized because of that DRS. 

“The last lap was all about trying to have a good first sector and beginning of the second sector but it wasn’t easy because the tyres were really finished. But it's incredible to win here.”

It wasn’t unfamiliar territory for Verstappen with Mercedes opting for a similar strategy in Spain earlier this year to get past the Dutchman - which they did unlike in Austin.

“I think I’ve been in this position before where you are in the lead with the older tyres or the other way around where you are hunting,” Verstappen explained.

“I just tried to do the best I could and tried to be consistent, trying to find the grip within the tyre, without damaging too much. It wasn’t easy but I think at the end of the day that made it really exciting.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes Verstappen’s drive at the Circuit of the Americas was “up there” as one of his best.

“I think it’s up there,” Horner added. “He managed the race incredibly well. Obviously, we didn’t have a great start but we were able to get the win back. It was an aggressive strategy, we went for it and we were able it work. 

“A big win for us at a circuit that obviously Mercedes and Lewis have been so strong at in the hybrid era.”