Max Verstappen has revealed he destroyed his Formula One racing shoes due to how hard he was pushing at the U.S. Grand Prix.
The Dutchman put in one of the drives of his Formula One career to finish second at the Circuit of the Americas after starting from 18th on the grid. Verstappen's recovery was remarkable, going from 18th to fourth in the opening ten laps of the race.
Verstappen managed to get ahead of Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas through the pit stop phase for third. The 21-year-old then resisted the pressure from championship leader Lewis Hamilton in the closing laps to eventually finish second behind race winner Kimi Raikkonen.
Reflecting on his race, Verstappen admitted his quick recovery was ''unexpected.''
"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."
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner heaped praise on his man, labelling Verstappen's performance as ''vintage''.
"It's brilliant," Horner said. "I mean what a drive, from 18th, I think he came out the first lap in ninth, and he's beaten the pole position man. To be racing for the lead at the end of the race, defending from Lewis on a much better tyre. What a drive.
"There was a lot of focus going on behind about Lewis and don't get too close to Kimi, and you could see the gap was getting closer, and closer and closer. Max was saying 'yeah I'm doing it carefully'. I think perhaps without Lewis behind him the last couple of laps, he may well have had a go (for the victory).
"This is vintage Max. He will just not give up. It's great racing, fair racing between two hard racers. This is what people turn their TVs on and come to the races to see.''