'Did that on purpose': Daniel Ricciardo accused of 'dirty' act

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Carlos Sainz and Daniel Ricciardo, pictured here during the United States Grand Prix.
Carlos Sainz accused Daniel Ricciardo of a 'dirty' move'. Image: F1/Getty

Daniel Ricciardo was accused of a 'dirty' act by a rival driver as Max Verstappen held off Lewis Hamilton to win a dramatic United States Grand Prix.

Verstappen extended his lead in the Formula One world championship after winning Sunday's race, despite title rival Hamilton passing him on the first corner.

'STUPID IDIOT': Verstappen-Hamilton feud ignites at US Grand Prix

'NO ONE CRACKED': Moment McLaren won over Daniel Ricciardo

The Dutchman used pit-stops to get back out in front and now appears the championship favourite with five races remaining this season.

Defending champion Hamilton overtook pole-sitter Verstappen at the start, with the 24-year-old going off the track momentarily in an epic opening to the latest enthralling instalment in one of the best F1 title battles for years.

But Verstappen undercut the Mercedes driver with an early pit-stop and just hung on after both boxed a second time to win by 1.3 seconds.

Red Bull's Mexican driver Sergio Perez finished third in front of a crowd of 140,000 spectators at Austin's Circuit of the Americas.

Charles Leclerc was fourth for Ferrari while Ricciardo finished fifth for McLaren.

Ricciardo's race wasn't without drama, with Ferrari rival Carlos Sainz accusing him of a 'dirty' move as the two tussled for position late in the race.

Sainz tried to overtake Ricciardo around the outside on Lap 43 but made contact with the Aussie driver, forcing Sainz back behind Ricciardo.

The Spaniard wasn't particularly impressed with Ricciardo's tactics to avoid the overtake.

“That got a bit dirty. He did that on purpose,” Sainz said on team radio.

However leading commentator Martin Brundle didn't see it that way.

“I don’t think I saw a lot of relative movement (from Ricciardo)," Brundle said. "I don’t think stewards will be too upset with that.”

Max Verstappen extends lead in F1 championship

Seven-times world champion Hamilton - who grabbed a bonus point for fastest lap - now trails Verstappen by 12 points in the standings.

"Sheer class. That was classy. What a drive. What a drive," Red Bull team principal Christian Horner told Verstappen on the team radio directly after the race.

In a radio message to Hamilton, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said: "Lewis, a brilliant drive, even if we don't like the end result."

Verstappen was thrilled with the result.

"Of course we lost out in the start so we had to try and do something else," he said.

Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, pictured here on the podium after the United States Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez on the podium after the United States Grand Prix. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

"The tyre wear is quite high around this track, we went aggressive and I was not sure it was going to work but the last few laps were fun.

"A bit sideways through the high-speed corners but super happy to hang on."

The victory was Verstappen's eighth of the season at a track where Hamilton had won five times.

"I think I've aged about 25 years in that race," said Horner. 

"I really didn't think we were going to hang on."

Hamilton admitted Red Bull were stronger.

"Max did a great job today," he said on the podium.

"It was such a tough race. I got a good start, gave it absolutely everything but at the end of the day, they just had the upper hand this weekend and we couldn't really have asked for more."

with agencies

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