Other than Max Verstappen driving an epic race.
The US Grand Prix proved to be one of the best we've seen all year. Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton were part of an epic battle around 30 seconds ahead of the next car in line, occupied by Sergio Perez.
Red Bull opted for an aggressive early pitting strategy, hoping that Max Verstappen could stay out of Hamilton's reach. It was a massive gamble, but it reaped huge rewards. Somehow Verstappen managed to nurse the slower Red Bull F1 car on older tires over the line before Hamilton could catch him. Whether you're a fan of SuperMax or Sir Lewis Hamilton, those last eight laps were absolute edge-of-the-seat perfection. Even Jeremy Clarkson responded with a sweary Twitter post.
There's no doubt Verstappen was the driver of the day, doubling the points difference between him and Hamilton.
If you, like us, were mesmerized by the duel between F1s top racers, you may have missed a few things. Here's our list of other things that happened at the US Grand Prix in no particular order.
How quickly we forgot how much better a Grand Prix is with a crowd. Around 400,000 Americans attended the Grand Prix, and you could feel the atmosphere through the television screen. A race is just so much better when you can hear the crowd cheering for their favorite driver.
Just before the Grand Prix, F1 announced that Max Verstappen was the fan-favorite. It was the largest survey of its kind, ever. F1 received feedback from 167,000 fans from 187 countries. Lando Norris came second, but the ladies gave him the Number One spot. Hamilton placed third, though we would have expected Kimi Raikkonen to score a podium spot. Everyone loves a bad boy, and nobody's better at being bad than the Ice Man.
Having a crowd in attendance was also fantastic on a personal level. Families joined the drivers in celebration. Max's dad was in attendance, but nobody was prouder than Sergio Perez's dad, who celebrated like his son had just won his tenth world title.
Speaking of Perez, a large chunk of the audience was there to celebrate the Mexican driver. We can't wait to see how the crowd responds to Mexico's only F1 driver when they race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in a couple of weeks.
It's no secret that Daniel Ricciardo loves the USA. The man has a stetson, and he shaves his beard to fit in with the Texas crowd. And not in an ironic way. Earlier this year McLaren CEO, Zak Brown made a bet with Danny Ric, knowing how much he loves America. If he scored a podium, he could have a go in Dale Earnhardt's 1984 Chevy Nascar stock car.
As you can see in the Twitter video below, he rather enjoyed the experience. And he returned the favor by wearing an Earnhardt tribute helmet during the 2021 US Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen stated that he did not sign on for Netflix's Drive to Survive next season. The reason? He felt like the show used editing techniques to cast heroes and villains in F1, a fair assessment. We've seen this criticism before, and it's the unfortunate nature of reality television. It happens in almost every big reality TV show, including Survivor, America's Got Talent, and Keeping Up With The Kardashians.
Problem is, Max thought he was being portrayed as the villain. We now know the opposite is true, thanks to the previously mentioned survey. People love a bad boy, and Max delivers even if he doesn't partake in the now-famous TV show. If you missed it, he called Hamilton an "idiot" and gave him the finger during free practice. It seems there is some sort of hero and villain dynamic between the two, though the roles change from week to week. Max parked his car on Hamilton, and Hamilton drove him off Silverstone a few weeks before that.
Max's teammate, Sergio Perez, is taking part in the next season of Drive to Survive. He, too, can see the flaws, but he knows it's good for the sport. Drive to Survive has been the number one driving force behind this renewed interest in F1.
When we wrote the preview for the US Grand Prix, we mentioned that Ferrari would be worth watching. Both drivers now have new engines, and the dry race at the Circuit of the Americas was the first opportunity Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz had to stretch their legs.
With all the drama up front, you might have missed the blistering pace of the Ferraris. Bottas struggled for ages to get past Carlos Sainz, which should have been an easy task for the more experienced driver behind the wheel of his Mercedes-Benz. Charles Leclerc finished in fourth, ahead of Daniel Ricciardo. Carlos Sainz finished in seventh, ahead of Lando Norris in eighth.
The battle between Ferrari and McLaren, two of the most beloved teams in the sport, is hotting up.
First and second place in the constructor's championship is all but tied up. But third place is still up for grabs. McLaren is a mere 3.5 points ahead of Ferrari, and you can bet the Italians will be fighting like crazed football fans to claim that podium spot from them.