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Verstappen holds off Hamilton to win F1 US GP******
By F1 correspondent Michael Butterworth
BEIJING, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- Red Bull's Max Verstappen extended his lead in the 2021 Formula One World Championship by holding off Lewis Hamilton to win an absorbing United States Grand Prix at Austin on Sunday.
In yet another captivating duel between the title contenders that went all the way to the final lap, Verstappen withstood heavy pressure from a charging Hamilton on fresher tyres to claim his first victory in the USA.
Starting from pole position, Verstappen lost out to Hamilton at the start, but retook the lead by pitting three laps before the Mercedes driver and taking advantage of his fresher rubber to pump in faster lap times.
The high degree of tyre wear at the Circuit of the Americas meant that two pit stops were the order of the day, but while Verstappen made his second stop on lap 29, Hamilton stayed out until lap 37 before pitting again, eventually emerging 12.5 seconds behind the Dutchman.
With his tyres eight laps younger than Verstappen's, Hamilton rapidly closed on the Red Bull and had the gap down to 2.6 seconds by lap 47, as Verstappen struggled to carve his way cleanly through the backmarkers.
But just when it seemed inevitable that Hamilton would catch and pass Verstappen, the Briton began to lose momentum in the turbulent air thrown up by the rear of the Red Bull, and Verstappen just managed to eke out his tyre life enough to keep the Mercedes out of DRS range and take a brilliantly composed win.
"Of course we lost out at the start so we had to try and do something else," said Verstappen afterwards. "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 [to win]."
Verstappen's teammate Sergio Perez survived a malfunctioning drinks bottle to round out the podium places in third place. Ferrari's Charles Leclerc took a fine fourth, ahead of the McLaren of Daniel Ricciardo. Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas finished sixth after taking a grid penalty for an engine change, with Leclerc's teammate Sainz in seventh.
Ricciardo's teammate Lando Norris took eighth ahead of AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda, and the Aston Martin of Sebastian Vettel rounded out the top ten.
Verstappen's eighth win of the season puts him on 287.5 points, 12 ahead of Hamilton with five races to go. Bottas remains third with 185 points.
In the constructors' standings, Mercedes still lead with 460.5 points, but Red Bull have closed up and now have 437.5 points. McLaren are third with 254.
The next round of the 2021 F1 World Championship is next weekend's Mexico City Grand Prix. Enditem
Slovan Bratislava dominates Slovak Tipos Extraliga with 5 consecutive wins******
BRATISLAVA, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- Ice hockey club Slovan Bratislava remains the undisputed Slovak Tipos Extraliga leader after winning its fifth consecutive fixture on Sunday, edging out HC Kosice in the traditional West-East derby 3-2.。
Visiting forward Michal Chovan opened the score in the capital city, but Slovan Bratislava answered with three consecutive goals of their own to overturn the derby between the two largest towns from opposite ends of the country.。
Kosice cut the deficit to one early in the final period but failed to push the game into overtime, ending its series of three wins in a row.。
"We lost a couple of players during the game due to injuries and were forced to improvise our formations. We finished the game with five defenseman and eight forwards. We are happy about the streak; the morale is always high when we win," stated Slovan coach Robert Doeme.。
In the battle of the two Duklas, Trencin showed no mercy to Michalovce with a 5-1 win, as the visitors were up 2-0 going into the final period after Radoslav Tybor scored his 100th Extraliga goal.。
Trencin then punished the home team's tactics of pulling the goalie with three more shorthanded goals, two by the 21-year-old forward Jakub Minarik, to put the game away.。
Also, on Sunday, HK Nitra suffered the worst defeat of the season, getting overpowered by HKM Zvolen 5-1.。
The visitors dominated, especially in the second period, scoring three goals within five minutes, building a comfortable 4-0 lead backed by a superb Swedish goalie Robin Rahm who finished the night with 34 saves.。
In the battle between two struggling teams, HC Nove Zamky was up 3-1 after the first period thanks to Canadian forward Chirs Langkow's two goals, the first of the season.。
MHK 32 Liptovsky Mikulas succeeded in tying the game up in the second period as they also produced a two-goal forward Marek Hovorka who scored the 4-3 game-winner while killing a penalty in the 53rd minute.。
The remaining two fixtures of the 13th round had to be postponed due to health-related issues of the players. Enditem。