Verstappen US Grand Prix win wraps up constructors' title as Red Bull pay tribute to Mateschitz

By Sports Desk October 23, 2022

Max Verstappen's dramatic victory at the United States Grand Prix gave Red Bull the Formula One constructors' title, a day after the death of team owner Dietrich Mateschitz.

A record-equalling 13th win of the season for the irrepressible Verstappen, who already has the drivers' championship sewn up, secured the poignant achievement at the Circuit of The Americas.

Mercedes had monopolised the constructors' championship since 2014, but it has been a matter of time this season before they were dethroned.

Verstappen, hampered by an extended pit stop, slipped back to fifth place at one stage but roared back to the front of the field and produced a skilful overtaking move on Lewis Hamilton during the 50th lap to reclaim first position.

Mercedes had been chasing their first win of the season, but once Verstappen was in front of Hamilton it was game over. Verstappen and team boss Christian Horner dedicated the team success to Mateschitz immediately at the end of the race.

Charles Leclerc's Ferrari took third place, his first podium in Austin, with Red Bull's Sergio Perez fourth, Mercedes' George Russell fifth and McLaren's Lando Norris sixth.

Ferrari pole-sitter Carlos Sainz had the start of his nightmares, being overtaken by front-row rival Verstappen before the first corner and then spinning after colliding with Russell. Russell was handed a five-second penalty and Sainz's race was soon over as he came into the pits to retire, with radiator damage causing a water leak.

The safety car came out twice, firstly when Valtteri Bottas lost the back end of his Alfa Romeo and beached in the gravel on the 18th lap, and then when Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll collided, a flash point between the future Aston Martin team-mates.

Leclerc was a factor for much of the race, having done well to tear through the field after a 10-place engine change penalty meant he started from 12th on the grid.

A huge twist came with 20 laps remaining when Verstappen had his shocking pit stop. The world champion sarcastically told his team radio it had been "beautiful" but was told to focus on the race, and he subsequently showed why he and the team have been so dominant.

Verstappen matches Schumacher and Vettel

Michael Schumacher won 13 times for Ferrari in the 18-race 2004 campaign, while Sebastian Vettel won 13 in a 19-race 2013 season for Red Bull. Vettel was briefly a podium contender in this race but a 16.8 second pit stop scuttled his hopes.

Now Verstappen has equalled the single-season wins record Schumacher and Vettel shared, and as he said at the end of the race, he has "three more chances" to take the mark outright.

Aston thriller

The yellow flag came out when Alonso's Alpine ran into the back of Stroll's Aston Martin. The pair will be team-mates at Aston Martin next season, and as Alonso looked to overtake Stroll, it appeared Stroll moved to block the manoeuvre. That led to Alonso's car spectacularly bucking onto its rear wheels and running out of control before colliding with barriers.

Alonso was remarkably able to continue and reach the pits for repairs, but Stroll lost a tyre, amid strewn debris, and his race was over, with the stewards electing to leave it until after the race to pass any judgement.

Related items

  • Christian Horner vows to focus on racing amid scrutiny over his Red Bull future Christian Horner vows to focus on racing amid scrutiny over his Red Bull future

    Christian Horner vowed to go racing after breaking his silence amid the latest allegations whirling around the Red Bull team principal.

    Horner’s Formula One future is again in the spotlight after hundreds of WhatsApp messages appearing to be written by him to a female colleague were leaked.

    On Wednesday, Horner was cleared to continue as Red Bull team principal following an internal probe into “inappropriate behaviour” by the F1 team’s parent company, Red Bull GmbH. He has always denied the claims.

    But just 24 hours later, a number of messages and images apparently exchanged between Horner and the complainant were sent from an anonymous email account to 149 members of the F1 paddock – including FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali and the grid’s nine other team principals, as well as members of the media – on the eve of this weekend’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

    Domenicali and Ben Sulayem will meet on Friday to discuss the next steps.

    Horner was quizzed about the latest allegations as he made his way from Red Bull’s hospitality suite to the team’s garage for third practice ahead of qualifying.

    “I am not going to comment on anonymous speculation from unknown sources,” he said. When asked what comes next, Horner replied: “We go racing.”

    It is understood that neither F1’s American owners, Liberty Media, nor its regulator, the FIA, has seen Red Bull GmbH’s report into Horner, which is thought to stretch to 150 pages and was said to be “confidential”.

    It is believed that the FIA is considering the legalities of asking Red Bull to hand over its report, and examining if Horner might have breached two clauses of its International Sporting Code.

    Article 12.2.1.c states that a competitor will have committed an offence if there was “any fraudulent conduct or any act prejudicial to the interests of any Competition or to the interests of motor sport generally”.

    Article 12.2.1.f highlights “any words, deeds or writings that have caused moral injury or loss to the FIA, its bodies, its members or its executive officers, and more generally on the interest of motor sport and on the values defended by the FIA”.

    Meanwhile, article 12.2.1.g states that “any failure to cooperate in an investigation” would breach the code.

    Horner continues to operate in his role as team principal and CEO, although it is understood there is considerable unease among the team’s plethora of sponsors and partners.

    Horner said in a statement on Thursday: “I will not comment on anonymous speculation, but to reiterate I have always denied the allegations.

    “I respected the integrity of the independent investigation and fully cooperated with it every step of the way.

    “It was a thorough and fair investigation conducted by an independent specialist barrister and it has concluded dismissing the complaint made.

    “I remain fully focused on the start of the season.”

  • Fernando Alonso's Formula One legacy about 'what ifs', says Di Resta Fernando Alonso's Formula One legacy about 'what ifs', says Di Resta

    Fernando Alonso's legacy in Formula One will be defined by questions about what might have been, according to former Force India driver Paul di Resta.

    However, Di Resta hopes Alonso will not call time on his glittering career for some time yet, as the 42-year-old begins his second season with Aston Martin. 

    Alonso impressed en route to a fourth-placed finish in the drivers' championship last year, securing eight podium finishes in his first campaign with the team.

    The two-time world champion's future has been a subject of speculation throughout the offseason, with the Spaniard touted as a candidate to replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes when he joins Ferrari in 2025. 

    Ahead of Saturday's season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, Alonso said he is yet to decide whether he will race at all next year, and Di Resta would be disappointed if F1 lost one of its biggest characters.

    Di Resta also believes Alonso will look back upon his short-lived move to McLaren in 2007 – and his subsequent switch back to Renault – with a few regrets. 

    "I've got a huge amount of respect for him. I wish he hadn't taken that [break] when he disappeared out of Formula One for a couple of years," Di Resta told Stats Perform.

    "I think the biggest thing with Fernando is what could have been, with the championships he probably should have won and the ones he came close to. 

    "Some of the choices he made, moving to teams… I'm sure he's not scared to talk about that. I think he's just a born racer, absolutely committed to it. 

    "His spatial awareness, in race starts or on the first lap, wheel to wheel, there's probably not many people like it. 

    "I will miss watching him. I hope he's around for a long time and I think he's showing that age is not a thing, he can still grab great results. 

    "I think he's happier than he's ever been, less emotional, he sees the journey for what it is, he probably sees the end is closer in that sense and he's milking everything he can from it.

    "I just love to see [Max] Verstappen, [Charles] Leclerc, Alonso, Hamilton in different teams going against each other, and I think people definitely respect what he's done, and he draws a lot of attention, and attention is a great thing for the sport."

    While reigning world champion Verstappen is expected to dominate again in 2024, Alonso is among a group of drivers looking to take race wins off Red Bull. 

    McLaren's Lando Norris is another with lofty ambitions for the new season, and Di Resta thinks the 24-year-old has a big future ahead of him.

    "I'd be surprised if he doesn't win a world championship, given his ability," he said. "I think the key for him will be reading where the best place to be for the future is, whether McLaren are back to being a consistent team to deliver a world championship. 

    "I think Lando definitely is up to that. Oscar [Piastri], he did a very good job for a rookie last year. He was a bit short of Lando in the races if you're being honest. 

    "In qualifying, he definitely had the measure and had the speed, so I'm expecting him to push Lando even more and I'm expecting him to be even closer to Lando. 

    "They've got great foundations and great team spirit to move forward. They will get into battles and you can see there's some frustration in their races with strategy and how it's going to play out, but Lando is very comfortable and I think he's probably in the top three picks within the grid."

  • No repeat of Red Bull 'runaway', but ex-F1 man backs Max for fourth title No repeat of Red Bull 'runaway', but ex-F1 man backs Max for fourth title

    Max Verstappen may be the clear favourite for a fourth straight Formula One championship, but Paul di Resta does not see Red Bull having it all their own way in 2024.

    Verstappen has dominated the sport in the past two seasons after pipping rival Lewis Hamilton to win his first title back in 2021.

    The Dutchman was champion by 146 points in 2022, then stretched that gap to a staggering 290 points last year as he won 19 of 22 races.

    Di Resta, who drove for Force India, hailed Red Bull's "incredible job" as they "pulled out a couple of wins they shouldn't have", but he expects Verstappen to at least have some competition in the coming campaign.

    "People will get closer this year, 100 per cent," Di Resta told Stats Perform. "It's not going to be a runaway like it was.

    "But to get on top of that at every grand prix with the advantage that he had at some tracks last year, I don't see how they can lose the championship, to be honest, unless somebody's got something hiding in the wind tunnel that they're going to bring out and surprise everyone with.

    "Over the course of the season, I think he'll get the job done.

    "I think he'll have a harder time at it, and I'd like to see them more in battle. I'd like to see them up against Lando [Norris], I'd like to see them up against Lewis, Ferrari in there as well.

    "The biggest thing is when it's closer, when you're having a bad day, you're having a bad day. When you're having a good day, you're having a good day. The swing was not big enough ever because he was always winning last year."

    Mercedes did not win a single race in 2023, but Di Resta sees the Silver Arrows as Red Bull's biggest rivals again in what is set to be Hamilton's final season with the team before joining Ferrari.

    "I think it'll be Mercedes," he said. "They've said they're coming out with a car that's very different, very different philosophy.

    "They are undoubtedly still one of the best teams in Formula One, and I think just when you look at the last 10 years and how they've gone about their business, you have to believe in that."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.