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.

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