In life, there is much joy which inevitably is followed, at some point, by much sadness. It was under these two extremes that Red Bull secured the F1 constructors championship at the 2022 USA Grand Prix. The race weekend started with the ongoing controversy surrounding Red Bull’s cost cap overspending with plenty of shade being thrown at the team. When race day arrived, for Red Bull it was under a bitter cloud of mourning as it was announced that the founder of the Red Bull brand Dietrich Mateschitz had passed away after a long period of illness. But there was a race to enter and with a Ferrari on pole position a long 56-lap battle lay ahead.
It was all over for Carlos Sainz just a few corners into the race. Verstappen, starting second out dragged the Ferrari into turn one, Sainz fought back but was collected by a clumsy late-braking George Russell. Russell may have been mistaken for thinking he was in a Playstation driving game as he tried to make up as many places as possible as fast as possible.
With the Ferrari out of the equation, Verstappen had Lewis Hamilton to deal with and while the Mercedes driver did his best, eventually Verstappen built up a lead. That lead was squandered mid-way through the race as a botched pitstop handed the lead to Hamilton. A massive accident involving the Aston Martin of Lance Stroll and Alpine’s Fernando Alsonso brought out the safety car on lap 22.
Alonso collided with Stroll who changed direction at 180mph, unable to avoid the impact Alonso’s car flipped on its rear wheels temporarily wheeling down the straight and impacting the nearby barriers. Alonso managed to return to the pits, rejoin the race, and finish 7th. Stroll was fine but his Aston Martin lay wrecked on the straight.
Safety or no safety car, no matter what the trye strategy, eventually Max Verstappen used the superiority of his Red Bull to reel in Hamilton, inevitably the two 2021 title protagonists fought a short battle for the lead. But the Red Bull and Verstappen were too strong and Hamilton could do nothing more to dilute the illusion of victory fading away into the reality of finishing second.
It was a strong race from Mercedes and Hamilton, but the honors belonged to Verstappen who secured a record-equaling 13th victory. The victory also secured the team’s first constructor win in eight years.
2022 United States Grand Prix: Race Results
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:40.654
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +5.023
3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari +7.501
4 Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing +8.293
5 George Russell Mercedes +44.815
6 Lando Norris McLaren +53.785
7 Fernando Alonso Alpine +55.078
8 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin +65.354
9 Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 Team +65.834
10 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri +70.919
11 Esteban Ocon Alpine +72.875
12 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo +76.164
13 Alex Albon Williams +80.057
14 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri +81.763
15 Mick Schumacher Haas +84.490
16 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren +90.487
17 Nicholas Latifi Williams +103.588
Did not finish
18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin
19 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo
20 Carlos Sainz Ferrari