Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Circuit of the Americas, 2022

Verstappen passes Hamilton to win US GP and constructors’ title for Red Bull

2022 United States Grand Prix summary

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Max Verstappen recovered from a poor pit stop to pass Lewis Hamilton and win the United States Grand Prix, securing the constructors’ championship for Red Bull.

The newly-crowned two-times champion had led from the start of the race before falling behind Hamilton when a wheel stuck during a pit stop. On returning to the track he passed Charles Leclerc and then caught and passed Hamilton in the closing laps to win and secure Red Bull their first constructors’ championship since 2013. Leclerc completed the podium in third.

When the race started, Verstappen got a much better getaway from second place than pole-winner Sainz and leapt immediately in front of the Ferrari to take the lead before the braking zone of turn one. As the field rounded the first corner, George Russell speared into the back of Sainz at the apex, sending the Ferrari into a spin and dropping him to the back of the field.

Sainz recovered his car and continued, but he was pulled into retirement at the end of the first lap as the contact had caused a water leak which meant he could race no further. Russell was quickly handed a five-second time penalty by the stewards for causing the collision.

Verstappen led from the two Mercedes of Hamilton and Russell in third. Sergio Perez made up five places over the opening laps to move up to fourth behind Russell’s Mercedes, despite losing the right hand end plate from his front wing.

Hamilton was the first of the leaders to pit at the end of lap 12, rejoining in seventh place on hard tyres. Verstappen followed suit from the lead on the following lap, emerging in second behind team mate Perez. Russell also stopped for hards and served his five second penalty, which would drop him behind Perez after the second Red Bull pitted.

On lap 18, Valtteri Bottas suddenly lost control of his Alfa Romeo into the penultimate corner, spinning off and into the gravel trap. With Bottas’s car in the gravel, the Safety Car was deployed, which allowed Leclerc to pit for hards and rejoin in fourth place, behind Perez.

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The race restarted on lap 22, with Verstappen leading from Hamilton, Perez, Leclerc and Russell. But as the field drove along the back straight for the first time under green flag, Fernando Alonso collided with future team mate Lance Stroll, sending the Alpine into the air briefly and the Aston Martin spinning. The Safety Car was immediately deployed again, as debris littered the back straight. Alonso recovered to the pits for repairs and continued, while Stroll was out of the race.

The race restarted three laps later with Verstappen again leading away Hamilton and Perez. Leclerc, on fresher hard tyres, passed Perez for third with a lunging move into turn 12. Hamilton kept in touch with the leader until he made a second pit stop for a second set of hard tyres. Verstappen pitted a lap later for mediums tyres, but a lengthy delay on getting his left-front wheel cost him many seconds and allowed Leclerc to pit and exit out ahead of the former leader.

Hamilton inherited the net lead of the race as Sebastian Vettel took over the lead briefly having only pitted once. Having lost position to Leclerc, Verstappen dived by the Ferrari into turn one but Leclerc cut back to retake the place. Eventually Verstappen used DRS down the back straight to complete the pass and take second place.

Hamilton overtook Vettel to take over the true lead of the race as Verstappen began to chip away at the gap to the leader ahead. With eight laps remaining, Verstappen was within DRS range of Hamilton. On lap 50, Verstappen slipstreamed up to the back of the Mercedes and out-braked Hamilton into turn 12 to take the lead.

Verstappen pulled out a gap over the final laps to take the chequered flag and secure the constructors’ championship for Red Bull. Hamilton finished just over five seconds behind the winner, with Leclerc just under three seconds further back. Perez took fourth in the second Red Bull ahead of Russell’s Mercedes, who took the fastest lap after pitting in the closing laps.

Lando Norris took sixth for McLaren, with Alonso recovering from his accident to finish seventh. Vettel lost time with a slow pit stop but held off Kevin Magnussen to take eights, with Yuki Tsunoda provisionally taking the final point in tenth, but is under investigation for a late race incident with Alexander Albon.

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2022 United States Grand Prix reaction

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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71 comments on “Verstappen passes Hamilton to win US GP and constructors’ title for Red Bull”

  1. That RedBull is just ridiculous. It kind of takes the fun out of the racing when you know 100% the overtake will happen.

    1. Welcome to the world of non Mercedes fans for most of the last decade

  2. Once again, Lewis giving up the inside to Max like he did in Abu Dahbi. Even if Max would have probably overtaken before the end, you make him fight for it. Maybe all those years of not being challenged have affected his race craft but he really should do better.

    1. Tell us more Schumacher?

      1. You cant even figure out how to start a Racefans account.

    2. Aryton Senna is in the house to educate a 7 time world champion on racing lines!

    3. Honestly Sam, what is the point. When there’s a 100% chance you’re being overtaken you give up the place. When you don’t you end up getting in a big incident (like stroll today)

      2nd for they dog of a Mercedes is an amazing result.

      1. It was not a 100% chance. That is silly.

      2. And the merc was the 2nd best car in this case.

    4. The inside is the dirty line, the outside is the clean one. Lewis was trying to set up the cutback, pushing Max right to the inside but Max was wise to that, and for the rest of that sequence. He simply had more grip.

      But what I’m wondering is if Mercedes had fitted Mediums…

      1. They would have chewed it wayy before the end…lewis ate the hards and was sliding all over the place…
        Expect next year tires to be harder lol so merc can race

      2. Lewis was wrong and if he had less grip, more the reason to not give up track position. Track position is king especially if you have a slower car. Lewis messed up again, like he did in Abu Dahbi.

        1. Pointless criticism. Max had way better top speed and grip by that point.

          The fastest driver/car combo won the race, with pace to spare. Look at the gap at the end, almost 5 seconds.

          Hamilton was a solid 2nd in a difficult car. He did a great job there. Top notch.

      3. Yeah i was thinking that too. What if Mercedes had gone Mediums, or driven a bit longer with most having pited, and gone softs with 12 laps to go?

        1. Was thinking the same. But there is just no substitute for a faster car. Going medium to maximize undercut and try to hold off verstappen would not work. car is too slow. If he went for 3 stops max would just cover it. When you have the car you can just mirror the opponents moves. And when your car is slow on straights you really need to create an offset.

    5. Give Sir some more time, might still learn the trick.

      1. Do you mean Sir Lewis Hamilton? He already knows every trick.
        but yeah, there are a few races left in which to get a win.

        1. Interlagos is probably the best chance.

          1. Actually I think Mexico is Mercedes biggest chance as their draggy chassis isn’t so draggy on high altitudes….

    6. He might listen to your driving advice once you win 7 WDC.

    7. If Lewis had taken the inside line he would have been too tight into those sharp corners, Verstappen would have had the better line on the outside and be nicely tight on Hamilton to take him on the strights.

      Hamilton did as best as he could to still remain on Verstappen’s tail after he was over-taken, any other move and Verstappen would have sling-shot past him with the DRS.

      1. There is no straight after that turn until after the last turn and by then, Lewis has a better chance to hold onto the lead after turn 1 by being in front. Even if Max could have overtaken later in thle lap, you make him do it! You do not give up that corner.

        1. Lewis was counting on Verstappen not having enough lock, and then being able to do the switch back.
          Had hamilton taken the inside there’s every chance he could have flat spotted his new tires trying to make corner on a tighter line. That would have been game over, with Lecler not that far behind them.

          Lets face it there’s no one Hamilton stood a chance of holding off Verstappen, he is sensible and pragmatic enough to know this. He did the best he could, and kept it tighter than he had a right to, after Verstappen over-took him.

          Had things gone Hamilton’s way the extra preassure on verstappen might led to a 5 seconds penalties for track limits violations was on the cards.. Verstappen is known not to do well under preassure, so Hamilton played for that.

          1. Verstappen is known to do extremely well under pressure. That’s why Lewis was crying for a penalty for Max all the time but did not succeed.

          2. So why was Lewis the next driver (after Max) to get the black and white flag) they were both on the limit and Max was free when Lewis was outside Max DRS zone.

    8. There was only one driver who defended the inside line there: Lance Stroll on Alonso :P

    9. *clap* @undercut677 – I knew he was never going to hold off a much faster car with faster tyres with the laps left in the race, it was obvious where the overtake was going to happen no one today or in the past would’ve stopped that overtake inside line was the correct choice for potentially getting the lead back but Max had excellent car control and grip.

    10. Lots of comments on this. I do agree however. Looking at Max vs Charles, this is way better racing and up a level than Max vs Lewis ever was. I blame exactly Lewis’ leading from the front for that, making him rusty. I felt deprived of battles last season every time Lewis ended them by being, well not on Max’ level. Silverstone, Imola were all missed opportunities from Lewis to entertain us with great racing that could have gone on for many more laps. Charles and Max enjoy racing. Lewis lets people get under his skin and incorporates this in his driving.

  3. I bet Alpine wish they’d given Alonso a two-year deal right about now….. what a drive. Max awesome too.

    1. Fits the mold really for Alonso. Just as the car is getting good, he leaves for another team. That has been the case far too often with him sadly.
      Not a fan of his, per se, but damn he is good on the track. Always up for taking a risk or having ago. Fun to watch.
      It would be sad to see him trundling around in the back half of the grid again next year. Unless Aston Martin make some significant gains over the winter.

      1. @renee to be fair to Alonso on this occasion, he’s only leaving Alpine because he wanted longer than a 1 year contract extension. Which Alpine thought they didn’t need to offer due to Alonso’s age and the fact they thought they had Piastri signed up and in the wings waiting to take over. Backfired on them on both counts. Where they made their biggest mistake was signing the distinctly average Ocon to a long term contract, blocking the second seat

        1. Didn’t even imply that Alonso was leaving Alpine due to a falling out or some friction that he could be blamed for. Just that, what ever the reason, the timing seems to be very unfortunate for him. Like Brundle says, if he didn’t have bad luck, he’d have no luck at all. At least when it comes to switching teams that is.

    2. I think it was amazing that Alonso managed to keep the car going after that aerial excursion, and even more amazing that he was able to keep focussed enough to finish in P7. On the other hand, I found towards the end of the race wondering if Ricciardo had started, because I couldn’t remember seeing him at all.

      1. He was busy fighting with latifi for last place!

  4. I hope this made the US realise you don’t need blinking lights or a fake marina to make an F1 race interesting. Just rent a Stroll and mess up one of Red Bull’s wheel guns.

    1. LOL, I wonder how Liberty Media will keep this entertaining spectacle going?

  5. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    23rd October 2022, 22:14

    Awesome track, awesome event, awesome race. Some masterful drives out there, Max, Lewis, Fernando and Seb. The cream rising on a drivers circuit.

  6. Stroll honestly needs to be given at least one race ban for that move, could have killed Fernando there. And it’s not the first time he’s crashed by not being aware of other people on the race track. Nor the second, third, I could go on. It’s beyond obvious at this point that the guy is a menace for those around him and isn’t learning.

    1. And it’s not the first time he’s crashed by not being aware of other people on the race track.

      The way he checked his mirrors he was very well aware of the other car.

      1. Then it’s even worse…

  7. Mercedes and Lewis getting back to their top level race by race

    1. To be fair the race only seemed close because the safety bunched the pack up. Otherwise it was always going to be another Redbull victory.

    2. I don’t think that is correct, It was good result, but too many aspect out of Merc’s control conspired to give them a sniff. Is still think in a straight race with no incidents they are a long way off the pace behind RB and Ferrari.
      1. Saints taken out in first corner (Coincidentally by a Merc), but for that contact Russel would have probably passed Hamilton there and either way Merc’s would have been 3rd and 4th.
      2. 1st Safety car – Verstappen was somewhere around 7 seconds up the road.
      3. 2nd Safety car – Again Verstappen was already heading up the road and had only just restarted.
      4, Verstappen Pit stop really bad putting him 3rd. But for the Safety cars above, even with the bad pit stop Verstappen would still have come out 1st (Relative).
      All of these things are part and parcel of racing, but they need to be taken into account when thinking about ones own performance vs capitalising on incidents/luck going your way.
      Without all the goings on above Verstappen would have been off into the sunset, Merc would have been fighting for 2nd/3rd/4th/5th with Saints/Russel/Hamilton/Peres and Leclerc, so for me Merc are still way off the front in terms of pure performance.

      1. And Leclerc and Peres coming through from penalty positions, although the Safety cars did help them

    3. Still zero win as of today… Meanwhile Max Verstappen took win for Red Bull every single season with inferior Renault engine and early Honda days. Need to keep reminding Max Verstappen does won on cars with slow straightline speed.

      1. Yes, in case verstappen goes on to dominate and win several titles, we need to keep in mind he started in a lower midfield car, a toro rosso, he worked his way up to the car he has today, and even the red bull he initially joined was just a race-win contender on occasion, until 2021. Hamilton never really had to deal with a bad car (that’s not what this year’s mercedes is), apart from the first half of 2009.

  8. Feel for the Hamilton fans today. It’s the hope which kills you 😂

    1. You little tease 😁 ….

  9. As was predicted by everybody after qualifying yesterday, Red Bull was easily the fastest car again. Ferrari is dead onn the water since Spa.

    and Mercedes is just too weak this year.

    At least the Safety Cars and that mistake from the pit crew kept things a little more interesting.

  10. If Merc can build a good car next year, I have no doubt that HAM will be fighting for wins from the get go.

    RB going to be hit with wind tunnel penalty really opens the door for Ham vs VES part 2.

    Ferrari not gonna be in the fight.

  11. Yep, Top Driver in a top car, Just like Lewis and Merc for the past forever. No matter how good the car is, it doesn’t drive itself.

  12. I Like George Russel, but he is letting himself down.

  13. This season was suppose to be the Ferrari vs Redbull battle, but its turned out to be one horse race. Once again with everything on a plate for them, Ferrari conspires to turn victory into defeat.

    If it weren’t for Hamilton this would be another race with no obvious competition. At least Hamilton created some jepordy for the Redbull / Verstappen show. Hopefully next season Mercedes will bring some game to this sport, otherwise dispite all the hype it will be another snoozefest [crashes not withstanding].

    1. I’m guessing you mean sainz’s bad start? Because leclerc wise not sure what they should’ve done, pace wasn’t there.

  14. Glad Ham didn’t luck into another easy win. He’s had far too many already during his privileged ‘championships’

    1. This would have been a deserved win. Far from easy. Everybody else behind him messed up. Leclerc had in theory a faster car, lucked out with the safety car but couldn’t keep up with Hamilton. Remember that there were safety cars which bunched up the field.

      1. Ironic argument, it is the safety cars that put Hamilton into the lead. without the safety cars, Ver would never have been behind Ham and Lec, even with an 11 second pit stop.

    2. You might wanna take a look at the championships won last year and this year… by illegally developed cars and an egregious twisting of the sporting regulations.

    3. I agree he lucked into many easy wins before, this one would’ve been in part lucky because of verstappen’s problem, but this year hamilton also had a bad timed SC at silverstone I think, which ruined his chances of victory, so talking about 2022 it evens out, and there was no chance to win for anyone else without something happening to verstappen here.

    4. Lol privileged… People like you with ur racist bias undertones should go chase cars on a freeway. Incase u dnt remember every1 questioned why Lewis would be moving from mclaren championship contender to Mercedes at that time a mid field team. Its not a case of privilege but of perfection.

      1. +1, well said.

  15. Another race where Hamilton, Verstappen, Vettel and Alonso show why they’re champions and others aren’t.

    Leclerc put in a solid drive with some fun moves, but Ferrari seems to have forgotten that DRS is a thing and that getting your laptime from the corners is useless when all the races end in their cars getting blasted past on the straight.

    Pérez predictably turned to his usual ‘he has to give the position’ complaining when he couldn’t make the moves stick himself. Poor form, and a disappointing result for him to be off the podium considering the advantage he has over everyone else with that Red Bull car.

    1. Hamilton also turned to his predictable “he is going off track” when he was doing it himself, LOL

    2. Indeed, at one point perez risked to be passed by russell even, then picked up in the last stint.

  16. Then it’s even worse…

  17. Russell is causing too many collisions and is building a bad reputation…

    1. @bojangles Russell started becoming a serious liability when he crashed into Bottas during the 2021 Emilia-Romana Grand Prix. He’s now fully adopted the Mercedes arrogance, and thinks he can get away with whatever he wants on track

    2. What’s more worrying is he isn’t on hamilton’s pace, unlike I expected.

  18. Off topic I know but can we talk about the lack-lustre checkered flag waving by Apple’s Tim Cook?

    I don’t think that flag did anything but face straight down. Is Tim unwell or was he just not interested?

  19. This race might’ve been Merc’s best & only chance of a race win this season, but unfortunately for them, Max was too quick to hold behind until the end, even after his slow pit stop.
    Surprisingly many slow pit stops & unusually aggressive driving from several drivers, especially on the opening lap.

    1. I really thought Lewis was going to win when Max got behind Charles after that bad pitstop. I know that RB is quick but I doubt Perez (or anybody else in that RB) would have been able to still win that race. I’m a big fan of Max but if Lewis had nailed it yesterday I would have cheered for him after that awesome drive (when you consider the overall performance of MB). Somehow at this track always the best drivers rise to the top not only in F1 but also in the motogp.

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