Max Verstappen recovered from a poor pit stop to overtake Lewis Hamilton to win the United States Grand Prix and secure the constructors’ championship for Red Bull.
The new two-time champion had a wheel stuck during the pit stop before falling behind Hamilton at the start of the race. On his return to the track, Charles overtook Leclerc and then Hamilton in the closing laps to secure Red Bull’s first Constructors’ Championship win since 2013. Leclerc completed the podium in third place.
At the start of the race, Verstappen immediately jumped in front of the Ferrari to take the lead in one brake zone after pulling away from pole winner Sainz in second place. As the field rounded the first corner, George Russell dropped the Ferrari at the back of the field, sending the Ferrari on the back end of the Scion.
Sainz got his car back on track, but the contact caused a flood and he was forced to retire at the end of the first lap. Russell was given a five-second time penalty by the stewards for the collision.
Verstappen led the way from the two Mercedes of Hamilton and Russell in third. Sergio Perez lost the right-hand corner of his front wing but made up five places on the opening lap to move up to fourth from Russell Mercedes.
Hamilton was the first of the leaders to pit at the end of lap 12, joining in seventh place on the hard tyres. Verstappen followed the lead on the following lap and finished second behind teammate Perez. Russell also stood up for trouble and served his five-second penalty, dropping him behind Perez after the second Red Bull came in.
On lap 18, Valtteri Bottas suddenly lost control of his Alfa Romeo going into the final corner and ended up in a gravel trap. With Botts’ car in the gravel, the safety car was deployed, allowing Leclerc to face serious trouble and rejoin in fourth 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 down the back straight for the first time under the green flag, Fernando Alonso collided with future teammate Lance Stroll, sending the Alpine briefly into the air and the Aston Martin spinning. The safety car was immediately redeployed as the debris was thrown into the rear straight. Alonso returned to the pits for repairs, while Stroll was out of the race.
The race restarted after three laps with Verstappen once again leading Hamilton and Perez. Leclerc passed Perez for third on new hard tires and moved up to 12th until Hamilton pitted with the leader and pitted for a second set of hard tyres. Verstappen had a lap to spare for medium tyres, but a long delay to find his left front wheel cost him several seconds and allowed Leclerc to get in and out of the lead.
Hamilton inherited the race’s net lead as Sebastian Vettel took over the lead with just one pit stop. As Verstappen lost his place to Leclerc, the Ferrari dived into first and Leclerc took the place back. Eventually Verstappen used DRS down the back straight to complete the pass and take second place.
As Verstappen began to close the gap on the front-runner, Hamilton overtook Vettel to take the real lead of the race. With eight laps to go, Verstappen was in Hamilton’s range with DRS. On lap 50, Verstappen slid into the back of the Mercedes and outbraked Hamilton to take the lead in 12th.
Verstappen pulled away from the gap on the final lap to take the checkered flag and secure Red Bull’s constructors’ title. Hamilton finished more than five seconds behind the winner, with Leclerc less than three seconds behind. Perez added fourth in the second Red Bull ahead of Raul Mercedes, who took the fastest lap in the closing laps.
Lando Norris took sixth for McLaren, with Alonso recovering from his crash to finish seventh. Vettel lost time in a slow pit stop and held off Kevin Magnussen to take eighth, while Yuki Shunoda provisionally took the final points in tenth, but a late race incident with Alexander Albon remains under investigation.
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2022 United States Grand Prix response
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