Verstappen denies Hamilton his first win of the season to win US GP and equal F1 record
Max Verstappen overtook Lewis Hamilton late to claim a season-record 13th victory of the United States Grand Prix on Sunday, and picked up a win to honor the memory of Red Bull team founder and owner Dietrich Mateschitz.
Verstappen’s race was nearly canceled by a rare slow Red Bull pit stop midway through the race that dropped him well behind Hamilton. But Verstappen fought back to overtake last season’s rival for the championship on lap 50 of 56.
Verstappen then had to hold off harassing Hamilton in the final laps as his team warned him not to exceed track limits which would result in a penalty.
Victory as a relief for Red Bull. The team announced shortly before qualifying on Saturday that Mateschitz had died at the age of 78. Verstappen vowed he would give everything for victory to honor him.
Hamilton defends bravely but he can’t stop Verstappen from passing
The Dutch lead! #USGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/qTrJC2UPHy
The victory continued Verstappen’s dominance in 2022. He had already won the season championship in Japan two weeks earlier. Sunday’s win tied him with Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel for most in a season with three races to go.
Since its inception, Red Bull has won six drivers’ championships and five constructors’ titles. Verstappen’s win clinched this season’s Tag Team Championship
The team incorporated a teenage Verstappen into their racing program and promoted him to F1 in 2015 when he was just 17, in hopes he would become the youngest champion in F1 history. series. Mercedes’ dominance in 2014-20 prevented that.
But Mateschitz, reportedly ill for months and dead at 78, lived long enough to see Verstappen win two championships and begin what could be another dominant era for the team he founded.
F1 held a brief tribute to Mateschitz before the race. Big ‘Danke Didi’ (Thank you, Didi) signs were flashed on video screens and Vettel, who has won four championships with Red Bull and now races with Aston Martin, seemed to be holding back tears.
RACE CLASSIFICATION (LAP 56/56)
Verstappen takes a record 13th win of the season 💪#USGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/htHTF4pJ72