Verstappen wins and secures constructors’ title for Red Bull Racing

Newly crowned world champion Max Verstappen overcame a bad pitstop to hunt down and defeat Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes late on in Formula 1’s 2022 United States Grand Prix, sealing Red Bull Racing’s constructors’ title in the process.

This race victory puts Verstappen level with Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel on Formula 1’s single-season win record, with 13 apiece in one season for the multiple world champions.

Charles Leclerc recovered from his power unit change grid drop to finish third for Ferrari, salvaging a podium for the Scuderia after polesitter Carlos Sainz was eliminated in a Turn 1 tangle with George Russell that left Verstappen as a dominant leader for much of the contest even through two safety car periods before the picture all changed late-on.

At the start, Verstappen made a much better getaway versus Sainz from the front row, with the Red Bull ahead as they braked at the top of the hill for the left-hand Turn 1.

There, Sainz’s race was ended as Russell, locking up as he steamed into the apex alongside teammate Hamilton, speared into the side of the Ferrari and spun it to the rear of the pack in an incident that the stewards’ deemed was worthy only of a five-second penalty for Russell.

That left Verstappen clear up front, chased by Hamilton as Sainz came into the pits at the end of the opening lap fearing he had a puncture but in fact retired there as Ferrari had spotted the contact had caused a water leak.

Hamilton was initially able to match Verstappen lapping in the one minute, 42 seconds, but soon the lead was stretching away at the front, noting the challenge of keeping things pointing forwards in the gusts regularly blasting the Circuit of the Americas under sporadically cloudy skies.

Verstappen closed out the opening ten laps of 56 three seconds clear of Hamilton, before making a big gain towards the end of the first stint, which meant he was nearly five seconds clear by the time the Mercedes stopped for the first time on lap 12.

Red Bull called Verstappen in next time by, with both leaders going from the medium tyres they had started on to take the hards.

Verstappen’s gap was so big he rejoined only behind Perez, who had picked up damage in a lap one clash with Valtteri Bottas but did not have to pit for a new front wing as his right-side endplate later flew off as he made his way by the Aston Martin cars that had trailed Hamilton early-on.

That meant Hamilton followed the yet-to-stop Leclerc, Lance Stroll and Vettel and his gap to Verstappen grew to 6.3 seconds over the first few laps on the hard tyres.

Just as Red Bull and Mercedes were asking their charges for feedback on the white-walled rubber, the safety car changed the complexion of the race after Bottas lost the rear of his Alfa Romeo going through the penultimate corner on Verstappen’s 18th lap and the Finn ended up beached in the gravel.

This meant Leclerc and Vettel could stop for cheap pitstops – Stroll having come in just before Bottas’s off – and they then followed Hamilton and Perez in the snake behind Verstappen.

The Dutchman, his previous lead vanished, led the restart on lap 22 – easily pulling clear of Hamilton again – but the green flag racing did not last long as on the same lap Fernando Alonso and Stroll had a shocking crash running down the back straight.

With Stroll trailing Vettel and Russell after his first pre-safety car stop having run as high as third early on in the aftermath of the Turn 1 incident, Alonso got a rapid run on his soon-to-be Aston teammate heading down the long back straight.

Alonso closed in on Stroll and moved left to overtake as they approached top speed, but the Canadian driver moved a split-second later and the Alpine was launched skywards over the Aston’s left rear.

Stroll was sent spinning and into retirement, but Alonso – minus his front wing – was able to recover to the pits after bouncing down hard but only glancing the wall on the inside of the track.

Although the crash, which will be investigated after the race, sent a cloud of debris into the pack behind and across the track, it took just three laps of safety car race suspension for the incident to be clear.

On lap 26, Verstappen aced another restart and immediately pulled over a second clear, as the attention turned to Leclerc’s attempts to get on the podium as he trailed Perez closely ahead of DRS being enabled again on lap 28.

After a first attempt at passing the Red Bull into Turn 12 at the end of the back straight went wrong when Leclerc went deep and took to the runoff, also avoiding Perez locked up and sliding on the inside, he attacked at the same spot again on lap 30.

With a late dive to the inside, Leclerc shot to the left-hander’s apex and muscled his way ahead, then critically stayed just about within track limits on the exit.

The Ferrari driver was then unable to cruise up behind Hamilton, who was by this point starting to threaten Verstappen’s lead for the first time as the Red Bull racer struggled in the gusts.

Just as Hamilton neared a second adrift from Verstappen again, Mercedes called him in for a second set of hards at the end of lap 34, but it was Verstappen’s second stop on the following tour that changed the race’s story.

When he pitted to go back to the mediums, a delay getting his left-front hard off was compounded by Red Bull having to use a second wheel gun to tighten the nut back up on the replacement medium.

That left Verstappen stuck for 11 seconds, which not only meant Hamilton easily moved ahead at the end of his out-lap, but Leclerc jumped the long-time leader too.

Although Perez and Vettel ran long, the latter dropping down the order with a long second stop when he eventually pitted, Hamilton suddenly held the net lead with a 5.6 seconds, as Verstappen set about chasing down Leclerc.

He quickly closed in on his former 2022 title rival and made his move into Turn 1 at the start of lap 39 and dived inside Leclerc, but the Ferrari was able to nip back ahead on the exit before Verstappen used DRS to blast by down the back straight later on the same tour.

That left Verstappen with 4.5 seconds gap to close against Hamilton, with a tyre compound difference to factor in too, and Leclerc initially hanging on before fading back and out of contention.

Verstappen ate into Hamilton’s lead over the next few laps and entering the final ten laps had trimmed that to a 2.0 seconds advantage – reaching DRS range for the first time on lap 49.

The next time by, Verstappen used that tool to close right in on Hamilton running down the back straight and he shot to the inside of Turn 12, with the Mercedes initially jinking left late in defence before moving back right and away from any possible clash.

Hamilton stamped on the gas and got his nose back ahead approaching the next corner, but with Verstappen having the inside line he could not mount a full attack and was then stymied by Verstappen running slow on the apex of the double-apex Turn 15 left.

Verstappen shot ahead, but Hamilton was able to stick close behind – noting Verstappen had run off the track several times before he was given a black-and-white flag warning about track limits transgressions from race control.

Hamilton kept suggesting Verstappen was still running beyond track limits at several points, but as he tried to hang on close behind he himself was handed a black-and-white flag warning for the same infraction.

After Hamilton lost DRS at the end of lap 53, he dropped back quickly and eventually came home 5.0 seconds behind, with Leclerc third and Perez fourth – the top four covered by just 8.2 seconds.

Mercedes pitted Russell late to take softs in a late attempt to take the fastest lap, which he did on the final tour as he came home fifth position ahead of Lando Norris.

After all he had gone through, Alonso remarkably charged to finish seventh with a series of late passes, while Vettel’s race ended in thrilling circumstances as he battled Haas’ one-stopping Kevin Magnussen on the final tour.

Vettel recovered from his own very slow service to reach Magnussen’s eighth position right at the end – stealing it with a bold move into the penultimate corner having tried to brave it out around the outside through Turns 16, 17 and 18 just before.

Yuki Tsunoda rounded out the top ten, with Stroll, Bottas and Sainz the only retirements and a host of drivers in the pack getting track limits and collision time penalties.

So congratulations to Max Verstappen in achieving 13 wins this season to match the record set by Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel. Plus kudos to Red Bull Racing in achieving the constructors’ championship. Such a mighty team effort to win both titles in this fascinating and exciting season.

United States Grand Prix, race results:
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:42:11.687
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +5.023s
3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari +7.501
4 Sergio Perez Red Bull +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 +65.354s
9 Kevin Magnussen Haas +65.834s
10 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri +70.919s
11 Esteban Ocon Alpine +72.875s
12 Alex Albon Williams +75.057s
13 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo +76.164s
14 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri +81.763s
15 Mick Schumacher Haas +84.490s
16 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren +90.487s
17 Nicholas Latifi Williams +103.588s
– Lance Stroll Aston Martin DNF
– Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo DNF
– Carlos Sainz Ferrari DNF

5 thoughts to “Verstappen wins and secures constructors’ title for Red Bull Racing”

  1. United States Grand Prix race review as reported by

    Max Verstappen emerged victorious at the end of an action-packed United States Grand Prix, overhauling and fending off Lewis Hamilton in a tense finale, while his Red Bull team wrapped up their first constructors’ title since 2013.

    Verstappen’s record-equalling 13th win of the season, and the squad’s championship triumph, came a day after Red Bull co-founder and owner Dietrich Mateschitz passed away – a milestone fifth F1 constructors’ title for the Milton Keynes operation sparking emotional celebrations.

    Having moved into the lead at the start, avoiding the drama behind as Carlos Sainz and George Russell clashed at Turn 1, Verstappen had looked set for a comfortable victory at the Circuit of The Americas, dealing with multiple Safety Car restarts and managing his pace expertly.

    But a slow final pit stop opened the door for Hamilton and the recovering Charles Leclerc, the reigning world champion having to pass both of them to take the chequered flag first – his move on Hamilton coming with just six laps remaining.

    Despite his sterling efforts, Hamilton had to settle for second place, with Mercedes’ wait for a 2022 victory continuing, while Leclerc salvaged a podium finish for Ferrari as the Italian team mathematically dropped out of contention for the constructors’ crown.

    Leclerc benefitted from a cheap stop under an early Safety Car – brought out by Valtteri Bottas’s spin into the gravel – to rise from P12 on the grid after his power unit changes, with Perez taking fourth after his own engine penalty.

    Russell took a five-second time penalty for his incident with Sainz en route to fifth, pitting late on to set the fastest lap on soft tyres, having held enough of a window over sixth-placed McLaren driver Lando Norris.

    Fernando Alonso bounced back from an engine penalty and a dramatic collision with Lance Stroll midway through the race, which briefly sent him airborne, to claim seventh position, followed by Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel and the one-stopping Haas of Kevin Magnussen.

    Like Verstappen, Vettel’s efforts were dented by a slow final stop and, having initially held a strong points position, he had to fight his way back to eighth, passing Magnussen at the final corner on the final lap – earning the ‘Driver of the Day’ award in the process.

    AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda, who started at the back of the grid after an engine penalty, also used the drama to his advantage to take a point in 10th, narrowly denying Alpine’s Esteban Ocon (who started from the pits), Williams’ Alex Albon and Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu.

    After his qualifying woes, Pierre Gasly experienced another dramatic race, picking up a time penalty behind the Safety Car that was not served properly in the pits, leaving him to come home in 14th.

    Mick Schumacher could not repeat team mate Magnussen’s points-scoring efforts on the more conventional two-stop strategy as he took P15, with the McLaren of Daniel Ricciardo and Williams of Nicholas Latifi the final cars to finish.

    After the sad passing of Dietrich Mateschitz, and a flood of tributes overnight, the F1 paddock assembled on the grid ahead of Sunday’s race to remember the Austrian entrepreneur with a round of applause – the record Austin crowd ensuring it was a fitting tribute.

    Lining up on the front row for the start were Sainz and Verstappen, with second-placed qualifier Leclerc dropping all the way down to 12th due to power unit component changes, and Perez falling from P4 to P9 thanks to an engine change of his own.

    Additional penalties saw Alonso (engine), Zhou (engine) and Tsunoda (gearbox) all lose five places, while Ocon moved from the grid to the end of the pit lane after taking on a host of new power unit elements in the wake of his disappointing run to P18 in qualifying.

    As the 56-lap race got underway, the 10th at COTA and the first dry F1 encounter since last month’s Italian Grand Prix, it was Verstappen who made the best start to jump Sainz off the line, and before the Turn 1 bottleneck took full effect.

    A lunge up the inside from Russell backfired as he locked up and ran into Sainz’s car, sending the pole-sitter into a spin and an early retirement due to a resulting water leak – the stewards promptly handing the Mercedes driver a five-second time penalty for his actions.

    Behind, Stroll was a big winner as he slotted in behind Verstappen and Hamilton, the latter doing well to avoid the clashing Russell and Sainz after some pre-race drama that saw his mechanics carry out a rapid front brake change.

    It was a short-lived podium spot for the Canadian, however, with Russell finding a way past at Turn 12 on Lap 6, and the recovering Perez mirroring that pass one tour later – albeit damaging a front wing endplate after some early contact.

    Aston Martin therefore found themselves occupying P5 and P6 with Stroll and Vettel respectively, while Leclerc’s charge saw him climb from P12 to P7 in 10 laps, ahead of Gasly, Norris and Bottas – the latter leading a train of midfield runners into the pits on Lap 11 for fresh tyres.

    Up front, Verstappen was managing his race – and the continued windy conditions – well to edge out a near five-second lead over Hamilton, while Russell resisted the advances of Perez behind and Leclerc disposed of Vettel for P6.

    After being given the famous ‘Hammer Time’ radio message from race engineer Peter Bonnington, Hamilton was the first of the front-runners to pit on Lap 13, swapping his medium tyres for softs, with Verstappen and Russell boxing for the same compound a lap later – the Briton also serving his time penalty.

    Having rejoined the action just ahead of Stroll, it was not long before Verstappen moved back into the lead, with team mate Perez pitting on Lap 15 and subsequently slotting in between the Silver Arrows of Hamilton and Russell.

    At this point, Leclerc ran second to Verstappen as he extended his opening stint on the medium tyres, telling his Ferrari team to consider ‘Plan E’, with Vettel another pressing ahead on ageing rubber, ready to capitalise on any drama.

    It would pay off for the former team mates, and Alonso a little further back, when Bottas spun into the gravel at Turn 19 on Lap 18 and triggered a Safety Car, meaning their stay in the pits was significantly shorter than it would have been under racing conditions.

    After the stops, Verstappen held P1 from Hamilton and Perez, with Leclerc jumping a host of cars to sit P4, ahead of Russell, Vettel, Stroll, Gasly, Alonso and Norris – the race neutralised for three laps while Bottas’s car was cleared away.

    Verstappen mastered the restart to hold onto the lead, but the Safety Car would be back out on track just moments later due to a frightening collision between Alonso and Stroll down the back straight that littered debris all over the circuit.

    Replays showed Alonso hitting the back of Stroll’s car as he pulled out of the slipstream and attempted to make a move, sending the Spaniard airborne and both drivers into the barriers at speed. While Alonso pitted for a change of front wing, Stroll was out on the spot with extensive car damage.

    In response to Stroll’s defensive driving, Alonso jumped on the radio to criticise a “very late move” across the track, with Race Control noting that the stewards would be taking a closer look at the incident after the race.

    A rapid clean-up allowed the action to resume on Lap 26, with Verstappen surviving another restart to lead from Hamilton, Perez and Leclerc – the Ferrari man holding a tyre life advantage of several laps after his later stop.

    Leclerc started to put that advantage to good use as he closed in on third-placed Perez, initially launching a failed attack at Turn 12 on Lap 29, before getting the job done one lap later with a bold overtake up the inside.

    On Lap 35, Hamilton kicked off the second round of pit stops for the front-runners as he moved to a fresh set of hards, prompting Verstappen to box a lap later and fend off the undercut attempt – only for a botched stop to cost him crucial time.

    “Beautiful,” Verstappen sarcastically commented over the radio as he rejoined behind Hamilton and Leclerc – the Red Bull and Ferrari running the softer medium compound, as opposed to Hamilton’s hard-shod strategy.

    Lap 39 led to more breathless drama as Verstappen attacked Leclerc into Turn 1, initially getting ahead before his rival completed the cutback – but another go at Turn 12 saw the Dutchman move into a net P2, some four seconds behind Hamilton.

    With Perez pitting and seeing off Russell as he rejoined the action, Vettel led the 3,500th lap of his F1 career ahead of retiring from the sport at the end of the season, only for the celebratory moment to be undone by a 16.8s stop that dropped him out of the points.

    Up front, Verstappen posted a series of fastest laps to close in on Hamilton, setting up a grandstand finish as the race entered its final stages, while Leclerc settled into third, ahead of Perez and Russell.

    Verstappen’s rapid pace was unrelenting and, with six laps to go, he used his recently-acquired DRS to pounce on Hamilton into Turn 12, proceeding to cleverly place his car over the next sequence of corners and hold position.

    Despite a brief response from Hamilton, the race was Verstappen and Red Bull’s, with emotional words being exchanged between driver and pit wall after he crossed the line some five seconds clear to secure victory and the constructors’ crown – with more tributes paid to Dietrich Mateschitz and his impact on the sport.

    Leclerc stayed within DRS range of Verstappen for several laps after being overtaken, but his pace on the mediums faded and he made do with third, as Perez and Russell rounded out the top five positions.

    Lando Norris picked up some damage when he ran through the debris following Stroll and Alonso’s crash, but a late charge was rewarded with P6, ahead of Alonso, as the McLaren/Alpine battle for P4 in the constructors’ standings continues.

    Vettel arguably deserved much more than eighth place, having managed to mark his 3,500th lap in the lead of an F1 race ahead of his aforementioned slow stop, but he stayed cool to recover several lost places, the last of the lot a fine move up the inside of Magnussen into the newly-named Andretti corner.

    Tsunoda led a gaggle of cars across the line for the final point, comprising himself, Ocon, Albon and Zhou – Albon involved in an early incident with Gasly that was noted but not investigated further.

    Gasly wound up 14th after being penalised for failing to stay within 10 cars lengths of the vehicle ahead under the Safety Car, that sanction compounded when it was not served correctly during a subsequent pit-stop.

    Schumacher and Ricciardo finished in the shadow of high-flying team mates Magnussen and Norris, with Latifi the final finisher after a stint in his first stint forced him into an earlier-than-planned pit-stop.

  2. Lance Stroll says he gave Fernando Alonso “plenty of room” in Austin Formula 1 crash. has the news story.

    Aston Martin Formula 1 driver Lance Stroll says he gave Fernando Alonso “plenty of room” as the pair collided in Sunday’s United States Grand Prix.

    After a safety car restart on lap 22, Stroll and Alonso were squabbling over seventh place when the Spaniard pulled out of the Canadian’s slipstream on COTA’s long back straight.

    Stroll made a late defensive move, appearing to react to the Spaniard and then the pair made hard contact, sending a briefly airborne Alonso into the wall and Stroll into a spin.

    Stroll retired on the spot with extensive damage, but somehow Alonso’s Alpine survived as he took an unlikely seventh place at the finish.

    Ahead of the FIA stewards’ post-race investigation, for which both drivers have been summoned, Stroll felt the collision wasn’t as clear-cut as it seemed as he thought Alonso left little margin during his overtake attempt.

    When asked if he acknowledged he moved over too late, Stroll said: “I mean, I definitely moved late, but there was a big difference in speed.

    “I was judging more or less, kind of picking where he was behind me. But it’s not like I hit him on the side of his car. The impact is still his front wing to the rear of my car.

    “I gave him plenty of room on the left of the track, so it’s not like I squeezed him or anything like that against a wall. He could have moved earlier and went more to the left. He didn’t have to get so close to me either.

    “So, there’s a lot of different ways you could look at the incident. It was a shame. It was close wheel-to-wheel racing and unfortunately just made contact.”

    Next season Alonso is moving from Alpine to Aston Martin to become Stroll’s new teammate, but Stroll said the crash didn’t make any difference to their relationship.

    “I don’t look at it that way. We’re racing drivers. It can happen in a race,” he said.

    Up to that point Aston was poised for its best result of the season as both Stroll and teammate Sebastian Vettel ran up front in the early stages.

    Despite a slow final pitstop Vettel still salvaged eighth at the finish after a daring overtake on Haas’ Kevin Magnussen on the last lap of the race, which was won by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

  3. Race winner Max Verstappen dedicates United States Grand Prix win to Dietrich Mateschitz after clinching constructors’ title. has the full details.

    Max Verstappen was glad to see Red Bull clinch the Formula 1 constructors’ title “in style” by winning the United States Grand Prix, dedicating the victory to Dietrich Mateschitz.

    Red Bull founder Mateschitz died on Saturday at the age of 78 following a long battle with illness, sparking an outpouring of tributes from throughout the F1 paddock.

    Verstappen said after qualifying third on Saturday that he wanted to do Mateschitz proud in Sunday’s race as Red Bull bid to clinch its first constructors’ title since 2013.

    Verstappen was comfortable in the lead throughout the first two stints, only for a slow pit stop to drop him back and give Lewis Hamilton the advantage in the fight for victory.

    But Verstappen managed to pass Charles Leclerc and catch Hamilton, overtaking the Mercedes for the lead with seven laps remaining before clinching his 13th victory of the season.

    “It was a tough one,” said Verstappen. “It was all looking good, but then the pit stop was a bit longer than we would have liked, so I had to fight my way forward again. But we gave it everything out there today.

    “Of course it’s a very difficult weekend for us, so this is dedicated to Dietrich, for what he has done for everyone.

    “The only thing we could do today was win, and even though after the pit stop, it was not looking great, I gave it everything out there and pushed to the limit to get back.”

    Verstappen added the win “definitely means a lot to me” given Mateschitz’s role in his F1 career, saying he was “so instrumental.”

    “You really wanted to have a good result today, and this feels amazing,” he said.

    Red Bull wrapped up the constructors’ crown with three races remaining, giving it a sweep of this year’s titles after Verstappen won the drivers’ championship in Japan two weeks ago.

    Ferrari had to outscore Red Bull by 19 points to keep the title fight alive to Mexico, but Red Bull managed to finish first and fourth to extend its lead by 22 points.

    “We had a big chance to win the constructors’ here,” said Verstappen. “Of course, you want to do that in style, and I think we did that today.”

    Verstappen vented his frustration over the radio after the slow pit stop that cost him around nine seconds, having kept Hamilton at bay throughout the first two stints and the two safety car periods.

    The Dutchman made a move on Leclerc to grab third place into Turn 12, having attempted a lunge into Turn 1 earlier in the lap. He was then able to pull a similar move on Hamilton for the lead, but had the Mercedes car filling his mirrors for the next few laps.

    “This is a great track anyway for battling,” he said. “If you pass on a corner, you can come back on the next. It’s really enjoyable to drive here.”

  4. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton will take the team “to the top” when car is ready for Formula 1 title fight. has the full details.

    Lewis Hamilton has sent out a rallying cry to Mercedes and says “when they build the car I will take it to the top” after defeat to Max Verstappen in the US Grand Prix.

    After Verstappen suffered a slow pitstop, it allowed Hamilton to fight his way into the lead of the Austin race, but he couldn’t fend off the Red Bull driver, who pulled off a late overtake to charge to victory.

    Hamilton, who credited Mercedes’ upgrades package delivered this weekend as a key performance gain, acknowledged his disappointment at missing out on a first win of the season but felt it was a clear sign of progress for his team to gain motivation from ahead of its 2023 preparations.

    “What I’ll take from today is that we had good pace, I am still here, and I know that when they build the car, I will take it to the top. We’ve just to keep on working,” Hamilton told Sky Sports.

    “I would like to start to say a big thank you to my team, everyone back at the factory is working so hard and it has been such a trying year for everyone.

    “We came here with upgrades, they worked so hard to bring those upgrades in and it really had an effect so we were closer today. I am really proud of everybody. Sorry, I couldn’t get the win, I gave it absolutely everything.”

    Hamilton felt it was always going to be difficult to defend against Verstappen due to the Red Bull’s superior straightline speed, but still sees his second place and teammate George Russell’s fifth place as good points to hunt down Ferrari for second in the F1 world constructors’ championship.

    Red Bull clinched the F1 world constructors’ title in Austin, while Mercedes closed to 53 points behind Ferrari in second place with three races remaining.

    “We were in the lead and I could see he [Verstappen] was closing a second per lap and I couldn’t really answer it,” Hamilton added.

    “He came from so far back on the straight, I think they are a lot, like 10kph faster than us on the straights, and at the end of the straight our mirrors are vibrating so much that I couldn’t see where he was so it was difficult to defend.

    “I cannot put in words how much it would mean to the team [to be second in the constructors’], especially with everything that is going on and everything that has happened in the last race last year, what happened this year in terms of our car performance and what’s happened with all the news and everything.

    “So to get a win would have been a huge triumph for us all and hugely rewarding.”

  5. Fernando Alonso has received a time penalty after Haas protested his damaged Alpine car on technical grounds following the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix.

    Alonso finished seventh at the Circuit of The Americas on Sunday despite being involved in a big crash with Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll that saw his car briefly go airborne.

    Alonso returned to the pits slowly after the incident, but was able to continue after Alpine fitted a new front wing and fresh tyres. His right rear view mirror was visibly loose, before then falling off his car in the closing stages of the race.

    Haas argued that Alonso’s car was unsafe due to the loose and then missing right-hand mirror, something that was agreed with by the stewards and the FIA’s technical staff.

    FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer said that “a flapping mirror was dangerous and it could come loose and hit another driver causing injury,” making it unsafe. His view was supported by FIA technical chief Nikolas Tombazis.

    The decision was taken to give Alonso a 10-second stop/go penalty after the race, which was converted into a 30-second time penalty, dropping the Spaniard to 15th.

    Sebastian Vettel moves up to seventh, ahead of Haas driver Kevin Magnussen who goes up to eighth, with Yuki Tsunoda taking ninth. Alonso’s Alpine team-mate, Esteban Ocon, moves into the points with 10th.

    It emerged in the hearing that Haas contacted race control twice during the race about Alonso’s loose mirror, and was told that it was being looked into, only for no action to be taken.

    The stewards said in the ruling they were “deeply concerned that Car 14 was not given the black and orange flag, or at least a radio call to rectify the situation, despite the two calls to Race Control by the Haas team.”

    They also rejected Alpine’s argument that examples from Suzuka in 2019 where two cars drove with loose mirrors could be considered precedents, and said it was entirely Alpine’s responsibility to ensure the car was being run in a safe manner.

    Haas also lodged a protest against Sergio Perez’s Red Bull car, but this was thrown out, meaning the Mexican keeps fourth place.

    Haas argued that Perez’s car was unsafe due to the loose front wing endplate, but it emerged Red Bull had contacted Bauer with a picture of the front wing after the incident, and Bauer was satisfied that it was safe to keep running. This was echoed by Tombazis during the hearing.

    Haas lodged the protests after taking issue with the stewards’ decision to throw a black and orange flag against its cars for loose front wing endplates on three occasions this season.

    Magnussen said the lack of a black and orange flag for Perez’s loose front wing endplate following contact with Valtteri Bottas on the opening lap was “bullshit” given the previous action against Haas this year.


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