6 Winners and 5 Losers from the United States Grand Prix - Who got the crowd on their feet in Austin?
Max Verstappen continued his domination of the 2022 Formula 1 season with another commanding victory at the United States Grand Prix. But while he and his Red Bull team were all smiles, it wasn’t so enjoyable for everyone. We’ve picked out six winners and five losers from Austin’s Circuit of the Americas…
Winners: Red Bull and Max Verstappen
For the first time since 2013, Red Bull can call themselves constructors’ champions, Max Verstappen’s 13th win – which ties the record in a single season – comfortably enough to get the job done.
It was Red Bull’s eighth consecutive victory – one short of their team record set in 2013 and was a fine tribute to owner Dietrich Mateschitz, who passed away this weekend aged 78.
Loser: Carlos Sainz
Carlos Sainz cut a disconsolate figure in the TV pen after the race, the Spaniard suffering a hit by George Russell on the first lap that forced his retirement. The pole-sitter has now managed just one lap in the last two races.
His hopes of fighting for P2 in the drivers’ championship look all but over, with the Ferrari racer fifth just four points clear of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.
Winner: Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton described his performance in Austin as his best of the season, the Mercedes driver leading the race until six laps to go.
In crossing the line second, he secured his first podium since the Hungarian Grand Prix (before the summer break) to maintain his record of finishing in the top-four in every F1 race at Austin.
Loser: George Russell
While Hamilton starred, his Mercedes team mate George Russell had a frustrating afternoon after he accepted blame for tipping Sainz into a spin at the start.
The damage sustained made the car difficult to drive thereafter and while he pitted late on to take soft tyres and ultimately secure the fastest lap of the race, it was scant consolation.
Winner: Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel has been on a fine run of form in recent races and that continued into Austin, with the four-time world champion leading the 3,500th lap of his F1 career on Sunday.
He was on course for a fine P6, but a slow stop dropped him out of the top 10. The German then recovered well to fight back through the field and boldly pass Kevin Magnussen on the final lap to snatch eighth, which became seventh thanks to Alonso's penalty.
Losers: Alfa Romeo
There were reasons to be cheerful for Alfa Romeo during the Austin weekend, a second successive upgrade – this time to the floor – allowing them to fight for Q3 again.
However, a mistake from Valtteri Bottas saw him spin out of the race while Zhou Guanyu couldn’t recover from grid penalties for an engine change to fight for points. They have now gone three races without scoring.
Winner: Kevin Magnussen
Kevin Magnussen made a one-stop strategy work to end a run of seven races without points (the longest streak of any team) with P8.
It was only the second time Haas have scored points in their home race, on a weekend where they announced a significant title sponsorship deal for 2023.
Loser: Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo was at a loss to explain why he was so far off the pace in Sunday’s race, the Australian crossing the line 16th – over 36 seconds adrift of McLaren team mate Lando Norris in a race where there were two Safety Cars to neutralise the field.
The Australian has now scored just once in the last six Grands Prix, leaving him on 29 points, 80 adrift of Norris in the drivers’ championship.
Winner: Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda’s solid drive to 10th ended a run of 13 races without a point (the longest streak for any driver) for the Japanese racer.
It was AlphaTauri’s fourth points finish in six races, however they still trail Haas by two points in the fight for P8 in the constructors’ championship.
Loser: Pierre Gasly
It looked like Pierre Gasly was on course for a solid points finish, the Frenchman running comfortably inside the top 10.
However, a five-second time penalty for dropping more than 10 car lengths behind the Safety Car (with a penalty points sanction that moves him to nine) was compounded by a 10-second punishment for failing to serve the initial penalty properly and that dropped him well down the classification.
Winner: Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc recovered from a 10-place grid penalty for engine component changes – which meant he started 12th – to secure a brilliant podium.
That was his fifth rostrum in a row – a new personal record - and his first ever appearance on the podium in Austin. The points haul moved him back into second in the drivers’ championship, two points clear of Sergio Perez.