United States Grand Prix: Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton share some of the spotlight with Red Bull.


The most recent revision was made on 24 October 2022. a comment in the Formula 1 section, number 646.

After the United States Grand Prix, which featured three outstanding storylines and probably the best race of the season, what should one concentrate on?

After an 11-second pit stop, Max Verstappen overtook his two main competitors and secured the team's first constructors title in nine years. The victory came less than 24 hours after the team had lost its founder and leader.

Lewis Hamilton came as close to winning as he has this year, but ultimately lost to the Verstappen steamroller due to the impending doom.

In a car damaged in a 180 mph crash in which it did a wheelie, smashed back into the ground, and then hit a wall, Fernando Alonso produced one of the drives of the season, one of the races of his long and illustrious career, to finish seventh. He dropped to the back of the field.

Alonso's accomplishments seem unbelievable and impossible just by writing about them. But let's begin with the greatest triumph for Verstappen and Red Bull.

At the most recent race in Japan, the Dutchman successfully defended his second world championship, but ever since, Red Bull has been dogged by accusations that it violated the budget cap the previous season.

Up until an hour before qualifying, that topic ruled the Austin weekend. Then, news of the passing of Red Bull co-owner Dietrich Mateschitz, 78, after a protracted illness, broke.

Verstappen spoke movingly in honor of Mateschitz after qualifying third, and he awoke on race day determined to win in memory of him.

It appeared to be simple until a pit stop issue dropped him to third, behind Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari's Charles Leclerc. However, due to the speed of the Red Bull, he was able to easily fight back past both to get the desired outcome.

Christian Horner, the team's executive director, said: "It was almost as if it had been written for him to come back through the field. And watching us pass Mercedes with five or six laps remaining to win the constructors' world championship, I believe Dietrich would have enjoyed that race quite a bit from above. He would have been ecstatic about the race today. ".

It was simple to lose sight of how far Red Bull had come in the excitement of the moment. Verstappen won the drivers' championship last year, but Mercedes was still named team of the year. But this ends eight years of hegemony.

Because Dietrich is such a huge man and has contributed so much to F1 and both Red Bull Racing and the sport in general, Horner said, "it was very emotional for the whole team when we learned of the news yesterday of Dietrich's passing.".

So, we made a commitment to truly honor him in a way that would make him proud.

Therefore, there were neither black armbands nor a moment of silence. The best way to honor him was through the performance on the circuit, which served as the embodiment of the celebration.

"Even after eight long years, we never gave up and never lost sight of our objectives, which were to reclaim the top spots in both world championships, which we have done.

That is evidence of the guiding spirit that permeates Red Bull as a whole, as he personified. ".

Many in F1 fear that this year will mark the beginning of Red Bull's reign of dominance, but Horner said it was impossible to predict that at this point. He did, however, categorically rule out the possibility that Red Bull's stance would change as a result of Mateschitz's departure.

In order to design an internal engine for the new regulations that will take effect in 2026, Horner claimed that Mateschitz was essential to the plan for creating their own factory department.

As Horner put it, "the future is decided.". "He's laid a very solid foundation for the future, and Red Bull's entry as a power-unit manufacturer in 2026 was the final piece of our jigsaw puzzle.

"He had the vision to make that possible, and like we did with the chassis, we will bring that same spirit, his spirit, into the future engine company. ".

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff dared to dream for a fleeting moment that this might be the day the former champions finally win a race this season as Verstappen's car sat up on its jacks in the pits and 11 arduous seconds passed while the mechanics struggled with a broken wheel gun on the left front.

Verstappen fell behind Leclerc as a result of the delay, giving Hamilton the lead. Verstappen, a seven-time champion, may just be able to hang on if the Ferrari can keep the Red Bull at bay for a while and Hamilton's hard tyres last longer than those of Verstappen.

Although Hamilton gave it his all, it was insufficient. After overtaking Leclerc, Verstappen struggled to gain ground in the early laps because his tyres had become overheated.

But as soon as he reduced their body temperatures, he began to reel Hamilton in. The Red Bull and mediums were both quicker, and Verstappen benefited from the Mercedes' unpredictable nature.

Hamilton made mistakes that cost him 0.7secs as a result of three wild moments in wind gusts over the course of two laps—two at Turn 12 and one at Turn 1. Verstappen soon caught up to him. The Red Bull's cruising speed took care of the rest.

He stopped for 11 seconds, and Charles was in front of him, according to Hamilton. That merely demonstrates his quickness. That is some serious speed to get past Charles, make up the six seconds, and pull three seconds ahead of me. ".

The question of whether Hamilton thinks he can maintain his remarkable record of winning a race every season of his career has been posed to him all year, and it was asked of him once more on Sunday. Hamilton started the race third as a result of grid penalties for Leclerc and Red Bull's Sergio Perez.

We must be realistic, he said. "The Red Bull car has been by far the fastest car all year, and it still is. Because of our dependability, we are in the position we are. A different race would have been present if Charles and Perez had been there. We were supposed to be in the third row.

"Starting third and fighting was great, but they were ahead of us all weekend and will be for the following three races due to lack of true pace.

Therefore, it is highly unlikely that we will have the turn speed to compete with them unless something unexpected happens to all of them. However, we'll give it our all. ".

Sebastian Vettel was named driver of the day by Formula 1 fans, and he undoubtedly drove a good race that culminated in a daring pass on Kevin Magnussen's Haas on the final lap around the outside of a sharp turn. Not bad for a man who will stop competing after three races.

But how it missed Alonso is a puzzle.

The Spaniard, another engine penalty victim, started the race in 14th place, moved up to eighth place after a crash that nearly put him on the airport's radar, stopped for a new front wing, dropped to the back, and fought his way up to sixth place in a damaged car before being passed by Lando Norris' McLaren on the final lap due to its fresher tires.

This author and Alonso returned to the Alpine area of the paddock together right after the race.

I questioned, "How did you do that?".

He smiled and said, "I don't know.

Alonso collided with Lance Stroll of Aston Martin, who will be his teammate the following year, on lap 22 while attempting to pass. This was the first lap following the safety-car period.

His vehicle reared up on two wheels before crashing down once more and striking the wall.

It wasn't nice, Alonso said. "When you are in the air, you are not aware of where you are on the track, and I thought that I was much more on the left, and obviously if you catch the lateral fence, the metallic one, you spin in the air and do a 360.

IndyCar has a high rate of these dangerous accidents, which are common. As a result, I assumed I would end up on that fence.

"When the car landed on the track, I reasoned that everything was safe; the car would undoubtedly be damaged, but that is how things are. We would retire the car, so I made a slow descent to the pit.

"I was taken aback when they sent me out after changing the front wing and tires. They will call me in the next lap or whatever, I responded, adding that it was just a test. ' .

"But no, everything looked fine when they checked the car visually. So we carried on.

"The second bad news was that we had 32 laps remaining with that set of tyres, and I honestly believed we wouldn't make it. But finishing P7 with a car that broke down in the middle of the race and us coming in last was a smart move on the part of the team.

"We persevered, and that is ingrained in who we are. ".

The car's damaged right-hand mirror that came off a few laps later prompted a protest from Haas. Other broken aerodynamic components included those on the floor and front wheel drum that were primarily the result of front wing debris. It led to a penalty that removed him from the points, but that shouldn't take away from how remarkable what he did.

Alonso has a history of eking out performances from cars that aren't operating at their best, and this one is by no means his first.

The most dramatic of several instances occurred in Azerbaijan in 2018, when he miraculously returned to the pits with only one working tyre after dragging his car around one of the season's longest laps following a crash on the second corner.

He climbed up from the back to finish seventh, passing his teammate en route, just as he did on Sunday in Austin, despite the car's floor missing a sizable portion.

In these situations, Alonso's superhuman adaptability—his ability to alter his driving style to make up for a car's flaws—comes to the fore.

According to Alonso, at first it seemed like the car was turning more to the left than the right. "When I emerged from the pit, I had that impression.

"They asked me if the car felt okay, and I replied, "The car is very good on the left corners and quite bad on the right corners. But as the laps went on, it became more and more normal, so I'm not so sure about that statement anymore. ".

When he looked back on this drive, how did he imagine himself?

I believe this and Baku 2018 are very similar, he said. "It is a car that should be retired, but we don't give up, and eventually you finish again in the points (positions), and it surprises everyone. ".

These remarks have been closed.

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