Two weeks after his coronation at Suzuka, in daunting conditions due to the rain, the Dutch double world champion beat the Briton Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), who will wait to clinch his first victory of the season, and the Monegasque Charles Leclerc ( Ferrari).
Teammate of the latter, Carlos Sainz Jr, who started from pole position, retired after a few hectometres, after having missed his start and hit at the first corner by the Briton George Russell (Mercedes).
Verstappen took the opportunity to equal the record of 13 wins in a season, co-owned by Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel. A remarkable performance, nevertheless to be put into perspective because, in their time, the two Germans had fewer races on the calendar (18 and 19 against 22).
The fact remains that the domination of “Super Max” is more than ever overwhelming in this 2022 financial year and it has three more events, in Mexico, Brazil and then Abu Dhabi, to establish a new benchmark.
His victory on the still bumpy Circuit of the Americas, his second in a row, was not easy. If he dominated the debates for a long time, a turning point which occurred on the 36th of the 56 laps came to sprinkle the race with suspense, when his tire change lasted an eternity (11.1 seconds).
When he left the pits, behind Charles Leclerc, who entered just after him but was quicker to leave, the Dutchman, annoyed, launched a bitter “pretty” on the radio, addressed to his technicians.
Down in 5th position, the Dutchman took it twice to overtake the Monegasque. And six laps from the finish, he overtook Hamilton to finally escape, although being exposed to a five-second penalty if he came out of bounds a 4th time.
Its success alone gave Red Bull the 5th constructors’ title in its history, the first since 2013 and 17 years after the first, crowning an almost total domination this season, since the team, based in Milton Keynes in England , now has 15 wins from 19 events, with Ferrari picking up the remains.
Tribute to Mateschitz
One only had to see the eyes filled with tears of his boss Christian Horner, to understand that mixed feelings crossed the stable, orphan of its owner Dietrich Mateschitz, who died on Saturday.
A tribute was also paid, before the race, by the entire paddock to the businessman, who died at 78 years old.
Some 440,000 fans gathered around the Circuit of the Americas, a record.
Proof that the popularity of F1 in the United States is also confirmed in the sphere of celebrities of all kinds, singers and musicians Ed Sheeran, Pharrell Williams, newly retired tennis player Serena Williams, actress Eve Hewson, daughter of U2 singer Bono, roamed the grid before the start, as did former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, responsible for sending sound under the moniker of DJ Diesel after the race.