Formula 1 – Max Verstappen (Red Bull): “We wanted to win in style, we did it”

Max Verstappen can’t get enough. He needs them all! “There are still three chances left”, he reminded his team on the radio on Sunday after his 13th season victory, a record he will now share with Michael Schumacher (2004) and Sebastian Vettel (2013). And if that wasn’t enough, his success automatically handed the 2022 Constructors’ World title to Red Bull. A highlight, 24 hours after the death of Dietrich Mateschitz, the founder and co-owner of the energy drink brand behind the success story of the Austrian team in Formula 1.

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“We want to dedicate this victory to Dietrichhe explained, hot. All we could do was win. After the stops, things weren’t going well but I gave everything to come back. It’s great to win the Constructors’ title here. We wanted to do it in style.”

The same punishment at No. 1 since 2016

“Max Verstappen you are champion, we are champion!a cry Christian Horner to his pilot, on arrival. Thank you Mr Mateschitz for everything you have done for us, for this team. This title is for you.” “This season is sensational. You deserve this title”replied the Dutchman.

Red Bull Racing therefore won both titles for the fifth time in its history and the first since 2013. And once again, nothing or so little seemed able to stop the Milton Keynes team and its driver-king. The latter had managed victorious ascents from 10th and 14th places in Budapest and Spa, and Sunday, Austin was another opportunity to see him at work.

Because it was not easy. We even thought he was in a situation of failure after an impeccable ename. And implacable, since at the start he prolonged the statistical ordeal of the poleman in Austin. Because 2016 remains the last edition where a driver at the head of the grid was able to keep his property.

At Silverstone, he had already played Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) and he was recommended from the start. The Spaniard hit by George Russell (Mercedes), “Super Max” was even able to take charge of operations by fighting against a bit of a common adversary. “It’s very tricky, very windy”, he reported in the 5th round. Then back to the 10th. But without lying, he knew he would be like this since Friday.

“I was angry”

And then, on lap 14, we felt that it was a bit boring on board when his engineer came to the news. “Nothing in particular”, he replied. But from boredom to disaster, there was only one step. Red Bull Racing had yet to experience it with him this year and reminded everyone that a grain of sand could always grip the beautiful machine.

The Dutchman was a comfortable leader when everything came crashing down in an 11.1 pit stop on lap 36 of 56 due to a recalcitrant air gun. “Wonderful !”he launched, on the tone of the irony. “I was angryhe confessed on Canal +. It was an unnecessary mistake. Of course, I know they didn’t do it on purpose. By chance, we were able to come back.” His engineer, Gianpiero Lambiase, then had to calm him down to remobilize him. And as almost always, it worked.

Returned to the track in third position, behind the pre-retired Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) and Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), the reigning double world champion fought with the determination that we know him to pass the German on the 42nd lap, and the Briton eight loops later, throwing himself on the inside under braking at turn 12. Even with “medium” tires facing the Englishman’s “hard” tires, it was not easy, and he took his three jokers for exceeding the authorized track limit to break away, and finish with a five-second lead.

Struggling to sow Hamilton

“It’s been a hectic racehe commented for Canal+. I had a very good start, of course, I had a good rhythm, I was managing my lead. It’s tight, and Mercedes was closer. With our missed stop, we made things more difficult. I came out of the pits behind Charles and destroyed my tires fighting with him. The car was a bit slow, but in the end we got there. With the DRS, I was able to attack, overtake Lewis. The DRS is very powerful here. As soon as I was able to get out of his DRS zone, I was able to escape. But before that, I can’t do it.”

Max Verstappen therefore has a personal objective to fulfill by the end of the season, consisting of winning in Mexico City, Sao Paulo and Abu Dhabi. And a more collective aiming to secure second place in the world drivers’ championship for his teammate Sergio Pérez, who lost it again on Sunday in favor of Charles Leclerc. The question being whether he will support the Mexican until he offers him a success for service rendered. Nothing is less sure.

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