United States Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso Steal Part of Red Bull’s Attention
What to think about after a race in the United States that was possibly the greatest of the season, with three fantastic narrative lines? Max Verstappen came back from an 11-second pit break to beat his two main competitors and won the constructors’ title for the first time in nine years for a squad that had lost its leader and inventor less than 24 hours before. Well, we would say if you were lucky to place a bet on his win at secure Australian online casinos, then you would hit a big prize. By the way, betting on some sports is extremely profitable. You need to know them if you are up for some easy-to-get cash.
Lewis Hamilton got as near to a win as he has all year, only to submit to the inevitable and lose to Verstappen’s steamroller in the end. And Fernando Alonso delivered one of the season’s best performances to finish seventh in a vehicle damaged in a 180mph accident in which it performed a wheelie. But first, let’s look at Verstappen and Red Bull’s finest achievement.
‘Dietrich Would Have Loved It’
The Dutchman won his second world title at the final race in Japan, but Red Bull has been immersed in scandal after being found guilty of exceeding the budget restriction last season. That topic dominated the weekend in Austin until an hour before qualifying, when Red Bull co-owner Dietrich Mateschitz died at the age of 78 following a protracted illness. Verstappen spoke movingly in homage to Mateschitz after qualifying third, and he awoke on race morning ready to win in his memory.
It appeared to be a simple task until a pit-stop issue put him to third, behind Hamilton and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. However, due to the speed of the Red Bull, he easily battled back past both to get the desired result. Christian Horner, the team’s manager, stated: “It was almost as if he had been written to return across the field. And I think Dietrich would have liked watching us overtake Mercedes with five or six circuits remaining and win the constructors’ world championship from above. Today, he would be quite proud of that race.”
It was easy to lose sight of Red Bull’s accomplishment in the heat of the moment. Despite the fact that Verstappen won the drivers’ championship last season, Mercedes was named team of the year. This, however, marks the end of eight years of domination.
“When we found out about Dietrich’s demise yesterday, it was really sad for the whole team,” Horner said, “because he’s such a giant of a guy and has done so much not just for Red Bull Racing but also for F1. So we were resolved to go out and truly honor him in a way that he would be proud of. There were no black armbands or minutes of quiet. There was the embodiment of honoring him, and the greatest way to do it was through a performance on the circuit. After eight tough years, we never stopped believing and never lost sight of our ambitions, which were to reclaim the top spot in both world championships, which we have done.”
That is a monument to the spirit he espoused, which flows throughout Red Bull. Is this the start of a new age of Red Bull dominance? Many in F1 believe so, but Horner claims it is hard to forecast right now. He did, however, discount any possibility of Red Bull’s attitude shifting as a result of Mateschitz’s departure. Mateschitz, according to Horner, was essential to the notion of establishing their own factory department to create an in-house engine for the new standards that will take effect in 2026.
“The future has been decided,” Horner stated. “He’s laid a solid framework for the future, and with Red Bull becoming a power-unit maker in 2026, it was the missing piece of our puzzle. He had the foresight to make it happen, and we will take that same spirit, his spirit, into the future engine firm, just like we did with the chassis.”
‘We Must Be Realistic’
As Verstappen’s vehicle lay on jacks in the pits, and 11 long seconds passed while mechanics struggled with a damaged wheel gun on the left front, Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff dared to dream that this may be the day the former champions finally win a race this season. Due to the delay, Hamilton took the lead, with Verstappen trailing Leclerc. If the Ferrari could keep the Red Bull at bay for a little longer, and Hamilton’s hard tyres outlasted Verstappen’s mediums, the seven-time champion could just be able to cling on.
Hamilton gave it his all, but it wasn’t enough. Verstappen gained little distance in the early laps after passing Leclerc because he overheated his tyres. But once he got their temps under control, he began to reel Hamilton in. The mediums were faster, as was the Red Bull, and Verstappen was assisted by the Mercedes’ erratic temperament. Three crazy moments in gusts of wind over two circuits – two at Turn 12 and one at Turn One – lost Hamilton 0.7 seconds. Verstappen was quick on him. The Red Bull’s straight-line speed did the rest.
“He had an 11-second halt and was behind Charles,” Hamilton explained. “That merely goes to illustrate how fast he was. It takes some significant pace to get by Charles, make up the six seconds, and draw three seconds clear of me.”
Hamilton, who started third due to grid penalties for Leclerc and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, has been questioned all year whether he believes he can maintain his remarkable record of winning a race in every season of his career, and he was asked again on Sunday.
“We have to be practical,” he explained. “The Red Bull vehicle has been the fastest car all year and continues to be the fastest car. We got where we are because of our dependability. It would have been a different race if Charles and Perez had been present. We’d have sat in the third row. It was nice to start third and battle, but they were ahead of us all weekend and will remain for the next three races due to actual pace. So, unless something severe happens to all of them, it’s quite doubtful that we’ll be able to keep up with them. But we’re going to give it our all.”
How Did Alonso Accomplish This?
Sebastian Vettel was voted driver of the day by Formula 1 fans, and he clearly drove a fantastic race, culminating in a brave passing move on Kevin Magnussen’s Haas around the outside of a flat-out curve on the final lap. Not bad for a man who is quitting after three races. It’s still a mystery why it didn’t go to Alonso. But this is a reality.