RedBull do the 2022 Double after Verstappen Recovers from Slow Pitstop

Verstappen makes it a double championship win for RedBull in 2022 after putting in a great recovery drive when he had a slow second pit stop. Hamilton finished P2 after leading the race for several laps before being inevitability overtaken by the frustrated and incredible quick Verstappen.

After penalties were applied Sainz still started on pole, but Verstappen was alongside him with a second-row lockout for Mercedes. Leclerc and Perez would have to make their way through the pack if they wanted to have a chance at a podium.

Russell was given a 5-second time penalty for the turn one incident with Sainz. Image courtesy of Mercedes F1 Media

A great start from Verstappen to take the lead on the inside of turn one which proved to be all-important as Sainz collides with Russell who was on the inside of Hamilton of the line. Russell locked up into turn one as Sainz came back across the track, spinning the Ferrari and meaning he had to retire the car with a water leak.

With the change up front, this meant that coming out of the first corner Stroll ended up in P3 between the Mercedes. The Canadian had a brilliant start from P5 and capitalised on the drama for the pole man. We were then back to 2021 with Verstappen leading Hamilton, Stroll, Russell, and Vettel in P5, who was making the most of the Aston Martin pace this weekend.

By lap 10 however, Perez and Leclerc were back up with the leading pack. Vettel was under threat from the Ferrari while Perez made short work of the Aston Martin pair to be in P4 behind Russell. However, the Mexican had picked up damage from a lap one incident, so his front wing was compromised.

As drivers came into the pits to change tyres most were opting for the hard tyres. Bottas was yet to pit when, on lap 18, he spun on the exit of turn 19 and ended up in the gravel pointing in the wrong direction. This brought out the safety car and gave Leclerc a cheap pit stop bringing him right back into the mix for the lead.

Safety Car deployed. Image courtesy of Pirelli F1 Media

Verstappen went early on the restart, but Hamilton went with him leaving Perez behind. By the time they got to the start-finish line, there were gaps forming at the front while battles ensued behind them.

Out of turn, one Alonso was gaining on Stroll at a rapid pace. Alonso moved towards the inside on the run down to turn two, but Stroll put on a very late defensive move. Alonso couldn’t avoid the rear right corner of the Aston, lifting the front of the Alpine in the air and having an extremely high-speed crash with debris spread everywhere.

Both drivers were ok with Alpine able to put new tyres and a front wing on Alonso’s car so he could carry on. Stroll’s car was very second-hand and therefore brought out the safety car again while they recovered the stricken vehicle.

At the second safety car restart, everyone got away well while Ocon and Magnussen were side by side into turn one. Ocon coming out on top in that battle. Perez was able to keep ahead of Leclerc but just a few laps later Leclerc was on the tail of the RedBull.

Lap 30, and Leclerc used DRS to get alongside Perez down the back straight but couldn’t slow down in time for the corner and went wide. One lap later the Ferrari had another go, this time using the inside line to put a late lunging move on Perez which the Monaquase made stick.

Redbull brought Verstappen in for his second stop on lap 16 but it was slow as there was an issue with the front left wheel gun. To make matters worse for RedBull, Ferrari had brought in Leclerc and managed to get him out in front of Verstappen. This was now a fight back to the front for the current world champion.

Three laps later Verstappen had closed the gap to Leclerc meaning he was able to make a move down the inside of turn one. Leclerc used the switch back though to hang on to the P2. However, coming down the back straight Verstappen still had DRS and this time made a clinical move to take P2 from Ferrari and start to close the gap on Hamilton in the lead.

Hamilton leads the rapid RedBull. Image courtesy of Mercedes F1 Media

With 10 laps to go, every Mercedes and Hamilton fan was on the edge of their seats as Verstappen ever so slightly closes the gap each lap. It appeared to start with that the 3.5-second gap may be enough, with the drivers exchanging equal lap times each lap.

Despite this Verstappen was able to gain ground on the Mercedes and used DRS to take Hamilton into turn one with six laps to go. We will have to wait for the final few rounds to see if Hamilton can keep his record of winning in every F1 season he has competed in.

Just when we thought the drama was over Track limit warnings began to appear for Verstappen. He was given a black-and-white flag with 4 laps to go meaning all Hamilton had to do was stay within five seconds of Verstappen if he got a penalty. Hamilton himself then got a black and white flag trying to keep up with the RedBull so he decided to back off and settle for P2.

Winning the race for RedBull means it is mathematically impossible for another team to catch them in the constructors. With Sainz out early, however, this was almost sealed by the end of lap one. The cost cap debate still looms over RedBull, but to win the double is a fitting tribute to their founder Dietrich Mateschitz.

A Third Career Pole for Sainz on a Sad Day for RedBull

We started today off on a sad note with the news, which broke an hour before qualifying, that RedBull co-owner Dietrich Mateschitz had passed away at the age of 78. His passion for motorsport sparked the events which have led to successful teams not just in Formula 1 but in motorsport series across the world.

Nevertheless, the cars headed out on track for the US Grand Prix qualifying.

Sainz showed his pace all the way through qualifying. Image courtesy of Pirelli F1 Media

After the first few laps of Q1, the Ferraris were on top with Sainz ahead of his teammate. This pace from the Spaniard would be crucial because it was confirmed that Leclerc will take a 10-place grid penalty for engine parts and turbocharger. Mercedes looked very much in the mix with Hamilton splitting the RedBulls and Russell not too far behind.

As they came across the line at the end Ricciardo could only make it to P13 which wasn’t good enough to keep him out of the drop zone while his teammate made it into Q2 in P8. Another shock early exit was Ocon who ended up P18 after not being able to put a good lap together.

It was not a great session for Haas at their home race, as they join Ocon and Ricciardo with both cars dropping out in Q1. Magnussen qualified P16 while Schumacher took a small pirouette on his way to the line meaning he couldn’t improve his time and finished P19, ahead of Latifi.

Q2 began with the usual top six topped by Leclerc. Alonso continued his run of form by being the best of the rest in P7 but was still three-tenths behind Hamilton, in P6. The two-time champion was ahead of both Alfa’s, who were having a very good qualifying.

The one in trouble was Norris, who was in P10 and on the edge for most of Q2. The Mclaren driver still didn’t match the pace of the drivers around him and ended up in P11. He wasn’t out though because Zhou’s final lap, which had put the Chinese driver in the top 10, was deleted due to track limits. This meant Norris was saved and Zhou was pushed back down to P14.

Stroll making it into Q3. Image courtesy of Aston Martin F1 Media

Aston Martin appeared to be continuing their solid practice performances by being well clear of the drop zone in Q1. But by Q2 the pace was closer than the team would like and only Stroll made it to the top 10 shootout with Vettel qualifying in P12.

Also joining Vettel and Zhou were Tsunoda, Albon and Gasly, who was not very happy with his car over the radio on his way into the pits.

The first runs in Q3 continued with the Ferrari’s on ahead but this time Hamilton put his Mercedes ahead of both RedBulls which would have effectively put him on the front row with penalties applied. His teammate sat down in P6 with Stroll in P7, ahead of Alonso, Norris and Bottas.

Hamilton showing pace and being right in the mix for Q3. Image courtesy of Mercedes F1 Media

Stroll stayed out for a clear track while the others had their normal break before heading back out on track for their final runs. With Hamilton right in the mix, Verstappen improving in pace and the Ferrari’s fastest so far, it was going to be a tight battle for pole.

Hamilton had made sure he was last to cross the line, but he had a poor first sector where everyone else was improving. Sainz was looking quick throughout the session and took the provisional pole, ahead of his teammate just waiting for Verstappen to cross the line.

The 2022 world champion got a bad exit out of the final corner meaning he couldn’t beat either Ferrari and ended up qualifying in P3. However, with Leclerc’s penalty, Verstappen will start on the front row alongside Sainz.

Perez, Alonso and Zhou also carry five-place grid penalties each meaning the starting grid will be different to the end of qualifying but tomorrow’s race is set up to be a great one.

F1 Race Weekend Preview: America 2.0

Rain-soaked confusion in Suzuka eventually led to Max Verstappen achieving his second World Drivers Championship. We move on to the states where we are back at COTA which will hopefully provide us with another crowd-pleaser.

Championship battles are not over yet

2022 F1 World Drivers Champion Max Verstappen. Image courtesy of RedBull Content Pool

The race to first in the driver’s championship may be over, but second is still very much up for grabs. A P2 in Japan for Perez meant he moved back ahead of Leclerc by only one point heading into this weekend. With four rounds left, the fight for vice-champion could go down to the wire with both drivers wanting to finish best of the rest, and maybe save some dignity for Leclerc, who had been Verstappen’s main rival.

For the teams, however, their main focus is always the constructors as this is where the prize money is handed out. It looks inevitable that Mercedes will have their dominant run in the V6-turbo era ended as they are the only team to win the constructors championship in this period.

RedBull could complete the double at the end of the US Grand Prix if they win the race or are 147 points clear of Ferrari by the end of the weekend. This would be the first time RedBull would have won both championships in the same year since 2013 when Vettel became a four-time world champion.

The Cost Cap issue rolls on

After a delay in the announcement, RedBull’s celebrations were cut short as the FIA finally confirmed they and Aston Martin had breached the 2021 cost cap. RedBull had a “minor” infringement which is a less than 5% breach, whilst Aston Martin is reported to have an even smaller breach.

There have been official penalties from the FIA, but it is expected that this will be the main talking point on everyone’s lips, especially if RedBull do manage to wrap up the constructor’s title at the end of the weekend.

RedBull celebrating in Japan before the announcement. Image courtesy of RedBull Content Pool

American Drivers back in F1

Logan Sargeant, Charouz (Rudy Carezzevoli, Getty Images / FIA F3)

Even if it is only for FP1, the young driver of Logan Sargeant will get his chance to take to the track in the Williams while Alex Palou is getting his shot in the McLaren which will give plenty of American fans something to cheer about.

Sargeant has been linked with the Williams seat available with Latifi departing and De Vries signing with Alpha Tauri. He is currently third in the standings in F2 and had an impressive season in 2021 which has led to this opportunity. He will want to impress the bosses at Williams to prove he is ready for the next step in his career.


It’s a late one for those in the UK. Qualifying starts on Saturday at 11pm BST and the race at 8pm BST on Sunday.

W Series Preview: Double-header in Texas

W Series has made its way to the circuit of the Americas in Texas for the last 2 rounds of the season. Due to some logistical issues the finale to the 2021 season has been moved to this Sunday making it a double header after a 7 week break.

COTA is a 3.4km circuit with a 11% gradient on the run up to turn 1. Only 2 of the 18 drivers have driven around the track. American driver Sabre Cook has previously raced 3 times there and Ayla Agren moved to Houston, Texas in 2012 so lives only 150 miles from the circuit and has driven around it but never competed there.

Sabré Cook at Misano W Series Media)

For the month of October W Series has gone pink highlighting Breast Cancer Awareness month. The cars will have updated liveries and the drivers will were pink gloves and pink racing boots to support the campaign. It’s a great way for the series to make a statement for their first races outside of Europe.

The final countdown

Going into the finale it is all tied up at the top with both Alice Powell and Jamie Chadwick both on 109 points. Emma Kimiläinen is still in the race for the top because she is only 34 points behind with 50 points available over the weekend. The prize for winning the series is $500,000 and 15 FIA super license points.

For Powell and Chadwick this has been a battle all season and whoever is the most consistent over the weekend will most likely take the 2021 championship. Alice Powell currently sits on top having won 3 races compared to Chadwick’s 2 this season. This has been an exciting battle all the way through the season.

Jamie Chadwick, Veloce (Courtesy of W Series Racing)

There will be fighting all the way through the field though with the top 8 getting an automatic place in the 2022 W Series season. This will be a chance for all the drivers as only 22 points separates 8th to last in the championship. Irina Sidorkova is currently 7th in the standings but unfortunately will not be able to defend her position due to travel restriction so Caitlin Wood will be taking her seat to get her opportunity to get into the top 8.

US Grand Prix Preview: Hamilton’s American dream to finally become reality

Having missed out on winning a dream championship in the ultimate sporting holy grail last year, Lewis Hamilton has a chance to realise this goal 12 months later. He needs just four points this weekend to seal a sixth world championship.

It would make him only the second driver in history to claim six titles, and put him one behind the great Michael Schumacher. What’s more, for the first time in his career he is set to win the championship three years running. He would be one behind Sebastian Vettel for consecutive championships won (2010-2013) and two behind Michael Schumacher (2000-2004).

The stats are both remarkable and stunning. Hamilton is a living legend of the sport right in front of our eyes, but for him, and many others, it is not just about the numbers.

It was evident last year, when Kimi Raikkonen took the win away from Hamilton, that a moment which would have achieved hopes and dreams conceived long ago had escaped Hamilton’s grasp. It was no secret that he would have loved to claim his fifth title at what is considered to be the home of world sport, with some of the most energetic and adoring fans of not just Formula One, but of many others too. To win the championship in the US, like he did in 2015, would be another huge accolade for Hamilton, and it is something that would mean so much to him personally.

His title rival Valtteri Bottas, however, will still be full of belief that he can at least overshadow his team-mate’s inevitable title celebrations with a victory at the 5.5-kilometre-long Circuit of the Americas. While it is almost impossible for him to win the championship from here, Bottas had a positive race in Japan, winning from second on the grid. But a stunning drive from Hamilton in Mexico, out-qualifying Bottas while the Finn’s Mercedes took a huge bite out of the barrier, saw him fend off Sebastian Vettel with a mega second stint to take a well deserved win, and put himself in prime position for the championship this weekend.

2019 Mexican Grand Prix, Sunday – Wolfgang Wilhelm

The Mercedes cars are expected to be challenged well again by Ferrari this year. The two teams been typically evenly matched at this circuit in each of the last two seasons, but Ferrari’s advantage in power this year will leave them hopeful of a victory again as they did last year, and team principal Mattia Binotto’s plans for ‘better race management’ in the last three races of the season may aid them achieve a win in what has turned out to be another heart-breaking season for the Scuderia.

The tricky first sector will certainly help to bring the Red Bulls into play, with Alex Albon’s impressive performances seeing him prove his worth at the Austrian team. He has out-scored Verstappen since they have been team-mates, although this has been down to a few slices of misfortune for the Dutchman, as well as one or two clumsy errors. Red Bull, however, should not be expected to challenge for the win, frustrating for them after a thoroughly wasted opportunity by Verstappen in Mexico.

Coming home this weekend are Haas, but we should not expect a particularly happy home-coming for them in what has been a confusing, tiresome and dire year. Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean are really just looking forward to 2020 now, but the home crowd may just inspire a point or two from the French-Danish partnership which has been tested and strained at various different points of the season.

Though Lewis Hamilton’s partnership with race engineer Peter Bonnington will not return until Brazil, Hamilton has no intention of holding back on the title party this weekend, but Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari have no intention of seeing him stand on the top step on race day.


[Featured image – Ferrari Media]

MotoGP Americas GP Review – Captain America is an Understatement

The Americas Grand Prix – for the fifth consecutive season – went to Marc Marquez, as the Spaniard took his first victory of the season in scorching weather conditions on Sunday afternoon. The Repsol Honda team achieved their first podium of the season and their first double podium since the Catalan Grand Prix last season, with 1st and 3rd. Splitting the two Hondas was Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi, who not only took 2nd and his best ever result at COTA but also the lead of the championship for the first time since Malaysia 2015. 2017 is already looking like a season we will cherish.

As the lights went out, it was formation flying into turn one for Repsol Honda, with Dani Pedrosa leading Marc Marquez through the first few turns. Valentino Rossi was in 3rd with the likes of Jorge Lorenzo moving through from row two to challenge him, taking series leader Maverick Vinales for 4th.

Following all the squabbling, a shock was about to rock COTA. Coming through turn 18, Maverick Vinales crashed out in a shower of sparks, throwing his M1 Yamaha into the Texan dirt for his first DNF of the year. The Spaniard looked like he had been rattled all weekend, following a fallout with teammate Rossi in qualifying and a dual with Marquez for pole position. Either way, he cost me £15 after I backed him to break Marquez’ stranglehold on the circuit.

This promoted reigning double Moto2 champion Johann Zarco to fourth, immediately giving the Frenchman hope for a podium challenge. However, with 15 laps to go, Rossi and Zarco would have their first fallout of the season. After a slight mistake by the 9-time champion at turn one, Zarco got a better run through the fast turn two, before pouncing on Rossi at turn three. Valentino, maintaining the racing line through the turn two and three section, was forced to take evasive action as the Frenchman barged his way in. Not too long after, Rossi was handed a 0.3 time penalty which was to be added on to his time at the end of the session, having gained time on Pedrosa up ahead – although in the eyes of many, it was involuntary course cutting. The incident continued in the post-race press conference, with Valentino saying that “the problem is Zarco”. More on that as the season unwinds.

By this time, Marc Marquez had taken the lead away from Dani Pedrosa and had began to clear off into the distance. Pedrosa did take another stab at retaking the lead at turn 12, but ran wide on exit and allowed Marquez to hold on, which was how it remained to the end.

Further down, there was a big scrap between Iannone, Miller, Petrucci and Lorenzo. Iannone took his best result on the Suzuki thus far with 7th, ahead of Danilo Petrucci who beat Lorenzo and Miller – the Australian starting the year with three top 10 placings.

There was a high number of crashers in the race, with Loris Baz, Sam Lowes, Karel Abraham and Alvaro Bautista all hitting the floor, with Pol Espargaro retiring his KTM, as well as Aleix Espargaro having numerous problems with the Aprilia. Alvaro did remount to gain 1 point.

Cal Crutchlow caught and passed Johann Zarco to take 4th place and remain 5th in the championship after his podium in Argentina. Zarco finished 5th with his joint best finish in the premier class.

The battle for 2nd however was yet to be settled. Valentino Rossi was closing on Dani Pedrosa and in the closing laps, he took the 2nd place on the road. He eventually pulled clear by over two seconds to take second ahead of the former double 250cc champion.

In the end though, Marc prevailed and what a sensational way to kick-start his season too! He’s flying high but as Wayne Rainey once said, “It’s the start of the ground war” when we hit Europe. Jerez is the next round and you can be sure to tune in to see who will be our Spanish Grand Prix winner. Rossi won there last season and will be looking to repeat the feat.

The gap at the top of the championship tree is a mere six points, with Vinales slotting into 2nd. 12 points further back is Marc Marquez and then it’s the first Ducati, in Andrea Dovizioso – already 26 points down on Rossi.

The next race is Jerez and as ever, there will be unrivalled coverage across the weekend, with qualifying, warm-ups and race day commentary on Twitter as well as a shed load of content flying fresh off the press online!

Kiko Giles @MotoGPKiko

©2014-2024 ThePitCrewOnline