Max Verstappen secures the Constructors’ Cup for Red Bull with a win at the United States Grand Prix

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, competing for the first time since winning his second consecutive F1 World Championship two weeks ago, won the United States Grand Prix at Texas.

In the process, Verstappen secured the Constructors’ Cup for Red Bull for the first time in almost a decade.

The Constructors’ Cup, which is awarded each season to the team or constructor that scores the most points throughout the season based on the results of its two drivers, has been in the hands of Mercedes for almost a decade. Mercedes won its first Constructors’ Cup in 2014, when Lewis Hamilton won his first Drivers’ Championship. That started a string of seven consecutive titles for Hamilton, broken last year by Verstappen.

But even with Verstappen’s world title coming in 2021, Mercedes still won the Constructors’ Cup, thanks to the stints of Hamilton, who finished just eight points behind Verstappen in the final standings, and Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Valtteri. Bottas, who finished third overall.

Red Bull entered the United States Grand Prix with a chance to clinch its first Constructors’ Cup since 2013, and while Red Bull had a few different paths to securing the title, the easiest was either through Verstappen or teammate Sergio Perez. . A win by either driver would take Red Bull to the championship.

Your biggest competition heading into this weekend? Ferrari. Thanks to strong performances this season from both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, Ferrari was still alive in the Constructors’ Cup as the F1 calendar entered its final stretch.

And with Sainz starting from pole in Texas, it looked like it would be a tall order for Red Bull to secure victory early in the race.

But Sainz was unable to complete the first lap.

A collision with Mercedes’ George Russell at the first corner brought Sainz’s day to an end before it really began:

Sainz’s early exit opened the door for Verstappen to take the lead, but the Mercedes drivers were enthusiastic about him from the start.

On lap 13, the leading three, Verstappen, Hamilton and Russell, made their initial stops on pit road. Russell was forced to endure a five-second penalty, issued after causing Sainz’s crash on the first lap, and the leading three retired in different positions, as Verstappen was second, Hamilton sixth and Russell eighth. .

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Two more incidents shook the field. On lap 19, Bottas, perhaps dealing with some gusts of wind, lost the rear of his car and ended up in the gravel. That prompted the safety car, allowing a pair of drivers, Aston Martin’s Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel, to pit. Then, on the lap 21 restart, Alpine’s Fernando Alonso and Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll joined up. Alonso was able to fight the spin and stay in the race, but Stroll’s day was over.

How Alonso was able to stay in the race is incredible:

The race eventually restarted on lap 26, with Verstappen in the lead, but the Red Bull driver had a bad break as he pitted on lap 36, but the stop was slow, giving his main competitors including Hamilton, an opportunity to capitalize. With 13 laps to go, Hamilton was in the lead, with Verstappen more than three seconds behind him in second, followed by Leclerc and Pérez. Hamilton’s teammate Russell rounded out the top five:

But Verstappen was closing in fast, and by lap 49 he had closed within a second of Hamilton, allowing him to enable his car’s “drag reduction system”. With DRS enabled, Verstappen continued to close in, and finally, on lap 50, he took the lead:

Hamilton tried to close the gap in the closing laps, but Verstappen was able to stop him, securing his 13th win of the season and the title for Red Bull:

The victory carried additional meaning for Red Bull as the team dealt with the news of the passing of Dietrich Mateschitz, co-founder of Red Bull and founder and owner of the Red Bull Formula One racing team. Before the race, Mateschitz was remembered:

And after the victory, Verstappen paid tribute to “Didi”:

Beyond securing the Contractors Cup for Red Bull, Verstappen’s victory put him in the thin air of F1. The win, his 13th of the season, tied him with Vettel and Michael Schumacher for the most wins in a single season. Vettel won 13 Grands Prix in 2013, when he won his fourth consecutive F1 title, while Schumacher won 13 races in 2004. Perhaps most impressive is the fact that Schumacher won 13 of the 18 races that season, winning a whopping 72% of the time.

a brand that still stands.

However, Verstappen still has three races left, the Mexican Grand Prix, the Brazilian Grand Prix and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Verstappen won both the Mexican Grand Prix and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last season and finished second to Hamilton in Brazil a year ago.

So Verstappen’s eyes are now probably on winning his 14th race of the season, leaving him at the top of F1 history.

Merry

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