2022 United States Grand Prix - Sunday
“Breath-taking battles in Austin with our tyres that were up to the fight”
“With Max Verstappen winning the race and his team clinching another constructors’ championship, we offer our congratulations to Red Bull Racing, obviously along with our condolences for the sad passing of Dietrich Mateschitz. The race today was an intense one, interrupted by two safety cars that helped to reduce tyre degradation – which we nonetheless observed was lower than expected in these warm conditions. Strategy proved to be all-important once again, with Lewis Hamilton attempting to undercut Verstappen, and the race coming down to a breath-taking duel between them. Before, we also saw a great fight between Verstappen and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. The two drivers on different compounds during the final stint was a real point of interest for the huge American crowd; around 440,000 people were treated to a thrilling battle to the finish. Both drivers were pushing to the maximum, but their tyres were certainly up to the fight.”
TYRE TALES: HOW THE RACE WAS WON
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen took the lead at the first corner, having started on the P Zero Yellow medium tyre – the same choice that was made by 16 of the 20 starters. Verstappen pitted for P Zero White hard tyres from the lead and then emerged back in front, shortly after Hamilton made a similar stop. Having survived two safety car restarts with his advantage intact, Verstappen made his second stop for another set of medium tyres 20 laps from the end, dropping behind Hamilton – on the hard tyre for the final stint – after a problem in the pits. Chasing down the Mercedes driver, Verstappen eventually won the race by four seconds after managing his tyres perfectly and sealing the 2022 constructors’ title for Red Bull.
BEST OF THE REST: THE ALTERNATIVE STRATEGY
Haas’s Kevin Magnussen was the highest-placed driver on the grid to start on the hard tyres (from P13) and was the only driver to stop just once, finishing in the points after completing a long 38-lap final stint on the medium tyres. Mercedes driver George Russell was the only driver to stop three times and use the P Zero Red soft tyre, which he fitted two laps from the end to claim an extra championship point for fastest lap.
WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR NEXT
The Mexican Grand Prix next weekend is run back-to-back with Austin, and the FP2 session in Mexico City will again be dedicated to slick tyre testing for 2023. With plenty of data having been collected on the harder prototype compounds at the Circuit of the Americas, the focus switches to the softer compounds in Mexico.