Verstappen equals win record at US Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen equalled Formula 1's record of 13 Grand Prix victories in a single season, passing Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton to win the United States Grand Prix and ensuring that Red Bull sealed the 2022 Constructors' Championship.

Red Bull Racing's Dutch driver Max Verstappen competes during the Formula One United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, the United States, Oct. 23, 2022. (Photo by Qian Jun/Xinhua)

Starting second on the grid, Verstappen passed Ferrari's Carlos Sainz at the first corner, and was controlling the race from the front until a slow pit stop on Lap 35 dropped him behind Hamilton and Leclerc.

Undaunted, Verstappen got past Leclerc after a good battle on Lap 39, and then reeled in Hamilton before passing the Briton on Lap 50 of 56 to take his 13th win of 2022.

After the race, Verstappen dedicated his win to Red Bull team founder Dietrich Mateschitz, who had passed away on Saturday after a long illness.

"It was a tough one," Verstappen said. "It was all looking good but then the pit stop was a bit longer than we would have liked, so I had to fight my way forward again.

"We gave it everything out there today, and of course it's a very difficult weekend for us, so this one is definitely dedicated to Dietrich.

"We had a big chance to win the Constructors' [Championship] here, and you want to do that in style, and I think we did that today.

"This is a great track for battling. If you pass in one corner, you can come back in the next, and it's really enjoyable to drive here."

Behind Verstappen, Hamilton equalled his best finish of 2022 with second place, while Leclerc took a fine third after having started 12th on the grid, his progress having been aided by two Safety Car deployments.

Verstappen's teammate Sergio Perez took fourth despite driving most of the race with a damaged front wing, while Hamilton's Mercedes teammate George Russell finished fifth and took the bonus point for Fastest Lap.

Lando Norris took sixth for McLaren, ahead of the Alpine of Fernando Alonso, who recovered to finish second despite falling to the back of the pack after a dramatic mid-race collision with Lance Stroll.

Sebastian Vettel finished eighth for Aston Martin, but the German might well have finished higher were it not for a slow pit stop.

Kevin Magnussen crossed the line ninth for Haas' first points in eight races, and Yuki Tsunoda scored for the first time in 13 Grands Prix with tenth place.

After being overtaken by Verstappen at the start, Sainz was tipped into a spin by Russell and had to retire with damage on Lap 1.

Other retirees were Valtteri Bottas, who spun into the gravel on Lap 18 to bring out the first Safety Car, while Lance Stroll retired after a dramatic collision with Alonso on Lap 22.

Verstappen's win sees him extend his already unassailable championship lead, and the Dutchman now has 391 points. If Verstappen wins one of the remaining three races of 2022, he will break the record for most Grand Prix wins in a single season.

In the battle for second place, Leclerc's third place saw him overtake Perez, with the two now on 267 and 265 points respectively.

In the Constructors' Championship, Red Bull are confirmed as 2022 champions with 656 points. Ferrari are second with 469 points, ahead of Mercedes on 416.

The 20th round of the 2022 F1 World Championship is next weekend's Mexico City Grand Prix.

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