United States GP 2022 preview: Red Bull hopes to seal title in Austin

F1 commences its American three-round tour this weekend with the United States F1 GP 2022 and nineteenth round of the season at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. 

After conquering his second consecutive crown a fortnight ago in Japan, Max Verstappen and Red Bull could have another chance to celebrate this Sunday. Relieved of all pressure, the Dutchman driver will seek to continue making Premier Class history.

At a personal level, he can pursue new records, and as a member of Red Bull, he will be fighting to clinch the Constructors’ title this weekend with the help of teammate Checo Pérez. 

The team from Milton Keynes is eager to silence the controversy regarding their violation of the spending limit, with their first constructors’ world title since 2013, back then with a Renault engine. 

Owing to their 1-2 at Suzuka, they currently lead the standings with 165 points more than Ferrari. Considering that there are still 191 units up for grabs and four races remaining, they need to leave the United States GP with a 147-point lead if they want to secure the crown. 

All odds are in their favour. Even if La Scuderia was to take a 1-2 plus the fastest lap (44 points) and the Dutchman and the Mexican drivers ended in third and fourth places (27 points) the trophy would go to the blues. Put another way, if Red Bull doesn’t lose more than 18 points in Austin, they have won. 

The Italians, on the other hand, must keep a close eye on their rear mirror. At the moment, they are only 67 points ahead of Mercedes, a very precarious hold on a bittersweet second place which the Maranello boys would be more than happy to rob them. 

One place down in the standings, Alpine and McLaren are also engaged in a very close battle for fourth place, a position that they have shared several times over the season. Fernando Alonso’s team now leads the Britons by 13 points. The French, however, have a certain advantage over their rivals considering the performance level of their respective pilots.   

The fight for second place: Pérez vs Leclerc  

Pérez, whose home round is coming up next week, currently defends second place in the drivers’ standings with just one point over Charles Leclerc (253 vs 252). The battle for second place, therefore, concentrates all of the excitement in this final phase of the season. 

After his victory in Singapore and his second place in Japan, the Mexican driver would do anything to take second place. The team of the energy drink, for its part, will also be giving its all in order to have its two drivers take the first and second steps of the final podium. With four appointments remaining, the Austrian squad wants to round up a near-perfect campaign. 

Further down from Pérez and Leclerc, but still in the battle for second are George Russell (Mercedes), 46 points down and Carlos Sainz (Ferrari), 51 points down. Even Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), with 73 points less than the Mexican could, in theory, replicate his 2021 result, although it is unlikely. 

 

Possible new records for Hamilton and Verstappen  

The seven-time champion will also have a personal record to break. Currently, he is the only F1 driver, together with Michael Schumacher, to have had at least one victory every season over fifteen years. If he does take his first win of the season, he would set a new solo record. 

Verstappen, for his part, also has a few records of his own within reach. With twelve victories this year (Saudi Arabia, Emilia-Romagna, Miami, Spain, Azerbaijan, Canada, France, Hungary, BelgiumHolland, Italy & Japan) he is only one away to match the thirteen victories in a single season of Michael Schumacher and his compatriot Sebastien Vettel. He could also break the record for points in one single season.

At this point, Max treasures 365 points compared to the 419 of record-holder Lewis Hamilton. Finally, he could also achieve the record for the greatest point distance with the second qualified, currently held by Vettel when he beat Alonso for the title by 155 points in 2013. At this point, the Dutchman leads Pérez by 113. 

Images of United States F1 GP 2022 Preview: Circuit of the Americas.

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