An action packed race saw Red Bull win the constructor’s championship
Summary of the race
Carlos Sainz started on pole, but his race wouldn’t last long. He lost his place to Max Verstappen and spun. He got hit by George Russell who got a five second time penalty. He ended up retiring due to a water leak near the radiator. Lance Stroll was up in 3rd and Sebastian Vettel in 5th. However, Russell went into 3rd on lap 5. Sergio Perez had some damage so his front wing end plate was gone. Charles Leclerc finally passed Vettel to become 6th on lap 13.
Valterri Bottas spun on lap 18 and was beached onto gravel. This led to a safety car, which allowed Leclerc, Vettel, both Alpine and Haas drivers to pit. It ended on lap 22. Fernando Alonso flew into the air after a collision with Stroll, somewhat doing a wheelie. Alonso went into the back of Stroll who moved too late. The safety car was back soon after. Alonso pitted, but Stroll retired with too much damage. It ended on lap 26.
Lando Norris picked up some debris on the front left wing from the crash, but carried on. Leclerc tried to overtake Perez on lap 29, but failed and ran off track. He managed to do it on lap 30 with a swift move. Pierre Gasly got a five second time penalty for being more than 10 car lengths behind the safety car.
Verstappen and Leclerc both pitted on lap 36. It was a very slow pit stop for Verstappen with problems with the front left tire, so Leclerc ended up in front of him. Verstappen overtook Leclerc, but he took it right back. Verstappen overtook him later on the straight. This provided some excellent action for viewers.
Vettel led the race for a while, but pitted lap 42 and had a very slow pit stop. Nicholas Latifi got a five second time penalty for forcing Mick Schumacher off track. Alonso’s right hand mirror flew off, but his car managed to finish the race. Lewis Hamilton held back Verstappen, but the overtake happened on lap 50. Yuki Tsunoda and Alex Albon battled for 10th, switching back and forth, but Tsunoda came out on top.
Norris overtook Alonso on the last lap to finish in 7th. Vettel overtook Kevin Magnussen on last lap to be 8th, showing his feisty driving even though he’s retiring. Schumacher got a five second time penalty for track limits. Russell got the fastest lap due to a late pit stop. In the end, Red Bull won the constructors championship with Verstappen winning another race. Hamilton was 2nd and Leclerc was 3rd. The driver of the day was Sebastian Vettel.
I would give this race a 9/10 because of the constant overtakes and battles up and down the field. There were also strategy errors in the form of slow pit stops that shook up the field. I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen at most points in the race showing how exciting it was constantly. This has definitely become one of my top three races this season.
Red Bull had a great race with another Verstappen victory, making him seem unstoppable. They had a rare strategy error with a slow pit stop for Verstappen, so I’m sure they felt a bit embarrassed when that happened. Winning the constructors championship was an impressive achievement for the team, and they can only hope Perez finishes 2nd in the championship, which has never happened in the team’s history.
Ferrari had a very unfortunate beginning with Sainz’s race ending on the first corner of the first lap. This similarly happened in Imola, this bad luck following him throughout. Other than that Leclerc had a good race with another consecutive podium finish to bring home the only points for the team. I especially enjoyed his overtake on Verstappen which showed his skill and intelligence with his moves.
Mercedes had a pretty great weekend with Hamilton on the podium. He led the race for a while when Vettel finally boxed for new tires, which felt like a rare occurrence this year. It felt like a flashback to the early 2010s when both drivers were fighting for championships. Russell managed to finish in the top five again and got the fastest lap, a strategy decision at the end to take away a point from Red Bull.
McLaren had an average race result with Norris finishing in 6th, the best of the rest and Ricciardo finishing in 16th. It was a shame not to see Ricciardo perform better considering he sees Austin as his 2nd home. His love for this race was evident when he entered the paddock on Thursday on a horse, bringing some excitement to media day.
Alpine had a brilliant recovery drive after Alonso’s collision with Stroll. How he managed to finish in 7th is quite unbelievable. Also his close finish at the end with Vettel made me reminiscent of the 2012 season where Alonso with Ferrari finished second behind Vettel with Red Bull, only 3 points between them. After the race Alonso was penalised for driving in an unsafe car as his mirror flew off in the race, but this was later revoked by the FIA and his points remained.
Williams didn’t have a great race weekend with neither car finishing in the points. At least F2 driver Logan Sargeant got to test the car he will be racing next year, provided he gets enough super licence points in the final race of the year in Abu Dhabi. Haas had a surprisingly alright home race with Magnussen finishing 9th and bringing home a couple points for the team. His super long stint on his tires was the right strategy for the team, so luckily a puncture didn’t mess up his race. Haas’ protest of Alonso’s result backfired on them, but the inconsistency of the FIA is evident in the fact that Magnussen had been forced to change parts on his car three times as it was deemed unsafe.
Alfa Romeo had a bad race with no points for the team and Bottas’ mistake that resulted in a retirement. Aston Martin were on track to have a great race with them being at the front of the pack in the beginning of the race, but it didn’t work out. Stroll’s crash was deemed to be his fault with his three grid place drop for the next race. Vettel was leading the race at one point, but his long pit stop meant he couldn’t recover as many positions as he could have. Lastly, Alpha Tauri had their first point in a while with Tsunoda finishing 10th, but their race was lacklustre with another penalty for Gasly.