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F1 qualifying LIVE: Lewis Hamilton goes for pole in Q3 at United States GP – The Independent

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Follow all the reaction to Max Verstappen’s win at the Circuit of the Americas as Red Bull wait anxiously for their cost cap punishment
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Max Verstappen passed Lewis Hamilton with six laps remaining to win a thrilling United States Grand Prix and deny the Mercedes driver his first win of the season.
Verstappen appeared on course to sail to the chequered flag and emulate Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel by taking a record-equalling 13 victories in a single year. But the two-time world champion hit trouble at the Circuit of Americas with his final pit stop when he was left stationary for 11.1 seconds as Red Bull struggled to bolt on his front-left tyre.
Verstappen fell behind Charles Leclerc after his tyre trouble, but he fought his way past the Ferrari driver with 15 laps left to set up a blockbuster finish as Hollywood star Brad Pitt watched the drama unfold from the back of Hamilton’s Mercedes garage.
By lap 50 of 56, the margin stood at only half-a-second as Hamilton’s silver mirrors suddenly became occupied with Verstappen’s blue machine. Verstappen did not waste any time to make his move. On the 190mph charge to Turn 12, the newly crowned double world champion darted into Hamilton’s slipstream before jinking to the left and placing his Red Bull on the centre of the apex.
Hamilton tried to come back at the man, who so controversially denied him a record world crown in Abu Dhabi 10 months ago, but Verstappen held his nerve – despite a number of warnings for exceeding track limits – to take the spoils and deny Hamilton a first win of the season.
An announcement two weeks ago from the FIA found that Red Bull were the only team to go over the budget cap in the 2021 season – the same year Max Verstappen controversially won the driver’s championship.
The sport’s governing body found that Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren, Alpine, AlphaTauri, Alfa Romeo, Williams and Haas had all complied with the rule, Aston Martin were guilty of a procedural breach whilst Red Bull breached the procedural and minor overspend limits.
Red Bull now face a penalty – still to be determined by the FIA. There are reports of negotiations on an Accepted Breach Agreement (ABA) between the FIA and Red Bull, but talks and announcements have been delayed for the time being after the passing of Red Bull co-owner Dietrich Mateschitz.
This is what could happen to the team:
Minor breach = overspend of less than 5%. Penalties could be:
– Public reprimand
– Deduction of Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship points
– Suspension form one of more stages of a competition
– Limitations on ability to conduct aerodynamic or other testing
– Reduction of the cost cap
Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton to the 2021 Drivers Championship by eight points.
A furious Christian Horner admitted he was “shocked and appalled” that McLaren boss Zak Brown accused his team of cheating and said the insinuation has led to children of Red Bull staff being bullied at school.
Horner sat alongside Brown in a fiery press conference supposed on Saturday to preview Sunday’s United States Grand Prix but it centred around the cost cap row which has engulfed Formula One.
Red Bull exceeded last year’s £114million budget cap when they carried Verstappen to his contentious title win over Lewis Hamilton. Although F1’s governing body the FIA is yet to confirm by how much Red Bull overspent, it is understood the figure is £1.8m.
Earlier this week, Brown wrote to FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem and said a financial breach “constitutes cheating”.
“Obviously Zak’s letter is tremendously disappointing,” said Red Bull team principal Horner. “For a fellow competitor to accuse you of cheating, and to accuse you of fraudulent activity is shocking. It is absolutely shocking that another competitor, without the facts or without any knowledge of the details, can be making those kind of accusations.”
Horner sat alongside McLaren CEO Brown in a fiery press conference when the Red Bull boss was asked about the cost cap saga
Red Bull’s punishment for breaking Formula One’s financial rules has been delayed following the death of the team’s co-owner Dietrich Mateschitz. Mateschitz, the Austrian billionaire who founded the fizzy drinks company and played an integral role in Red Bull’s F1 journey, died aged 78 following a long-term illness.
His death was announced before qualifying at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin on Saturday. The grid will pay tribute to Mateschitz in the minutes before the United States Grand Prix – a race which could see Red Bull claim their first constructors’ title since 2013.
A statement from Red Bull ahead of Sunday’s race read: “Following the passing of Mr Mateschitz, all conversations with the FIA around Cost Cap and next steps are on hold until further notice.
“The deadline for agreement has been extended and we expect talks to pick back up middle of the week.”
Red Bull exceeded last year’s £114million budget cap when they carried Max Verstappen to his contentious title win over Lewis Hamilton. Although F1’s governing body the FIA is yet to confirm by how much Red Bull overspent, it is understood the figure is £1.8m.
The team have been offered an Accepted Breach Agreement by the FIA after breaching last season’s cost cap
Lewis Hamilton said his narrow defeat at Sunday’s United States Grand Prix fills him with hope that he can be a winner again. Max Verstappen’s poor pit stop on lap 35 of 56 at the Circuit of the Americas provided Hamilton with the chance to end a losing streak which stretches back to last year’s penultimate round in Saudi Arabia on December 5.
Verstappen trailed Hamilton by as many as seven seconds but after fighting his way past Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc with 15 laps to go, the double world champion moved in on his former Mercedes rival.
With six laps remaining, Hamilton’s silver mirrors were occupied by Verstappen’s fast-approaching Red Bull and on the 190mph approach to Turn 12, the Dutch driver launched a successful attack to deny Hamilton his first victory of the season.
With just three rounds – in Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi – remaining, Hamilton, 37, is running out of time to ensure his record of winning at least one race in each campaign he has driven, remains intact.
The seven-time world champion said: “We came here with upgrades, we closed the gap a little bit and we were so, so close. I did everything I could to try and stay ahead but they were a little bit too quick today. A great strategy from us, and a great race from Red Bull. I am shattered. The car was a handful. It felt amazing to be in the lead. That is something we have been working so hard on as a team through the year.”
Lewis Hamilton insists a win is not far away after narrow defeat at US Grand Prix
Max Verstappen equalled the record for race wins in a Formula One season with Sunday’s victory in Texas.
The Dutchman claimed his 13th win of the year at the United States Grand Prix to match Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel’s record.
Schumacher won 13 races out of 18 in the 2004 season and Vettel 13 of 19 in 2013, with Verstappen matching the latter thanks to Sunday’s success.
His first chance to break the record outright comes in race 20 in Mexico this weekend and with Sao Paulo and Abu Dhabi also to come, he can still get anywhere up to 16 wins this season.
It is notable that he has achieved it with far fewer pole positions than either Vettel or Schumacher, who had nine and eight respectively compared to Verstappen’s five this campaign.
As it stands, Verstappen has won 68.2 per cent of races this season, a mark that would rank equal-fourth all time with Vettel. Should he win all three remaining races to make it 16 out of 22, that 72.7 per cent figure would lift him to second.
Alberto Ascari won six out of eight in 1952 for a record 75 per cent win rate, while Schumacher’s 13 out of 18 equates to 72.2. Jim Clark had the only other 70 per cent season with seven wins out of 10 in 1963.
The Dutchman claimed his 13th win of the year at the United States Grand Prix
Formula One’s governing body, the FIA, has changed its rules after admitting it made a mistake in sending out a crane at the rain-hit Japanese Grand Prix.
French driver Pierre Gaslysaid he could have been killed after he narrowly missed the tractor deployed to recover Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari.
The FIA launched an investigation into the grisly incident – and while it maintained the correct procedures were followed as laid out at the time – the recovery vehicle should not have entered the circuit as Gasly attempted to catch the rest of the pack in safety car conditions.
The FIA concluded that a recovery vehicle will no longer be allowed on the track until all the drivers are grouped behind the safety car.
Gasly’s near miss came eight years after Frenchman Jules Bianchi crashed into a recovery vehicle in Japan. He died from his injuries nine months later.
The FIA also revealed that race director Eduardo Freitas, who took charge of the race in Japan on October 9, will not be used again this year, with Niels Wittich to officiate the remaining four races. Wittich and Freitas were due to rotate the role this year following Michael Masi’s departure.
French driver Gasly said he could have been killed after a close shave with a truck on track
Lewis Hamilton believes the integrity of Formula 1 would be damaged if a team were found to have broken the budget cap – insisting it is “imperative” that any breach is suitably punished.
Red Bull were found to have overspent in the FIA findings, with their punishment yet to be determined. The situation will now progress with Hamilton keen for any wrongdoing to be correctly punished.
“I think it’s imperative, honestly, just for transparency,” the seven-time world champion said before the findings were revealed.
“I think we need to continue to have transparency for the fans, for the integrity of the sport. I don’t really know enough about it. I know obviously there’s lots of conversations that are going on in the background. No one truly knows.”
“There’s different numbers and different things being said here and there, so I was expecting those results to come out yesterday.
“I would like to think that if it’s been delayed it’s because it’s been taken very seriously and I trust that Mohammed [bin Sulayem, FIA president] is taking it seriously and will do what is right for the sport, I hope. I think it would be bad for the sport if action wasn’t taken if there was a breach, but I don’t know if there is so I’ll wait.”
The FIA has delayed its findings into whether any of the grid’s teams have broken the financial rules
Lando Norris believes he could beat Lewis Hamilton if the pair were Formula 1 team-mates in the future.
The McLaren driver, who signed a lucrative new deal with the Woking-based team at the start of the year until 2025, is currently seventh in the 2022 Drivers Standings, 79 points behind Hamilton in sixth.
Hamilton, who is yet to win a race this year in a frustrating year for Mercedes, has a good relationship with compatriot Norris, often praising his driving skills on team radio.
Yet Norris – coming to the end of his fourth season in F1 and 15 years Hamilton’s junior – insists he could beat the seven-time world champion if they were team-mates in the same car.
Ahead of the US Grand Prix, asked the question directly in a video for British GQ, Norris said: “That’s a tough question – I’ve got to say yes.
“By no means would it be easy. Lewis is one of the greatest ever. But if you want to do well, you’ve got to believe you’re better than the rest.”
The McLaren driver backed himself when asked whether he could beat the seven-time world champion in the same car
Martin Brundle insists F1’s budget cap rules need “tightening up” in the wake of Red Bull’s “minor financial breach” as revealed last Monday.
Red Bull, who have won last year’s and this year’s Drivers Championship with Max Verstappen, say they’re “surprised and disappointed” after the FIA found they were guilty of an overspend of the 2021 cost cap.
Their punishment is yet to be determined, with the options ranging from a fine to points deductions. Aston Martin were also found guilty of a procedural breach, as were Red Bull. Yet Sky Sports pundit and ex-F1 driver Brundle believes the 5% overspend margin – when a breach goes from minor to major – is still too much and the rules need to be “rigid.”
“What seems crazy to me is that a minor breach can be up to 5% overspend on the cost cap at 7 million,” he said on Sky’s Any Driven Monday show.
“We know that’s a massive upgrade on a car, maybe even a B-spec for some teams. So that needs tightening up for starters, because what’s the point in having 140 million, whatever the number ends up being, and then having this five percent variance?”
Red Bull were found guilty of a ‘minor financial breach’ but Brundle says the 5% overspend margin is too high
“You need to be realistic, we are much closer now the upgrade worked. We were racing again.
“We understand more now where we went wrong, we can put it down to a single decision last October – we thought we could run the car on the deck but we can’t!
“The pace today was two-tenths off, which is what was missing at the end, but credit to Red Bull – them winning the Constructors title is what they deserve.
“We have a certain advantage in terms of wind-tunnel time. We have 14% more time compared to Red Bull and that should wield them in a bit. It could be a tenth or two if we get the job done well.
“It’s difficult to be friends in the paddock, especially if you’re team-mates. But they’re [Lewis and George] respectful and constructive. Mexico could be a track which was good, would be nice to have a win.
On cost-cap: “We are fighting on track and off track. I feel the discussion should be parked and then next week we see what the FIA comes up with.”
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