Rate The Race and Driver of The Weekend
Race 5, F1, Crypto.Com USA Grand Prix, 2022.
Miami Internaional Autodrome
Mean Reader Score:N/A Ranked N/A so far this season.
Being the first ever race at this track in F1 we have no previous score to compare it to, so I can confidently say it is the best F1 race ever to have taken place here. However, due to various circumstances no polls were published for this race so we still don’t have a score for this venue.
However it was a race of two parts (possibly three). The first few laps(1-9) were interesting, Laps 10-39 nothing much happened and then Alonso saved the day. He started a train if events (and got himself a five second penalty for his efforts) which led to the last 10 laps being quite good. Alonso hit Gasly, who later hit Norris causing a Virtual Safety Car followed by a Full Safety Car to be deployed. Drivers did (or in the case of Hamilton) did not take advantage of the ‘cheap’ (timewise) chance to pit for fresh tyres. Russell overtook Hamilton for P5, during ‘phase 3’. Verstappen, having taken the lead on L9, in the ‘first phase’ of the race kept Leclerc at bay to win the race and fastest lap, reducing Leclerc’s lead to 104 / 85. Perez lost about 25 HP from his engine due to a parts failure early on and so was not able to take P3 from Sainz (well he did but Sainz took it back again). Bottas was having a great race until he went wide, allowing Hamilton and Russell to pass him: young Mick Schumacher nearly scored his first ever F1 points before he was scuppered by his old mucker Vettel, who spun out of the points and out of the race after a collision with said son of ‘God Himself’, Michael Schumacher (!!!). Albon scored his first ever points in a GP (discounting the one point he won in the Sprint at Imola last time out), Ocon came a reasonable 8th and Lance Stroll doubled his F1 GP points score to 2 by coming home 10th.
Driver of the Weekend: Max Verstappen.
Not surprisingly, there was no coveted ‘Driver of The Weekend’ award, so we went with the F1 Driver of the Day, who was Max Verstappen.
Verstappen didn’t have much practice on day 1 as in FP1 he spun at turn 16 and had to retire early in FP2. He made P3 on FP3 the next day. In qualifying he was in P2 behind Leclerc in Q1 and Q2 and failed to make the front row in Q3, by missing his second flying lap. Starting on P3 didn’t stop him, though. He soon moved into P2 on lap 1, and took the lead at the end of lap 8 going into lap 9. Swapping alternate fastest laps with Leclerc throughout the race, Verstappen pulled away and gave himself enough of a lead to not have to react immediately to Leclerc’s next pit stop.A combination of slow pit stops saw Verstappen ‘comfortably’ in P1 once again when Alonso initiated a chain of events which resulted in a VSC , followed by a full safety car which bunched up the drivers and eroded verstappen’s lead. Not that this deterred Verstappen, he held onto the lead and romped home in P1 with fastest lap to boot! Again he has reduced Leclerc’s lead in the WDC to only 19 points, and Ferrari’s lead to only 6. Well done Max!!
Spain next. Hopefully we’ll be back to ‘normal’ by then so watch this space and get voting!!