Max Verstappen: ‘Dietrich Mateschitz would have loved US GP victory’

Sam Cooper
Max Verstappen lifting the winner's trophy. Austin, October 2022.

Max Verstappen has said the United States Grand Prix was the kind of race that the late Dietrich Mateschitz “would have loved to seen.”

The Red Bull driver helped secure the team’s first Constructors’ Championship since 2013 with his win in Austin, overcoming a disastrous pit stop to beat Lewis Hamilton over the line.

It has been a difficult weekend for those involved with Red Bull having first had to answer questions in relation to their alleged cost cap breach before news came through ahead of qualifying that Red Bull co-founder Mateschitz had passed away at the age of 78.

Driving for the first time since his second World Championship was secured, Verstappen overtook pole-sitter Carlos Sainz going into the first corner and looked imperious from that moment onwards.

Having twice seen his lead cut due to the deployment of the Safety Car, Verstappen’s biggest threat to his record-equalling 13th win this season actually came from a misfiring wheel gun as his team struggled to remove his front left.

The slow pit-stop meant Verstappen emerged behind not only Hamilton but also Charles Leclerc. However the speed of the Red Bull allowed the Dutchman to overtake the pair with relative ease.

Max Verstappen answers questions in Austin paddock. Texas, October 2022

Speaking to F1.com after the race, Verstappen reflected on a challenging weekend for the team and said that the race was the kind of grand prix that Mateschitz, who had a passion for motorsports, “would have loved to seen.”

“It’s been a tough weekend for us and that’s why we really wanted to do well today,” the 25-year-old said. “It was all looking great up until that pitstop and then we had to work for it a little bit harder than we would have liked.

“But luckily everything worked out, we got back into the lead with a few laps ago. This is I think is a typical race Dietrich would have loved to seen.”

Having gone one better than last season by achieving both world titles, Verstappen said they were “extremely proud” to confirm the Constructors’ Championship having built an insurmountable lead over Ferrari.

“It already looked great during the race but it’s even better by actually also winning the race. We are extremely proud of achieving that.”

Verstappen is one win away from breaking the record number of victories in a single season having equalled the tally of Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel of 13 with his win in Austin.