By Robert Haile
Red Bull have won the Constructors Championship for the first time since 2013 after Max Verstappen’s impressive come back win.
The emotional race took place the day after it was announced that the Red Bull and AlphaTauri teams co-founder and owner Dietrich Mateschitz had died.
The record equaling win for Verstappen puts him level on 13 wins in a season with Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher.
Speaking after the race, Red Bull Racing Team Principal, Christian Horner, said: “A very emotional moment, a big moment for the team and for everyone at Red Bull, a tribute to Dietrich for everything he has done for the team, for the company. God bless him.”
At the start Verstappen took the lead as pole setter Carlos Sainz and George Russell clashed into turn one with Sainz retiring due to a water leak as Lewis Hamilton and Lance Stroll took advantage to move into second and third.
Stroll soon dropped down the order as Russell, with a five second penalty, and Sergio Perez over took the Canadian driver to sit in fifth in front of his Aston Martin teammate Vettel.
As the pit stops started Verstappen maintained his lead after pitting with Charles Leclerc and Vettel the only front runners extending their stays when Valtteri Bottas spun into the gravel bring out the first Safety Car of the race.
Leclerc pitted jumping to fourth with Verstappen, Hamilton and Perez ahead of him with Russell, Vettel, Stroll, Pierre Gasly, Fernando Alonso and Lando Norris completing the top ten.
Nothing changed at the front with Verstappen holding the lead but the Safety Car was back out as a heart stopping collision between Stroll and Alonso sent them into the barriers with Alonso going airborne before hitting the barrier.
Stroll’s race was finished while Alonso only needed a change of wing.
The race then settled down with Leclerc overtaking Perez for third.
Hamilton kicked off the pitstops with Mercedes deciding to put him on the hard compound tyre as they tried to undercut Verstappen who pitted a lap later only for disaster to hit.
A slow pit stop put him behind Hamilton and Leclerc, the only saving was that Hamilton was on a slower tyre and Leclerc’s was older.
Vettel led his 3500th lap in his F1 career for a slow pit stop seemed to ruin his race as he dropped out of the points.
More drama followed in turn 1 as Verstappen tried to over take Leclerc before getting the job done on turn 12.
A series of fastest laps followed for the recently crowned double world champion as he closed in on Hamilton.
With six laps left the Red Bull driver retook the lead and after looking like Mercedes were going to win their first Grand Prix of the season they had to settle for second.
Verstappen finished first taking his thirteenth win of the season as Hamilton came second with Leclerc third and Perez fourth giving Red Bull their first Constructors Championship since 2013.
Russell came in fifth ahead of Norris with Alonso seventh but a protest had him handed a 30 second penalty as the stewards deemed his car to have been unsafe after the collision between himself and Stroll due to a wing mirror that later detached while heading to the pits.
Alonso dropped to fifteenth as those behind him were promoted, Vettel took seventh after a last corner pass on Kevin Magnussen, Yuki Tsunoda finished ninth and Esteban Ocon tenth.
Zhou Guanyu finished eleventh with Alex Albon, Pierre Gasly and Mick Schumacher behind in fourteenth before Alonso’s new finishing position.
Daniel Ricciardo and Nicholas Latifi were the last of the finisher with Sainz, Stroll and Bottas not making it to the end.
Red Bull might have won the Constructors title but there is still plenty for the other teams to fight for in the last three races.
Mercedes can still catch Ferrari in second while Alpine and McLaren fight for fourth as Alfa Romeo and Aston Martin fight for six but should keep an eye on Haas and AlphaTauri in eighth abs ninth.
Formula One heads Stateside with a trip to the Circuit of The Americas, Austin, Texas on 21-23 October.
- Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – 391
- Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) – 267
- Sergio Perez (Red Bull) – 265
- George Russell (Mercedes) – 218
- Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) – 202
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – 198
- Lando Norris (McLaren) – 109
- Esteban Ocon (Alpine) – 79
- Fernando Alonso (Alpine) – 65
- Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) – 46
- Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) – 38
- Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) – 29
- Kevin Magnussen (Haas) – 26
- Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) – 23
- Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) – 13
- Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) – 13
- Mick Schumacher (Haas) – 12
- Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo) – 6
- Alex Albon (Williams) – 4
- Nicholas Latifi (Williams) – 2
- Nyck De Vries (Williams) – 2
- Nico Hulkenberg (Aston Martin) – 0
- Red Bull – 656
- Ferrari – 469
- Mercedes – 416
- Alpine – 144
- McLaren – 138
- Alfa Romeo – 52
- Aston Martin – 51
- Haas – 38
- AlphaTauri – 36
- Williams – 8