Lewis Hamilton will be hoping to trouble Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz for an unlikely win at the United States Grand Prix after securing a third-placed grid start at the end of Saturday’s qualifying session. The 37-year-old, who is yet to register a single victory in 2022, was bumped up by two positions after penalties were awarded to Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez for changing power unit components.
Sainz will start on pole position at the Circuit of the Americas when the five red lights go out, with Verstappen just behind after he was edged out by less than one-tenth of a second in qualifying. The Dutchman was loudly booed by a number of fans on Saturday amid the ongoing saga involving Red Bull’s budget cap breach in 2021, which was discovered by the FIA earlier this month and is expected to be punished at some point in the not-too-distant future.
The unsavoury incident came after Red Bull boss Christian Horner warned of the damage that has been done to the team’s drivers and other employees as a result of the cost cap situation, which has been dominating the headlines over the last few weeks. Speaking at a press conference, Horner said: “We’ve been on trial because of public accusations since Singapore.
“The rhetoric of cheats, the rhetoric that we have had this enormous benefit. The numbers that have been put in the media are miles out of reality. The damage that does to the brand, to our partners, to our drivers, to our workforce in an age where mental health is prevalent, we are seeing significant issues now within our workforce.
“We are getting kids that have been bullied in playgrounds that are our employees’ children. That is not right through fictitious allegations from other teams, and you cannot go around just making that kind of allegation without any facts or substance.”
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