United States Grand Prix 2022 F1 Qualifying – Live updates from Austin

Hello and welcome to tonight’s coverage of qualifying ahead of tomorrow’s United States Grand Prix. The green lights will come on at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas at 11pm BST, which is 5pm local time.

Austin has the feeling of being a wet squib, despite Daniel Ricciardo arriving in the COTA pitlane on a horse on Thursday, after the chaos that served up the Japanese Grand Prix. Amid controversy over Red Bull’s spending limit breach for 2021 and safety concerns over recovery vehicles on track during race-shortening heavy rain at Suzuka, Max Verstappen was given a confusing coronation as world champion. .

His early victory, with four races remaining, makes him one of the fastest drivers to claim the championship, but by no means secures the rest of the season. The focus may shift to the constructors’ championships, where Mercedes is mounting a season-ending race at the beleaguered Ferrari.

Ferrari had another horror race in Japan, after Carlos Sainz crashed on lap 1, and are now just 67 points ahead of Mercedes, with both teams chasing second place. Both Sainz and his teammate Charles Leclerc looked quick in today’s final practice (they were third and second fastest respectively), but they may have to deal with penalties already incurred before qualifying. .

Indeed, we already have an increasingly common litany of grid penalties: Zhou Guanyu will receive a five-place penalty for fitting a new internal combustion engine, as will Sergio Perez for similar modifications to his RB18. Leclerc will drop 10 places for its new internal combustion engine and turbocharger. Also Fernando Alonso will be penalized with five seats.

This weekend the FIA ‚Äč‚Äčimplemented clearer rules on engine penalties, following the massive confusion that followed the Italian Grand Prix, which should mean we have a streamlined process for understanding how drivers will line up tomorrow: according to the FIA, sanctioned drivers who have received A 15 or fewer cumulative grid penalties will be allocated a ‘temporary’ grid position, meaning that once their grid positions have been allocated to drivers who were not penalized, those pilots will be shuffled to close the grid.

Simple? We’ll see. It’s a wild and windy day in Texas, and we have an hour to go until qualifying. Stick around for the latest news and updates before things kick off at 11pm BST.

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