Ferrari dominated qualifying for the USA Grand Prix, but newly-crowned double world champion Max Verstappen is hot favourite to get his revenge in the race.
Red Bull are reeling after the death of their founder Dietrich Mateschitz on Saturday and there was a sombre atmosphere in their garage, but the Dutch ace is 4/11 to deliver an emotional victory for the squad.
Should Verstappen win, that will also be enough for Red Bull to seal their first constructors' title since 2013.
|What||United States Grand Prix|
|Where||Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas|
|When||20:00, Sunday 23rd October 2022|
|How to watch||Sky Sports F1|
|Odds||Max Verstappen 4/11, Carlos Sainz 9/2, Lewis Hamilton 7/1, Charles Leclerc 18/1|
Ferrari have not won a race since Austria in the summer - a run of seven races - but they looked in competitive shape throughout the preliminaries in Texas.
Their car seemed less disturbed by the bumpy surface and windy conditions than most of their rivals and they confirmed that by scoring their first qualifying 1-2 since Monaco in May.
Charles Leclerc has been the season's most successful qualifier with nine pole positions, but it was his team-mate Carlos Sainz who won the day for only the second time in his career. Sainz edged out Leclerc by just 0.065 seconds after a lap the Monegasque driver was clearly very unhappy with.
The Spaniard would have started from the front anyway, as Leclerc will take a ten-place grid drop for replacing engine parts earlier in the weekend, but it will be a huge boost for Sainz.
The son of rallying legend Carlos Snr finished ahead of Leclerc in last year's championship, but has struggled to stay on terms with his team-mate in the all-new for 2022 car and admitted this week that he is still struggling to adapt to the machine.
Three other drivers also get grid penalties for the same reason as Leclerc, with Sergio Perez dropping from fourth to ninth in the second Red Bull, Fernando Alonso starting 14th instead of ninth and Zhou Guanyu falling from 14th to 19th.
Tyre wear is going to be a huge factor in today's race. During qualifying, the soft compound tyre was obviously already past its best by the end of a single fast lap and drivers who fail to look after their rubber will pay harshly.
That doesn't bode well for Ferrari, whose qualifying speed is partly due to the fact they work their tyres harder than their rivals, but they have often struggled in races.
Sainz last started from the front in Belgium, where he ended up a well-beaten third, while Leclerc has failed to convert any of his last seven pole positions into victories.
Verstappen has no such issues, seemingly able to win from any grid slot.
Thanks to Leclerc's penalty, the Dutchman will start on the front row of the grid and, even if he can't beat Sainz into the first corner, he is likely to be able to bide his time and pounce when the Ferrari's tyres start to give up their grip.
It has been a difficult season for seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton. Since entering F1 in 2007, the Briton has won at least one race every year, but he is yet to break his duck for 2022.
His Mercedes team have brought their final upgrade for the year to the United States, and from the very early stages of the weekend Hamilton has had a smile on his face.
The car has been stronger in race trim than in qualifying all year, but a lack of top speed has seen Hamilton and George Russell often getting stuck behind slower cars on race day.
Hamilton will have been a bit disappointed to qualify only fifth fastest, but the penalties ahead of him mean he will start third on the grid.
A track that shreds tyres will be perfect for Mercedes, which has had trouble getting its rubber up to proper operating temperature, and Hamilton is 7/1 to get his first win of the year.
It has been an up-and-down season for Aston Martin who, like Mercedes, have seen their car perform more strongly over a race distance than in qualifying.
They sit a disappointing seventh in the constructors' standings, but only seven points behind Alfa Romeo and they will have designs on leapfrogging the Swiss-based Italian team in Texas.
The Aston Martin has looked in good shape this weekend and having made the top ten in qualifying, Lance Stroll will start fifth after penalties are applied.
The Canadian finished sixth in Singapore before team-mate Sebastian Vettel filled that position in Japan last time, and Stroll could have his backers at 10/3 for another top-six finish in Texas.Safer Gambling Week (17-23 October) – Let’s talk about safer gambling. Click here for more information on independent resources. Gamble Responsibly.