As an F1 fan I always hope a race in the States will impress and gain the sport more fans. America has their Indy Car and NASCAR series, and although we say NASCAR can be boring (believe me, it isn’t), I feel they think the same of F1. And don’t mention Indianapolis 2005 when only Bridgestone runners Ferrari and Jordon took to the track because of Michelin regulations – a lot of ripped off and disgruntled fans gave the impression F1 was done for the States at the time.
Despite this, F1 has returned and hosted some good races, with Lewis Hamilton gaining fans through his attachment to Nicole Sherzinger. This year sees the world of F1 set up shop in sunny Austin, Texas at the Circuit of The Americas.
As far as practise and qualifying were concerned, it was yet another dominant performance by the Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. Drivers such as Button, Massa, and Rosberg fell at the second hurdle, with the likes of Bottas and Kovalainen (stepping in for Kimi) making the final shoot out.
This time it really did look like Webber had out performed his teammate, however the German World Champion hit home at the last dying moments.
- 1st Vettel – Red Bull
- 2nd Webber – Red Bull
- 3rd Grosjean – Lotus
- 4th Hulkenberg – Sauber
- 5th Hamilton – Mercedes
- 6th Alonso – Ferrari
- 7th Perez – McLaren
- 8th Kovalainen – Lotus
- 9th Bottas – Williams
- 10th Gutierrez – Sauber
With a Red Bull 1 – 2 and Vettel already crowned World Champion, I’m sure even the Red Bull fans wanted to see a little excitement at the front end of the field.
After the National Anthem and the cameramen showing more cheerleaders than drivers, the lights finally flashing green. Webber proved his diabolical starting prowess by bogging down, both Grosjean and Hamilton leaving him for fourth.
Moments later Adrian Sutil crashed out, bringing the safety car out. This gave the field a breather after a frantic first lap
On Lap 5 Vettel led the field as the safety car peeled off. Grosjean was in second, Hamilton third and Webber trailing in fourth. Perez had a stab at the Sauber of Hulkenberg, showing his worth in front of thousands of Mexican fans. Meanwhile Gutierrez was slicing through the back of the field after having to pit with a puncture.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso made a very late lunge on Perez into turn one. Luckily he backed out, just avoiding an accident. There is obviously something about this track as drivers were taking risks and braking very late. It’s very entertaining viewing, so I couldn’t complain.
After being told to save his tyres and retuning with a curt: “That’s what I’m doing man, let me focus!” Mark Webber finally passed him.
By Lap 17 Vettel was doing his usual pin perfect drive at the front and looked completely unflustered.
Adding some much needed action, Perez pitted in front of Alonso and the Spaniard stayed out to go for the undercut. It eventually paid off and Alonso came out ahead of Perez but behind Gutierrez.
More misery for Hamilton as he started to throw his toys from the pram, wanting to know about pace, tyres and whether he should push or not.
Mexicans, Perez and Gutierrez put on a show, with Perez cruising past on the pit straight for seventh place.
More overtaking on Lap 34 when Nico Rosberg put amazing pass on di Resta into Turn 12. This race was certainly providing entertainment in the form of overtaking.
It appeared the Ferraris had been given the hurry up, as Alonso started charging after Hulkenberg and Hamilton.
As all this late braking and overtaking was taking place, Vettel remained out front setting fastest lap times.
On Lap 41 Ricciardo sent a big kamikaze dive into Turn 1 on di Resta, but he backed out in order to save his front wing. What is it with this track?
Alonso passed Hulkenberg a few laps later and started taking a second a lap out of Hamilton. Webber had also sped up as he started eating into Grosjean’s lead.
Lap 51 and Grosjean and Webber started to catch Vettel, but I think this was due to tyre management. Webber looked as though he was trying to hang on to the back of Grosjean to make the most of the upcoming DRS zone.
Although things looked to be hotting up, Webber’s tyres started to leave him and he lost rear grip. However, Hulkenberg was now right on the gearbox of Alonso’s Ferrari.
Sebastian Vettel took the chequered flag, with Grosjean holding on for second, Webber third, Hamilton fourth and, after being passed by Hulkenberg on the final lap, Alonso took him back for fifth.
So Vettel takes another record, the first man to notch up 8 consecutive wins, and showing the fans it’s not just the NASCAR boys who can pull off a few donuts, Vettel smokes his tyres in front of the crowd.
Despite a Red Bull dominated weekend, all in all it wasn’t too boring thanks to some great overtaking moves and some good late race action. And it was thanks to all the overtaking that the US fans left with something to talk about this time around.
- 1st Vettel – Red Bull
- 2nd Grosjean – Lotus
- 3rd Webber – Red Bull
- 4th Hamilton – Mercedes
- 5th Alonso – Ferrari
- 6th Hulkenberg – Sauber
- 7th Perez – McLaren
- 8th Bottas – Williams
- 9th Rosberg – Mercedes
- 10th Button – McLaren