|Sebastian Vettel tearing up COTA by Jamey Price|
Fernando Alonso is ready to concede pole to the Red Bulls, faster than anyone on the super slippery Austin asphalt, but not the race.
“In the race sometimes everything is not going normal, and we put more pressure on them on Sundays, we will take out opportunities, we will fight every lap in the race.
“We know the strong point of them, we keep repeating this every race, is the speed of the package. They are very quick. Our strong points are the united team, a very strong team, the driveability of our car. We try to use each of our strong points, and the important thing is to score 11 points more than them in these two races. I’m still convinced that we can do it, but we are not surprised when they are first and second in practice and qualifying.”
There is more scuttlebutt about these mysterious water leaks from the RB8 with some whispering about a fluid transfer ballast system (it actually was an engine coolant tank) but Alonso wanted no part of it...
"Up to now they have passed technical inspection and that means they are legal. The FIA has always modified the rules when it finds they are inadequate"
Ferrari have showed up with a new rear but it is not enough at least over a single lap. Tire wear should not be much of an issue as the surface in Austin is very smooth but for all the praise lavished on the track on this first day, it remains to be seen if there will be much in the way of passing opportunities. COTA may look cool but it still is a Tilke track, a great challenge to drive but where passing is impossible with an F1 car.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m37.718s 17 2. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m38.475s + 0.757 36 3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m38.483s + 0.765 35 4. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m38.748s + 1.030 31 5. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m38.786s + 1.068 32 6. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m39.029s + 1.311 33 7. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m39.448s + 1.730 32 8. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1m39.531s + 1.813 38 9. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m39.653s + 1.935 36 10. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m40.115s + 2.397 30 11. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m40.166s + 2.448 32 12. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m40.230s + 2.512 35 13. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m40.286s + 2.568 32 14. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m40.326s + 2.608 35 15. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m40.435s + 2.717 30 16. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m40.516s + 2.798 32 17. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m40.700s + 2.982 34 18. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m41.430s + 3.712 35 19. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m42.476s + 4.758 38 20. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m42.652s + 4.934 33 21. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m42.846s + 5.128 38 22. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m43.538s + 5.820 38 23. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m44.453s + 6.735 16 24. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m45.114s + 7.396 20