November 18, 2012

Hamilton wins in Texas and sends it all to Brazil.

Lewis Hamilton moments after winning the inaugural USGP in Austin by Jamey Price

Funny how things work out, I bet tonight Hamilton is Fernando Alonso's best friend forever.  The championship still is 99% in Vettel's pocket but, in the immortal words of Lloyd Christmas " you're saying there's still a chance!"

And what about the much discussed move from Ferrari to shift Alonso and Massa to the clean side.  There is quite a bit of bellyaching from the usual suspects,  Christian Horner making sarcastic comments was ironically hilarious but Ferrari were straight up about it, they did not pretend it was anything other than using current rules to the letter and to their advantage.  That's just smart.

Certainly the first race at the Circuit of the Americas was a big success,  much more than many thought possible, including the drivers who had predicted little passing action.
The biggest surprise was how what seemed like negatives on Friday and Saturday turned into spectacular successes on Sunday.   The low grip,  the hard tires  both contributed to spectacular driving and a good show.  There is a lesson there,  the track was not littered with  marbles creating a one lane toboggan run,  that combined with those clever  turn entry cuts on T1 and T11 made for some memorable moments.   Other tracks should take a hard look at those type of features.
Next year, as the track gets more seasoned and if Pirelli brings grippier rubber, will be the true test but Texas definitively went above and beyond on this one.  Well done!

Vettel betrayed some nerves today,  his comments on Karthikayan were uncalled for and he, it turns out, was totally in the wrong: passing procedures on that part of the track were discussed in the drivers meeting and the HRT driver followed them to the letter.

Hamilton was simply mega and Mclaren gave him a great car,  notice he did not lock up the inside front once?  Deserves a 10.

Alonso he has got to be both worried and elated.  He was simply off the pace from Q2 on this week end.  Would be interesting to know if it was a case of chasing a wrong setup but Massa pretty much kicked his butt and that's saying something.  His start though was superb as usual so I'd give him an 8.5.

Massa deserves a 10,  Felipe is a mood driver and having a Ferrari contract in his pocket sure has improved it.  The pass on Kimi was great stuff.  Butto also had a great race.

Let me end with Schumacher, what a miserable race and what  a miserable move on Grosjean, it's just sad to see.

Now on to Brazil where the weather is horrible more often than not and anything can and has happened,  Thank you F1 and pass the popcorn!

The USA Grand Prix
Circuit of the Americas, USA;
56 laps; 308.896km;
Weather: Sunny.


Pos  Driver        Team                       Time
 1.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes           1h35:55.269
 2.  Vettel        Red Bull-Renault           +     0.675
 3.  Alonso        Ferrari                    +    39.229
 4.  Massa         Ferrari                    +    46.013
 5.  Button        McLaren-Mercedes           +    56.432
 6.  Raikkonen     Lotus-Renault              +  1:04.425
 7.  Grosjean      Lotus-Renault              +  1:10.313
 8.  Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes       +  1:13.792
 9.  Maldonado     Williams-Renault           +  1:14.525
10.  Senna         Williams-Renault           +  1:15.133
11.  Perez         Sauber-Ferrari             +  1:24.341
12.  Ricciardo     Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +  1:24.871
13.  Rosberg       Mercedes                   +  1:25.510
14.  Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari             +     1 lap
15.  Di Resta      Force India-Mercedes       +     1 lap
16.  Schumacher    Mercedes                   +     1 lap
17.  Petrov        Caterham-Renault           +     1 lap
18.  Kovalainen    Caterham-Renault           +     1 lap
19.  Glock         Marussia-Cosworth          +     1 lap
20.  Pic           Marussia-Cosworth          +    2 laps
21.  De la Rosa    HRT-Cosworth               +    2 laps
22.  Karthikeyan   HRT-Cosworth               +    2 laps

Fastest lap: Vettel, 1:39.347

Not classified/retirements:

Driver        Team                         On lap
Webber        Red Bull-Renault             17
Vergne        Toro Rosso-Ferrari           15

World Championship standings, round 19:                

Drivers:                    Constructors:             
 1.  Vettel       273        1.  Red Bull-Renault          440
 2.  Alonso       260        2.  Ferrari                   367
 3.  Raikkonen    206        3.  McLaren-Mercedes          353
 4.  Hamilton     190        4.  Lotus-Renault             302
 5.  Webber       167        5.  Mercedes                  136
 6.  Button       163        6.  Sauber-Ferrari            124
 7.  Massa        107        7.  Force India-Mercedes       99
 8.  Grosjean      96        8.  Williams-Renault           76
 9.  Rosberg       93        9.  Toro Rosso-Ferrari         22
10.  Perez         66       
11.  Kobayashi     58       
12.  Hulkenberg    53       
13.  Di Resta      46       
14.  Maldonado     45       
15.  Schumacher    43       
16.  Senna         31       
17.  Vergne        12       
18.  Ricciardo     10       


  1. does this mean no highlight video this week?!

  2. Vettel throws another temper tantrum when overtaken. Schumacher tries to send half the grid off the track over the course of the race. Neither Mercedes driver finishes in the points and Hamilton continues to question his decision to leave McLaren.

    I wasn't expecting much, but Texas pulled this one off in stunning fashion.

  3. Seb is getting a bit of a reputation for temper tantrums. He could learn a thing or two from Alonso. In public everything is calm and controlled, who knows what goes on behind closed doors.
    Chances of Vettel having an alternator failure in Brazil?

  4. For my money Hamilton's most disciplined, dogged, brilliant drive of his career. He did lock a couple times into 12, where we were seated. Most of all, he spared us that insipid finger. Thank you Lewis, you won me over this weekend

  5. Im not as HAM Fan.. but I have to admit, great race and superb driving.
    Massa was the second best driver out there and then Alonso that with a car that was not fast still he managed to get third.

    The total disappointment were the silver arrows that with both oposite configs still was not able to race and finish in the points. Worst of all, MSC car was with the new spec car and lastes inovation and still no able to keep the pace for the race.

    In the end it was a great race with a lot a overtaking manoeuvres and best of all with excellent drivers going to the limit but not crashing and giving room.
    Thanks Austin thanks US.

    1. I agree completely. Great show, lot of overtaking manouvres, cars sliding, locking up... Low grip conditions bring us briefly into early 90's. Real racing again.

  6. Great track, great race.

    Lewis drove like a boss.

    Alonso is boss - never stops fighting and that is why he is where he is with a substantially inferior car.

    Brazil should be amazing. Unless Vettel wins ;)

  7. Something missing in this conversation re:Vettel's whining;

    In the laps leading up to his eventual pass, the RBR came up on several backmarkers at just the right time to get the DRS while Hammy was too far back to get the DRS. I saw it at least twice, maybe was a 3rd before Seb caught up to Kartikheyan(?), but Hamilton still managed to keep close enough to pounce when the timing didn't work in Vettel's favor. I hope that people take this into account when measuring how much of a crybaby Vettel is. Granted, he didn't know if Ham got the DRS in those situations, but Vettel took full advantage of the activation point when he had the chance.


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