|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 "...so 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. Classified: 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