Sunday, November 18, 2012

2012 United States Grand Prix: Hamilton Wins over Vettel!

Hamilton wins USGP/www.circuitoftheamericas.com

Lewis Hamilton won the first United States Grand Prix since 2007. Lap by lap he gained on and finally passed pole-sitter and points leader Sebastian Vettel with 14 laps to go. Vettel took second and the two Ferraris came in third and fourth with Fernando Alonso taking third place on the podiums.

For the third consecutive year, Red Bull took home the Constructors Cup, which should put a smile on team principal Christian Horner's face as he looks to Brazil, along with the rest of the Formula One world, to see who will win the Drivers' Championship: Sebastian Vettel or Fernando Alonso. 

When asked by the legendary Mario Andretti, who has worked heavily to help promote this race, what his reaction to the new circuit and being the first winner there, Hamilton replied, ''The warm welcome we've had has been fantastic and I think this is probably one of the best, if not the best grand prix we've had all year. Especially for me and my team, this is so special. It’s been a long, long time since I had a win and I’m just so proud, so proud of the work the guys did, so grateful for the support we've had.''

When asked the same, Vettel touted his 100th grand prix start coming in the United States. ''Actually I did my first race five years ago, the last time we were racing in the United States, so it’s a very nice comeback today, it was my 100th grand prix, and amazing y’know, the amount of people we had all weekend. It’s great for us to have so much support, very happy today for the team in particular. We won the Constructors’ Championship so, yeah, thanks to all of you, it’s been a great year...Obviously it was a close fight with Lewis, he had one chance and he took it. After that I tried to stay with him and maybe pass him again but he was probably as quick as I was and there wasn't much in between us. All in all, a great race and a great result for us.''

Looking forward to the Brazilian Grand Prix, in order for Alonso to win the Championship, he must win in Brazil with Vettel finishing fifth or lower. If Alonso wins, and Vettel comes in fourth, they will be tied in points in which case Vettel would clench the Championship due to having won more races than Alonso. 

The day began when Ferrari admitted to deliberately incurring a 5-grid penalty for breaking the seal on Massa's grid box in order for Alonso to gain advantage by putting the Spaniard onto the clean side of the track. Massa moved from sixth to 11th on the starting grid and the tactic paid off for both Ferraris as Massa drove exceptionally well today, coming in fourth. Massa was not the only one with a penalty as Lotus' Romain Grosjean experienced a 5-grid penalty for the same.

Alonso was asked about his starting spot and the strategy that kept him close to the front in his battle for the championship. ''Yes, we know our championship keeps [us] alive maybe thanks to the first laps. We always qualify around seventh or eighth and we finish the first lap in the first three or four positions normally and then after that the race becomes a little easier when that happens, when you are in the leading group, and today we knew that was a good chance, try to overtake people at the first corner." he said. "Then the pace on Sunday normally improves so we knew that if we are in the leading group we can more or less keep the pace. Today [it was] not possible to keep the pace with these two guys...I think this podium, after all the difficulties we went through this weekend is like a victory for us''.   

Mark Webber's weekend at Circuit Of The Americas came to an abrupt end as his Red Bull machine experienced reliability issues on Lap 16 with an alternator failure. McLaren's Jenson Button drove exceptionally well today, finishing fifth after starting from 12th on the grid and driving hard through the crowd. Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen looked to be a spoiler early on, but a very slow stop for the Finn cost him spots on the track. He finally finished sixth behind Button but just ahead of team-mate Romain Grosjean, who did well despite a nasty spin and one pit stop. 

Force India's Nico Hulkenberg finished eighth in front of both Williams' as Pastor Maldonado and Bruno Senna battled for ninth and tenth places, respectively. 

Here is the remainder of today's finish in order:

11- Sergio Perez
12-Daniel Ricciardo
13- Nico Rosberg
14- Kamui Kobayashi
15- Paul di Resta
16- Michael Schumacher
17- Vitaly Petrov
18- Heikki Kovaleinen
19- Timo Glock
20- Charles Pic
21- Pedro de la Rosa
22- Narain Karthikeyan
Ret- Mark Webber
Ret- Jean-Eric Vergne

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