Lewis Hamilton wins inaugural US Grand Prix in Austin, TX!

Lewis Hamilton won the inaugural United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas ahead of Sebastian Vettel and the German’s title rival Fernando Alonso. Hamilton, who started alongside the German on the grid, used Vettel getting held up by Narain Karthikeyan throught the ‘S’ curves to maximum effect, closing upto Vettel’s gearbox and using DRS to pass the German into turn 12.

The big story of the weekend, which has overshadowed Hamilton’s victory a little is Ferrari’s active decision to break the seal on Felipe Massa’s gearbox which triggered an automatic five place grid penalty for the Brazilian. All this was to benefit Fernando Alonso who qualified in ninth place; but would have started eighth because of Lotus’ Romain Grosjean’s five place penalty for a gearbox change. Alonso ended up starting the race in seventh place while Massa started the race in 11th place. It may not have been against the rules of the sport, but it certainly wasn’t very sporting. I previously wanted Alonso to win his third title but now I’d rather see Vettel win a third title.

Back to the race itself; Ferrari’s Alonso kept his title hopes alive finishing the race on the third step of the podium after making a great start, jumping from seventh to fourth and later inherited third place when Red Bull’s Mark Webber pulled off the track with an alternator failure, but finished a distance 40 seconds behind Hamilton and Vettel and only seven seconds ahead of team mate Massa!

The race winner’s McLaren team mate Jenson Button finished the race in fifth place despite starting from 12th because of a throttle issue in Qualifying 2 and dropping back to 16th after being boxed in off the start and through the first few corners. The Briton started the race on the harder tyre compound, running 65% of the race on the tyres he started on before switching to the softer compound on lap 36. Jenson has a great attacking race, putting moves on Michael Schumacher, Williams’ Bruno Senna and going wheel to wheel with Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen and coming out in front. But the Briton saw his chances of stealing fourth place vanish when he suffered a late KERS issue!

Raikkonen eventually finished the race in sixth place only six second ahead of team mate Romain Grosjean who started five places behind the Finn and also had a bizarre spin on lap seven. The Frenchman dropped back as far as 11th place after his spin, which made his recovery even more impressive; for sure; Grosjean would have been ahead of Raikkonen if it weren’t for his spin!

Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and the Williams’ of Pastor Maldonado and Bruno Senna complete the points scoring finishers, taking the chequered flag in eighth, ninth and tenth respectively. A good day for Sir Frank Williams, both his cars were mighty down the back straight, making this result possible, there’s certainly nothing wrong with the Renault V8 block powering the Williams.

Today’s result means that Red Bull have claimed a third consecutive constructors title while Sebastian Vettel takes a 13 point lead into the season finale at Interlagos, Brazil, short of a technical failure of some description I can’t see Fernando Alonso overhauling the deficit. Unless of course Ferrari decide to use Massa to take out the German; which after today’s actions, I wouldn’t put that past the Maranello based team, it’s almost like Flavio Briatore is pulling Ferrari’s strings!

Top 10 Classified Finishers, United States Grand Prix.

1. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)
2. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
3. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)
4. Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
5. Jenson Button (McLaren)
6. Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus)
7. Romain Grosjean (Lotus)
8. Nico Hulkenberg (Force India)
9. Pastor Maldonado (Williams)
10. Bruno Senna (Williams)

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