Hamilton wins in Austin as championship stays alive

Hamilton wins in Austin as championship stays alive

18 November 2012 – Lewis Hamilton has won the United States Grand Prix for the second time, beating Sebastian Vettel in a straight fight at the new Circuit of the Americas. Fernando Alonso kept his championship chances open by finishing on the podium. Mark Webber retired, but Red Bull still did enough to claim a third consecutive Constructors’ Championship.

Vettel leads as Webber sweeps past Hamilton for second
On the run-up to the one o’clock start, the huge fear amongst those setting off from the dirty side of the grid (with even-numbered starting positions) was that they would suffer zero grip as the red lights went out, with the Texan venue being completely new. This included title challenger Alonso, who was the beneficiary as Ferrari deliberately broke the seal on Felipe Massa’s gearbox in order to incur a five-place penalty and elevate the Spaniard.

To the surprise of many, there was no chaos at the start as the 24-car field headed uphill and neatly made its way through the first corner. Kimi Räikkönen ran wide through the second bend, but Alonso was fourth thanks to a lightning getaway. In his 100th Formula 1 race start, Vettel led the pack from Webber, Hamilton, Alonso and Michael Schumacher. A dreadful launch for Jenson Button saw him plummet from 12th on the grid to 16th on Lap 1, but starting on the Hard compound tyre allowed the 2009 Champion to rise up the order.

Button was one of only two cars to start on the Hard compound Pirelli tyre
Drama in the midfield saw Romain Grosjean fall well down the order following a spin at Turn 19; over the next handful of laps, the Frenchman had been overhauled by Massa, Schumacher, Sergio Pérez and Button. The Lotus was first to pit on only Lap 9 of 56. After a two-lap scrap with Webber, Hamilton overtook the Australian in a strong move on the fourth tour, immediately charging up to Vettel as Webber retired with alternator failure. Jean-Éric Vergne was the only other man to drop out, with broken suspension on his Toro Rosso.

Alonso took full advantage of Massa's deliberate penalty
Following the demise of Webber, Hamilton caught Vettel as the gap between the duo continued to fluctuate. A strong pass eventually came some time after their pit-stops, on Lap 42, as the McLaren shot through in the DRS zone. Vettel was irritated by the move, which saw the two cars come perilously close to contact, which could have punctured the championship leader’s right-rear tyre. The on-track change means Vettel’s championship lead, instead of being 20 points, is now back to the pre-Abu Dhabi margin of 13. Felipe Massa demonstrated impressive pace all afternoon-long, passing Räikkönen for fourth in the final third of the race - the Brazilian proving that he had podium capabilities after qualifying seventh yesterday. Button also made the most of the Finn, reaping the rewards of his alternative strategy; the Englishman was not able to catch Massa, though, as he was stuck behind Räikkönen for too long.

Grosjean recovered to seventh as Nico Hülkenberg, Pastor Maldonado and Bruno Senna completed the top ten; it was a second consecutive double points finish for Williams, with Maldonado having made light contact with his team-mate in a late-race pass at Turn 1. Daniel Ricciardo, who ran as high as fifth before pitting, was 12th as Nico Rosberg – the only driver other than Button to start on the Hard tyre – struggled to 13th on yet another non-scoring afternoon for Mercedes; although Schumacher was inside the top five early on, he pitted twice because of major tyre problems.

Lewis Hamilton’s 21st career victory moves him ahead of former double title winner Mika Häkkinen and one behind 1996 Champion Damon Hill; he has now leapfrogged Webber for fourth place in the standings. At the top, Vettel is on course to become the sport’s ninth triple World Champion but next week’s setting is known for its unusual races. Regardless of what happens in Brazil, Red Bull is only the third outfit to win three teams’ titles in a row and makes history by becoming the first to clinch its maiden three in back-to-back fashion.


The 2012 Formula 1 world drivers’ title will be decided in Brazil next weekend, where rain is expected to affect proceedings at Interlagos

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Monday 26 September 2016

  2. Video: Hülkenberg's Malaysian GP preview 12:16

    Video: Hülkenberg's Malaysian GP preview

    Force India driver Nico Hülkenberg looks ahead to this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang.

    F1
  3. Rosberg: Upcoming races 'anyone's game' 11:16

    Rosberg: Upcoming races 'anyone's game'

    Nico Rosberg is refusing to get carried away by his recent run of victories, which have moved him back into the title lead…

    F1
  4. Haas to re-test new front wing in Malaysia 10:41

    Haas to re-test new front wing in Malaysia

    Haas will re-test its upgraded front wing at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, after a troubled weekend in Singapore last…

    F1
  5. Lorenzo: Crash helped me finish second 10:08

    Lorenzo: Crash helped me finish second

    Jorge Lorenzo reckons his warm-up crash was a crucial factor in him beating Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi to second position…

    MotoGP
  6. In photos: Button's 17 seasons in F1 07:44

    In photos: Button's 17 seasons in F1

    Jenson Button will start his 300th Grand Prix in Malaysia this weekend before stepping down from racing duties at the end of the…

    F1
  7. Interview: Button on reaching 300 races 07:36

    Interview: Button on reaching 300 races

    Jenson Button will contest his 300th Formula 1 race at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, cementing his position behind Rubens…

    F1
  8. Video of the Day: Jenson Button's 300 club 05:42

    Video of the Day: Jenson Button's 300 club

    Hear from Jenson Button, who will mark his 300th appearance in Formula 1 at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

    F1
  9. Sunday 25 September 2016

  10. 16:28

    Latest MotoGP photos: Sunday at Aragón

    MotoGP
  11. Márquez pleased to halt Rossi's momentum 16:03

    Márquez pleased to halt Rossi's momentum

    Marc Márquez admitted he was pleased to halt Valentino Rossi's momentum in the championship as he chalked up his fourth MotoGP…

    MotoGP
  12. Smith to make MotoGP return at Motegi 15:04

    Smith to make MotoGP return at Motegi

    Tech 3 has confirmed that Bradley Smith will return to MotoGP action at Motegi, after sitting out three rounds of the…

    MotoGP
  13. Márquez extends lead with Aragón victory 13:54

    Márquez extends lead with Aragón victory

    Repsol Honda's Marc Márquez extended his MotoGP championship lead with his fourth victory of the season, ahead of Yamaha pair…

    MotoGP
  14. Heineken eyes Formula 1 race in Vietnam 10:28

    Heineken eyes Formula 1 race in Vietnam

    Formula 1 Global Partner Heineken says it would like to see the sport branch out further into the Asia Pacific territory, and…

    F1
  15. Injured Lowes to miss Aragón Grand Prix 08:08

    Injured Lowes to miss Aragón Grand Prix

    Tech 3 rider Alex Lowes will not participate in the Aragón Grand Prix after being deemed unfit by medical staff on Sunday…

    MotoGP
  16. Video of the Day: Life in the pit lane - #2 05:42

    Video of the Day: Life in the pit lane - #2

    Williams continues its 'Life in the pit lane' series with #2 mechanic and front jack man Michael Payne.

    F1
  17. Saturday 24 September 2016

  18. 16:52

    Latest MotoGP photos: Saturday at Aragon

    MotoGP
  19. Vandoorne: 2017 was 'last chance' for seat 15:52

    Vandoorne: 2017 was 'last chance' for seat

    McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne says he knew he had to secure a full-time Formula 1 seat in 2017 if he was to ever graduate to the…

    F1
  20. Márquez dominates for pole at Aragón 13:57

    Márquez dominates for pole at Aragón

    Repsol Honda's Marc Márquez trounced his rivals as he flew to pole position at the Aragón Grand Prix, his sixth of the…

    MotoGP
  21. Lowes to skip qualifying after FP3 crash 11:42

    Lowes to skip qualifying after FP3 crash

    Tech 3 rider Alex Lowes will not take part in qualifying for the Aragón Grand Prix after crashing during the third practice…

    MotoGP
  22. Márquez heads crash-filled third session 09:56

    Márquez heads crash-filled third session

    Repsol Honda's Marc Márquez surged to the quickest time during a crash-filled third practice session at MotorLand…

    MotoGP
  23. Alex Lynn's GPUpdate column: Last rounds 09:05

    Alex Lynn's GPUpdate column: Last rounds

    Williams development driver and GP2 Series racer Alex Lynn will write a regular column for GPUpdate.net this year, charting his…

    GP2
  24. Video of the Day: Meet Felix Rosenqvist 05:32

    Video of the Day: Meet Felix Rosenqvist

    Find out more about reigning F3 Champion Felix Rosenqvist, who will race for Mahindra in Formula E this season.

    FE
  25. Friday 23 September 2016

  26. Corner named after Fernández in Mexico 15:26

    Corner named after Fernández in Mexico

    Mexican racing star Adrián Fernández has been appointed as an ambassador for his home country's Grand Prix and had Turn 12…

    F1
  27. Leclerc will not run in Malaysian GP practice 14:17

    Leclerc will not run in Malaysian GP practice

    Ferrari youngster Charles Leclerc will not carry out his planned Formula 1 practice run with Haas at the upcoming Malaysian…

    F1
  28. 14:05

    Latest MotoGP photos: Friday in Aragon

    MotoGP
  29. Pedrosa moves ahead in second practice 14:03

    Pedrosa moves ahead in second practice

    Dani Pedrosa moved to the top of the times during second practice for the Aragón Grand Prix, ahead of Honda team-mate Marc…

    MotoGP
  30. Iannone replaced by Pirro after first practice 12:28

    Iannone replaced by Pirro after first practice

    Andrea Iannone will take no further part in the Aragón Grand Prix weekend, after riding through the pain of his back injury in…

    MotoGP
  31. Ricciardo backs Rosberg for maiden title 10:22

    Ricciardo backs Rosberg for maiden title

    Daniel Ricciardo says that he is now backing Nico Rosberg for the 2016 crown after the German reclaimed the championship lead…

    F1
  32. Márquez tops opening practice in Aragón 10:00

    Márquez tops opening practice in Aragón

    MotoGP title leader Marc Márquez topped the timesheets during Friday morning's first free practice session for the Aragón…

    MotoGP
  33. GPUpdate lets readers quiz Christian Horner 09:02

    GPUpdate lets readers quiz Christian Horner

    In 2016, GPUpdate.net is giving readers the opportunity to pose questions to senior personnel from a selection of outfits, with…

    F1
  34. Aragón extends MotoGP deal to 2021 07:36

    Aragón extends MotoGP deal to 2021

    Aragón will keep its place on the MotoGP calendar until at least the 2021 season, after MotorLand track officials penned a new…

    MotoGP
  35. Mercedes completes 2017 wet-tyre test 06:12

    Mercedes completes 2017 wet-tyre test

    Mercedes completed two days of running on 2017-size wet tyres at Paul Ricard this week, as part of Pirelli's extensive…

    F1
  36. Video of the Day: Life in the pit lane - #1 05:36

    Video of the Day: Life in the pit lane - #1

    Williams presents a 'Life in the pit lane' series, starting with #1 mechanic and gun man Patric Gustafsson.

    F1
  37. Thursday 22 September 2016

  38. Stroll begins F1 runs in 2014-spec Williams 15:32

    Stroll begins F1 runs in 2014-spec Williams

    Lance Stroll has started Formula 1 runs in a 2014-spec Williams as part of his development programme with the team, his…

    F1
  39. Iannone cleared to make Aragón comeback 13:50

    Iannone cleared to make Aragón comeback

    Andrea Iannone has been cleared to return to action at this weekend's Aragón Grand Prix, after missing the previous Misano…

    MotoGP
  40. Pedrosa keeping expectations in check 13:08

    Pedrosa keeping expectations in check

    Dani Pedrosa has vowed to keep his expectations in check for this weekend's Aragón Grand Prix and beyond, after ending his…

    MotoGP
  41. Venturi sets new electric land speed record 12:25

    Venturi sets new electric land speed record

    Venturi has set a new electric land speed record – smashing its previous benchmark – by recording 341.1mph on the Bonneville…

    FE
  42. Formula 1 starts Ultra High Definition tests 10:33

    Formula 1 starts Ultra High Definition tests

    Formula 1 trialled its first broadcasting in Ultra High Definition (UHD) at the Singapore Grand Prix, prior to all races being…

    F1
  43. Video: New York unveils Formula E track 09:36

    Video: New York unveils Formula E track

    New York presents the planned track layout for its inaugural ePrix, the final round of the 2016/17 season.

    FE
  44. Iannone pushing to return at Aragón GP 08:36

    Iannone pushing to return at Aragón GP

    Ducati rider Andrea Iannone says that he will be pushing to make a comeback at this weekend's Aragón Grand Prix, after being…

    MotoGP
  45. Interview: Fernley on 'lean, mean' Force India 07:32

    Interview: Fernley on 'lean, mean' Force India

    Force India has been labelled an "overachiever" in Formula 1 in recent times, as it adds occasional podiums and this season…

    F1
more news