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 30 May 2016

  2. 17:02

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  3. Winners and Losers: Monaco Grand Prix 16:34

    Winners and Losers: Monaco Grand Prix

    Lewis Hamilton secured his first victory of the year to kick-start his 2016 campaign in an intriguing Monaco Grand Prix…

    F1
  4. Grosjean left to rue Räikkönen incident 14:16

    Grosjean left to rue Räikkönen incident

    Haas driver Romain Grosjean was left to rue what might have been after getting inadvertently blocked off by Ferrari rival Kimi…

    F1
  5. Video: 100th Indianapolis 500 timelapse 13:42

    Video: 100th Indianapolis 500 timelapse

    Watch a timelapse of the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, which was won by rookie Alexander Rossi.

    Indy
  6. Verstappen vows to learn from Monaco 12:02

    Verstappen vows to learn from Monaco

    Red Bull's Max Verstappen has vowed to "learn a lot" from a challenging Monaco Grand Prix weekend, after crashing out of…

    F1
  7. Sauber drivers apologise after clash 11:32

    Sauber drivers apologise after clash

    Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr have apologised to their Sauber team after they collided during the Monaco Grand Prix, which led…

    F1
  8. Video: Nico Rosberg's Monaco blog 10:32

    Video: Nico Rosberg's Monaco blog

    Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg reflects on a challenging Monaco Grand Prix, in which he finished seventh.

    F1
  9. Williams pleased with Monaco progress 10:12

    Williams pleased with Monaco progress

    Williams performance chief Rob Smedley has declared himself satisfied with the team's progress in Monaco, though regretted not…

    F1
  10. Sainz Jr. frustrated to miss 'big points' 09:08

    Sainz Jr. frustrated to miss 'big points'

    Carlos Sainz Jr. expressed his frustration at missing out on "big points" at the Monaco Grand Prix, as the Toro Rosso driver had…

    F1
  11. Horner describes 'very disappointing' day 09:00

    Horner describes 'very disappointing' day

    Red Bull team boss Christian Horner described a "very disappointing" day for Red Bull at the Monaco Grand Prix as Daniel…

    F1
  12. Video of the Day: Formula E steering wheel 05:16

    Video of the Day: Formula E steering wheel

    Mahindra Racing driver Bruno Senna talks through the main functions on a Formula E steering wheel.

    FE
  13. Sunday 29 May 2016

  14. 21:56

    Latest photos: 100th Indianapolis 500

    Indy
  15. Rossi delivers shocking upset in Indy 500 21:54

    Rossi delivers shocking upset in Indy 500

    With five laps to go, all eyes were on the fuel data for the leading cars trying to win the Indianapolis 500, wondering who…

    Indy
  16. 18:02

    Latest F1 photos: Sunday in Monaco

    F1
  17. Kvyat also gets Canada grid penalty 17:56

    Kvyat also gets Canada grid penalty

    Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat has joined Marcus Ericsson in being hit with a three-place grid penalty for the Canadian Grand Prix…

    F1
  18. Vettel blames himself for missing podium 17:51

    Vettel blames himself for missing podium

    Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel says he was at fault for missing out on a Monaco Grand Prix podium to Force India's Sergio…

    F1
  19. Räikkönen cleared over unsafe driving 17:14

    Räikkönen cleared over unsafe driving

    Ferrari's Kimi Räikkönen has escaped a penalty following the Monaco Grand Prix, having been investigated by the stewards over…

    F1
  20. 17:02

    Follow the Indianapolis 500 live!

    Indy
  21. Alonso happy with fifth, not with speed 16:53

    Alonso happy with fifth, not with speed

    Fernando Alonso spoke of his satisfaction at claiming fifth in at the Monaco Grand Prix, but not at McLaren-Honda's current…

    F1
  22. Wolff explains Rosberg/Hamilton switch 16:42

    Wolff explains Rosberg/Hamilton switch

    Toto Wolff says that an apparent issue on Nico Rosberg's car led to Mercedes asking him to move aside for Lewis Hamilton in…

    F1
  23. Ericsson gets three-place grid drop 16:17

    Ericsson gets three-place grid drop

    Marcus Ericsson has been given a three-place grid drop for the Canadian Grand Prix after his collision with Sauber team-mate…

    F1
  24. Marko apologises to Ricciardo for blunder 16:04

    Marko apologises to Ricciardo for blunder

    Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko has apologised to Daniel Ricciardo for "presenting" the Monaco Grand Prix to…

    F1
  25. Pérez hails 'tremendous' Force India effort 15:46

    Pérez hails 'tremendous' Force India effort

    Sergio Pérez hailed a "tremendous" effort from his Force India team as he finished on the podium at the Monaco Grand…

    F1
  26. Ricciardo critical of Red Bull for pit error 15:38

    Ricciardo critical of Red Bull for pit error

    An unhappy Daniel Ricciardo says he has been "screwed" for two successive race weekends as victory at the Monaco Grand Prix…

    F1
  27. Hamilton overwhelmed by Monaco victory 15:31

    Hamilton overwhelmed by Monaco victory

    Lewis Hamilton expressed his elation as he opened his 2016 account with victory in Monaco for the second time in his Formula 1…

    F1
  28. 15:06

    In full: Monaco Grand Prix race results

    F1
  29. Hamilton beats Ricciardo to Monaco win 15:04

    Hamilton beats Ricciardo to Monaco win

    Lewis Hamilton fended off Daniel Ricciardo to take his first victory of the 2016 campaign in a pulsating wet/dry Monaco Grand…

    F1
  30. 12:40

    Follow the Monaco Grand Prix live!

    F1
  31. Video: Massive British Formula 3 crash 12:32

    Video: Massive British Formula 3 crash

    Ameya Vaidyanathan suffers a massive airborne crash in British F3 after contact with Sisa Ngebulana.

    F3
  32. 12:02

    Starting grid for the Monaco Grand Prix

    F1
  33. Maldonado talking to F1 teams over return 11:34

    Maldonado talking to F1 teams over return

    Pastor Maldonado says he is speaking to multiple Formula 1 teams over a return to the grid in 2017, after losing his…

    F1
  34. Nasr to start from pit lane after changes 11:15

    Nasr to start from pit lane after changes

    Felipe Nasr will start Sunday afternoon's Monaco Grand Prix from the pit lane, along with Max Verstappen, after Sauber changed…

    F1
  35. Heavy rain falls in Monaco on race day 10:25

    Heavy rain falls in Monaco on race day

    As per pre-event forecasts, heavy rainfall arrived in Monaco on Sunday morning, which led to several incidents in the early…

    F1
  36. Berger handling Rosberg contract talks 09:15

    Berger handling Rosberg contract talks

    Ex-Formula 1 driver Gerhard Berger has confirmed that he is helping 2016 championship leader Nico Rosberg negotiate a new…

    F1
  37. Video: Coulthard vs Button on McLaren 09:12

    Video: Coulthard vs Button on McLaren

    David Coulthard and Jenson Button test their knowledge of McLaren's rich history in Grand Prix racing.

    F1
  38. Wolff adamant qualifying issue won't repeat 09:12

    Wolff adamant qualifying issue won't repeat

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff insists that the issue which affected both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg during qualifying for the…

    F1
  39. Renault extends Red Bull deal, STR returns 08:29

    Renault extends Red Bull deal, STR returns

    Renault has confirmed that it will continue to provide Red Bull with power units until at least the end of 2018, while Toro…

    F1
  40. Video of the Day: World's most connected car 05:26

    Video of the Day: World's most connected car

    Mercedes highlights the importance of its partnership with telecommunications company Qualcomm.

    F1
  41. Saturday 28 May 2016

  42. 18:52

    Latest F1 photos: Saturday in Monaco

    F1
  43. Verstappen to start Monaco GP from pits 18:50

    Verstappen to start Monaco GP from pits

    Red Bull has confirmed that Max Verstappen will start the Monaco Grand Prix from the pit lane, after he crashed out of…

    F1
more news