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. Friday 25 July 2014

  2. 10:43

    Hungarian GP: Full Free Practice 1 results

    F1
  3. Hamilton fastest in first Hungaroring practice 10:32

    Hamilton fastest in first Hungaroring practice

    Lewis Hamilton set the standard as the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend got underway on Friday morning. The Mercedes driver...

    F1
  4. Azerbaijan to stage Grand Prix from 2016 10:26

    Azerbaijan to stage Grand Prix from 2016

    Azerbaijan has confirmed that it will stage the European Grand Prix from the 2016 campaign. There were plans for the Baku...

    F1
  5. 10:19

    Latest F1 photos: Friday at Hungaroring

    F1
  6. Hamilton 'not worried' about Vettel rumours 10:06

    Hamilton 'not worried' about Vettel rumours

    Lewis Hamilton says he is unconcerned about claims that Mercedes is trying to sign Sebastian Vettel. Ahead of the...

    F1
  7. Camier to stand in for recovering Hayden 09:36

    Camier to stand in for recovering Hayden

    Leon Camier will replace Nicky Hayden at Aspar for the next two races as the latter recovers from surgery. Hayden has...

    MotoGP
  8. 09:00

    Follow first practice for the Hungarian GP!

    F1
  9. Video of the Day: Hamilton's Hungaroring guide 05:00

    Video of the Day: Hamilton's Hungaroring guide

    Join Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton for a lap of the Hungaroring.

    F1
  10. Thursday 24 July 2014

  11. Video: Mexico outlines planned track changes 22:49

    Video: Mexico outlines planned track changes

    Organisers of the returning Mexican Grand Prix highlight the modifications that will be required to the Autódromo Hermanos...

    F1
  12. Räikkönen: 2015 car will be more to my liking 17:16

    Räikkönen: 2015 car will be more to my liking

    Kimi Räikkönen is certain that next year's Ferrari design will be better-suited to his driving style. The former World C...

    F1
  13. Sutil shrugs off replacement rumours 16:39

    Sutil shrugs off replacement rumours

    Adrian Sutil has shunned rumours that Sauber is looking to replace him before the end of the season. It was suggested...

    F1
  14. Rossi joins Marussia as reserve driver 16:26

    Rossi joins Marussia as reserve driver

    Alexander Rossi has joined Marussia as its reserve driver for the remainder of the 2014 season. The 22-year-old American...

    F1
  15. 15:20

    Latest F1 photos: Thursday at Hungaroring

    F1
  16. Pérez '100 per cent sure' of Mexico return 14:49

    Pérez '100 per cent sure' of Mexico return

    Sergio Pérez says he has no doubts over Mexico's planned return to the Formula 1 calendar. At a special press conference...

    F1
  17. Video: Rosberg previews the Hungarian GP 13:30

    Video: Rosberg previews the Hungarian GP

    Mercedes driver and championship leader Nico Rosberg previews the Hungarian Grand Prix.

    F1
  18. Pirelli announces tyre choices until Singapore 13:10

    Pirelli announces tyre choices until Singapore

    Pirelli has announced its tyre compound choices for the Belgian, Italian and Singapore Grands Prix. At Spa-Francorchamps,...

    F1
  19. Marko: Mercedes, McLaren targeting Vettel 11:46

    Marko: Mercedes, McLaren targeting Vettel

    Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko claims that Mercedes and McLaren have targeted Sebastian Vettel. The reigning quadruple...

    F1
  20. Pérez gets grandstand for United States GP 10:06

    Pérez gets grandstand for United States GP

    A grandstand has been dedicated to Sergio Pérez fans for this year's United States Grand Prix. The Force India driver has...

    F1
  21. Video: Mansell, Berger battle in Mexico 09:14

    Video: Mansell, Berger battle in Mexico

    With news that the Mexican Grand Prix will return to the Formula 1 calendar next season, relive one of the standout battles...

    F1
  22. Horner: We will fight all the way to Abu Dhabi 07:00

    Horner: We will fight all the way to Abu Dhabi

    Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner has insisted that the reigning World Champions will keep "fighting all the way to...

    F1
  23. Hungaroring memories: Räikkönen wins, 2005 05:00

    Hungaroring memories: Räikkönen wins, 2005

    Relive then McLaren driver Kimi Räikkönen's 2005 Hungarian Grand Prix victory.

    F1
  24. Wednesday 23 July 2014

  25. Official: Mexico confirmed for 2015 season 22:14

    Official: Mexico confirmed for 2015 season

    During a press conference in the country on Wednesday, organisers of a new race officially announced that Mexico will return...

    F1
  26. Video: Ferrari looks ahead to Hungary 18:05

    Video: Ferrari looks ahead to Hungary

    Ferrari Technical Director James Allison looks ahead to this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

    F1
  27. Lotus already well into design of 2015 car 17:22

    Lotus already well into design of 2015 car

    Lotus Technical Director Nick Chester has confirmed the Enstone team is already "well into the design of next year's car"...

    F1
  28. FIA confirms minor changes at Hungaroring 16:05

    FIA confirms minor changes at Hungaroring

    The Hungaroring has been tweaked ahead of this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix. The alterations see new debris fencing...

    F1
  29. Pirro named driver steward for Hungary 15:25

    Pirro named driver steward for Hungary

    Emanuele Pirro will be the FIA driver steward at the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend, carrying out the task for the eighth...

    F1
  30. Toto Wolff injured in cycling accident 14:24

    Toto Wolff injured in cycling accident

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has suffered a fractured shoulder, collar bone, elbow and wrist ahead of this weekend's Hungarian...

    F1
  31. Mallya: More podiums possible for Force India 14:05

    Mallya: More podiums possible for Force India

    Force India boss Vijay Mallya is confident his team will be able to get more podium finishes this season. Sergio Pérez...

    F1
  32. Video: Force India drivers on Hungarian GP 13:30

    Video: Force India drivers on Hungarian GP

    Force India drivers Nico Hülkenberg and Sergio Pérez preview the 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix.

    F1
  33. Magnussen wants problem-free weekend 13:17

    Magnussen wants problem-free weekend

    McLaren driver Kevin Magnussen has said he is hoping for a weekend "where everything comes together" in Hungary. Danish...

    F1
  34. Albers: Caterham making progress already 12:35

    Albers: Caterham making progress already

    Caterham Team Principal Christijan Albers believes that the squad is already making progress under its new owners. Tony...

    F1
  35. Lauda apologises to di Montezemolo and Ferrari 11:54

    Lauda apologises to di Montezemolo and Ferrari

    Niki Lauda has apologised to Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo after his blunt description of the team's 2014 Formula 1...

    F1
  36. Lotus: We want to keep Grosjean in 2015 11:07

    Lotus: We want to keep Grosjean in 2015

    Lotus Deputy Team Principal Federico Gastaldi has said it is the outfit's "intention" to retain Romain Grosjean next...

    F1
  37. Bottas: Hungary not best circuit for our car 10:12

    Bottas: Hungary not best circuit for our car

    Valtteri Bottas has admitted he might struggle to get on the podium again this weekend in the Hungarian Grand...

    F1
  38. Mexico Grand Prix set for F1 return in 2015 09:52

    Mexico Grand Prix set for F1 return in 2015

    Mexico will return next season, Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed. According to reports by Forbes,...

    F1
  39. Mark Sutton: Story behind the shot - Germany 09:00

    Mark Sutton: Story behind the shot - Germany

    Especially for lovers of motorsport photography, GPUpdate.net is this season running a feature series entitled Story behind...

    F1
  40. Exclusive interview with Paul Hembery 08:00

    Exclusive interview with Paul Hembery

    Pirelli faced one of its biggest challenges since returning to the sport this season, having to adapt its products to...

    F1
  41. Hungaroring memories: Hill's first victory, 1993 05:00

    Hungaroring memories: Hill's first victory, 1993

    Take a look back at the 1993 Hungarian Grand Prix, when Damon Hill claimed his maiden Formula 1 victory.

    F1
  42. Tuesday 22 July 2014

  43. D'Ambrosio joins Dragon Racing team 16:27

    D'Ambrosio joins Dragon Racing team

    Jérôme d'Ambrosio has completed Dragon Racing's line-up for the inaugural Formula E season. The 28-year-old Belgian, who p...

    Formula E
  44. Vergne to demo Red Bull F1 car at Assen 16:20

    Vergne to demo Red Bull F1 car at Assen

    Toro Rosso driver Jean-Éric Vergne will showcase a modern Formula 1 car at Assen next week. The Frenchman, contesting his...

    F1
more news