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. Wednesday 24 May 2017

  2. Video: Leclerc's favourite Monaco spots 07:12

    Video: Leclerc's favourite Monaco spots

    Ferrari-backed F2 title leader Charles Leclerc takes you to his favourite spots at home in Monaco.

    F2
  3. Feature: Leclerc on growing up in Monaco 07:02

    Feature: Leclerc on growing up in Monaco

    Ferrari junior and Formula 2 championship leader Charles Leclerc will race around his home streets, in Monte-Carlo, for the…

    F2
  4. Video of the Day: Monaco GP memories 05:32

    Video of the Day: Monaco GP memories

    Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and others from the Silver Arrows family share their Monaco memories.

    F1
  5. Tuesday 23 May 2017

  6. 19:02

    Follow GPUpdate on Instagram in 2017!

    F1
  7. Silverstone to open McLaren eSport series 18:53

    Silverstone to open McLaren eSport series

    Silverstone, home of the British Grand Prix, will act as the host venue for McLaren's eSports competition later this…

    F1
  8. Video: Sergio Pérez discusses Monaco GP 16:08

    Video: Sergio Pérez discusses Monaco GP

    Force India driver Sergio Pérez looks ahead to the Monaco Grand Prix, having finished on the podium in 2016.

    F1
  9. Sauber adds new floor to C36-Ferrari 14:46

    Sauber adds new floor to C36-Ferrari

    Sauber will introduce a new floor to its C36-Ferrari at this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix as it continues its quest to…

    F1
  10. McLaren aims for first 2017 double finish 13:28

    McLaren aims for first 2017 double finish

    McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier says getting both MCL32s to the finish is the team's primary goal for Monaco, and reckons…

    F1
  11. Pirelli expecting one-stop Monaco GP 11:42

    Pirelli expecting one-stop Monaco GP

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli says it is expecting the bulk of drivers to adopt a one-stop approach in Monaco, but believes…

    F1
  12. In photos: Button at the Monaco Grand Prix 09:32

    In photos: Button at the Monaco Grand Prix

    Jenson Button will return to Formula 1 for a one-off appearance in Monaco this weekend, in place of Fernando Alonso, who is…

    F1
  13. Technical: Formula 1 development battle 08:46

    Technical: Formula 1 development battle

    F1 teams applied their first major update kits of the season at the recent Spanish Grand Prix. GPUpdate.net's technical analyst…

    F1
  14. Preview: Dancing in Monaco's streets 07:02

    Preview: Dancing in Monaco's streets

    Formula 1 moves on to Monaco, the jewel in the sport's crown, for a challenge and experience like no other. GPUpdate.net…

    F1
  15. Video of the Day: Mercedes on Monaco 05:36

    Video of the Day: Mercedes on Monaco

    Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas talk about the challenges of the Monaco Grand Prix.

    F1
  16. Monday 22 May 2017

  17. Motorsport world pays tribute to Hayden 17:37

    Motorsport world pays tribute to Hayden

    Riders and drivers from across motorsport have been paying tribute to Nicky Hayden, following news of his death after a cycling…

    MotoGP
  18. Hayden dies following cycling accident 17:10

    Hayden dies following cycling accident

    World Superbike rider and 2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden has passed away aged 35, as a result of injuries sustained in…

    MotoGP
  19. Button eager for 'slightly surreal' comeback 16:02

    Button eager for 'slightly surreal' comeback

    McLaren-Honda's Jenson Button has described his Monaco Grand Prix comeback as "slightly surreal" as he prepares for his one-off…

    F1
  20. Zarco had 'Qatar flashback' while leading 14:50

    Zarco had 'Qatar flashback' while leading

    Tech 3 rider Johann Zarco says he was reminded of his race-ending Qatar crash while he was leading his home event in…

    MotoGP
  21. Turbo issue behind Bottas' Spain DNF 13:37

    Turbo issue behind Bottas' Spain DNF

    Mercedes has confirmed that a faulty turbo was behind Valtteri Bottas' exit from the Spanish Grand Prix, caused by a previously…

    F1
  22. Monaco 'all about mental strength' - Hamilton 13:07

    Monaco 'all about mental strength' - Hamilton

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton says the Monaco Grand Prix is "all about mental strength" as he bids for a third Formula 1…

    F1
  23. Video: Verstappen breaks Zandvoort record 12:49

    Video: Verstappen breaks Zandvoort record

    Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen returns home to the Netherlands and sets the lap record at Zandvoort.

    F1
  24. Alonso felt Indy 500 pole was within reach 11:58

    Alonso felt Indy 500 pole was within reach

    McLaren-Andretti debutant Fernando Alonso believes pole position for the Indianapolis 500 was within his reach, following a…

    Indy
  25. Márquez was 'careful' prior to accident 10:54

    Márquez was 'careful' prior to accident

    Reigning World Champion Marc Márquez says he was trying to be "careful" before his race-ending crash at the French Grand…

    MotoGP
  26. Vișoiu joins Campos for rest of F2 season 10:16

    Vișoiu joins Campos for rest of F2 season

    Robert Vișoiu has joined Campos for the remainder of the Formula 2 campaign, alongside Ralph Boschung. Vișoiu, 21, claimed…

    F2
  27. Norris 'mega gutted' over Pau GP loss 09:44

    Norris 'mega gutted' over Pau GP loss

    McLaren protégé Lando Norris has described himself as "mega gutted" after he missed out on victory at the Pau Grand Prix due…

    F3
  28. Rossi perplexed by last-lap Le Mans exit 08:42

    Rossi perplexed by last-lap Le Mans exit

    Valentino Rossi says he does not yet understand the cause of his last-lap crash at the French Grand Prix, as his prospects of…

    MotoGP
  29. Video of the Day: Paris ePrix Highlights 05:20

    Video of the Day: Paris ePrix Highlights

    Watch race highlights from Formula E's visit to Paris, as Sébastien Buemi extends his title lead with victory.

    FE
  30. 03:32

    MotoGP standings after French Grand Prix

    MotoGP
  31. Sunday 21 May 2017

  32. Dixon claims third 500 pole, Alonso fifth 23:23

    Dixon claims third 500 pole, Alonso fifth

    Scott Dixon earned his third Indianapolis 500 pole position in thrilling fashion on Sunday, averaging 232.164 mph over four…

    Indy
  33. Guintoli keeps Suzuki ride for Mugello 19:51

    Guintoli keeps Suzuki ride for Mugello

    Sylvain Guintoli will continue to ride for Suzuki at the next round of the MotoGP season in Italy, with Álex Rins not yet fit…

    MotoGP
  34. Davison replaces injured Bourdais at Coyne 19:17

    Davison replaces injured Bourdais at Coyne

    Dale Coyne has announced that James Davison will fill in for the injured Sébastien Bourdais for the remainder of the…

    Indy
  35. Günther wins at Pau after Norris crash 17:37

    Günther wins at Pau after Norris crash

    Maximilian Günther profited from Lando Norris crashing out of the lead to claim victory at the Pau Grand Prix for Prema…

    F3
  36. Viñales 'gave everything' for Le Mans success 17:17

    Viñales 'gave everything' for Le Mans success

    Maverick Viñales says he "gave everything" possible as he triumphed at the French Grand Prix, following a pair of last-lap…

    MotoGP
  37. Harding plans Texas, Pocono IndyCar runs 16:50

    Harding plans Texas, Pocono IndyCar runs

    Harding Racing is set to add two further IndyCar events to its 2017 schedule as it bids to capture a full-time entry into the…

    Indy
  38. Bourdais 'better than expected' after crash 16:31

    Bourdais 'better than expected' after crash

    Sébastien Bourdais has undergone successful surgery and is doing "better than expected" after his ferocious crash during first…

    Indy
  39. Feature: When Bianchi starred in Monaco 15:00

    Feature: When Bianchi starred in Monaco

    In 2014, one of Formula 1's rising stars at the time, Jules Bianchi, produced a standout drive around the streets of Monte-Carlo…

    F1
  40. 13:52

    Latest MotoGP photos: Sunday at Le Mans

    MotoGP
  41. 13:50

    In full: French Grand Prix race results

    MotoGP
  42. Viñales victorious after last-lap Rossi errors 13:48

    Viñales victorious after last-lap Rossi errors

    Maverick Viñales claimed victory at an incredible French Grand Prix, after leader Valentino Rossi went wide on the final lap…

    MotoGP
  43. 12:30

    Starting grid for the French Grand Prix

    MotoGP
  44. Hayden 'very critical, clinical picture unchanged' 11:38

    Hayden 'very critical, clinical picture unchanged'

    Nicky Hayden remains in a "very critical" condition in hospital in Italy, following his cycle accident on Wednesday. Hayden…

    MotoGP
more news