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 1 October 2014

  2. Kobayashi keeps Caterham seat for Suzuka 08:18

    Kobayashi keeps Caterham seat for Suzuka

    Kamui Kobayashi will retain his Caterham seat for his home race at Suzuka this weekend, alongside regular driver Marcus...

    F1
  3. Suzuka memories: Häkkinen vs Schumacher 05:04

    Suzuka memories: Häkkinen vs Schumacher

    Relive the final battle between Mika Häkkinen and Michael Schumacher during the 2001 Japanese Grand Prix. Schumacher,...

    F1
  4. Tuesday 30 September 2014

  5. Renault braced for engine penalties 16:03

    Renault braced for engine penalties

    Renault says it is braced for a spate of engine penalties in the closing stages of the 2014 season. Toro Rosso rookie...

    F1
  6. 14:30

    MotoGP photos: Suzuki presents 2015 bike

    MotoGP
  7. Suzuki signs Aleix Espargaró, Viñales for 2015 13:28

    Suzuki signs Aleix Espargaró, Viñales for 2015

    Suzuki has signed Aleix Espargaró and Maverick Viñales for its comeback MotoGP season in 2015. The Japanese manufacturer,...

    MotoGP
  8. Video: Force India drivers preview Suzuka 11:59

    Video: Force India drivers preview Suzuka

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

    F1
  9. Ferrari 'determined' to overhaul Williams 11:55

    Ferrari 'determined' to overhaul Williams

    Ferrari says it is "determined" to reclaim third in the Constructors' standings during the season run-in. With five...

    F1
  10. Formula E chief outlines manufacturer plan 11:33

    Formula E chief outlines manufacturer plan

    Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag has set out plans for the new all-electric championship to progressively move away from its...

    Formula E
  11. Button says McLaren on 'upward curve' 10:03

    Button says McLaren on 'upward curve'

    Jenson Button believes that his McLaren team is on an "upward curve" with the development of the MP4-29 chassis, even though...

    F1
  12. Suzuka memories: Senna, Prost collide, 1990 05:07

    Suzuka memories: Senna, Prost collide, 1990

    A year after their infamous clash as McLaren team-mates, Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost collide at the first corner of the...

    F1
  13. Monday 29 September 2014

  14. Video: Sainz Jr. inspects shopping mall 16:24

    Video: Sainz Jr. inspects shopping mall

    Carlos Sainz Jr. carries out a unique inspection of the Yas Mall, Abu Dhabi ahead of its opening in November.

    F1
  15. Penske adds Pagenaud as fourth driver 15:25

    Penske adds Pagenaud as fourth driver

    Simon Pagenaud will drive a fourth Penske car in 2015, the reigning champion team has announced. The 30-year-old...

    Indy
  16. Video: Rossi crashes out at Aragón 14:09

    Video: Rossi crashes out at Aragón

    Valentino Rossi avoided serious injury during this violent crash in Sunday's Aragón Grand Prix.

    MotoGP
  17. Rossi back to '100 per cent' after crash 13:55

    Rossi back to '100 per cent' after crash

    Valentino Rossi says he is already feeling "100 per cent" again after his Aragón Grand Prix crash. The works Yamaha rider...

    MotoGP
  18. Hamilton yearning for first Suzuka win 11:58

    Hamilton yearning for first Suzuka win

    Lewis Hamilton has his sights fixed on claiming his first ever victory at the Suzuka circuit this weekend. Although...

    F1
  19. Verstappen confirmed for Suzuka practice 11:19

    Verstappen confirmed for Suzuka practice

    Toro Rosso has confirmed that future racer Max Verstappen will drive at a Formula 1 event for the first time this weekend,...

    F1
  20. Single DRS zone retained at Suzuka 11:11

    Single DRS zone retained at Suzuka

    The FIA has retained a single DRS zone for this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix. As in previous years at the Suzuka...

    F1
  21. Force India continuing to develop VJM07 10:49

    Force India continuing to develop VJM07

    Force India boss Vijay Mallya says the team will continue to develop the VJM07 chassis over the closing stages of the 2014...

    F1
  22. Verstappen passes extensive medical tests 09:41

    Verstappen passes extensive medical tests

    Max Verstappen has passed an extensive medical evaluation as preparations ramp up for his maiden Formula 1 campaign with...

    F1
  23. Suzuka memories: Räikkönen's last-lap pass 05:12

    Suzuka memories: Räikkönen's last-lap pass

    Kimi Räikkönen claimed victory at Suzuka in 2005 with this stunning last-lap move on Giancarlo Fisichella.

    F1
  24. Sunday 28 September 2014

  25. 17:05

    Latest MotoGP photos: Sunday at Aragón

    MotoGP
  26. Rossi suffers concussion in Aragón crash 16:22

    Rossi suffers concussion in Aragón crash

    Valentino Rossi suffered a concussion but escaped serious injury following his crash in the Aragón Grand Prix on...

    MotoGP
  27. Lorenzo wins epic dry-wet race at Aragón 13:53

    Lorenzo wins epic dry-wet race at Aragón

    Jorge Lorenzo claimed his first win of 2014 in an epic dry-wet race at MotorLand Aragón after Repsol Honda riders Marc...

    MotoGP
  28. 12:51

    Latest FR3.5 photos: Sunday at Paul Ricard

    FR 3.5
  29. Sainz Jr. inches towards title with seventh win 12:50

    Sainz Jr. inches towards title with seventh win

    Red Bull young driver Carlos Sainz Jr. controlled proceedings at Paul Ricard to claim his second win of the weekend and move...

    FR 3.5
  30. Caterham has performed a small miracle – Ravetto 10:24

    Caterham has performed a small miracle – Ravetto

    Caterham Team Principal Manfredi Ravetto believes that the squad has achieved a "small miracle" in 2014, following the...

    F1
  31. Lotus pair hopeful of more 2014 points 07:28

    Lotus pair hopeful of more 2014 points

    Lotus drivers Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado say that they have not ruled out adding to the squad's points tally...

    F1
  32. Video of the Day: F1 in every Renault – Umbrella 05:04

    Video of the Day: F1 in every Renault – Umbrella

    Unsuspecting Renault drivers experience the sensation of being on a Formula 1 starting grid.

    F1
  33. Saturday 27 September 2014

  34. Red Bull sure of closer Renault relationship 15:20

    Red Bull sure of closer Renault relationship

    Red Bull consultant Helmut Marko says that the current champions will have a closer relationship with engine supplier...

    F1
  35. 14:00

    Latest MotoGP photos: Saturday at Aragón

    MotoGP
  36. Márquez flies to pole at MotorLand Aragón 13:58

    Márquez flies to pole at MotorLand Aragón

    MotoGP championship leader Marc Márquez will start the Aragón Grand Prix from pole position after he set the quickest time d...

    MotoGP
  37. 13:00

    Latest FR3.5 photos: Saturday at Paul Ricard

    FR 3.5
  38. Sainz Jr. marches to victory at Paul Ricard 12:53

    Sainz Jr. marches to victory at Paul Ricard

    Carlos Sainz Jr. took a giant step towards this year's Formula Renault 3.5 title after easing to his sixth victory of the...

    FR 3.5
  39. Márquez on top in third Aragón session 09:46

    Márquez on top in third Aragón session

    Marc Márquez set the quickest time during third practice at MotorLand Aragón in Spain. Márquez spent much of the session f...

    MotoGP
  40. Chester doubts F1 will enforce telemetry ban 07:14

    Chester doubts F1 will enforce telemetry ban

    Lotus Technical Director Nick Chester says he doubts Formula 1 will add a telemetry ban to its radio clampdown as the sport...

    F1
  41. Video of the Day: Virtual lap of Sochi track 05:06

    Video of the Day: Virtual lap of Sochi track

    With a fortnight to go until the inaugural Russian Grand Prix at Sochi, enjoy a virtual lap in F1 2014.

    F1
  42. Friday 26 September 2014

  43. Substance contamination caused Rosberg failure 19:31

    Substance contamination caused Rosberg failure

    Mercedes has revealed that a freak substance contamination contributed to Nico Rosberg's retirement from last weekend's...

    F1
  44. 15:38

    Latest MotoGP photos: Friday at Aragón

    MotoGP
  45. Dovizioso keeps GP14.2 on top in FP2 14:02

    Dovizioso keeps GP14.2 on top in FP2

    Andrea Dovizioso made it a clean sweep for Ducati's GP14.2 by topping Friday's second practice session at MotorLand...

    MotoGP
  46. Radiator seal led to Magnussen issue 12:05

    Radiator seal led to Magnussen issue

    McLaren has confirmed that a broken radiator seal led to hot air being pumped into Kevin Magnussen's cockpit during the...

    F1
more news