Vettel breezes to eighth straight victory in USGP

Vettel breezes to eighth straight victory in USGP

Formula 1

Vettel breezes to eighth straight victory in USGP


Sebastian Vettel extended his Formula 1 winning streak to eight consecutive races with another easy victory in the United States Grand Prix. The result made Vettel the first man ever to win eight straight grands prix in a single season.

While Vettel quickly established a comfortable lead and kept it between six and 10 seconds for most of the afternoon, Romain Grosjean denied Red Bull a one-two by keeping his Lotus ahead of Mark Webber in second.

Webber’s start was arguably slightly better than Vettel’s, but he ran out of space trying to pass his teammate into Turn 1 and was overtaken around the outside by both Grosjean and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton. The Red Bull dismissed the Mercedes down the outside into the hairpin at the end of the back straight on lap 13, then began a race-long chase of Grosjean.

A change of position seemed inevitable as Webber rapidly caught the Lotus, but the Australian’s tires faded in the final laps and he had to settle for third.

Hamilton retained fourth place despite a challenge from Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari. Alonso had jumped Sergio Perez’s McLaren at their sole pit stops, then hunted down and passed Nico Hulkenberg.

The Ferrari and Sauber both gained on Hamilton in the final laps before Alonso began to run out of tire grip. Hulkenberg dived back ahead of him into Turn 1 starting the final lap, but Alonso cut back inside and reclaimed the spot.

Behind Perez, Valtteri Bottas scored the first points of his F1 career with an excellent drive to eighth for Williams. He stayed safely ahead of Nico Rosberg as the Mercedes put on a series of mid-race overtaking moves to salvage ninth after Rosberg’s poor qualifying result.

Jenson Button grabbed the final point from Daniel Ricciardo late on. Jean-Eric Vergne and Esteban Gutierrez clashed in their wake on the last lap, while Felipe Massa had to make an extra pitstop and finished only 13th.

Heikki Kovalainen’s first appearance in the ex-Kimi Raikkonen Lotus proved very disappointing. He lost ground at the start, had to make an extra pitstop for a new front wing, then struggled with KERS issues on the way to 15th.

The only retirement was Adrian Sutil, who clashed with Pastor Maldonado’s Williams on the back straight on the opening lap. The Force India slammed into the barriers, prompting a safety car.

PROVISIONAL RACE RESULTSThe USA Grand PrixCircuit of the Americas, USA;56 laps; 308.896km;Weather: Sunny.Classified:Pos  Driver        Team                       Time 1.  Vettel         Red Bull-Renault           1h39;17.148 2.  Grosjean       Lotus-Renault              +       6.2 3.  Webber         Red Bull-Renault           +       8.3 4.  Hamilton       Mercedes                   +      27.3 5.  Alonso         Ferrari                    +      29.5 6.  Hulkenberg     Sauber-Ferrari             +      30.4 7.  Perez          McLaren-Mercedes           +      46.6 8.  Bottas         Williams-Renault           +      54.5 9.  Rosberg        Mercedes                   +      59.110.  Button         McLaren-Mercedes           +    1:17.211.  Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +    1:21.012.  Vergne         Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +    1:24.513.  Massa          Ferrari                    +    1:26.914.  Gutierrez      Sauber-Ferrari             +    1:31.715.  Kovalainen     Lotus-Renault              +    1:35.016.  Di Resta       Force India-Mercedes       +    1:36.817.  Maldonado      Williams-Renault           +     1 lap18.  Bianchi        Marussia-Cosworth          +     1 lap19.  van der Garde  Caterham-Renault           +     1 lap20.  Pic            Caterham-Renault           +     1 lap21.  Chilton        Marussia-Cosworth          +     1 lapFastest lap: Vettel, 1:39.856Not classified/retirements:Driver        Team                         On lapSutil          Force India-Mercedes         1World Championship standings, round 18:                Drivers:                    Constructors:              1.  Vettel        372        1.  Red Bull-Renault          553 2.  Alonso        227        2.  Mercedes                  348 3.  Hamilton      187        3.  Ferrari                   333 4.  Raikkonen     183        4.  Lotus-Renault             315 5.  Webber        171        5.  McLaren-Mercedes          102 6.  Rosberg       161        6.  Force India-Mercedes       77 7.  Grosjean      132        7.  Sauber-Ferrari             53 8.  Massa         106        8.  Toro Rosso-Ferrari         32 9.  Button         61        9.  Williams-Renault            510.  Di Resta       48       11.  Hulkenberg     47       12.  Perez          41       13.  Sutil          29       14.  Ricciardo      19       15.  Vergne         13       16.  Gutierrez       6       17.  Bottas          4       18.  Maldonado       1              All timing unofficial