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