Hamilton edges closer to 4th title with Austin win

Mercedes Lewis Hamilton wins the American GP ahead of Championship rival Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen as Red Bull’s Max Verstappen is given a time penalty which demotes him off the podium.

22/10/17

Qualifying Result

1.Hamilton  2.Vettel  3.Bottas  4.Ricciardo  5.Raikkonen  6.Ocon  7.Sainz  8.Alonso  9.Perez  10.Massa  11.Kvyat  12.Grosjean  13.Ericsson  14.Wehrlein  15.Stroll*  16.Verstappen*  17.Magnussen*  18.Hulkenberg*  19.Hartley*  20.Vandoorne*

Stroll and Magnussen received 3 place grid penalties each for their separate incident in Qualifying impeding Grosjean and Perez. Verstappen, Hulkenberg, Hartley and Vandoorne received engine penalties.

Tyre Choice

Felipe Massa, Marcus Ericsson, Lance Stroll, Max Verstappen, Kevin Magnussen and Stoffel Vandoorne will start on the Supersoft tyre with Pascal Wehrlein starting on the Soft tyre. Everyone else will start on the Ultrasoft tyre.

Race

The lights go out and Sebastian Vettel gets a better start than Lewis Hamilton to take the lead into turn 1. Valterri Bottas follows behind ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon, who has overtaken Kimi Raikkonen. Lap 2, Vettel and Hamilton are sprinting away with Bottas now having to defend from Ricciardo into turn 2, 3 and 4. Meanwhile, Max Verstappen has made progress and is now 11th after starting 16th. Raikkonen overtakes Ocon at turn 15 and up into 5th place.

Lap 4, Nico Hulkenberg retires from the race. Lap 6, the gap has been closing between the top 2 and Lewis Hamilton is now within DRS range. Hamilton closes and overtakes Sebastian Vettel into turn 12. Lap 8, Max Verstappen is now 7th and only 16 seconds behind race leader Hamilton. Lap 10, Verstappen overtakes Esteban Ocon for 6th into turn 12. Lap 12, Daniel Ricciardo pits for the Supersoft tyre and rejoins in 9th.

Lap 15, Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso pit. Both rejoin on the Soft tyre. Lap 16, Daniel Ricciardo is out. The Australian pulls up at turn 15 with engine issues. Lap 17, Sebastian Vettel pits and rejoins on the Soft tyre. Lap 19, Valterri Bottas pits and rejoins on the Soft tyre. Lap 20, Lewis Hamilton pits and rejoins on the Soft tyre with Kimi Raikkonen also switching to the Soft tyre. Lap 24, Hamilton rejoins behind Max Verstappen, who is still yet to pit and overtakes the Red Bull driver into turn 16. Verstappen then pits at the end of lap 24, going onto the Soft tyre.

Fernando Alonso is out. The Spaniard was having a good race until engine troubles ended his race at turn 12. Lap 30, Felipe Massa pits and goes onto the Ultrasoft tyre. Lap 33, Carlos Sainz overtakes Sergio Perez at turn 19 and up into 7th place. Lap 38, Max Verstappen pits. Converting to a 2-stop, Verstappen switches to the Supersoft tyre. Lap 39, Ferrari are in the pit-lane with Sebastian Vettel diving in. Reacting to Verstappen, Vettel goes onto the Supersoft tyre.

Lap 42, Kimi Raikkonen overtakes a struggling Valterri Bottas into turn 12 and up into 2nd for now. Lap 47, Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen are catching the top 3, but are navigating lapped cars at the moment. Vettel overtakes Marcus Ericsson before turn 12. Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen then make contact. Lap 50, Ericsson is subsequently given a 5 second time penalty for the incident. Lap 51, Vettel overtakes Bottas outside of turn 1 and up into 3rd.

Sebastian Vettel then is “let through” by teammate Kimi Raikkonen for 2nd place into turn 1 on lap 52. Further in the lap, Max Verstappen now overtakes Valterri Bottas for 4th place into turn 16. Bottas pits on lap 53 and rejoins in 5th. Lap 56, Lewis Hamilton wins ahead of Vettel but the final podium position is still up for grabs with Verstappen taking 3rd. A tremendous effort but the Dutchman is under investigation.

Hamilton, Vettel and Verstappen are getting ready to go onto the podium as the Stewards reveal their decision. It’s a 5 second penalty which would put Raikkonen 3rd, demoting Verstappen to 4th! The replay shows Verstappen with all four wheels off the track when overtaking Raikkonen. Verstappen is taken off the podium although winning the Fans “Driver of the Day”.

Race Result

1.Hamilton  2.Vettel  3.Raikkonen  4.Verstappen  5.Bottas  6.Ocon  7.Sainz  8.Perez  9.Massa  10.Kvyat  11.Stroll  12.Vandoorne  13.Hartley  14.Grosjean  15.Ericsson  16.Magnussen  DNF Hulkenberg, Wehrlein, Ricciardo and Alonso.

My View

With his 9th win of the season in the bag, Lewis Hamilton seems to have his 4th world title also in his bag. It’ll be a final, desperate push for Sebastian Vettel next weekend in Mexico to stop Hamilton from clinching the title. Just to show how poor the second half of the season has been for Vettel, 2nd today was his first podium since Italian GP. The last-lap penalty given to Verstappen was fair in my opinion. Although, I think the Stewards will have to clamp down on all “off track” incidents. My driver of the day was undoubtedly Carlos Sainz in his first race for Renault. Daniil Kvyat did well in his return to Toro Rosso, but will he be there for the rest of the season or even next year? F1 newcomer, Brendon Hartley had a solid debut race with promising pace finished in 13th

Drivers Championship

  1. Lewis Hamilton 331pts
  2. Sebastian Vettel 265pts
  3. Valterri Bottas 244pts
  4. Daniel Ricciardo 192pts
  5. Kimi Raikkonen 163pts
  6. Max Verstappen 123pts
  7. Sergio Perez 86pts
  8. Esteban Ocon 73pts
  9. Carlos Sainz 54pts
  10. Felipe Massa 36pts

Constructors Championship

  1. Mercedes 575pts
  2. Ferrari 428pts
  3. Red Bull Racing 315pts
  4. Force India 159pts
  5. Williams 68pts
  6. Toro Rosso 53pts
  7. Renault 48pts
  8. Haas 43pts
  9. McLaren 23pts
  10. Sauber 5pts

 

 

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