Nov 17, 2013, 3:44 PM EST
Sebastian Vettel has won the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin today, becoming the first driver in the history of the sport to win eight consecutive races in a single season as well as claiming his first victory in the United States.
The German driver dominated proceedings in Texas today, leading all but two laps and eventually finishing over six seconds ahead of second-placed Romain Grosjean, who in turn held off Red Bull’s Mark Webber in the final few laps of the race to secure his best result of the season so far. Lewis Hamilton’s winning streak in the USA came to an end as he was forced to settle for P4, whilst Fernando Alonso fought back from a poor start to finish fifth ahed of Nico Hulkenberg. Sergio Perez impressed in front of a sizeable Mexican fan-base to finish seventh, whilst Valtteri Bottas scored his first points in Formula One in eighth place.
Vettel made his usual good start from pole position, but teammate Webber was not so fortunate as Grosjean managed to slingshot around the outside of turn one to jump up into second place. Lewis Hamilton followed suit to claim P3 whilst Fernando Alonso struggled and dropped down to seventh. Further back, Heikki Kovalainen’s lack of recent racing showed as he dropped down to P12, but the real drama came further back as Adrian Sutil made contact with Pastor Maldonado, resulting in the Force India driver spinning into the wall and out of the race on the main straight. The safety car was deployed on the first lap to allow his car to be recovered, giving Esteban Gutierrez the chance to pit for repairs.
Racing resumed on lap five and Vettel quickly set about establishing a gap to the chasing pack, pulling out a six second lead before stopping. However, Hamilton was more concerned by the other Red Bull as Webber got within DRS range and began to close on the Mercedes driver. The Australian pulled out nine-tenths of a second through the middle sector and, thanks to DRS, managed to make a move around the outside of Hamilton to move up into third place as the Briton struggled for grip. Nico Hulkenberg had started well to remain in fifth place, but he was soon coming under pressure from Sergio Perez and Alonso in sixth and seventh respectively. However, the Ferrari driver soon dropped back into the clutches of Williams’ Valtteri Bottas, who was looking on-course for his first points in Formula One ahead of the first round of stops. Alonso soon managed to find his feet and close on Perez once again. Kovalainen was the first driver to stop as he looked to get the undercut on the drivers ahead, but a front-wing problem meant he had to come in for a second stop early. At the front, Vettel was told to save his tires and go as far as possible into the race. Jenson Button and Felipe Massa took their battle to the pits with the Brazilian driver staying ahead as Alonso closed on Perez before the Mexican driver stopped. However, the front-runners managed to make their tires last, allowing Alonso to come back out ahead of Perez and move up a position.
Vettel eventually made his first stop on lap 27, releasing Grosjean into the lead with Webber in second place, but the Australian driver pitted just one lap later and emerged in third. Grosjean failed to last much longer, coming in on lap 29 and retaining second place as Vettel steamed into the lead with the fastest lap of the race. Further back, Gutierrez was well into the points after pitting on lap one, but he could not hold back a fiery Alonso for sixth place. Perez soon followed to pass his compatriot, and Valtteri Bottas eventually picked off his fellow rookie with a close pass heading into the esses. Nico Rosberg continued his charge further back, picking off Daniel Ricciardo and Paul di Resta to move up into the points whilst Massa and Button continued to languish outside of the points. Further back, Mark Webber looked to catch Grosjean for second place, but he soon dropped back as he looked to save his tires before closing again.
Fernando Alonso looked to keep Ferrari’s bid for second place in the constructors’ championship alive by catching Hulkenberg and Hamilton, but the decision to stop Massa for a second time ended the Brazilian driver’s faint hopes of points. His teammate did manage to pass Hulkenberg, though, making the pass on the inside of turn one, but Hamilton was just out of reach. Further ahead Webber made another pursuit for Grosjean’s second place. Thanks to DRS, the Australian was able to close right up to the back of the Lotus, but he lacked the pace through the final sector to make a move stick.
At the front, Vettel was given the usual warnings by engineer Guillaume Rocquelin, but he did not heed them by setting the fastest lap late on. Come the checkered flag though, there was no stopping the German driver who waltzed to his eighth straight victory and his first on US soil, put Alberto Ascari’s record of nine in a row (split across two seasons) well within reach.
Hulkenberg, Perez and Bottas all produced fine displays to finish sixth, seventh and eighth respectively, with the points being Bottas’ first in Formula One. Nico Rosberg battled his way through the pack to finish ninth whilst Jenson Button made a late pass on Daniel Ricciardo to pick up the final point in tenth place as Gutierrez spun off on the final lap as he tried to pass Jean-Eric Vergne. The second stop for Kovalainen proved costly as he could only finish fifteenth, whilst Pastor Maldonado’s terrible weekend came to an equally-poor end down in P17.
Dec 27, 2014, 7:04 PM EST
Gatorade is celebrating its 50th anniversary of fueling athletes in the sports world. NASCAR is part of a great 50-year lookback video, featuring Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson.
Dec 27, 2014, 1:30 PM EST
The Bulldogs and Cardinals will collide in the Belk Bowl next Tuesday at nearby Bank of America Stadium.
Dec 27, 2014, 12:00 PM EST
One of the wildest post-race incidents in NASCAR history.
Dec 26, 2014, 5:55 PM EST
Even though Christmas was yesterday, this video of ‘Jingle Bells’ from the folks at NASCAR.com’s F-Post still is rather heart-warming. Check it out.
Dec 26, 2014, 5:15 PM EST
Jeff Gordon looked like he’d finally earn that elusive fifth Cup championship in 2014 — until the second-to-last race at Phoenix.
Dec 26, 2014, 3:20 PM EST
The Sprint Cup superstar checks in with Twitter faithful one day after the holiday.
Dec 26, 2014, 12:10 PM EST
The centers belong to the German Children’s Hospice Foundation, which provides support to families of terminally ill children in the country.
Dec 26, 2014, 10:00 AM EST
Racing’s greatest adventure begins Jan. 4 in Buenos Aires. Get psyched up with this teaser trailer.
Dec 25, 2014, 3:42 PM EST
Just in time for the holidays, Stewart-Haas Racing and Tony Stewart Nation set a tour of some of the team’s 2014 and 2015 race cars to music from the Nutcracker Suite. It’s a great video, sure to warm even Scrooge’s heart.
Dec 25, 2014, 2:00 PM EST
Junior Nation, rejoice. Your hero is a true contender once more.
Dec 25, 2014, 1:00 PM EST
David Gilliland struggled once again in 2014, but still managed to come away with a Top 30 finish.
Dec 25, 2014, 12:00 PM EST
It was a rough rookie season in the Sprint Cup Series for Justin Allgaier in 2014. But there were enough good signs that point to a better sophomore campaign in 2015.
Dec 25, 2014, 10:00 AM EST
Relax and enjoy this Christmas, and thanks all for reading and support on MST.
Dec 24, 2014, 5:50 PM EST
The future of Italy’s famed Monza racetrack could be in jeopardy after its last scheduled Formula One race in 2016.
Dec 24, 2014, 5:26 PM EST
Police have issued their report on the $60,000, 707-horsepower 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat that crashed just one hour after leaving the dealership last Friday near Brighton, Colorado.
Dec 24, 2014, 3:14 PM EST
The story of aspiring doctor and Sprint Cup driver Patrick Staropoli is featured in one of the most prestigious college journals in the world.
Dec 24, 2014, 2:42 PM EST
Australians are happy to have former NASCAR driver Marcos Ambrose back on home turf. And they’re also thankful for Ambrose’s time in NASCAR.
Top NASCAR stories of 2014: No. 7 – Brad Keselowski’s six wins, but falls short of Championship Round
Dec 24, 2014, 2:00 PM EST
A six-pack of wins, and nearly a six-pack of controversies for Brad Keselowski in 2014.
Dec 24, 2014, 1:00 PM EST
While her overall 2014 season finish (28th) was one spot lower than 2013 (27th), Danica Patrick still showed improvement in 2014 that could bode well for even better success in 2015.
Video from NASCAR America
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