Monday, 19 November 2012

The Bucking Bronco!

Sebastian was attempting to tame a bull, whilst Fernando had a stallion to bring under control, on the slippery circuit in Austin, Texas. Thankfully, Formula One's return to stateside was a successful one. However, pre-race antics from the Ferrari camp threatened to put the sport in to disrepute again. Fortunately, their underhand tactics didn't affect the race too severely, but neutrals will have found the manipulation of the grid lineup a bitter pill to swallow.

Simply put, Ferrari were faced with the disadvantage of having both their drivers, Massa and Alonso, starting from the dirty side of the grid, in sixth and eighth respectively. To remedy this unfavourable circumstance, the Ferrari engineers intentionally damaged Filipe's gearbox, resulting in the need to replace it and thus incurring a five place penalty. This put Fernando up one place, in to seventh, and on to the clean side of the grid. It didn't break any rules, aided in Alonso getting in to fourth place after the first corner, but will be considered unsportsmanlike by many and may be seen as a stain on Alonso's championship if he can go on to win it in Brazil.

The race wasn't the most exciting of the season, but on the first couple of laps there were a few surprises thrown up. First of all the lack of experience on the circuit led to the drivers taking numerous different lines, and continuously weaving and passing each other. It was more like Karting than Formula One and at times the position changes became difficult to follow. The majority of the action was in the middle of the field, with the Lotuses, Williams', Toro Rossos and Jenson Button, battling it out as though they had nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Hamilton was the star of the day. He passed Mark Webber very early on and proceeded to chase down the usually unbeatable Sebastian Vettel. Lewis continued to push, until he got within a second of Vettel and then he breezed past on the DRS back straight. There was a moment when Sebastian attempted, tenuously, to accuse Hamilton of getting too close in his overtaking manoeuvre, however it was clear that it was Vettel who had moved back across the circuit towards Lewis, and Seb's remonstrances came to nothing.

Hamilton took the victory with a skilled and tenacious performance, with Vettel still managing to take the fastest lap record. Alonso claimed the third and final podium position after Webber suffered with his first technical failure since the Canadian Grand Prix in 2009. The result means that the Driver's Championship will be decided in the final race of the season in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Red Bull Racing have made it a hat trick of Constructor's titles and will be looking to add the Driver's Championship to the trophy cabinet as well. Overall, the American Grand Prix was a great success and the stetsons on the podium were a nice touch too.