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Hamilton Wins in Austin While The Title Battle Goes To The Wire
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Posted By:   |  18 Nov 2012   |  11:44 pm GMT  |  361 comments

Lewis Hamilton continued his strong record in North America by winning an exciting race in Austin, Texas.

Although Red Bull clinched the Constructors’ Championship, the result forced the Drivers’ Championship battle to roll on to the final race of the season in Brazil, as Sebastian Vettel was beaten into second place while his title rival Fernando Alonso completed the podium, from seventh on the grid.

Losing the extra seven points a win would have given, the result sees Vettel increase his Championship lead over Alonso by just three points, to thirteen, whilst Red Bull have become the first Formula One team to win their first three Constructor’s Championships in consecutive years.

After a race long battle, played out in front of a crowd of 117,000 fans, Hamilton piled relentless pressure on Vettel and eventually made his way past on lap 42 to claim his fifth victory in North America. Vettel had lead the Grand Prix throughout but after losing time in Sector 1 on the decisive lap behind Narain Karthikeyan, he could not keep the McLaren driver behind in the long DRS zone. Although he came back at Hamilton in the final 14 laps, the German was unable to get close enough to attack him.

“When Seb was delayed by a backmarker, I knew I had to grab my chance,” said Hamilton. “So I turned the engine up to maximum revs and pushed like crazy. Along the back-straight I went to the to the outside, but Seb closed the door, so I moved to the inside, and he came back towards me. I was very lucky. It was very close.

“What made the difference today between Seb and me? I wanted it more, that’s what!

It had looked from an early stage that Alonso would secure the points required to take the fight to Brazil, as the Ferrari driver made his way from seventh to fourth at the first corner, no doubt aided by his ability to start from the clean side of the grid. This came about as a result of the gearbox penalty, which Ferrari forced on Felipe Massa. The Brazilian had out qualified Alonso, but by taking a five place grid drop it promoted Alonso to seventh and allowed him to start on the clean side of the race track.

This turned out to be a significant benefit as he was able to move up to fourth on the opening lap.

Alonso’s challenge was further strengthened when Mark Webber retired on lap seventeen with an alternator problem, from third position. This meant another three points for Alonso moving up from fourth to third.

This is Hamilton’s fifth Grand Prix win in North America and the fourth victory of 2012, making a total of twenty-one in his career. Amazingly, it is also the first time that these three champions have found themselves together on the podium.

All three drivers were candidates for Driver of the Day in their own individual ways. Leading up to the stops Hamilton closed to within half a second of the race lead, having a slim chance of a manoeuvre in the DRS zone. But Vettel responded well and built a three second gap prior to the tyre change. We have seen from Vettel during this final stage of the season that he tends to romp away in the opening laps, only to be caught slightly and then re-open that gap in the five laps leading to his stop. This way of drawing the second placed car in saves his tyres whilst ruining those of the car behind, allowing him to put the hammer down at the end of the tyre life and rebuild his lead.


But Vettel was unable to pull a sufficient lead and Hamilton showed McLaren’s long run pace from practice to set up an epic title decider next weekend.

Hamilton drove what his father Anthony described as his finest Grand Prix, using his experience to ensure he had a strong first sector and allow himself a chance in the DRS-zone. In what could be his last victory for McLaren he gave the Woking team a reminder of the speed they will be missing in 2013.

Alonso came through the field to minimise the points loss to his title rival, helped largely by a very good first corner. He struggled to match the pace of those ahead in the first phase of the race, but after the stops set a fastest lap which was only marginally beaten by the two ahead.

Behind the top three, Felipe Massa reacted to his forced penalty with great character and put in his strongest performance of the year thus far, making his way through a large group of cars from 11th during the first phase of the race, setting numerous fastest laps on the way to fourth and eventually finishing just six seconds behind Alonso.

He was followed home by Jenson Button, the Briton opting to start the race on the prime tyre from 12th on the grid and use a long first stint to bring himself back in to contention from his twelfth place start. This turned out to be the case and he was able to make use of his short run on the option tyre to find his way past the Lotus pairing. Had Button not dropped back in to a large group of cars at the beginning of the race he would have found himself with a fighting chance of a podium.

Kimi Raikkonen led home Romain Grosjean, the latter recovering from an early spin which forced an early stop due to a heavy flat-spot. They once again showed strong race pace and Raikkonen had an exhilarating battle with Button as the two ran side by side for much of a lap, before the Brit eventually took the position.

The top ten was completed by Nico Hulkenberg and the Williams pairing, headed by Pastor Maldonado. The trio had a very good race with Hulkenberg in particular running in fifth place during the early phases. The double points finish for Maldonado and Senna will be highly beneficial to their hopes of a race seat on 2013.

A notably strong drive came from Daniel Ricciardo, starting eighteenth and finishing in 12th. He ran as high as fifth during a very long first stint on the option tyre before his solitary stop.

At the other end of the spectrum is Mercedes. The Brackley based squad suffered their fifth consecutive race without scoring a point and were the only team forced in to making two stops solely down to tyre degradation.

Once he’s done celebrating this win, Hamilton will be aware that there is a huge job to do to make them competitive.

[Additional reporting: Matt Meadows]

UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX, Austin, 56 laps
1. Hamilton McLaren 1h35:55.269
2. Vettel Red Bull + 0.675
3. Alonso Ferrari + 39.229
4. Massa Ferrari + 46.013
5. Button McLaren + 56.432
6. Raikkonen Lotus + 1:04.425
7. Grosjean Lotus + 1:10.313
8. Hulkenberg Force India + 1:13.792
9. Maldonado Williams + 1:14.525
10. Senna Williams + 1:15.133
11. Perez Sauber + 1:24.341
12. Ricciardo Toro Rosso + 1:24.871
13. Rosberg Mercedes + 1:25.510
14. Kobayashi Sauber + 1 lap
15. Di Resta Force India + 1 lap
16. Schumacher Mercedes + 1 lap
17. Petrov Caterham + 1 lap
18. Kovalainen Caterham + 1 lap
19. Glock Marussia + 1 lap
20. Pic Marussia + 2 laps
21. De la Rosa HRT + 2 laps
22. Karthikeyan HRT + 2 laps

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1

One race to go…. Vettel’s on the verge of his third WDC… Alonso snapping at his heels…. heated debates here on http://www.jamesallenonf1.com….. hasn’t this years championship turned into a right classic cliff-hanger ending?

The icing on the cake will be rain in Sao Paulo on Sunday afternoon… and of course Alonso winning and Vettel finishing well down the field. 😀

Can’t wait to buy your new 2012 Season Review book James!

2

Is Lewis capable of beating Kimi for the 3rd place? Vettel-Alonso 13 points: Raikkönen-Hamilton 16 points.

3

He’d have to have a repeat weekend, 25 pts to 8. If he’s second, then Kimi would have to be 9th or lower.

If Lewis finishes 3rd though, then he has to attend the end-of-year awards gala. I really doubt he wants that, so while I’m sure he would love to win in Brazil, I’m sure he’d also be hoping for Kimi to get in the top 5 as well.

4

Ferrari’s tactic is within boundaries of regulations but they should have at least changed the gearbox.

I think they should change the rule. If a driver changes a gearbox and has to incur a penalty, his spot should be left empty and he starts from the pitlane.

5

That would be an immensely harsh penalty for a gearbox change!

I think this is one more reason to lobby for things like gearbox changes and going over engine allowance to result in dockages to constructors points only.

6

Great drive by Lewis Hamilton who I picked to win this after his convincing drive at Abu Dhabi ! This was one exceptional effort.Ridiculous comments by posters like JP were rightly moderated. Conservative tyres made this race edgy but a little too dodgy for me-mediums and softs would have made a better race. I’ve said it before and I will say it again – I wouldnt trade Hamilton or Raikkonen for anyone on the grid in pure racing focused team- nothing else!

Redbull Racing completed the picture today of being worlds worst loosers ! What an incredibly stupid -sour grapes radio comment from Vettel when Hamilton passed him! and what an arrogant man Christian Horner is . Pair of tossers both of them! Speaking of sour grapes- Ron Dennis comments about Hamilton were absurd -if not political. How can he “feel nothing” about someone he took into the team from age 11 straight saying he and Lewis were fine and “nothing had changed”. You could understand if he said he was disappointed etc, and life goes on..& then say all those other arrogant things he said- but that’s just another person refusing to say he got it completely wrong.

Whilst completely legal Ferraris planned demotion of Massa I think should force the rules to be changed. This does effect other people races- Lotus most noteably which I don’t feel is in the best interests of the sport. Webers career whilst highlighted with great success will be forever riddled with missed opportunities- just like Massa as a result of team favouritism .Special mention of Rocciardo 18 to 12 position was a good effort.

7

+ 1!, and ditto on the comments regarding Ron. Stubborness is never a positive trait. He didn’t do himself any favoours by that interviw.

8

Hamilton made the race alive, his effort to break down both RBR was awesome. It also showed Vettl ` unsporty side again, using zick zack moves to the edge to defend lost DRS position and then whining abt. Lewis being to close and Narain causing the overtake move. How poor of a 2X WDC……

If this Kid would not be $$$$ and the “Schuey 2.0” he would be not have 2 WDC today.

Fernando did a terrific start responding to the Schumacher-Raikonnen-Hulkenberg press so cleverly and then overtaking all of them on the outside: that was a Grande Royale superclass act!

Again first set of tyres seemed not working for Scuderia. Second set was better especially for Massa, who came closer to Fernando again.

At the end fast laptimes shows speed is there, but tyres on the RBR seem to work from lap 1 immediately and maintain good pace ….

And I really want to know how Button managed to do faster laptims with older tyres than Fernando and Massa, was even near to Hamilton pace then …… ??? And why MGP and Williams were nowhere now in the race ? Even Lotus was missing the pace.

Look fwd to Brasil. Let it rain and become a thriller WDC win of Fernando. His efforts to beat the RBR planet this year and surviving that real nasty DNF should be rewarded.

9

Button was on softs, only Rosberg had the same strategy. And why? Because Jenson was useless in qualifying again.

10

Button was fine until the McLaren had throttle control problems which meant he was eliminated from Q2.

But I suppose you could make it mean that Button is a poor Qualifier, using history to prove the point.

11

I’m not one of Button’s fans by a long shot, but how exactly does can you equate a power loss hence forcing retirement of the qualifying session to being “useless in qualifying”?

12

The reason Lewis left McLaren is because of a clear perceived or real lack of appreciation of his talents.

Whitmarsh’s overt preference for Jenson,which led to various conscious or unconscious decisions which undermed Lewis strategy constantly, attempting to get Jenson ahead via various sly methods, not giving him a good enough car when it’s possible, and even when they do that, they manage to cock up the strategy or pitstop, offering him less money and undermining him DURING negotiations.

If all that changes,of course, he will be back in a flash.

Unfortunately, watchng Big Ron’s interview on Sky shows that they still don’t get it, and the interview also showed that Big Ron is a Big Git (hope i can say that!), and will do well to come off his high horse and eat some humble pie sometimes. It will take a seismic shift for McLaren to change the way they do things. I’m not holding my breath.

13

Well said. I’ve been a big Ron D’s fan for a long time (for his grit and and sort of rags-to-riches story), but I saw him on SKY yesterday in a different light. He’s wrong on this matter, admitting that will do him and his team a world of good.

14

Would have been a good laugh if Red Bull changed Webber’s gearbox just to get Alonso back on the dirty side again! “Ah sorry mate, some issues with your gearbox, we have to change it.” Would have loved Mark’s reaction to that…

15

“A ticking bomb ” Failed alternator in car No2… Hmmm and gearbox change in supporting act car ! Alternator failed in the wrong car and the honesty Oscar goes to Stefano. I guess Ferrari should have lied. Apart from that some people have to stop crying when passed, bravo Hamilton. Bring the rain for the last GP to witness the fall of egos.

16

As an Alonso fan I just want to say well done Lewis fantastic race that’s the kind of racing we want to see. The determination to grind down Vettel was awesome and kept me on the edge of my seat.. Brilliant!!

17

James, perhaps a bit irrelevant at the moment but wanted ur sweet reply on this, this years quali between Seb and Webber is 11-7, had Hamilton been in Seb’s car, what tally do you predict. 🙂

18

I actually think in a nailed-on car, over a single lap, Vettel is faster. Let’s face it, he’s had 3 years of experience. Hamilton has been wringing the neck out of the McLaren and I’m not sure an on-rails car would react in quite so positive a manner to such a style.

I truly believe that Hamilton is the better racer, but Vettel is the fastest qualifier.

19

No idea. Closer to 9-9 certainly. Circuit dependent a little bit too, probably e.g. HAM in Montreal and Abu Dhabi, VET in Suzuka etc

20

I think you are not taking the top speed of the redbull into consideration when making this assessment. Hamilton might not be that fast in the Redbull also why that stat is close is because earlier in the season Seb was trying different setups of the rear the moment he perfected it was game over for Webber.

21

He said Seb’s car 🙂

In which case it could be worse for Webber. But then again the same if in Webber’s car, as proven this weekend.

22

Who is the champion?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but Andretti said there was 3 champions on the podium. Who is not yet a champion in his eyes?

Plus the questions he asked were really, really safe, careful not to provoke eff-s or s-es. What a funny podium it was…

The race made me think once again, why they use standing starts? Zillion years ago it was obvious that certain positions are unfavourable. Around 20 years ago there was quite a bicker in Suzuka, whether the pole should be inside or outside. Now, it is a battlefield for teamorders. Should it be like that because of the tradition, I’m not sure at all.

Who is the winner?

Vettel drove a good race, but was unlucky with a backmarker. Hamilton, on the other hand, was not that clean(went off during the opening stages) and he got close with the help of DRS- the ultimate race spoiler, if you see what I mean…

So the winner of the race(and a champion) must be Andretti.

23

Standing starts are what make F1. Why would you go to a rolling start system. Just look at restarts under the safety car, sure you get the odd move here or there, but they don’t provide even a tenth of the excitement of a standing start!

24

Such a shame Ferrari had to resort to contrived team orders once again and it has further damaged the reputation of the sport in the eyes of the casual fans. Ferrari are the only team that seem to continually bring this kind of controversy to the sport.

That aside, eveything is to play for in Brazil. We have seen so many lottery races there over the last few years that anything could happen. Personally I’d prefer them to put Brazil at the start of the season so that the finale isn’t decided by such a lottery if it rains, but it will provide thrilling entertainment for sure.

25

For me Hamilton racewin goes to same category with housewives, who`s got superpowers, when their kids are in lifethreathening situations. It goes to same gategory with animals, whoe`s got back against the wall and so on. Next weekend it will be Alonso too.

26

In an alternate Universe, a big maybe. Considering that Interlagos is one of the tracks that preferred by many other drivers, I’d be surprised to see Alonso anything higher than 7th in qualy.

One thing he can be sure of, Massa is going to be quicker than him, again.

27

Hamilton was the highlight for me this weekend. And the overall race was incredibly entertaining too. Loved the circuit configuration and most of all the elevation, awesome. Wished the corkscrew at Leguna Seca was included in this track.

Enjoyed the midfield fights from at least 9 cars within a second, wonderful!

I just want to say something to Vettel “Cut the length of your podium speech, please!”. He’s driving me nuts with that and he’s only 25.

Gotta give credit to Massa, my heart goes out to him for what he has to accept from Ferrari, but he kept his job. Am hoping Massa will be in the fight for 2013 WDC. He’s been performing very well lately, better than Alonso. If he keeps his momentum with the same car next year I won’t be surprised he will rattle the cage.

Alonso truly deserves the title this year, it will be sad if he does not. So Vettel needs only 2 or 3 points more. Certainly not easy for Nando, but never say never. Alonso’s body language towards Vettel in the podium room does not impress me at all. Cmon Nando, you can do better than sulking all the time, and he has been rated the best driver even as a great. The respect from fans and especially the haters has been amazing and well earned though.

BRAZIL. Carnavalito!

28

Well. I read the first few comments, and James replies to that and i find this very sad. This kp guy said something very bold, espessially in this tread, and there was more truth in it, than you guys don`t realize.

This Hamilton guy is just quick, but not a thinker. He had nothing to lose, and he did drive like there is no tomorrow. Vettel does not have this kind of luxury right now. Even Alonso just cruises and lets Massa to catch him, hoping others misfortune.

I understand, it`s hard to see full picture, but first two guys have very different mentality in this time around.

And just to shut him up like that is very childish and frustating. Your page has normally more objective but maybe you too finally had a change to cheer, so i respect that and a fact, that this your page where to play god and to be an opinionmaker.

29

It’s James’ site, he can do and say what he likes.

30

erik, I hope James won’t mind me advertising a ‘competitor’ – I wouldn’t usually do it but in this case I think it’s justified. If you want to go a to a site with comments about drivers being pants and hooras for my driver your driver is rubbish, then may I suggest PlanetF1. The comments are full of that kind of bile.

I for one am glad that James put a stop to the previous discussion. I wouldn’t have been surprised if he’d deleted it all together. As the first comment on the article, it’s not exactly a great advertisement for the site.

31

Calling Hamilton pants is frustrating and childish. But you obviously can’t see that can you erik. Then you talk about being objective.LOL!!!!

32

I think you need a bit of perspective. It’s only a discussion space….

33

Exactly so….opinions are just that. But extremes do need removing or it would just end up a page of insults.

34

Nice to finally see three best drivers of the generation on the podium together. Great drive by Hamilton. McLaren was like on rails through sector 1. I couldn’t believe he was able to gain 0,3+ sec on Red Bull through the esses on every single lap.

I think Red Bull paid the price for setting the car like they always do – (too) low top speed. That’s why Vettel was so vulnerable in the DRS zone. I don’t know why they keep doing it, this is not 2011. They are not untouchable.

Breaking the gearbox seal on Massa’s car helped Fernando great deal at the start. I don’t approve things like that, but hey… rules allow it. Poor Massa. He was the faster of the Ferrari drivers today though.

In Abu Dhabi Alonso expected more than 3 points gain, this time it was Vettel.

13 points lead is not so big, it’s like 5 points with the old points system.

I hope reliability won’t decide this title. I checked weather forecast for Interlagos and its rain!

Brazil will be a thriller and I can see Vettel winning this WDC!

35

Must confess that due to where I live the race coverage was going out late at night, after beddie-byes for me. I had an inkling it was going to be a procession and decided not to bother staying up. I watched it this morning on the i-player instead. How I wished I had sat through the live late night TV. Excellent show. I just hope the American fans who were there can spread the good word to those who missed it. Quality racing throughout the field. Seems a shame it all comes to an end next week. 20 races a year is not enough!

36

Is if too late for Hammy to get out of the Mercedes contract? He is clearly made for McLaren and McLaren made for him. I think he will find Mercedes a disappointment, I just don’t see how they can turn that team around. In China it was all looking good, even up to Monaco, but since then they have been getting steadily worse and realistically are now behind Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari, Lotus, Sauber, Force India and Williams on race day. What a disaster! Lewis has been sucked in by the silky tongue of Niki Lauda – a great driver but not exactly a man with a great record of when it comes to team management as we learnt with Jaguar!

37

McLaren should’ve walked it this year, if they had been on song throughout. But they messed up HORRIBLY. Hamilton’s been at his best this year, and it’s all been for naught.

Hamilton had his worst year last year, and yet he will have scored more points then over 19 races than he will this year over 20! Last year it really didn’t matter; even if Hamilton was at his best, there was no stopping the RB7/Vettel pairing last year.

So while Mercedes have been nothing short of shocking in the second half of this year, it doesn’t condemn them to the same next year. The odds that it could be the same or worse next year is very, very low.

They have the most powerful engine, the tires next year are to be constructed with a wider working window, they’re learning the Coanda exhaust, and they won’t have the DDRS screwing up their weight-shift balance turning into corners.

If it all goes teats-up, I’m sure Hamilton has out-clauses if they don’t win, etc. Then 2014 is a clean slate, which could really shake

up the grid.

38

“China it was all looking good, even up to Monaco, but since then they have been getting steadily worse…”

…as other teams learned how to deal with the tyres, and Mercedes realized that it was pretty much impossible to make use of the tyres effectively with the DDRS, a concept which the car was built around and got stuck in a development dead-end.

(for about the 20th time!)

39

The problem is the car not the management. I dare say the 2013 Merc wil be upgraded considerably and whether it’s any good or not, the move will do Hami good.

40

Ferrari ought to snap up Narain Kathikeyan. He makes a good rear gunner for Alonso! 😀

41

Watching Sky’s coverage, I can’t believe they didn’t have any music by Stevie Ray Vaughan, an iconic Austin musician.

42

I agree with you totally, Austin has the best guitar players in the world.

43

After today, I wonder if we’re possibly looking at a situation where Hamilton returns to McLaren in 2014? – a similar situation where Alonso returned to Renault after his move to McLaren in 2007?

McLaren are going to miss having a fantastic driver like Hamilton and Hamilton will miss having a team like McLaren, which he considers “home.”

Can Hamilton, if he has a disappointing season in 2013 with Mercedes, say, “this isn’t right for me,” and go back to McLaren?

44

I’m sure there’s a big possibility of Hamilton going back to McLaren eventually, but more likely as his swansong, not any time in the immediate future.

45

Alonso back to Renault happened because McLaren wanted to get rid of him, wouldn’t mind taking Kovo in, Renault missed Alonso’s speed so the two teams did a straight swap, without the need for Alonso to pay anything in breaking the contract.

Doubt 203-14 Hamilton back to McLaren would happen

46

Contracts are made to be broken, in a way. Remember how Button basically said “This isn’t for me” in… what was it? 03? 04? And tried to sign back to Williams?

47

So with the finale, here are the standings

New points

Vettel – 273

Alonso – 260

13 points. 13 points in it. Alonso must outscore Vettel by 14 points. In the event that they end up even stevens on score – then Vettel wins the title because of winning more races.

In order for Alonso to be the 2012 champion, Alonso MUST FINISH ON THE PODIUM, and Vettel MUST FINISH OUTSIDE OF THE TOP 4

Vettel will be champion if:

– Vettel finishes in the top 4

– Vettel finishes P5-P7, Alonso finishes P2 or lower

– Vettel P8-P9, Alonso finishes P3 or lower

– Vettel finishes P10/DNFs, Alonso off the podium

Alonso will be champion if:

– Alonso wins, Vettel finishes P5 or lower

– Alonso P2, Vettel finishes P8 or lower

– Alonso P3, Vettel finishes P10 or lower

– If Alonso is off the podium, he CANNOT be champion.

===================================

(I did the old money calculations just for the hell of it)

Old points

Vettel – 112

Alonso – 106

Same rules apply as above (if they end up same score, then Vettel becomes champion). Interestingly in old money Vettel is a lot closer to the title.

In OLD MONEY, in order for Alonso to be the 2012 champion, Alonso MUST FINISH IN THE TOP 2, and Vettel MUST FINISH OUTSIDE OF THE TOP 5

Vettel will be champion if:

– Vettel finishes in the top 5

– Vettel finishes P6-P7, Alonso finishes P2 or lower

– Vettel finishes P8 or lower, Alonso finishes P3 or lower

Alonso will be champion if:

– Alonso wins, Vettel finshes P6 or lower

– Alonso finishes P2, Vettel finishes P8 or lower

You’re welcome 😛

48

Thanks a lot,

I used to, and still do, love those kind of calculations with which to enter into the last race. We’ve been fortunate in the last couple of years to have a number of champion-deciding last of the season races (or even laps!), and it’s nailbiting stuff to have those kind of ‘what-if’ scenarios on the right side of my screen whilst the race is on the left half. So thanks again!

49

A fabulous race at a fabulous circuit. A good start for F1 on their return here in the U.S. and although the local Austin news outlets covered the event very well, nationally it was a different story.

By late Sunday evening, our leading national newspaper’s online website (USA Today) carried front page sports news headlines regarding NASCAR’s final race, results etc but no mention at all regarding the USGP.

In the coming years, F1 teams and sponsors will have to work hard to engage national media outlets, talkshows etc if it wants to attract the attention of mainstream America. F1 has a lot of offer American sports fans but will have to work hard to sell itself if it wants to stay and grow in this country. Here’s hoping…

50

Well, the race did happen on the same day the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase was decided. Even though that showdown ended up a damp squib, with Johnson having to retire.

It was a great race, with TONS of overtaking, tons of battles everywhere on the track, overtakes at a whole bunch of places on the track (into Turn 1, out of Turn 1, down to Turn 12, out of Turn 14 – Button’s favourite spot yesterday – etc.), great weather, a great crowd. As far as the purpose-built tracks on the calendar, I think it’s safe to say it is UP THERE among the very best!

51

Very well said. I was thinking the exact same thing

52

“The double points finish for Maldonado and Senna will be highly beneficial to their hopes of a race seat on 2013.”

James you really think so? After all was just a couple of points both amassed. You think it will help Bruno secure a seat for next year?

53

If I were Williams I’d take Senna’s millions and use it to pay for a drive for Bottas somewhere (Caterham/New HRT). A year of racing would do him the world of good and be a sensible investment. Maldonado and a very young rookie is a hell of a risk to be taking.

54

I think F1 would be losing a talented driver if Senna gets the boot by Williams. This is only his first proper season in F1 (I don’t see how you could count at year at HRT or the few races in the Lotus last year as such). He has been a consistent points scorer for Williams, much more so that Maldonado. He doesn’t have the same outright speed as him at the moment, but everyone said Maldonado only got the Williams seat last year because of his money and this season he has been mightily fast if quite erratic. I think Williams should give him a second chance. Bottas can wait another year – maybe try and win GP2.

55

I think Heki’s seat in Catherham is becoming dependant on if Williams release Senna(‘s funding)

56

Splendid race report. One of your best. Hamilton’s drive was brilliant. James, I appreciated your use, in the same sentence, of Felipe Massa & reacting “with great character”. Couldn’t do that with too many, lol.

Tim

57

As he showed in Brazil 2008.

Been a lousy three years for Massa, but today he was a giant

58

Today he was Giant ?

Come on james. You cannot call a driver giant who performs once in 17 races. Massa is simply too slow and not good enough

I cannot understand why people here and many other sites make a meal out of nothing. Ferrari made a good decision. Massa has no right to stand in alonso’s way towards WDC.

Massa is getting back ? where to his home ?

59

That’s why JA said “Today he was…”. He had a great drive, undeniable. Each GP is a creature unto itself, and to have a great race is an exhilirating thing. Massa is getting his confidence back, and it’s good to see.

60

Massa is getting back to that form that he had before the accident at Hungary in 2009.

61

couldn’t agree more

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