F1 Winter Break
United States Grand Prix – Who was your Driver of the Day?
Posted By: James Allen  |  19 Nov 2012   |  5:42 am GMT  |  263 comments

Formula 1’s return to the United States turned out to be a big success as the brand new Circuit of the Americas delivered one of the most exciting races of the season, featuring a race-long duel for the lead and some strong drives through the field.

There were impressive performances from both title contenders – Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso – and two former champions – Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, while Felipe Massa overcame a cruel psychological blow to score a great result – but who was your Driver of the Day?

Lewis Hamilton

It’s not every day that you pass both Red Bull cars to win a race. Arrived in Austin on the back of a disappointing race in Abu Dhabi which saw him retire from the lead of the race with a mechanical failure. Looked comfortable on the new Circuit of the Americas track, and set the second fastest time in first practice, albeit 1.4 seconds slower than pace-setter Sebastian Vettel. Pulled out a brilliant lap in qualifying to achieve the second fastest time, just one tenth of a second behind Vettel. Lost a place at the start to Mark Webber, but repassed the Red Bull driver on lap four. Chased Vettel down and took advantage of the German getting held up in traffic to close up and then pass him at the end of the long straight. Held on to take his fourth victory of the season, second successive win in the United States and 21st triumph of his career.

Sebastian Vettel

On fire in Friday practice, finishing 1.4 second clear of the field in first practice and 0.7 seconds clear in the second session. Dominated third practice and each segment of qualifying to take his sixth pole position of the season. Made a clean getaway from pole to lead after the first corner, but struggled to pull away at the front as he has so often done. Resisted pressure from Hamilton, but lost time in traffic which allowed Hamilton to close up. Lost the lead to Hamilton, but easily held on to second to extend his championship lead over Fernando Alonso to 13 points going to the final race of the season in Brazil.

Fernando Alonso

Arrived in Texas knowing a strong result was necessary to keep his title challenge alive. Struggled for pace on Friday and continued that poor form on Saturday. Was beaten by his Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa in all three segments of qualifying to end up ninth fastest. That became eighth, as a result of Romain Grosjean’s gearbox penalty. Promoted to seventh on Sunday as his Ferrari team chose to pick up a penalty deliberately on Felipe Massa’s car which dropped the Brazilian behind Alonso and allowed the Spaniard to start on the clean side of the grid. Made a good start, rising to fourth at the start but struggled to keep pace with the leaders. Inherited third when Webber retired and maintained that position until the end of the race, allowing him to go to Brazil with a shot at the title.

Felipe Massa

Recovered from the forced five place grid drop by his team to emerge a giant on Sunday. Looked more comfortable at the Circuit of the Americas compared to his team-mate Alonso. Replicated that pace in qualifying to outqualify Alonso for only the second time this season with the sixth fastest time. Demoted to 11th after his team decided to take a penalty deliberately to aid Alonso’s title challenge. Kept his nose clean at the start, but passed just one car to run 10th. Put good moves on Michael Schumacher, Paul di Resta and Kimi Raikkonen to rise up to fourth and help Ferrari’s push to beat McLaren to second in the constructors’ championship. JA’s shout for Driver of the Day on BBC Radio 5 Live.

Jenson Button

Looked strong in Friday practice, finishing fourth and fifth fastest in practice, but had his weekend compromised in qualifying when his McLaren suffered a power issue in Q2. Started the race 12th but lost a host of places after struggling for grip off the line as he was on the dirty side of the grid. Battled back impressively, running quite deep into the race before pitting and putting moves on Michael Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean. Climbed up to fifth but ran out of laps to catch Massa.

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Narain Kathikeyan gets my vote.


Yes! Without a shadow of a doubt!


Yea, for finishing the race ? Given his HRT broke again in quali for him. You've gotta give it to him for driving around that peice-a-crap and still being cheerful about it every once in a while.

Jesus, these back markers do they even enjoy the race, I mean half the time they keep movin away from the racing line for faster cars thanks to all the blue flags.


+1 I also see no way in how the back markers can possibly enjoy the race.. pointless them being there


Cucumber anyone? 😉


There were several candidates, Hamilton gets my nod for overtaking two Redbulls to win this race. Massa was a very close second and would have got the nod if Hamilton had simply led from the front in the best car. RBR were fastest all weekend in all sessions, they either had the fastest car or a car equal to the McLaren and Hamilton took them both.

I know I've said it many times beofre but are any of the tyre defenders ready to reconsider their point of view yet? I was utterly thrilled to see these drivers pushing their cars throughout the whole race - real set of your pants driving lap after lap and ALL THE WAY TO THE END. This is what F1 racing drivers should be driving like at every GP! This was a thriller - F1 does not need Pirelli's ridiculous, comedy tyres! Down with the world tyre saving championship - Up with the world racing championship! Hooray for F1 and Circuit of America!


Hi Wayne,

I agree with your reply, but I feel the situation the last race would be unusual. The tight racing would come when a car is slightly out of position. A pass may or may not occur, but if it does then that would be the end of it. You would be unlikely to see a car get away and then get reeled in except on fuel usage.

Part of the problem could be that the FIA wants to limit speeds, so the performance of the tyres has been dumbed down since 2006. As you say, in the 1980s this wasn't the case.

It is a tricky problem to get right. I would make all the cars fan sucker cars with front and rear wings being single elements and so better for advertising. This would eliminate the turbulent wale problem. I'm not certain of the aero development potential, but I think it would make the field more even.





A little relevant Whitmarsh quote adding to a conversation we had a number of times about treating drivers equally.


"I don't think so," Whitmarsh told The Telegraph when asked if that is a way to run a race team. "I think it was quite a tough thing to do personally.

"I'm not criticising anyone for what they do. Team principals have to decide how they run their teams and it's very clear that Ferrari are very focused on Fernando.

"In fairness it works for Fernando because, lest we forget, when Fernando was with us it was not doing those things that meant that Fernando left us.


Hi Wayne,

I remember having a discussion with Malcolm Strachan on this site after Germany re the tyres creating overtakes, such as Kimi on a Force India, and whether DRS had any influence on the pass. This time around, DRS was still needed to make the pass, so some purists will complain.

The reality is that the tyres are same as earlier in the season. The teams just understand them better now, with Mercedes taking a lot of pain compared to most other teams.

The degradation is still a problem but the teams have got management of it to a point where it reduces less than the fuel effect. Hamilton overcooked his first set of tyres slightly, but got the second set right in terms of wear and heat.

In terms of spectacle, I find one stop races quite limited strategically. You don't get the opportunities Williams had in Spain to try to jump early. The undercut is often immediately countered so teams don't want to go too early.

If your favourite driver has the fastest car, the current situation is quite good as the car can use all its downforce to best effect without suffering a wear penalty. The two teams with the most downforce destroyed everyone else - the Ferraris were 0.6 second per lap slower on average through the race. Degrading tyres bring the cars that have a big advantage in qualifying due to their greater downforce back to the field.

If you have perfect tyres, what you would normally have is the faster car-driver combination sticking it on pole, and from there, usually leading every lap until the finish. Race engineering becomes relatively unimportant. Lotus would not have come close to winning any races this year.

If Red Bull didn't have its extra DRS functionality for qualifying, I believe you would have had Hamilton lead the whole race, except possibly the pitstop phase. Bring tyre management into the equation and you more likely would have had a situation where Red Bull is back in contention, rather than a stalemate.

There is also the view to consider that tyre management and conserving the car - which was a skill throughout F1 up to about the end of 1993 - is still a relevant discriminator between drivers. Start removing those elements from racing and you could easily conclude that Alain Prost wouldn't have won the world title in either 1985 or particularly 1986.

Tyres will always be an engineering problem, but, it is pretty safe to say:

1. The better you make the tyres the greater the field spread you will have. (engine variations from 2014 might change this slightly, but now downforce dominates)

2. Diversity of results will reduce throughout the field with better tyres.

In a way I'm defending the tyres, otherwise passing would all be about the downforce thought up in the design shop, KERS and DRS. Tyres bring in race engineering and secondary driving skills such as tyre management and adaptability. To get passing you need something that puts slower cars ahead of faster ones. Eliminating a variable simply reduces the possibilities.

I get your point that it is great being able to see drivers push all the time, but there also needs to be an incentive to for the driver to push. The tyres as they stand act to bring the cars closer together in performance in the races.




Hi Martin, thanks for your reply. I suppose the only point that you make that I take slight issue with is the below:

"There is also the view to consider that tyre management and conserving the car - which was a skill throughout F1 up to about the end of 1993 - is still a relevant discriminator between drivers. Start removing those elements from racing and you could easily conclude that Alain Prost wouldn't have won the world title in either 1985 or particularly 1986"

I'm not sure that at any previous point in F1 the tyres were deliberately engineered to be short-lived and as fragile as they seem to have been recently. Rather tyre management in the past has been a symptom of the limits of what could be engineered, when the demands of ther car are balanced. Nowadays, tyres can be made that last, but we artifically choose to limit them and the driver's application of their talent to drive cars quickly and safely.

I don't subscribe to the idea that seeing cars defenceless and being overtaken by half a dozen competitors at the end of a race because the tyres are capable of such extremes as 'good racing'. I also think it makes the middle 'tyre saving' phase of every GP a compelte bore - On Sunday, Hamilton and Vettel went at it for 55 Laps - they would not have been able to do so had the tyre supplier not been as conservative - the 'chase' car would have wiped out it's tyres behind the lead car much earlier and ended that particular battle in my opinion.




Great, cheers Andrew.


The excitement came from the unfamiliarity with the harder tyres, not the simple fact that they lasted longer. Drivers didn't know how hard to push, how quick the other compound would be after their stop etc, uncertainty creates mistakes that create excitement.

That is why for the last few seasons we have had more exciting races at the start of the season before the teams have figured it out.

Pirelli simply making tyres that last the whole race for every race would just bring us back to the dull processions of the Bridgestone days.

This race was a triumph of modern F1, new circuit that the drivers AND the fans loved; overtaking thanks to a perfectly judged DRS zone that gave cars the chance to overtake, but not the certainty; unpredictable tyres that kept the strategy computers on their toes.

And in the end a long standing element of F1 come to the fore with a leader’s ability to negotiate back markers being the difference between 1st and 2nd.

Anyone remember Murray's commentaries from the early 90s when the anticipation of the leaders catching the back markers was built up as that was the exciting point in the race when a chaser would have an opportunity.


The tyres are the same as they've been all year this was the fourth of fifth time that Medium and Hard tyres were brought to a GP.

It was the way they worked on this new surface, low temperatures and the fact that teams understand how to make them work now that made the spectacle what it was this weekend


He's not included in the list I thought. But LOL anyway.


Had Kathikeyan not tangled with Rosberg in Abu Dhabi then arguably Vettel's recovery would have been less spectacular. He gained points in one race because of him and lost points in another.

In this race Vettel also made a job of passing him - he could see the car, should have known that he wouldn't get past through the high speed section, and should have hung back a little bit to then push past when he was clear of that section of the track. As it was he decided to push on, got caught right up behind Karthikeyan's car, which then left him making a clumsy pass, whilst Hamilton had a clear run to follow him through.

Hamilton had the awareness to turn up the engine knowing that Vettel would get caught up behind the back marker. Vettel didn't have the awareness to control the situation, and instead threw his toys out the pram on the radio. In a red mist moment he then risked even finishing the race by weaving on track as Hamilton came past.


Vettel constantly throws his toys out. Senna once said "It's always somebody else to blame, it's never his fault" over Prost. The same an be said for Vetel. Backmarkers will be ever present in F1 and he just has to deal with it. NK spoke to Charlie Whiting after the race after the uproar by Red Bull and Newey claiming that NK was the "bane of Red Bull". Charlie concluded that his actions were totally legitimate. SkyF1 were constantly going on about the 1st sector problem that it would be next to impossible for a backmarker to let someone pass all through FP1-3 and Quali - this was not something new going into the race. Furthermore, drivers did not seem to mind that the first sector of Suzuka is similar. The only difference here is that there's a DRS zone at the end. If Vettel wants to really blame somebody, then blame Herman Tilke!


Senna did also punch Eddie Irvine for re-passing him in Suzuka. But your point is still very valid.


I think Karthikeyan's car's hydraulic system failing, meaning the car suddenly slowed in front of Rosberg, can hardly be the driver's fault, and it's unfair and inaccurate to say that he "tangled with Rosberg" as a result.


Don't get me wrong, perhaps I phrased it poorly but I don't think Kathikeyan has been to blame for any of his incidents with Vettel nor with Rosberg. I was merely trying to highlight the fact that Vettel has both gained and lost because of him, so can hardly single him out like he is trying to do. It betrays his sense of entitlement that was apparent again with his radio outburst.


Slow and steady, wins the race


In V8 Supercars in Australia, engineers of a team often call a driver a 'spacer' because all they do is take up space in the car.

Narain Kathikeyan is the epitome of a spacer. Adds nothing to the car not the sport, just takes up space.


Without Narain, I don't think F1 would have caught India's attention to this extent. There wouldn't be a Force India or a BIC. Now, tell me. Is he just a spacer?? Is he doing nothing for this sport?? Think again.


Lol, what a delusional comment!

Ok, let me think about this...

You think without Narain, there would be no Force India! If that is true, why hasn’t he raced for the team? Why did the team come into existence 3 years after Karthikeyan left F1? I’m sure it was all because of Narain’s ‘excellent’ driving in 2005 that gave reason to Vijay to start the team.

And what’s this... there wouldn’t be BIC without Narain! Lmao. I didn’t realise having a new circuit was predicated on a driver of that Nationality in F1. I guess Korea, Singapore and the United States didn’t read that memo.

So, after thinking about, I can honestly tell you that Kumar Ram Narain Karthikeyan adds absolutely nothing to the sport of F1.


Hi Phil,

I think you are being a bit to harsh on the moving chicane, the back markers are not that competitive yet. We saw Redbull came from nothing to Triple Constructors Championships and with their driver competing for a third drivers championship. It adds a lot to the sport in many ways, not just providing jobs but the added variables that make good ingredients for motor sport. You have the right to judge but I think you maybe missing the point...If you have the interactive feature, try watching the what happens at the back, it's full on racing and a demonstration of driver skill...the camera tends to stick with the leaders 90% of the time...for obvious reasons.


Stewart Racing won 1 race with Herbert in 1999. And they were 4-th that year (higher than Williams and Benetton), just before Jaguar bought them.


[mod]. You don't have to win races to have a good team. Sauber is a good (dare I say "competitive") team, but they only have a lone win (Canada, 2008. I don't have to look it up, I was there). The reality is that Sauber is a midfield team with flashes of brilliance. If a major manufacturer (let's say VW) wanted to buy a team, it would be a solid organization that with investment and hiring, could be turned into a potential title contender within a few years. That was my point with Red Bull. They bought a team that in Jaguar, was a midfield team (at least at times, but you could say the same with Sauber). Jaguar even made a podium. Buying a team that has a good organization, chassis, facilities is definitely easier than buying one that has a bad one, or starting one from scratch. I can't picture a major manufacturer buying, let's say, HRT (I hope I didn't offend any HRT fans), and making it a world champion in five years. I think it might be easier to start a team from scratch than buy a back marker like HRT. Oh, I almost forgot--They also got a decent driver in the Jaguar deal. Maybe you've heard of him--Mark Webber. His consistency has certainly helped Red Bull over the years. But maybe you know better, with the Internet at your fingertips. BTW, I just need to mention one more time--I just love those Pirelli hats on the podium at Austin!

[Please just make your point without insulting other readers - Mod]


How do you mean competitive, They have 0 wins as Stewart Racing and 1 under Jaguar. They only started wining when the Master of car design Adrian Neway was installed to show case his talents. Otherwise it has always been at the back of the Grid...Stop misleading yourself Phil, especially with the internet at your fingertips. But I take it with a pinch of salt and laugh a little...You are a funny guy.


Actually, Red Bull bought out a competitive Jaguar team, which bought out Stewart Racing.


Vettel caught up with him at the wrong part of the track in the s bends where overtaking is impossible.

If any blame can be given it would be HRT pitwall not the driver. HRT could have warned NK of the fast approaching cars behind.

I dont know why your crying Horner said it himself "HRT has helped us in the past but not on this occasion"


Readers here may find it funny, but I'm serious when I pick Narain.

He is in a backmarker team, he is driving a crap car, he may have lesser talents than all those drivers in front of him. However, he keeps his head down and does the job, he gets accused of doing wrong when it was actually the other driver being the wrongdoer and nonetheless he does what he can to keep out of the way.

If you are saying he is a spacer, didn't Alonso also drove a Minardi in 2001? Didn't Webber also started out with a Minardi? Who would've guessed these two raced side-by-side up Eau Rouge in 2011 at full speed with two top teams 10 years later

I respect this guy a lot and he worths 10+ or more Vettel. I would rather watch this guy race with backmarkers than seeing Vettel who don't know how respect others to win races.


webber did get 5th in his first race and an 8th later in the season.. as you said, in a minardi


Oh see, you just ruined it.

Praise for NK... OK, it's a bit weird... but you had started to make a good point about the potential of back markers (beyond the fact that NK is 15 years older than FA was when he was at Minardi, hardly making him the future of the sport) before you went on your Vettel bashing rant.

I'm 100% sure that all team principles would agree with you: that NK is worth SO MUCH MORE than SV and that they would rather have in the car than the 2x WDC.

The racing between LH and SV was fair and even, FULL OF RESPECT, just as all of the racing this year between the top drivers. All the top drivers have respect for each other, which is why LH and FA have their love-in these days.


+1. 'Surely Hamilton should get a penalty. He overtook me' I think highlights perfectly what you said about respect.


Amen, its fairly ignorant to sum up a driver due to his being in a poor car. Unfortunately for Narain he has been in Vettel's path one too many times and being painted as something he is not. I love his line, "if he complains, its too bad".

I also agree with watching him (and Pedro Glock and Pic) I find this as much or more intersting than the front of the grid, many of these guys would do well in the Red Bull, Mclaren or Ferrari. To watch them battle with such limited resources in cars that are a handful is nothing to sneeze at. Not to mention Vettel's childness leave a bad taste on the whole title chase...for me anyway.


That spacer is ahead of his ex-McLaren teammate in the championship. Karthikeyan is no dud; he's no Jim Clark either, but he's a good racing driver in a troubled team, doing a decent job in tough circumstances.


wow! You must have a very big blindspot for NK.

He is consistently the slowest driver on the grid regardless of the team he drives for. Just look at his past records. He probably holds the record for being the slowest driver in F1 history. LOL


I agree to an extent although I would say NK is by no means a strong driver.


Well, Narain is ahead of de la Rosa in the standings simply because the spaniard had a first lap DNF at Monaco, a race where many cars didn't finish and so Narain got a P15. If we look at the races finished by both drivers, there was never a single occasion when Narain beat de la Rosa, and the qualifying shootout is pretty unbalanced too (17-2, probably the biggest difference in a team). Not that I think the criteria should be changed (by the way, something similar happened in 2007 when Hamilton was placed ahead of Alonso even though the spaniard beat him 9-6 in the races finished by both), but I guess we shouldn't get too carried away about the fact that the standings place Narain ahead of de la Rosa - that's just one of those artifacts we get once in a while - for the very same reason Caterham is placed below Marussia even though it doesn't make much sense when we compare them on a race by race basis.


Completely agree!


NK is doing a job, and he bore no fault in the Vettel "incident". They asked Charlie how to handle blue flags through the esses, and Charlie told them that they were right to think that going offline through there could potentially be worse (running offline onto the clag, fish-tailing, and then wiping out the passing leaders anyone?), and so they were told to keep to the racing line through there, and let cars through after that section.

DotD is a simple one: Hamilton, Hamilton, Hamilton. Could any other driver on the grid, in that McLaren, have split the Red Bulls in quali, and then stay with them and pass them during the race?!? I think only Alonso and possibly Raikkonen would be capable of it.


You can make a case for any of the guys on the list - and arguably Kimi deserves a mention. Don't recall him making any mistakes (possibly the start, but I don't think he had much option).

I went for Hamilton, though - one of his better drives, I think. He seems to have got the hang of the tyres, and he was fast when he needed to be, smooth and consistent, and aggressive on the Vettel pass.

All the drivers deserve kudos for some very close wheel-to-wheel driving without running into each other, as well. Raikkonen and Button, Hamilton and Vettel, even Maldonado managed to overtake without taking anyone out. Good stuff.


Indeed so; there were many exceptional drives up and down the field. It was great to see so many moves being made in so many places without anyone shredding tyres or losing front wings.

My personal favourite overtake was Kimi on Hulkenburg through turns 1-3. Jenson made some pretty decent moves as well (on Grosjean for example). Grosjean did well early on and recovered well after his slip. Massa arguably outdrove Alonso. Great race!

To get to the end and be surprised (and somewhat disappointed) that it was nearly over only goes to show what a thrilling race it was.

Nice that the championship is to go to the final race as well. Roll on next week!


Yeah Raikkonen's pass on Hulk was awesome


Massa... all the way. .stonking drive after the enforced grid penalty.. took one for the team and generally outshone Alonso..


Same here, ALO is my favorite driver by far, but Massa put on his big boy pants and went to work on Sunday. Awesome drive and in my opinion earned his seat at Ferrari next year for sure.

If it weren't for the adversity Massa had to overcome in the race though, my vote definitely would have been for Hamilton. He made it to the top step through sheer determination and simply put on a show in an inferior car.


Inferior car? I must have been watching another race then...


By inferior I meant on qualifying pace and in general over the last few races.


button was one place further down on the grid than massa and in 16th place on the first lap and still managed to get to 5th. People obviously didn't see the brilliance of that.


Dropping down to 16th isn't exactly brilliant.


others lost more places than he did, and he made the recovery. That's what i'm getting at.


I voted Massa as well, great drive. Hamilton, Vettel and Alonso drove as expected, solid, but nothing spectacular. Hulkenberg did well.


I think Daniel Ricciardo should have made the list.

DanWilliams from Aust


His finishing position doesn't say much, but his actual race drive was very clean, aggressive, and controlled. running his long strategy allowed him to fight with front running cars and even overtake some of them! Wasn't until he fitted the hard tyre that his car lost performance cos he couldn't get them hot enough (same issue for Lotus and Sauber).


I agree. Was good to see the young fella mix it with the front runners.


has to be alonso, no mater what happens, what they throw at him he always seems to be there, either at the head of the table or picking up the crumbs.


I'm sorry how can it be lucky Alonso? He was cruising 39 seconds behind the race, protected by the most loyal team mate in the world, who would give everything for Ferrari. Alonso's performance yesterday did not look worthy of a WDC. I'm not a Hamilton or DRS fan but I voted for Lewis, well done.

I sure hope we will have a last race in Brazil, decided by performance and not reliability.


Cruising 39 seconds behind is why he deserves the WDC! Smart driving. Why push too hard to close on Hamilton and Vettel when you know that you will never be able to catch them much less pass them? At this point in the championship, Alonso and Ferrari (which includes Massa) are focusing on limiting Alonso's points lost to Vettel in the hopes that it will rain in Brazil or that Vettel's alternator will fail.


Well,.. I fully support Alonso as well..

But Hamilton drove brilliantly yesterday..

He was the man of the day for me!


Fully agree, FA deserves the tittle, Ferrari doesnt deserve the tittle nor FA.


Sorry, I am supporting Alonso all year, but Massa was simply better.


+1 on this, Alonso all the way here. Everyone has a car that is on the mark and fast out the box at all circuits these days, Ferrari are still nursing what is really a dog-of-a-car, and yet FA is always there, picking up podiums, plodding on and finishing well in the points to keep his Championship hopes alive, and increasing the spectacle for us watching. Favour the underdog! And I really hope he takes the Championship in Brazil, Vettel still demonstrates he has some maturing to do, I for one, at the moment, still enjoy seeing him beaten.


Massa without a doubt, really gave a two-fingered salute (perhaps Vettel should have done that on the podium this week - LOL) to Ferrari after the gearbox debacle. Just out out of curiosity, did Felipe have an identical car to Alonso this race, or was he still running the lower spec car? If so, Alonso should consider running without all of the recent updates in order to alleviate the recent tyre warm-up issues, what with rain being forecast for Sao Paulo.


Please also remember that from half race distance Fernando was in cruise mode. He was not pushing and was content to drop time to Seb and Lewis given no pressure from lower rivals. I am confident in saying Fernando could have at least matched Felipe if he was pushed to do so.


According to the Spanish press Alonso had some new parts that Massa did not use. If that is the case obviously the new parts did not work and Ferrrari are going backwards in the development race. James, can you please confirm this?


Sounds like the entire season; Fernando running newer spec machinery than Massa.


Update on the diffuser, I'm told, looks like it wasn't an upgrade.

They've been chasing it all year, with limited success


James, are Ferrari going to revert back to Massa diffuser which clearly worked with the updates???, as I belived that both cars carried same updates apart from the diffuser.



None of the top three. After appearing on the podium wear those freaking hats...


Hats were awesome! I totally didn't see that coming! I suggest they get rid of those bland driver trophies next year and replace them with something less tasteful--an F1 driver riding a longhorn!


I thought it was great to see them all have fun with the silly hats on.


Didn't know the 'Fashion Police' were patrolling F1 too 😀


Lewis gets it for me this time. The way he constantly harrassed Vettel made sure he was ready when opportunity knocked (this time it was Narain at the door). I don't buy into Seb's claims that a backmarker cost him the race as they are part of the race for everyone, a bit unlucky in where he met him but you have deal with it. If Seb was fast enough he would have had a bigger lead then it wouldn't have mattered. Hamilton is the hard luck story of 2013 & deserved this small break!


Agree, Red Bull should blame themselves. They adopted a high downforce, low top speed setup which meant a) he was a sitting duck when Lewis closed up and b) he was too slow to catch up and re-pass. Also, with all of the telemetry available you would think they could have anticipated catching NK in that location and managed the situation a little better?

Red Bull are the bullies of the F1 schoolyard with an arrogant sense of self entitlement, Webber excepted.

Negotiating backmarkers is a valuable skill and there should be no free passes, blue flags should be abandoned and let the faster cars (with apparently better drivers) take responsibility for passing them safely.


That would last until one of the popular drivers come unstuck. Then everyone would cry blue murder (or silver murder or Red murder).


Stunning drive from Hamilton he gets my vote for DOTD!

Great to see someone whos able to beat Vettel.

Alonso lucky to finish on the podium and unless Vettels car breaks down in Sao Paolo or the rain hits the track I'm not sure how Alonso will be able to beat Vettel. Although never say never, he's a lucky boy these days.

Can't believe how far Ferrari is willing to go to put Massa behind Alonso, but must say Massa showed great character and drive superbly to silence his critics.


Ferrari did exactly what was strategically necessary to maximize FA's chances. It would have been a dumb decision not to. I'm pretty sure most other teams in the same situation would have done the same thing even if they claim otherwise.

I've always considered the 5 place grid penalty too harsh on the driver for gear box changes, why can't they just start dishing out penalties once the yearly quota of gear boxes has been exceeded?

The question for me is whether or not FA would do the same for FM if the roles (and championship standings) were reversed? I think he would.


Massa for me, just ahead of Button. I'm not a fan of Ferrari deliberately manipulating the grid. Yes they were honest about it, but are they really that desperate.

It also makes me question Alonso's integrity, and raises the question again of his involvement in the Piquet Jr plot.


Come on pls! And what about Webber letting Vettel passed him every time he was on pole or in front of him and they were blaming it on Webbers poor start. There was nothing poor about his start yesterday even though fact is he was starting from clean side! They are taking advantage of team orders just as anybody else. The only difference is that Horner and the rest of the RBR company are hypocrites and the are insulting our inteligence by saying they allow their drivers to race. They have never allowed Webber to race Vettel and the only time Webber finished in front of him was when he was way behind him or had DNF!


Rubbish I'm afraid. Even Mark admits he has trouble with the starts. It's just something Vettel has nailed, certain drivers excel at it. It's the 2nd clutch release phase where Mark struggles for reference.

If a team was going to use team orders there is no way you'd used them off the grid. It's iditoic. Plus Webber won't stand for them, you all saw the way he reacted when he was told not to pass Vettel with 2 laps to go at Silverstone; Red Bull can't get away with doing Massa style tricks.


I don't have enough knowledge of Webbers poor starts but it does make you wonder. Team orders exist in the race and that's where they should stay, not manipulating the grid before the race has even started.

Team orders are more palatable when the switch is subtle, not done on the final lap on the home straight as we have seen before.

Ferrari for once were honest and cleary stated what they had done and why. Personally I would have preferred Ferrari to have said on Saturday evening that have had changed Massa's gearbox due to a technical problem.

Maybe Red Bull have been subtle with Webbers starts, I don't know.


"Personally I would have preferred Ferrari to have said on Saturday evening that have had changed Massa’s gearbox due to a technical problem."

So, you prefer to be misled than to be told the truth. Then definitely Red Bull is the team for you.


When did Webber let pass Seb? Korea? Imagine how hard it is to let someone pass and don't let pass anyone else. And he almost passed him back on the straight. Doesn't look as it was a let go to Seb.


Sergio, I guess you didnt watch Abu Dhabi. RB asked Webber to "box, box, box" just as Vettel was catching up with him. surprise, Webber emerged after the pitstop in the middle of traffic that ruined his race. Nobody made a fuss, is that fair play? purpusly ruining the race of your driver to appear to be cleaner and not using team orders?

what about Toro Rosso during the same race? it was embarrasing, acting like they were lapped cars every time Vettel was close by, Riccardo went so wide to let Vettel pass that almost did not make it back.

Does RB have 2 or 4 cars?

James? have you been able to have a look at RB behaviour in Abu Dhabi? why so much pressure and criticism over FA / Ferrari and none over RB/SV?


Yes, they are that desperate, they were on the verge of losing any chance fot the WC yesterday. This is a team decision, I wonder what it has to do with the Piquet thing, you are mixing completely different things here.


I heard what both Ferrari and Alonso said about the decision.Just because it was said to be a 'team decision' doesn't mean it was one or that it was purely the teams idea, therefore I am curious as to how much input Alonso had in the idea. Realisticly we will never know.

I'm not a great fan of team orders in the race but manipulating grid postions before the race has even started is something else.


Dan Riccardio gets my vote


The helicopter pilot was my driver (rather pilot) of the day. He gave us spectacular footage of racing on the back straight.


The view from within the helicopter yesterday:


As for the firearm, it is Texas after all!


Agree, stunning takes.



To me he looks like driving in a leagues of his own. He manages to create a magic even in a car not capable of it... I am starting to have some positive thought about next season...

Why? Because Seb is driving in a genuinely fastest car (at the moment), but Lewis (when the car doesn't break) outshines everyone in a car which is not the best out there.

Just look at Button finishing nearly a whole minute! behind.


Anyone who watched the long run pace in practice saw that Red Bull would be quick in qually, but McLaren had great long run pace. So who had the best race car? McLaren, because they also had sector 1 (aero dependant ironically!) nailed and great top end speed. Who had the best Qually car? Red Bull because it's DRS is awesome when they can use it - that's not the case in the race though.

Over the course of this season I think McLaren has proven to be at least a match in terms of pace of the Red Bull. It's reliability that have cost them; it's cost Red Bull too on many occasions. Ferrari have picked up the pieces, a slower car yes, but reliable to the extent where they just pick up the points where others fail (e.g. Webber this weekend!).

If I were a driver looking back this season and was given the choice of any car I'd be weighing up the Red Bull and McLaren really closely. McLaren have had the fastest car at many races this season (Germany, Hungary, Australia, Malaysia, Austin, Italy, Belgium, Singapore - and that's without looking!), and Red Bull have too (India, Suzuka, Valencia, Korea etc). When both teams get the setup right what the Red Bull gains in low corner speed, the McLaren gains in high corner speed and on straights - and both have a habit of breaking down.

So whilst Lewis put in a great drive in Austin, I don't think it's quite as great as some of the superlatives flying round.


How can you say Germany or even Hungary? Button wasn't able to overtake Alonso for the lead at Germany, and near the end struggled to keep Vettel behind with tire wear (needing a Vettel penalty to hold onto the 2nd spot). In Hungary the Lotus was the faster race car, Hamilton only won b/c of the characteristics of the track. Malaysia! In the dry, yes. But in the wet they were 3rd (and maybe 4th) best after the Sauber and Ferrari (Vettel's Red Bull was catching Hamilton towards the end of that race). Singapore and Abu Dhabi were again down to Hamilton; Button wasn't able to challenge Vettel when running 2nd in Singapore, and couldn't catch Alonso or Kimi in Abu Dhabi, eventually losing a podium to Vettel, though he was aided by the SC bunching up.


That sums it up properly. The myth that the RedBull is orders of magnitude dominant is only myth. Same holds for Ferrari, that car is a pretty good race car, not quite Mclaren or RedBull, but not the disaster it is made out to be. The Ferrari is a bit weak for Quali obviously.


if you don't start front row you don't win


Not sure about that, I think the Mclaren was the fastest race car in Austin. Hamiltons pass on Vettel was only a matter of time. Karthikayen (sp) helped but the straight line speed advantage of the Mclaren was the decider. As John said, Button drove a good race as well.


Everything on Friday and Saturday told us that the red bull was the fastest car, and by some margin. Not sure how anybody can argue that the McLaren was the fastest car that weekend, it was, the race winning car, but that was one hell of a drive that made it so.


The RB8 had enough traction into and out of Turn 9 to give Vettel breathing space for the DRS straight.

Friday is NEVER meaningful?!?! What are you talking about??? Red Bull and especially Vettel were blisteringly fast on Friday. The long runs were closer, although each team was only able to do a short long-run (yeah, an oxymoron, you get what I mean).

Put it this way: I think if you swapped the drivers (Hamilton in the RB8, Vettel in the MP4-27) that Hamilton still would've won.


Incorrect: Redbull dialed in faster on Friday but thats it, Friday is never meaningful in terms of performance (that has been true for decades). Redbull is definately the faster qualifier on Saturday, thats how the car is designed, Mclaren was not very far off. As a race car (not a quali car) Mclaren was faster in most sectors than the Redbull on Sunday, it was only Vettels great driving in sector one that kept Hamilton behind. Hamilton was great to be sure, he won't miss a chance to pass! I don't buy RB arguement that Seb could have held Hamilton off, it was only a matter of time.


Yes Hamilton for sure. However in reply to your comment about Button, he started 12th on the grid and made up 7 places to finish 5th, so he needs to be given credit for that.


Felipe Massa by a country mile. Even after being kneecapped by his own team to give a tiny advantage to Alonso, he charged back to within seven seconds of his much-hyped teammate by the end. (And that when Fernando, behind in the championship, would've been wasting no energy in trying to get ahead of Sebastian Vettel and anybody else in between them.)

To be blunt, Felipe completely outclassed Fernando today in both qualifying *and* race, and his reward was to be walked all over by his own team.

(And note, by the way, that it was a tiny advantage that they gained by hobbling Felipe. From the same dirty side of the grid they were getting Fernando off, Hamilton lost a grand total of one place against the equal or superior Red Bull. That shows the real loss from being on the dirty side: one place.)

At best, dropping Felipe back therefore gave Fernando a grand total of two places advantage (one from being on the clean side, and one from not having Felipe ahead.) Although truth be told having Felipe ahead was never an issue anyway, because he'd have been told to move over the instant Fernando was within a few seconds of catching him.

And so in the real world, the net gain for Fernando was one solitary place. The net loss for Felipe, though, was the five place penalty, less the one place he theoretically gained back from starting on the clean side. When all things are considered, to gain Fernando just one place, Ferrari dropped Felipe back four.

With a level playing field, Felipe would've had the Ferrari on the podium today, and Fernando would have been in fourth, a LONG way down the track behind him.

Note, by the way, that I have no problem with Felipe being asked to hand the place over *on track* when he is out of championship contention, and his teammate is the car directly behind him.

I do, however, have a problem with the totally unethical way Ferrari handled this. Making that pass off track and penalizing the other driver multiple places in the process is simply not what racing is about; if it's a valid team orders pass, it's up to the driver who is behind to despatch any cars in between before the team-ordered pass is fair.

Today, Ferrari made it clear -- just as they did with the "Fernando is faster than you" message when Felipe was easily still in championship contention -- that they are a team of one. They want Felipe to score well, of course, but they very clearly do not want him ahead of Fernando, no matter what. That's not how you behave in a team sport; no driver should exist solely to be the whipping boy.

It's ironic that the team which expends the most energy in begging for three-car teams is the very same one which finds itself least able to actually let its drivers race each other on track when they have only two cars -- even when both are in mathematical contention and there's half a season to run.

And the media wonders why Felipe gets totally demoralized and gives up.


Don't you think Alonso was cruising to save engine, gearbox and just generally to protect the car. P3 was all they could hope for (and more). Save the car for Brazil, let Massa protect Alonso's P3. If Alonso needed to, he could have closed the gap to Hamilton and Vettel, but they know he never would have been able to pass them. Honestly, I think Alonso drove a brilliant race, boring, yes, but conserving the car while ensuring maximum points is pretty good driving in my book. And Massa was just stunning this weekend. Great driving from Massa, it was really good to see. I can't wait for Brazil!


It is laughable that you took the time to come up with such a devout plea for Felipe here. The man isn't a baby, if he wants equality, he has all options at his disposal. First he could be better than Alonso at the start of the season. Second he could refuse to move over. Third he could leave since he is so awesome every other team would immediately give him a seat right?

Ferrari are a team built around winning the wdc. They are clear about this, and you and many other "fans" slam them for their strategy, whilst many other teams choose to secretly maneuver changes when they want. These F1 fans love to spit their truths in Ferrari's face but the problem is this is just all hot air. If you are so tormented by Felipe's plight why don't you call him and offer him your golden advice, so he may see the light? Better yet, open your wallet to him. It doesn't take a genius to see that life isn't fair, but it's sickening to see that some fans believe we should feel sorry for Massa, a free man doing what he loves. Many people around the world would settle for regular meals, let alone freedom. Get over yourself.


I think the big issue about Ferrari's decision is because it was Ferrari who made that call. Having told Massa "really" needed a new gearbox and people could have said "ahh, that's suspicious.." Yesterday they played the "honest" role and they've got hammered. It's sad to see Domenicalli and FA "justifying the move and ending up saying things that backfire on them. Any other team director could have done a better PR job. The true of the matter is that there a clear disadvantage between the dirty and clean side of the main straight, especially close to turn 1. The only "safe and fast" way on turn 1 is the outside of the turn. Ferrari has lost everything this season and for some "extremely complicated to explain" reason FA is still with mathematically "only" chance to win the DWC. What would you do is you were Ferrari's team director? Many, many times Horner and Withmarsh have done similar things, explained in a superb way or simply stated "it was a carefully review team analysis".... and people swallowed it... The best thing that has happened to Ferrari is recent races is the impressive recovery of Felipe...yeah, he's back to his 2008 form and I am happy to see him fighting for wins in 2013. Fernando is doing what he's being doing since 2008, so give him a break. Unless something happens to Vettel in one week time, he's becoming the most successful runner-up in F1 history and there's no HR on Ferrari to improve in the years to come to provide Fernando and Felipe with a front-row car...so, don't worry guys, Ferrari won't be a winning team in the near future, you can have your baby nap in peace


not sure on your math there - Alonso originally qualified 9th, gained one from Lotus, then another from Felipe. Yet come the end of the first corner was 4th.

Could Alonso have made up that from the dirty side of the grid - probably not given most others lost a place starting on that side of the grid.

So from my sofa it worked.

And even Alonso commented on how strong Felipe had been all weekend - thats not the point. Felipe is out of the contention and Alonso is - its not news that Ferrari manage the team as they see fit. In the past Felipe has benefited from Kimi giving a space up in Brazil.

All part fo the game.


Spot on. A good sofa analysis. I would add that some drivers starting from the dirty side lost more than one place. Kimi as an example.

These are Alonso words:

"Felipe was fantastic all weekend, quicker than me in all three qualifying sessions: we need him to be on this good form in Interlagos too, because we will be up against very strong opposition."

(You can find them on Ferrari's official webpage)


Sure, Massa outperformed Alonso this weekend, the only problem is that he did it for the second time in 19 races.


It's sad really.

I think even if Massa is ahead of Fernando (in points) at the beginning of a season, Ferrari would most probably still ask him to let Alonso through.


You fail to mention that Massa had a much faster car this weekend too. The upgrades on alonsos car were just horrible.


Hamilton gets my vote. He's not exactly my favourite driver but I couldn't fault that performance. He's on great form.

I thought that Ricciardo had a tremendous race making his way up to 5th at one place. Even though he ended up outside the points I was mighty impressed with the amount of overtakes he made & the way he carved through the field. Hopefully he has a better car underneath him next year


I am supporting Alonso, but was thinking that it is between Hamilton and Massa. I honestly cannot give it to Hamilton despite he really drove like a Champion, a phenomenal drive and overtaking - this guy is very good. Massa made a bigger impact though considering the fact that he had to give up 5 places. Qualified better than Alonso, started from P11, finished behind Alonso. He maybe even could overtake Alonso but we know it will never happen.

Massa gets my vote.


"Massa made a bigger impact..."

Hmm, if it weren't for Hamilton pushing Vettel into 2nd, Alonso would need to win next Sunday in Brazil!

It's still a big hill for Alonso and Ferrari, but a helluva lot less steep! All b/c of Hamilton.


For the championship - yes, in my heart, no.


It was quite a big gap between Alonso and Massa at the end, but I agree with you that Massa was faster yesterday than Alonso.

Great to see Massa back. Hope he keeps the momentum for next year.


Respecting the way voting normally goes here, the vote must go to Alonso. (Mind you, I am a Vettel fan). Lewis had clearly the better car, but only won because of a rather easy DRS pass. Alonso drove a "truck" (according to Prost) and still managed to finish 3rd. I do not like the outcome of the race, but must admit that I am amazed how Alonso continues to manage to get maximize his results. Vettel was strong all weekend, but his car was not as optimal for the race as it was in qualifying.


Also, the Red Bull is still the fastest car out there.

And probably will be, next year as well.


Massa was setting fastest laps in a truck??


I did not know this, but Massa had a different car. Alonso had new updates on the diffuser which did not work. Hence the difference,


i know you are a vettel fan but when did lewis have clearly the better car? also he only won because of an easy drs pass?! i disagree he outdrove his car and chased vettel hard and when the opportunity arose to pass he did. a bit like vettel's pass on jenson last race when he had newer tyres. c'mon, dont be a sore loser like your driver. lewis was the class act today.


The point I wanted to make is that when Vettel drives a race like Hamilton this weekend, he never wins driver of the day, because he is considered to be in the best car, even when he outdrives everybody else and is fully committed to every lap in those races, always a driver who makes up positions is considered DoTD. I think Hamilton had on race day the best car (and I would even say that McLaren had the best car for a large part of the season, but did not maximise its potential). I do not discredit Hamiltons win today, he deserved it. But whenever Hamilton has a good race, it is considered within this forum to be his ability solely, and whenever Vettel has a good race, it is considered only thanks to his car.


I think both pairings (Vettel/RB8, and Hamilton/MP4-27) were VERY EVEN. Hamilton was able to stay with Vettel when behind, and Vettel was able to do the same when he went behind. Vettel set the fastest lap of the race, and had pole, so there's no doubting it was a fast car.

I think anyone who laid a bet down on Hamilton winning, after seeing all that went before (FP1-3 & qualifying), is fully deserving of their winnings! I have great faith in Lewis' abilities as a driver, but I didn't think it was possible. Most of the media agreed ... the words "unstoppable" and "Vettel" found themselves side-by-side in many of the articles filed Saturday.


I didn't see Hamilton racing a better car, I saw a superbly driven Hamilton pushing the limits of his machine. Him and vettel were very close in term of machinery, but Hamilton wanted to win more than Vettel. For 54 laps, I saw Hamilton on turn 1 late-braking and trying to throttle back as soon as he hit the apex...over and over and over again. Vettel never risk a couple of qualy lasps to get close enough to Hamilton to DRS him. IMO, having Vettel considered that win was a must, he could have put on a fight and do what Hamilton did....but he didn't. I think it was the right call (especially because Hamilton had nothing to lose) but it let the title decider to move to Brazil. . .yeah, it should suit RBR and Macca once more but now Vettel needs to finish another race and that might add a little of xtra pressure on the team


All I know is that it wasn't Alonso.


Don't mean this to sound overly critical but really not sure why this is called Driver of the Day if we're encouraged to consider practice and qualifying. Why not call this simply Driver of the Weekend? If this is just supposed to be about the 'day, then I'm not sure what Vettel is doing on this list. Threw away a win that looked set in stone all weekend, behaved petulantly (again) and then consistently refused to admit that somebody might have been faster and more deserving of the win. If he really was faster and better during the race, it would never have been so close.


driver of the day alliterates so sounds better. context to the race is really important in determining driver of the day. For example, Massa is considered driver of the day because of the difficult season he has had (esp. first half) and the fact he was moved backwards to help his team mate, yet retained his focus and drove strongly. Vettel drove a strong weekend and but for Karthikayan might well have won the race. So yes it is called driver of the day, but really there is so much more to it than the 2 hours of racing.


McLaren boss Christian Horner speechless after Hamilton win at US GP FORMULA ONE


I voted for Lewis. I thought it was Lewis who was switching teams not Christian Horner !


Martin Withmarsh is McLaren's boss, not Christian Horner. Christian is RedBull's boss...

Terrible journalism right there..


Neither of them. Drivers of the day were the backmarkers who were working overtime to stay out of the way.


Lewis get my vote for he has driven an excellent attacking race. However, I also think Seb has driven well and kept Lewis at bay until he caught up with Narain.

It seems Massa has really found his mojo and perhaps trying to make a statement to Ferrari he want to race Fernando next season!!


I never though I would ever be doing this.

I never liked Massa since day one and I am a big big McLaren Fan. But it has to be Massa this time.

He could have easily been frustrated by the Ferrari decision and just go round in circles all afternoon. But he drove a great race. especially when you realise that after the start he only gained on position and had to do the rest on track and by driving a consistently fast race.

He was the better Ferrari driver.


Lewis. I think Vet and Alo shouldn't even be in the list...


it has to be Lewis, but I think your a bit harsh on Fernando. P3 in the 3rd quickest car is not a bad result.


well it's not bad but not good either.

considering that one of the faster cars retired, one of the others started in 12th place and the other 3rd fastest car was moved behind him by his team.



I'm not saying he did anything special, but he did max the car out yet again. He was never going to be able to live with the Red Bull or the McLaren, but took advantage of his well earned status within his team and the misfortune of others and delivered the best possible result. Kind of what Fernando does every time.



Everyone gets a gold star for ending the race with the same front wing they started with.


a lot of world class performances out there today. Hamilton and Vettel untouchable at the front, Massa and Button really strong drives though the field with plenty of strong overtakes, Alonso again maximising his position. Just a day when the cream really rose to the top. Stunning race down to amazing driving and nothing else.


Hamilton is the driver of the day. Alonso - anti hero. How pathetic the whole thing was. Failed the qualy, two places even before the start and got out of the dirty side, won another place due to Mark's car failure and cruised the whole race to the podium. The weekend was pretty much the illustration of Alonso's career in a nutshell. I hope I see another long face of his at the end of the next race.


So Vettel given a free position by RBR telling Webber not to race Vettel and duly pitted him to get him out of Vettel's way is not pathetic?

Both are just a team's way of making sure they have the best possible chance. Not that I buy that kind of tactic, just saying...


You will actually see two long faces (Christian and Adrian), one crying face (Sebastian) and three laughing faces (Fernando, Mark and Lewis) after the next race.

Fernando will win the title, Lewis will win in Brazil and Sebastian will crash in Mark.



How can he not be DOTD.


I was surprised when Hamilton got so close to Seb in Q3. Once Webber passed him at the start, I was concerned that it was going to be a p2 at best. I wasn't too surprised to see him catch and pass Webber, though I thought it might have had to wait until a pit stop, but I was extremely surprised to see him consistently reduce the gap to Vettel. I thought we'd see a couple of laps before Vettel put the hammer down. But Hamilton looked like a man on a mission and it always looked like a case of if, not when he was going to get passed (providing the tyres held up).

Good weekend for Massa too. Fernando didn't look like he was hooked up all weekend, luckily he salvaged 3rd.

The biggest looser of the weekend was Mario Andretti/the Podium interviews. I, amongst many, have previously expressed my dislike for these cheese feasts(tm?), but really, Andretti couldn't wait to get the race/championship talk out of the way with each driver and as quickly as possible go on to ask what they though of the track. And we got, as far as my memory recalls, three pretty much identical answers to those three identical questions. Still... seemed to please the crowd...


Lewis all the way for taking it to the bulls, thought Massa had a blinder too and made Nando look a little silly. Big thumbs up for the COTA, cracking circuit, great turn out and the racing was closer than I expected.


Vettel could be a contender only if he defended Hamilton.

Alonso isn't one at all, even his start leapfrog was to be contributed more to Schumacher going inside than to some impressive maneouver from Fernando.

Button had a great result, and nice moves, but still I feel there was more strategy than his effort.

Can't say it about Massa, who's been on the same strategy as the most cars around him and made it 7 places up (forget the 'broken seal' drama, it has nothing to do with a quality of the drive).

Would love to give the title to Felipe, but if the winner produced a great effort, then he's got priority. And Lewis made it just great: chased, prepared, overtook, won. So he gets my vote.


How many races have seen an on-track overtake (besides the initial two laps' position changes) for the win?

- Maldonado on Alonso in Spain

- Hamilton on Alonso in Canada

- Webber on Alonso in Britain

- Hamilton on Vettel in USA

Those are the only four times it's happened this season! People, we need to cherish such passes ... at the end of the day, they represent the very essence of what GP racing is all about.

You hit it on the head. If the race winner has put in a blinder, then the DotD should automatically flow to them. The on-track pass for the lead is the cherry on top of the sundae!


Actually, Maldonado passed Alonso in the pits, didn't he? That was still a great drive by Pastor, he pushed when he had to. But still something extra special about an on-track pass, versus one done via the pits.


Kimi should have been on the list and not jenson!

Kimis move on hulkenburg and Massa were spectecular and better then anything jenson did!

Clearly judging by his team mate button was driving the fastest car on the day not 2 mention he had the perfect tyrw strategy!

He had a good drive but it was nothing more then decent given the car he had and his tyre strategy!


Great drive for both Vettel and Hamilton. Finally a battle for the win on track. Sadly Hamilton isn't a title contender anymore. He's the only one who has pace to beat Vettel.

Horrible tactics from Ferrari to take the deliberate gearbox penalty. I truly hope Alonso doesn't win the title after this.


And Vettel starting from the pitlane in Abu Dhabi allowing his settings to be changed, enabling him to easily romp to the podium?


He's quoting FIAs F1 Sporting Regulations. The difference is that Red Bull's actions were sporting, Ferrari's were unsporting.

Otherwise I agree your view of the big picture.



Read Simon George's comparison of these incidents in the "On Ferrari's "tactical" gearbox penalty" topic (currently 110. post). I think that post explains well why these situations feel different.


I'm not sure who exactly he is and where he quoted his 'regulations' from but I think this is just pedantry. Even the article itself was clear on the comparability between the two, and many others' comments reflect this.

Simply looking at the bigger picture, my opinion still stands. Both cars derived a benefit from playing within the rules. Both were intentional and tactical. Both raised the issue of a rethink of the rules.

If it really was that 'different', something would have happened, as Ferrari went through Charlie Whiting beforehand.


Vettel took additional penalty by opting to start from the pitlane. He also didn't affect rivals grid slots since he was last already. There was no affect to Webber's grid position by Vettel's actions.

As you can see, these situations are hardly comparable.


Does it need to be? As far as I can see both were exploiting loopholes within the rules, with a net advantage to their original positions. At the end of the day it was still a team decision, only that it involved a teammate.


James I'm with your shout-out.

DOTD: Felipe Massa. Handled the pressure with the class and dignity of a true champion. Despite what people post publicly, I guarantee you, that to a man, the Scuderia Ferrari have the utmost respect for Felipe Massa.

There are plenty of drivers with the silverware, but Massa is on the top step of the podium with the gold heart.

Honorable Mention & "Drive of the Day: Lewis Hamilton. He drove the nuts off that car when necessary & stalked Vettel with maturity.

Now on to "Sampa", "Cidade da Garoa" (city of drizzle). Let's hope it lives up to its name.



Not a good season for McLaren or Lewis but when they get it right, like this, they look very impressive.

Hamilton DOTD no contest.

Hard to believe McLaren are replacing Hamilton with Perez and Lewis is off to Merc.... Someone needs to go down to the McLaren garage and slap MW and LH about the head with a tire lever for being so stupid.

Sorry for Massa, within the rules it may be but that just means the rules need to be changed. I want to see drivers racing each other on the track and actually earn their points.

This applies to all teams.

Good to see CH getting some exercise, had to walk half way round the track to collect Sebs toys... 😉


Massa definitely.

if Alonso cant win WDC in Brazil, i think Massa will win that race.


Felipe Massa for me.

Excellent drive up from 11th & took one for the team, probably giving up a 3rd place finish in the process.


Massa, for the way he dominated Alonso in qualifying and the way he attacked the race after all the disappointment he had to endure.

I have no doubt that Massa was the faster Ferrari driver this weekend and would have finished in front of Alonso if Ferrari would have allowed him to race freely.


Goes to show that Massa really excels on counter-clockwise tracks. Also, that the updates on Alonso's car are rubbish. Massa was faster without them.


Hamilton was my driver of the weekend...but Button gets driver of the day, a true overtaking masterclass! Way more impressive than Seb's recovery drive last time out(no safety cars!).


Button's performance really impressed me. He is proving to be one of the best overtakers in the sport under the current regulations.


Lewis and Felipe were mighty fast yesterday.

Well done to both of them.

Lewis gets my vote for overtaking both RedBulls and keeping the title fight alive.


Lewis all the way! Wow Mercedes will get their money's worth next year (im praying they will have a competitive car)!

But what a race, was on the edge of my seat throughout and no crashes! The race of the season for me. Wish it was the beginning of the season though and not the penultimate race 🙁


Hamilton for that move, which would be eternally remembered by Sebastian and Whitmarsh... Also Massa for looking after his contract with the best performance so far, he might have more for his home GP.


Driver of the day undoubtly has to be Massa.

He handed Alonso FIVE places at the startline, keeping alonso title hopes alive (Alonso did NOTHING in this race)....

Massa, then from way down the grid, came back to finish right behind his "get the maximum from this bad car" teammate..

Well Done Felipe


I think I'm going to go with Massa this weekend. Took one for the team; yet still managed to put in a solid performance.

Looked pretty certain the McLaren had the pick of the cars on Sunday; they were the kings of sector one which is aero aero aero and sector two which is largely straight line speed dependant. RBR kings of sector 3. So following tradition on here of people not voting for drivers in the fastest car (or is it just drivers they don't like?) I'm voting for Massa.


Felipe gets my vote this time.

Took one for the team, got on with the job during the race and didn't let it get him down at all.

He's finally found the form he had pre-Hungary accident and hopefully he can carry it forward to next year.

The fact he's helped keep Alonso in the championship and I don't want Vettel to win 3 on the trot (and I'm not an Alonso fan!)has nothing to do with it 😉


Massa, no question, from the 11th on grid

passed some notables including Button,Kimi

and to finish 4th, it deserves top spot.


Massa gets second best from me.

Massa starts 11th from the good, grippy side of the grid and makes up seven positions. Excellent drive.

Button starts 12th from the bad, 'slippy' side of the grid and makes up seven positions. In my eyes that's a slightly better achievement.


This was a close call for me. It would have been all too easy to vote for the race winner but he didn't do much that was spectacular, apart from the one DRS assisted pass on Vettel. That left it between Button and Massa. Although I am a big Button fan and was impressed by the way he came back from his mechanical failure in qualifying and bad luck at the start on the wrong side. However, my vote goes to Massa who outqualified his team-mate and then drove well through the field after a team imposed penalty driving showing he was faster than his championship challenging team-mate. I wonder how his race would have been if he had been allowed to start where he qualified? Challenging for the win is what I think!


Got to be between Hamilton & Vettel in my book. Both drove faultless races, each hunting down the other from start to finish. Neither really made a mistake - Lewis tried and tried to get past Seb, and eventually did after taking advantage of a back-marker, after that it was Seb's turn to pile on the pressure, but ultimately he couldn't quite get past. It was a great battle and one mistake by either driver would have handed the other the victory.


Yesterday proved that all the US needed was a proper F1 track to create a great race spectacle for US and Mexican fans.

The 100,000 plus crowd puts the other new circuits to shame and makes you wonder why it has taken Bernie so long to get there.

As for the race, well it has to be Lewis, doesn't it ? But nice all the same to see a decent proportion of votes go to Massa who showed us just what he is capable of, but sadly, once again was reminded of his No2 driver status by the cynical breaking of a gearbox seal.

Would McLaren or Red Bull have done the same ? Red Bull, probably, McLaren I can't imagine them doing it.

Without doubt the WCC should go to Red Bull but events have often tended to turn The WDC towards the "right" driver and this year it really should be Alonso.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the uncertainties of Brazil may well conspire against Vettel and deliver the championship to Fernando. I'm not a Ferrari or Alonso fan but in this case it would be a thoroughly deserved outcome.

It has been a privilege to watch the 2012 season, certainly the best I can remember, but the US Grand Prix demonstrated that the racing is far better when tyres play a much smaller part in the action. Pirelli please note !


Hamilton drove an immaculate race, as did Vettel.

But so did Massa and he did it off the back of having been put back 5 places on the grid by his own team to aid his teammate. The reasoning was sound and the result for Alonso speaks for itself, but I was happy to see Massa getting his own back and showing Alonso that he could still have finished ahead of him had he been allowed to.

So, for outright performance, I think Hamilton should probably take this particular driver of the day. But for classiest performance all around, I voted for Massa.


Love those Pirelli hats!


Seb Vettel.

It's not easy taking the pressure of the title battle while being ahead. We've seen the momentum swing from ALO to VET and back again. I'd say it's affecting Seb much less than it is Fern.

And Seb has not had the services of a fully compliant team mate, but he has Newey.

Why was Seb second and not the winner?

N Kartekeyan.


Seb was not the winner because he did not push hard enough to stay clear of Lewis. Maybe too conservative on tyres, playing too safe?

The driver of the day should find a way through the backmarkers and make them play on his favor. Or pull a sufficient cushion to stay clear from attack, especially at the esses which was a clear Lewis' strong point.

That's why the driver of the day has to be Lewis.

Honorable mention by Massa, who would get my vote if I could split my vote !


Why was Seb second and not the winner?

L Hamilton.

There, fixed it for you.


Not to mention the Toro Rossos, Vettel has 3 drivers at his disposal, not just one.


Surely you did not see how Webber was took out of Vettels way in Abu Dhabi at the expense of ruining his race right?


Romain Grosjean for me. Most entertaining!


In Brazil,

What has to happen that'll happen.. as per old wise saying, and despite personal aspirations the winner will deserve his title for sure.

"The winner takes it all" .. 😉


I`m sure Alonso could do more in this race, much not much more. And has been doing the same all year round, in every race. The problem is still the car in qualifilling. Does anyone doubt he can win the title in next sunday we see a wet race?. I don`t.

But lets say the same if is a dry race, this time on Vettel´s fortune.

Good luck for both of them. This is pure racing!!!


Staying with the topic, my vote goes to Massa for showing some serious speed (read quickest laps) and race craft and catchin up with Alonso by the end of it. Mega weekend for Massa, makes you wonder, would he have challeneged the hamilton and Vettel.


Definitely not Vettel.

He was unfair to Hamilton during the overtake with changing lines dangerously. Hamilton pointed this out in the post-race press conference as well.

I loved the drives by both Hamilton and Button. I have been a big fan of of Button's racecraft and great overtaking ability since his championship year in 2009.

According to me, Button and Alonso are the best racers & overtakers on the grid.

But Hamilton is my driver of the day. Great drive from a great driver.


Lewis was perfect and extremely efficient. It was a nip and tuck, and he had only one opportunity and took it. Great drive. Also McLaren wasn't faster than the Red Bull.

Massa was very good as well. Without the penalty he might've been in front of Alonso (I don't think we should be too sorry for what Ferrari did to him this weekend - after all he had received massive support through his thin years no other driver would be given. Would any other top team retain a driver who's not getting big points?)


I'm with you on this one, you have to consider that if Massa had performed at this level during the whole season, he would have taking much more points for Red Bull and Mclaren by beating them consistently as Alonso had done and therefore, Ferrarri probably would not be in such a desperate situation as to having to make such a decision.


Well, I might've been wrong. I said "massive support" but let's not forget Kubica was supposed to drive for them from 2012, and they really wanted Webber from 2013 and weren't at all impressed that he'd chosen to stick with RBR. Maybe that support for Massa was not so massive at all...


Hamilton was just tireless and fast beyond heck. Massa had great character to race like a champion after such disappointment. Could I split my Vote 50-50 they would be my choice.


While it would be easy to give LH DotD, and JB was mighty, my vote was for Massa. I've been a big critic of his, especially after his drop in form since his accident, but the last few months he has been resurgent and "Smiley Massa" seems to have returned. He drove a solid race after his (team enforced) penalty. Definitely not bad for a #2 driver.


Schumacher for qualifying and Massa for the race!


Lewis, by distance. He was the only driver who could put some pressure on Vettel and, in the end, he managed to overtake him for the win. This season we didn't saw that much overtakes for the victory.



Would you be able to explain to me how Lewis Hamilton couldn't pass Sebastian Vettel in the DRS zone, he must have tried at least 10 times, yet he passed Kimi Raikonnon with ease. Surely once Lewis was in the DRS he would have had a significant speed advantage, as is the point, which would have seen him pass much earlier. I'm sure you and many people can see what I cannot as I just don't understand how he could continually keep him at bay.

Also I didn't see any other driver who got on DRS have the same issue getting past a car which they had use of DRS on.


Seb also saved KERS use down the back straight too, and his spotter would be telling him how much to use too. Seb is not toally defenceless to DRS.


Because the RBR was too good in Sector 1 fast curves, so he couldn't get quite close enough out of T11 to have a crack, except the one time when VET lost momentum behind HRT.

With the Lotus he was easily able to close up into DRS detection zone and make the pass


Hi James

Not that I'm trying to be pedantic, but I was watching the sector times throughout on the f1.com Live Timings, and Lewis was significantly quicker in the first sector than Seb most of the time, particularly in latter half of the race prior to the overtake.

I think Seb was quicker in the fiddly last sector, which bought him enough breathing space at the start of the next lap to stay ahead by juuuust enough through sector one and in to the DRS zone.

Sorry to be picky. I'll get my coat...


OK but don't you have to be within 1 second of car in front so it doesn't matter how they go through the sector as long as you are within 1 second. The point of the system.

Could you do a bit of analysis on it when you do your UBS post please James.


Agreed, James, but I guess the point I was trying to make was the Red Bull wasn't as quick in the fast, aero-dependant section of turns (which is what we have come to expect from them in the last few years) but had the legs of Lewis and the McLaren in the slower, mechanical grip-led section.

This might have longer term implications about the state of play amongst the front running cars and their respective strengths/weaknesses.

Or it could just be me reading far too much in to things. As usual!


Yes, but he wasn't getting close enough to VET in that section to have a go on the straight using DRS. Only once did he get close enough


It has to be Hamilton, then Massa. But I am surprised at the low showing of Vettel in the poll, after all he was at the pointy end of the show all weekend. But for him to blame Karthikeyan for his loss of the lead doesn't come over well. Lots of entertainment in the race, but it missed a safety car period to pull the front of the field together. If that had happened, say a third of the way into the race, it could have brought both Alonso and Kimi (and maybe an inspired Massa also Button) into the leading mix - then we could have had a great show! Maybe super-modern tracks are too forgiving? So should there be a random safety car period to add to the DRS zone, KERS and variable-grip tyres, all now part of the F1 circus?


Sounds too much like NASCAR to me ... a lot of cautions near the end of races there, then they go into their Green-White-Checkered (yes, they spell it that way) race finish sequence. But cautions seem so contrived in NASCAR, that it cheapens the earlier 98% of the race.

Many people say with basketball that all you have to tune in for is the last 2 mins of the game, b/c many times teams are within 5 pts of each other up to that point. Same can be said for NASCAR, many times thru the season.


Massa sacrificed his grid position to help his teammate and did several great overtakes during the race. What a brilliant race for him!


From Spain...

Must be Lewis. Superb drive. After last race, he deserved this victory more than everyone.

He pushed this car beyond his limits. Awesome. Driver of the weekend.


One of the harder ones to call. In the end my vote went to LH for the long persuit of SV, seeing (according to post race interviews) how his one chance to pass might unfold and nailing that chance.

JB had a rotten qualifying and start and very good rest of the race. I'd almost give the vote to him. Massa too had a very good afternoon.

And for my money Kimi drove better this time than in the race he won.


Lewis Hamilton of course. Absolutely brilliant drive!!

sebastiaan hekman

Definitely Hamilton!

Great drive, irritating Vettel in the process (what a [mod] getting on the phone to mummy and complain), and McLaren delivering a lightening fast pitstop (2.4) and finally no more tired tyres that need to be put to rest after 20 odd laps or so.

No safety car, great(!), finally a race of racers all the way till the end. Loved it from start to finish. And the cowboy hats: great idea, funny, good to see some playfulness in the already over-corporate-styled F1 scene.

Massa was massive, and the moment word came out that F were "worried" about his gearbox it had written all over it "our 1st born needs a hand or two",. It is clear that they, F, keep Massa on board to help the "1st born", not because F cares for him, as Massa pointed out: "It is not easy to find another driver who would do/accept this". I guess that Massa will not be too sad if "the 1st born" does not win the title next week.

And the drive of both Merc-boys were a display of massive team failure. Mr. Brawn and all the brains he has got on board are still unable to figure out how to be competitive. And letting Rosberg do a test drive in the race - "for 2013 development" - is shameful and a strong sign of desperateness. Wish you all the best Hamilton.


Hamilton driver of the day...

Lets stop blaming Kathikeyan. He's a backmarker - they go slowly... nature of the game... are we F1 fans becoming too sanitised... part of the skill of an F1 driver is to negotiate back markers... I personally think the 4 blue flag rule is too stringent. Lapping back markers efficiently is a great skill - lets bring it back. For F1 is NOT all about the fastest driver in the fastest car - Alonso's amazing season demonstrates this...

I have another point. Much is made of the mercurial Alonso in his poor Ferrari... is it really that bad? I think he has had a very poor team mate as a bench mark. Yes, its poor in qualifying but has much better race pace... he was faster than the Mclarens in India...


Reminiscent of Mansell using back market to pass Senna in Hungary 1989. One chance to pass and he took it


And Hakkinen overtaking Schumacher in Spa 2000 would have been far less exciting without the back marker...


That's an all-time top 5 overtake, right there!


Yes - great example - that had me jumping off my chair in delight!


I'm slightly surprised nobody has really mentioned Vettel's double move in the sequence that led to him being passed.

What are your view on it?

He seems to have moved over to the left to take the inside line. That's one move. Then, as Hamilton closed in, Vettel appears to have chopped back over to the right. At first glance it appears that Hamilton has used an awfully tight margin to get past, but the more I saw it, the more it seemed that Vettel's double defensive move was both illegal and dangerous.

Mike from Colombia

McLaren made a huge mistake by badly handling negotiations with Hamilton and washing some of their dirty laundry in public.

I sense a very difficult period for them over the next couple of years. Perez is goodish but not outstanding. He has had a couple of good results from tyre nursing...but he is not a Kimi of 2000 or a Montoya of 2001.

McLaren should have paid up for Kimi, but they have probably cheesed him off in the past too.

Very sad to see the Hamilton-McLaren era come to an end. They could have achieved so much more together.


I'm slightly surprised nobody has really mentioned Vettel's double move in the sequence that led to him being passed.

What are your view on it?

He seems to have moved over to the left to take the inside line. That's one move. Then, as Hamilton closed in, Vettel appears to have chopped back over to the right. At first glance it appears that Hamilton has used an awfully tight margin to get past, but the more I saw it, the more it seemed that Vettel's double defensive move was both illegal and dangerous.

Was there any mention of this in the paddock after the race?


It was dangerous, and as you've said, ILLEGAL. I think it was done to scare off Lewis, get him to lift, and then the pass wouldn't have come off. Might've worked on other drivers, but Lewis has some big ones. They were really close to coming together.

It should be talked about by the drivers. If I was Charlie, I would've asked the stewards to look at it.

You're allowed to move ONCE (one direction, continuous). You can then move back to the racing line to take the corner, but must leave at least a car's width on that move back to the racing line.

Vettel's pushed the envelope before. His move at the start in Japan last year was definitely over the line. But he got away with it then.


Vettel tends to just get away with these dangerous manoeuvres, it's not the first he's done it.


If anyone other than Hamilton gets this award it is a joke. And I'm not a Hamilton fan at all. Infact a few years ago I couldn't stand him for his arrogance. But he is a totally changed man now and a joy to watch. Massa a close 2nd and vettel 3rd.


Hamilton for me, excellent drive. Brilliant performances from Massa, Vettel, Raikkonen and Button as well, all round an excellent race.


Lewis' best ever race. It was perfection.

Grosjean deserves a mention too for his blistering pace. He make a rookie error earlier on (losing 25 seconds) but ended up right behind Kimi. His raw speed is very under-estimated.


read the team report, kimi had grainning issues on the hard tyre.

and the fact that there's no degradation at all on hard rubber make it no difference to pit earlier or later.

dont overhype his raw pace when there's none.


must agree.... he drove better than Kimi in this race... this is coming from a die-hard Kimi fan.... must give credit when due.


Ah Massa was so good on this day but Lewis was just the class of the field. Have to go with Lewis despite being a massa fan.


Lewis Hamilton, great race, relentless fight. Vettel was quite pathetic moaning on the radio, plus his defensive movements could have taken both out.


All these drivers put in great performances on Sunday but I think the one who deserve it the most is Hamilton for not giving up. It's not often that his dogged aggression pays off, usually and incident or tyres get in the way of a decent result, but on Sunday it all fell into place.


Voted Hamilton. Massa was a very close second for me.


Suddenly, Massa is a hero. Yes he drove a good race. He finally beat his teammate in qualy. I'm sorry but that is expected from Ferrari driver - more than once in a season. All of that came too late so he put himself in that position - to accept a penalty and help his teammate not on track outscoring the competition during the whole season but like this.

You can't buy no.1 status - you have to earn it. Fernando earned it long time ago. Without that Grosjan crash he would still be leading WDC (even now - totally unbelievable) in never-the fastest-car, and that says something, that says a lot.

So this Massa hero thing makes me wonder. I have no luxury to underperform 11 1/2 months per year with only 2 good weeks and keep my job. No way hose- and I'm a driver also (helicopter pilot).

Moreover, to me it looks like Ferrari messed up completely with updates, I'm sure Alonso struggled whole weekend not without a reason. Massa had better package, finally put a decent performance and with all that together he was faster than Fernando.

It was about time, but still far from DOTD in my book.

From me, that title goes to Lewis. He was simply fantastic, determin and fast, a true racer in his finest hour. He would have won no matter what crybaby Seb Vettel says.


This query is for drive of the DAY, so it doesn't matter if Massa has been in trouble half of the season or more.

In this race he started 11th and finished 4th (could have gone 3rd if the guy in front wasn't the protected Alonso). So he is not a hero, he is just the driver who had the better performance on sunday. DOTD.


Sure, but you have to put things into perspective. Without a bigger picture we could vote for "Driver of the 5th or 23rd lap" also.

As I said, for me DOTD was Lewis Hamilton.


Easy decision Hamilton without question. He minimised slippage at the start, re-took second place, and then pressured Vettel, saw his opportunity and took it. He literally rung the wheels off that McLaren to a well deserved win. The tyre choice meant there was low grip as compared to the softer compounds, but meant the drivers could stay longer behind a car in the dirty air to get past. I think it is significant that in the races this has been the case we have had close to proper racing giving a much more believable spectacle.If the softer compounds had been chosen overtaking would have been more difficult, and the spectacle rather lack lustre.


It has to be Massa. On a straight fight in Austin, Massa would have definitely beaten Alonso. That is why I am voting for him.

I don't have any problem with what Ferrari did. They want to win the championship and they knew their number one driver doesn't have the skills to come from a less cleaner side. It is good they realised his weaknesses and reacted to that.

But this again raises the question. Does Alonso really deserve the championship? I don't think so. Shame!


Apparently this season you have only watched this one race.


Easily Hamilton DOTD. The way Vettel sulked on the radio said it all. What a turkey Seb is to move to the inside then back to the middle -is barely legal and highly dangerous.

Massa was next best with an inspired drive from 11th to 4th. The Lotus could not contain him even though they held off Button for quite a while.


They have to crack down on those shudder moves. Perez did one on Hulkenberg in India that was even more dangerous than the one Vettel pulled on Hamilton. And nothing came of it.


1. Lewis 2. Massa 3. Button


I do give my vote to Hamilton although Massa had a great race. But you can only vote for one haha!

The point is that as Vettel didnt have the best car (I would same Red Bull and Mclaren were pretty close this weekend) he didnt win.

Seems like Adrian Newey magic didnt work for Vettel this weekend.


I'm surprised so many are choosing Massa over Button. They achieved the same thing (finished 7 places ahead of their grid position), but Button had to do it from the slow side of the grid and make his way through a lot more traffic, while Massa had the benefit of more clear air. Yes Massa finished closer to his team-mate, but he started a lot closer as well.

A lot of people are pointing to the team-ordered grid penalty - what is that, some sort of "sympathy vote"? Objectively it doesn't make Massa's drive any better does it. Being 11th on the grid because of a team order doesn't make Sunday afternoon any harder than being 11th because of a genuine mechanical failure - or just qualifying in 11th to start with.

Anyway I'd give driver of the day to Hamilton. It was great to see Hamilton and Vettel fighting each other in closely-matched cars, and for Hamilton to come out on top like that was a significant moment.


James, can we tag a RBOTD poll as well on the end?

Road Block of the Day.

This would not go to Kartekeyan, because he was only a road block at one crucial moment only.

Someone else was a road block all race long. Clue: retiring after Brazil.

[with all due respect to him and his many fans here]


Hamilton: clearly driver of the day. He was the fastest all weekend (IMO). He showed his class. Incredible driver.

Massa: amaizing speed all weekend, specially in qualifying. A master class of how to deal with the worming up issues the car has had since three or four races, massively accentuated in this track with these tyre choices and temperatures.

Vettel: very good weekend. Very fast both in qualy and the race. I think he should have been able to keep the lead. Alonso would have won in the same situation, that's one of the differences between the two. Even so, what a driver!

Alonso: clearly not in the same league of these three previous drivers this weekend, in terms of speed. I commented after the Abu Dhabi grand prix that he is having troubles to get heat into the tyres. Maybe James Allen could shed some light into this, but I fear that even Alonso himselft does not know why he is having more troubles than Massa in this regard, as it has been the other way around for three years.

But that said, I want to extend a bit here, and despite his lack of speed this weekend (for the first time in 19 races), give praise to him. He is such an amazing driver that he can circumvent these problems and end up in the podium, with similar race pace to Massa, after a very good start and braking later than any body else going into turn 1. Only the COMPLETE racer could deal with the situation he was in this weekend as he did. He dominates absolutely every aspect of driving and racing. He is the "total" racer of his generation, without any shadow of doubt.


Sorry, I wanted to say "warming up", not "worming" up. jeje


Really wanted to vote twice this time...once for Lewis Hamilton and another for Felipe Massa. In the end, had to go with Massa though. Bounced back from the gearbox change incident to drive a really strong race to 4th. Really pleased for him because not so long ago I don't think he'd have been able to overcome such a setback.

Hamilton and Seb Vettel were both really strong, on a different planet from the rest. Lewis was really hungry and, yes, Vettel was unlucky with the traffic on that given lap but equally it was Hamilton's one chance and he took it emphatically. Great job!

The racing throughout the field was really good, and the wide track and open corner entries were conducive to wheel-to-wheel action. Throughout the field, some really good drives (Jenson Button to 5th, Romain Grosjean recovery drive, Nico Hulkenberg fending off the Williams cars) and overtakes. One of the races of the season, yes, but I believe we will only be able to judge the true success of Austin as a venue in the next 2 or 3 years; will the fans keep coming back? The circuit is nice and, on the evidence of today's racing, one would hope so. But you can never say with certainty.

Title battle? On paper, Vettel is favourite. But those extra 7 points could be crucial. Instead of needing victory, Alonso now only needs a podium if Vettel retires (or misses the points). 13 points in not a lot in today's money, and funny things can happen in the final round. There's still a lot to play for.


I voted for Massa. Hamilton and Vettel were in a different league but Massa's pace and the way he came back up giving the 2 fingered salute to Ferrari's "dirty tricks" was brilliant.

I doubt Massa would have finished higher than 4th anyway even if he started where he was supposed to (they wouldnt have let him finish in front of Alonso).

I hope he can replicate the performance at his home GP next weekend. For two reasons, 1, I would generally like to see him back at the front again. 2, if Alonso looses the title race I think it is fair to say that Massa performing below par for most of the season is a contributing factor in this. Massa has not been taking points off Alonsos rivals in the same way that Webber has, Alonso needs a strong team-mate in the same way that Schumacher did with Barrichello and indeed Massa himself.

It also makes me question the philosophy of throwing the kitchen sink at a car development wise. Was it last year or the year before Mercedes stopped developing new parts for the car and instead just focused on set up and learning how to use what they had, they consequentially became quicker again at the end of the season. I wonder if this is what is happening to Massa, he is not getting the new parts that Alonso is but has had a recent increase in speed whereas Alonso has been stagnant if not slower than the rest of the season. Is it just a case of Massa learning to drive the car compared to Alonso wrestling a constantly changing prototype?


To be honest I don't understand why Vettel is even in the list. He should have won this race, he had the fastest car. He did an okay job... but dotd should be for people who do great jobs? Nico Hulkenberg did a much better job this weekend and isn't even on the list.


As A Mclaren fan I am genuinely concerned for the team next season.The trick in F1 is to both qually and race over the two days. This also include,s the team using every disposable tool available.By this I mean team tactics. Love it or loath it in order to win F1 you have to use them. All the top teams other than Mclaren appear to use them. Even LH,s heroic driving is not enough as Ferrari demonstrated. Without LH,s qually speed I beleive Button and Perez will do o.k but will not win the championship.


Massa gets my vote. Your team pings you for daring to out qualify Alonso. Then you still rave to 4th.

Domenicali should be ashamed. It is still supposed to be sport.

If Alonso wins this title, I won't watch f1, he is a master manipulator.

Even Schumacher pales in comparison. If only you all knew the real machinations behinds the spaniard.


Daniel Ricciardo should be on the list. It's easy to focus on the drivers in this list because they are all in cars capable of winning. Ricciardo was very impressive with the number of overtakes he made in his first stint before those still in front of him started to pit. Given the machinery at his disposal, for me his performance was the most impressive.


Got to be Hamilton, although Alonso drove a very strong race, too.


Lewis definitely. Was great to see Lewis and Vettel going wheel to wheel but when will Vettel grow up. If the race doesn't go perfectly to his plan we hear him having a tantrum every time.

Lewis' did a 'stupid' overtake

It was all Karthikeyan's fault

Time to grow up Sebastian!


Yesterday’s, race was epic to watch, lots of overtaking. I believe the best overtaking was firstly with Lewis and Sebastian, Jenson with Michael and then with Kimi. Massa also did some good overtaking with Kimi.

It would be great if all the tracks on the F1 calendar were re-tarmacked, to create this spectacle and also use the wrong tyres as I feel that next year it could go with super softs / softs or the soft tyre with Hard (medium)…..


I vote for Narain Karthikeyan...


I would say Michael Schumacher. Driving a dog of a car from 5th to 17th (almost last) without getting discouraged and mentally drained.


I am unashamedly Jenson's No 1 fan and yes he drove brilliantly but Lewis Hamilton is the outstanding driver of the weekend at Austin. Since signing with Mercedes he's become a different person.... much calmer and happier. I hope Ross Brawn can give him a car worthy of his talent if not in 2013 then 2014, but Mclaren will surely miss him.


When Lotus fix their pit-stops 🙁 Today it cost another podium..


No one can take this DOTD but Lewis and if anyone else would come a close second it'd be Vettel.... 30+ seconds to the third place finisher which was Alonso.

Staggering performance by both Hamilton and Vettel.


It was me of course. I drove a Ferrari with HRT performance to 3rd. I am amazing. No one is as good as me. I should have 10 world titles by now. Anyone's achievements, if achieved at my expense, must be because their car is better.


Felipe Massa by a mile. Got screwed by his team and took it on the chin then gained 7 places and completely out drove his team mate.

Can't stand Ferarri, but totally in Massa's camp and hope that he can be on equal footing with Alonso all season next year to see what they'll do...


The winner is Massa

Quali says nothing about race speed of a car. RB has a lot of down force so they are good on cold and clean track right from the start. Schumacher found a trick to warm tyres for quali, but the trick was of no use for race, ...

Once there it is hotter and more rubber, doubt RV were still the fastest car.

So why should Hamilton be DotD, if he was in fastest car and was NOT able to overtake without help. Vettel was able to counter everytime in a slower car 😉


James will the Texas GP track for next year use a different tyre like super softs to soft mediums (yellow markings).

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