Paul Henman formula1 United States Grand Prix – Race

United States Grand Prix – Race

With SV topping the charts for all 3 practice sessions and all 3 qualifying sessions (and therefore sitting on pole), it looks like the Red Bull driver will storm off into the lead and have an easy race. Hopefully that won’t be the case, if only to keep the Drivers’ Championship battle going a little longer, although SV only needs 15 points more than FA to win the crown.

Provisional grid: SV, LH, MW, KR, MS, FM, NH, FA, RG*, PM, BS, JB, PRe, JV, SP, KK, NR, DR, TG, CP, VP, HK, PRo, NK.
(*RG received a 5 grid spot penalty for a gearbox change)

Tyre compounds this weekend: prime = hard (silver markings); option = medium (white)

Air temperature 24°C; track 32°C; wind 6m/s

It’s SV’s 100th Grand Prix.

Post-qualifying news:

  • No penalty for MS for blocking FA in Q2
  • Ferrari have made the tactical decision to tinker with FM’s gearbox which means he will incur a 5 grid-spot penalty, dropping him from P6 to P11 but more significantly it moves his teammate (FA) to the better side of the grid by bumping him up to P7. [source: FIA]
    It would be really amusing if Red Bull now decide to touch MW’s gearbox and relegate him from P3 to P8, bumping FA back to the dirty side of the grid 🙂

So the revised grid is: SV, LH, MW, KR, MS, NH, FA, RG, PM, BS, FM, JB, PRe, JV, SP, KK, NR, DR, TG, CP, VP, HK, PRo, NK.

SV leads everyone away on the formation lap
Looks like JB will start on primes (hard compound), as will NR – everyone else is on options (medium)
Grid starts to form up

01/56: Uphill into Turn 1
FA already into P4 – he had a great start
Contact between NH and KR
SP down the inside of BS

02: SV, MW, LH, FA, MS, NH, KR, RG, PRe, FM; JB down to P15
NH up the inside of MS to steal P5
KR passes MS but MS reclaims the place
RG past the Mercedes too
RG locks up; MS fighting back

03: SV fastest lap 1:46.344
DRS enabled
LH takes P2 briefly – runs wide and MW takes it back

04: Replay shows FA had a good start and just held on around the outside of Turn 1
LH makes the same move on MW and this time makes it stick

05/56: SV, LH, MW, FA, NH, RG, KR, PRe, MS, FM
LH f/lap 1:45.497
Radio for LH telling him the gap to SV
RG on the tail of NH
JB still stuck down in P14

06: SV f/lap 1:44.598
RG tries a move on NH but runs wide
JB takes P13 from PM
RG spins
BBC report PRe told his tyres are 4° above optimal temperature

07: LH f/lap 1:44.293
MS attacking FM for P8

08: SV f/lap 1:43.992
LH f/lap 1:43.614
JB up the inside of RG and takes P12
Replay shows RG spun under braking

09: SV leads LH by 2.0secs
JB closing on MS for P11
DR attacks RG into Turn 1; takes P13 but RG fighting back
JV runs a little wide

10/56: SV, LH, MW, FA, NH, KR, PRe, FM, SP, BS
LH f/lap 1:43.279
RG pits – swaps to primes
Replay of JB passing MS – even 2 races away from retirement MS aggressive – tries to push JB off track

11: KR attacking NH – the Force India is struggling to hold off the Lotus
FM takes P7 from PRe – easy pass using DRS and KERS

12: LH has closed SV’s lead to 1.5sec
KR sees a gap but NH defends

13: SV f/lap 1:43.181
Brave move from KR as he hangs on around the outside of NH through Turn 2 – gets a round of applause from DC whereas CTV cut to adverts

14: PM takes P13 from MS
KK pits – swaps to primes
Radio for LH – use “push to pass” button – LH sounds frustrated that they didn’t tell him sooner

15/56: SV, LH, MW, FA, KR, NH, FM, PRe, SP, BS (JB P11)
JV drives through the gravel and parks – looks like his front-right suspension was already broken
FM passes NH for P6

17: LH hovering around the 1sec mark behind SV so he’ll be able to use DRS
Radio for MW – “3 clicks rearward – KERS has failed” — why is it always MW?
MW pulls off track, handing P3 to FA

18: JB takes P10 from BS
NH pits

19: Slow lap for LH – he’s fallen a further 1.5sec back from SV
FM f/lap 1:42.930
RG f/lap 1:42.458

20/56: SV, LH, FA, KR, FM, PRe, SP, BS, JB, DR; retirements: MW, JV
FA runs wide but has a comfortable gap

21: LH pits from P2
Ferrari react and tell FA to pit
FA has a slow stop – problem with taking the right-rear off
JB passes SP

22: SV pits
PM, HK & MS all pit

23: JB takes a look at passing FA but the Ferrari hangs on to P5
SP pits

24: JB uses DRS to take P5 from FA

25/56: SV, LH, FM, JB, FA, KR, DR, RG, NH
KR pits from P3; slow stop; rejoins just behind FA – he could have been ahead
JB f/lap 1:42.007
DR passes KR

26: LH f/lap 1:41.826
Official FIA timing page is down!

27: FM pits from P3 – clean stop – rejoins between FA and KR – he can now play rear-gunner for his teammate
DR past FM
KR all over the rear of FM

28/56 = half distance: LH f/lap 1:41.752
KR down the inside into Turn 1 – takes P6

29: Yet to pit are JB, DR, NR

30/56: SV, LH, JB, FA, DR, KR, FM, RG, NR, NH; retirements: MW, JV
Radio for JB confirming he’s pulling away from FM

31: Radio for LH letting him know his old set of tyres were good – OK to push on this set
DR pits, as does PRe

32: LH f/lap 1:41.632

33: LH f/lap 1:41.525
Radio for LH telling him he’s caught SV by 0.5sec and more traffic ahead (gap is now 1.2secs)
Wow, more adverts == #CTV fail!

34: LH f/lap 1:41.292 – gap is under 1sec so LH will be able to use DRS
SV and LH coming up to lap VP (P17)

35/56: SV, LH, JB, FA, KR, FM, RG, NR, NH, BS; retirements: MW, JV
LH using DRS to get very close to SV
Is SV’s plan to win or play safe and just take the points? Does he want to take the Drivers’ Championship here or in Brazil?

36: SV f/lap 1:40.969
JB pits from P3 – OK stop – rejoins just ahead of RG
RG passes JB into Turn 1

37: SV f/lap 1:40.911
JB finding good pace on fresh tyres

38: LH still all over the tail of SV

39: JB attacking RG for P6
JB dives down the inside – that’s brave when it’s RG
FM takes P4 from KR

40/56: SV, LH, FA, FM, KR, JB, RG, NH, BS, PM; retirements: MW, JV
MS pits – 2nd stop – more primes

41: LH letting SV know he’s looking for a way past

42: SV f/lap 1:40.850
SV continues trying to find his way through the tail-enders
FM f/lap 1:40.572
LH uses DRS to attack; SV defends but LH goes around him; takes P1

43: JB attacking KR
Radio from SV complaining LH was too close when he overtook – seriously?!

44: LH f/lap 1:40.240
JB still stuck behind KR

45/56: LH, SV, FA, FM, KR, JB, RG, NH, BS, PM
JB has a look at KR but the Finn slams the door shut

46: FA f/lap 1:40.141
JB takes P5 from KR

47: SV keeping LH in sight but not trying to attack

48: Radio for JB – “tyres in good state; push all the way to the end”

49: SV about 1sec back from LH – will he try to fight back?

50/56: LH, SV, FA, FM, JB, KR, RG, NH, BS, PM; retirements: MW, JV
BS tries to pass NH but the Force India keeps P8

52: Closest battle is PM chasing teammate BS for P9
Clearly no team orders as PM bumps BS’ wheels to take the position

53: Radio for LH – “should be traffic-free until the end of the race”

54: SV f/lap 1:40.082 but 1.5sec behind LH
Radio from JB complaining he’s losing lap time because he can’t use all of KERS
FM f/lap 1:40.050

55/56: LH, SV, FA, FM, JB, KR, RG, NH, PM, BS
LH f/lap 1:39.913
FM f/lap 1:39.743

56 = final lap: LH f/lap 1:39.709
SV too far back to be a threat

LH takes the chequered flag
SV f/lap 1:39.347
FA crosses the line 35secs back
Incident involving cars 20 and 24 (HK & TG) will be investigated after the race
Radio from LH – “that was wicked”; “we deserved that”
Radio for SV – “Well done Seb, that wasn’t your fault”

Oh dear – what’s with the cowboy hats on the podium?

Provisional result: LH, SV, FA, FM, JB, KR, RG, NH, PM, BS; SP, DR, NR, KK (+1 lap), PRe, MS, VP, HK, TG, CP, PRo, NK; DNF: MW, JV.

So this means Red Bull win the Constructors’ Championship and SV is 13 points ahead of FA (in the Drivers’ battle) going in to the final race in Brazil.

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