Grand Prix of United States – Race

Hurricane Patricia washed out most of Saturday, so Qualifying was moved to Sunday morning and even then it was cut short. I didn’t get to see it, so I don’t have any notes; here’s the grid after applying penalties for BOT (gearbox change), VET, RAI (engine changes for both Ferrari cars) and STE (power unit component changes): ROS, HAM, RIC, KVY, PER, HUL, MAS, VES, ALO, GRO, BUT, MAL, VET, ERI, NAS, BOT, RSI, RAI, STE, SAI.

There are only three races in the 2015 season after this one: Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi. Thanks to the BBC F1 page for “how Lewis Hamilton can be crowned the 2015 world champion today”:

  • If Hamilton wins, Vettel must finish second to prevent Hamilton winning the title at the US GP
  • If Hamilton finishes second, Vettel must finish fifth or Nico Rosberg must win the race to prevent Hamilton winning the title
  • If Hamilton finishes third, Vettel must finish sixth or Rosberg must finish second
  • If Hamilton finishes fourth, Vettel must finish eighth or Rosberg must finish third
  • If Hamilton finishes fifth, Vettel must finish ninth or Rosberg must finish fourth
  • If Hamilton finishes sixth, the title battle will continue to the next race in Mexico, even if Vettel does not finish or collects no points. Rosberg would need to come fifth to still be in contention.

Tyre compounds this weekend are: prime=medium, option=soft … although we may still see intermediate or even full wets.

Air temperature 17°C; track 19°C; overcast but not raining at present

It’s officially a wet start so the teams won’t have to use both dry tyre compounds
Looks like everyone is starting on inters

ROS leads the grid away on the formation lap
HAM a bit slow off the dummy grid
Radio from HAM – drying out quite quickly

Very long wait for the lights

01/56: HAM holds the inside line into Turn 1 – pushes ROS wide
KVY and RIC past ROS
PER past ROS too
Yellow flags – why?
ROS reclaims P4
ALO down in P19 – was he involved in an incident?

02: HAM, KVY, RIC, ROS, PER, HUL, VET, VES, BUT, RAI
Radio from GRO – someone hit me; puncture
BOT pits – new front wing
ALO has a puncture too
Replay shows ERI hits hit teammate NAS
RAI takes P9 from BUT

03: HAM fastest lap 1:57.277
KVY f/lap 1:57.138

04: HAM f/lap 1:57.404
KVY f/lap 1:56.868
Replay of the start – looks like ALO and MAS made contact into Turn 1

05/56: HAM, KVY, RIC, ROS, PER, VET, HUL, VES, RAI, SAI; retirements: STE
BOT on slicks is lapped by HAM
RAI takes P7 from VES

06: KVY only 0.6sec behind HAM
KVY attacking into Turn 1
Virtual Safety Car deployed
RIC seems to be running slowly or was he just watching his time?

07[VSC]: Marshals cleaning up debris from various collisions
BOT pits again; parks in the garage
Radio from KVY asking why HAM is so slow
RIC running very wide trying to find puddles to cool his tyres

08[VSC]: VSC ending
ROS passes RIC as soon as racing restarts
ROS looking to pass KVY too
KVY fighting back
ROS now closing on HAM

09: Surely HAM will pit for slicks soon
Radio for ROS – no more rain expected; think about the tyres

10/56: HAM, ROS, KVY, RIC, PER, VET, VES, RAI, SAI, HUL, ERI, BUT, MAS, MAL, GRO, ALO, RSI, NAS; retirements: BOT, STE
Radio from BUT – “this is embarrassing”
GRO pits; takes on soft (yellow) options

12: GRO pits again, but he’s pushed into the garage
Radio for GRO – rear brake temps going crazy; ducts damaged (presumably from lap 1 incident)

13: KVY dives inside ROS but runs wide
RIC steals P2 from ROS
Radio from ROS complaining about KVY rejoining the track close to him
Radio from RAI – why don’t I get DRS?

14: RIC f/lap 1:56.680
SAI passes RAI for P8
RIC closing on HAM again
RAI reclaims P8

15/56: HAM, RIC, ROS, KVY, PER, VET, VES, RAI, SAI, HUL
ROS f/lap 1:56.677
HAM looking twitchy – time for new tyres?
VES wheel to wheel with RAI
RIC takes the lead from HAM!

16: RIC f/lap 1:55.362
ROS alongside HAM
Radio from RAI complaining VES pushing him off track; “if it’s legal, I’ll do it to him”!

17: VES squeezes inside VET and takes P6
VES runs wide and VET reclaims the place

18: RIC f/lap 1:54.650
BUT pits
ROS takes P2 from HAM
KVY all over HAM now

19: RIC f/lap 1:54.194
HAM pits from P3; option tyres
VET, VES, MAS, NAS & RSI all pit

20/56: RIC pits, as do ROS, KVY, PER, RAI, SAI, HUL
HAM looks at going the outside of KVY but runs wide
BUT f/lap 1:51.838 in the McLaren šŸ™‚
RAI off, into the wall
RAI keeps the engine running, forces the Ferrari off the wall and back onto the track

21: VET f/lap 1:48.955
Replay shows RIC runs wide in the same place RAI did, but RIC avoided the gravel
HAM tries to pass KVY but runs wide and KVY stays ahead

22: VET f/lap 1:47.381
ROS easily past ROS for P1
HAM passes KVY for P3

23: ROS f/lap 1:46.148
HUL f/lap 1:46.001 (in P8)

24: ROS f/lap 1:43.999
VET takes P4 from KVY
MAS pits; into the garage; that’s both Williams retired

25/56: ROS, RIC, HAM, VET, KVY, VES, HUL, SAI, PER, BUT
ROS f/lap 1:43.534
HAM right on the rear wing of RIC

26: ROS f/lap 1:43.231
HAM uses DRS to tale P2
Radio for RAI – right front brake temp going through the roof; slow down and retire

27: RAI pits; retires
ERI is stopped at the side of the track
He’s off the racing line but will they use VSC to recover him?
Safety Car deployed – not virtual

28[SC]: VET, HUL, PER all pit
BUT, SAI, MAL, ALO, NAS pit too

Half distance

29[SC]: VES pits
Marshal picks up an orange bollard from the middle of the track
Still one piece of the bollard on track though

30/56[SC]: ROS, HAM, RIC, KVY, VET, VES, HUL, PER, BUT, SAI, MAL, ALO, RSI, NAS
Retirements: ERI, RAI, MAS, GRO, BOT, STE
Lapped cars may now overtake – 12, 14, 53

31[SC]: ALO, RSI & NAS pass the SC

32[SC]: SC in at the end of this lap
SC lights off
ROS slows, backing everyone up
ROS picks up the pace

33: Green flags
KVY runs wide; VET takes P4
VET inside RIC but RIC fights back

34: RIC wide in Turn 1; VET steals P3
VES sneaks by KVY for P5
KVY runs wide again; gives P6 to HUL

35/56: ROS, HAM, VET, RIC, VES, HUL, KVY, PER, BUT, ALO, SAI, MAL, NAS, RSI
HAM f/lap 1:42.725
VES takes P4 from RIC

36: HAM f/lap 1:42.659
HAM under 1sec behind ROS so he’ll have DRS
HUL dives inside RIC – contact!
HUL pulls off, parks
Incident involving SAI under investigation – speeding in the pit lane

37: Radio for RIC asking about damage
KVY takes P5 from RIC
5-second penalty for SAI

38: VSC deployed

39[VSC]: ROS pits, as do KVY and RIC
VSC ended

40/56: HAM, VET, VES, ROS, BUT, PER, ALO, SAI, MAL, KVY
ROS easily past VES for P3

41: Radio from HAM asking how big a gap he needs to pit; 10sec, and he’s 5sec ahead of VET

42: ROS f/lap 1:41.053
Incident involving RIC and HUL will be investigated after the race – causing a collision
VET tries to defend but ROS comfortably takes P2

43: KVY runs wide, touches the grass, spins across the track and into the armco
SC deployed

44[SC]: HAM pits, followed by VET
MAL and SAI pit too

45/56[SC]: ROS, HAM, VES, VET, BUT pits*, ALO, PER, RIC, MAL, SAI, RSI, NAS
*BUT rejoins P8, between RIC and MAL
Retirements: KVY, HUL, ERI, RAI, MAS, GRO, BOT, STE

46[SC]: SC in at the end of this lap
SC lights off
ROS slows to back everyone up
HAM almost runs past ROS
Radio for HAM – 10 laps left, keep it clean

47: Green flags
VET attacking VES into Turn 1 but VES stays P3
VET lining up VES again
VET takes P3
MAL pushes BUT wide
SAI sneaks past MAL for P9

48: ROS almost loses it in Turn 15
HAM steams past for P1

49: HAM f/lap 1:40.738
SAI takes RIC
BUT passes SAI and RIC

50/56: HAM, ROS, VET, VES, PER
ROS f/lap 1:40.66
BUT passes ALO
SAI inside ALO for P7

51: RIC pits
Radio from ALO complaining “no power”; wants to retire; told to keep racing because he’s in the points

52: RIC passes RSI for P11, pushing the Manor to last place again

54: VET closing on ROS
SAI still on the tail of BUT
SAI dives inside BUT and takes P6

55/56: HAM, ROS, VET, VES, PER, SAI, BUT, MAL, NAS, ALO, RIC, RSI
VET continues to close on ROS
If VET passes ROS, HAM won’t be world champion today

56 = final lap: VET not quite close enough, even with DRS

HAM takes the chequered flag
ROS just holds off VET

Provisional result: HAM, ROS, VET, VES, PER, BUT, SAI*, MAL. NAS, RIC; ALO, RSI
*SAI finished P6 but had a 5-second penalty so dropped to P7
DNF: KVY, HUL, ERI, RAI, MAS, GRO, BOT, STE

Radio for HAM confirming the race victory and his 3rd world championship

HAM obviously emotional in the driver’s prep room
ROS having bit of a sulk

What’s with the booing as ROS takes his place on the podium? Very unsporting!
Mind you ROS is still grumpy on the podium – it’s not like he really had a chance of winning
ROS hands his champagne to Paddy Lowe – wow, what a spoiled kid!

Interviews by Elton John – really? Where’s Mario Andretti?

Reminder: Incident involving RIC and HUL from lap 36 will be investigated after the race.

3 Replies to “Grand Prix of United States – Race”

    1. It’s been Mario the past couple of years, I think, so I assumed it’d be him again this weekend.
      Mind you, have you seen Eddie Jordan doing some of the podium interviews? Eek!

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