Grand Prix of America – Race

Hamilton needs to win to keep his hopes of another Drivers’ Championship alive; Rosberg can finish second in the remaining four races (including this one) and still win the title. It also means HAM can’t afford to get into too much of a fight with his teammate, so will he be more cautious into the first turn? Even though it’s his first pole here, HAM has won three of the four races at this circuit; however ROS is on another winning streak, so it should be a good battle.

There was a little frustration in Qualifying, with BUT complaining about “the Renault on the racing line in the last corner” and PAL (the Renault in question) furious at his engineer for not being told BUT was closing on him.

Provisional grid: HAM, ROS, RIC, VES, RAI, VET, HUL, BOT, MAS, SAI, PER, ALO, KVY, GUT, PAL, ERI, GRO, MAG, BUT, WEH, NAS, OCO.

Pit lane lights turn green, and the cars stream out; some will head to the grid, and others will pass through the pit lane to do another practice start.

Air temperature 27°C; track 35°C; a few clouds but it’s still sunny and no real threat of rain (unlike last year!)

HAM leads everyone away on the formation lap
As the grid forms up, ROS is pointing towards the centre of the track, or maybe at his teammate?

01/56: Clean start
RIC challenging ROS into Turn 1 – RIC has taken P2
RAI now lining up ROS
HUL hits VET
Contact between PER and KVY; PER spins; KVY rejoins right in front of a McLaren
BOT has a puncture

02: HAM, RIC, ROS, RAI, VES, VET, MAS, SAI, ALO, GUT
BOT pits, as does HUL
Looks like HUL is retiring

03: HAM fastest lap 1:44.292
DRS now enabled
BUT passed GUT for P10 but GUT fights back and reclaims the place
BUT attacks again; takes P10 and makes it stick this time
Confirmed that HUL is out – track rod damage

04: HAM f/lap 1:44.159

05/56: HAM, RIC, ROS, RAI, VES, VET, MAS, SAI, ALO, BUT
VES f/lap 1:44.132
Replay of the start shows contact between BOT and HUL
Replay of the PER/HUL incident shows PER tagged HUL

06: Incident involving cars 27 (HUL) and 77 (BOT) under investigation
KVY closing on PER

07: HAM f/lap 1:43.649
GRO passes teammate GUT for P11

08: PER lining up GUT
GUT defends the inside of Turn 1 but PER goes around him for P12
Incident involving 11 (PER) and 55 (SAI) under investigation – causing a collision — shouldn’t that be KVY?
Radio for PER telling him to box

09: RIC and RAI pit
HAM f/lap 1:43.646
Radio for ROS – “going for the long game so push hard”; ROS says “pushing hard is not the long game”

10/56: HAM f/lap 1:43.457
VES pits – early stop given he started on soft tyres

11: ROS pits, followed by BUT, PER and GRO
ROS on medium compound tyres now

12: HAM pits; good stop; rejoins P2 between VET and RIC who have yet to stop
MAS pits too, as do SAI and ALO
Radio from ALO whining “behind the Renaults, what a disaster!”

13: VES f/lap 1:43.093

14: VES dives inside RAI to steal P5; RAI tries to fight back but VES pulls away
KVY given 10-sec penalty for the PER collision
Debris on the exit of Turn 1 apparently
KVY lets teammate SAI past for P8

15/56: VET pits from P1; takes on new soft tyres; rejoins P6
HAM, RIC, ROS, VES, RAI, VET, MAS, SAI, KVY, ALO, ERI, BUT, PER, GRO, PAL, NAS, GUT, OCO, MAG, WEH, BOT; retirement: HUL

17: GUT is coasting – problem with the Haas?
VES is on the tail of ROS
GUT pits; looks like he’s going to retire

18: GUT still in his pit box
ERI and OCO pit
GUT is pushed into the garage

19: HAM has a 4.7sec lead over RIC, who in turn is 1.5sec ahead of ROS
VES is now under 1sec behind ROS so he’ll get DRS

20/56: HAM, RIC, ROS, VES, RAI, VET, MAS, SAI, ALO, KVY, BUT, PER, GRO, NAS, MAG, PAL, ERI, WEH, BOT, OCO; retirements: GUT, HUL
Radio for VES reminding him he needs to complete this stint (i.e. look after your tyres); VES replies “I’m not here to finish 4th” 🙂

21: BUT inside KVY for P10; KVY fights back and makes BUT work for the place
Radio for PAL telling him that his pace is better than his teammate’s; PAL snaps “I’ve known that the entire race!”

23: KVY pits and has to serve his 10-sec penalty too

24: MAG takes P13 from NAS
VET is right on the tail of teammate RAI

25/56: RAI pits; supersoft tyres, so he’ll have to stop again; rejoins just ahead of MAS
HAM, RIC, ROS, VES, VET, RAI, MAS, SAI, ALO, BUT, PER, GRO, MAG, PAL, NAS, ERI, WEH, KVY, OCO, BOT

26: RIC pits from P2; mediums, so he can go to the flag; rejoins P5 in lots of space

27: VES pits but the mechanics weren’t ready; rejoins P7
RAI f/lap 1:41.841
Radio for VES asking what happened; says “I thought you boxed me, sorry”

28: PER, GRO, MAG all in the pits
Radio for VET telling him VES had a long stop

29: BUT pits
VES coasting – looks like he’s lost power

30/56: VET pits; mediums
Not sure why VES is limping back to the pits instead of parking the Red Bull

31: VES has pulled off track; yellow flags
Virtual Safety Car deployed while they move the Red Bull
Radio for HAM telling him to pit while VSC is active

32[VSC]: HAM pits, followed by ROS
WEH leaves hit pit just ahead of ROS; ROS moves to pass WEH but must have been told not to because it’s illegal under the VSC
Marshals hoist VES’ car and start to move it behind the barriers

33[VSC]: Radio from RIC complaining about the “free” pit stop for the Mercedes pair
VSC ends, and ROS immediately passes WEH
Replay of ROS exiting the pits – very close to passing WEH under VSC

34: Radio for RIS – “you can see Rosberg ahead – let’s get after him”

35/56: HAM, ROS, RIC, RAI, VET, SAI, MAS, ALO, PER, BUT, GRO, ERI, KVY, MAG, PAL, NAS, WEH, BOT, OCO; retirements: VES, GUT, HUL
Radio from PAL asking his engineer “can’t you help me out a little bit here?”, hoping they’ll tell MAG to let him pass

36: Instead of catching ROS, it looks like RIC is actually being caught by RAI

37: Radio for VET – “we have some rear wing drop outs”, which means he might not be getting full downforce
HAM is over 10sec ahead of ROS

39: RAI pits; softs; stops as he exits the pit lane
Radio for RAI telling him a wheel gun was still attached!
Because it’s quite a steep uphill to Turn 1, RAI lets the Ferrari roll back down into the pit lane – that can’t be legal! It certainly isn’t safe!
No Ferrari mechanics at the end of the pit lane to meet RAI

40/56: HAM, ROS, RIC, VET, SAI, MAS, ALO, PER, BUT, GRO, ERI, KVY, MAG, PAL, NAS, WEH, BOT, OCO; retirements: RAI, VES, GUT, HUL

41: Unsurprisingly, RAI/Ferrari under investigation for an unsafe release
RAI has walked back to the Ferrari garage; probably best to give him a wide berth for now

44: Big lock up from ROS
RIC sounds quite fired up as he talks to his engineer about catching ROS

45/56: HAM, ROS, RIC, VET, SAI, MAS, ALO, PER, BUT, GRO, ERI, KVY, MAG, PAL, NAS, BOT, WEH, OCO
MAG pits

46: MAS locks up and almost runs into the rear of SAI

47: ALO now closing on MAS

48: ALO right on the gearbox of the Williams
Radio for GRO telling him there’s a problem with the blue flag system

49: Radio for
KVY inside ERI for P11 – a forceful pass, pushing ERI wide
PAL lets his teammate MAG, who is on much newer tyres, through for P13

50/56: HAM, ROS, RIC, VET, SAI, MAS, ALO, PER, BUT, GRO, KVY, ERI, MAG, PAL, BOT, NAS, WEH, OCO; retirements: RAI, VES, GUT, HUL

52: MAS still on SAI’s tail, but the Williams has ALO harrying him
SAI makes a mistake; MAS goes to pass but ALO dives inside – contact between ALO and MAS but both continue

53: SAI is still just ahead in the battle for P5, but now ALO is ahead of MAS
Incident involving ALO and MAS will be investigated after the race

54: VET pits; he has a big lead over SAI
NAS attacking BOT for P15 but BOT stays ahead
NAS has another go, and this time takes P15

55/56: KVY defends from MAG, forcing MAG wide in Turn 1, but MAG takes P11
Radio for MAS telling him he has a puncture
MAS pits

56 = final lap: VET f/lap 1:39.877
ALO is on SAI’s tail
Incident involving MAG and KVY will be investigated after the race
ALO finds a way round SAI to steal P5

HAM takes the chequered flag – his first win since Germany
ROS comes home P2, which is good enough

Provisional result: HAM, ROS, RIC, VET, ALO, SAI, MAS, PER, BUT, GRO; MAG, KVY, PAL, ERI, NAS, BOT, WEH, OCO
DNF: RAI, VES, GUT, HUL

That’s HAM’s 50th victory, and it reduces ROS’ lead to 26 points with three races remaining.
There are a couple of incidents to be investigated, so the result won’t be confirmed for a while.

Oh dear – another shoey with RIC on the podium; not sure about the fake Texas accents from RIC and Gerard Butler.

2 Replies to “Grand Prix of America – Race”

  1. Incidents investigated after the race:

    • No further action over Alonso-Massa incident. The stewards announced they would investigate the incident after the race, but having done so determined that ‘no driver was wholly or predominantly to blame for the collusion.’ [FIA]
    • Renault’s Kevin Magnussen, who ran off track when completing a late pass on Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat for P11, was found to have left the track and gained a lasting advantage and was given a five-second penalty as a result, dropping him back behind Kvyat in the final standings. Magnussen was also given two penalty points on his license. [FIA] – this doesn’t affect the points positions
    • Ferrari were handed 5,000 Euro fine for an unsafe release of Kimi Raikkonen.

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