This weekend saw Formula 1 return to the US for the first time since the 2007 US Grand Prix at Indianapolis. Going into the weekend the questions on fans minds were; would the purpose built circuit promote overtaking? How much interest will there be? And most of all, will the 2012 World Championship be settled this weekend?
We were gifted with a brilliant race, full of overtaking and plenty of action, let’s take a look at the Yays and Nays of the US Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton wins on F1′s return to the US
Lewis Hamilton won the last US Grand Prix back in 2007, so it was very fitting that he won in Austin as Formula 1 returned to the US.
After being let down by the team on a few occasions recently, many Formula 1 fans think it’s about time he won a race, as his last win was at the Italian Grand Prix.
Red Bull Racing’s Third Consecutive Constructors Championship
While you wouldn’t have guessed it judging from the post-race interviews, Red Bull Racing won their third consecutive World Constructors Championship. The Milton Keynes based team are the fourth team in Formula 1 history to win three Constructors Championships in a row. You’d think they’d look a bit happier about it though!
Herman Tilke’s got it right
Well I never thought the day would come where I’d praise Herman Tilke on his circuit design. The purpose built Circuit of the Americas provided a really interesting race with plenty of overtaking. Though, I’m not quite sure how much we can praise him, since large parts of the circuit seem to be carbon copies of great parts of other tracks on the circuit, but I think I’ll let him off. Tilke deserves a round of applause for not creating another Tilkedrome.
Stetson’s on the podium
As Hamilton, Vettel and Alonso headed out onto the podium, they were handed winners Pirelli Stetsons, rather than the usual winners caps. Some fans thought they looked ridiculous, however I thought it was a nice original touch. I think I’d quite like to see Pirelli do traditional hats from each nation, rather than just winners caps.
Rammed Grand Stands
Unfortunately we’ve seen some circuits with very bare, in some cases completely empty, grand stands this year. Thankfully this was not the case for the Circuit Of The Americas The grandstands and general admission areas were absolutely rammed, proving that there is interest in Formula 1 in the US.
Championship goes down the the wires
Sebastian Vettel could have clinched his third World Championship in Austin, but it wasn’t too be as he finished the race second with main title rival Fernando Alonso finishing third.
This means the title will be decided this weekend at the Brazilian Grand Prix, which is sure to produce a truly nail biting race.
Ferrari’s unsporting move
Shortly before the race on Sunday it was announced that Ferrari were going to damage Felipe Massa’s gearbox seal which would force him to take a 5 place grid penalty. This would then promote his team mate Fernando Alonso one place up the grid onto the cleaner side of the grid.
The decision divided fans and disgusted some. While the reason they made the move was understandable and within the rules, in my view it was incredibly unsporting. For me, racing should be about racing, not trying to exploit loopholes.
It reminds me a little of Jimmy Carr and other rich and famous folks exploiting paying UK tax, it’s within the loopholes and you think you’d probably do it if you were in their situation, but you come out of it looking like nothing short of an ass.
Alternator failure for Red Bull
Lap 16 of the US Grand Prix, saw Red Bull driver Mark Webber retire from the race due to an alternator failure.
Earlier in the year at the European Grand Prix, both Sebastian Vettel and Romain Grosjean’s Renault alternators overheated, ending both of their races.
In Austin Red Bull were forced to revert to using their older alternators again for the last two races of the season.
After seeing his team mate’s alternator fail, Sebastian Vettel must be feeling pretty nervous that his third World Championship rests on whether or not his alternator fails next weekend in Sao Paulo.
What were your Yays and Nays of the US Grand Prix? Is it on your list of races to go to?