It was an unseasonably hot November day at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin TX. The winds calmed down from Saturday and the mostly clear skies took ambient temperature to 88F. The hills, bleachers, and grand stand were packed with eager fans, and the 2013 United States Grand Prix kicked off.
Sebastian Vettel cleared turn 1 in first position after starting from pole. Romain Grosjean (of team Lotus) had a good start and passed Mark Webber through turn 1 to take second. Lewis Hamilton (of Mercedes) overtook Nico Hulkenberg (of team Sauber). Sergio Perez passed Fernando Alonso for sixth place. What ensued was another Vettel runaway. The number one RB9 chassis quickly separated itself from competition and remained there throughout the race.
Kudos go out to Romain Grosjean for challenging the RedBull team and holding Mark Webber to third place. The Lotus was keeping very good pace. Although Webber got one or two looks to pass Grosjean, he was never able to do so. Kimi Raikkonen is out for the rest of the season due to back surgery. Heikki Kovalainen took over for Kimi in the Lotus race car. Considering the strength of the Lotus cars this weekend, what could have been if Raikkonen was in the race? Could he have challenged Vettel? This is not a Kovalainen put down, as he was coming to grips with the Lotus.
Hulkenberg had a very strong showing and it took Fernando Alonso until the second half of the race to finally pass him. Alonso’s goal was to control the race and to not let Lewis Hamilton get too far. Alonso is second in the 2013 driver’s championship and wants to keep this place. He has it now, but the final race of the 2013 season in Brazil is not for nothing. Ferrari is still trailing Mercedes for second spot in the Constructor championship. Brazilian GP can change this.
2013 USGP may not have been the most entertaining race of the year, but it was still fun to watch Vettel’s dominance as he took down Schumacher’s record with eight straight wins.
Watch this insider TFL video of another prolific winning racer – Sebastien Loeb: