2012 United States Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: Whether F1 needs the USA and/or the USA needs F1 has always been open to debate. But, one thing is for sure, it's a lot more fun for all involved when the two do have each other.
EVENT: The USGP may have finally found its permanent home. A purpose built facility, a perfectly run event, and a massive crowd all bode well for F1 remaining in the United States of America.
QUALIFYING: The surprise obviously wasn't Vettel winning pole. The surprise was his domination in practice did not come out in qualifying. Hamilton staying close was a foreshadowing for the race.
RACE: Like Abu Dhabi, the race was a lot racier than many thought would occur. Passing at all different locations and a great battle for the lead left the huge throngs buzzing after the race.
TRACK: Hermann Tilke got it right ... at least by Tilke standards. And for the fans, it's one of the best tracks to watch a race from.
START: Vettel is perfect again, Webber doesn't blow it from the grippy side, Hamilton was hopeless from the slick side, Alonso is amazing, Schumacher dropped like a lead balloon, and most surprisingly it was clean through Turn 1.
HAMILTON: Perhaps his best performance of the year. Lewis was fast, aggressive, determined, and patient. All the ingredients for a victory.
BUTTON: Meanwhile, Jenson's two moves, one quick -- one taking a lot of work -- on the Lotus cars were great to watch.
MCLAREN: They had the race setup, if not the qualifying speed.
VETTEL: Though Sebastian didn't give in, he played it smart by not getting too involved with Hamilton and grabbed valuable points.
WEBBER: Failed to protect his teammate, but the alternator made that a moot point.
RED BULL: Won the Constructor's Title. One down, one to go.
ALONSO: Got the most of what he could out of the Ferrari. But in the end, they didn't have an answer for Red Bull and Vettel.
MASSA: Another strong race for a revitalized Felipe.
FERRARI: Questionably sporting or not, it was a brilliant move to incur a gearbox "change" penalty. The question now is, did they open Pandora's Box?
RAIKKONEN: Started out strong, but Kimi's car faded as the race wore on.
GROSJEAN: Romain was very fast throughout the weekend, but still susceptible to mistakes.
LOTUS: They were off most of the weekend.
HULKENBERG: A strong weekend for Nico...
DI RESTA: ...While Paul was completely outclassed by his teammate.
SENNA: Not a bad weekend for Bruno even if he got snookered by his teammate at the end.
MALDONADO: Gave his team quite the scare when he dive bombed Senna in the nearly impossible to pass Turn 1.
ROSBERG: Running well early on, but that was it for Nico's weekend.
SCHUMACHER: Had the setup for qualifying which was a total failure for the race.
MERCEDES: Must be instilling loads of confidence in Hamilton...
RICCIARDO: Ran a strong race after such a poor qualifying effort.
PEREZ: Not the type of race Sergio was hoping for in front of his "home" fans.
KOBAYASHI: Despite Kamui's confidence, he may be done in F1.
FIA: One way to help prevent future gearbox "failures" is to make the grid penalty an even number.
HRT: No grip. No brakes. No speed. And pretty soon, no team.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Awesome.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 13 -- The number of points separating the championship contenders heading into the final race.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Lewis Hamilton is added to the list of drivers who have won the USGP on two different venues -- some in the same year -- the last being Ayrton Senna (Detroit three times, Phoenix twice). However, only one driver has ever won on three different venues. Alan Jones won at Watkins Glen (1980), Long Beach (1981), and Las Vegas (1981). They were all consecutive.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Lewis Hamilton on the Circuit of the Americas, "There were a couple of grands prix that are somehow out on their own: there's Monaco, Silverstone, Montreal, Spa, and Monza. Now you can add this circuit to that list - it's already one of the best racetracks in the world, maybe even right up there in the top three."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Damon Hill on the Ferrari gearbox decision, "It's a very strange sport where you can gain an advantage by sabotaging a team member."
SCHEDULE: Onto F1 crazed Brazil to settle this year once and for all.
Copyright © 2012 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.