American Race Round 16

Lewis Hamilton wins the American grand prix and the 2015 world championship ahead of Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel.

25/10/2015

Rosberg took pole position in Q3 just before the session was stopped due to rain all weekend. Both Ferrari cars of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen had 10 place grid penalty’s for new engines on each car. Valterri Bottas had a 5 place grid penalty for a broken rear suspension that they had to change at the end of Qualifying.

Formation Lap

All drivers started on the Intermediate tyre as drivers went onto the warm up lap, it was the first time all weekend that the drivers had been out on track with it not been raining.

Race

Rosberg had to finish ahead of Hamilton to keep the championship going to Mexico, his start was good but Hamilton’s was better. Hamilton took the inside line to the corner and slide into Rosberg, forcing him wide, Rosberg dropped to 4th behind Hamilton, Daniil Kvyat, Daniel Ricciardo and Sergio Perez.

Fernando Alonso made a good start but with Felipe Massa’s spin at turn 1 sent Alonso to the back. Bottas pitted after losing a part of his front wing. For Sauber’s 400th grand prix, Felipe Nasr running into the back of his team-mate Marcus Ericsson was not what they needed. Nasr pitted for a new nose at the end of lap 1.

Both Bottas and Nasr came out of the pits on the Soft tyre but is the track dry enough? Will Stevens for Manor retires.

Lap 5, the Virtual Safety Car is deployed as their is debris on the track. The same lap and the gamble has not paid off for Bottas and Nasr as it is still not dry enough and both go back onto the Soft tyre. But not for Bottas as Williams decide to retire the car.

Lap 8, the Virtual Safety Car has ended as into turn 1, Rosberg passes Ricciardo for 3rd. Into turn 11 and Rosberg is on a charge and passes Kvyat for 2nd. Lap 10, Romain Grosjean pits and retires. Kvyat halts Rosberg’s charge and gets past for only for Kvyat to run wide and let Ricciardo past. Ricciardo gets past Rosberg for 2nd and starts to hunt down Hamilton.

Lap 15, Ricciardo passes Hamilton for the lead going into turn 18. Ricciardo is flying and is pulling away from Hamilton who has Rosberg closing behind. Lap 17, McLaren’s Jenson Button pits and goes onto the Soft tyre, a good move. Lap 18, Rosberg passes Hamilton into turn 12. Hamilton decides to pit at the end of the lap. And so does Vettel, Max Verstappen, Massa, Nasr and Alexander Rossi. All go onto the Soft tyre as the track is drying by the lap.

A lap later and Riccardo, Rosberg, Kvyat, Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen, Perez and Carlos Sainz pit. Lap 20, Raikkonen has gone straight on into a barrier and is trying to get out. He does but has lost a part of his front wing and pits also for an a new set of tyres at the end of the lap. Lap 22, Rosberg takes Ricciardo for 1st and Hamilton takes Kvyat for 3rd, both Red Bull cars are starting to struggle with the drying track.

Lap 23, Felipe Massa is told by team radio that they have to retire the car, its a bad day for Williams as they lost Valterri Bottas earlier. Lap 25, Hamilton passes Ricciardo for 2nd, Raikkonen is told that they have to retire the car and Marcus Ericsson has stopped on track. Which results in an Safety Car. Sebastian Vettel pits from 4th and only loses a place as he puts on the Medium tyre. Button and Perez also stop for the Soft and Medium tyre.

The Safety Car is in and Vettel passes Kvyat for 4th. Rosberg leads ahead of Hamilton, Ricciardo, Vettel and Kvyat. The same lap and Vettel gets past Ricciardo for 3rd. Lap 37, Nico Hulkenberg has a go at passing Ricciardo but it does not pay off at turn 12, Ricciardo is hit and has damage and Hulkenberg is out. Due to debris the Virtual Safety Car is put in place on lap 38. Rosberg, Kvyat and Ricciardo pit and go out on the Soft, Medium and Soft tyre.

The Virtual Safety Car is in and Hamilton leads. Rosberg passes Vettel for 2nd on lap 41 and is now catching Hamilton. Lap 44, Kvyat has crashed. He took too much kerb just after turn 19, lost the rear of the car, veered off to the left and smashed into the concrete barrier which destroy’s the front of his car. The Safety Car is deployed and Hamilton and Vettel pit for the Soft tyre. Rosberg leads, Hamilton’s 2nd, Verstappen is 3rd with Vettel 4th. Lap 47, the Safety Car is in as Vettel passes Verstappen for 3rd.

Lap 49, Hamilton leads! It appears that Rosberg lost the rear of the car at turn 14, he went wide and gifted the lead and the world championship to Hamilton. Lap 52, Hamilton is creating a gap of two seconds as Button is into the points in 6th place. Lap 54, Hamilton now has a gap of four seconds as Vettel closes to under one second behind Rosberg for 2nd. Rosberg fends off Vettel and Hamilton is the 2015 World Champion! Hamilton is over the moon as Rosberg is clearly not about his mistake on lap 49.

Race Result

1.Hamilton  2.Rosberg  3.Vettel  4.Verstappen  5.Perez  6.Button  7.Sainz  8.Maldonado  9.Nasr  10.Ricciardo  11.Alonso  12.Rossi  DNF Kvyat, Hulkenberg, Ericsson, Raikkonen, Massa, Grosjean, Bottas and Stevens

Championship Standings

1.Hamilton 327pts  2.Vettel 251pts  3.Rosberg 247pts  4.Raikkonen 123pts

My View

What an exciting and eventful race that saw Nico Rosberg gifted the win and the world championship to his team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

A really good race for Max Verstappen in 4th, a future champion in the making! Also it has been a good run for Sergio Perez in 5th in the last couple of races with his home grand prix next in Mexico is another strong result on the horizon. A solid race for Jenson Button in 6th for McLaren-Honda. What looked like a promising start for both Red Bull cars only saw Daniel Ricciardo in 10th picking up just one point. Also a fantastic home race for Alexander Rossi in 12th place for Manor!

The next race is on the 30th of October – 1st of November in Mexico City, Mexico

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