Mercedes likes the Circuit of the Americas in Austin Texas. Lewis Hamilton likes the US Grand Prix and has won here six times. The weekend was simmering from Friday through pole on Saturday and the win and podium position that secured the FIA Formula 1 Driver’s Championship for Lewis Hamilton. His 6th just one behind Michael Schumacher.
Intrigued unfolded during the weekend with an FIA clarification—prompted by a Red Bull inquiry—about fuel-flow sensors, interval measurement and Ferrari’s power advantage. Oddly this weekend, Ferrari ceased to have the straight line speed and both Toto Wolff and Lewis Hamilton stopped short of suggesting that it was the funny business of flouting the FIA fuel-flow measurement system that attributed to the pace.
Regardless, Ferrari didn’t have an answer or good race but for Mercedes and Valtteri Bottas, it was a brilliant weekend with a pole position and win in Austin.
A big win for Lewis Hamilton who secured second place and in doing so, takes his 6th world championship. The team enjoyed the Constructor’s title a few weeks ago but today was Lewis’s day and he made a real fight out of it trying to make his slower 1-stopper actually work.
A win for Valtteri Bottas who has had two great races on the trot and looks to be a more steely-eyed competitor and let’s hope this continues in 2020. Valtteri didn’t put a foot wrong this weekend, nor last weekend, and excels at these driver circuits.
A win for Max Verstappen who managed the final spot on the podium. Max qualified well and raced well but ran out of laps in order to make a pass on Lewis for 2nd place. The Red Bull had the measure of the Ferrari’s and it does make you wonder if the inquiry played a role in the reversal of the Ferrari performance.
A big win for Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo who took the fight to McLaren and came home best-of-the-rest. It was a much-needed redemption for Renault who has been really struggling in 2019.
A win Lando Norris who bested his veteran teammate, Carlos Sainz and also a win for Sergio Perez who started from the pit lane but managed to secure a point in 10th.
A fail for Ferrari who suffered a broken suspension with Sebastian Vettel after an inexplicably slow start and poor first lap with massive understeer. The team also couldn’t find a way to move Charles Leclerc forward and settled for a 2-stopper. If tricking a sensor is actually true, then the power advantage isn’t superior engineering, it’s crafty thinking and not something to hang your hat on. Let’s hope this isn’t the case but if it isn’t, it is difficult to explain Ferrari’s lack of pace in Austin.
A fail for Haas F1 at their home grand prix with Kevin Magnussen out with what looked like a brake failure and Romain Grosjean relegated to 15th.
The national anthem…enough said.
- Bottas started from pole but slipped behind his team mate after making an extra pit stop. The Finn subsequently took advantage of his fresher tires to claim the lead close to the end of the race.
- Hamilton was one of five drivers in the top 10 of the grid to start on the medium tire, but he completed a longer opening stint than his rivals before switching to the hard for a one-stopper, which required perfect tire management.
- Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was locked in a tactical battle with Bottas for most of the race on a similar medium-hard-medium two-stop strategy, but he could not get past Hamilton at the finish and ended up third.
- Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who finished fourth, adopted a different two-stop strategy, using all three nominated compounds. During his final stint on the soft, he gained the extra point for fastest race lap.
- Behind him, Red Bull’s Alex Albon finished fifth, having been last after his early pit stop on lap one following some contact. He completed a three-stopper in the end: the only driver to do so.
- In total, there were five different strategies in the top six: underlining the multiplicity of approaches in evidence at the United States Grand Prix.
- Weather conditions for the race were similarly warm to yesterday, which had an effect on tyre behaviour by favouring the harder compounds.
US Grand Prix Result:
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda||56||5.002s|
|5||Alexander Albon||Red Bull/Honda||56||1m18.038s|
|8||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren/Renault||55||1 Lap|
|9||Nico Hulkenberg||Renault||55||1 Lap|
|10||Sergio Perez||Racing Point/Mercedes||55||1 Lap|
|11||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||55||1 Lap|
|12||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Honda||55||1 Lap|
|13||Lance Stroll||Racing Point/Mercedes||55||1 Lap|
|14||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||55||1 Lap|
|15||Romain Grosjean||Haas/Ferrari||55||1 Lap|
|16||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Honda||54||Not running|
|17||George Russell||Williams/Mercedes||54||2 Laps|
|7||Carlos Sainz Jr.||80|