The weekend was a damp squib for the Williams duo as well as Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen but in the end, the fans were able to weather the torrent of rain which pounded the US Grand Prix like Clubber Lang on steroids.
The rain abbreviated the qualifying session leaving Q2 results as the definitive grid positions for the race which would occur approximately three hours after qualifying. Qualifying was postponed until Sunday morning and the rain compressed the weekend to, effectively, a one-day affair.
The race was a torrid affair with Lewis Hamilton bullying Nico Rosberg wide at turn one, lap one but it was the Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat who looked ready to pounce on Hamilton for the lead, if not win, in the damp starting conditions.
Ultimately it was Lewis Hamilton who would win the day and along with that, his third world driver’s title. As the only British driver to defend his title in back-to-back fashion, he also overhauls Sebastian Vettel in total wins as well.
Lewis is as excited as I have ever seen him. Standing next to him in the press interview, he was beaming with excitement and couldn’t wait to share his thoughts with the press. And why shouldn’t he? He just won the title in a place he likes very much, America. Truth be known, America likes him too so it’s a win/win really.
Obviously a huge win for Lewis Hamilton who secured his third Driver’s World Championship and became the first British driver to defend his title back-to-back. Lewis seems to like America and what better place to win his third title. That brings him equal on titles with his boss, Niki Lauda.
With attrition, there are only opportunities to gain serious points and that’s what McLaren did getting Jenson Button in the top ten and his teammate, Fernando Alonso, had the new engine. Odd that but regardless, Sauber managed to take advantage of the attrition by securing 9th in their 400th grand prix.
You have to give Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel a big win for starting with a 10-place grid penalty and still managing to finish on the podium.
Also a big win for Toro Rosso driver, Max Verstappen, for a terrific 4th place next to Force India’s Sergio Perez. Both drivers putting in a great race. Verstappen’s teammate, Carlos Sainz Jr, had a nice run to 7th and was very competitive in the waning laps on fresher tires.
Unfortunately it was a fail weekend for Williams F1 who seemed to be drowned by bumps on the circuit causing mechanical failures. At least that’s what they are blaming it on.
Kvyat had an unforced error causing a crash while doing very well and running high in the order. As difficult as that might be, Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg was leading the race and had an error under acceleration and lost the lead to his closest rival and teammate, Lewis Hamilton. Effectively handing the world title to the British, Rosberg may not have had a real shot at winning the title but he certainly wanted to win the race.
You have to feel for Nico Rosberg but he was not a happy bunny as he threw his hat back at Lewis after Hamilton tossed him his podium hat. The icy wind in the waiting room was tangible. Sure, Paddy Lowe didn’t look happy about the Hatgate but you know what I say? Good for Nico! Shove that damn thing back at Lewis. He threw it first and set the tone for a serious arse kicking in 2016. Not that it will happen but if you have any hope of being champion, you’re going to have to get tough, Nico. Why not start with a hat.
I’m starting to get confused by Nico Hulkenberg who has his share of issues in the last few races and his clash with Daniel Ricciardo in turn one which ended his race, wasn’t exactly the kind fo driving you’d expect from the 24 Hours of Le Mans champion. (UPDATE): Just watched the Stewards video review and Nico’s front wing broke under braking. Nothing he could do, no penalty given.
I know Sir Elton John was playing a concert later on but I thought it an odd choice as a podium interviewer. My was I pleasantly surprised as he made George Lucas look like a Gungin on the podium. Great job Elton!
1. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1:50:52.703 2. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes +00:02.850 3. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 00:03.381 4. Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Toro Rosso - Renault 00:22.359 5. Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India - Mercedes 00:24.413 6. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 00:28.058 7. Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso - Renault 00:30.619 8. Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus - Mercedes 00:32.273 9. Felipe Nasr (Brazil) Sauber - Ferrari 00:40.257 10. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) RedBull - Renault 00:53.371 11. Fernando Alonso (Spain) McLaren 00:54.816 12. Alexander Rossi (U.S.) Marussia - Ferrari 01:15.277 r. Daniil Kvyat (Russia) RedBull - Renault 15 laps r. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India - Mercedes 21 laps r. Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Sauber - Ferrari 31 laps r. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 31 laps r. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes 33 laps r. Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus - Mercedes 46 laps r. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams-Mercedes 51 laps r. Will Stevens (Britain) Marussia - Ferrari 55 laps (rank: r = retired, nc = not classified) Fastest Lap: Nico Rosberg,1:40.666, lap 49.