November, 20 2012
Sebastian Vettel finished second behind Lewis Hamilton at the Circuit of the Americas on Sunday to ensure the drivers’ championship goes down to the wire in Sao Paolo, Brazil this weekend.
Pole-sitter Vettel started sprightly in his 100th top flight race but was hunted down but the McLaren man, who deftly overtook the German on lap 42.
Hamilton’s pass had a whiff of controversy about it as it appeared that back-marker Narain Karthikeyan had momentarily slowed Vettel.
Regardless, the McLaren driver took full advantage of his lead and eased comfortably over the line for his second win on US soil (the first being at Indianapolis in 2007, the last time F1 ran in the US).
After the race Vettel was magnanimous: “Obviously it was a close fight with Lewis, he had one chance and he took it. After that I tried to stay with him and maybe pass him again but he was probably as quick as I was and there wasn’t much in between us. All in all, it was a great race and a great result for us.”
Vettel’s second place was enough for Red Bull to clinch the constructors’ championship for a third successive year. It makes them only the fourth constructor in Formula One history to have achieved the feat, the others being Ferrari, McLaren and Williams.
“It’s incredible for the whole team,” said team principal Christian Horner. “The constructors’ championship is what we use to measure ourselves against our competitors and, for every member of the team, it’s how we gauge our performance.
“To have achieved a consecutive third world championship puts us into a very elite group and having done it in such a short space of time is testimony to all the members of the team. That’s all the hard work, the long hours and dedication from every department.”
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso put in a superb tactical performance to finish in third place after starting seventh on the grid. It was a showing that kept the Spaniard in the hunt for the drivers’ championship.
“Today it was not possible to keep the pace with these two guys [Hamilton and Vettel], they were too far ahead. I think this podium, after all the difficulties we went through this weekend, is like a victory for us,” said the Spaniard.
“Losing three points was in no-one’s thoughts yesterday night or Friday night after practice, so we are really happy to have a very good Sunday and score good points.”
Vettel now leads Alonso with 273 to 260 points, with 25 up for grabs in Brazil. It’s going to be one drama-filled race next weekend.