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F1 POLL: Who was driver of the day in USGP?

Lewis Hamilton won, Sebastian Vettel clinched constructors' honours for Red Bull and Fernando Alonso prolonged the drivers' championship battle - but were they the stand-out performances in Austin?
F1's return to the USA was a much-hyped affair, but the inaugural United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas provided the sort of spectacle to enthral a capacity crowd.

From front to back, the field defied the lack of grip provided by the new Austin facility, and the conservative nature of Pirelli's tyre choice, to produce passing aplenty, and a thrilling car-and-mouse chase for the overall honours.

Sebastian Vettel may have claimed pole position in Saturday's key qualifying session – annexing the best position on the cleaner side of the grid – but could not resist a fired-up Lewis Hamilton for the entire 56 laps. Despite losing second place to the other Red Bull car of Mark Webber into turn one, Hamilton was soon past the Australian and hounding Vettel.

Determined to leave McLaren on a high, and keen to avenge two lost victories in Singapore and Abu Dhabi, the Briton would not be denied, sweeping around the outside of Vettel to assume a lead he would not lose.

The German posted a succession of fastest laps in his pursuit, but had to settle for second – enough to confirm a third successive constructors' title for RBR. However, with Fernando Alonso benefiting from Ferrari's pre-race tactics and Webber retiring, Vettel still faces the prospect of the drivers' championship will go the wire.

Massa overcame the setback of being forced into a five-place grid drop to battle back from eleventh at the start to fourth at the chequered flag, while Jenson Button used an alternative tyre strategy – running the hard Pirelli from the start – to rise from twelfth on the grid (and 16th on lap one) to round out the top five.

The Briton had to pass both Lotus drivers on the way, with Kimi Raikkonen claiming sixth, one ahead of Romain Grosjean, who defied an early spin and subsequent change of tyres to come from the tail of the field to finish seventh.

Force India's Nico Hulkenberg finished eighth, with the two Williams drivers squabbling over position before Pastor Maldonado bettered Bruno Senna for ninth.

So was Hamilton the star of the race, or did the Briton merely earn his stripes while others shone more brightly around him?

To have your say, simply CLICK HERE and pick your favourite from our list.

You can also explain your choice in the comments section below, so get writing...

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
17.11.2012 - Free Practice 3, Bruno Senna (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW34
17.11.2012 - Qualifying, Pastor Maldonado (VEN), Williams F1 Team FW34
17.11.2012 - Free Practice 3, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM05
17.11.2012 - Qualifying, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E20
17.11.2012 - Free Practice 3, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E20
18.11.2012 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27
17.11.2012 - Free Practice 3, Felipe Massa (BRA) Scuderia Ferrari F2012
17.11.2012 - Qualifying, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F2012
17.11.2012 - Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8
17.11.2012 - Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27
18.11.2012 - Race, Start
Lewis Hamilton and The Stig
Sebastien Ogier, Red Bull, RB7, F1 test [Credit: Red Bull Content Pool]
Williams 40th anniversary demonstrations
Williams 40th anniversary demonstrations
Williams 40th anniversary demonstrations
Williams 40th anniversary demonstrations
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF70H

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November 19, 2012 12:36 PM

Without a doubt Lewis. The ONLY driver to breakaway with Vettel and stay on him until the pass was completed. The entire rest of the field were miles behind the front two. Including Alonso. Had it not been for Lewis, Vettel would have taken a Sunday drive in the park. I was there and KNOW exactly what the crowds were cheering for at each passing of the front two.

Ian S - Unregistered

November 19, 2012 1:23 PM

I'm going to be generous to those on here who are denying Hamilton the accolade of being the driver of the day. You guys only saw the tv coverage. For those of us trackside, there is no doubt that this was a hard fought race that Lewis won by sheer skill and determination. He chased Vettel down hard to close to within the 1 second gap which allowed him to use the DRS. Even then his overtake was a stunning piece of skill and bravery. Vettel had the same chance to respond but was unable to. Face the truth you haters, Lewis just wanted it more.

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