F1 Driver of the Day: US Grand Prix


The face on the top step of the podium was familiar, as was those flanking it, but was an eighth straight victory enough to earn Sebastian Vettel 'driver of the day' honours at the Circuit of the Americas?

The German started from a hard-earned pole position - which had, at more than one point on his last flying lap, seemed unlikely - and a solid, if unspectacular, getaway was enough to keep his nose in front on the run to turn one.

From there, the four-time world champion remained untroubled, other than by repeated warnings to look after his tyres as he set a string of fastest laps. Only during his single pit-stop to he cede the lead, and then only because second place was still within ten seconds as he ran longer into the race...

Easing off in the final stages - even though he still set the fastest lap of the race with two to run - Vettel eventually triumphed by a little over six seconds as he set a new mark for consecutive wins in a single season.

Despite starting third on the grid, a blinding getaway allowed Romain Grosjean to split the Red Bulls on the run up the hill to CotA's signature corner, and he remained there throughout - save for assuming the lead during Vettel's tyre stop - in what his Lotus team later described as both a 'flawless' performance and his 'best ever' F1 race.

Mark Webber completed the podium after being unable to get on terms with the Frenchman, either at the start - where he suffered excessive wheelspin - or during the race, where two attempts to pressure the Lotus were ultimately thwarted by his tyres going away.

A good start, in which he followed Grosjean around the outside of Webber at turn one, allowed Lewis Hamilton to turn fifth into third on lap one, but the Briton eventually had to settle for fourth after the Australian fought back towards the end of the opening stint, passing the Mercedes around the outside at turn twelve. Hamilton still admitted that he could not have expected a fourth-place finish earlier in the weekend, and moved into third place in the standings as a result.

The Mercedes driver could have come under pressure from a charging Fernando Alonso had the race run a little longer, but the Spaniard had to make do with fifth - still one spot better than he started - after picking off both Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg mid-race.

Hulkenberg harried the Ferrari to the end, turning another good advertisement of his abilities as the driver market continues to twist and turn. Having qualified fourth, the German lost out by being on the 'dirty' side of the grid, and dropped behind Hamilton at the start, but retained fifth until Alonso came on strong.

Likewise, Perez maintained his sixth position through the early stages of the race, succumbing only to the Spaniard as he provided another points finish to 'former' employer McLaren.

Eighth place welcomed a new name to the top ten this season, as Valtteri Bottas turned a strong qualifying performance into his first ever F1 points. The Finn, having made it into the top ten shoot-out, ran in the scoring positions for all 56 laps, eventually adding four points to Williams' meagre total for the year.

Nico Rosberg and Jenson Button rounded out the scorers, recovering from starting positions outside the top ten. The German pulled off a string of moves at the end of the long back straight to move from twelfth to ninth, while Button despite another damaged front wing, favoured the first turn to pull off possibly the move of the race as he dispensed with Daniel Ricciardo in the battle for tenth.

But who impressed you the most? Was Vettel's front-running performance the one to catch the eye, or did someone else grab your attention?

Record your vote below, and feel free to explain your choice in the comments section...

F1 Driver of the Day: US Grand Prix











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