Kimi Räikkönen & Sebastian Vettel

Kimi Räikkönen & Sebastian Vettel

maanantai 3. marraskuuta 2014

US GP: 10th victory of the season for Hamilton!

I don´t know if anyone noticed but this weekend I didn´t write a blog post on the qualifying session. That´s because I had plans for the weekend and I was visiting my twin sister with my sons and couldn´t watch the qualifying live on TV. Actually I wasn´t too gutted about not seeing the qualifying as Vettel had stated already after the Russian GP that he would probably skip the entire qualifying session due to the power unit change. The German had already used all five power units that are allowed for the season and taking the 6th power unit meant that Vettel would have to start to the race from the pit lane. And I also had an intuition that Kimi would be struggling with his F14T so I was quite happy to settle for reading the results on my phone after the qualifying.

However, I got back home by the time the race took place! Sebastian had attended Q1 because there had been a threat that the FIA would exclude him from the race on the basis of the 107 % rule if he hadn´t set a competitive lap time in the qualifying. And as a huge Vettel fan I also immediately thought of all the Vettel fans who had come to the circuit to see their idol drive. Sebastian completed only three laps in Q1, which still must have been a huge disappointment to the fans out there! Qualifying had been business as usual: Rosberg in his Mercedes had conquered pole with his team-mate Hamilton 2nd and a 2nd row lock-out for Williams team, this time Massa being the faster of the Williams drivers. Thus the grid lined up: Ricciardo in his Red Bull 5th, Alonso in his Ferrari 6th, Magnussen in his McLaren 7th, Räikkönen 8th (Button had qualified 8th but due to a 5-place grid penalty the Briton was dropped down to P12), Sutil in his Sauber 9th and Maldonado in his Lotus completing the top ten. There were only 18 cars on the grid at Austin as both Caterham and Marussia were unable to arrive in the USA due to massive financial problems. They´ll also be out of the Brasilian GP next week!

The lights went out and Rosberg maintained his lead with Hamilton right at his tail. Bottas took a poor start and lost the 3rd place to his team-mate Massa. There was drama already on the opening laps: Perez in his Force India collided with Sutil in his Sauber and both drivers were out of the race. Also Kimi´s Ferrari got hit by Perez´ Force India and there was a lots of debris on the track! Safety car was deployed and Sebastian, who had started to the race from the pit lane pitted twice during the safety car switching first to the soft tyres but then back to the white-marked mediums! Obviously the German had suffered a puncture due to the debris on the track. The race wasn´t looking good for Sebastian at that point!

After the restart Bottas tried to challenge his team-mate for the third place but the order remained unchanged. Ricciardo made his way up after a bad start and jumped to P5 already by overtaking Alonso in his Ferrari. Kimi was in P7 but the Iceman´s pace didn´t seem too promising. Massa and Ricciardo were the first top drivers to pit on lap 15. Massa chose a fresh set of soft tyres whilst Ricciardo switched to the medium compound tyres. Bottas and Rosberg pitted a lap later but Ricciardo managed to undercut the Finn and made his way up to P3!

On lap 24 it finally happened: Hamilton snatched the lead from his team-mate! Somehow the passing move looked so easy. Rosberg stated after the race that he had had difficulties with getting into the rhythm so after losing the lead the German couldn´t challenge his team-mate for the victory anymore. At the same time Kimi´s lap times were looking very slow. Once again Kimi was in trouble with the front end of his F14T and his car seemed to be sliding all over the place! Against all odds Lotus had suddenly found some impressive pace and it was really painful to watch how Grosjean managed to overtake the reigning world champion in the half way point of the race!

With 5 laps to go Vergne in his Toro Rosso forced his way past Grosjean at the wheel of his E22 and forced the Frenchman off track. A couple of laps later Vettel passed Kimi and took P12. The German had pitted already four times during the race! At this point it seemed that a points finish was out of Sebastian´s reach. But the fresh set of soft tyres helped Sebastian to make his way through the field at the end of the race. No one could prevent Hamilton from taking his 10th win of the season and the 32nd of his career! Rosberg finished 2nd and Ricciardo made it in P3 due to Massa´s delayed pit stop. Massa finished 4th and his team-mate Bottas 5th. Alonso took P6 and Sebastian finally drove to the checkered flag in P7, which was absolutely the maximum result considering the fact that he had to start to the race from the pit lane. Magnussen in his McLaren finished 8th and Vergne 9th but due to the 5-second penalty given for colliding with Grosjean the French Toro Rosso driver was dropped down to P10 and Maldonado finished 9th.

Hamilton´s win lifted the Briton 24 points clear of his team-mate in the championship standings. Now the fight for the desired crown is officially between the Mercedes team-mates as Ricciardo is now mathematically out of the fight. Brasilian GP takes place already next Sunday and then there´ll be the season finale at Abu Dhabi with the double points... I´m, however, not passionate about the championship battle as I don´t care which one of the Mercedes drivers takes the title. I don´t have high hopes in terms of Ferrari´s performance at the end of this season so I´m kind of waiting for the next year to arrive!

At the moment I have one thought very clearly on my mind: I really want to witness that live when both Sebastian and Kimi will be testing the new Ferrari in the winter! I have never seen Kimi at the wheel of an F1 car and I don´t know how many seasons there will be for the Iceman so I guess I´d better do everything to make my dream come true until it´s too late! I really really hope this dream will come true. Life is short, you have to chase your dreams!

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