Kimi Räikkönen & Sebastian Vettel

Kimi Räikkönen & Sebastian Vettel

maanantai 26. lokakuuta 2015

US GP: Hamilton clinched his 3rd title in a colourful race!

Like predicted, the rain had stopped by the time it was time to start the engines. The track was still damp so everyone started to the race on the green-marked intermediate tyres. The start itself was absolutely hair-raising. Hamilton stormed to the lead forcing his team-mate Rosberg wide in the first corner. Nico dropped down to P5 due to Hamilton´s manoeuvre. Kimi started to the race from P18 and jumped 8 positions immediately making his way up to P10! It was a very promising start to the Iceman. The other Finn Bottas on the other hand faced setbacks right from the start. He had hit Lotus´ Grosjean on the opening lap and had to pit for a new front wing.

On the intermediate tyres on damp track Red Bull seemed frighteningly competitive. Hamilton was leading the race but Kvyat in his Red Bull was only 1,5 seconds behind the Briton. It seemed that the Russian could seriously challenge the Mercedes ace for victory on Texas soil. Kvyat tried aggressively to make an overtaking move on Hamilton but ended up going wide and Hamilton could snatch his lead back. Sebastian, who had started to the race from P13 had already made his way through to P7. Pit stops haven´t been one of Williams´ strengths this season. Everything didn´t go to plan this time, either. Bottas rejoined the track on the soft tyres, which soon turned out to be an utterly wrong call on the damp track and the Finn had to pit for a fresh set of intermediate tyres only a couple of laps later!

On lap 7 virtual safety car was deployed because there was so much debris on the track due to the first lap incidents. At the same time Bottas drove to the pits and retired the race due to a suspension failure. What a disappointing race for the Finnish Williams driver. Right when the virtual safety car ended Rosberg got a staggering re-start. He made his way first past Ricciardo  and then past Kvyat jumping already second! Nico seemed to have every chance to win the race.

At this stage of the race there was intense and thrilling wheel-to-wheel battles on track. Ricciardo managed to pass his team-mate Kvyat and could even overtake Rosberg and take the second place from the German Mercedes driver! The Red Bulls seemed to fly around the damp track. A little further behind Kimi had a battle of his own with Toro Rosso´s teenager Verstappen. Kimi´s and Max´s tyres even touched slightly at one point. A very entertaining show indeed! At the same time Ricciardo made his way to the lead by overtaking Hamilton. Only a moment later also Rosberg managed to pass his team-mate, whose tyres were completely gone. Hamilton pitted for slicks and Vettel did the same a lap later. The Red Bull duo pitted also a lap after Sebastian. What an eventful race this turned out!

But what a turn the race got on lap 20. Right after his pit stop Kimi drove off track destroying his front wing and almost got stuck in the wall. The Iceman could continue his race but had to pit for a new nose. At the same time Rosberg snatched the lead from Ricciardo on lap 22. Hamilton was third, Vettel 4th and Kvyat 5th. Only a few laps later the team asked Kimi to drive to the pits and retire the car due to overheating of the brakes caused by the crash some laps earlier. Such a shame, Kimi´s race had begun so well! A mistake of his own was definitely something that I didn´t want to see happening in the race but you don´t always get what you want... So disappointing!

Halfway through the race safety car was deployed as Ericsson´s Sauber came to a halt on track and the Swede left it in a dangerous place. Rosberg had increased his lead into 10 seconds already but the gap vanished when the safety car came out. Sebastian pitted for a fresh set of prime tyres. Was he going to race until the very end on these tyres? Ferrari seemed to try a different strategy, which could possibly offer a chance to win for Sebastian.

At the re-start Sebastian made an overtaking move on Red Bull´s Kvyat and jumped fourth. After that the German had entertaining battle with his last year´s team-mate Ricciardo and finally Ricciardo had no chance to prevent Sebastian from overtaking him! Sebastian was magnificently already third in the race!  The Russian Red Bull pilot Kvyat tried to hold back Verstappen in his Toro Rosso but ended up making a mistake himself and lost the position to Verstappen. The young Dutchman seemed to be absolutely on fire! Verstappen passed Ricciardo and jumped fourth. As soon as the track had dried out, Red Bull´s pace was gone with the wind! It´s crazy how pace can disappear so suddenly as conditions change. Force India´s Hulkenberg also tried to overtake Ricciardo but they ended up colliding with each other and Hulkenberg´s race was over. Ricciardo also got some damage on his car but was able to continue. Once again virtual safety car was deployed due to Hulkenberg´s crash. In addition to the Red Bull duo also Rosberg pitted for a fresh set of soft tyres.

Hamilton was leading the race with Sebastian second, Rosberg third and Verstappen fourth. After the re-start Sebastian had no chance to hold back Rosberg, who could quite easily overtake the German Ferrari pilot. With 13 laps to go Kvyat suddenly lost the control of his RB11 and ended up crashing into the barriers. The Russian himself was at fault and he apologized to his team on the radio. Safety car was deployed for the second time. Both Hamilton and Vettel pitted for a new set of soft tyres. So Sebastian wasn´t going to drive till the end on those prime tyres after all!

With some ten laps to go Rosberg was still leading the race with his team-mate second and Sebastian third. But what a dramatic turn the race got on lap 48! Rosberg made a costy mistake and Hamilton snatched the lead! And after that there was no-one and nothing that could prevent Hamilton from securing his third world title in Austin! Hamilton won the race and Rosberg had to settle for the very bitter second place. Sebastian took superb third and completed the podium. An amazing drive from the German indeed, making his way from P13 up to P3! And what was absolutely delightful as well was the fact that Verstappen finished 4th. The young rookie drove an impressive race and wasn´t afraid to take the battle to Kimi, who is much more experienced than him. I was so so happy for both Sebastian and Verstappen. They surely know how to put up a great show! Wow, so impressive. Perez finished 5th, Button impressively 6th for McLaren, Sainz 7th, Maldonado 8th, Nasr 9th and Ricciardo completed the top ten. Astonishing that after strongly leading the race Ricciardo finally had to settle for P10!

Hamilton totally deserves the championship. He has been on a totally different level compared to his team-mate Rosberg. They have an equal car but Hamilton is the one, who has delivered all year. So it definitely takes more than a superior car to win the championship. Hamilton has had difficult times in his career when things in his private life have effected his driving but he has been able to turn these setbacks and difficulties into success and that is something only the true top drivers are capable of. There´re three more rounds to go this season and I don´t think Hamilton is willing to let anyone else win in spite of clinching the title already at this point.

The Mexico GP will take place already this week. I definitely want to see a fighting Ferrari duo there although chances for the championhip are already gone. And I´ll always support Kimi and Sebastian, no matter if they make mistakes! Forza Ferrari!

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