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GP Week : Issue 213
Lewis Hamilton overcame a qualifying braking glitch to take a measured, but decisive, win in Austin. Beaten off the line by pole man Rosberg, Lewis stayed in touch until the change to Medium tyres at the first stop, after which his car seemed to be the better in terms of balance. He closed in and picked his time for a decisive inside pass, and thereafter simply maintained the gap back to his team-mate. The pass, when it came, almost caught Rosberg by surprise: " it was very hard through the middle sector to try to stay as close to him as possible and get as close as I could for the DRS zone," said Lewis. "I was quite a bit back, I would say, but I felt very confident – there was a big headwind into 12, and I just felt like I was waiting for the moment, to just be just close enough to throw it up the inside. And that’s what I did. "You have to decide how much of a risk you’re willing to take. Nico wasn’t defending there really so almost caught him unaware. And after that, really I was just trying to maintain it ..." For his part, Nico senses that this was a decisive result: " Ittooktoolongformetofindmy rhythm. Once Lewis got by I found my rhythm, but it was too late, so that kind of sucked ... " I knew there was a chance. Maybe he would try or not, so I went kinda, halfway defensive but Lewis just did a good job and that’s it." The man making all the progress at the sharp end was, again, Daniel Ricciardo. A shabby start, a first lap re-pass on Magnussen, then Alonso after the early Safety Car, then, one by one, the Wiiliamses on the undercut, saw the Red Bull on the podium again. It was the best possible result in terms of Best of the Rest: " This place is great. You can overtake here, there are a lot of opportunities. I got Magnussen on lap one and then Fernando on the restart, so it wasn’t too boring out there ..." The Williams duo, other than their interaction with Ricciardo, had a fairly straighforward race, Massa (thanks to a great start) on this occasion leading his younger team-mate throughout. Fernando Alonso had quite a busy race. If it wasn't trying to hold a charging Ricciardo at bay early on, he found himself facing a late charge fromthe 'other' Red Bull, Sebastian Vettel suddenly making late race progress after gambling on a stop for Soft tyres with just eight laps to go. The German reeled in the tight bunch of cars scrapping over seventh to tenth, but failed by just half a second to demote the Ferrari. That he was there at all was a big surprise – after his pitlane start, he seemed to struggle for the first half of the race, almost going nowhere, but as the track rubbered down the car came to him and the last few laps were spectacular. After qualifying so well, it was another disappointing Sunday for McLaren. Both cars simply used up their tyres quicker than most and struggled for grip. In the end Magnussen only just got the better of , wait for it, Pastor Maldonado (Lotus) and Eric Vergne, although Pastor would lose a spot as a result of a five second driving penalty, thus endijng up with a single point, ahead of team- mate Grosjean who had got as high as eighth (from the back), before a clash of his own with JEV. After grabbing his first top ten grid spot, Adrian Sutil's race lasted less than a lap, smashed into by Sergio Perez (who was bouncing off Kimi Raikkonen at the time). It was a great shame for Sauber, which has still to register a point. Nico Hulkenberg joined his team- mate in relatively early retirement, the second Force India grinding to a halt after 16 laps with an engine problem. When it came, Hamilton's move was decisive and firm. 24 GPWEEK.com // 24 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> USA PARTNERS: