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2018 United States Grand Prix.

Discussion in 'Sports' started by Swami, Oct 18, 2018.

  1. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Warrior

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    F1 heads to Austin, Texas this weekend - finally F1 has a decent circuit for US fans. It has become a firm favourite since it arrived on the calendar in 2012.

    Swami
     
  2. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Warrior

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    Lewis Hamilton top in United States GP first practice
    [​IMG]
    By Andrew Benson

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    Listen to second practice online-only on the BBC Sport website from 20:00 BST
    Lewis Hamilton started his US Grand Prix weekend as he means to go on with an imposing fastest time in a wet first practice session.

    The Mercedes driver, who can clinch a fifth title on Sunday, was 1.3 seconds clear of team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

    Hamilton will be champion if he scores eight points more than Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, who was fifth, nearly two seconds off the pace.


    Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo were third and fourth.

    The day started with torrential rain in south Texas, but it had eased by the start of the first 90-minute session and cars were able to run from the start.

    Red Bull set the early pace, before Bottas displaced them, only for Hamilton to move the goalposts on only his second flying lap.

    The Finn was on a lap that would have been closer to Hamilton but pitted before the end of it and did not run again.

    The Ferraris did a lot more running than Mercedes - Hamilton did only six laps in total, and only two flying laps, while Vettel and Raikkonen did 17 and 19 laps each.

    Ferrari have an aerodynamic upgrade at this race, as they attempt to claw back some of the performance they have lost to Mercedes in recent races.

    The wet weather is expected to continue through the day, with a 60% chance of rain for the second session which starts at 14:00 local (20:00 UK time).

    Behind Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari in sixth place, Renault's Carlos Sainz headed what has come to be known a Formula 1's "B class", from the Haas of Romain Grosjean and Sauber's Charles Leclerc.

    Leclerc caused a red flag part-way through the session when he spun at Turn Eight and spread gravel over the track on the exit of Turn Nine as he rejoined the track.

    Outside the top 10, Britain's Lando Norris was just 0.196secs behind McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso. The 18-year-old, who has been signed to race for McLaren in 2019, was standing in for regular driver Stoffel Vandoorne in the first session.

    Swami
     
  3. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Warrior

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    Lewis Hamilton tops US GP practice as Sebastian Vettel given penalty
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    By Andrew Benson

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    Listen to final practice and qualifying on sports extra and the BBC Sport website from 18:55 BST on Saturday
    Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel has been handed a three-place grid penalty at the United States Grand Prix.

    The decision, for not slowing sufficiently for a red flag in practice, increases the chances of Lewis Hamilton clinching his fifth world title in the race on Sunday.

    Hamilton will be champion if he scores eight more points than Vettel.


    Hamilton has won five of the last six races and topped both Friday sessions.

    [​IMG]
    If Sebastian Vettel does not finish in the points then Lewis Hamilton only needs to come sixth to become the world champion
    Vettel's offence came after the first session was stopped because Sauber's Charles Leclerc, who will be Vettel's team-mate at Ferrari next year, had strewn gravel on the track at Turn Nine when rejoining after a spin in wet conditions.

    Stewards ruled that Vettel had gone faster than the minimum time permitted in that area of the track.

    The decision means Vettel cannot start the race higher than fourth, even if he takes pole position on Saturday, when the wet conditions of Friday are expected to continue.

    Mercedes have been quicker than Ferrari in the wet so far this season. If Vettel qualifies third, he will start the race sixth, and his chances of finishing second will be small.

    Vettel said: "From inside the car, I slowed down enough. They weren't happy.

    They were very specific saying I took 27.7secs to slow down. I saw the red flag, I slowed down, had a look around where the car was potentially stuck in the wall or if there was one around Turns Nine and 10, and then slowed down significantly to comply with the rules. They felt it took too long.

    "There should be common sense with the rules we have. Lining out 27.7secs precisely as an act of not complying with the rules is wrong.

    "The rules are clear, so we know, but it is the first time we had it in the wet and in the wet the target is a lot slower, so literally I have to stop to 30, 40, 50 km/h to bring down the delta (time in that sector of the lap).

    "In my opinion it is not the right thing. If there is a car behind you it might run into you, but it is more important you don't get a penalty."

    It is the latest in a series of errors committed by either the driver or his team that have badly affected their championship chances this season.

    [​IMG]
    Brendon Hartley was first out to brave the wet conditions during second practice
    Title in the bag then, surely
    By contrast, Hamilton had a perfect day, despite the inclement conditions.

    Hamilton headed Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly by 1.012 seconds in the second session after beating Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas by 1.3secs in the first.

    Gasly's time was set on new tyres while those around him were on slower used tyres.

    Vettel was only 11th fastest in the second session, 5.6secs off the pace. He was fifth and nearly two seconds behind Hamilton in the first.

    Ferrari have brought an aerodynamic upgrade this weekend in the hope of closing the gap to Mercedes, which has opened up dramatically in the last three races.

    The conditions made both sessions unrepresentative and Vettel was running on much older intermediate tyres than Hamilton in the second session.

    However, Vettel said he believed Ferrari still lacked pace in wet conditions.

    "Not many quality laps," he said, "but I think it's clear that when it's wet we were not quick enough today."

    In the second session, Red Bull's Max Verstappen was third fastest on used tyres, ahead of McLaren's Fernando Alonso fourth ahead of Renault's Nico Hulkenberg. Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley, using new tyres like his team-mate.

    Four drivers did not run at all in the session - Bottas, Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and both Haas cars.

    [​IMG]
    Hamilton will become the joint-second most successful F1 driver of all time if he wins the title on Sunday
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    Daniel Ricciardo has some paddock fun on Lewis Hamilton's scooter
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    From Iceman to Rainman: Kimi Raikkonen knows a cap and hood combo will keep the bad weather

    Swami
     
  4. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Warrior

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    United States Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton on pole position
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    By Andrew Benson

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    Sunday's race is live on radio 5 live and the BBC Sport website at 19:00 BST
    Lewis Hamilton will start the US Grand Prix on pole position as he seeks to wrap up a fifth world title.

    The Mercedes driver beat title rival Sebastian Vettel by 0.061 seconds but the German will be demoted to fifth on the grid because of a penalty.

    Hamilton will clinch the title on Sunday if he wins the race and Vettel finishes lower than second.


    Potentially crucially for Vettel, his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen starts second, ahead of the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas.

    Vettel will also be behind the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo, who qualified fifth but will be promoted to fourth by the German's penalty, which was given for failing to slow down sufficiently under red flags during practice.

    [​IMG]
    If Sebastian Vettel does not pick up any points in America then Lewis Hamilton will only need to finish sixth
    Ferrari back on form a little too late
    Hamilton had to pull out all the stops to seal pole on a track where he has won five of the six races held after Raikkonen beat the time the Briton set on his first lap.

    It was an unexpected return to form from Ferrari, who had been closely matched with Mercedes for most of the season but had dramatically fallen away in the last three races.

    Hamilton said: "That was very important. That was close. I didn't know how close it was going to be but by the last run I knew it was quite edgy.

    "I knew I had to do solid laps. The first lap was decent but not good enough and the second one was just that bit better. The Ferraris were really quick."

    The top three were all covered by less than 0.1secs.

    [​IMG]
    That's Hamilton's 81st career pole position
    Vettel surprised by Ferrari speed
    Vettel said: "It was pretty close. Always a bit of a shame when you miss out on just that little time - 0.06secs you can always say you had them in there somewhere but I was happy with the laps I had.

    "Today has been surprisingly close. I don't think we expected to be that close."

    Vettel, who has had to fight back through the field a number of times this year after various incidents, employed some black humour when asked about his grid penalty and the need to make up ground if he wanted to keep the title alive beyond this weekend.

    "I am used to it," he said. "I know how to do it now."

    Only two weeks ago in Japan, he started eighth after errors by team and driver in qualifying, but crashed with Red Bull driver Max Verstappen as he attempted to fight up through the field, eventually finishing sixth.

    This time, Vettel will not have to worry about Verstappen. The Dutchman qualified 15th because his car suffered a loss of drive at the end of the first qualifying session.

    He will likely start 13th because of grid penalties for both Toro Rosso drivers, who qualified ahead of him.

    Who will win in Austin?
    Choose your top three drivers from the list below

    Looking at the race
    In theory, Hamilton should be able to control the race from the front, but there will be a concern at Mercedes about Raikkonen.

    The Finn will start the race on the gripper ultra-soft tyres, while Hamilton, Bottas, Ricciardo and Vettel will be on the super-softs. It remains to be seen whether that gives the Finn a strategic advantage.

    However, Raikkonen has not made up a place on the first lap of a race since the 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

    Mercedes will be trying to orchestrate the race so that Bottas stays ahead of Vettel, who needs to ensure Hamilton does not score eight more points than him to keep the title alive to the race in Mexico next weekend.

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    Howdy, partner! 'Honey badger' Daniel Ricciardo gets in the spirit for the US Grand Prix
    And the rest
    Behind the big three teams, Esteban Ocon qualified his Force India best of the rest, on a weekend when it emerged the Frenchman is in the frame for a seat at Williams next year after it had looked as if he might end up sitting out 2019.

    Ocon beat Renault's Nico Hulkenberg, Romain Grosjean's Haas and Sauber's Charles Leclerc.

    McLaren's negative spiral continued as Fernando Alonso was knocked out in the first session and qualified 16th. His team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne, who has been dropped for 2019 and will race in the all-electric Formula E series, was slowest of all.

    [​IMG]
    Mad Max: Verstappen wasn't pleased as his car was damaged in Q1 as he hit a kerb
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    There were grey clouds overhead at the Circuit of the Americas but the weather didn't affect qualifying
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    Young fans look on starry-eyed as their idols pass by at the Circuit of the Americas
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    Daniel Ricciardo has some paddock fun on Lewis Hamilton's scooter
    [​IMG]
    From Iceman to Rainman: Kimi Raikkonen knows a cap and hood combo will keep the bad weather out

    Swami
     
  5. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Warrior

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    Lewis Hamilton loses out on fifth F1 world title in United States GP






    [​IMG]
    Lewis Hamilton just failed to clinch a fifth world title when he finished third in a thrilling US Grand Prix.

    Mercedes let a victory slip through their fingers by delaying a second pit stop and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen took his first victory for more than five years.

    Hamilton's title rival and Raikkonen's team-mate Sebastian Vettel looked to have handed Hamilton the title early on when he spun battling with Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo.


    Red Bull's Max Verstappen also beat Hamilton, who will have to wait until the race in Mexico next weekend to have another chance of clinching the title.

    He leaves Austin, Texas, with a 70-point lead over Vettel, who eventually finished fourth, with 75 available over the remaining three grands prix.

    In a tense finish, Raikkonen, Verstappen and Hamilton were nose to tail and the Mercedes driver failed in his one opportunity to pass the Dutchman with three laps to go.

    As it happened, even doing that would not have been enough to clinch the title for Hamilton, as Vettel passed the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas for fourth place on the penultimate lap.

    [​IMG]
    Raikkonen has not won a race since March 2013 - in Australia for Lotus
    It looked nailed on for Hamilton
    Hamilton lost the lead at the start to Raikkonen, who used his softer tyres to out-accelerate the Mercedes and pass into the first corner.

    But Hamilton and Mercedes appeared to grab back the initiative when they decided to pit under an early virtual safety car period on lap 11, when the cars are controlled to a certain lap time.

    That saved Hamilton 10 seconds over a stop under racing conditions and he was on Raikkonen's tail within eight laps.

    But although he had a big lead when Raikkonen stopped, it soon became apparent Hamilton would have to stop again, unlike his rivals who stopped later, as his rear tyres began to blister.

    But Mercedes left it too long to bring him in for a second stop, waiting at least five laps, in which time he ran into both traffic and grip problems and Verstappen joined Raikkonen in being close enough behind to ensure they would be ahead when Hamilton pitted again.

    Once rejoining the race, Hamilton queried both the delay and the tyre choice Mercedes made, to take the softs rather than the super-softs Verstappen had taken.

    And sure enough, although he closed in on Raikkonen and Verstappen, he was unable to go by.

    His best chance came on a thrilling lap 54, with two to go, as he raced side by side, switching back and looking for the advantage, through five corners with Verstappen, only to run wide at Turn 18 and lose his chance.

    Swami
     

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