Lewis Hamilton takes 50th F1 win in US Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton secured the 50th victory of his Formula 1 career, leading home championship rival Nico Rosberg in the United States Grand Prix.
The reigning world champion, who has won four times at Austin to add to his 2007 US GP success at Indianapolis, finished 4.5s ahead of Mercedes team-mate Rosberg, with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo third.
Rosberg’s championship lead has been cut to 26 points over Hamilton, but it could have been more as Ricciardo and team-mate Max Verstappen had a shot at upsetting the Mercedes one-two.
Hamilton and Rosberg made clean starts, although Ricciardo took advantage of the wide first corner to get alongside Rosberg, ultimately completing the pass around the outside through Turn 2.
Verstappen, who passed Kimi Raikkonen on lap 12 to claim fourth, then began to push Rosberg who found himself sandwiched between the Red Bull duo.
But Verstappen’s race unravelled from lap 26 when he mistakenly thought he had been called into the pits, with his crew not ready when he arrived.
Three laps later Verstappen suffered a gearbox failure, and he tried to get his car back to the pits rather than stopping trackside.
When he eventually parked up, the virtual safety car was deployed, which gave Mercedes pair Hamilton and Rosberg what Ricciardo described as "a free stop".
Having stopped for a second time on lap 25, before the VSC, Ricciardo therefore found himself third, losing what Red Bull estimated to be 10 seconds to Rosberg thanks to the VSC.
From that point on the top three positions were sealed, with Ricciardo safe in third as Raikkonen was on a three-stop strategy and had another stop to make.
Raikkonen’s third stop led to the end of his race though, as he pulled away too quickly, with the right-rear tyre gun yanked off in the process.
As Raikkonen began to climb up the hill out of the pitlane he was forced to pull over after being told to stop, from where he rolled his car back down the slope and out of harm’s way.
Raikkonen was the fourth retirement of the race, with Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg first out after a Turn 1 collision with Valtteri Bottas in his Williams, sustaining trackrod damage with his car unable to turn left.
Bottas suffered a right-rear puncture that dropped him to the back of the field, and after an early pitstop he could only manage 16th at the end.
Along with Verstappen, Esteban Gutierrez was the other retiree after 18 laps with what appeared to be a brake problem that led to him going off at Turn 11.
Behind the leading trio, Vettel salvaged fourth for Ferrari, with Fernando Alonso fifth for McLaren after passing Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr on the penultimate lap of the 56.
Alonso, though, is under investigation for an incident with Williams’s Felipe Massa on lap 54 that led to a front-left puncture for the Brazilian, who managed to hang on to seventh ahead of Sergio Perez.
The Mexican suffered a lap one spin after being hit in the rear by Daniil Kvyat, which led to a 10-second time penalty for the Russian who finished 12th.
Jenson Button and Romain Grosjean were ninth and 10th, the latter claiming a point for Haas at the team’s maiden home race.
US GRAND PRIX RESULT
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||56||19.692s|
|6||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||56||1m36.124s|
|7||Felipe Massa||Williams/Mercedes||55||1 Lap|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||55||1 Lap|
|9||Jenson Button||McLaren/Honda||55||1 Lap|
|10||Romain Grosjean||Haas/Ferrari||55||1 Lap|
|11||Kevin Magnussen||Renault||55||1 Lap|
|12||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||55||1 Lap|
|13||Jolyon Palmer||Renault||55||1 Lap|
|14||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber/Ferrari||55||1 Lap|
|15||Felipe Nasr||Sauber/Ferrari||55||1 Lap|
|16||Valtteri Bottas||Williams/Mercedes||55||1 Lap|
|17||Pascal Wehrlein||Manor/Mercedes||55||1 Lap|
|18||Esteban Ocon||Manor/Mercedes||54||2 Laps|
|–||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||28||Gearbox|
|–||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1||Collision|
Lewis Hamilton beats Nico Rosberg to US GP F1 pole position
Lewis Hamilton beat Formula 1 title rival Nico Rosberg to pole position for the United States Grand Prix, as Mercedes stretched out an advantage over the opposition in qualifying.
Red Bull looked fast in free practice, but it couldn’t live with Mercedes in qualifying, where Hamilton pumped in a stunning 1m34.999s lap to bag pole.
The reigning world champion did his damage through the first sector, where he was almost three tenths faster than Rosberg, who ran wide at Turn 1 on both of his Q3 laps.
Rosberg, who briefly held top spot due to finishing his lap before his team-mate, was still fast enough to set the second quickest time, almost three tenths clear of Daniel Ricciardo in the best of the Red Bulls.
Max Verstappen was fourth, ahead of Ferrari duo Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.
The Mercedes drivers and Verstappen will start the race on soft tyres after all making it through Q2 on that compound.
Nico Hulkenberg was seventh fastest for Force India, well clear of the remaining top 10 runners.
Hulkenberg was in superb form, lapping inside the top six in the first two segments of the session.
He was also the only non-Mercedes, Red Bull or Ferrari driver to break into the 1m36s.
Williams pair Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa headed an impressive performance from the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz Jr in rounding out the top 10.
Hulkenberg’s Force India team-mate Sergio Perez missed out on making Q3 by just over a tenth of a second.
Fernando Alonso’s McLaren-Honda was six hundredths of a second further back in 12th, ahead of the second Toro Rosso of newly re-signed Daniil Kvyat, Esteban Gutierrez’s Haas, and Jolyon Palmer’s Renault.
Marcus Ericsson completed a cursory run on old tyres in Q2 so wound up 16th fastest, after lapping quicker than both Gutierrez and Palmer in Q1.
Palmer complained about his final Q1 run being a "fucking disaster" as he held up Jenson Button’s McLaren on his out-lap, but the Renault still made it through to Q2.
Button was furious to drop out in Q1, after encountering the Renault entering the final corner of his best lap.
The 2009 world champion ended up a lowly 19th in his McLaren-Honda, fractionally behind Romain Grosjean’s Haas and Kevin Magnussen’s Renault, which both also missed the cut.
Pascal Wehrlein recovered from binning his Manor in the gravel in final practice to qualify 20th fastest, ahead of Felipe Nasr – who complained about his Sauber’s brakes – and Manor team-mate Esteban Ocon.
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m35.509s||0.510s|
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m35.747s||0.748s|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m36.628s||1.629s|
|10||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m37.326s||2.327s|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m37.353s||2.354s|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m37.480s||2.481s|
US GP FP3: Max Verstappen leads Red Bull one-two
Max Verstappen led a Red Bull one-two in the final Formula 1 practice session ahead of the United States Grand Prix as neither Mercedes driver completed a qualifying simulation lap.
With Red Bull on a pace comparable to Mercedes at Austin so far this weekend, Verstappen topped the timesheet with a lap of 1m36.766s to finish 0.266s clear of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, both on super-soft tyres.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was third, just over half a second down on Verstappen on his super-soft outing, leaving Hamilton and Rosberg down in fourth and fifth.
Hamilton, whose team broke curfew overnight to change the fuel system on his car, set the quickest time on soft tyres with a lap of 1m37.483s prior to the late qualifying runs that remained his best outing.
Come his super-soft run Hamilton was sent out late, and only just crossed the line to start his flying lap as the chequered flag came out.
Hamilton, however, was held up by Felipe Nasr’s Sauber halfway through the lap and backed off, leaving him to tell his team on the radio it was "poor timing guys".
Rosberg, who was three tenths off of Hamilton on his best soft-tyre lap, opted to abort his super-soft run late on.
Rosberg had set a personal best in the first sector, which has proven to be Red Bull’s strong suit so far, but he was still 0.154s down on Verstappen at that point.
Rosberg then went quickest in the middle sector to close the gap to Verstappen’s best, but ultimately the championship leader failed to complete the lap, pulling into the pits instead after running slightly wide at the penultimate corner.
Sebastian Vettel was sixth quickest in his Ferrari, but he reported a potential gearbox problem and remained in the garage for the closing stages, finishing 1.128s down.
Vettel was followed by Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, Valtteri Bottas in his Williams and the McLaren duo of Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso to complete the top 10.
Carlos Sainz Jr suffered two punctures during the session, initially to the right rear on only his second lap, and then half an hour later one to the left rear, leaving him down in 15th and unable to conduct his own qualifying simulation as the team checked over the car.
The hour-long session was red-flagged for 10 minutes early on after Manor’s Pascal Wehrlein lost his car under braking at Turn 19, beaching it in the gravel.
With only four laps to his name, Wehrlein finished bottom of the timesheet just over five seconds off the pace.
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m36.766s||–||16|
|2||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m37.032s||0.266s||19|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m37.948s||1.182s||17|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m38.512s||1.746s||16|
|14||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m38.691s||1.925s||16|
|15||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m38.710s||1.944s||6|
Kimi: “We keep improving to get the results we deserve”
I like the race in Austin: it’s a nice town and people are very polite. I think it’s good for F1 and for Ferrari that we come to the US, and hopefully we can have a good weekend. But it’s hard to say who is going to be the fastest here and what we are going to get on Sunday. Tomorrow we’ll start as any other race weekend, doing our things and we’ll see where we are. The circuit is interesting, quite a new one and the design is nice. Usually there’s quite a good racing here, which is good for us as drivers and also for the spectators. Last year it was a pity for the weather conditions, this year it looks ok so let’s see what happens. We keep working all the time and obviously in some races we have been strong and in others not as strong as we hoped. We are doing things right and we are improving, but we still have a lot of work to do, it’s a never-ending work in progress. Last race was good but did not give us the result we should have got, so we are there to try again.
Raikkonen describes F1 backmarkers as ‘crazy’ after Japanese GP
Kimi Raikkonen has described Formula 1 backmarkers as "crazy" after struggling to clear traffic during the Japanese Grand Prix.
Raikkonen was among those who complained about being held up during the race over team radio, with Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen among those also requesting more blue flags.
Raikkonen admitted Suzuka’s narrow and sweeping layout is particularly tricky for lapping cars, but believes backmarkers have a responsibility to get out of the way quickly.
"Every track is different but the fact is when you have blue flags, certain people slow down and let you pass," said Raikkonen.
"Then they are one lap down and I understand sometimes they have their own fight but it’s not difficult to let people past.
"You are always going to lose time but you are one lap down so it’s a part of racing.
"Obviously a circuit like this it affects more and you end up following people and some of them were just crazy.
"You end up following one lap behind them so it could be better.
"But I don’t think it would’ve changed our race it was more where we started."
“Fast enough for doing better”
Kimi regrets starting position affected his race
Kimi Raikkonen: “After a good qualifying yesterday, the issue with the gearbox and the consequent starting position change was not ideal in this kind of track. Obviously there’s a lot of disappointment, as we had a good car and if we could have stayed in front we would have fought with more free air and with a lot of speed. I had a good start but then I got stuck behind other people: it was really tricky to follow other cars and it affected quite a bit the behavior. It was also difficult to stay close to them and attack them. Once we got past them and I was on my own, the car was quick and handling well. For sure today we were fast enough for a better result. Unfortunately that’s how it goes…”
Nico Rosberg wins F1 Japanese Grand Prix with Lewis Hamilton third
Nico Rosberg strengthened his grip on the lead of the Formula 1 drivers’ title race with victory in the Japanese Grand Prix as another slow start undermined team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
From the 30th pole position of his F1 career Rosberg produced a faultless drive at Suzuka to claim his 23rd win, and ninth this season to open up a 33-point cushion over Hamilton with only 100 now to play for from the final four races.
Hamilton could only manage third, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen taking second as 5.7s covered the top three at the chequered flag.
The result sealed a third successive constructors’ championship for Mercedes after it failed to clinch it in Malaysia last Sunday when Hamilton’s engine blew.
Hamilton’s hopes of a third successive win at this track were over after the first few seconds.
Following overnight rain, come the start of the race there were still damp patches on the circuit, with one of those being Hamilton’s grid box, and the three-time champion showed some concern beforehand.
Once the five red lights disappeared Hamilton then bogged down and was swamped, slotting into eighth and apologising to his team shortly afterwards.
While Rosberg enjoyed the lead, what followed was damage limitation from Hamilton, who passed Nico Hulkenberg on lap seven before making up another two places at his first pitstop to get ahead of Sergio Perez and Kimi Raikkonen.
Hamilton then soon cleared Ricciardo to leave him with Verstappen and Vettel in between him and Rosberg after all the opening pitstops in which the leaders took on the hard tyres.
Come the second round of stops Hamilton again made up ground, getting ahead of Vettel by pitting before the Ferrari.
Mercedes again gave Hamilton the hard tyre, while Ferrari switched Vettel to softs in an aggressive move, but despite a couple of laps of pressure from the latter he was unable to get close to make a move on the former.
Vettel’s irritation over backmarkers this season reached new heights in this race as the four-time champion was continually on the radio bemoaning being held up, and by the end he could only claim fourth, 14.4s behind Rosberg.
Hamilton did close to within a second of Verstappen on lap 44, and on lap 52 he made a move into the chicane, but was forced to take the escape road as the 19-year-old moved to the inside to defend as they hit the brakes.
Behind the leading quartet, Raikkonen, who started the day with a five-place penalty for a gearbox change after qualifying third, and Ricciardo finished fifth and sixth.
Force India pair Perez and Hulkenberg were seventh and eighth, with the team ekeing out a 10-point gap over Williams whose drivers Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas finished ninth and 10th on a one-stop strategy.
JAPANESE GP RESULT
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||53||4.978s|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||53||33.941s|
|7||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||53||57.495s|
|8||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||53||59.177s|
|12||Jolyon Palmer||Renault||52||1 Lap|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||52||1 Lap|
|14||Kevin Magnussen||Renault||52||1 Lap|
|15||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber/Ferrari||52||1 Lap|
|16||Fernando Alonso||McLaren/Honda||52||1 Lap|
|17||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||52||1 Lap|
|18||Jenson Button||McLaren/Honda||52||1 Lap|
|19||Felipe Nasr||Sauber/Ferrari||52||1 Lap|
|20||Esteban Gutierrez||Haas/Ferrari||52||1 Lap|
|21||Esteban Ocon||Manor/Mercedes||52||1 Lap|
|22||Pascal Wehrlein||Manor/Mercedes||52||1 Lap|
Kimi Raikkonen positively surprised with Ferrari pace at Japanese GP
Kimi Raikkonen said he was "positively surprised" with the speed of his Ferrari after he qualified third for the Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.
The Finn said on Friday that there was "a lot of lap time" left in his Ferrari after admitting to "fighting with the car" throughout the two practice sessions.
But he turned it around to finish three tenths adrift of polesitter Nico Rosberg and 0.081s ahead of team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who drops three places to seventh because of a penalty for causing a collision at the start of the Malaysian Grand Prix.
"It’s pretty much the same car that we raced a week ago," said Raikkonen.
"I don’t think many people had a lot of difference.
"I’m positively surprised with how well the car has been behaving and how quick it has been.
"It has been tricky to get the right balance but it’s been really good. So far so good.
"Third is not exactly what we’re looking for but we were pretty close. It was not too bad."
Ferrari brought nine sets of soft tyres per driver to Suzuka – more than any other team – which meant it had enough available to run them in each of the three qualifying segments.
Red Bull, which has recently outperformed Ferrari, only had six sets and got through Q1 on the mediums.
When asked if using the soft consistently helped, Raikkonen said: "It doesn’t harm, that’s for sure.
"It’s more easy when you have more sets of the same compounds so you can fine-tune.
"In qualifying, there’s not an awful lot you can do if it is correct or not.
"We have been suffering a bit of understeer all weekend.
"Even in qualifying, it was slowing us down a little bit in the first sector but it got better in the end, we were a bit faster.
"It’s very small details that have to come together and we put it more or less together.
"The car has been behaving quite good and we try to do at least the same if not better tomorrow."
Nico Rosberg beats Lewis Hamilton to Japanese GP F1 pole by 0.013s
Nico Rosberg won a thrilling battle with Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate and title rival Lewis Hamilton to claim pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix.
Rosberg was fastest in every practice session, and topped the field again in qualifying at Suzuka, but only after a late rally against a Hamilton charge.
Hamilton trailed his team-mate in Q1 and Q2, but snuck ahead after the first runs in Q3.
Rosberg leapt back to the top of the times with a 1m30.647s best on his final lap, as Hamilton fell just 0.013s short of taking pole despite an improvement of his own at the end.
Kimi Raikkonen produced a strong lap to qualify third fastest for Ferrari, the only other driver to make it below 1m31s.
Team-mate Sebastian Vettel was less than a tenth slower in fourth, but he faces a three-place drop on the grid thanks to his penalty for hitting Nico Rosberg at the first corner of last Sunday’s Malaysian GP.
Max Verstappen beat Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo to the fifth fastest time, also by less than a tenth of a second.
Haas got both cars through to Q3 for the first time, and was best of the rest behind the top six cars in Q2.
Romain Grosjean set an identical time to Force India’s Sergio Perez in Q3, but ended up eighth fastest, just ahead of the second Force India of Nico Hulkenberg.
Grosjean’s Haas team-mate Esteban Gutierrez was seventh fastest in Q2, but ended up cut adrift at the bottom of the top 10 in Q3, over half a second slower than Grosjean.
Williams pairing Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa made only one run each in Q2, and were just edged out of the top 10 by the Force Indias.
Bottas missed the cut by less than a tenth, while Massa was only 0.165s further back in 12th.
Daniil Kvyat felt he did the best he could to put his Toro Rosso 13th on the grid, fractionally faster than team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr, who spun at Spoon Curve on his second run in Q2.
Fernando Alonso’s McLaren-Honda was only 0.004s slower than Sainz in 15th, 0.118s ahead of the leading Renault of Jolyon Palmer.
Jenson Button failed to escape Q1 at Honda’s home circuit, ending up just 0.032s shy of beating McLaren team-mate Alonso to the draw.
Kevin Magnussen was 18th fastest in the second Renault, ahead of Sauber pairing Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr and the two Manors.
Ericsson was slowest of all after the first runs in Q1, but ended up just over a tenth ahead of his team-mate after a puzzled Nasr failed to go faster on his second run.
Esteban Ocon out-qualified Manor team-mate Pascal Wehrlein for the second race in a row, this time by more than two tenths of a second, feeling he couldn’t have got much more out of his car.
The fact Wehrlein qualified last renders his five-place grid penalty for an illegal gearbox change potentially irrelevant.
JAPANESE GP GRID
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m31.178s||0.531s|
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m31.240s||0.593s|
|6||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m31.961s||1.314s|
|9||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m32.142s||1.495s|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m32.623s||1.976s|
|14||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m32.685s||2.038s|
Japanese GP F1 FP3: Nico Rosberg fastest again at Suzuka
Nico Rosberg set the pace in final Formula 1 practice for the Japanese Grand Prix while his Mercedes team-mate and title rival Lewis Hamilton failed to complete a qualifying simulation.
Rosberg’s time of 1m32.092s was three tenths quicker than Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and ensured the championship leader completed a clean sweep of practice sessions this weekend at Suzuka.
A damp start meant drivers completed their installation laps on the intermediate or wet tyres but it wasn’t long before they made the switch to slicks.
But the time lost early in the session meant drivers left it until the final minutes of the session to do their qualifying simulations which in turn created traffic that forced many to abandon laps.
Rosberg edged Hamilton on the medium tyre runs by just 0.054s and then improved by 1.2s when he fitted the softs and got a clean lap.
Hamilton was not so fortunate, losing time running wide at Degner 2 and then backing off and returning to the pits as there was not enough time to get a second run in.
Sebastian Vettel was third quickest, 0.639s off the pace, a fraction ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
Kimi Raikkonen went quicker than Rosberg in the first sector, but was baulked by Renault’s Kevin Magunssen on the approach to Degner 1, ruining his lap. He ended the session fifth.
Felipe Massa completed a late lap on the softs to vault into sixth, ahead of Hamilton, whose time was set on the medium tyres.
Renault showed good promise with Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen achieving exactly the same lap time to finish eighth and ninth respectively, 1.5s adrift.
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg completed the top 10.
It was a troubled session for Haas with Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez having off-track excursions, with the latter spinning at the Esses.
Jenson Button also struggled, finishing 19th quickest, while Carlos Sainz Jr was bottom of the timesheet having completed just three laps.
|2||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m32.394s||0.302s||10|
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m32.784s||0.692s||9|
|10||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m33.646s||1.554s||11|
|14||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m33.921s||1.829s||11|
|15||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m34.037s||1.945s||12|
|22||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m56.323s||24.231s||3|