United States Grand Prix 2014 – Recap

Lewis Hamilton was able to extend his lead over Nico Rosberg after winning the United States Grand Prix in Texas. The Brit now has a 24 point lead over his German teammate who finished second in the race. Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull came in third place for this race. Although the race went on smoothly, a lot of questions now linger over F1’s future as Bernie Ecclestone admitted that F1 is indeed in crisis.

Qualifying

Nico Rosberg beat Lewis Hamilton for the pole position and recorded the fastest time in qualifying. This ended Hamilton’s 10 session winning streak. Meanwhile, Jenson Button of McLaren will start in 12th place after he was handed down a five-place penalty for changing his gearbox. Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull also received a penalty before the race and will start at the back of the grid for exceeding his seasonal allocation of power units. Aside from those events, the threat of a boycott from Force India, Lotus and Sauber also made headlines before race day.

Racing Conditions

The weather wasn’t really the issue during race day in Austin, Texas as the skies were clear, the track is in superb condition and the expected crowd of 100,000 have filled the stands. In other words, it’s a perfect day for racing. But what really brought in the dark clouds to this race was the threat of a boycott from three F1 teams. Luckily that didn’t happen and there were still 18 participants who started the race.

The Grid

The Race

Hamilton and Rosberg had a good start but at the back of the group, Perez and Sutil had a collision during the opening lap. The safety car was brought out and stayed on the track for a couple of laps. The cars went full-throttle again on lap 4.

On lap 8, the order is as follows: Rosberg, Hamilton, Massa, Bottas and Ricciardo. On lap 12, both Hamilton and Rosberg began to have issues with their tyres. But Hamilton still managed to pile some pressure on Rosberg as he’s now less than a second behind the German.

Hamilton pits in on lap 17 and rejoins the race 2.5 seconds behind Rosberg. Hulkenberg of Force India is now out of the race after lap 18. Hamilton changed to medium tyres during his stop and is now closing down on Rosberg. He was able to finally overtake Rosberg on lap 24. After this, like in the previous races, Hamilton gradually widens the gap between him and Rosberg. His lead on lap 30 over his teammate was at 2 seconds.

Hamilton makes his second pit stop on lap 33 surrendering his lead temporarily. But he was able to reclaim it on lap 34 after Rosberg went to the pit lane. On lap 37, Hamilton’s lead over Rosberg is registered at 2.85 seconds. The battle for this race seems to be over now. On lap 52, Hamilton extends his lead over Rosberg to 3.39 seconds.

Hamilton finally greeted the chequered flag first on lap 56. This is his fifth successive race win this season. He’s now the most successful British F1 driver in history with 32 wins. Rosberg and Ricciardo came in second and third place respectively.

After Thoughts

Even with this win, the job still isn’t finished for Lewis Hamilton. His 24 point lead over Rosberg is still not enough to secure the title. There are still two races left for this year and one of them, the final race in Abu Dhabi offer double points. In theory, if the result here is repeated in Brazil next week, Rosberg can still have a chance of winning the title in Abu Dhabi.

Lastly, although the title race between Hamilton and Rosberg is definitely exciting to follow, there are many big issues that F1 needs to face now. And even though the racing calendar for 2015 is already out, nobody is really sure whether everything will go out as planned next year considering the current situation of many of the teams now.