Vettel cruises to United States GP victory

2013 United States Grand Prix summary

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Sebastian Vettel dominated proceedings once again to take a record-breaking eighth consecutive victory at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas.

The four-time world champion was never troubled throughout the 56 lap race, only surrendering the lead briefly after his solitary pit stop.

Vettel led from pole, but only after holding off challenges from both his team mate and Romain Grosjean’s Lotus on the run up the hill to the tight first corner. After failing to find a way past his team mate, Webber found himself overtaken by Grosjean and the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton, dropping him to fourth.

There was a first lap appearance by the Safety Car following a collision between Adrian Sutil and Pastor Maldonado which ended the Force India driver’s race. Maldonado suffered damage to his front wing and later received a black-and-orange flag from the stewards, forcing him to pit.

As the race restarted on lap five, Vettel slowly but surely pulled away from Grosjean’s Lotus. Mark Webber took third from Lewis Hamilton with a well executed move around the outside of turn 12 on Lap 13.

Despite track temperatures reaching a weekend high, the majority of teams had little difficulty executing a one-stop strategy. Grosjean temporarily inherited the lead when Vettel made his one and only stop on Lap 28, before handing the top spot back to the German two laps later.

There was some action throughout the field, with Fernando Alonso catching and then passing Nico Hulkenberg’s Sauber for fifth place with a superb move exiting turn one, while Valtteri Bottas dispatched a very early-stopping Esteban Gutierrez in similar fashion for eighth.

Behind Vettel, Mark Webber began to close the gap considerably to Grosjean’s Lotus, but suddenly dropped back by two seconds in two laps by lap 37. This all appeared to be part of Red Bull’s strategy as the Australian charged up behind the Lotus again with just over seven laps remaining, but despite his best efforts, Webber could not find an opportunity to pass the resilient Frenchman.

Out in the lead, Vettel’s only concern was engineer Guillaume Rocquelin’s repeated warnings to look after his tyres. He duly counted down the laps to secure a record-breaking eighth successive victory and his 12th of the season.

Grosjean equalled his best ever finish in second, with Webber rounding out the podium. Lewis Hamilton took fourth for Mercedes, while Alonso held off a spirited fight back from Hulkenberg in the later laps to claim fifth.

Bottas will no doubt be delighted to have secured his first ever world championship points as well as Williams’s second points finish of the season with an impressive run to eighth, consolidating the pace he had demonstrated all weekend.

2013 United States Grand Prix

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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25 comments on “Vettel cruises to United States GP victory”

  1. I can imagine an engineer putting a game on Vettel’s steering wheel’s computer, so he doesn’t get too bored while cruising to victory.

  2. Brundle said “keep winning“, and he was right it seems.

    Great performances from Grosjean and Bottas, drivers of the day.

  3. Webber seemed very strong in the 1st and 2nd Silverstone like sectors, I think Webber thought he had a realistic chance of snatching this one from Vettel. A feat that has seemed so unlikely since the change in the tyres, yet Webber experienced again the worst part of starting second, as usually the guy in 2nd tends to be squeezed to 3rd or a shunt.

    1. I think would have won if it weren´t because of Fosjean holding him.

      Grosjean is becomong in Webber´s worst nightmare

  4. Today gave a worrying insight into the rock-and-a-hard-place predicament facing modern F1, and equally Pirelli.

    The weekend started with great excitement as to what were initially feared as ‘ultra-conservative’ tyres at least allowing the drivers to give it full pedal during the race. But instead the drivers spent 52 out of 56 laps driving 5+ seconds off qualifying pace, managing tyres in agonizingly frustrating phases (I almost find the drop back 2 seconds for 5 laps then attack for 5 laps more annoying than consistent 75% pace…), in fear of becoming ‘the one’ to have to make a second pitstop – no doubt influenced by how long modern pit-lanes are, and the painfully slow speed limits, nullifying the idea of splash-and-dash pitstops anymore

    I’ve always been a big advocate of refueling returning, particularly after Pirelli arrived and brought their construction philosophy. But I even admit that would frankly likely achieve nothing – notably with DRS decreasing the difference up close between a heavy or light car, further hindering a defending driver trying to make heavy fuel work. Bearing in mind also now the fuel usage limits for 2014 as well, so puff to that idea cloud. Am currently about to go and have dinner after this race feeling thoroughly depressed about my sport…

    1. painfully slow speed limits

      I agree, it’s just painful to watch, I know there are safety reasons for this but it’s just awful to watch, they need to go back to 100 kph in the pits …

    2. So true, whatever compound is used the only sensible strategy is to get the most mileage out of these crap tyres.

    3. For safety reasons, we may never see a return to in-race refueling.

  5. Today is not the day I’d use the word ‘cruises’.

    1. why, was there an accident on a cruise ship to make us avoid the term cruising @mnmracer?

      I admit I was playing a game with the race just running in the background, but apart form Rocky urging Vettel to not leg it and make it an embarresingly giant gap, I didn’t get the impression Vettel was having to push at any time after the first corner

      1. apart form Rocky urging Vettel to not leg it and make it an embarresingly giant gap

        Of course when you tell yourself unsubstantiated, unsourced fairy tales, you’ll ruin Formula One for yourselves. But don’t expect the rest of us to ruin F1 for ourselves based on made up fairy tales.

        1. I really don’t understand this @mnmracer, where is your problem with using “cruising to victory”?
          I would be supportive of avoiding that term if there was a negative in it, or (as mentioned in my earlier post) it would be bad taste to do so because of something else happening in the world that had to do with cruising, cruises or something like that.

          If you mind that some people are not enthused by Vettel winning with a large margin, just ignore them. I certainly am not making up that he had a wide margin at the finish and was managing that margin the whole race.

          I do not expect you to either jump up in joy or throw yourself in the ashes from sorrow about it, nor did my comment in any way urge you to do either.

          1. If a margin of 8 seconds is considered a ‘large margin’ or ‘cruising’, most non-Vettel wins this year have also been ‘cruising’. 8 seconds is not cruising. 15-20 starts to get there, but not below the media margin of the last decade.

          2. Yes, its a large margin when a driver is able to get that within a couple of laps and then cruises (i.e. maintains that gap, reacting to the people behind him to speed up, slow down according to circumstances) in current day F1.

            If he would be going towards 20 or even 30 seconds or say 1 minutes it would most likely not be cruising anymore, but driving the car in anger (far more exciting to watch). A lead like that would more likely be called “decimating the field”, “destroying the competition” and dominating the race.

  6. Congratulations to Bottas for scoring his first ever points. Very good race from him and hopefully a sign of better things to come from Williams. It is somehow satisfying that Bottas now has 4 times as many points this season than his far more experienced team mate. :)

    1. Agreed, but of course he (Bottas) was told to slow down like everybody else.

  7. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    17th November 2013, 22:01

    When DOTW comes, I will give it to Bottas, for producing the only exciting moments of the race.

    1. Yep, what an overtake :D

    2. Yeah, Bottas did a really amazing drive both on saturday and on sunday. Although a close 2nd for me is Grosjean

  8. Vettel showed why he is Boss again.

    Has anyone noticed how apart from Redbull, all (semi-) relevant teams were split very far apart with one driver right up there, and the other under also ran. Strange. I guess this really is an interesting track that suits some (arguably great) drivers and and is less suitable for some (arguably lesser) drivers.?

  9. Nigel Mansell just said on Twitter that someone had a 1.9s pit stop today? I must have missed that — who was it?

    1. Chief Kenny from Red Bull said they did…waiting for confirmation

    2. RB with mark webber. 1.95s i think it was

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