Review how each driver got on below and vote for who impressed you the most during the last race weekend.
United States Grand Prix driver-by-driver
Sebastian Vettel – Doomed to start from the pit lane due to his penalty for taking a sixth complete new power unit, Vettel said on Saturday that seventh place would be a good result. That was where he finished, thanks in part to superb calls from the Red Bull pit wall. The decision to get his soft tyre stint out of the way under the Safety Car ultimately didn’t pay off, but bringing him in for a fourth pit stop to take on soft tyres was a clever move. That gave him a significant performance advantage which he wielded effectively, and came close to depriving Alonso of sixth place.
Daniel Ricciardo – Ricciardo’s starts remain something of a weakness but in every other respect he continues to impress. Having slipped back to fifth at the start he crucially took advantage of an opportunity to pass Alonso when the race resumed. That done, he put pressure on the Williams drivers and jumped each of them in turn over his two pit stops. That netted his eighth podium finish.
Nico Rosberg – Rosberg has now started all of the last seven races from the front row, and four from pole position, without winning any of them. He was at the top of his game in qualifying, comfortably beating Hamilton despite having been put off his stride by a braking problem in final practice. But in the race the tables turned once again, and with it his championship hopes continue to fade.
Lewis Hamilton – Hamilton also had brake trouble on Saturday which went some way to explaining his struggles in qualifying. Held his second place at the start and throughout the first stint, then picked up speed after both Mercedes switched to the medium tyres. His pass for the win bore hallmarks of the move he put on Vettel in 2012 with similar results.
Fernando Alonso – It was a surprise to see Alonso get caught out by Ricciardo at the restart, but from then on he was as effective as ever in combat, marking the cards of both Button and Vettel. His move on the latter ultimately proved vital, as the pair were separated by half a second at the line.
Kimi Raikkonen – Closer to Alonso than usual in qualifying, but was assaulted by Perez on the first lap leaving him with damage which might have affected his ability to look after his tyres. He had to make a late dive for the pits which left him out of the points.
Romain Grosjean – Both Lotus drivers had Fridays but in the cool temperatures of Saturday morning Grosjean felt his car was “the best I’ve driven for a while”. Come qualifying the balance had shifted, and he missed the cut for Q2. He made progress in the race, however, and was holding ninth when Vergne barged past at turn one, leaving Grosjean to limp home out of the points in a damaged car.
Pastor Maldonado – Picked up two penalties during the course of the race – for speeding in the pits and behind the Safety Car – but besides that it was a more positive weekend for Maldonado. He out-qualified Grosjean, and having dropped behind his team mate the Vergne incident allowed him to get ahead again, and his last-lap pass on the Toro Rosso netted him ninth and his first points.
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Jenson Button – It was nip and tuck between Button and Magnussen in qualifying. Button narrowly won – but was dropped back by a gearbox penalty. After pitting under the Safety Car he scrapped with Alonso, but his long stint at the end proved too much and he dropped out of the points. “It’s unusual for our car to suffer tyre degradation as damaging as we did today,” he said afterwards. “We were slipping and sliding around, and as a result I was really struggling compared with the drivers around me.”
Kevin Magnussen – Had a similar race to Button’s albeit not mired in as much traffic. Team principal Eric Boullier said both drivers “coped manfully with less than optimal grip levels”.
Nico Hulkenberg – Had a novel explanation for failing to make Q3 – he blamed a visor tear-off for interfering with his final flying lap. At the start of the race he ran over debris from the collision his team mate caused, and then retired later on with a power unit problem.
Sergio Perez – Said the windy conditions made it hard to get the most out of the VJM07 despite pipping his team mate in qualifying. An overly optimistic move on Perez resulted in him taking the Sauber out and hitting Raikkonen as well, for which he was given an unusually strong seven-place grid penalty for the next race.
Adrian Sutil – Looked in great shape in qualifying, emphatically beating Gutierrez and taking Sauber into Q3 for the first time this year. That was all spoiled when Perez took him out on the first lap.
Esteban Gutierrez – On a weekend when Sauber announced a new driver would take one of their seats for next year, Gutierrez badly needed to perform. But he was eliminated in Q1, penalised for speeding behind the Safety Car and was passed by Raikkonen on the last lap.
Jean-Eric Vergne – Failed to make it through Q1 after reverting to “an old specification engine”. Vergne also said he was compromised by missing first practice while Max Verstappen drove his car. In the race he looked on course for a strong result after diving past Grosjean from a distance in a move the stewards took a disappointingly dim view of – it has been tough but fair. The resulting penalty dropped him back to tenth.
Daniil Kvyat – Picked up a ten-place grid penalty due to a power unit change for the second time this year. And, unlike in Monza, he wasn’t able to qualify high enough to serve the entire penalty at once: “this weekend and the next one in Brazil are compromised,” he rued. In the race he passed Raikkonen but damaged his front left tyre, leaving him last of the classified finishers.
Felipe Massa – Shared the second row of the grid with Bottas and got ahead of him at the start. But he lost a second in his final pit stop which allowed Ricciardo to edge him off the podium.
Valtteri Bottas – Beat Massa in qualifying again despite having to give his car up for Felipe Nasr in first practice. But a slow start dropped him back to third, and given his track position there was little he could do to prevent Ricciardo jumping him for fourth in the pits.
Qualifying and race results summary
|Driver||Started||Gap to team mate||Laps leading team mate||Pitted||Finished||Gap to team mate|
|Fernando Alonso||6th||-0.194s||54/55||2||6th||Not on same lap|
|Kimi Raikkonen||8th||+0.194s||1/55||3||13th||Not on same lap|
|Romain Grosjean||16th||+1.071s||28/55||2||11th||Not on same lap|
|Pastor Maldonado||10th||-1.071s||27/55||2||9th||Not on same lap|
|Jenson Button||12th||-0.051s||1/55||2||12th||Not on same lap|
|Kevin Magnussen||7th||+0.051s||54/55||2||8th||Not on same lap|
|Jean-Eric Vergne||14th||+0.314s||37/55||2||10th||Not on same lap|
|Daniil Kvyat||17th||-0.314s||18/55||3||15th||Not on same lap|
Review the race data
- 2014 United States Grand Prix lap charts: Alonso salvages sixth as damage delays Raikkonen
- 2014 United States Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops: Button rues not mimicking Vettel’s late pit stop
- 2014 United States Grand Prix lap times and fastest laps: Ricciardo recovers for podium after poor start
Vote for your driver of the weekend
Which driver do you think did the best job this weekend?
Cast your vote below and explain your choice in the comments.
Who was the best driver of the 2014 United States Grand Prix weekend?
- Sebastian Vettel (10%)
- Daniel Ricciardo (31%)
- Nico Rosberg (1%)
- Lewis Hamilton (36%)
- Fernando Alonso (4%)
- Kimi Raikkonen (0%)
- Romain Grosjean (2%)
- Pastor Maldonado (10%)
- Jenson Button (1%)
- Kevin Magnussen (0%)
- Sergio Perez (1%)
- Nico Hulkenberg (0%)
- Esteban Gutierrez (0%)
- Adrian Sutil (1%)
- Jean-Eric Vergne (3%)
- Daniil Kvyat (0%)
- Felipe Massa (1%)
- Valtteri Bottas (0%)
Total Voters: 651
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2014 United States Grand Prix
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- 2014 United States Grand Prix team radio transcript
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Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei, Sauber, McLaren/LAT