2012 United States Grand Prix grid

2012 United States Grand Prix

Row 1 1. Sebastian Vettel 1’35.657
Red Bull
2. Lewis Hamilton 1’35.766
Row 2 3. Mark Webber 1’36.174
Red Bull
4. Kimi Raikkonen 1’36.708
Row 3 5. Michael Schumacher 1’36.794
6. Nico Hulkenberg 1’37.141
Force India
Row 4 7. Fernando Alonso 1’37.3
8. Romain Grosjean* 1’36.587
Row 5 9. Pastor Maldonado 1’37.842
10. Bruno Senna 1’37.604
Row 6 11. Felipe Massa** 1’36.937
12. Jenson Button 1’37.616
Row 7 13. Paul di Resta 1’37.665
Force India
14. Jean-Eric Vergne 1’37.879
Toro Rosso
Row 8 15. Sergio Perez 1’38.206
16. Kamui Kobayashi 1’38.437
Row 9 17. Nico Rosberg 1’38.501
18. Daniel Ricciardo 1’39.114
Toro Rosso
Row 10 19. Timo Glock 1’40.056
20. Charles Pic 1’40.664
Row 11 21. Vitaly Petrov 1’40.809
22. Heikki Kovalainen 1’41.166
Row 12 23. Pedro de la Rosa 1’42.011
24. Narain Karthikeyan 1’42.74

*Five-place penalty for gearbox change
**Five-place penalty for gearbox change

2012 United States Grand Prix

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122 comments on 2012 United States Grand Prix grid

  1. andae23 (@andae23) said on 17th November 2012, 19:35

    Apparently Mark Webber is under investigation for failing to stop for a weight check. This might result in a grid penalty for him…

  2. David-A (@david-a) said on 17th November 2012, 19:36

    If it finishes the way it starts, Vettel is champion.

    Best performances were from Vettel, Hamilton and Michael Schumacher. MSC really wants to go out on a high, and I hope he does so.

  3. 8 Alonso
    9 Romain
    10 Maldonado

    For the sake of the championship, let us pray.

  4. bananarama (@bananarama) said on 17th November 2012, 19:37

    Thats a great opportunity for Alonso to show once again why he should be champion by putting himself on the podium tomorrow.

    On a more realistic note: Hami did a great job getting that close to Vettels time, he might be having a chance of winning tomorrow. Also Schumacher did great today as well as the Marussias and Massa.

    • One could also argue that qualifying was a performance not worthy of a championship. Massa seemed to be so much smoother and faster. To be out-qualified by Massa isn’t what Alonso needs and he’s starting on the dirty side of the grid with two notoriously crash-prone drivers sitting behind him on the grid.

      His prospects aren’t great.

      • bananarama (@bananarama) said on 17th November 2012, 19:57

        Thats true and I have to say I was surprised to see him struggle so much and be slower than Massa almost every lap. I’ve watched all weekend very closely to see how the cars and drivers go and it was clear that the Ferrari was a handful to drive, it looked like Alonso punished it more than drove it especially in the esses, “turkey” and turn 19 won’t become his best friend either, but he always looked to have it more under control than Massa. If there is anything he might want to improve in the future its his qualifying, while beating his teammates most of the time, he hasn’t really set the world on fire in that regard.

      • “One could also argue that qualifying was a performance not worthy of a championship. ”

        I admit it was a bad qualifying performance from Alonso… But I totally disagree that one bad qualifying session makes him an unworthy champion…. Even vettel had been out qualified by webber many times this season(It is 11-8 in Vettel’s favor)… Does that make vettel an unworthy champion?
        Yes.. Alonso’s prospects dont look that good.. but never say never.. alonso could be taken out in the first corner tommorow and vettel might run away with the race …. Or it could be Vettel who might retire while leading the race and hand the victory over to Hamilton( that would be nice to see)… the race is pretty long and anything can happen..

      • One could also argue that qualifying was a performance not worthy of a championship.

        Well then neither were some of Vettel’s qualifying performances at the start of the year.

  5. Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 17th November 2012, 19:37

    Fifty six laps away from checkmate. Alonso’s move.

    Also way to go Marussia!

  6. Alonso’s Ferrari really didn’t look anywhere near as planted as Vettel’s Red Bull. That was an easy pole position for Vettel; he was delivering lap times on demand with an apparent ease.

    • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 17th November 2012, 19:42

      That was an easy pole position for Vettel

      You really like over-exaggerating, don’t you? He nearly lost it to Hamilton.

      • @kingshark – He was faster than Hamilton. Credit to Hamilton’s brilliant performance but Vettel had something extra. I’m pretty sure he could have gone even faster had it been necessary.

        • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 17th November 2012, 19:46

          I’m pretty sure he could have gone even faster had it been necessary.

          Then why didn’t he? I’m quite certain no one would feel comfortable with a 1 tenth advantage over his nearest competitor over pole position if he was “holding back”.

          • baldgye (@baldgye) said on 17th November 2012, 19:52

            While not to seem to be bashing Vettel, if you compare the laps and general performance, I think Vettel was surprised by how fast Lewis was, and if you compaire there laps Lewis got more out of the car than should be possible, where as Vettel just drove the car on its limit.

            I don’t think he was holding back at all, I just think it’s more to do with how they drive and the fact Lewis (and alonso) can out-perform the car where as Vettel seems to just be with one with his car… if that makes sense, which it probally dsnt lol

          • Traverse Mark Senior (@) said on 17th November 2012, 19:53

            You’re so right, now isn’t the time to hold back. Vettel is on the verge of securing the WDC, if he could’ve gone faster he would’ve.

          • My point is you could see Hamilton was really pushing that McLaren to it’s limit: he locked up a few times on his fastest lap. Vettel made no mistakes; his lap was clean and clinical and with an extra lap he’d just keep going faster; Hamilton was right on the limit.

          • @ Max Jacobson
            By Your logic, Hamilton must’ve lost a good amount of time because he locked up a few times… in other words he could ‘ve gone even quicker…

            And also I dont think Vettel had something in reserve… If you had watched qualifying Vettel finished his last(also his quickest) lap before hamilton… I dont think he would’ve taken it easy knowing that Hamilton was still to finish his final lap…

          • Perhaps I should amend my statement to “Vettel made it look effortless, Hamilton was really pushing his car to it’s limits”.

        • Zubair (@zubair380) said on 17th November 2012, 19:51

          Well Vettel isn’t the one to hold anything back on a final lap in Q3, or any driver in fact.
          Hamilton beat Vettel’s S1 time, equalized in S2 time, and only lost out to Vettel in the final sector.

        • Kobayashi24 (@kobayashi24) said on 17th November 2012, 23:09

          So you’re saying Hamilton was giving 100% while Vettel wasn’t? Yes or no?

      • zicasso (@zicasso) said on 17th November 2012, 19:54

        I also think Vettel had something extra in the bag today… He didn’t seem to try as hard as LH, particularly on the last lap.

        • tigen (@tigen) said on 18th November 2012, 7:11

          Funny. If Vettel locks up or misses apexes people come out saying how that proves he isn’t really a good driver. If he drives “clinical” and “makes it look easy” then he’s not trying. Meanwhile, Alonso is magical even when he is outqualified by his teammate, and Hamilton always drives faster than the car can go.

      • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 18th November 2012, 1:57

        Stunning qualifying from Hamilton – just absolutely mesmerizing. I like the fact that he couldn’t beat Vettel despite giving it his best. I would have love to see Hamilton in the RB8 and Vettel in the MP427…

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 18th November 2012, 10:18

          Get over yourself. It was good, but no better than Vettel’s lap. Vettel would still have been on pole in the MP4-27.

          • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 18th November 2012, 15:09

            @David-A I’m sure that in your dreams, Vettel is dancing on a pole in the MP427. In reality, Hamilton would be looking for Vettel down the grid…

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 18th November 2012, 16:18

            @freelittlebirds – And yet in your dreams, you’re claiming that Vettel’s lap was because of the car but Hamilton’s was somehow down to him. Anthony Davidson analysed both laps on Sky and concluded that Vettel’s was better. End of.

          • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 18th November 2012, 18:20

            @David-A Would that be the same Anthony Davidson that said that Button has done as well as Hamilton at McLaren and has 4000 recommendations against him in that article and 100 for him? End of.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 18th November 2012, 18:45

            @freelittlebirds – I assume that you’re referring to Davidson saying that “As Lewis leaves, Jenson is a solid equal not just in terms of results and reputation but also the way he has blended with the team”. You of course, could say it is inaccurate, because although they have near identical points (probably what he was going on), Hamilton has had more mechanical DNFs.

            But none of that means he would claim Vettel’s lap was better if it wasn’t. And there is no evidence to suggest that Hamilton’s lap would have been faster in an RB8, or Vettel’s lap slower in the MP4-27. From practice to qualifying, Vettel has been thee fastest driver all weekend on this circuit, hands down.

          • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 18th November 2012, 22:34

            @David-A I beg to differ! If in doubt, watch the USGP for a schooling by Hamilton on Vettel.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 18th November 2012, 23:13

            @freelittlebirds – They both put in a great drive, and winning by just over 1s isn’t a “schooling” by any means. Nor does it justify your earlier comments.

          • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 18th November 2012, 23:41

            @David-A my comment was I would love to see Hamilton in the RB8 and Vettel in the MP427 to see how they perform in them. I think we can safely say we know the limits of the MP427 but I don’t think we know the limits of the RB8 with Vettel driving.

            It IS a schooling – you have no idea how this has shaken Vettel. He has just realized that he was beaten by a superior driver in a slower car and even if Vettel wins the WDC, it’s just a victory in paper. Noone thinks Vettel outdrove Hamilton in 2012.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 18th November 2012, 23:52

            @freelittlebirds – That’s nothing more than an assumption you’ve made. How do we know that Vettel wasn’t getting as much out of his car as Hamilton? I doubt Vettel will be “shaken”, when he’s 13 points clear.

            How can anyone claim that both, Hamilton was superior and the MP4-27 was inferior? Where is the line drawn between winning because of your talent, and winning because of your car? Your posts are little more than attempting to discredit Vettel’s results to me.

          • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 19th November 2012, 0:19

            @David-A well, everyone in F1 considers Hamilton as the standard for speed and my understanding is that he displayed similarly ridiculous speed in all the other series he competed in… My understanding is that even in mundane tests such as Top Gear, he performed incredibly well.

            What has Vettel done to impress? And please don’t say anything that has to do with a Newey-designed rocket?

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 19th November 2012, 0:35

            @freelittlebirds – Vettel topped the “mundane” Top Gear timesheets, has won the ROC Nations Cup with Schumacher for the last 5 years, and did very well in junior formulae, winning 18/20 races in Formula BMW, and runner-up in F3. He also became the youngest pointscorer at Indy in 2007, when he left the World Series by Renault (which he was leading easily, and still finished 5th in that championship, having only entered 7/17 races).

            And while we’re at it, what is wrong with driving a Newey designed car? Do you think Raikkonen should have won the 2002-2006 championships? Were the 2007/2008 Red Bulls/Toro Rossos “rockets”? No, they were mired in midfield, where Vettel still shone, becoming the youngest race winner and polestitter, and dragging his car to 8th in the championship only behind the Ferraris, Mclarens, BMW Saubers and one Renault. We don’t even need to cover his record breaking run of the last few years.

            The fact that you can honestly sit there and claim Vettel hasn’t done anything to impress is simply mind-boggling. You must be a wind-up merchant.

          • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 19th November 2012, 1:01

            @David-A good points – who competed with him in Formula BMW? Does everyone drive the same spec car?

            In the ROC, how did Vettel and Schumacher do against Hamilton and Alonso in 20xx?

            Would you say GP2 and Formula 3 are more prestigious? Have you seen Lewis’ credentials?

            Here is a comparison of Lewis and Vettel in Formula 3:

            Isn’t Formula 3 same spec? Why did Vettel only score 63 pts when he finished 1 race more than Hamilton who scored 172 pts? Why wasn’t he fast? Lewis was 22 years old and Vettel was 20 years old…

            As for Torro Rosso, Vettel had the fastest car that day. I agree with you. Vettel is faster when he has the fastest car but today he wasn’t. This is a magic moment and a victory for everyone in F1 – so enjoy it. The slower car won – it’s NICE to know that skill does matter…

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 19th November 2012, 1:29

            @freelittlebirds – Yes, Formula BMW did use spec-cars.

            In ROC I don’t think Hamilton and Alonso were there, (though Button usually competes, as do champions across other disciplines, like Loeb for instance). I used that more to counter the Top Gear test in non-open wheel machinery.

            In F3, that was Lewis’ second season (in his first season he was 5th, like Vettel in his first year), while that was Vettel’s rookie season. I’m not going to deny that Hamilton was impressive there.

            And while I don’t really agree about Toro Rosso being a clear fastest car in the race- Kovalainen’s Mclaren was on the front row & finished easily 2nd/ Bourdais was 44 seconds slower , it wasn’t just Monza that was impressive. China ’07, Monaco ’08, Valencia ’08 and Singapore ’08 spring to mind as well.

            Perhaps saying “Get over yourself” was over the top, so that I take back. But I just don’t buy the idea that whenever Vettel wins or takes pole, it’s because of a faster car, but whenever someone else wins, it’s because of skill. I think the top 2 cars were evenly matched. Vettel was better in qualifying yesterday, while Hamilton was better in the race.

            And P.S. I am aware of Hamilton’s pre-F1 credentials, and I usually defend him on them when I’ve seen people downplay his achievements because he went to Mclaren in 2007, just as I defend Vettel for driving the Red Bull off the back of what he did for STR.

        • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 19th November 2012, 1:59

          @David-A Thanks for the retraction – I honestly didn’t take it badly and I learn from every argument. What you have said here has made me understand much more about Vettel and the other drivers in F1 as I had never paid close attention to Formula 3 results.

          I am not saying that Vettel is slow – he’s one of the fastest guys in F1 but his past record is spotty. Hamilton has a spotless record in Formula 3, GP2 and F1.

          What I CANNOT understand is how Paul Di Resta outscored Vettel in his 2nd year in Formula 3 in 2006 and why DiResta’s career was so derailed?

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 19th November 2012, 2:28

            @freelittlebirds – Not really sure with Paul Di Resta. I guess either Vettel was at a different stage of his development (a bit like Webber and Alonso in F3000 in the year 2000), or Vettel was distracted with his testing duties at BMW Sauber in 2006 (don’t know what effect this would have had, but probably wouldn’t have made a difference).

            Paul probably has the talent to succeed in F1, but he isn’t showing it at the moment, in spite of a few decent performances (like Singapore this year).

          • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 19th November 2012, 3:12

            @David-A DiResta was much more impressive last season – for some reason this year he’s received very little attention and the fact that Hulkenberg has been doing better than he has since Suzuka does not look good for him.

  7. Eggry (@eggry) said on 17th November 2012, 19:39

    So this is how it ends? Thanks Pirelli. You made absolutely right choice in right time. They said they don’t want to ruin championship battle with degradation or wear, instead of them they brought massive warm up issue which might be able to really ruin the championship.

    • DM0407 (@dm0407) said on 17th November 2012, 19:43

      Its the same for every team.

      • Pirelli have only ruined the race by choosing the wrong tyres which: don’t allow the track to rubber in quickly, take too long to warm up, produce slower laps and a boring 1 stop strategy…

        So yeah they’ve chosen the worst tyre choice possible

      • Not really. Pirelli knew the impact of a conservative choice (heck, even us fans know that Ferrari struggle to heat tyres, and Mercedes cook the rears etc.).

        I am disappointed in all honesty. I think the championship may well just fizzle out (a shame imo!).

        • I don’t know about that. I think that Pirelli was in a minefield. Every possible choice they could make was wrong. If the tyres are too conservative the races will be boring and some teams might struggle, if the tyres are too fragile some other teams will be hurt. And if the championship is decided by tyre degradation everyone will blame Pirelli.

          I think they chose the lesser of two evils, but it’s inevitable that someone will not be happy about that.

    • xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 17th November 2012, 23:51

      It depends what you mean by ruin, as it depends on your point of view as to whether you’re an Alonso or Vettel fan.
      If you’re a Vettel fan, then you’re probably saying that it wasn’t a ruinous decision, but because the Ferraris had warm-up issues, then you’d say that it was a ruinous decision.
      In my opinion, they should approach the Grand Prix in the latter part of the season as they would any other, and not concern themselves with whether they’re influencing the championship or not.
      I think this, because the teams know how aggressive the tyres are, and they should build and design their cars to make the most out of them.

  8. carbon_fibre (@carbon_fibre) said on 17th November 2012, 19:41

    I predict a massacre in Turn 1 tomorrow.

  9. Traverse Mark Senior (@) said on 17th November 2012, 19:41

    I would like to congratulate both Vettel and Red Bull on securing the WDC and WCC. Well Done!

    On another note, McLaren are useless! I wouldn’t trust them to build a lego car right now, I mean, how can a team with so much experience (and money) build such an unreliable car…pathetic! Hamilton is too good for them.

  10. JB (@) said on 17th November 2012, 19:43

    I have faith Alonso will keep it alive till Brasil…. If he gets taken out at the start… it has been an exceptional season for us Ferrari fans. It may end on a sour note but, Alonso is WDC in my book!

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 17th November 2012, 19:55

      I would beg to differ. I think its been a great year for Fernando… he’s raced the wheels off that red tin can, and took the WDC battle to as far as he could. Hats off to him, as he came close to doing something I haven’t seen in any F1 season so far – a driver winning the WDC in the 3rd or 4th best car

      On the other hand, its been a really shameful year Ferrari’s design and engineering team.. they nearly threw the championship fight at the start of the season… and then threw it away in the last third of the championship.

      • iAbuser (@iabuser) said on 17th November 2012, 20:06

        This isnt the first year Ferrari have proved how Italian they really are when it comes to the cars. Same story last year. Its all down to the wind tunnel.

        Alonso has made this season great until the end, without Alonso, it would all be over now. 2 DNF cost Alonso the chances of wining this year, after Spa, i said, this is the race that will cost Alonso the WDC, and so far im right.

        I dont hate Vettle, but the car is whats making him great.

        As a Ferrari fan, its great to see how Ferrari have managed to keep a piece of crap floating for so long. I can only hope, that the Ferrari being a better race car then it is at qualifying, will have a better race. We will have alot more rubber put into the road tomorrow, and margin for error is tiny cos its so slippery.

        This race can go many ways. But i also hope Alonso can keep the boat in the water so Brazil for once will become a WDC decider once more.

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 17th November 2012, 20:13

          I dont hate Vettle, but the car is whats making him great.

          Even though you may not hate Vettel, I will still correct you.

          The car is great and the driver is great. Simple as that.

          • Todfod (@todfod) said on 17th November 2012, 20:18

            The car is great and the driver is great.

            Let me correct you..

            The driver is great only when the car is great

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 17th November 2012, 20:34


            Prior to Red Bull getting better late on in the season, Vettel wasn’t far off the top of the standings, when the RB alternators were an issue (even handing points over to his rivals), and Vettel lost a chunk of points from the Narain incident.

            So I believe that you are wrong- Vettel is great, and it is mere sour grapes (or ignorance) that cause disagreement.

        • Todfod (@todfod) said on 17th November 2012, 20:37


          You said it yourself.. he wasn’t on top of standings until his car had a clear advantage.

          Lets not get started on misfortune of the drivers.. Fernando has had as much of it as Sebastian

          • @todfod – Alonso had his fair share of luck in the first part of the season yet Vettel seemed to lack it. Alonso only started losing any points after Vettel’s car improved (apart from obviously Spa but of course Vettel lost a possible 5th place in Monza).

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 17th November 2012, 20:51

            @todfod – Vettel led the standings after rounds 4 and 5, and should have taken the lead back after round 8, but we all know what happened to Vettel’s car there, and who directly benefited.

          • tigen (@tigen) said on 18th November 2012, 7:14

            Well @todfod if Fernando can be great when the car isn’t, then what are you whining about? He can win the championship regardless of the car. If Vettel is great when the car is great… isn’t that all you can do?

      • John H (@john-h) said on 17th November 2012, 22:51

        That’s how I see it. Alonso deserves it, Ferrari do not.

    • @todfod – the driver wins championships when the car is great, that doesn’t mean he’s not great when the car isn’t.

  11. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 17th November 2012, 19:44

    Massive effort by Schumacher. Specially considering how much Rosberg struggled today. 12 places ahead of his team mate is a good one for him for a change !

  12. brny666 said on 17th November 2012, 19:44

    I bet the BBC are ******** their pants that both Championships get wrapped up when their not on live. On another note, I think Hami could have gotten that pole today as his mistakes were bigger then Vettel’s on their respective last runs but Vettel’s lap was closer to perfect and he deserves pole. A note on Alonso, I’m not sure if his energies are all spent or what but getting out qualified by Massa must hurt especially by 0.4 seconds.

  13. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 17th November 2012, 19:45

    I can’t believe it. I’ve been one of the few people that has kept hope alive on this site even when Red Bull and Vettel were dominant, but now I’m afraid it’s just over. That Red Bull looked so planted on the ground and so effortless to drive, meanwhile that Ferrari had no balance whatsoever and was all over the place. It’s shameful, I don’t even know how Alonso has taken the championship challenge so far in a car than is visually so much slower than Red Bull and Mclaren. IMO, despite being the best driver of the season tied with Hamilton, it’s all over for Fernando too I’m afraid.

    • brny666 said on 17th November 2012, 19:50

      First it wasn’t always so bad, mid season Ferrari looked on par and sometimes ahead of RB and miles ahead in the wet. Second Alonso greatly capitalised on the incidents of others which the front runners sorted out for the end of season.

      • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 17th November 2012, 19:59

        Nah, Ferrari weren’t ahead in the wet. In Silverstone in Webber qualified 0.047 s form pole position and Vettel fourth. In Hockenheim Alonso might’ve taken pole but Red Bull were 2-3.

        • Ferrari were ahead in the wet (with Alonso and not the then under-performing Massa) as is evident from the performance increase relative to the opposition as appose to dry conditions. Two pole positions and a win in the wet is respective of how competitive the F2012 is in wet conditions.

          • Eggry (@eggry) said on 17th November 2012, 20:26

            Those gaps were very tiny than when Vettel has gotten pole in dry condition. Furthermore, the German pole is down to tyre strategy than pure perfoance. Alonso changed tyre with fear of overheating while Red Bulls stick with it. So hose 2 poles are not sign of superiority of F2012 in wet but I think better choice and drive. They weren’t ahead of Red Bull but evenly matched. I have to admit tjey gained more than any otherin wet but that’s different story.

          • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 17th November 2012, 21:22

            @eggry for fear of overcooling, rather than overheating. In the wet, generally – the difficulty is not keeping tyres from overheating, but it’s keeping the tyres from cooling too much.

            Didn’t he do that pit-for-fresh-wets strategy in Silverstone too thougH?

  14. Vettel is truly astonishing, and I fully expect him to take the championship tomorrow. It’ll be a great day for a great racing team. There isn’t a story that’s more ‘American’ than the story of Red Bull so it’s fitting they capture their third WDC and Constructors here in the States. P.S. I know Red Bull isn’t an ameircan company or team but the story of Red Bull is very much like many successful US enterprises.
    Next year I think Hamilton and Raikkonen will swap places on the grid with Kimi and Lotus reaching full maturity. Vettel and Red Bull will, of course, be the team to beat.

  15. Todfod (@todfod) said on 17th November 2012, 19:48

    Red Bull looks a good second a lap faster than the Ferrari even on race pace.

    Looks like WDC is finally wrapped up now.

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