Thanks to @WillWood who wrote and published the final practice and qualifying reports for the site yesterday as I was unavailable. Will, who more often posts on here as Magnificent Geoffrey, was doing so for the second time and did a first-rate job.
Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:
Fernando Alonso: “We decided to start with the scrubbed [tyres] thinking it was not better or not worse. I don’t think there was any problem with that. We were positions seventh and ninth in Abu Dhabi [qualifying]. The car is more or less the same. We are positions seventh and ninth in Austin. It’s not surprising for us, to be honest.”
“We knew it would be a complicated weekend but clearly today we were too slow and we will start from too far back tomorrow. Having said that, the accounts are always done at the end of the race.”
“Lewis Hamilton has been forced into his fifth embarrassing climbdown of the season after ditching a specially designed helmet for the USA Grand Prix which bore a highly offensive message.”
“We do not want to – and will not – lose the race in Germany.”
“I think when you go to McLaren the target is to win the title – not to win races or to learn. I have a lot to learn but at the same time I have to be champion for the team as it is the best team and if we have a strong car that has to be the target for us.”
“Red Bull have brought a new rear wing with them to Austin. It features a new flap and new end plates with a revised gill section.”
Bob Varsha: “The builders have taken quite a few things from some of the great tracks in Europe and crafted them into this course. Also, it is set up so it can be configured for any type of racing as well as concerts and even soccer, so this is quite a sports complex.”
“After the race, when the 33-year-old [Kimi] Raikkonen had won a grand prix for the 19th time, [Jenson] Button reflected on his old rival. ‘I don’t speak to him very often because I don’t normally get an answer. He’s a man of few words. But I flew back from Korea to Japan with him recently and I had a couple of beers with him and he opened up. He’s a good guy.'”
The birds have a good view, sunrise in Austin. http://t.co/zeVREWL3
Charles: "Despite not having fully optimised our package, I am pleased with where we ended up. It is a fantastic result for the team"
— Manor F1 Team (@ManorF1Team) November 17, 2012
Comment of the day
@DaveF1 on the fortunes of the championship contenders:
As an Alonso fan, watching him struggle doing those laps was really frustrating. I?óÔé¼Ôäóm my opinion only two world championships doesn?óÔé¼Ôäót seem to do him justice. OK, he?óÔé¼Ôäós a controversial driver but watching him do his thing behind the wheel is just magic.
However that being said Vettel and Red Bull deserve a lot more credit than they are been given if the do take both championships. They?óÔé¼Ôäóve entered a sport that was seemingly only owned by two teams and along with the correct knowledge, drivers and equipment have managed to force they?óÔé¼Ôäóre way into the very top of the pinnacle of motorsport.
From the forum
Happy birthday to Matthew H and Ionut93!
On this day in F1
Three years ago today McLaren announced Britain’s two world championships Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton would partner each other from 2010 onwards.
But after today’s race there will be just one more left before the partnership ends as Hamilton heads to Mercedes.
Image ?é?® Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo