Rate the race: 2012 United States Grand Prix

2012 United States Grand Prix

Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso, Circuit of the Americas, 2012What did you think of the United States Grand Prix? Share your verdict on today’s race.

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2012 United States Grand Prix

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213 comments on Rate the race: 2012 United States Grand Prix

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  1. Bob (@bobthevulcan) said on 18th November 2012, 20:40

    Right from the start, we had an abundance of clean, firm but fair racing up and down the field. The midfield pack was tightly bunched throughout the race, Hamilton and Vettel’s race-long duel was tension-filled, unpredictable and ultimately brilliant to watch, while Button and Massa were absolutely flying throughout. Commendable drives as well from Grosjean, Hulkenberg, Raikkonen and Alonso. There was no shortage of tangles through the midfield. Every lap had something entertaining to see.

    On another note, COTA is quickly becoming my favorite track, especially those flowing esses of Sector One.

    While Abu Dhabi and Valencia produced exciting races as the product of safety cars and mechanical misfortune, this USGP was probably the closest thing to outright pure F1 racing I have ever seen, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, in spite of losing an entire night’s sleep. I am further glad that F1 has been able to make a good first impression on the US audience. Ultimately, this brings the championship down to the wire, and I can’t wait for Brazil.

    A perfect 10.

    • Brian Kneis said on 18th November 2012, 20:49

      Very well said sir!

      • Asif (@) said on 18th November 2012, 22:23

        Yeehaw :)))))

      • Bob (@bobthevulcan) said on 18th November 2012, 22:28

        Thanks!

        • Torg22 said on 18th November 2012, 22:38

          Nicely put!! This is the first ‘new’ track that i actually think has character and my word did it (and the dirt) create a fantastic race! Turn 1 and sector one is an instant classic.

      • maestrointhesky (@maestrointhesky) said on 19th November 2012, 12:45

        Hard tyres may have been an accidental choice but it absolutely added to the spectacle with drivers exceeding the limit, smoking up the tyres, and still able to continue without having to return to the pits for a fresh set. There were also options off the racing line as it wasn’t littered with ridiculous amounts of marbles! Get rid of the rest of the tyre choices and only use these or harder is what I say. What an enjoyable race!

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 18th November 2012, 21:39

      I agree entirely, but couldn’t let myself score it higher than a 9 due to the DRS being a bit much at times. There really were moments when I felt as though it detracted from the race. Also, I’m a bit biased as my stream kept messing up, so it made it a bit harder for me to enjoy it properly.

    • It was an excellent race, a shame perhaps that a part of that was the ‘out of the wrapper’ condition but its a small niggle.
      It was probably the least artificial (for lack of better word) race for excitment that didnt require safety cars or massive shunts. Wonderful racing and excellent/clean overtakes.

    • Gabriel (@naylamp) said on 18th November 2012, 22:01

      All I wanted to say you have said it better.

    • Rails (@rjessalt) said on 18th November 2012, 22:03

      +1.

    • pflite said on 18th November 2012, 22:28

      I agree 100%
      …and Pirelli cowboy hats for the podium have been the icying on the cake ;)

    • TommyB (@tommyb89) said on 18th November 2012, 22:30

      Austin put so much personality into their race.Great trophies and the cowboy hats were brilliant. It’s such a shame now that even tracks like Monza have Santander steaming poo trophies.

    • Shane (@shane-pinnell) said on 18th November 2012, 22:35

      Yep… Best race in a while.

    • JenniKate (@jennikate) said on 18th November 2012, 23:44

      completely agree!
      I was on the edge of my seat for most of the race

    • Zubair (@zubair380) said on 19th November 2012, 0:42

      +1
      Brilliant summary, well said sir.

    • Agung Inventor said on 19th November 2012, 1:47

      9.5, because of webber DNF and alonso race pace :)

    • spankythewondermonkey (@spankythewondermonkey) said on 19th November 2012, 8:15

      +1. that sums it up perfectly.

      despite not being a fan of in-your-face stereotypes, i loved the cowboy hats for the podium, and i’m sure that ham, alo & vet will treasure those in due course!
      Austin TX, you did yourselves & F1 proud. other than the track not being rubbered in, you’d never believe it didn’t exist 12 months ago. amazing job!!!

    • I think this has to be the first race in a long time that no one has lost a front wing at all!

    • Rocky (@rocky) said on 19th November 2012, 11:54

      Absolutely best race of the year giddyup!

    • Brilliant race, Drs zone seemed ok eg. Hamilton struggled to get past Vettel until Karthikeyan got in the way. Also, quick mention for Schumacher whose qualifying performance yesterday for me was one of the best ive seen this season, that Mercedes is horrendously slow and he somehow got it up to 5th over a second quicker than Rosberg. Wish he had a drive for next season

    • Switchbacker (@switchbacker) said on 19th November 2012, 14:20

      +1

    • I think it was a great race race especially for the importance of f1 in the us. I rated it an 8 becuase although very thrilling and many overtakes i believe hamilton passed vettel too easy through use of drs, it was a similar situation as in canada, the drs was too much of an advantage. Maybe this is becuase it was the first race here judging the length of the drs zone is tough, so hopefully next year the us grand prix can be if possible even better than the grand prix just gone! P.s go on kimi!

      • Jason (@jmwalley) said on 20th November 2012, 19:26

        @jacka306, I would beg to differ on that account. DRS naturally made it easier, but I had seats at the track just after turn 11 and you could see Hamilton pretty easily closing on Seb coming out of the turn and before he even entered the DRS zone. Likely would have required more balls without DRS, but clearly wasn’t dependent on it.

        • @jmwalley the fact you had seats for the race is irrelevant, on tv there were time gaps so it was easier to tell how close hamilton was to vettel for me watching the race. Im not saying that drs is bad, just that maybe next year it could be shortened. For example when kimi passed schumacher just before the drs zone he then got retaken over not just by schumacher but grosjean aswell. It makes turn 11 not an overtaking spot and since you were sitting there im sure you would have preferred to see some overtaking at that turn.

  2. qazuhb (@qazuhb) said on 18th November 2012, 20:41

    H.A.M.

    • Bobby (@f1bobby) said on 18th November 2012, 21:57

      :Thumbs up:

      Just awesome. One of the greatest duels in F1 history. :)

    • andrewf1 (@andrewf1) said on 18th November 2012, 21:57

      exactly! wicked race

    • Aldoid said on 18th November 2012, 22:25

      Agreed. It was like 56 qualifying laps from Hamilton. Awesome, awesome race. Kudos to Vettel for pushing hard the whole race, & to Ferrari & Alonso for making us wait one more race to see who’s champion. Not to mention that COTA turned out to be one helluva great track for racing. Definitely one of my favorites. Perfect 10 for the race!

    • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 18th November 2012, 22:29

      historic race – there is no way anyone including Vettel could claim that he was better than Hamilton at the stage in their careers – it’ll be interesting to see how Vettel receives this lesson – now that he obviously knows there’s quite a bit of room for improvement, will he get better or remain at the same level?

      • zippyone (@zippyone) said on 18th November 2012, 23:27

        He was on fire, along with Massa (?!) who really seems to have his speed back.

        Can’t wait until Brazil, real shame Lewis had those failures, now I’m rooting for Fernando over Seb.

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 18th November 2012, 23:27

        historic race – there is no way anyone including Vettel could claim that he was better than Hamilton at the stage in their careers

        Hamilton was better today, but don’t get ahead of yourself, Vettel is still on the verge of becoming a triple champion.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 19th November 2012, 0:14

          Over the entire year, I’d really struggle to rank Hamilton, Vettel and Alonso. All have been fantastic. I’m keen to see how Keith manages to order them,

        • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 19th November 2012, 0:29

          @David-A yes but you’re suggesting that because he wins the WDC that he’s the de facto best driver – the champion is not always the best driver on the grid… There’s a reason why Hamilton and Alonso and Stewart and the rest of the world do NOT consider Vettel one of the best drivers – sure as a team and driver they may win the championship but that does not mean the driver is the best driver and deserves it. Given the talent on the grid, Vettel could easily be 4th or 5th best driver, yet he may get another WDC…

          • Aldoid said on 19th November 2012, 0:46

            I agree with Michael. Vettel’s a good driver, but it was no contest last year due to the huge superiority of his car. Not in any way trying to put him down him for it, but I’ve always said that there are three drivers I rate higher than him… and I always have to stress that it’s just my opinion. Even so, this kind of talk usually results in a flurry of angrily waved blue & yellow pom poms around here… look out, Michael :)

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 19th November 2012, 1:05

            @freelittlebirds – Stewart didn’t say he wasn’t a great driver, or one of the best drivers on today’s grid. He suggested that he wasn’t yet an all time great, since he is still young.

            It isn’t “the rest of the world” that agrees with you. Moss for instance, said that SV was the best driver of the grid, and a “modern day Fangio”. It’s a mere matter of opinion which doesn’t actually affect what happens on track. I agree with @matt90 , that the three have been difficult to separate this season.

            At the end of the day, yours is a self defeating argument. If Vettel was so far off his rivals that he was the 5th best driver on the grid, yet so happened to win 3 championships on the bounce (something that only 2 drivers in F1 history have ever done), then the car makes an insurmountably huge difference. So much so, that we might as well argue that someone like Vergne is better than Hamilton or Alonso. Because clearly, the team and car affects the end results that much. It just doesn’t work out that way.

          • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 19th November 2012, 1:30

            @Aldoid I hear you – I’m seriously outgunned here – let me get my pom poms:-)

          • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 19th November 2012, 1:39

            @David-A “Then the car makes an insurmountably huge difference” With a car 10 seconds off the pace, anyone could probably win the WDC. So yes, the car makes a difference but drivers are important because the top cars are usually within a half-second and some drivers can buy 0.3-0.4 seconds. No one argues that FA or LH do that. No one has suggested that SV does that.

            And no one argues that the Red Bulls are the better cars – they have dominated F1 like no other car has. Just look at the qualifying 1-2 and race 1-2 to see that in the last 3 years. 3 WCCs in a row…In fact, if it weren’t for Hamilton being so fast, the Red Bulls would have swept the front row even more often.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 19th November 2012, 2:22

            @freelittlebirds

            Ascanelli, who has worked in F1 for over 25 years believes Vettel is that sort of driver, even comparing him to Senna). We simply can’t make such concrete judgements that Vettel isn’t capabnle of doing what Alonso and Hamilton can do.

            Red Bull have dominated F1 like no car ever has? Are you aware of the early 2000s? The Chapman era? The Mclarens of the 80s? If you looked back at the records of a lot of other teams that won the championship, you’d find similar records of winning and taking pole positions. In fact, this year, Red Bull have swept the front row 3 times. Mclaren twice. Not such a great difference there, and only goes to show how people want to overrate Red Bull in order to justify their claims that other drivers are better.

          • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 19th November 2012, 3:35

            @ David-A Yes, there’s been domination. Here’s the link of all the WCC champions – note how many times they also won the WDC – the driver has an asterisk. The team that has the fastest car usually wins both the WDC and WCC – it does not mean they have the fastest driver. Most times they do and if they don’t, the driver is fast enough to get the job done. It’s difficult to quantify Vettel’s performance because his results are not in line with his previous results.

            Hamilton’s performance we can quantify – he dominated Formula 3, GP2, beat Alonso, a driver that most consider a legend already and beat Button handily. On track, he has beaten Raikonnen in epic face-offs as well as Vettel today in a true grit performance. Today, even Vettel clapped as he passed him.

            People will point to this race when they compare Vettel and Hamilton for many, many years to come.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 19th November 2012, 4:10

            @freelittlebirds – if this race is that significant, then how about that race where Hamilton won the title at the end of 08? Who beat him to 4th place there?

            Vettel’s record in other series was very good- and even so, entering F1 and becoming the youngest ever pointscorer and racewinner suggests a talent that would indeed go on to have the level of success he has had. And before you try to point out any imperfections in his pre-F1 record, I’ll remind you that they are not the be all and end all- Mark Webber beat Fernando Alonso in F3000, the precursor to GP2, after all.

        • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 19th November 2012, 4:39

          @David-A Yes but has anyone enjoyed the consistent results that Hamilton has through all his competitions?

          So far what we know about Vettel is the following:

          - He is possibly better than Liuzzi – when Vettel scored his first points Liuzzi came in P6 while Vettel is in P4 but Liuzzi beat him in the other 2 races he finished
          - He is definitely better than Bourdain
          - He is better than Webber
          - He might be as fast as DiResta

          It all boils down to how fast Webber is – too bad he didn’t go to Ferrari so we can extrapolate Vettel’s speed. Do you not agree with this assessment?

          • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 19th November 2012, 4:54

            @David-A

            I just looked up the 2007 results – Liuzzi outqualified Vettel 4-3 and won 2-1 in races. I know results are not always indicative of performance but Vettel’s record is extremely spotty.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 19th November 2012, 9:56

            @freelittlebirds – I would not agree that Vettel’s record is “extremely spotty”. Mark Webber is generally considered to be in the league behind the front 3 with Button (never having lost to a teammate before Vettel), yet Vettel has done a much more convincing job over him than Hamilton has over Button.

            And Liuzzi didn’t do as well as Vettel. He had been racing in F1 since 2005, yet Vettel outscored him in half a season, taking STR’s best overall qualifying and race result at that point.

            And Di Resta? If Di Resta is still even in the conversation over stuff that occurred 6 years ago, then I could say Alonso, who was only equal with Hamilton in 2007, was beaten by Webber in F3000 in identical spec-cars. Now who has the spotty record? ;)

          • Cosmas (@cosmas) said on 19th November 2012, 10:27

            Drivers evolving , they are not constant throughout they’re carrier.
            If it was so simple as you describe it then there is no reason to have at all f1 races , we could directly crown f1 champion the one that won in GP2, F3 and so on…
            as for Webber driving for Ferrari ….. honestly do you believe he would have more freedom then Massa to challenge Alonso?

          • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 19th November 2012, 13:15

            @David-A Liuzzi did DO as well as Vettel – it’s only that Vettel managed to get a better result in that one race and that’s what mattered because the other races they were out of the points. If the car was competitive and they had top 10 finishes, Vettel would have lost the points. That’s why points don’t tell the whole story.

            To be honest with you, I REALLY do not know how fast Webber is so I went through his career.

            Webber never dominated the Formula 3000 series – he was 2nd and 3rd. That doesn’t speak evil of him but it certainly doesn’t put him at same level of Hamilton’s prodigious pre-F1 and F1 career.

            Here’s what we know about Mark Webber:
            - 2003 is impossible to tell because of his teammate’s retirements.
            - 2004 he beat Christian Klien
            - 2005 he tied Nick Heidfeld
            - 2005 he beat Antonio Pizzonia
            - 2006 he beat rookie Nico Rosberg
            - 2007 he lost to Coulthard
            - 2008 he beat Coulthard

            So we CAN extrapolate Webber’s performance. Webber is faster than Klien, Pizzonia and rookie Rosberg. Webber is about as fast as Nick Heidfeld and David Coulthard. We have also seen that Webber without KERS issues and bad starts is almost as good as Vettel. We also know that Vettel thrives in a super stable car that picks speed up in the corners which is what the RB6, RB7 and RB8 have shared at their stages of dominations (last 6 races of 2010, 2011, and last 8 races of 2012).

            So we can say that Vettel is as good as Webber in a regular car but definitely better when Adrian Newey’s car handles the corners like glue.

            You gotta hand it to me. This is sublime analysis. Ti nomizeis Kosma?:-)

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 19th November 2012, 14:43

            @freelittlebirds – To claim that Liuzzi did as well as Vettel is to ignore the circumstances surrounding them. As I said, Vettel was a rookie who came into F1 midseason, Liuzzi was far more experienced, and was with Toro Rosso since the start of 2006. Vettel outscored him, having done 7 races, to Liuzzi’s 17, and he never put in the level of standout performances Vettel did in China and Japan.

            Webber didn’t dominate pre-F1 series like Hamilton, but you’ve ignored the point I made regarding him compared to Alonso (which counters your logic regarding driver ability seemingly remaining static, and also points out that not every great driver will win every junior series before F1).

            You pretty much lost all credibility here, by claiming that Webber is “almost as good as Vettel” if not for “issues”. Over the last 4 years, Vettel has outscored him by over 250 points (and I cover issues in the next paragraph). Hamilton hasn’t done the same to Button (although you could argue Hamilton has had more issues than his teammate), even losing in 2011 to a guy who was beaten by Barrichello in ’08, Fisichella and Ralf Schumacher.

            In 2010, it was only Vettel’s misfortune that prevented him from being 70 points clear of Mark, instead of 14. Vettel has also had more mechanical DNFs this year (2-1). I also fail to see where your cliché over Webber being equal in a “regular car” comes from. Webber only beat Vettel in 3 races ALL season, China, Monaco and Silverstone. Vettel was ahead in most of the races this season where Red Bull clearly weren’t fastest, e.g. Australia, Malaysia, Spain, Hungary, Belgium, Italy.

            Instead of twisting clear facts, just accpet it- Vettel is one of the top drivers in F1. Like your Hamilton. Doesn’t mean you can’t root for him. Just reciprocate the respect Vettel fans give your driver, instead of trying to drag his achievements down.

            P.S. Your “sublime” opinion of how supposedly dominant Red Bull have been is being torn apart in the Forum .

  3. magon4 (@magon4) said on 18th November 2012, 20:42

    Great race, now all we need is rain at Interlagos – and we have ourselves a worthy finale for one of the best F1 seasons of all time!

  4. Eggry (@eggry) said on 18th November 2012, 20:43

    Great race. -1 came from 2011-style massive gap between top 2,3 and others. COTA is great circuit for sure.

  5. Pretty exciting race. Would have been better if tyres were less conservative.

    • John H (@john-h) said on 18th November 2012, 22:07

      The fact that the tyres were conservative meant the drivers could push on them and we didn’t hear 100 team messages saying ‘lap delta good driver X’.

      This race should be used as evidence that crumbly tyres are not required for good F1, as many of us have been saying all year.

      • Aldoid said on 18th November 2012, 22:28

        Yep… I agree. I was certainly skeptical before the race but I’m very happy to be proven wrong. These tires turned out to be just right in the end. They allowed Hamilton & Vettel especially to be on the limit for the entire race. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

      • Non-”crumbly” tyres only worked because they were so hard that everyone (possible exception RBR) struggled to get heat into them and therefore grip out of them. So, essentially they had the exact opposite problem this weekend.

        But it might be the way to go perhaps. It definitely seemed to almost negate the aero dependency with people being able to track cars in front of them all the way through the first sector’s sweeps.

        • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 19th November 2012, 0:34

          Exactly, it worked in the same way that driving on a wet track is much harder. I don’t think giving tyres which always lack grip is any better a solution than Ecclestone’s suggestion for sprinklers.

        • Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 19th November 2012, 1:11

          We’re getting the best of both worlds at the moment, a few one-stop races with harder tyres provide a bit of variety.

          I liked seeing the drivers having to work to get the tyres going after every stop – maybe they should get rid of tyre warmers.

        • Mike (@mike) said on 20th November 2012, 1:19

          @ral If the cars have less Mechanical grip, then proportionally they will be using more aero grip than normal.

          So if anything it would have made then even more aero dependent, as whilst in dirty air there wouldn’t be much grip to be found at all!

  6. UnitedKingdomRacing (@unitedkingdomracing) said on 18th November 2012, 20:43

    What a race. First time I give a ten. Fantastic track! One of the best.
    One last HAM-MCL win, fought out on the track. All you can dream of.
    And finally the HAM-VET-ALO podium!

  7. Daniel Thomas (@iamdanthomas) said on 18th November 2012, 20:44

    Absolutely brilliant race! The lack of grip early on almost made it into a wet race, everyone was sliding about wheel to wheel. Good that the championship is not over as well, so that’s a plus. Also nice to see the best three drivers on the podium for the first time.
    If America doesn’t fall in love with F1 after that, then nothing will convince them.

  8. MahavirShah (@mahavirshah) said on 18th November 2012, 20:44

    All through the year and the first time we get a Alo-Ham-Vet podium. The track provided some of the best and most natural overtaking I have seen in any new track. Absolutely superb race with an epic drive from Lewis. And Alonso should thank Lewis for helping limit the damage tremendously. Lewis might want to reconsider his move.

    • Dom (@3dom) said on 18th November 2012, 21:41

      The track provided some of the best and most natural overtaking I have seen in any new track

      I’d certainly have to agree @mahavirshah I loved the overtaking into turn 1 and Raikonnen’s overtake in the S’s was lovely. It was really nice to see the drivers have to actually have to work to gain temperature in their tyres which meant that they were able to attack rather than worrying about babying the tyres and losing out later on. The lack of grip allowed us to appreciate driver skill. America must be proud to have hosted such a thrilling race.

  9. Traverse Mark Senior (@) said on 18th November 2012, 20:44

    A generous 8/10
    McLaren will miss Hamilton next year for sure. He’s irreplaceable

  10. Best race of the season. Truly an amazing race!

  11. dirgegirl (@dirgegirl) said on 18th November 2012, 20:46

    9 out of 10! The first half especially was thrilling, with battles all the way down the field. It would have been a 10 if Alonso had been anywhere near the leaders, but they were in a different race practically. Hamilton was fantastic. And Button was good value for money today too – lots of great passes.

    The circuit gets a big thumbs up too! Just watching the drivers put their podium Stetsons on – nice touch!

  12. NJ2k14 said on 18th November 2012, 20:48

    This one will probably make it as the best race of the season !

  13. josephrobert (@josephrobert) said on 18th November 2012, 20:49

    what a track,
    great clean racing,
    tyre’s were perfect
    championship goes on!
    cow boy hats.
    10/10

  14. xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 18th November 2012, 20:50

    6; Ferrari left a very sour taste in my mouth, and I couldn’t help but feel Alonso didn’t deserve to finish P3 as a result of that decision by Ferrari.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 18th November 2012, 20:59

      @xjr15jaaag Alonso is so good that even if he had started eighth I bet he would have finished third. You only have to look at how other drivers and teams around him failed to deliver on their potential. Alonso doesn’t do that. That’s what makes this business of Ferrari ruining Massa’s race to help his all the more disappointing because it isn’t necessary and serves only to diminish Alonso.

      • Wonder if they’ll have the emasculated Massa take out Seb in Brazil…

      • Jayfreese (@) said on 18th November 2012, 21:36

        Not that sure Keith, Alonso was 39.2 second off the lead at the end of the race and still finished third. So he’s ‘lucky’ no one was in that big gap. Plus should watch again replays of the even-numbers starters (HAM, RAI, HUL, GRO, SEN, BUT…) He would of been in the top 5 surely, but in the podium, I don’t know. But who knows?

        • Asif (@) said on 18th November 2012, 22:08

          Good point! Keith is right in that Alonso doesn’t need much help but based on where Button and others ended up, I think this Ferrari strategy worked brilliantly today.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 20th November 2012, 7:32

          Given that Massa would have been one of those in front of him before letting him pass, its pretty likely he would have ended up there anyway. Schumacher clearly outdid his car in qualifying so he would drop down anyway.
          Only Webber could have stopped Alonso getting there IMO, and that ended when his car gave up on him.

      • Palle (@palle) said on 18th November 2012, 21:41

        Even if I’m certainly not a Ferrari nor Alonso fan, Ferrari just show they are professionals. They use a rule to create an advantage. RBR would have done the same. (I’m not sure about McLaren, but thats probably also why Hamilton is shifting away from them even though he couldn’t get a competitive seat somewhere else.)
        I loved Massa’s comment when asked about what was wrong with his gearbox: “We changed it!” he smiled and walked on.

      • Have to disagree I’m afraid Keith. What Ferrari did was not against the rules and Alonsos race was made at the first corner with his brilliant start from the clean side of the grid. If he had started 8th he would probably have lost a couple of places and been scrapping against cars in the midfield and wasting valuable time. Massa has also been the quicker Ferrari all weekend, so it was even more crucial that Alonso picked up places at the start as his pace wasn’t great.

        Even as it was he was 40 seconds off the lead, and with Webber retiring, Button’s problem in qualifying, Grosjean’s spin and Raikkonen not having that much pace he was very lucky there was no-one in that big gap. What Ferrari did was the correct decision under the circumstances.

      • sato113 (@sato113) said on 18th November 2012, 22:33

        @keithcollantine but even the best drivers in the world can have poor starts on the dirty side and be taken out in a mid-pack, turn 1 pile up.

        ferraris move removed that possibility.

      • xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 18th November 2012, 22:52

        Keith
        But who’s to say that he would have passed the cars at the start, had he not been on the clean side of the grid?
        For all we know, he could have been forever stuck behind them.

      • I don’t think it diminishes Alonso at all and I think Ferrari did the right thing. It was never a matter of starting one spot higher but about the dirty side of the track. Just look how far down most of the dirty side starters fell. A couple of spots lower and he would have been fighting in traffic much longer and perhaps again after the pit stop.

        Alonso had trouble with the conservative “championship-non-effecting” tires all day and I actually doubt that he would have finished higher than 5th (or 4th depending on Massa) without the switch. It’s not impossible that this will have saved them the championship.

        I certainly don’t agree with all the rules in F1 but there is no point in blaming the teams for using them to the full extent.

      • Mike (@mike) said on 19th November 2012, 2:10

        I think, at this late stage in the championship, Ferrari are justified in what they did.

      • uan (@uan) said on 19th November 2012, 5:07

        @keithcollantine that’s a fair point in hindsight, but there was no guarantee that it would have turned out so well.

        There was no way to know Webber would DNF.
        No way to know they would pit Kimi a lap too late
        Or that Grojean would go off at T19 and have his tire temps go off as well (well, maybe, it was Grojean :)
        No way to know if Button would have gone from 11 to 16th and have to work his way through the field.
        No way to know if Button was in front of Alonso that Alonso would have gotten by him.

        You make the best decision you can with the info available. I don’t blame Ferrari, I think the move was cheesy and allowed Alonso to gain positions not on the track or even with pit strategy, and that the decision diminishes his accomplishment today. But Ferrari would have been stupid not to have done it.

    • mostcool (@mostcool) said on 18th November 2012, 21:19

      Think of it as a great training race for Massa for 2013, he is slowly getting back his mojo, hope he can deliver the same from the beginning of next season.

    • RedBullRacer (@redbullracer) said on 18th November 2012, 22:16

      I hate all this team-orders nonsense, but its within the rules these days so it’s fair enough for Ferrari to take advantage. And at the end of the day, Massa ended up 4th – surely he wouldn’t have gained a higher position than that if he’d started 4th. He didn’t have the pace to beat Hamilton or Vettel, and if he’d been ahead of Alonso he’d have had to yield the position anyway. If anything, Alonso gained more from Webber’s alternator failure than from Massa’s team-inflicted grid penalty.

    • I don’t have a problem with teams using unconventional tactics within the strict letter of the rules. That has long been integral to Formula One, and probably always will be.

      What I do have a problem with is the myopic view of some people, who think it’s fine when Ferrari or McLaren do it, but call it “against the spirit of the rules” or, worse still, “cheating” when Red Bull does it.

      Either you think its ok to press the rules to their limit, or you don’t. And for all those defending Ferrari here, don’t complain if Red Bull pulls something similar out of the hat in Brazil.

    • Commendatore (@commendatore) said on 19th November 2012, 0:29

      @xjr15jaaag
      It was within the rules, so why the long face, pally?
      For me it was 10/10 race. And a very big smile on my face after Vettel lost to Hamilton. A pure bonus for the Tifosi and the championship. :)

      • Mike (@mike) said on 19th November 2012, 2:12

        Because so are team orders, btw, I think Ferrari did the right thing, but It’s easy to see how manipulating the rules to hurt one of your drivers could upset people.

        Having said that, I think even Massa would understand.

  15. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 18th November 2012, 20:50

    Best race of the season. The battles were awesome. The wheel to wheel action we saw here was so pure, so incredible. There was overtaking everywhere, battles everywhere, watching the cars blast around the first sector battling each other from the distance was tremendous.

    And the title battle in the middle. And the battle for the lead… Well done America… well done ! A 10.

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