Sebastian Vettel’s domination of the 2013 season continued with another flawless drive at the United States Grand Prix.
The German’s win was his eighth in-a-row, beating Michael Schumacher’s record of seven, Romain Grosjean held off a hard charging Mark Webber to take second for Lotus with the Australian taking third in the other Red Bull.
At the start the Red Bull’s made a reasonable start, holding off the charging Grosjean into turn one. The Frenchman would get into second at the opening corner passing Webber as Vettel led from pole. Lewis Hamilton made a great start moving up to third from fifth.
As the German looked to pull away at the front Pastor Maldonado and Adrian Sutil made contact on the back straight sending the Force India into the wall calling for the first safety car period at the Circuit of the Americas.
At the restart Vettel was able to pull out a second before the start line extending it to two seconds after the first lap of racing, little movement behind as Webber battled with Hamilton for third and Sergio Perez with Hulkenberg for fifth.
Following his first lap collision, Maldonado was given the black and orange flag telling him to pit as the front wing on his Williams was too badly damaged in the opinion of race director Charlie Whiting.
Vettel continued to pull out a lead at the front over Grosjean with Hamilton and Webber continuing their battle for third.
Behind there was quite a queue forming behind Nico Hulkenberg in fifth and Paul di Resta in ninth and as a result the advantage of DRS along the back straight was being negated.
As he was getting messages to look after the tyres, Hamilton was overtaken brilliantly by Webber who was the last of late brakers into turn 12 going around the outside of the Mercedes.
As expected the tyres were proving very durable and as a result the action on track was minimal with very little overtaking through the field in the first stint.
The pit-stops for the midfield began after lap 20 as the two McLaren’s battled with the two Ferrari’s, Jenson Button was unable to jump Felipe Massa by pitting earlier however Perez lost out to Alonso despite pitting several laps earlier than the Spaniard in their battle for sixth.
The first of the leaders pitted on half distance, Sebastian Vettel making the switch to hard tyres along with Nico Hulkenberg who was running in fifth following his stop, a lap later Webber pitted from second but dropped down to third.
The Lotus of Grosjean was the last to pit from the lead handing that back to Vettel who had a ten second advantage heading into the second half of the race.
Heikki Kovalainen was one of a few drivers on a two stop strategy in his first race for Lotus. The Finn was hindered by having to change his front wing at the second stop, dropping him well down the order.
Nico Rosberg was one of a few drivers making progress, after qualifying just 12th for Mercedes, he was back into the top ten in ninth while Jenson Button and Felipe Massa, who also started outside the top ten languished down in 12th and 13th.
Webber was closing quite quickly on Grosjean for second before losing two seconds in two laps, that halted the Aussie’s charge for a few laps before closing back in on the Frenchman.
A few more battles were developing behind as Daniel Ricciardo made a bold move on Paul di Resta for the final points position in tenth and Fernando Alonso passed Nico Hulkenberg for fifth.
Entering the final laps Webber was unable to make a move on Grosjean for second as Sebastian Vettel romped to victory by seven seconds over the Lotus.
Lewis Hamilton was unchallenged in fourth as Alonso held off a strong late challenge for fifth ahead of Nico Hulkenberg who produced another good drive in sixth for Sauber.
Sergio Perez gave the Mexican fans something to cheer in seventh ahead of Valtteri Bottas who scored his first F1 points in eighth, Nico Rosberg maintained ninth as Jenson Button produced a late move on Daniel Ricciardo to give McLaren a double points finish in tenth.
Up front however it was all about Vettel who with twelve wins this year can now match Schumacher’s record of thirteen wins in a season at the final round of the 2013 season next weekend in Brazil.
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