RATE THE RACE POLL RESULT: USA GP 2015

The Circuit of the Americas is a relatively new venue but is rapidly becoming a firm favourite on the calendar. There is no doubt that this year’s race will be seen as a classic, but how have previous races at COTA stood up to you, the jury?

2013 – TJ13 reader score – 4.20

Sebastian Vettel continued his dominant form in the latter half of 2013 and strolled to his eighth win in a row. Kimi Raikkonen skipped the final races of the season. The official reason was to have an operation on his back, but many suspect he was partially motivated by his Lotus team struggling to pay his salary. He was replaced by Heikki Kovalainen who could not match team regular Grosjean who finished second, ahead of Mark Webber.

vettelusa

2014 – TJ13 reader score – 6.75

The battle between Lewis and Nico had another crucial turning point at COTA in 2014. Nico dominated practice and secured his ninth pole position of the year ahead of his team mate, who had struggled with a braking issue in Q3. The race set off in a similar fashion as Nico lead comfortably through the first stint. Following the first stops Lewis seemed more at home on his new tyres and started to reduce the gap. When he got into the DRS zone he wasted no time and made a move stick. Nico had no response and Lewis went on to take the victory. It was his fifth in a row and his 32nd win in total, passing the British record previously set by Nigel Mansell.

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2015 – TJ13 reader score – 8.87

The world championship was decided in stunning fashion this weekend with one of the best races of the season, only beaten by the Hungarian Grand Prix that scored 8.92.

The race started on intermediate tyres in damp conditions. Lewis signalled his intention at the first corner by taking the inside line and forcing Nico wide on the exit, just like he did in Japan. Rosberg had fallen to fifth position behind the two Red Bulls and Sergio Perez. The drying track was treacherous and really tested their abilities.

first corner

After a brief VSC period to clear debris, a battle for the lead ensued between the Bulls and the Arrows. Rosberg jumped Ricciardo at the restart, much to the surprise of the Australian. Kvyat made some ambitious overtaking dives, only to skate wide on the slippery surface and lose out again. Hamilton’s tyres started to wear more quickly than those following and both Ricciardo and Rosberg sailed past. Nico gave Lewis good racing room, when he was more than within his rights to run Hamilton wide in revenge for turn one.

Lewis had to pit for new tyres to stand any chance of keeping up and bolted a pair of softs on. This move was soon to be followed by the rest of the field. This change signalled the end of the challenge from Red Bull, as their pace started to fall away once the track dried up.

The safety car period triggered by Marcus Ericsson’s stricken Sauber brought about another shift in the dynamic of the race, with the four leaders pitting for another set of soft tyres. Vettel in fifth took on a set of medium tyres in a bold move to try to make the end of the race. As the safety car pulled in, the Ferrari managed to pass both Red Bulls and keep the two Mercedes in sight.

His strategy might well have paid off, but for Nico Hulkenberg’s accident with Daniel Ricciardo, that took the Force India out on the spot and brought out the virtual safety car, under which Nico Rosberg pitted for the final time. Lewis made a tactical error and stayed out a lap too long – the VSC period ended before he could take on his own new set of boots.

Vettel might still have been able to beat Hamilton and keep the title challenge alive, if it wasn’t for another safety car period, this time triggered by Kvyat skidding on the wet kerbs and smacking the barriers with his nose. This time Hamilton was able to change tyres and emerge in second behind Nico, just ahead of Sebastian.

Nico needed to finish ahead of Lewis to keep his title hopes alive, but he made a rare unforced error at the most critical time. His chances slipped away as he lit up the rear tyres on the exit of turn 15, skidding wide and allowing Hamilton to regain the lead.

What a fantastic way for this year’s title to be decided and for Hamilton to take his third title, the only Briton to successfully defend his world championship crown.

Driver of the Weekend – Max Verstappen 69.7%

Away from the battle at the front, it was Max Verstappen who once again stole the show with an incredible fourth place finish. He started in eighth position and started to work his way forward with an aggressive move on Kimi Raikkonen. He then battled the two Red Bulls as they started to slip down the order and showed impressive pace and excellent tyre management for a rookie driver in the tricky conditions. He made very few mistakes in a race strewn with seasoned veterans falling by the wayside.

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18 responses to “RATE THE RACE POLL RESULT: USA GP 2015

  1. He’s maturing quite well; this young Verstappen, first son of Verstappen. A big and long future lies ahead for him – assuming no Bianchi-style incident and that he manages to disassociate himself from Red Bull.

    His rise to Formula One is unprecedented – arriving as a prodigy with few series behind him. It’s clear he’s going to be one of the greatest of all time, if not the greatest of all time.

    It’s been a long time since Schumacher left for the first time in 2006, and it’s the first time I think we’ve genuinely got another prodigy and superstar in the sport. Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel have kept the sport warm – and delivered some outstanding performances on occasion – but Verstappen’s the real deal.

    Driver of 2015, in my opinion.

    • ‘His rise to Formula One is unprecedented’ – I’d say it bears more than a passing resemblance to Kimi’s arrival (granted done even younger/quicker). While its clear Max has the talent, there’s still an awful lot of things that can go wrong on the way. Will be fun to watch how it turns out for him though, which is good for F1 🙂

      Hate to say it but driver of 2015 is Seb for me 🙂

    • “His rise to Formula One is unprecedented – arriving as a prodigy with few series behind him.”…..

      Kimi Raikkonen…😉😉😉

      • Ahhh, ya got me! Ok, I changed my mind.

        I just wanted to be loved by the Verstapo…

        😉

        PS: Maybe my sarcasm wasn’t overt enough. LOL

        • You just saw how Verstappen was winning the polls and wanted to win the most thumbs up for a post competition…I will bet you’re also now on the radar of the top F1 teams after that post. 🙂

          • The Borg will never stop till all have been assimilated.

            Have you been reading James Allen lately, he sometimes makes interesting comments under his articles too.;)

          • Good point, might sound a bit catchier but the borg aren’t that bad to deserve to be associated with he boys from WWII, my apologies to the Borg.

    • I still go for vettel, not because I’m vettelian but because he genuinely had a great season, and he is doing better than schumacher if you compare them. Schumi won 2 titles with his second team, before going to Ferrari. Vettel had 4 with his second team and now joining ferrari… maybe we’ll have a 9 time champion in the futur 😂

      • Me too, I (genuinely) think Vettel is ’15’s star performer. As for your Schumacher comments… 😠😠😠😡😡😡

          • Well fortis, I disagree. Hamilton only did what he should do. Become champion in the best car, without any challenge (Rosberg is nothing more than a no.2) now this is not Hamiltons fault at anyway. Its not his fault the Mercedes is that good and Rosberg isn’t better… but He couldn’t do better but in the same way he couldn’t do worse… you know what I mean? Where as vettel came from his worst season and showed that he is worthy. Let’s not forget most people think little of his titles because of the fact that the red bull was, at least 2 seasons, the best car without any competition. Just as hamilton has that fact hold against him. And don’t get me wrong, again I’m not saying that because I’m vettelian. I didn’t rate him the best in those 2 season either…

          • Whilst I only meant it in jest, you can’t really say that I’m wrong

          • But I can’t really say you’re right either 😉 btw I know you meant it that way. But I was a bit bored and wanted to discuss a bit

        • I knew you wouldn’t like them. That’s why I said it. But there is some truth in them…

          • Probably why it hurts so bad…

            *rubbing burn cream into areas where Bruznic’s comments landed.*

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