Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel has achieved double success after taking the chequered flag to secure his first win at the Circuit of the Americas, following the conclusion of the FIA Formula One 2013 United States Grand Prix. Vettel not only took the race win, but in doing so has become the first driver in the history of the sport to get eight Grand Prix victories in a row during a season.
Vettel's closest competition came from Lotus Renault's Romain Grosjean. The French man had the opportunity to lead from the front for a short while in the race, while Vettel was off the scene making a pit stop for a tyre change. The tables soon turned when Vettel got back on track and the German got back into first place which led him to eventually cross the line as the winner.
Grosjean had to settle for second place just behind the reigning World Champion. Vettel's team mate, Mark Webber completed the race in third place to take up the final spot on the podium.
Mercedes' driver, Lewis Hamilton seemed to have a fairly problem free race, with the exception of reportedly being held up by Caterham's Charles Pic who ignored blue flags during the race. Pic was forced to serve a drive through penalty as a result of this and finished towards the back of the field. Hamilton appeared to recover from the slight delay with Pic and completed the race in fourth place.
Hamilton was followed closely by Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, but the Spaniard failed to catch the 2008 World Champion by the end of the Grand Prix and picked up fifth place for himself.
Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg was not able to hold onto his fourth place from qualifying yesterday as the 56 lap race marathon approached the finish line and the German dropped two places to complete the proceedings in sixth place.
McLaren's Sergio Perez outqualified his team mate, Jenson Button yesterday, but the Mexican driver did not manage to improve on his seventh place start and he crossed the line at the end of the race in the same position. Button reportedly had damage to his front wing in the race and did remain towards the back of the pack early on, this follows his three place grid penalty issued after practice on Friday. The Englishman made his way through the field as the race progressed and he secured the 10th and final point scoring position for himself.
Williams' driver, Valtteri Bottas impressed with his performance in qualifying yesterday as he made it through to the top 10 shootout. The Finnish driver did not disappoint on race day, as he finished the race in eighth place and as a result picked up his first Championship points in the sport.
Hamilton's team mate, Nico Rosberg was one of the shocks in qualifying yesterday when he failed to get into Q3. The German driver seemed to get back on track in the race and he ended the race in ninth place in the end.
The majority of the race appeared to run smoothly, but before the action had barely begun the safety car was deployed on lap one, when Force India's Adrian Sutil suddenly veered off the track and crashed into the wall. The German driver seemed to be unscathed from the incident but retired from the race. It was suspected that the incident was caused due to Sutil and Williams' driver Pastor Maldonado unexpectedly getting a little too close for comfort.
The safety car returned to the pits on lap four, but Maldonado had to visit the pits himself when the black and orange flag was waved, which signaled that that the team were warning him of damage to his car and it was in need of attention. The Venezuelan driver had a replacement front wing and nose cone fitted on his car before he could continue on in the race.
Hulkenberg's team mate, Esteban Gutierrez also came into the limelight at the beginning of the race. The Mexican driver was thought to have had contact with Alonso's team mate, Felipe Massa. Gutierrez had to unexpectedly visit the pits for a tyre change due to a suspected puncture. Gutierrez then caught the attention of the stewards at the end of the race, following a coming together with Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne on the final lap. Gutierrez temporarily found himself off the track and it was announced that the stewards would investigate the incident after the race. It has not yet been reported whether or not they will take any further action with the pair.
Aside from Sutil, the other 21 drivers in the field crossed the finish line at the end of the race. Not everyone managed to grab a top 10 point scoring position though and had to battle over 11th to 21st place. The likes of Vergne, Gutierrez and Maldonado were joined by Massa, Sutil's team mate Paul Di Resta and Grosjean's temporary team mate, Heikki Kovalainen. Kovalainen's return to racing in the sport for the first time since last year, when he represented Caterham, ended with mixed results across the weekend. The Finnish driver qualified in eighth place, but finished outside of the top 10 today and reportedly had a KERS problem and damage to the front wing on his car in the race.
Following the chequered flag, Vettel has made record braking history by securing his eighth consecutive race victory in a season. Vettel still seems to be on a charge in his Red Bull as his fourth Championship winning year will come to a close at the Brazilian Grand Prix season finale next weekend.
It remains to be seen how the rest of the drivers will line up in the Drivers’ Championship and respective Constructors’ one from second place onwards. However, it is certain that Vettel appears to be making the most of the opportunities for him to get a few more race victories under his belt.