Team-Mate Wars: USGP

Tuesday 20-November-2012 23:21

Because in F1 the first person you have to beat is your team-mate...

Red Bull Racing
Race: Vettel
Season: Sebastian Vettel 15 - Mark Webber 4
Vettel was supreme in practice but had to put everything together for his pole lap, because if he hadn't gone faster, Lewis Hamilton would have been sitting in his place. As it was Hamilton took the victory and almost took the fastest lap, going fastest on Lap 55 of 56. Seb dropped back a little in the last two laps almost like he was preparing his tyres for a final lap banzai in which he could claim it. Which he did. Mark was as close as he could have been till his alternator decided that it has had enough.

Race: Hamilton
Season: Jenson Button 5 - Lewis Hamilton 14
What are they going to do next year? The team-mate advantage that Hamilton has built up this season is proof enough that he brings performance to the car that Button just doesn't have. Lewis may not be the easiest person to have around (as his 2012 tweeting exploits have demonsrated), but an F1 team exists to win, not to help old ladies across the road. Even before Jenson's throttle gave up on him Lewis had proven he was significantly quicker.

Race: Schumacher
Season: Michael Schumacher 9 - Nico Rosberg 10
Mercedes' comparison of the (four months) old car versus the new car proved that whichever they chose, neither could get into the points. Michael did a fantastic job in qualifying, but the minute he had to drive laps with that nice DRS flap closed for much of it, the car was exhausted. Not too exhausted that he couldn't have a go at swiping Jenson Button off track (notice Jenson waited till he was past the end of the pitwall before he made his move) but the distance Michael had to go across track to make his block made it extra embarrassing. It was one of the most ludicrously exaggerated blocking moves you could ever see, like a bit of pantomime F1. If that had been two laps before the end and Michael was clinging on to a comeback win then you might have expected it, but he was already heading for a two-stopper. Maybe he did it just because he could. He's only got one more race left.

Race: Massa
Season: Fernando Alonso 17 - Felipe Massa 2
Massa was faster than Alonso in qualifying and consistently faster in the race. If that's the kind of motivation he gets from Ferrari breaking the seal on his gearbox, they maybe ought to think about doing it every race.

Race: Raikkonen
Season: Kimi Raikkonen 16 - Romain Grosjean 3
Grosjean qualified higher than Raikkonen, but had to take a gearbox penalty. However, a rude opening lap barge from Hulkenberg on Raikkonen put Grosjean right back in there and he was doing well... until he spun. And he was the only top runner to spin. Raikkonen got his own back on Hulkenberg but it's a sad day for F1 when you can't have him a) moaning at his engineer or b) being disappointed about something.

Force India
Race: Hulkenberg
Season: Paul DiResta 9 - Nico Hulkenberg 10
Hulkenberg had the great qualifying and DiResta had the great start, but just like Mercedes they've been starting well and falling away. Although Nico has only just nudged ahead of Paul, the parity is flattering to DiResta.

Race: Perez
Season: Kamui Kobayashi 6 - Sergio Perez 13
Sauber didn't have the qualifying pace but Sergio got a great start which he couldn't hold onto. Kobayashi had an anonymous time of it at his penultimate GP>

Race: Maldonado
Season: Maldonado 9 - Senna 10
As has happened a couple of times already this year, the Williams boys were going at it wheel to wheel, sometimes wheel between wheel. But it was Maldo who finally won out. Senna's certainly looking a bit sparkier, and considering he misses out on Friday running, he's hanging in there.

Toro Rosso
Race: Ricciardo
Season: Daniel Ricciardo 11 - Jean-Eric Vergne 8
Daniel Ricciardo may have lost out in qualifying but he was a contender in the race, especially when he got past Raikkonen after the Finn's pit-stop. JEV was nowhere near P.18 going into the last four minutes of Q1, which was a surprise to everybody.

Race: Petrov
Season: Vitaly Petrov 9 - Heikki Kovalainen 10
Petrov edged out a harassed Kovalainen who was blocked in Q1, but couldn't get past Vitaly in the race.

Race: Glock
Season: Timo Glock 12 - Charles Pic 7
A fantastic performance from KERS-less Marussia to beat both Caterhams in qualifying.

Race: de la Rosa
Season: Narain Karthikeyan 3 - Pedro de la Rosa 15
Narain continued his run of grands prix where he was unlucky to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Last time out he launched Rosberg into the end-of-season highlights package, this time out he slowed Vettel before the high-speed sweeps which allowed Hamilton past. If Sebastian loses the drivers' title by less than seven points, then Narain's going to be getting a lot of Christmas cards from Ferrari fans. A trip to the Vatican might not be out of the question

Star of the Race
Hamilton 3, Alonso 2, Button 2, Perez 2, Raikkonen 2, Rosberg 1, Maldonado 1, Webber 1, Grosjean 1, DiResta 1, Kobayashi1, Massa 1, Vettel 1

Overtaking Move of the Race
Raikkonen 3, Senna 3, Grosjean 2, Button 2, , DiResta 1, Hamilton 1, Rosberg 1, Webber 1, Massa 1, Hulkenberg 1, Alonso 1, DNQ 1

Dull vs Exciting GPs
Exciting 15 - Dull 4

Sat on the Naughty StepGrosjean 6, Maldonado 3, Schumacher 3, Kobayashi 2, Vettel 2, Rosberg 1, Hamilton 1,


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