F1 Grand Prix of USA - Practice

Here’s the USA Grand Prix qualifying in brief:

Q1:  Caterham and Marussia are joined by Pastor Maldonado and Adrian Sutil.  Sutil had a car issue and had to pull out, Maldonado just didn’t have the pace and seemed to blame the team for giving him an inferior car.  His team mate was fastest in Q1.

Q2: Button complained about understeer and oversteer, failed to make it through to Q1 whereas his sacked team mate, Perez sailed through.  The Toro Rosso duo failed to make it through, as did Massa who couldn’t put in a magic lap a la Alonso who nailed it and go through to Q3 in a under-performing Ferrari.

Rosberg also had a rubbish session and couldn’t get it together, bailing out in Q2 – not helped by the unexpected but brilliant performance of Valtteri Bottas in his Williams who maintained his Q1 pace into Q2.  Lotus’ last minute Finnish driver swap out worked well – Heikki Kovalainen joined Grosjean, heading through to Q3.

Q3: The Sebastian Vettel demonstration session was temporarily interrupted by Mark Webber who looked to have one over his four-times-a-champion team mate.  But no, Vettel came back with a last minute incredible lap to make it another pole of his career.

The Red Bull duo were nearly a whole second faster than everyone else, with Romain Grosjean claiming P3, ahead of Hulkenberg, Hamilton and Alonso.  Heikki Kovalainen’s return has been impressive, he nailed 8th position in the end, just ahead of Bottas in 9th.

The starting grid for tomorrow is below – Jenson Button has a 3 place penalty and Pic a 5 place penalty.  There may be other changes once the stewards have met…

1Sebastian VettelRed Bull/Renault1'36.338-
2Mark WebberRed Bull/Renault1'36.4410.103
3Romain GrosjeanLotus/Renault1'37.1550.817
4Nico HulkenbergSauber/Ferrari1'37.2960.958
5Lewis HamiltonMercedes1'37.3451.007
6Fernando AlonsoFerrari1'37.3761.038
7Sergio PerezMcLaren/Mercedes1'37.4521.114
9Valtteri BottasWilliams/Renault1'37.8361.498
11Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso/Ferrari1'38.1311.793
12Paul Di RestaForce India/Mercedes1'38.1391.801
13Nico RosbergMercedes1'38.3642.026
14Felipe MassaFerrari1'38.5922.254
15Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso/Ferrari1'38.6962.358
16Jenson ButtonMcLaren/Mercedes1'38.2171.879
17Adrian SutilForce India/Mercedes1'39.2502.912
18Pastor MaldonadoWilliams/Renault1'39.3513.013
19G.van der GardeCaterham/Renault1'40.4914.153
20Jules BianchiMarussia/Cosworth1'40.5284.19
21Max ChiltonMarussia/Cosworth1'41.4015.063
22Charles PicCaterham/Renault1'40.5964.258