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Kit Bag

5 takeaways from the United States Grand Prix

The National staff   |  November 19, 2013

Sebastian Vettel broke another record on Sunday as he dominated the United States Grand Prix, making it eight straight victories – the most consecutive wins ever in a Formula One season.

Our own Graham Caygill breaks down five other points to take away from the penultimate race of the F1 season.

Costly starts

Once again Mark Webber left himself with too much to do after a poor getaway. As at the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this month, the Red Bull Racing driver lost two places off the start, dropping to fourth from second. Though he passed Lewis Hamilton, he could do nothing about Romain Grosjean’s Lotus and had to settle for third place.

Best of the rest

Grosjean was outstanding on Sunday. To keep one Red Bull behind him was impressive, and to keep serial winner Sebastian Vettel under sufficient pressure that his engineer was concerned about tyre wear issues was fine work. It is not winning, but under the circumstances, a competitive second is the next best thing.

Still motivated

Fernando Alonso ensured he will finish the season as runner-up for the third time in four years with his fifth-place finish. The double world champion could be forgiven for cruising, with world title aspirations long since lost, but he charged up from eighth and drove superbly on the final lap to hold off the fast-charging Nico Hulkenberg and keep the German behind him.

Good timing

Sergio Perez needed a good weekend in Austin, Texas, after being told he was being dropped by McLaren-Mercedes at the end of the season. He did what he had to as he drove a clean race to finish seventh, but more importantly he outpaced teammate Jenson Button in both qualifying and the race in a demonstration to other teams of what he is capable of.

Rough weekend

Pastor Maldonado did not cover himself in glory at the Circuit of Americas. Having accused his Williams team of sabotaging his car after he had qualified 18th, he was accused of being on a “different planet” by Adrian Sutil after he clipped the Force India driver’s car on the first lap and spun it into the wall. The Venezuelan finished a lap down in 17th.