• United States Grand Prix

Vettel makes it eight in a row in Austin

ESPN Staff
November 17, 2013
© Associated Press

Sebastian Vettel took his eighth consecutive victory in comfortable style at the United States Grand Prix.

Having defended well from pole position, Vettel was never realistically threatened and eventually won by 6.2 seconds. It wasn't quite the dominant performance of Abu Dhabi or Singapore, however, as Romain Grosjean jumped to second at the start of the race and then closed on Vettel towards the end of each stint.

Mark Webber came home third after having to recover a place from Lewis Hamilton early on, but he was unable to find a way past Grosjean despite numerous attempts at backing off and then attacking the Lotus.

Lewis Hamilton held on to fourth place despite briefly coming under threat from Fernando Alonso. Alonso himself had to hold off Nico Hulkenberg in the closing laps but was able to limit the points loss to Mercedes in the constructors' championship as Nico Rosberg came home ninth.

Sergio Perez was seventh in his penultimate race for McLaren, finishing ahead of the impressive Valtteri Bottas who scored the first points of his career to brighten what has been a dismal season for Williams thus far.

At the start of the race, Vettel defended from Grosjean in to Turn 1 as both the Lotus and Hamilton went round the outside of Webber. The safety car was deployed before the end of the lap though, as Adrian Sutil speared sideways into the barriers having been tagged by Pastor Maldonado.

On the restart Vettel led away and built a comfortable gap, while Hamilton's tyres went off more quickly than those around him and Webber pounced under braking around the outside in to Turn 12 to take third place.

With one-stop strategies the main order of the race, there was little in the way of action early on. In the second stints, Alonso found his way past Hulkenberg out of Turn 1 and set off after Hamilton, but the Mercedes had enough pace in hand to keep the Ferrari at bay.

Bottas came under threat from Rosberg but was able to pull away in the closing laps - his cause helped by a brave move around the outside of Esteban Gutierrez at Turn 2 earlier in the race. Gutierrez eventually dropped to 13th after a spin on the final lap following contact with Jean-Eric Vergne. Vergne was later handed a retrospective drive-through penalty for the incident - a time penalty of 20 seconds - which dropped him to 16th.

Jenson Button snatched the final point from Daniel Ricciardo late on, but Felipe Massa failed to make much progress as he two-stopped his way to 12th place. Heikki Kovalainen also had a disappointing debut for Lotus, dropping from eighth on the grid to 14th place having had to stop twice as well.

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