Formula One Circuit of the Americas (USA) | Review
During the break between the Grand Prix from Abu Dhabi and this one, a lot has happened on the driver market. Where Raikkonnen cleared the air between him and his team. He has now facing with a operation. Which appearently can't wait anymore. And he more or less wants it out of the way, because otherwise it could mess up his drive at Ferrari. So a lot of speculation went on. Will Hulkenberg take over so he can stay at the same time. Or will someone else take over. In the end it became Heikki (test driver at Catherham till that point). So they don't even choose for Valsecchi or D'Ambrosio but for someone with more experience (They even asked Michael but he turned it down). That must hurt for sure. But it's also understandable from a team perspective, because now a days a 3rd driver means less run-time. This is even more so the case in the top teams. Because they won't run 3rd drivers on a Friday. They should make that a rule, they make plenty of rules, and most of the time odd one's. So make this a rule then... Every team needs to run with a 3rd driver on a friday instead of the 2 regular drivers. Mr. Ecclestone call me, if you agree... ;) Then Massa is announced to be the 2014 driver at Williams next to Bottas. Which means Maldonado must leave the team. Somehow that makes him happy I guess. So no hard feelings there. So now Hulkenberg and Maldonado are on the market for next year. But so is Perez as well. Because McLaren decided to drop Perez in favor for there young driver program hype: Magnussen. But with Force India not locked yet, Sauber still with one spot open, Marussia with also one spot left. And even Caterham not sure yet on both places. And Lotus with one spot open it is still very unclear who drives where next year.
Then the qually. Pastor got unlucky because of Esteban who hold him up. And Sutil was one of the early birds as well. Q2 was a real odd one: Massa, Rosberg, Button and Ricciardo were out already in Q2. Many of them had an odd strategic plan. Q1 then: Esteban in P10, Bottas on P9 which left Pastor thinking there was tempered with his car. Heikki on P8, which is good for a stand-in. Sergio on P7, Fernando on P6 (solid performance). Hulkenberg on P4 once more, he is doing a really great job. And Grosjean behind the two Red Bull's on P3. There were some penalty's tough: Esteban for holding up Pastor, 10 places back. Pic for a change on the car. Button for overtaking under Red during training.
Then the race. Quiete solid with so now and then a point of interest. Some of the points: Heikki who dropped back and had many issues on his car, which dropped him back to finish in 14th place. Pastor couldn't do much so he remained in the back. Sutil spinned out, by what seems to be an anger-driven Pastor. Which didn't result in a penalty weird enough. Esteban with a kind off solid performance, ending up in P13. Felipe Massa couldn't do much and sticked around his starting slot: P12. The same goes for Ricciardo and Button. The latter one took 1 point because he ended up in 10th. Nico did good, with ending up in P9. Bottas did well, ending up in P8. He really diserves his spot at Williams. And the american continent seems to be a good place for Williams. Hulkenberg unfortantly not on the podium which was close, but in P6 he still can be proud. Lewis on place four and Grosjean on the 2nd step on the podium which could have been 3rd if Mark had a couple of more laps in the end.
Overall this wasn't the Grand Prix of America we've seen last year... So next weekend is the last race of the season: Brazil. Hopefully more drivers will be sure of there seat during that weekend. That seems to give a certain amount of rest before going into hibernation during the winter stop.