Arena 2012 United States Grand Prix - Circuit of the Americas, Austin TX

Discussion in 'Community' started by Ender Sai, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    After a leave of absense, the premier motorsport returns to the United States for a 56 lap battle around this brand new track in Texas.

    Here's a map of the circuit: [IMG]

    (Larger version: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/55/Austin_Formula_One_circuit.svg)

    Turns 3 through 10 represent several quick changes of direction which can catch a driver out if they're not exactly on line (modeled on the Maggots-Becketts-Chapel section of UK circuit Silverstone) followed by a quick run down to a hairpin at turn 11 then a length back straight, followed again by some faster corners before returning the pit straight.

    The race is crucial in that it could crown German driver Sebastian Vettel of team Red Bull Racing as the 2012 World Driver's Champion - his third such crowning in a row.

    Here's his pole-position setting lap:



    The top 10 on the grid for the race is as follows:

    Pos.No.DriverConstructorPart 1Part 2Part 3Grid
    1 1 [IMG] Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:36.558 1:35.796 1:35.657 1
    2 4 [IMG] Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:37.058 1:36.795 1:35.766 2
    3 2 [IMG] Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:37.215 1:36.298 1:36.174 3
    4 10 [IMG] Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:37.486 1:36.906 1:36.587 91
    5 9 [IMG] Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:38.051 1:37.404 1:36.708 4
    6 7 [IMG] Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:37.927 1:37.102 1:36.794 5
    7 6 [IMG] Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:37.667 1:36.549 1:36.937 6
    8 12 [IMG] Nico Hülkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:37.756 1:37.066 1:37.141 7
    9 5 [IMG] Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:37.968 1:37.123 1:37.300 8
    10 18 [IMG] Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:37.537 1:37.011 1:37.842 10

    Drivers on the odd side of the grid are advantaged by being on what's termed the "clean" side of the grid - the other side is where bits of rubber from tyres lie scattered about in what's known as "marbles". It affects traction of the line.

    Given this is a big new circuit and there's a push for Formula 1 to get some traction in the land of NASCAR and oval racing, who would be watching this out of curiosity? Who wants to know anything about the sport before they tune in? Who is instantly suspicious the second there's turns to both the left AND right? :p
  2. Violent Violet Menace Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2004
    star 4
    What I want to know is how Renault allowed the Red Bull team to be sponsored by Infiniti.
    Last edited by Violent Violet Menace, Nov 17, 2012
  3. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    From the press release:

    Leveraging the co-operative power of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, a unique relationship has been created with Red Bull Racing, focused on high-profile marketing and F1 technical activities.
    As part of the agreement, Infiniti will have high-profile branding on the car, drivers’ clothing and team kit and equipment. Infiniti will also work with Renault to forge future technical collaboration with us. The team will continue to use Renault F1 engines in 2011 and 2012.

    http://www.redbullracing.com/cs/Sat...Joins-Red-Bull-Racing-Renault-021242967702853
  4. DarthLowBudget Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 5
    You know, not all of us Americans are rubes when it comes to motorsport...:p
  5. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    Not suggesting you are. In fact, you have had some fantastic champions in Formula 1.

    This is a significant attempt by the FIA to get Formula 1 on American's radar, which it hasn't been in some time (to be fair, your last driver was Scott Speed, who had none. Though Alexander Rossi is promising).
  6. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    The Iceman. The last man on the moon. The maker.


    Seconds until lights out - come on Red Bull, 2012 Drivers and Constructor's Champions![IMG]
    Juliet316 likes this.
  7. yankee8255 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    That would be me. But I live deep in the heart of Red Bull territory.

    Hamilton just passed Vettel, looks like we'll be heading into the final race with a difference of 15 points or so between 1 & 2 in the driver's championship.
  8. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    The Texas GP delivered, and in droves.

    It's a pity Mark Webber was forced to retire with an alternator failure, but at least RBR stitched up the Constructor's championship. Has there been a less lucky driver than Webbsy?

    To their credit, several drivers drove cracking races today including Hamilton for the win (and as much as I despise him, Hamilton kept the championship open); Alonso; Massa, and Button notably.

    The crowds also looked packed out with a lot of enthusiastic fans which was great to see; plus the usual celebrity crowd (George Lucas is a known racing fan; Ron Howard, whose next film Rush charts the Hunt v Lauda championship, was also in attendance). All in all a successful first GP for Austin.
  9. Danzo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 20, 2012
    star 1
    A very good race that I enjoyed from start to finish. I have to say though I will be bitterly disappointed if Vettel doesn't win this championship. As a Brit I would have loved to have seen one of mine take it but between Alonso and Vettel I would have always pushed for Vettel. Even if I look at it without bias he really deserves it more. He's worked hard to get his lead and whilst Alonso has certainly put effort in he's still pushing the boundaries in terms of sportsmanship with the incident today with Massa being a great example. It might not be against the regulations but to see one driver pushed aside so that another can gain a place and a better spot for the start just isn't right.
  10. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    However Ferrari have never, ever been a two man team and since the MSC days, they'll happily shaft the 2nd driver to benefit the first. Massa though knew that 2nd place in Constructors was theirs but Fernando still had a shot at WDC (and still does). I'm torn on it, to be honest.
  11. Condition2SQ Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 5, 2012
    star 4
    I'm very happy to say that the reason I didn't participate in this thread during the race was because, well, I was at the race! The circuit is absolutely incredible. This was my third F1 race after Nurburgring and Montreal, and while all three circuits I've been to have their advantages and drawbacks, overall, this is the best of the three. The sightlines are absolutely unbelievable, mostly due to the sweeping elevation changes. Our bleacher was outside of turn 9 and you could see literally everything from turn 8 to turn 12 at the end of the long straight. But to be honest, next year I probably won't even bother with a bleacher ticket because the general admission lawns are just as damn good. And the main grandstand is absolutely gorgeous. As for the city, they did a great job, and the FanFest downtown on Saturday and Sunday night was an absolute blast, with an extremely diverse crowd. I was very surprised by the turnout. I expected most of the race goers to be curious folks wanting to see what all the fuss was about, but instead, it was comprised seemingly entire of bona fide F1 fans, wearing tons of gear and international garb who were extremely knowledgeable about the sport. The airport after the race was a veritable Formula 1 fan convention. My two big regrets about the weekend are.

    1. My friend and I missed Will Buxton's karaoke benefit at a downtown pub by about ten minutes.

    2. My friend espied Jenson Button's father and trainer walking just in front of us downtown on Saturday night, but he didn't tell me this until a few minutes afterward. I asked him why the hell he didn't say anything, and he said he would have felt awkward. Damn! I would have loved to have gotten a picture with him.

    Also, Schumacher's race performance was just wretched. Apparently he liked Texas so much though he bought a 500 acre ranch. Nice!

    Overall, it was an absolutely incredible weekend that completely lived up to and perhaps exceeded my hopes and expectations, and after watching the race on DVR last night after getting home, I'm even more enthusiastic. What a great circuit and race!

    Deluge of photos to come later!
    Last edited by Condition2SQ, Nov 19, 2012
  12. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    Yeah I've driven this on F1 2012 and I love the circuit. It defied expectations and I have to say, so did the crowd. I think we, the F1 fans, expected an indifferent reaction from the US because of the success of oval racing. So, so very wrong. The US got bored of F1 when Schumacher and Ferrari made it boring and the track, though steeped in history, wasn't very good (Indianapolis). Couple with the debacle of the 2005 race... you can forgive fans for getting over it.

    But, COTA? Amazing track. So many overtaking opportunities. Surprising speed through the esses after turn 1 - how closely you could follow another car through there! - everything...

    I might rewatch this race. Even though my favourite driver DNF'd, the top 6 all had a cracker of a race. JB, from his first lap, did wonders to finish 5th. Lewis, to win - the same. Massa - bless that boy, for he took a hit for the team and bounced back to a 4th place finish. Alonso - made it count on the first lap and kept his title hope alive.

    I don't know if it's the best race of the season, but it's top 3.
  13. Condition2SQ Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 5, 2012
    star 4
    The Indianapolis track was wretched, and had no character at all because it was in such a nondescript setting--the middle of a giant bowl. Yes, that bowl is steeped in history, but that actually compounded the problem; F1 wasn't top dog, there.

    This circuit is fantastic and has loads of character--the dramatic elevation changes(you really can't appreciate how drastically steep the first hill is without seeing it in person), the turns--3-4-5 S(watching the cars negotiate this from directly behind, by the way, is incredible. The downforce is just mind-blowing), and the tower that was affectionately dubbed by some over the weekend as "the mullet tower". I read in the race program that some other circuits are now even requesting that a similar tower be added to their tracks.

    Ender, were you able to find anywhere that explained Vettel's comment after Lewis overtook him? The US announcers seemed to think he was lashing out in frustration about how easy it was for Lewis to overtake him there, thanks to the DRS, but they were just speculating, and never followed up on it. I don't see anything in the German press about it, either.

    Speaking of the US announcers, I only first found out a few weeks ago that they're actually not even at the race. They're just sitting in a room in Charlotte watching the video. Bizarre.
    Last edited by Condition2SQ, Nov 19, 2012
  14. yankee8255 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    That a big key if you want to win over American audiences. You're not going to get anyone other than most dedicated motor sport fans to tune in if races are decided by who gets off to the better start and pit strategies.

    At least they didn't tell Massa to intentionally crash into a wall. Honestly, I find the team orders to Barrichello in Austria far worse than this, it actually worked soemhwhat to Massa's advanatge as well, sincce got to start from the better side of the track.

    The one thing I found in German media was that RB (especially Helmut Marko) are complaining quite vociferously about Karthikeyan not letting Vettel by, which allowed Hamilton to get close enough that he could usehis advantge with the DRS to pass.

    One question, though: the report I read made it sound as if Vettel would have wrapped up the Driver's title if he had won in Austin. By my math, his lead would only have been 20 pts over Alsonso, so that Alonso would still have had a mathematical chance. Am I missing something?
  15. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    One thing I'd recommend you subscribe to is the BBC FiveLive Checkered Flag podcast. The 2011 podcasts were better because they had David Croft on them (if you don't get the Sky commentary now, you miss out for Crofty is a legend) but these are still fantastic post-race debriefs.

    In the USGP one, Seb confirmed that in effect, because of when he caught Karthikeyan he was slowed down which let Lewis close down the gap. Autosport ran this story: http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/104369

    There might be some merit to it, though I suspect it's just Seb's way of dealing with the pressure. After the overtake, Seb was glued to the McLaren. But, who knows.

    Yankee - truth re: overtaking.
  16. AaylaSecurOWNED Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2005
    star 6
    The tickets were WAY too expensive for any Austinites who were merely "curious" and didn't know anything about F1. Most (including me) still equated F1 with Nascar and rednecks until last week when we heard about the private jet parking the airport filling up, etc. I had a moment when I googled one of the guys they put on ads on the buses (Jensen Button) and his Wiki article said that he lives in Monaco "like most F1 drivers." So, not the Nascar crowd then.
  17. yankee8255 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    Vettel has also been playing down the entire thing, it's really Marko who's making a big deal of it.

    On the impact of the points difference, Vettlel has to finish fourth to guarantee winning the championship; had he won in Austin, 8th woud have been enough. Thing is, though, how likely is it that he'll finish the race but be worse than 4th given how strong his car is? His big concern is not finishing, especially given the mysterious alternator problems they've been having. Should be interesting to see what kind of strategy they go with, given how strong the RB car has been the past races, I'd try to take advantage, win the pole and keep Alonso chasing me as much as possible. I never like it when teams go conservative, Hamilton almost threw away his championship that way, and Alonso did two years ago.
  18. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    No, but then again, NASCAR is home to Chevrolet. Marques like Ferrari, Mercedes and McLaren (maker of the MP4-12C which has a US RRP of $229,000) dominate F1. It's a different form of racing, and a different breed of driver.

    If you want to get an insight Dani, maybe check out the documentary about Ayrton Senna called, strangely enough, "Senna". Stephen Fry commended it as an amazing film even for people who know nothing about F1, like himself.
    Last edited by Ender_Sai, Nov 20, 2012
  19. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    But also, Dani - the live experience of these races is hard to beat. The sound is larger then life, especially if you're nest a braking zone and you get the tearing, gurgling sound of the engine sucking in all that air. It's very different to NASCAR on many levels but I''ve felt seeing it live was unrewarding or indistinguishable from watching it on TV.
  20. Condition2SQ Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 5, 2012
    star 4
    What a season finale! Possibly the race of the year. Congratulations to Seb!

    The time has come to bid adieu to my Schumacher avatar. If you had told me before his comeback that he wouldn't even add a 92nd win, I never would have believed you, but alas. I'm left to wonder how the aborted comeback with Ferrari in 2009 would have gone had he not had his neck injury.
  21. yankee8255 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    Great job by Vettel to keep his head and get back up front after that spin.

    Meanwhile, Ferrari has gone in to non-stop whine mode, first unsuccessfully protesting Vettel allegedly passing during a yellow flag (they had already protested during the race and the stewards rejected it)., now they're moaning about Schumacher letting Vettel go by unchallenged, appatrently unable to do the math (7th instead of 6th would havemeant 2 pts less for Vettel, his final lead in the drivers championship was 3 pts). Apparently they expected him to do a "reverse-Barrichello" and slam him off the track.
  22. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    Depends how much of that you believe. As a general rule, I would advise you get your news from either autosport.com or the excellent Joe Saward blow; joesaward.wordpress.com. Sites like Planet F1 etc don't have anyone in the paddock so they report news 2nd hand with a lot of spin or opinion thrown in. Joe is a long standing, respected journalist who has written an excellent book about Grands Prix drivers who were also British spies in WWII. He's also attended every race since 1988 or something.

    In updated news; Rolex is now the official timer of the F1 2013 season. I'd have preferred Omega as an Omega wearer, but this is still great news!