Hamilton wins the US GP

18 Nov, 2012 10:09pm

Lewis Hamilton has won the US Grand Prix, followed by Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso

Lewis Hamilton is celebrating his fourth victory of the season, with a win in the inaugural United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas.

Pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel was first into turn one, ahead of Mark Webber, Hamilton and Fernando Alonso. The Ferrari driver made a superb start from seventh on the grid, following his team's decision to give Felipe Massa a deliberate five-place penalty in order to promote Alonso onto the cleaner, right side of the grid.

All 24 cars made it through the first lap, though. The only incident involved Nico Hulkenberg and Kimi Raikkonen, who touched at the start, forcing the Lotus driver to run wide.

Meanwhile, Vettel was extending a lead at the front, while Webber and Hamilton battled for second place. The McLaren driver made his first attempt on lap two but ran wide, allowing Webber to retake the position. He finally made it stick with help from his DRS on lap four, before setting his sights on Vettel. By lap 15 of 56, the gap was down to just a second.

Romain Grosjean - who spun on lap seven and almost ended up in the gravel - was one of the first to pit for new tyres. He set a series of fastest laps, which encouraged Hamilton and Alonso to also swap for a set of hard tyres.

The stop allowed Vettel to extend the gap to three seconds, but Hamilton quickly closed it again. He spent a few laps within a second of Vettel but couldn't make it past until lap 42, after Vettel had been held up by the slow-running HRT of Narain Karthikeyan.

The McLaren driver crossed the finish line six-tenths of a second ahead of Vettel, who set a new fastest time on the final lap of the race.

Alonso inherited third place when an alternator problem forced Webber to pull to a stop at the side of the track on lap 17. Massa managed to hold off Button to finish fourth - the latter had started from 12th on the grid but finished fifth thanks to a long first stint on his hard tyres and a couple of good overtakes.

Raikkonen and Grosjean finished sixth an seventh respectively or Lotus, followed by Hulkenberg in eighth.

Pastor Maldonado and Bruno Senna took the final few points for Williams, despite almost coming together on lap 53 while battling for position.

The only other retirement was Jean-Eric Vergne, who beached his Toro Rosso in the gravel on lap 16 with mechanical problems.

Check out our gallery from the Circuit of the Americas, ahead of the final race in Brazil this weekend.

The result in the US means that Red Bull have won the constructors' championship for the third season in a row. Sebastian Vettel still leads the drivers' championship with 273 points, while Alonso and Raikkonen are second and third respectively, with 260 and 206 points.

2012 United States Grand Prix results

Position Driver Team
1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari
4 Felipe Massa Ferrari
5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes
6 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault
7 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault
8 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes
9 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault
10 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault
11 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari
12 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari
13 Nico Rosberg Mercedes
14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari
15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes
16 Michael Schumacher Mercedes
17 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault
18 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault
19 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth
20 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth
21 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth
22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth
Not classified Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault
Not classified Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari