United States GP as it happened

Text and video highlights of the United States GP from the Circuit of the Americas, where Red Bull win the constructors' title.

18 November 2012 Last updated at 22:14

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As it happened

  1. 2210: 

    I'm going to take my leave and grab some late dinner before watching the highlights on BBC One at 2225. Thanks for your company and contributions and I'll see you back here in just five days' time for Brazilian Grand Prix first practice at 1130 GMT. Until then, it's goodnight for me. Night, night.

  2. 2206: 

    We've got a title decider on our hands and you'll be able to see every piece of track action live on the BBC. Yep, we'll have coverage of the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos on BBC One, BBC Radio 5 live and of course this very website.

  3. 2203: 

    An awesome race topped off what has been a tremendous weekend for Formula 1 in the United States. The pressure was on for the sport to succeed in a country it has struggled to gain a foothold in, but the early signs are very good. The track looks awesome and provides great racing, the fans turned up in their thousands and seemed to enjoy themselves and the drivers and teams gave it a big thumbs up.

  4. 2200: 

    I have to say, that was one of my favourite races of the season. Rarely do we see two champions battle it out for the lead in such tense fashion. Further back, there were supreme performances from Kimi Raikkonen, Jenson Button and Felipe Massa who showed the rest how to overtake without taking chunks out of your rivals. This was Formula 1 at its best.

  5. 2156: 

    Alonso's team-mate Felipe Massa was happy with his race, despite having to drop five places on the grid. "I think it was maybe the best race of the season," he said. "For me, it was like a victory. For sure I was not happy this morning but we know how important it was. We know it's not easy to find another driver who would do that."

  6. 2152: 

    Looking ahead to Brazil, where rain is forecast, Alonso was hopeful but admitted winning the title will be difficult. "With a normal race in dry conditions, I think Red Bull will be 1-2 and us sixth and seventh, but in a wet race, anything can happen. We saw today Webber retired. Sometimes it's the alternator, Kers, brakes or water. It always happens on that car. Maybe in Brazil those problems will change [to the other] car."

  7. 2147: 

    Spaniard Alonso had high praise for his team-mate Felipe Massa, too. "Felipe was fantastic all weekend. He was very fast in FP3. He was faster than me in Q1, Q2, Q3. We need this form from Felipe in Sao Paulo. Red Bull will be strong and we need our team to be united."

  8. 2144: 

    Alonso has been talking in the TV pen after the race and has praised the decision of the team which saw him promoted to seventh as team-mate Massa took a penalty. "It was a choice decision from the team," said Alonso. "We [were going to] start sixth and eighth. We were worried to arrive ninth and 10th into the first corner. I'm proud of this decision, I'm proud of team for saying the truth [behind the decision]."

  9. 2140: 

    There's a nice touch from Fernando Alonso who is jogging through the paddock, but stops and takes the time to shake Red Bull designer chief Adrian Newey's hand, before continuing on his way. Respect.

  10. 2136: 

    Here's Andrew Benson's race report which rounds everything up nicely, but don't forget you can watch two hours of highlights on BBC One at 2225 GMT. We'll also have a shorter highlights package on the website at that time along with all the reaction and analysis you could hope for.


    Caterham on Twitter: "Now it's time to pack up and head south for the final race of the season in Brazil. We should be done and dusted on track by midnight [local time]..."

  12. 2131: 

    Here's how Sebastian Vettel saw the overtaking move. "I wasn't too happy to send a nice big invitation to Lewis when I had to go through [Narain] Karthikeyan. He was right behind in the DRS zone. He took that opportunity, fair enough, down the straight and he passed me. I tried to defend but I knew he would have so much more speed. I was obviously not too happy. Lewis had one chance and he took it after that I tried to stay with him but there wasn't much between us."

  13. 2126: 

    Overtaking Vettel wasn't easy, with Hamilton hustling the championship leader for several laps before making it stick. "It was actually quite tricky," said Hamilton. "When I finally got close to him, I seemed to be catching him in the first sector, the backmarkers came into play, finally. How many times has it happened to me when I got caught out? [by backmarkers]. It worked out and I knew that was going to be the lap. I turned the engine up to maximise the revs. Went for the inside, but he defended. I went to the outside and he closed the door a bit so I was very lucky."

  14. 2121: 

    Hamilton adds that he actually stroked his car in the last three laps, hoping that no reliability gremlins would strike after. He retired from the lead in Singapore and Abu Dhabi remember.

    "I rubbed the car and said 'Come on baby, we can make it'. To finish on a high is really special [He's leaving McLaren for Mercedes]. Hopefully we can go to Brazil with the same pace. To have a battle with Vettel was really special."

  15. 2115: 

    Lewis Hamilton can't stop smiling saying he "nearly lost his voice" as he was screaming so much on the slow down lap. "I was screaming the whole time. Not cool at all but I'm just so happy. To come back here, after such a long time, and win is something really special."

  16. 2110: 

    Red Bull may have won the constructors' title but the fight for second place is still very much alive. Ferrari hold a 14-point lead over McLaren with 33 remaining.


    Infostrada Sports on Twitter: "Red Bull have won the #F1 constructors title for the third year in a row. Last to do this were Ferrari with 6 consecutive wins 1999-2004."

  18. 2106: 

    Victory for Lewis Hamilton sees him leapfrog Mark Webber into fourth place in the drivers' standings and ends team-mate Jenson Button's hopes of catching him. Third placed Kimi Raikkonen is catchable for Hamilton, 16 points clear with 25 remaining.


    Force India on Twitter: "What a drive by @NicoHulkenberg getting everything from the car & keeping the Williams behind 2 finish P8 in #AustinGP @pauldirestaf1 is P15."


    Stephen James Barton on Twitter: "Fantastic by Lewis! Terrific pass on SV and battled to the end, Roll on Brazil! This one's going right to the death!"

    Travis on Twitter: "Button might have recovered excellently to take fifth and he's impressed me, but Hamilton is a better driver all day long. Sorry."

    alex davenport on Twitter: "Shame on @AussieGrit not finishing again! Come on Red Bull sort Mark's car out and let him do well in Brazil the last race."

  21. 2102: 

    So we have a title decider in Brazil. Better still, rain is forecast for the weekend and we all know how good Ferrari and Fernando Alonso have been in changeable conditions this season.


    Marussia on Twitter: "Cracking race for Timo - P19. Stuck with KOV throughout - another demonstration of how well we continue to fare w'out the advantage of Kers.

    "Charles ends the race P20 & confirms the full extent of the understeer problem he suffered all race after that contact in the first corner."

  23. 2100: 

    So if Fernando Alonso wins the Brazilian Grand Prix and Sebastian Vettel finishes 5th or lower, Alonso will be champion. If Vettel finishes fourth, and Alonso wins, they will be on equal points, but Vettel will win as he would have won more races.

  24. 2058: 

    Sebastian Vettel leads the drivers' championship by 13 points from Fernando Alonso going to Brazil with 25 remaining. Had he won the race, the gap would have been 20 so Lewis Hamilton passing the German for victory in the States could prove to be crucial when it all shakes out at Interlagos.


    Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who finished third: "The circuit is fantastic and the fans were fantastic all weekend. We really enjoyed it and want to say a big thanks to you for coming here - the Americans, Mexicans and South American. Thanks for coming and supporting us. The circuit us amazing, the layout interesting and challenging. We enjoyed the fans and facilities. We hope we put on a good show and that we can enjoy it even more next year."

  26. 2055: 

    It's Fernando Alonso's turn and he's met by chants of "Alonso, Alonso, Alonso." There's a real party atmosphere in Austin.


    Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, who finished second: "As Lewis said, it was incredible. I did my first race, five years ago, in the United States. It's nice to come back for my 100th GP. It's amazing the number of people we have had here all weekend. I'm happy for the team, we won the constructors' championship, so thanks to all of you. Now we have another step to make in Brazil. In terms of the championship, it's looking a bit better after today. It was a tough race. He had one chance and he took it. It was a great race."


    McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, who finished first: "First-time winner! I'm so happy. The fans were amazing, thank you. It was such a warm welcome and one of the best, if not the best, race of the year - especiall for me and the team. It's been a long time since we had a win. I'm so proud of the team and grateful for the support we've had."

  29. 2051: 

    American driver Mario Andretti, the 1978 world champion, is the man in charge of interviewing the top three on the podium. Here's what they have to say...


    Nick Tambram on Twitter: "Nice one gents (HAM/VET/ALO), thanks for bringing the Championship down to the wire."

    jennyroberts on Twitter: "WOOHOO!!!!!!!! Bring out the rocket red shirts boys @LewisHamilton pulled a blinder! If only the car had been that good all yr."

    Abz Junior on Twitter: "Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton drove a superb race deserved the victory, commiserations to Sebastian Vettel. Can't wait for Brazil."

  31. 2050: 

    McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh congratulates Lewis Hamilton and the pair share a touching embrace before having a swig of champagne.


    Infostrada Sports on Twitter: "Lewis Hamilton wins the Grand Prix of the USA. The drivers' title will be decided in the last race for the 27th time on 53 occasions."

  33. 2048: 

    Lewis Hamilton is all smiles as he prepares for the podium and is clearly delighted with the line of grid girls who welcome the top three finishers: "This is the best welcome we've had after a race. I'll have to have a picture with you all!"

  34. 2047: 

    Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton engage in some banter, but Fernando Alonso keeps himself out of it. There are smiles all round, though, when the drivers are handed a cowboy-shaped Pirelli hat for the podium ceremony.

  35. 2046: 

    "Well done Seb, that wasn't your fault," says Red Bull boss Christian Horner.

    BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard

    "It is an incredible season, a remarkable season with six world champions out there. Sometimes when you talk with Lewis outside the car he's thoughtful and careful with what he says. In the car he just delivers, he's very clear in his communication with the team, he isn't just ticking boxes of things he thinks he should say. He was born to be in the car."

  37. 2045: 

    Here's how the rest finished:

    11) Perez 12) Ricciardo 13) Rosberg 14) Kobayashi 15) Di Resta 16) Schumacher 17) Petrov 18) Kovalainen 19) Glock 20) Pic 21) De la Rosa 22) Karthikeyan

  38. 2044: 

    Felipe Massa, Jenson Button, Kimi Raikkonen, Romain Grosjean, Nico Hulkenberg, Pastor Maldonado and Bruno Senna complete the top 10.

  39. 2043: 

    Fernando Alonso finishes a strong third to keep the championship battle alive going to the final race of the season in Brazil next weekend.

  40. 2042: 

    "That was amazing," says Lewis Hamilton. "Thanks guys, we definitely deserved that one."

  41. 2041: 

    Sebastian Vettel finishes second to ensure Red Bull become 2012 constructors champions.

    BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard

    "Alonso's performances this year have been fantastic. He's the ultimate motivator of men, never ever giving up - even when it looked like Ferrari had gone the wrong way with the development of the car."

  43. 2039: 

    It's a supreme performance from Lewis Hamilton who takes his fourth win of the season and 21st of his career. He had to fight for it, but this time the car doesn't let him down. There are fist pumps all round in the McLaren garage. Hamilton's dad Anthony can't stop smiling.



    LAP 56

    Lewis Hamilton begins the final lap of the race with a 1.8 second lead. Just 5.516km to go...

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "Hamilton's car looks pretty good, and he's driving with in it. Sebastian will open his championship lead by three more points and that's what he needs to do. He'll be disappointed he didn't win, but in reality he needs to just bring the car to the flag in good shape. Today has been all about Hamilton."

    LAP 55

    Pastor Maldonado is all over the back of Nico Hulkenberg in the battle for eighth place but Lewis Hamilton has stretched his lead to 1.6 seconds over Sebastian Vettel at the front.

    LAP 54

    Sebastian Vettel sets the fastest lap of the race, reducing the gap to 1.4 seconds to ensure Lewis Hamilton will have to fight all the way to the end. Fernando Alonso is all on his own in third and if positions stay the same, the title battle will go to Brazil.


    Portia Buxton on Twitter: "Has Vettel forgotten Brazil 2008 when he overtook Hamilton and nearly lost Hamilton the Drivers Championship?"

    Steven Broadbent on Twitter: "Hope Mercedes are competitive next season; it will be devastating for Formula 1 if Lewis Hamilton isn't battling for podiums."

    Yash Agarwal on Twitter: "Vettel is more focused on finishing, and taking the car home, rather race on P1 and risking points."

    LAP 53

    All smiles in the McLaren garage, where TV chef Gordon Ramsey is enjoying the action, but it's all getting a bit tasty at Turn One between the two Williams drivers. There's contact as Pastor Maldonado bullies his way past his team-mate Bruno Senna for ninth place.

    LAP 52

    Nice battle for eighth, ninth and 10th between Nico Hulkenberg, Bruno Senna and Pastor Maldonado, but no one has managed to make a pass stick yet.


    Hamilton leads, 1.3secs ahead of Vettel. Alonso up to third from seventh after a blistering start. Button up to fifth. Webber out following suspected alternator failure. Vergne out with suspension damage. 1 Hamilton 2 Vettel 3 Alonso 4 Massa 5 Button 6 Raikkonen 7 Grosjean 8 Hulkenberg 9 Senna 10 Maldonado

    LAP 50

    Jenson Button is closing on Felipe Massa in the battle for fourth place, the gap now down to 5.5 seconds. Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton holds a slender 1.2 second lead over Sebastian Vettel.


    Valentyna on Twitter:‏ "If things stay the same, five years apart Lewis Hamilton will have taken back-to-back victories at the US GP #GoLewis."

    BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard

    "Although Lewis has got pace in the first sector, he's currently losing three tenths in the middle second [sector]. We know Vettel has been very impressive in that sector and he's closed the gap up."


    Marlon Franklin on Twitter: "Let's hope reliability issues don't rob Hamilton of yet another potential victory."

    LAP 49

    Sebastian Vettel has got the gap down to one second which means he'll have DRS available to him. This race is certainly not over yet. Seven laps to go.


    Ferrari on Twitter: "Button passed Kimi and now can be a threat for Felipe, as he has option tyres and fresher than Felipe's."

    LAP 48

    Lewis Hamilton leads Sebastian Vettel by 1.4 seconds, with Fernando Alonso third and Felipe Massa fourth. Jenson Button, Kimi Raikkonen, Romain Grosjean, Nico Hulkenberg, Bruno Senna and Pastor Maldonado complete the top 10.

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Austin

    "Button beautifully passes Raikkonen for fifth, great driving by both, as Alonso from nowhere sets fastest lap. Vettel still pushing Hamilton."


    Guardian chief sports writer Richard Williams on Twitter: "People who don't think Button is a real racing driver should be watching this. Great to watch an F1 driver enjoying himself."

    LAP 47

    Fernando Alonso sets the fastest lap of the race, but he's 30 seconds away from Sebastian Vettel in second with only nine laps left.

    BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard

    "Vettel is not giving up - he's a couple of tenths quicker than Hamilton. I suspect the Red Bull pit crew would take this but there's still time yet."

    LAP 46

    Supreme racing from Jenson Button and Kimi Raikkonen in the battle for fifth. Button gets himself on the outside around Turn 12. They run wheel-to-wheel on the exit but both drivers give each other just enough space and Button takes the position.

    LAP 45

    Sebastian Vettel is not giving this fight up. The Red Bull driver takes a tenth out of Lewis Hamilton to reduce the gap to 1.3.

    LAP 44

    Lewis Hamilton storms clear, now in fresh air, to lead by 1.4 seconds from Sebastian Vettel. Fernando Alonso is third but he's 30 seconds behind his championship rival.

    BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard

    "Sebastian Vettel tried to cut back at Turn 12 but he went so shallow that he hit a kerb. Union Jack flags are flying high here in the United States of America. Hamilton used his DRS, Sebastian went early to try and cover the move, Hamilton had to correct himself but had too much speed and it allowed him to get in the zone."

    LAP 43

    Sebastian Vettel is not a happy man. He gets on the radio to complain about the traffic holding him up. His race engineer replies: "We saw that, but keep your focus on the job in hand." BBC co-commentator David Coulthard agrees with Vettel that it's "unacceptable" for backmarkers to interfere.

    LAP 42

    Sensational stuff from Lewis Hamilton who gets mighty close to Sebastian Vettel after the German gets blocked by traffic. As they enter the long straight, Hamilton tucks in behind Vettel and then uses his DRS to close. Vettel goes defensive, taking the inside line but Hamilton just sweeps to the outside line and is later on the brakes to make the move stick. Awesome.

    LAP 42


    LAP 42

    There's more traffic up ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton. Will that aid the McLaren driver's bid to take the lead?

    LAP 41

    Lewis Hamilton has a think about a move, but he's still not quite close enough down to Turn 12. Sebastian Vettel will certainly know he's there, though. Can the championship leader soak up the pressure?

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Austin

    "Slight error by Raikkonen thru Turn One and Massa goes around the outside of Turn Two and into fourth - his job now to rear gun for Alonso."

    LAP 40

    This race goes from bad to worse for Michael Schumacher who pits from 14th for a second time for a fresh set of boots. That car just hasn't been able to manage its tyres this season, leaving both drivers on the back foot.

    LAP 39

    Felipe Massa puts a brilliant move down the outside of Kimi Raikkonen through Turn Two. Lovely stuff from the Brazilian for fourth place. Next man up the road is Fernando Alonso, 11.9 seconds clear. Doubt he'll have much of a go on him.

    BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard

    "What a great pass from Jenson, exploiting the softer tyre with its great grip. He goes shallow and gets rid of Grosjean as quickly as he possibly can."

    LAP 38

    Another lap goes by and Lewis Hamilton still can't find a way past Sebastian Vettel, but his McLaren team-mate Jenson Button is having better luck. Using his soft tyres to put a late move down the inside of Romain Grosjean at Turn 16 for sixth.


    Adam Ginns on Twitter: "Can we get a little Vettel love please? Not his fault he's in a quick car! People forget how lucky Alonso has been this year too."


    Vettel leads, 1.1secs ahead of Hamilton. Hamilton all over Vettel. Alonso up to third from seventh after a blistering start. If Vettel wins Alonso must finish no lower than fourth to keep the title alive. Button up to seventh. Webber out following suspected alternator failure. Vergne out with suspension damage. 1 Vettel 2 Hamilton 3 Alonso 4 Raikkonen 5 Massa 6 Grosjean 7 Button 8 Hulkenberg 9 Senna 10 Maldonado

    LAP 37

    Sebastian Vettel clocks the fastest lap of the race to increase his lead to 1.1 seconds. Fernando Alonso, meanwhile, is running third. If positions stay like this, Alonso would trail Vettel by 20 points going to Brazil with 25 left on the table.


    Force India on Twitter: "Paul had to pit again. There were flat spots on his tyres and he was struggling. May have spun but didn't see it."

    LAP 36

    Jenson Button pits from third. It's a nice, clean stop from McLaren, but he's overtaken by Kimi Raikkonen, Felipe Massa and Romain Grosjean to slot into seventh.


    Tadhg Reddan on Twitter: "Anyone else wondering if Massa could have been fighting for the lead if he hadn't been demoted 5 places? Could have cost Vettel points."

    Joe warugongo on Twitter: "Rosberg running in p8 and schummi in p16...you wonder who started where...story of the comeback it is...nightmare."

    LAP 35

    Lewis Hamilton is so close to Sebastian Vettel, but not quite close enough at the end of the long straight and Vettel lives to fight another day.

    LAP 34

    McLaren keep reminding Lewis Hamilton of the gap as he continues to close on Sebastian Vettel. He's almost in the DRS zone and could have an opportunity as they fight their way through backmarkers.

    LAP 33

    So Vettel leads from Hamilton, Button, Alonso, Raikkonen, Massa, Grosjean, Rosberg, Hulkenberg and Senna.

    Maldonado, Perez, Ricciardo, Schumacher, Kobayashi, di Resta, Petrov, Kovalainen, Glock, Pic, De la Rosa and Karthikeyan are the rest of the runners.

    LAP 32

    Lewis Hamilton has closed to within 2.1 seconds of leader Sebastian Vettel, but the Red Bull driver was held up by a Marussia as he fights his way through the traffic. Fernando Alonso is third, 9.6 seconds clear of Kimi Raikkonen who is battling to fend of Felipe Massa in the other Ferrari.


    Rt Hon Matt Shelton on Twitter: "If Vettel does win the title, this will not make him one of the greats. He needs to run a title that isn't designed by Adrian Newey."

    Abz Junior on Twitter: "As much as I want Lewis to win the race, I want Alonso to gain as much points as he can to take the title battle to Brazil."

    Tommy 'THJC' Curry on Twitter: "I'm gonna call it now, Jenson to win?!?! He's done a great job so far, and I doubt he will stop now."

    LAP 31

    The gap is back out to 2.5 seconds between Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton with Jenson Button third. Button has yet to pit, though, so he'll need to get on with it to build a gap so he doesn't lose too many places when he pits.

    LAP 30

    Felipe Massa has managed to get his tyres up to temperature is now hustling the Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen in the battle for sixth. A shout out for Daniel Ricciardo who is having a stormer of a race in fifth, though he has yet to pit.

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Austin

    "Bang. Vettel goes nearly a second faster than Hamilton. Looks like he might be playing with him."

    BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard

    "It seems winning in Abu Dhabi has released the old racer in Kimi. We felt he was tentative at a lot of grands prix, but he's just going for it everywhere now. That was a fantastic pass at the blind rise-up apex at Turn One."

    LAP 29

    Romain Grosjean continues his recovery drive, passing Nico Rosberg - who has yet to stop - for eight place. Next up the road is Felipe Massa.


    More from Mark Webber, who has retired for the first time in 59 races: "It's a suspected alternator [problem]. We had low battery pressure. We lost Kers and sync on the gearbox, and ultimately stopped. It makes for some more nerves on other side [of the team] with Seb. We put the best car on the track that we thought would get home, but there's a long way to the finish."

    LAP 28

    Lewis Hamilton is reeling Sebastian Vettel in by a couple of tenths per lap. The McLaren driver is now just 1.5 seconds behind the Red Bull driver. Kimi Raikkonen, who has his tyres up to temperature, puts a fantastic pass on Felipe Massa into the blind apex of Turn One. That's P6 for the Finn.

    LAP 27

    Brilliant stop from Ferrari for Felipe Massa. They service their man and spit him out on track in super quick time. The Brazilian rejoins in front of Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen. Great stuff.


    Sean Barron on Twitter: "Alonso is the best driver in F1 atm, but does that mean he DESERVES to win? Surely it's as much a team sport as an individual one."

    LAP 26

    Interestingly, Red Bull used a new alternator this weekend on both cars. As those who follow F1 regularly will know, the team have struggled with failures of that part this season. Meanwhile, out on track, Kimi Raikkonen loses a place to the Toro Rosso of Daniel Ricciardo.


    Red Bull's Mark Webber: "[The problem was the] alternator I think. We lost Kers power. We had a good start to the race and a good fight with Lewis in the first few laps. Then we had a lot of issues to manage, and stopped in the braking zone in Turn 12."

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "To get the balance and get the front tyres warm is very difficult. They've all got to go through this stage. Once Button is on the softer tyres that will help him go through the race."

    LAP 25

    It's a very slow stop for Kimi Raikkonen who pits from second. It looks like there was a problem with the right rear. He rejoins behind Fernando Alonso in sixth.

    LAP 24

    Kimi Raikkonen has dropped back from Sebastian Vettel into the clutches of Lewis Hamilton. The McLaren driver, who has got his hard tyres up to temperature, wastes little in time in slotting down the inside of the Lotus at Turn 12. Next stop, Vettel.

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Austin

    "Fantastic stop for Vettel, will keep de facto lead from Hamilton, Raikkonen currently second on the road. Alonso struggling to hold off Button, who's on nice warm 'hard' tyres. Button told there is free air ahead of Alonso."

    LAP 23

    Jenson Button is hustling Fernando Alonso who is struggling on the hard tyres. This is bad news for the championship contender. The McLaren driver uses the DRS down the long straight to catapult past the Ferrari driver who does little to defend. That's P5 for Button.

    BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard

    "Blink and you miss it - that Vettel pit stop was incredible."

    LAP 22

    Kimi Raikkonen is hunting down leader Sebastian Vettel. The Finn is flying at the moment. Admittedly, he's not stopped so isn't really contending for the lead, but it could have a dramatic impact on the title race.

    LAP 21

    It's a perfect pit stop for Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel. The German rejoins the race in the lead. Meanwhile, Jenson Button continues to make process, passing Bruno Senna and then Sergio Perez to climb into seventh.

    LAP 20

    Slow, slow, slow stop for Fernando Alonso. He doesn't need that. It's a sticky right rear. He only had a six second lead over Kimi Raikkonen. Will that result in him losing third to the Finn? His stop was 6.3 seconds.


    Peter Norris on Twitter: "Alonso deserves this championship. He has been the best all season, would love to see him win!"

    Alex Withington: "Can't see Lewis getting past now unless Vettel has an off. Pit soon to get tyres up to temp."

    Ashley Randall: "Why couldn't that be Vettel's car?! Gutted for Mark. Come on Alonso. Put ya foot down!"

    Helen Todd: "Come on Hamilton! Rooting for him to get past Vettel and improve Alonso's chance."

    LAP 20

    Lewis Hamilton is struggling in this portion of the race, dropping back to three seconds behind Sebastian Vettel. It looks like Hamilton is slowing, rather than Vettel pulling away. No surprise, then, so see the McLaren driver dive into the pits for a new set of boots.

    LAP 19

    Felipe Massa responds to the call with the fastest lap of the race. Sensational stuff from the Brazilian who slices one second off the gap to Kimi Raikkonen. He now trails the Finn by four seconds. "You're flying," says his race engineer Rob Smedley. "This is brilliant."

    LAP 19

    That promotes Fernando Alonso to third, Kimi Raikkonen to fourth and Felipe Massa to fifth. Massa's race engineer Rob Smedley tells his charge to get on with it because a podium is in sight. Last time around, he lapped quicker than team-mate Alonso and Hamilton.

    LAP 18

    Mark Webber is out of the United States Grand Prix. The Australian has pulled off the track, moments after reporting that his Kers was not working. That's his first mechanical failure in 59 races, stretching back to the 2009 Japanese Grand Prix.

    LAP 17

    Guess what? Mark Webber's Kers has gone. Again. What is it about the unit on his Red Bull that just continues fail?

    BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard

    "Vettel is struggling. Hamilton has the faster package at present. Vettel has front graining on his tyres. How many laps will it take to clear up that graining? We've seen it on Webber too, so it's not only affecting his car. It's clear the Red Bulls are not using their front tyres quite as effectively as the McLarens."

    LAP 17

    Mark Webber is 7.6 seconds behind the leaders in third, while Fernando Alonso is all on his own in fourth, five seconds behind Webber but 10 seconds clear of Kimi Raikkonen. Yellow flags are out as they clear away Jean-Eric Vergne's Toro Rosso.

    LAP 16

    Jean-Eric Vergne has retired his Toro Rosso with suspension damage. Meanwhile, Michael Schumacher, who has been struggling for pace all race, has dived into the pits for a new set of boots from 14th.

    BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard

    "That was brave stuff from Raikkonen. I questioned in the year if Kimi has the attacking in him still. At Abu Dhabi he showed he was wise enough to pick his fights - and he picked that one perfectly. That was a great pass."

    LAP 15

    Lewis Hamilton is in the DRS zone, folks. He's not quite close enough as they arrive at Turn 12, but the McLaren driver is closer than he's been all race.


    Matt Le Blanc aka Joey from Friends: "It's fantastic that F1 is back in the States. Between this and MotoGP I got all my bases covered. I met Kimi [Raikkonen] for the first time - and Lotus have got great pedigree, but my heart lies with Ferrari - my mother would kill me if I didn't say that."

    LAP 14

    Sebastian Vettel has retaliated to Lewis Hamilton's charge with the fastest lap of the race, but the reigning world champion is really pushing, locking a front wheel. We hardly ever see the German do that these days.

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "Romain Grosjean's fastest lap on the hard tyre is quicker than the softer tyre by three tenths, maybe more. The harder is working well. On lap 10 he put it on, so he has a 46-lap stint. The objective now is for him to drive within his tyres and make them last."

    LAP 13

    Brave, brave stuff from Kimi Raikkonen, pulling alongside Nico Hulkenberg around the outside in the run down to Turn Two. They're side-by-side as they fly through Turn Two, but Raikkonen keeps his foot on the gas and Hulkenberg has no choice but to yield. The move draws rapturous applause from BBC co-commentator David Coulthard.

    LAP 13

    Very good battle out on track between Nico Hulkenberg and Kimi Raikkonen in the battle for fifth. Hulkenberg has been quite brilliant in the last few races and is showing why Sauber were so keen to sign him.

    LAP 12

    Felipe Massa gets down the inside of Paul di Resta for seventh place. Good stuff from the Brazilian who has been on the pace all weekend. Up front, the gap is down to 1.5 seconds between Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton. We're almost in DRS territory.


    Vettel leads, 1.6secs ahead of Lewis Hamilton. Alonso up to fourth from seventh after a blistering start. If Vettel wins Alonso must finish no lower than fourth to keep the title alive. Grosjean spins at Turn 19. No retirements. 1 Vettel 2 Hamilton 3 Webber 4 Alonso 5 Hulkenberg 6 Raikkonen 7 Di Resta 8 Massa 9 Perez 10 Senna

    LAP 11

    Romain Grosjean has dived into the pits for a breather, while out on track, Michael Schumacher squeezes, and squeezes, and squeezes Jenson Button at Turn One, but the McLaren driver has balls of steel and holds his line. It pays off and he gets the position. Well played, Jenson.

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Austin

    "The old Mercedes/Schumacher train currently leading eight cars. Great action as they tussle to pass him and each other. At the front, Hamilton edging closer to Vettel; Webber and Alonso matching each others' times."

    LAP 10

    Jenson Button is all over the back of Michael Schumacher in the battle for 11th, but the German is refusing to give up the position. Lewis Hamilton, meanwhile, clocks a lap that is six tenths quicker than leader Sebastian Vettel. The gap now under two seconds.


    Replays show that Romain Grosjean put a wheel on the kerb at Turn 19 which sent his Lotus spinning off track. "I think this kid is running scared," says BBC co-commentator David Coulthard as he gets easily passed by Jenson Button for 12th.


    Dan Wilkinson on Twitter: "Great start by Alonso! This season has been so close it deserves to go down to the last race in Brazil."

    Sam Morgan on Twitter: "Great job by Hamilton. I can see him chasing down Vettel. Button is having a shocker though..."


    Lewis Hamilton clocks the fastest lap of the race to reduce Sebastian Vettel's lead to just 2.1 seconds. This is about to get interesting. "This is excellent Lewis," say McLaren over the radio.


    I thought it was all going a little too well for Romain Grosjean. The Lotus driver spins at the difficult Turn 19 and drops from sixth to 10th. Meanwhile, Felipe Massa finally gets past Michael Schumacher just before the final corner for eighth.


    Jenson Button begins his recovery from a poor start, passing Pastor Maldonado at Turn One to take 13th. Next up the road is Bruno Senna is the other Williams.

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Austin

    "Hamilton very fast in sector one, Vettel not getting away like he normally does. This could be closer than we thought."


    Michael Schumacher is having a miserable afternoon. The Mercedes driver has lost places to Kimi Raikkonen and Paul di Resta and is now under pressure from Felipe Massa in the battle for ninth.


    Marussia on Twitter: "Well that's just about the most exciting start to a race we ever did see but as you can tell it didn't all go our way."


    Bold, bold move from Lewis Hamilton who has another stab down the inside of Mark Webber at the end of the long straight. This time, the McLaren driver makes it stick and he's up into second. Does the McLaren driver have the pace to catch Vettel? That would certainly spice things up...

    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "The lap times are very slow in the race compared to qualifying. We were seeing laps of 1:36 in qualifying but they're going round in 1:46 at the moment. That shows how the cars are affected by fuel loads. These cars are so heavy."


    Sebastian Vettel is pulling away at the front as Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton squabble for second place. Fernando Alonso is struggling to keep up, though, and already finds himself six seconds behind Vettel.


    Lewis Hamilton is on the attack and makes a bold move down the inside of Mark Webber, but he overcooks it slightly and runs wide. That allows the Red Bull driver to steal the position back. Great racing from both.


    McLaren on Twitter: "Given his start on the dirty side of the grid, Lewis does well to lose only one place into Turn 1. P3."


    Michael Schumacher, who started fifth, has had a terrible lap. First he lost out to Nico Hulkenberg, who put a super move on the Mercedes driver at Turn One, and then lost out to Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen. Schumacher fights back, though, and gets the place back, but in doing so, leaves the door open to Romain Grosjean who passes both in one move. Brilliant stuff from the Frenchman who made up two places without hitting anyone.

    BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard

    "It's an incredible start from Alonso, a dream start for Ferrari. Never count out Alonso. He's taken a car that has never been the quickest at any part of the season and he right in the hunt for the championship."


    It's a sensational start for Fernando Alonso who climbs from seventh to fourth in his Ferrari. Lewis Hamilton lost out to Mark Webber for second, but he managed to hold off Alonso.

  146. 1904: 
    GO! GO! GO!

    The first United States Grand Prix at the brand new Circuit of the Americas is go, go, go. A brilliant start from Sebastian Vettel who pulls cleanly away from P1, with Mark Webber attacking Lewis Hamilton around the outside in the battle for second.

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "It's pretty tough out there but the tyres are fairly durable. It's a one-stop race. You could get another one if there's an early safety car, but I think one stop will win it."

  148. 1902: 

    Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg have gone for the harder compound tyres as they are starting outside the top 10 and are allowed to make their choice. Those inside the top 10 must start on the tyres they qualified on - so the softer, option tyres.

  149. 1900: 

    Sebastian Vettel pulls away from P1 to lead the field away for the formation laps. Will the Red Bull driver pick up his third successive title in 56 laps time?

  150. 1857: 

    The grid for the 2012 United States Grand Prix:

    1) Vettel 2) Hamilton 3) Webber 4) Raikkonen 5) Schumacher 6) Hulkenberg 7) Alonso 8) Grosjean 9) Maldonado 10) Senna

    11) Massa 12) Button 13) Di Resta 14) Vergne 15) Perez 16) Kobayashi 17) Rosberg

    18) Ricciardo 19) Glock 20) Pic 21) Petrov 22) Kovalainen 23) De la Rosa 24) Karthikeyan

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Austin

    "Tactically, most engineers are saying it's a straightforward one-stop race. Tyre wear and degradation is extremely low on account of Pirelli going overly conservative with their choice to ensure there were no problems at this hugely important new race. It seems the 'hard' tyre will almost certainly last a full race-distance, so if there's a first-lap safety car expect a flurry of stops to fit it. However, getting the 'hard' tyre to warm up properly is proving extremely difficult, which may lead to some action in the race as drivers struggle with a lack of grip. Assuming there is no safety car. the stops could come anywhere form lap 20 to lap 35. The choice will come down to maximising track position."


    Sauber on Twitter: "Drivers are in, tyres on the cars. 5 mins to go..."


    Sarah Irwin on Twitter: "Have a feeling the title is about to be decided. ALOcoming up to turn 1 with GRO and MAL behind him. Will be an interesting start."

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Austin

    "There are two races going on at the Circuit of the Americas on Sunday - the normal one for race positions, and the championship battle between Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso. Their rivals will be aware of the situation but there will be no presents for either man. 'You're not going to give them more room because they're fighting for the championship,' says Jenson Button, who ironically did give Vettel space in Abu Dhabi last time out when the German tried a move that required the Englishman's co-operation to prevent a crash. 'It's unfair to do that for the rest of the team you're racing for. We want to win as much as anyone. We won't let anyone else beat us just because they're fighting for the championship.'"

  155. 1850: 

    This is your 10-minute warning, folks. The drivers are busy putting their earpieces in, slotting on their helmets and buckling themselves in. While they do that, may I suggest you replenish your food and drink supplies and get comfy on the sofa. Buckle up, because I think we're in for a bumpy ride.

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Austin

    "Michael Schumacher has had a dispiriting last few races since he learned that Mercedes preferred to sign Lewis Hamilton for 2013 to prolonging his own career. But in America Schumacher has had a good weekend - he qualified sixth and will start fifth as a result of a grid penalty for Lotus's Romain Grosjean. Schumacher is miles ahead of team-mate Nico Rosberg, who could manage only 17th, but there's a simple explanation for that. Rosberg's car was converted back to an old-specification exhaust design for qualifying, even though the team had established in back-to-back tests on Friday that the new one was better. With the old exhaust, Rosberg could not generate tyre temperature. That meant no grip, and no speed."

  157. 1848: 

    1. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) 255

    2. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) 245

    3. Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus) 198

    4. Mark Webber (Red Bull) 167

    5. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) 165

    6. Jenson Button (McLaren) 153

  158. 1846: 

    The United States Grand Prix is live here online with 5 live commentary from 1855 GMT. You can listen to James Allen and co by clicking the link at the top-right of this page. Two hours of TV highlights are at 2225 on BBC One.

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Austin

    "Yet another reliability problem at McLaren has left Jenson Button down in 12th place on the grid - his throttle broke because of a bit of 'finger trouble' and that meant no power. Team boss Martin Whitmarsh admitted that 'of course' the unacceptable run of failures that have hit McLaren since the Italian Grand Prix in September were a concern but he and technical director Paddy Lowe have also emphasised that all the problems are unrelated. Which of course makes it harder to solve them. 'The problems all different in nature,' Whitmarsh said. 'It's been one of those seasons. We will make whatever changes we need to do in the team to get better.'"

  160. 1844: 

    Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel has been cornered by BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard. When asked what he thought about Ferrari's decision to take the seal off Felipe Massa's gearbox so he incurred a penalty and promoted Fernando Alonso to the clean side of the grid, Vettel said: "Not much to feel about it. It's their business. It doesn't matter for our race. There's a lot of people here so I'm looking forward to the race."

  161. 1840: 

    Fernando Alonso is out of his car, shades on, and having a chat to his engineer as he begins his final preparations for the race.

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Austin

    "If anyone is going to slow Sebastian Vettel's march to the title on Sunday, it looks likely to be Lewis Hamilton. The McLaren driver qualified second to the German with a stunning lap that reduced what had looked set to be a pole margin of more than half a second to just over 0.1 seconds. Hamilton was thrilled with his lap, but he is under no illusions that beating Vettel will be easy. 'In Q2 I saw there was a second gap and I didn't think I had much more to get out of the car,' Hamilton said, 'but I just pushed as hard as I could and was hoping to get up as high as possible. I did a very good time the previous lap, it was a consecutive (flying) lap (on the tyres), and somehow managed to improve again. Very, very happy with it. The tyres were operating in the right window at the time and got the car well set-up for the weekend so I really felt like I got absolutely everything and more out of the car. I don't really feel I had that tenth to get ahead of him but maybe I have it (in the race).'"

  163. 1837: 

    The 2012 roll of honour:

    Australia - Jenson Button (McLaren) Malaysia - Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) China - Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) Bahrain - Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) Spain - Pastor Maldonado (Williams) Monaco - Mark Webber (Red Bull) Canada - Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) Europe - Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) Britain - Mark Webber (Red Bull) Germany - Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) Hungary - Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) Belgium - Jenson Button (McLaren) Italy - Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) Singapore - Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) Japan - Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) India - Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) Abu Dhabi - Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus)

  164. 1835: 

    The Austin paddock has been awash with celebrities with Patrick Dempsey - aka McDreamy from Grey's Anatomy, Star Wars director George Lucas, Matt Le Blanc of Friends and Episodes fame and American sprinting legend Michael Johnson just a few of the famous faces to make an appearance on qualifying day. Expect the standard of celeb to be cranked up a notch for race day as the grid starts to fill up. Just 25 minutes until the lights go out...


    Williams on Twitter: "Feeling warmer today but the wind has picked up."

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Austin

    "On the cusp of becoming the youngest triple world champion in Formula 1 history Sebastian Vettel may be, but the German insists he will head into the US Grand Prix thinking only of winning another race. 'We know we are fighting for the championship,' he says. 'We know the situation well. It doesn't really matter where (Fernando Alonso) is going to be in the race; we have to focus on ourselves and get the best possible result. If you go around thinking about where the other car is you don't do your optimum and we want to be the optimum because that enlarges your chances of doing well and winning the championship this year.'"


    Sim de Roemer on Twitter: "Romain Grosjean is sat behind Alonso on the grid. Up hill blind first corner, it's going to be carnage!"

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "Ferrari have a new diffuser design here in Austin, which only Fernando Alonso is using, and I suspect it may be to blame for his poor qualifying position. The diffuser is designed to work the airflow around the rear tyres more and it should produce more downforce, but it will also make the car more aerodynamically sensitive. It will be an improvement in the wind tunnel but I suspect it means that the problem I believe Ferrari have in the diffuser airflow not reattaching quickly enough when the DRS closes, causing rear instability on corner entry, will be worsened. However, that problem doesn't exist in the race and the extra downforce the new floor provides may mean Alonso is even more competitive on Sunday than normal."

  169. 1831: 

    The grid for the 2012 United States Grand Prix:

    1) Vettel 2) Hamilton 3) Webber 4) Raikkonen 5) Schumacher 6) Hulkenberg 7) Alonso 8) Grosjean* 9) Maldonado 10) Senna

    11) Massa* 12) Button 13) Di Resta 14) Vergne 15) Perez 16) Kobayashi 17) Rosberg

    18) Ricciardo 19) Glock 20) Pic 21) Petrov 22) Kovalainen 23) De la Rosa 24) Karthikeyan

    *Grosjean demoted five places due to a grid penalty for a gearbox change, while Ferrari broke the seal on Massa's gearbox to incur the same penalty

  170. 1829: 

    Venue: Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas Laps: 56 Circuit length: 5.516km Race distance: 308.896km Number of corners: 20 (11 left and 9 right) Average lap speed: 200kph Full throttle per lap: 60%

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Austin

    "Fernando Alonso is nothing if not a fighter and an optimist, and despite his poorest performance in qualifying for some time he remains defiant that he can still salvage something from this race. Beaten by team-mate Felipe Massa on pace for the first time all season (of which more in a moment), Alonso says he still believes he can take points off Sebastian Vettel in the US Grand Prix. 'We said (on Friday that) after qualifying Red Bull would probably be one and two and we would be seventh or eighth and everybody will think it is all over and then on Sunday we are sure we can score more points than Vettel,' Alonso said. 'I don't know how. But I have this feeling inside.' He was smiling as he said it, but it was clear he meant it."

  172. 1827: 

    So here's the plan for today. The pit lane will open at 1830 GMT, allowing the drivers to cruise around the grid and park up in their respective grid slots. They'll then jump out, talk to their engineers and the media and then probably pop off for a quick toilet break before beginning their preparations for the race. Lights go out at 1900.


    Jonathan Dixon on Twitter: "Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso top three thus continuing the title fight to the final race next weekend at Interlagos."

  174. 1824: 

    While all the chat is about the drivers' championship fight, don't forget Red Bull can win the constructors title here in Austin. They hold an 82 point lead with 86 points remaining. I think it's fair to say they've probably got the victory t-shirts on standby.

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Austin

    "For a season that started so unpredictably, the final third has had a disappointingly familiar feel. One has to admire Red Bull's work in unlocking such impressive pace in their car, and Sebastian Vettel's ability in exploiting it. But their superiority has somewhat deflated what had been looking to be a tight fight to the finish between the German and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso. It's still tight, on paper at least. But after another imperious performance all weekend, and another pole position, it is more apparent than ever that only mistakes can stop Vettel. Alonso, starting the US Grand Prix down in seventh place, knows he needs to finish fourth or better if Vettel wins to extend the battle to the final race of the season in Brazil next weekend. Can he do it?"

  176. 1822: 

    If Fernando Alonso scores 14 points or less than Sebastian Vettel, his title challenge will be over. If Vettel wins, Alonso must finish fourth or better, if Vettel is second, Alonso must finish eighth and if the German is third, Alonso must be in the top 10. Got it?

  177. 1820: 

    It was a day of mixed fortunes for the Brits on Saturday, with Lewis Hamilton crafting a beautiful lap which was just one tenth off the pace set by the all-conquering Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel. He'll start second but his McLaren team-mate Jenson Button didn't have as much luck. A throttle issue forced him to retreat to the garage mid-way through Q2 and he'll start bang in the middle of the pack in 12th. One place behind him is Paul di Resta in the Force India who admitted to struggling to get his tyres to work.

  178. 1817: 

    There's a couple of bits of housekeeping to clear up after Saturday's qualifying session. First up, Romain Grosjean will start ninth, having taken a five-place grid drop for changing his gearbox. Michael Schumacher escaped penalty after he appeared to block Fernando Alonso during qualifying while Mark Webber was handed a reprimand after missing a weight check during qualifying.


    Red Bull's Mark Webber on Twitter: "At a VIP dinner last night an American woman asked me 'where are you from?' I said Australia, she said 'wow your English is amazing'."

  180. 1815: 

    In the penultimate Lawro's Podium Predictions of the season, I'm going reasonably safe with Sebastian Vettel winning from Lewis Hamilton with Fernando Alonso keeping the championship alive by claiming third. What do you think? Get in touch via the usual channels - tweet us using the #bbcf1 hashtag or text 81111 (UK only), remembering to put your name on it.

  181. 1813: 

    There was some chat that Red Bull might do something similar with Mark Webber's Red Bull to put Fernando Alonso back on the dirty side, but the team have confirmed that won't be the case.

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Austin

    "Anticipation ahead of the first US Grand Prix in five years has been heightened by Ferrari's decision to break the seal on Felipe Massa's gearbox, giving him a five-place grid penalty and promoting Fernando Alonso to seventh place - and importantly on to the clean side of the grid. Engineers are predicting that those in even-numbered grid positions will lose about two places off the start as a result of the lack of grip there. The decision underlines how serious Ferrari are about the championship but also the desperate straits they are in as Alonso fights a rearguard battle against a vastly superior car. Will it help him or not?"

  183. 1811: 

    I mentioned earlier that Fernando Alonso has been promoted to seventh place which is crucially on the clean side of the grid. Our man on the ground in Austin has more...

  184. 1809: 

    Welcome, one and all, to our live coverage of the United States Grand Prix, round 19 of the Formula 1 World Championship. The brand new Circuit of the Americas becomes the 10th American venue to host an F1 race - and it's a bit of a looker. The drivers love it and the locals seem to like that the sport has rolled into town - race day is a 125,000 sell-out I'm told. All we need is a cracking race and Formula 1 may have found a permanent home Stateside.

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Austin

    "To get to the Circuit of the Americas, where Formula 1's hopes of a successful and long-term future in the USA are invested, you head south-east out of Austin on US Route 183. The half-hour drive passes trailer parks and taco outlets, used car lots and fields of that ubiquitous parched western American grass. There's only one way in, and the traffic queues through the weekend have been substantial - especially on the way out. A sell-out 135,000 crowd has turned up, a third of them Mexicans to watch the denouement of a classic season at a track that seems to be one of the better attempts to build a state-of-the-art modern F1 circuit. The locals have enjoyed having a grand prix, and the sport has enjoyed being here, and a fantastic atmosphere has built in the sunshine ahead of the race. Whoever said America just didn't do F1?"

  186. 1806: 

    But Alonso remained defiant on Saturday night, insisting he has what it takes to take points of Vettel and keep the championship alive going to the finale in Brazil next weekend. Can the Spaniard battle through the field and reach at least the podium like he has done so often this season? Not long till we find out, folks.

  187. 1803: 

    Vettel put himself in the best place possible to become the youngest ever three-time world champion by taking pole position - the sixth of his season - at the Circuit of the Americas on Friday. And his day was made just that little bit better when his title rival Alonso qualified ninth - which became eighth as the result of Romain Grosjean's gearbox penalty - and then just became seventh, as I'll explain in a sec.

  188. 1800: 

    A certain young German's trophy cabinet could be about to become a bit more cluttered if things go his way later this evening. In a season where Sebastian Vettel had to wait until the 14th race of the season to take his second victory, it's quite remarkable that he's challenging for the title at all.

    But a run of four wins in the last five races has seen him do just that and he now stands on the verge of claiming his third successive championship. All he has to do is beat rival Fernando Alonso by 15 points or more in today's United States Grand Prix and it'll be time to party.

FIA Formula 1 World Championsh 2015

Position Driver Team Pts
1 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes 43
2 Germany S Vettel Ferrari 40
3 Germany N Rosberg Mercedes 33
4 Brazil F Massa Williams 20
5 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari 12
6 Brazil F Nasr Sauber 10
7 Finland V Bottas Williams 10
8 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull 9
9 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India 6
10 M Verstappen Toro Rosso 6
11 C Sainz Toro Rosso 6
12 Sweden M Ericsson Sauber 4
13 Russia D Kvyat Red Bull 2
14 Mexico S Perez Force India 1
15 France R Grosjean Lotus 0
16 Great Britain J Button McLaren 0
17 R Merhi Manor Marussia F1 0
18 Venezuela P Maldonado Lotus 0
20 Spain F Alonso McLaren 0
21 W Stevens Manor Marussia F1 0


After 60 of 61 laps
Position Driver Team

Race stopped at 60 laps

1 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes
2 Germany S Vettel Red Bull
3 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull
4 Spain F Alonso Ferrari
5 Brazil F Massa Williams
6 France J Vergne Toro Rosso
7 Mexico S Perez Force India
8 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari
9 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India
10 Denmark K Magnussen McLaren
11 Finland V Bottas Williams
12 Venezuela P Maldonado Lotus
13 France R Grosjean Lotus
14 Russia D Kvyat Toro Rosso
15 Sweden M Ericsson Caterham
16 France J Bianchi Marussia
17 Great Britain M Chilton Marussia
18 Great Britain J Button (ret.) McLaren
19 Germany A Sutil (ret.) Sauber
20 Mexico E Gutierrez (ret.) Sauber
21 Germany N Rosberg (ret.) Mercedes
22 Japan K Kobayashi (ret.) Caterham