Team by team analysis of U.S. Grand Prix

Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:42am IST

Pit crew perform a pit stop on the car of Ferrari Formula One driver Fernando Alonso of Spain during the U.S. F1 Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas November 18, 2012. REUTERS/Luca Bruno/Pool

Pit crew perform a pit stop on the car of Ferrari Formula One driver Fernando Alonso of Spain during the U.S. F1 Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas November 18, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Luca Bruno/Pool

REUTERS - Team by team analysis of Sunday's U.S. Formula One Grand Prix in Austin, Texas. (Round 19 of 20. Listed in championship order):

- RED BULL (Sebastian Vettel 2, Mark Webber retired)

Red Bull clinched the constructors' title for the third year in a row. They are only the fourth team to do that hat-trick. Vettel led from pole but was hunted down by Hamilton, who passed on lap 42. The team blamed backmarker Narain Karthikeyan for holding up Vettel. Webber retired with an alternator problem on lap 18 after starting third.

- FERRARI (Fernando Alonso 3, Felipe Massa 4)

Alonso racked up his 12th podium finish of the season and is now 13 points behind Vettel with one race left. Massa took a five place penalty on the grid to help his team mate, the move switching Alonso to the clean side. The Brazilian started 11th but had one of his best races of the year and called it "like a win" afterwards. Ferrari's lead over McLaren is just 14 points.

- MCLAREN (Lewis Hamilton 1, Jenson Button 5)

Hamilton's fourth win of the season and McLaren's sixth. Hamilton, winner of the last U.S. race in 2007, now has 21 career wins. The Briton started in second place. Button was 12th on the grid and 15th after the first lap but fought back with some great overtaking.

- LOTUS (Kimi Raikkonen 6, Romain Grosjean 7)

Raikkonen stayed third overall with his 16th successive points finish. He lost a few places at the start after contact with a Force India car at the second corner. Grosjean, who had a five place grid penalty for a gearbox change, spun on lap seven and flat-spotted his tyres.

- MERCEDES (Nico Rosberg 13, Michael Schumacher 16)

Rosberg started 17th and did a one-stop strategy, pitting on lap 34. Schumacher, fifth on the grid, struggled with his first set of tyres and changed from one stop to two. Mercedes have not scored a point in the last five races.

- SAUBER (Sergio Perez 11, Kamui Kobayashi 14)

Both did a one-stop strategy. Perez struggled with a brake problem from lap 10 and has still not scored a point in the five races since his move to McLaren was announced. Kobayashi was unable to get grip from the tyres.

- FORCE INDIA (Nico Hulkenberg 8, Paul Di Resta 15)

The team have scored points in their last eight races. Hulkenberg said his tyres began to fade after lap 10. Di Resta struggled with oversteer.

- WILLIAMS (Pastor Maldonado 9, Bruno Senna 10)

Another double points finish for Williams, with both men on a one-stop strategy and finishing where they started. Maldonado lost out at the start and fell to 15th before fighting back and overtaking Senna, who was held up by Hulkenberg.

- TORO ROSSO (Daniel Ricciardo 12, Jean-Eric Vergne retired)

Ricciardo started 18th and on the dirty side of the track and damaged his front wing in a touch with a Marussia. He still managed to do plenty of overtaking. Vergne retired with a broken suspension.

- MARUSSIA (Timo Glock 19, Charles Pic 20)

Marussia maintained 10th place overall. Pic damaged his front wing at the start.

- CATERHAM (Vitaly Petrov 17, Heikki Kovalainen 18)

A straightforward race for both drivers after a lively few opening laps.

- HRT (Pedro De la Rosa 21, Narain Karthikeyan 22)

Part of De la Rosa's seat broke five laps from the finish but he adopted a new driving position to get to the chequered flag. Karthikeyan was blamed by Red Bull for holding up Vettel, which allowed Hamilton to take the lead.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Gene Cherry)

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