THE US GP

F1 Racing (UK) - - RACE DEBRIEF -

THE MAIN EVENT

Given the Texan love of a fan­fare, it’s some­thing of a sur­prise that the Cir­cuit of The Amer­i­cas is so un­der­stated. While other new F1 venues have sought to make a state­ment with flam­boy­ant ar­chi­tec­ture, COTA con­cen­trates on the im­por­tant stuff – namely ex­cit­ing cor­ners, fast changes of di­rec­tion and a cou­ple of on-ther­agged-edge over­tak­ing zones. You can ditch the fake pagoda bridges and stick to the cin­der-block strip-mall aes­thetic when you have that.

Not that the race week­end lacks razzmatazz: It’s got cheer­lead­ers, brass bands, busy grand­stands, and celebri­ties ga­lore. We could prob­a­bly do with­out Satur­day’s sched­ule be­ing fid­dled around to ac­com­mo­date Justin Tim­ber­lake, but there’s no doubt­ing the com­mit­ment of the US GP’S or­gan­is­ers to mak­ing a suc­cess of their grand prix. And at least this year we’ll be spared the phe­nom­e­non of traf­fic jams lead­ing in to the cir­cuit af­ter qual­i­fy­ing as ev­ery­one queues up for the Tay­lor Swift con­cert.

CLAS­SIC RACE: 2012

For F1’s first out­ing here, hard Pirellis, low tem­per­a­tures and raw as­phalt com­bined to en­sure F1 did a pass­able im­pres­sion of Bambi on ice. The high-speed changes of di­rec­tion and low grip made for com­pelling rac­ing, with COTA’S homage to the Ade­laide Hair­pin and Hock­en­heim’s sta­dium sec­tion prov­ing just as com­pelling as its take on Mag­gotts, Beck­etts and Chapel.

Lewis Hamil­ton took his fi­nal win for Mclaren af­ter bat­tling with Red Bull’s Se­bas­tian Vet­tel, while Fer­nando Alonso dragged a less-thancom­pet­i­tive Fer­rari to the podium to en­sure a ti­tle show­down with Vet­tel at the fi­nal race in Brazil.

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