Austin Grand Prix Preview
Our US Grand Prix 2012 preview follows. Sebastian Vettel claimed his sixth pole position in the penultimate Formula One Grand Prix of the season at the new Circuit of the Americas track, Austin, Texas.
This is the first grand prix to be held in America since 2007 where Lewis Hamilton was victorious for McLaren at the Indianapolis grand prix
Vettel goes into his 100th grand prix tomorrow with the upper hand holding a ten point lead over Fernando Alsonso.
The German finished third in the last grand prix in Abu Dhabi despite starting from the pit lane for failing to comply with rules regarding fuel during qualifying.
The 25 year old who has also won four of the last five grand prix’s held a 0.7 second lead over fellow Red Bull team mate Mark Webber in yesterdays practice and was the fastest car on track in all three qualifying rounds today.
Lewis Hamilton separates the two Red Bull Racing drivers in second position just one tenth of a second off the pace.
Grosjean qualified in fourth but faces a five place grid penalty for changing the gear box and McLaren’s Jenson Button qualified in 12th as a loss of power during Q2 saw his day cut short.
Fernando Alonso’s title hopes are hanging in the balance with the Spaniard starting tomorrow in eighth on the ‘dirty’ side of the grid where starts can be tricky due to the slickness of the track on that side.
This is only the second time all season that Alonso’s Ferrari team mate has out qualified him with Massa starting in seventh.
The new track surface is very smooth and slippery which could prove difficult to stay on the racing line when the tyres are lacking in heat meaning full concentration and care of the tyres will be vital.
The Circuit of the Americas is the tenth different circuit to hold a grand prix in America but this track is by far the most technical yet with 56 laps covering a distance just short of 309km.
Vettel’s 36th pole out of 100 qualifiers, in the country where he made his formula one debut could just see him become the youngest ever triple world champion.
HOW THEY LINE UP:
Sebastian Vettel; Lewis Hamilton; Mark Webber; Romain Grosjean; Kimi Raikkonen; Michael Schumacher; Felipe Massa; Nico Hulkenberg; Fernando Alonso; Pastor Maldonado; Bruno Senna; Jenson Button; Paul Di Resta; Jean-Eric Vergne; Sergio Perez; Kamui Kobayashi; Nico Rosberg; Daniel Ricciardo; Timo Glock; Charles Pic; Vitaly Petrov; Heikki Kovalainen; Pedro De la Rosa; Nariain Karthikeyan