RACE DEBRIEF

    Driver of The Day Sebastian Vettel evidently enjoyed his drive to seventh place in the United States, where the Aston Martin driver battled back into the points after a slow pit stop.

    Vettel had a terrific start, making up five places to run P5 amid the chaos on the opening lap – where Carlos Sainz was spun out of the race by George Russell – before going long on his first stint. The four-time champion even led his 3,500th lap in Formula 1 before pitting, but a slow stop saw him drop down the order.

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    After battling Kevin Magnussen on the way back to eighth, which became seventh when Fernando Alonso was hit with a 30s post-race penalty, Vettel said: “Yeah, obviously we lost some points [because of the slow pit stop] but I had some more fun at the end, at least. I knew Kevin would be a difficult one, so I was very fair and you know, gave him the room that you need to give, but he was very fair in return and yeah, just left me enough room.

    “As I said, I knew it was going to be tight and he would not leave a lot – just enough – and I used that. It was good fun and obviously another sort of strong finish at the very end.”

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    Vettel has scored points in all but one of his 11 US GP appearances

    With retirement looming, Vettel was inevitably asked whether his brilliant drive to P7 – his best finish since Round 6 when he finished sixth in Azerbaijan – tempted him to reconsider bowing out from F1.

    “No, not like that,” he replied, “but obviously I will miss these moments, miss the adrenaline in places like Suzuka, the adrenaline rush around there – like today, the racing, battling with the others right on the limit, and beyond the limit to be fair.

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    “Yeah, that will be missed, but on the other hand obviously I thought about that in advance and I look forward to what’s coming next,” concluded Vettel.

    Having claimed six points in the USA and 20 from the Singapore-Japan double-header, Aston Martin are just one point off Alfa Romeo in the fight for sixth in the standings, with three races remaining in 2022.