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United States analysis - Rosberg takes title down to the wire

04 Nov 2014

Nico Rosberg might not have been able to capitalise on his qualifying advantage in Austin, but by finishing runner-up to Lewis Hamilton he did at least guarantee the Mercedes duo's fight for the 2014 drivers' championship will go down to the final round of the season.

Theirs was just one example of the numerous battles that raged throughout an engrossing 56 laps. Daniel Ricciardo starred for Red Bull as he captured the final podium spot; team mate Sebastian Vettel staged a late charge to convert a pit-lane start into seventh; and, after several fierce exchanges, Pastor Maldonado scored his first points for Lotus in ninth, just ahead of an equally determined drive by Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne. We take a team-by-team look back on the 2014 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix...


Lewis Hamilton, P1

Nico Rosberg, P2

For the first part of the race Rosberg appeared to have things sewn up, but later he admitted that with a change in weather conditions it took him too long to find his rhythm. By the time he did Hamilton had pulled off a great passing move down the inside in to Turn 12 on the 24th lap, setting up the Briton for his tenth victory of the season and the 32nd of his career. That carried him above Nigel Mansell's record of Grand Prix wins for a British driver, and lifted him 24 points clear of his team mate. Assuming perfect reliability, Hamilton can therefore finish second to Rosberg in the remaining two races and still clinch the 2014 title by three points…

Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo, P3

Sebastian Vettel, P7

Ricciardo made a poor start but quickly regained positions lost to Magnussen and then Alonso. Generally he had better pace than the Williams duo and was able to get by both on his way to another very accomplished podium finish. Vettel started from the pits in an RB10 running very low downforce, but made two pits stops in the first two laps after running over debris from the Sutil/Perez clash and sustaining a puncture. Later, after a normal mid-race stop, he came in for a fourth time for a final set of soft tyres and used them to good effect to snatch seventh with an excellent late charge.


Felipe Massa, P4

Valtteri Bottas, P5

Williams just lacked the pace to fend off Ricciardo, and their continuation on soft tyres after the first stops failed to pay off. Massa had his best race of the year, however, and could have been in closer podium contention but for a relatively slow second stop. Bottas didn't look his usual self, suffering clutch slip at the start and worse tyre management than Red Bull thereafter.


Fernando Alonso, P6

Kimi Raikkonen, P13

Sixth place was the best that Ferrari could have hoped for, courtesy of Alonso's usual fiery determination, but Raikkonen - hit by Perez on the opening lap - was nowhere after running into hopeless tyre degradation that left him sliding all over the place.


Kevin Magnussen, P8

Jenson Button, P12

Both drivers made early stops for fresh tyres under the safety car, while Button thought he damaged his underfloor running over debris from the Perez/Sutil clash. Both fought back into points contention, albeit unable to fend off Alonso, but suffered horrible tyre degradation along the way. Button's spirited rear-guard action enabled Magnussen to get clear of all his pursuers bar Vettel, who jumped him for seventh on the penultimate tour, but the Briton paid a high price as he dropped from eighth to 12th in the space of only four laps at the end.


Pastor Maldonado, P9

Romain Grosjean, P11

The Lotus duo were part of the midfield scrap throughout. Maldonado survived two five-second penalties - the second applied post-race - to score his first points since joining Lotus, and the team's first points since Monaco. Grosjean's chance of 10th meanwhile was blighted by Vergne colliding with him on the 51st lap as he dived down the inside of the Lotus in Turn 1.

Toro Rosso

Jean-Eric Vergne, P10

Daniil Kvyat, P15

Vergne was in the thick of things in a fierce midfield scrap which ultimately yielded the final point, but only after a five-second stop-and-go penalty for speeding behind the safety car and another, post-race, for muscling Grosjean off the track in Turn 1 on the 51st lap. Kvyat was having a great fight with Raikkonen at one stage, until contact and an overworked front left Pirelli forced him into a late stop that dropped him out of contention.


Esteban Gutierrez, P14

Adrian Sutil, retired lap 1, accident with Perez

Perez removed Sauber's hopes of points even before the opening lap was complete, after running into the unfortunate Sutil. Gutierrez never featured, and compounded an unhappy race by getting a five-second stop-and-go penalty for speeding behind the safety car.

Force India

Nico Hulkenberg, retired lap 17, no drive

Sergio Perez, retired lap 1, accident with Sutil

Force India had a torrid time. Their hopes were over after 17 laps - first Perez took both himself and Sutil out on the opening lap, before Hulkenberg, running 14th, lost drive and retired.