USA GP review: Austin powered


For all of his exploits elsewhere, the United States has been somewhere where Sebastian Vettel has never shown the locals what all the fuss over him is about. Part of that is circumstantial: the German’s first Grand Prix start came in the final race held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2007, while last year’s maiden event at the spectacular Circuit of the Americas was just the second time he’d driven in the ‘States, and he was pipped to victory by Lewis Hamilton.

Last Sunday, the packed crowd in attendance in Austin, which is fast-becoming one of the most popular stops on F1’s 19-race annual global odyssey, got to see Vettel’s greatness up close. For many watching trackside, it was their first time; what he achieved will be remembered for all time.

In winning his eighth straight Grand Prix, the Red Bull Racing star added yet another record to a CV that’s close to overflowing with them; no driver had won more than seven consecutive races in one season in the history of the sport, and it left just Hungary as the only stop on the F1 calendar where Vettel hasn’t sprayed victory champagne. His 12th victory of the season usurped his 2011 title-winning campaign that featured 11 wins, while equalling the record held by his great friend and mentor Michael Schumacher for most race wins in a single season – 13 in 2004 – remained in play with the final race of the year in Sao Paulo to come next weekend.

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