Grand Prix 2014 United States Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

With Russian stamps all over their passports the members of the F1 Community now have to work their way past the Officers of Homeland Security at Austin-Bergstrom International airport. I hope they all remember to tick the "I have never been a member of a terrorist organisation" box on their visa waivers and smile sweetly for their security photo.

Enough of the nonsense, there's a Grand Prix to watch and enjoy. Remember 2012? We had a titanic battle for the lead between Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton until a cucumber intervened and Lewis sneaked past for the win. Wow, we all thought, what a great race track. 2013 brought us down to earth with a bump as Vettel took pole and an easy win, although in fairness to the circuit he did that most weekends in 2013.

So what for 2014? The Mercedes drivers will, almost certainly, take the first two grid slots and, on current form, it would be hard to see past another Hamilton victory. But anything can happen in F1 and it often does. Nico Rosberg desperately needs a win in Austin not just for the points boost but also in the psychological battle with his team mate. Williams will probably be the best of the rest with Austin likely to suit their car. Could Bottas sneak a win? Unlikely, although I suspect a Massa win is even more unlikely.

Behind these McLaren seem to be on the way back up and are putting the upstarts at Force India in their place. Fourth and fifth in Russia was pretty good result compared to some of the events they have contested this year. Red Bull and Ferrari will be snapping away at one another, well Ricciardo and Alonso will be snapping away at one another whilst Vettel dreams of a bright red race suit and who knows what Kimi dreams of, vodka, ice cream, being beaten with a birch twig, his 2015 contract?

Toro Rosso had a really good show in Sochi but as soon as the race started they appeared to jump out of the way of the senior RB team. Perhaps their race set up just wasn't as good as their qualifying form suggested.

Down at the back we could have an American driver at Marussia with Alexander Rossi lined up to take the place of Jules Bianchi. I think it unlikely Marussia will choose to only run a single car again and it will be interesting to see how this young man does in a not so competitive F1 car. He's not having a great season in GP2 but I don't follow the series well enough to tell you if that is down to him or the car. I do suspect he will beat Max Chilton but then I suspect I could beat Max Chilton (is that could or want to?).

There's three teams left to discuss, all of them have been pretty crap in 2014. It's a shame to see Lotus, from the highs of 2013, so far down the field. Anyone else remember that Romain Grosjean finished second last year? Hard to believe isn't it. Sauber need a point or three to avoid dropping out of Bernie's free flight fund but given how Sutil and Gutierrez have driven so far it's going to have to be a highly attritional race for them to even get close to the points.

Kamui Kobayashi said in Sochi "he hopes" to be driving in Austin which must be quite demotivating given that he's beating his team mate race after race but he looks to be first on the subs bench when someone turns up with a wad of cash. I nearly forgot Pastor Maldonado. Not sure if anyone noticed but he brought the car home in Sochi. Admittedly he was second last and behind his team mate but kudos to you Pastor, there were some nasty walls around that circuit and you managed to avoid all of them.

One final thought, the Russian President turned up at the Grand Prix in Sochi. I know it was the first ever race in Russia and Mr Putin probably wanted to know where all those Roubles had gone but will we see his American counterpart gracing the Austin race? I'm guessing no, but as Barack sees out the end of his second term what else does he have to do? Not like there are any problems in the World at the moment are there?
Last edited:
Just looked at last years'out of ten'It didn't fair well. Still everything crossed for a good one. Only 3 races left before the winter fasting.
Looking forward to the fasting - anything better than the shit we’ve had to put up with this season.

Grosjean to be seen sobbing in the garage over the state of his car.
..... or the state of his career!

I don't think Marussia and Caterham missing this race will have anywhere near the impact of the two car race in 2005.
Haven't you been watching? The whole 2014 season has been a two car :censored: race!
Last edited:
ramilas1 For first most of the time yes. But we've had a few such as Spa, Hungary, and Canada with good races for first and a good amount of the season has had some great battles going on for lower classifications. Not sure if this season is a classic one but we can't complain too much about it.
Apparently they may revamp qualifying

So in Q1 it will be 4 cars eliminated

Q2 - 6 cars eliminated to get a top 10 shoot out in Q3

and Vettel is not going to bother taking part because he will have an engine penalty
well obviously things might be different if he was still battling for the title or had a chance of winning the race

I take the cynical view that it conveniently removes the awkwardness of expecting to tell Vettel to move over for Ricciardo by the Red Bull team in the race
McLaren with added yellow:

New Lotus nose:
So the FIA hadn't envisaged two of the small teams going into admin and the world champion sitting out qualifying, silly them! I'm sure it must have been discussed on here somewhere, perhaps CTA should take over from the FIA ;)
Anyway, it's official now, the format has changed to 4 out in first qualy 4 out in second quali and the usual top ten shootout
No room for error chaps!
Why aren't gearboxes like engines? You could use a fixed number each season then get penalised if you use more. Dodgy ones could be used in free practise then changed before qualifying without penalty.

Also, why aren't there restrictions on the number of nose/wing combinations? There is probably more cost involved in wings per year than there is in gearboxes.
The penalties for failures on mechanical components always seem a bit unfair to me, especially if said part fails during the race which could be construed as a pretty large penalty anyway.
I do enjoy seeing JB at the top of the timesheets (yes, I know it's only FP1) - as Murray Wlker used to say: "he should get his box brownie out and take a photograph of the leaderboard...":)
If anything I think the gearbox penalty system is better than the one for engines, which concentrates the penalties at the end of the season at the most critical time for the championship.
Top Bottom