Sebastian Vettel took revenge after what happened in Austin last year, with an unchallenged victory at this year's US Grand Prix. Romain Grosjean was again in top form, scoring his fourth podium in five of the recent races while Mark Webber finished on the podium in penultimate F1 race of his career. Lewis Hamilton had to manage his tyres in a one-stop race while his former teammate Fernando Alonso was indulged in his own battles. But the star of the show was Valtteri Bottas who scored the first points of his career in form of an eighth place finish. Here are our top 5 drivers from the 2013 US Grand Prix.
Sebastian Vettel - 10/10
Sebastian Vettel cruised to his 12th victory of the season in USA and in the process surpassed Michael Schumacher to take the record of most consecutive victories in a season - eight.
The German got a clean start and increased his gap to 1.5 seconds over Romain Grosjean by the end of first lap. However, Adrian Sutil's accident on first lap had brought out the Safety Car and Vettel had to survive a safety car restart a few laps later. That wasn't a major problem for Sebastian Vettel and he continued to increase his lead over the rest of the field despite repetitive reminders from his race engineer. He made his sole stop on lap 27 and subsequently increased his lead, lap after lap, before decreasing his pace massively in the final 10 laps. In the end, he crossed the finish line with a cushion of six seconds over his nearest rival on a day which he hauled as one to remember for in years to come.
Valtteri Bottas - 10/10
If we had to choose one driver who impressed us the most at Austin(apart from Sebastian Vettel), it has to be Valtteri Bottas. The Finn, who showed first sparks of serious talent in Canada earlier this year got his car into Q3 while his experienced race winning teammate Pastor Maldonado was relegated in the first leg of qualifying. He has been in stunning form throughout the weekend and he was able to take it to the main race too on Sunday. He made a decent start and passed the slow starting Lotus of Heikki Kovalainen. Later in the race, he put on a spectacular move over Esteban Gutierrez to take eight at the chequered flag and his first career points. This was also only the second time that a Williams scored a point this season with Maldonado having scored a point in July's Hungarian Grand Prix.
Romain Grosjean - 9/10
Romain Grosjean's run of impressive finishes continued at the Circuit of the Americas where he took his fifth podium of the season. The Frenchman had qualified in third and was highest placed non-Red Bull on the grid.
He passed slow starter Mark Webber in first couple of corners before starting a race long battle with him which got particularly intense in the final stages of the race. In the end, Grosjean held off the faster Red Bull at bay, despite Webber coming within a second of him to equal his career finishing position. All he now needs is a spot on the top step of the podium, which now so often is occuppied by Sebastian Vettel.
Fernando Alonso - 8/10
Fifth mind sound like a poor result for a driver of Alonso's calibre but the Spaniard had to work really hard for the same. He started the race from the dirty side on the grid in sixth place and hence lost a position to McLaren's Sergio Perez. Alonso then decided to wait longer for his pit stop than Perez and with the latter struck in traffic, the Spaniard way able to get ahead of him once he stopped on lap 26. Alonso found his Ferrari to be better on the hard tyres on which he passed Nico Hulkenberg and set out a chase on Lewis Hamilton. However, he soon started suffering from severe tyre degradation and had to keep him at bay rather than charging Hamilton for fifth place. Hulkenberg briefly moved ahead of Alonso for a few metres at turn 1, before Alonso used his superior skills to stay ahead of the charging German and take fifth at the chequered flag.
Lewis Hamilton - 7/10
Lewis Hamilton did a fairly decent job on Sunday to finish in fourth place at Austin. The word before the race was that a one stop strategy was somewhere around 10 seconds faster than a two stop strategy and the British driver had to get out of his usual style and manage his tyres to secure his best position since August's Belgian Grand Prix.
The 2008 world champion got a great get away and passed Nico Hulkenberg and Mark Webber as drivers went up hill towards turn 1. However, Webber was constantly putting pressure on Hamilton and finally passed him on lap 13, relegating the latter to fourth place. From there, the Brit managed his pace and started concentrating on those who were behind him instead of those who were ahead of him on the track. He was successful in keeping Hulkenberg out of the DRS zone but the actual problem arose when Alonso passed Hulkenberg on lap 44 and started a charge on his former teammate. But Hamilton was able to give an answer to the Spaniard's pace and when the latter's tyres were in trouble, Hamilton could cruise to the Chequered flag and take fourth.