With fans strangely choosing Max Verstappen as their ‘Driver of the Day’ for the US Grand Prix, we decided to come up with a more potent ranking of the men who excelled at the Circuit of the Americas.
5. Lewis Hamilton
There was a possibility of Daniel Ricciardo jumping both Mercedes drivers on the supersoft tyres, but Hamilton dissipated such a threat with a perfect start from pole position.
From there on it was easy sailing for the Briton, who had built a one second cushion before the DRS was enabled on lap 2.
The 31-year-old went on to take an unchallenged win to reduce the points deficit to 26 points and stay in the title hunt with three races to go.
4. Romain Grosjean
Although Romain Grosjean failed to make the Q2 cut on Saturday, he scythed his way through the field on race day to score a solitary point at Haas’s home turf. It was Haas’ first top-10 result since July’s Austrian Grand Prix, where Grosjean finished seventh.
The Frenchman made much of the gains in the first stint, advancing from 17th to 11th on the supersoft tyres.
When Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen retired from the race, Grosjean inherited 10th place to bag a crucial point for himself and Haas.
3. Sergio Perez
After slipping to 17th place at the end of first lap following a clash with Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat, Sergio Perez remarkably recovered to finish eighth.
Force India had a strong car at the Circuit of the Americas, as attested by Nico Hulkenberg on Saturday. And the Mexican used the pace to his advantage, moving up to 12th by lap 10.
He continued his charge in the second stint to get inside the top 10 and eventually finish eight. A better result would have been possible, had he been lucky with the timing of the VSC.
Nevertheless, the result ensured Force India stays in fourth in the constructors standings, while Perez himself moved ahead of Valtteri Bottas in the drivers table.
2. Carlos Sainz
Carlos Sainz has shined at multiple occasions since his debut in 2015. And his US GP drive was one of the finest of his short, but impressive F1 career.
Having got into Q3 on Saturday, Sainz started from 10th on the grid. He moved up to eighth by the end of lap 1 and lucked into the VSC to jump ahead of Felipe Massa.
Although Alonso was able to get through in the latter stages of the race, sixth was nevertheless a fantastic result for the Toro Rosso driver.
1. Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso is unquestionably our driver of the driver of the day for pulling off a fifth place finish at Austin..
The foundation of the result were laid at the start when he jumped from 12th to ninth, taking advantage of a three-way clash between Vettel, Hulkenberg and Bottas.
When the VSC was deployed for Max Verstappen’s stoppage on lap 28, Alonso dived into the pits and moved ahead of Williams’ Felipe Massa.
The Spaniard was particularly quick in the final stint, charging his way past Sainz to finish fifth for McLaren-Honda.
The result moves him inside the top-10 in the drivers standings, only two points adrift of Hulkenberg.
by Rachit Thukral