The track temperature for the entire US Grand Prix weekend bordered around 50 degrees C, and many of the drivers commented on how hot it was.
Robert Kubica was unfortunately not able to race. He was perfectly fit and healthy after his 180 mph accident the previous weekend, but the medics decided that it wasn’t a good idea to risk a second accident and tempt any serious injuries. This meant a Formula 1 debut for young German driver Sebastian Vettel. At just 19 years old, the driver was called up on the Thursday and pretty much thrown in at the deep end.
The McLaren’s still looked as though they held pace over the Ferrari’s and took the top two spots in qualifying. All the potential and rumoured animosity between Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton rested on the first corner.
It was close. Alonso desperately wanted to get past his team mate, and they could so easily have collided, but common sense took precedence over pride. Alonso settled for second place going through the first corner.
Traffic seemed to be a real problem around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, mostly because the circuit is so fast that it is very difficult to find overtaking spots. Having said that, Giancarlo Fisichella in the Renault had suffered a spin on the first lap and found himself having to make up places through the race. He was on top form, overtaking cars all over the place.
Takuma Sato retired from the race, but before he did so, he was investigated by stewards for overtaking under yellow flags. They decided that he had done so and penalised him with a ten place drop in qualifying position for the next race. This is quite a blow for the Super Aguri which will basically put it right at the back – unless he can pull an amazing performance out in France.
The battle between Alonso and Hamilton continued throughout the pit stops, and despite feeling that he was the faster car, Alonso was stuck behind his team mate for the majority of the race. During one pass of the pit wall, Alonso swerved towards his team, and it has been suggested that he was trying to show the bosses his frustration at being held up. Alonso claims that he was just trying to get some clear air. Hamilton held out for the win, and on the podium, second place Alonso made sure that they were arm in arm – a show of solidarity. But it definitely looks like there is more to this than meets the eye.