United States F1 Grand Prix 2013: Results, Times for Practice and Qualifying

Mark Patterson@@MarkPattersonBRUK Staff WriterNovember 15, 2013

United States F1 Grand Prix 2013: Results, Times for Practice and Qualifying

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    Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettal and Romain Grosjean (from left to right)
    Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettal and Romain Grosjean (from left to right)Mark Thompson/Getty Images

    The 2013 Formula 1 season's penultimate race takes place in Austin, Texas, at the Circuit of the Americas.

    The season's major prizes have all been settled—Sebastian Vettel is world champion, and Red Bull are the top constructors once again—but behind them there's plenty of intrigue on the track and off it, with the last few race seats in 2014 up for grabs.

    Practice sessions for the race take place on Friday and Saturday ahead of qualifying, with the race set for Sunday.

    Bleacher Report Race Weekend Essentials

    Your comprehensive U.S. GP preview by Neil James.

    Key storylines to watch in Austin by Scott Mitchell.

    Looking at the race weekend odds.  

Qualifying: Sebastian Vettel Steals the Show Again

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    Paul Gilham/Getty Images

    In what should come as a shock to no one that has followed Formula One this season, Team Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel finished first in qualifying for Sunday’s Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

    Vettel managed a time of 1:36.338.

    Team Red Bull teammate Mark Webber was also in contention for the pole as he racked up an impressive time of 1:36.441, just 0.1 seconds off the lead. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or an F1 fanatic to explain just how similar those times are and how hard it is for a team to achieve that much consistency.

    Romain Grosjean of Team Lotus used his stellar performance in the third practice session to gain momentum heading into Saturday’s qualifying and managed an impressive third-place finish. His time of 1:37.155 has him less than a second off the pace of the leaders.

    Nico Hulkenberg of Team Sauber was another driver that took his solid finish in Saturday’s morning practice and carried it over into qualifying with a time of 1:37.296. He earned a fourth-place starting spot for Sunday’s event.

    Team Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton rounded out the top five with a time of 1:37.345.

    Here is a complete list of where every driver qualified:

    Qualifying Results
    1S Vettel (GER)Red Bull1:36.338
    2M Webber (AUS)Red Bull1:36.441
    3R Grosjean (FRA)Lotus1:37.155
    4N Hülkenberg (GER)Sauber1:37.296
    5LC Hamilton (GBR)Mercedes1:37.345
    6F Alonso (ESP)Ferrari1:37.376
    7S Perez (MEX)McLaren1:37.452
    8H Kovalainen (FIN)Lotus1:37.715
    9V Bottas (FIN)Williams1:37.836
    10E Gutiérrez (MEX)Sauber1:38.034
    11D Ricciardo (AUS) Toro Rosso 1:38.131
    12P di Resta (GBR)Force India1:38.139
    13J Button (GBR)McLaren1:38.217
    14N Rosberg (GER)Mercedes1:38.364
    15F Massa (BRA)Ferrari1:38.592
    16 JE Vergne (FRA) Toro Rosso 1:38.696
    17A Sutil (GER)Force India1:39.250
    18P Maldonado (VEN)Williams1:39.351
    19G van der Garde (NED)Caterham1:40.491
    20J Bianchi (FRA)Marussia1:40.528
    21C Pic (FRA)Caterham1:40.596
    22M Chilton (GBR)Marussia1:41.401
    *Times via ESPNF1.com.

FP3: Team Red Bull Does It Again

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    Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

    Sebastian Vettel and team Red Bull stole the show at the third practice session Saturday for the 2013 United States Formula One Grand Prix.

    Vettel and teammate Mark Webber had the two fastest times in free practice with times of 1:36.733 and 1:36.936 respectively. The duo managed to hold off the hard-charging Team Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton as he put up a late-lap time of 1:37.064.

    Nico Hulkenberg of Team Sauber (1:37.272) and Romain Grosjean of Team Lotus (1:37.345) finished fourth and fifth respectively.

    If the tight gap between times on the leaderboard are any indication of how fierce the competition will be for the United States Grand Prix Sunday, this race will be a can’t miss television event.

    Free Practice Three Results
    1S Vettel (GER)Red Bull1:36.733
    2M Webber (AUS)Red Bull1:36.936
    3LC Hamilton (GBR)Mercedes1:37.064
    4N Hülkenberg (GER)Sauber1:37.272
    5R Grosjean (FRA)Lotus1;37.345
    6J Button (GBR)McLaren1:37.534
    7N Rosberg (GER)Mercedes1:37.578
    8S Perez (MEX)McLaren1:37.583
    9V Bottas (FIN)Williams1:37.747
    10A Sutil (GER)Force India1:37.748
    11F Alonso (ESP)Ferrari1:37.763
    12E Gutiérrez (MEX)Sauber1:37.774
    13H Kovalainen (FIN)Lotus1:37.879
    14P Maldonado (VEN)Williams1:38.022
    15D Ricciardo (AUS) Toro Rosso 1:38.109
    16P di Resta (GBR)Force India1:38.275
    17F Massa (BRA)Ferrari1:38.408
    18 JE Vergne (FRA) Toro Rosso 1:38.636
    19C Pic (FRA)Caterham1:39.578
    20G van der Garde (NED)Caterham1:40.056
    21J Bianchi (FRA)Marussia1:40.825
    22M Chilton (GBR)Marussia1:41.293

    *Times via ESPNF1.com.

FP2: Vettel Back in Front

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    Mark Thompson/Getty Images

    Sebastian Vettel reprised his familiar position on the top of the timesheets in second practice ahead of the United States Grand Prix in Austin.

    The unusual looking results from FP1 were replaced with Red Bull in the top two slots, followed by the Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.

    But an encouraging fifth place went to Heikki Kovalainen in the Lotus. The Finn, stepping in for injured compatriot Kimi Raikkonen, was just seven-tenths of a second adrift of Vettel and quicker than teammate Romain Grosjean.

    But regardless of the rest of the field, it was Vettel who looked like the class act—both on the quicker tyres and on the prime tyres when running a race simulation. 

    At one stage, as reported by Autosport, he was told to slow down by his team because his lap of 1:42.9 was still faster than the time plan proposed by his engineers.

    If that is his biggest worry this weekend, there's no reason to assume the German won't seal an eighth consecutive Grand Prix victory.

    Elsewhere on the track, both Saubers fared well and bagged top eight positions—good enough to be ahead of both McLarens and Ferraris, and some indication of how far Formula 1's two leading marques have drifted away from the front of the grid as the season wears on. 

    Tyres lasted well on longer stints, suggesting that teams will look to avoid too many trips to the pits on race day. 

    Here are the session times as recorded by Lotus:

    That'll do for #FP2; P5 & highest lap count for @H_Kovalainen / P8 for @RGrosjean #F1 #USGP #GetWellSoonKimi pic.twitter.com/6vyjdrs1wj

    — Lotus F1 Team (@Lotus_F1Team) November 15, 2013

FP1: Alonso Tops Bizarre Session

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    Paul Gilham/Getty Images

    Fernando Alonso came out in front in a bizarre first practice session ahead of the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin.

    The first 40 minutes of the session were lost to fog, the visibility too poor for the drivers to get out and test, and the medical helicopters would be unable to take off or land in the event of an emergency.

    Then, a quarter-of-an-hour later, the session was red-flagged when it transpired that there was in fact no medical helicopter present.

    Photo of medical helicopter landing. Nearly blew me off my feet! Practice back under way. #F1 pic.twitter.com/gnxrDaejx3

    — American-StatesmanGP (@StatesmanGP) November 15, 2013

    Some might suggest that the strangest event of all, however, was seeing a Ferrari top the timesheets. The men behind Alonso—McLaren's Jenson Button, Valtteri Bottas of Williams and Esteban Gutierrez in the Sauber—gave a hint to how topsy-turvy the truncated session times were.

    Sebastian Vettel was down in 18th, though his running was not a true indication of his pace, and more is expected of the Red Bull provided the second session is unaffected by weather or circumstance.

    After the session Button was slapped with a three-place grid penalty for an overtaking manoeuvre under the red flag. 

    And during the session news filtered through that the absent Kimi Raikkonen's back operation had taken place successfully.

    Here are the session times, as tweeted by Ferrari:

    #GPUSA Classifica #FP1 - - #FP1 Time Sheets pic.twitter.com/AybYioGLMr

    — Scuderia Ferrari (@InsideFerrari) November 15, 2013