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US GP: Vettel scores eighth consecutive victory at Austin

Sebastian Vettel extended his Formula 1 winning streak to eight consecutive races with another easy victory in the United States Grand Prix.

The result made Vettel the first man ever to win eight straight grands prix in a single season.

While Vettel quickly established a comfortable lead and kept it between six and 10 seconds for most of the afternoon, Romain Grosjean denied Red Bull a one-two by keeping his Lotus ahead of Mark Webber in second.

Webber's start was arguably slightly better than Vettel's, but he ran out of space trying to pass his team-mate into Turn 1 and was overtaken around the outside by both Grosjean and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton.

The Red Bull dismissed the Mercedes down the outside into the hairpin at the end of the back straight on lap 13, then began a race-long chase of Grosjean.

A change of position seemed inevitable as Webber rapidly caught the Lotus, but the Australian's tyres faded in the final laps and he had to settle for third.

Hamilton retained fourth place despite a challenge from Fernando Alonso's Ferrari.

Alonso had jumped Sergio Perez's McLaren at their sole pitstops, then hunted down and passed Nico Hulkenberg.

The Ferrari and Sauber both gained on Hamilton in the final laps before Alonso began to run out of tyre grip. Hulkenberg dived back ahead of him into Turn 1 starting the final lap, but Alonso cut back inside and reclaimed the spot.

Behind Perez, Valtteri Bottas scored the first points of his F1 career with an excellent drive to eighth for Williams.

He stayed safely ahead of Nico Rosberg as the Mercedes put on a series of mid-race overtaking moves to salvage ninth after Rosberg's poor qualifying result.

Jenson Button grabbed the final point from Daniel Ricciardo late on. Jean-Eric Vergne and Esteban Gutierrez clashed in their wake on the last lap, while Felipe Massa had to make an extra pitstop and finished only 13th.

Heikki Kovalainen's first appearance in the ex-Kimi Raikkonen Lotus proved very disappointing. He lost ground at the start, had to make an extra pitstop for a new front wing, then struggled with KERS issues on the way to 15th.

The only retirement was Adrian Sutil, who clashed with Pastor Maldonado's Williams on the back straight on the opening lap. The Force India slammed into the barriers, prompting a safety car.

PROVISIONAL RACE RESULTS

The USA Grand Prix
Circuit of the Americas, USA;
56 laps; 308.896km;
Weather: Sunny.

Classified:

 1.  Sebastian Vettel     Red Bull-Renault      1h39m17.148s
 2.  Romain Grosjean      Lotus-Renault              +6.284s
 3.  Mark Webber          Red Bull-Renault           +8.396s
 4.  Lewis Hamilton       Mercedes                  +27.358s
 5.  Fernando Alonso      Ferrari                   +29.592s
 6.  Nico Hulkenberg      Sauber-Ferrari            +30.400s
 7.  Sergio Perez         McLaren-Mercedes          +46.692s
 8.  Valtteri Bottas      Williams-Renault          +54.509s
 9.  Nico Rosberg         Mercedes                  +59.141s
10.  Jenson Button        McLaren-Mercedes        +1m17.278s
11.  Daniel Ricciardo     Toro Rosso-Ferrari      +1m21.004s
12.  Jean-Eric Vergne     Toro Rosso-Ferrari      +1m24.574s
13.  Felipe Massa         Ferrari                 +1m26.914s
14.  Esteban Gutierrez    Sauber-Ferrari          +1m31.707s
15.  Heikki Kovalainen    Lotus-Renault           +1m35.063s
16.  Paul di Resta        Force India-Mercedes    +1m36.853s
17.  Pastor Maldonado     Williams-Renault            +1 lap
18.  Jules Bianchi        Marussia-Cosworth           +1 lap
19.  Giedo van der Garde  Caterham-Renault            +1 lap
20.  Charles Pic          Caterham-Renault            +1 lap
21.  Max Chilton          Marussia-Cosworth          +2 laps

Retirements:

     Adrian Sutil         Force India-Mercedes        0 laps

Fastest lap: Vettel 1m39.856s

World Championship standings, round 18:                

Drivers:                    Constructors:             
 1.  Vettel        372        1.  Red Bull-Renault          553
 2.  Alonso        227        2.  Mercedes                  348
 3.  Hamilton      187        3.  Ferrari                   333
 4.  Raikkonen     183        4.  Lotus-Renault             315
 5.  Webber        171        5.  McLaren-Mercedes          102
 6.  Rosberg       161        6.  Force India-Mercedes       77
 7.  Grosjean      132        7.  Sauber-Ferrari             53
 8.  Massa         106        8.  Toro Rosso-Ferrari         32
 9.  Button         61        9.  Williams-Renault            5
10.  Di Resta       48       
11.  Hulkenberg     47       
12.  Perez          41       
13.  Sutil          29       
14.  Ricciardo      19       
15.  Vergne         13       
16.  Gutierrez       6       
17.  Bottas          4       
18.  Maldonado       1       
       
All timing unofficial

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