Hamilton leads McLaren 1-2 at Indy

Lewis Hamilton took his second consecutive Grand Prix victory at Indianapolis and extended his championship lead to ten points over Fernando Alonso after a race-long battle with his McLaren teammate

Hamilton leads McLaren 1-2 at Indy

Pole-sitter Hamilton had held onto the lead at the start despite some concerted probes from Alonso on the opening lap.

He then proceeded to edge away and establish a three-second advantage before the first pitstops, with Hamilton coming on a lap ahead of the Spaniard on lap 21.

But in the middle stint Alonso rapidly closed on Hamilton, especially once they hit the long train of traffic that was trying to pass Vitantonio Liuzzi.

On lap 38 the two McLarens were absolutely nose to tail, with Alonso drafting Hamilton onto the pits straight and lining up a pass at Turn 1.

Hamilton defended the inside and Alonso could not complete an outside line pass, but the incident appeared to frustrate Alonso, who veered across the track to run very close to the McLaren pit wall on the following lap.

Alonso then made his final stop a lap ahead of Hamilton, rejoining two seconds adrift and having to follow his teammate to the flag.

Ferrari were not quite on McLaren's pace again, with Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen finishing close together in third and fourth, 13 seconds behind the leaders.

While Massa held a lonely third for most of the race, Raikkonen had to fight back after dropping to sixth at the start.

He spent his opening stint trapped behind Nick Heidfeld and Heikki Kovalainen, but put on a charge after switching to soft tyres at his first stop - setting the fastest lap of the race as he gained on Massa.

Kovalainen followed up his Canadian Grand Prix success with a strong fifth place, having led for several laps thanks to his long first stint.

Nico Rosberg was set for sixth, having used a one-stop strategy to progress from 14th on the grid, but he pulled off in a cloud of smoke with four laps remaining.

With Heidfeld also retiring with apparent hydraulic problems, the battling Jarno Trulli, Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel moved up to sixth, seventh and eighth.

That made 19-year-old Vettel the youngest ever F1 points-scorer, beating the record set by Jenson Button in 2000.

The German had lost several places with a trip across the grass at the start, but drove a steady race on his debut and often matched teammate Heidfeld's times.

In the final laps he closed right in on the battle between one-stopper Trulli and the two-stopping Webber, whose spirited dice for sixth saw the Red Bull skitter over the Turn 1 grass after a failed move down the inside.

Giancarlo Fisichella could only manage ninth after a spin on the second lap. He finished ahead of Alex Wurz, who lost a lot of time trapped behind Liuzzi early on.

The race saw far less drama than last week's Canadian event, but a first corner crash accounted for several competitors, as Ralf Schumacher veered into Rubens Barrichello and David Coulthard under braking, putting all three out.

Jenson Button was set briefly airbourne in the chain-reaction, but continued to finish 12th, being passed by Anthony Davidson in the final laps.

Davidson's Super Aguri teammate Takuma Sato spun off before he could be penalised for passing under yellow, so will receive a ten-place grid penalty at the French GP.

PROVISIONAL RACE RESULTS The US Grand Prix Indianapolis Motor Speedway, USA; 73 laps; 306.016km; Weather: Sunny. Classified: Pos Driver Team Time 1. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1h39:09.065 2. Alonso McLaren-Mercedes (B) + 1.518 3. Massa Ferrari (B) + 12.842 4. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) + 15.422 5. Kovalainen Renault (B) + 41.402 6. Trulli Toyota (B) + 1:06.703 7. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) + 1:07.331 8. Vettel BMW Sauber (B) + 1:07.783 9. Fisichella Renault (B) + 1 lap 10. Wurz Williams-Toyota (B) + 1 lap 11. Davidson Super Aguri-Honda (B) + 1 lap 12. Button Honda (B) + 1 lap 13. Speed Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) + 2 laps 14. Sutil Spyker-Ferrari (B) + 2 laps 15. Albers Spyker-Ferrari (B) + 3 laps 16. Liuzzi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) + 5 laps 17. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) + 5 laps Fastest lap: Raikkonen, 1:13.117 Not classified/retirements: Driver Team On lap Heidfeld BMW Sauber (B) 56 Sato Super Aguri-Honda (B) 14 Barrichello Honda (B) 2 Coulthard Red Bull-Renault (B) 2 R.Schumacher Toyota (B) 1 World Championship standings, round 7: Drivers: Constructors:  1. Hamilton 58 1. McLaren-Mercedes 106 2. Alonso 48 2. Ferrari 71 3. Massa 39 3. BMW Sauber 39 4. Raikkonen 32 4. Renault 25 5. Heidfeld 26 5. Williams-Toyota 13 6. Fisichella 13 6. Toyota 9 7. Kovalainen 12 7. Red Bull-Renault 6 8. Kubica 12 8. Super Aguri-Honda 4 9. Wurz 8 10. Trulli 7 11. Rosberg 5 12. Coulthard 4 13. Sato 4 14. R.Schumacher 2 15. Webber 2 16. Vettel 1 All timing unofficial 
shares
comments
Albers hopes split from manager helps him

Previous article

Albers hopes split from manager helps him

Next article

Hamilton hails 'dream' American week

Hamilton hails 'dream' American week
Load comments
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021