Renault-powered cars locked out the podium in the USA Grand Prix at Austin today, with Sebastian Vettel (Infiniti Red Bull Racing) securing a dominant win over Romain Grosjean (Lotus F1 Team) and Mark Webber (Infiniti Red Bull Racing). It is the fifth time this season that Renault engines have had a clean sweep of the podium following success in Bahrain, Germany, Korea and Japan.
Williams F1 Team returned to points-winning form and secured 8th with Valtteri Bottas – the first F1 career points for the Finn. Pastor Maldonado, who had started from 18th, had a tougher race and passed the flag in 17th.
Lotus F1 Team’s new recruit Heikki Kovalainen, replacing Kimi Raikkonen for the final two races as he undergoes back surgery, had a stellar return to the cockpit, qualifying in P8 for his first Grand Prix in a year. The Finn raced in the top ten until a pit stop to change a broken front wing dropped him to 17th. Unfortunately, with his KERS not functioning, he could make no progress through the field and finished in 15th.
Caterham F1 Team finished with Giedo van der Garde 19th and Charles Pic 20th.
With one race remaining, Infiniti Red Bull Racing now has 553 points, Mercedes 348, Ferrari 333 and Lotus 315. The next race in Brazil comes in just one week and will be the swansong for the Renault RS27 V8 engine.
Rémi Taffin, Renault Sport F1 head of track operations
A great result yet again for both Infiniti Red Bull Racing and Lotus F1 Team, giving a perfect podium for Renault power. It’s a great result for everyone at Renault, particularly on the penultimate race for the V8 engine. That’s the 51st win for the RS27 and the 59th for the V8 – a record we can be proud of and hope to extend as the season draws to a close next week in Interlagos. It’s also really gratifying to see Williams score competitive points today. The package has been improving steadily in the final part of the year and the points came on merit.
There’s still everything up for grabs in the last race next weekend – we’d love to help Lotus to secure third in the constructors’ championship and for Caterham to snatch that 10th position as well. It’s very motivating as we head to the final race of the season and the final race of the V8 era.