An eventful and dramatic inaugural race in Austin, and one which will have pleased the neutrals, ensuring that the world drivers' championship will be decided at the finale in Interlagos.
First of all, I must say that I am quite impressed by the Circuit of The Americas as a venue. The track layout is interesting, having attracted widespread praise and approval from the drivers, and appears to promote close racing and overtaking. A bumper crowd was on hand to witness this race too. As far as American Formula 1 venues go, we have had several false dawns, but Austin just may have found the solution which the sport has been craving. Only time will tell on this.
Lewis Hamilton very much went racing today, prepared to take the fight to the mighty Red Bulls, having split them in qualifying. McLaren's formidable pace was confirmed by the performance of Jenson Button, once he had extricated himself from the seething midfield pack.
Hamilton's victory will also have pleased Fernando Alonso, as it made the Spaniard's task in Brazil seem slightly less daunting. Alonso's cause was also aided by a rare mechanical failure for Mark Webber, and also it must be said by Ferrari's decision to "strategically" incur a grid penalty for Felipe Massa's car. Notwithstanding these factors, it still reflects wonderfully on Alonso that he is still in there pitching for the title. Given the performance deficit in comparison to Red Bull, one can hardly blame Ferrari for exploring every available avenue, or begrudge them the occasional slice of good fortune. One senses that Alonso's priority in Austin was simply to keep the struggle going for next weekend.
So, what of the prospects for Interlagos? It goes without saying that Vettel is the strong favourite, but it will only take one mistake or unforeseen incident for Alonso to snatch an unlikely world championship.