18/11/2012

United States GP - Pre-Race Analysis

Grid Order: Hulkenberg 6th, di Resta 13th, Karthikeyan 24th.

The cars haven't even taken to the track yet and it's already been an eventful morning!

Having qualified in 8th place, Nico Hulkenberg was due to start 7th after a 5-place grid penalty for Romain Grosjean due to a gearbox change. However, this morning, Ferrari have changed Felipe Massa's gearbox to move Fernando Alonso up a place and get the Spanish driver onto the clean side of the grid. This means that Nico will line up in 6th place!

Actually, it could even become 5th if Red Bull decide to react and change Webber's gearbox to put Alonso back on the dirtier, slower side of the grid. That's unlikely, but possible.

Anyhow, Nico is provisionally starting 6th. The big question is, will there be a crash in the first corner as nearly everyone is expecting. If there is a crash, we really need to hope it's at the front. Starting from 6th place is very promising - a podium could be on the cards if other drivers ahead have issues. It could be crucial in the championship battle with Sauber.

Meanwhile Paul di Resta will start 13th. He'll be trying to brake into the points at the start of the race - he is on the clean side of the grid. Experts estimate that guys on the clean side should gain two places at the start which could be interesting. The Scottish driver must be cautious though, especially with Grosjean & Maldonado due to start 8th & 9th respectively.

Either way, it should be an exciting race for Sahara Force India. Their race pace has been competitive all weekend, even if one-lap pace has been quite erratic. It's very tough to predict what will happen really - but i'm sensing we'll either have a great result or an awful result!

As for Narain Karthikeyan, there's not an awful lot to say about him. He starts last - in the slowest car. Even beating his teammate this weekend is probably out of the question because the Indian missed FP1. Usually it wouldn't be such an issue but as this circuit is brand new - Narain had no prior knowledge; missing that 90 minute session on Friday is crucial. Let's hope he can make the checkered flag though :-)

Post-qualifying quotes are here, enjoy the race guys!!

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