November 14th 2012

Birthdays:
Patryck Szczerbinski (POL), who recently tested a GP3 car and has been driving in the Porsche Supercup this year, is 19 today.

On This Day:
Sebastian Vettel (GER) had pole at the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but could he convert that into not only a win, but his first championship? It was unlikely, but strategy paid off for the German. Michael Schumacher (GER) spun on the first lap, and an unlucky Tonio Liuzzi (ITA) drove up the Mercedes’ nose. Fortunately nobody was injured, but the resulting safety car saw several drivers pit. These drivers would determine the course of the race as the Bridgestones – in their last race in F1 – held on for the entire race. Mark Webber (AUS) was forced to pit after damaging his Red Bull, and Ferrari responded by pitting Fernando Alonso (ESP). It was a bad mistake. Alonso got stuck behind Vitaly Petrov (RUS) for the entire race, since the Renault had pitted under the safety car, and neither he not Webber could make up the positions to Vettel. The young German dominated in typical fashion, and took the unexpected championship victory.
Ferrari’s Gerhard Berger (AUT) took pole on this day at the 1987 Australian Grand Prix.

News:
Caterham’s American test driver Alexander Rossi will not be driving in FP1 at COTA. This is to allow their drivers time to learn the track.

Today:
It’s the FOTA Fans Forum at Austin! This will take place at 11.30pm GMT, and feature Alexander Rossi and Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) of Caterham, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) of Sauber, and Valtteri Bottas (FIN) of Williams. The forum can be viewed online at http://www.fittotweet.com/live/fota

Stat of the Day:
In contrast to yesterday’s statistic, the driver who has lost the most positions during a race is, unsurprisingly, Romain Grosjean (FRA), who has lost on average over 5 positions per race. This is down to his many unfortunate race retirements. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) and Michael Schumacher are also struggling. In fact, Schumacher has lost places in 13 of the 18 races so far this season, though he gained a lot in the five where he did do well.

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