Source: AFP | 2012-11-20 | NEWSPAPER EDITION
McLaren Mercedes's Lewis Hamilton (right) of Britain is sprayed by Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany after Hamilton won the Formula One US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, on Sunday. Vettel finished second. Below: Hamilton shows off the winner's trophy. - AP
LEWIS Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel had differing views on the critical 42nd passing move that decided Sunday's United States Grand Prix in favor of McLaren's British driver.
While Vettel complained about the nuisance factor of back-marker Narain Karthikeyan of HRT and his loss of seven precious points, Hamilton was delighted to find a way through for his fourth win of the season.
Vettel said: "I wasn't too happy to send a nice big invitation to Lewis when I had to go through Karthikeyan.
"He was right behind in the DRS zone. He took that opportunity, fair enough, down the straight and he passed me.
"I tried to defend, but I knew he would have so much more speed. I was obviously not too happy. Lewis had one chance and he took it... After that I tried to stay with him, but there wasn't much between us."
Hamilton admitted: "Overtaking Vettel wasn't easy... It was actually quite tricky.
"When I finally got close to him, I seemed to be catching him in the first sector and that was difficult.
"And then the backmarkers came into play, finally. How many times has it happened to me when I got caught out? (by backmarkers). But this time, it worked out and I knew that was going to be the lap.
"I turned the engine up to maximize the revs and went for the inside, but he defended. So, I went to the outside and he closed the door a bit so I was very lucky..."
Hamilton added that once he had taken the lead, he nursed his car - sometimes physically - to reach the finish and win.
Aware that he had been forced to retire as a convincing leader in both Singapore and Abu Dhabi, he said: "I rubbed the car and said 'Come on baby, we can make it'.
Fernando Alonso of Ferrari finished third after starting seventh on the grid, thanks to his team's pragmatic decision to break the gearbox seal on Felipe Massa's car, and his podium finish ensured that the title battle will go down to the wire at next weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo.
Vettel goes to Interlagos with a lead of 13 points, on 273 points compared to Alonso on 260.
Red Bull's Mark Webber, racing in third, had the task of defending Vettel's position, but his part in the race ended after 17 laps when he was forced to retire due to a grearbox failure.
It was the first time F1's best three drivers of the current crop had shared a podium and, to mark the Texan location, all three wore Stetson cowboy hats as they celebrated.
"First-time winner! I'm so happy. The fans were amazing, thank you. It was such a warm welcome and one of the best, if not the best, race of the year - especially for me and the team. It's been a long time since we had a win. I'm so proud of the team and grateful for the support we've had."