US Grand Prix: Romain Grosjean praised by Mark Webber

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Vettel dominates US Grand Prix

Lotus driver Romain Grosjean believes second place at the US Grand Prix is reward for being a "better man".

Grosjean, 27, was called a "first lap nutcase" by Mark Webber last year, but beat him into third in Austin.

"It's no secret I have a psychologist, I'm a better man, a better driver," said Grosjean, who was given a one-race ban for causing a crash at Spa in 2012.

Webber said: "Last year he didn't have much respect from the paddock, now it's a different ball game."

Grosjean was heavily criticised in 2012 for a succession of first and second lap incidents, with Webber describing the Frenchman's driving as "embarrassing" following a crash at the Japanese Grand Prix in October.

The Frenchman could not compete with the pace of Sebastian Vettel, 26, in Austin as the German recorded an eighth win in a row, but in edging Webber by two seconds, he earned his fourth podium in five races and guaranteed a better overall finish in the drivers' championship than in 2012. He's currently seventh.

"I'm proud of what I've done and I'm sure a race win will come," said Grosjean, who was promoted from being Lotus test driver for the 2012 campaign.

Webber, who will retire from Formula 1 after next week's Brazilian Grand Prix, could not pass his rival in the closing stages and said his tyres prevented him from pushing too hard.

"This time last year you would have squeezed Romain into an error but he's getting more experienced now and he's become a good grand prix driver," added Webber, 37.

"You can see he's putting a weekend together. Not just two good laps on a Friday. Hopefully his bad days are over and he can have a good career."

Sauber driver Nico Hulkenberg, 26, continued an impressive run of form to finish less than one second down on Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, 32, in sixth.

"If I'm not mistaken, since Monza that would have been the eighth [seventh] points finish in a row if it wasn't for the brake disc failure in India and the drive-through in Abu Dhabi," said the German.

"That's a pretty impressive statistic. Unfortunately in the crucial part of the race, about 10 to 15 laps before the end, we didn't quite have the pace of Alonso, so he was able to overtake me."

Williams picked up their second points finish of 2013 as Finn Valtteri Bottas went from ninth on the grid to earn his first points in Formula 1 with an eighth-place finish.

"We managed the tyres well today and I had good feedback from my engineers on them throughout," said Bottas, 24.

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Hamilton happy to beat Alonso

"We did have a bit of pressure from Rosberg at the end but I was able to keep pushing and hold the position."

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton, 28, finished fourth, one place ahead of Alonso to boost Mercedes' chances of finishing ahead of the Italian manufacturer in the race to finish second in the constructors' championship behind Red Bull.

"I'm really happy, I feel like I've won the race," said Hamilton, whose team have a 15-point lead over Ferrari going into the final race of the season.

"I'm looking forward to the winter, but I still have a job to do, will be such a good feeling if we finish ahead of Ferrari, huge.

"Leap-frogging McLaren, Ferrari, Lotus is huge for the guys in the factory."

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