Lewis Hamilton continues to close in on a fourth Formula One world drivers’ championship but was denied his coronation at the United States grand prix despite cruising to his ninth race win of 2017.
The Briton extended his championship lead to 66 points as Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished second and he will regain the title if he finishes fifth or higher in Mexico next weekend.
Vettel pushed the Mercedes driver all the way in Texas, taking the lead into the first corner but he was soon swallowed up by Hamilton, who went on to cruise to victory which secures the Silver Arrows the constructors’ title for a fourth straight season.
“I feel amazing,” said Hamilton, 32, “Look at this crowd. These guys have been amazing. Since 2012 the crowd has been growing year on year. I think this track is now my favourite track. A big congratulations to the team. They work so hard back at the factory and here.
“I feel great. I am honoured you’re here (he tells Usain Bolt). It has been a humbling experience. It is a dream job. Many people would love to drive an F1 car and I can tell you it is the best experience in the world.”
Max Verstappen started 16th due to a grid penalty but dived his way through the field to seemingly complete the podium, passing Kimi Raikkonen on the final lap to secure third place. But via a five-second penalty for leaving the track during the manoeuvre he was replaced on the podium. The Dutchman’s Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo made an early retirement however due to engine failure.
Valtteri Bottas was unable to match his teammate’s speed and came fifth, while Estabn Ocon won the race for the top six, beating Carlos Sainz, Sergio Perez, Felipe Massa and the returning Daniil Kvyat.
“I am so happy and so proud of what the team have achieved,” said Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff. “So much effort has been put in 24-7 it couldn’t feel any better right now. At the end the best car wins. It is about pace and reliability and that made us win the constructors championship. It is not done yet (drivers’ championship) we need to seal in Mexico.”
Source : IBtimes