Lewis Hamilton clinched his sixth world championship, finishing second at the United States Grand Prix as Mercedes teammate Valteri Bottas took the chequered flag.
The Brit started fifth on the grid and only needed to finish in the top eight, or hope that Bottas didn’t win, to secure the driver’s championship, but Hamilton did more than was required, only just missing out on the race victory as his teammate passed him three laps from the end.
The Ferraris suffered a dismal race at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, lacking straight-line speed from the start. Sebastian Vettel was passed by Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc and Hamilton on the first lap and then suffered a suspension failure. Leclerc finished fourth, but never threatened the frontrunners.
Hamilton now sits just one world championship behind Michael Schumacher’s record tally of seven. The 34-year-old has been the dominant driver throughout the 2019 F1 season and now has the crown to prove it.
DRIVER OF THE DAY - Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
He might have finished second to his teammate, but this was an almighty drive from Hamilton. He gambled on a one-stop strategy and for a long time it looked like it might take him all the way to the chequered flag. In the end, his tyres just didn’t have the grip to give him the fight to keep Bottas at bay, but nonetheless this was a race that demonstrated why Hamilton is the driver of his generation.
WHERE THE RACE WAS WON
9/56 Suspension failure for Vettel! The German had already suffered a poor start to the race and now he's out of the race! The suspension broke as he went slightly wide and rattled over a few chunky bumps on the circuit.
38/56 Bottas box, box, box! The Finn comes into the pits. Hamilton might not last to the end of the race on these tyres. This is turning into an interesting tactical duel between the two Silver Arrows.
52/56 Bottas gets forced off the track! The Finn attempted to go the long way round to get past his teammate, but he couldn't make it stick and Bottas was forced wide. This fight is still on, though!
53/56 BOTTAS RETAKES THE LEAD! The Finn gets the job done a lot earlier on the straight and comfortably moves past Hamilton. Bottas simply had the straight line speed on his Mercedes teammate!
BOTTAS WINS THE US GRAND PRIX! AND HAMILTON IS THE WORLD CHAMPION! Bottas claims his fourth race victory of the season, but the headlines have been made by his Mercedes teammate who finishes behind him in second. Hamilton has clinched his SIXTH world championship!
Lewis Hamilton lève les bras après l'obtention de son sixième sacre de champion du monde de Formule 1 lors du Grand Prix des Etats-Unis
Image credit: Getty Images
PIT EXCHANGE OF THE DAY
“Okay, now we’re talking,” Bottas replied to his race engineer when with six laps remaining he was told that he was within two seconds, and DRS striking distance, of Hamilton. This race was defined by the duel at the front of the pack, with Hamilton and Bottas both narrating their battle over the team radio. It another another dimension.
The most notable overtake of the race was Bottas’ on Hamilton’s with three laps remaining, but in terms of skill Sergio Perez’s pass on Daniil Kvyat was the most impressive pass and demonstrated sheer opportunism from the Mexican driver.