Lewis Hamilton overtook his teammate in the 24th lap to win the United States Grand Prix and extend his lead over his Mercedes teammate, Nico Rosberg to 24 points with just 2 races remaining and a maximum of 75 points up for grabs.
Hamilton started 2nd from the grid behind his Mercedes teammate; Rosberg had won pole position on Saturday although it was Hamilton who was the faster car all throughout practice. The Williams pair of Felipe Massa and Valterri Bottas lining up in the second row.
As the season has gone it was the Mercedes pair who ran away at the front and were followed by the rest of the grid.
The Mercedes duel
With only Hamilton and Rosberg having a chance of winning the Formula 1 driver’s championship at the last race in Abu Dhabi, Rosberg got a good start from the line but was closely followed by Hamilton all throughout the race.
Rosberg had the choice of making the pit stop decisions since he was lead Mercedes car but none of the leaders decided to come into the pit lane when the safety car came out in the first lap when Sergio Perez misjudged a corner and rammed into Adrian Sutil; both cars had to retire with some drivers from the tail of the grid opting to come into the pit to have a change of tires.
Rosberg did pit in the 15th lap ahead of Hamilton, while Hamilton lapped a lap later to continue his chase of Rosberg. Hamilton was getting closer each lap and by lap 24 he was gaining time over Rosberg before he made his move on Rosberg. Hamilton overtook the German at the hairpin on turn 12 when Rosberg didn’t expect it.
Rosberg kept the distance to just over a second between him and Hamilton but Hamilton was able to pull a 2 second gap to give him some breathing space, Rosberg could not fight back and Hamilton went on to win the US GP.
This was his 5th win in a row and now is tied with Fernando Alonso on fifth in all time race wins in Formula 1. Hamilton has 32 wins in Formula 1; he is now won more races than any Briton, surpassing Nigel Mansell on the list.
This will come as a bitter blow to Rosberg as he was unable to convert another pole position into a win and would provide the final push for Hamilton in his pursuit of a second driver’s championship. Rosberg will have to drive his car to the limit and beyond in the final two races to have even a glimmer of hope of beating Hamilton.
Ricciardo, the best of the rest
Daniel Ricciardo finished up in the final podium place after driving superbly once again, having started badly on the grid and being dropped to sixth place. He overtook Fernando Alonso with a brilliant move after the safety car restart and then overtook the Williams pair with some brilliant pit work and overtaking maneuvers.
This was yet another sterling performance from the Australian, who has shone brighter than 4 time world champion Sebastian Vettel, who is moving to Ferrari at the end of this season.
Alonso came in 6th behind Bottas and Massa; Vettel overcame a start from the pit lane due to a penalty to finish in a respectable 7th position. McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen took 8th position while Pastor Maldonado finished 9th in his Lotus. Jean-Eric Verne got the final point by finishing in 10th.
Picture courtesy: Ibtimes