Hamilton bounces back with Austin victory

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton boosted his Formula 1 title hopes by scoring a dominant victory in the United States Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver led almost every lap to clinch his 50th career win as he led home title rival and team-mate Nico Rosberg, while Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was third.

Hamilton made no mistakes from pole position and was rarely threatened through the 56 lap journey at the Circuit of the Americas.

His fourth triumph at the venue has cut Rosberg’s championship lead to 26 points with races in Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi remaining.

While Hamilton enjoyed a comfortable run out front, Rosberg had to fight hard for his second place after initially losing the position to Ricciardo on the opening lap.

The championship leader remained in third after the first round of pitstops with the sister Red Bull of Max Verstappen in fourth.

However, a sequence of bad luck for Verstappen ultimately saw Ricciardo drop behind Rosberg.

Verstappen’s race unravelled by coming into the pits too earlier for his second stop, which caught his Red Bull crew by surprise.

In an unrelated incident, the Dutchman then suffered a gearbox failure and his stricken Red Bull triggered a Virtual Safety Car period.

Hamilton and Rosberg both chose to pit for an effectively ‘free’ stop allowing the latter to leapfrog Ricciardo, who had already completed his second stop under green flag conditions.

The top three remained in that order to the chequered flag.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel came through to finish fourth on a disappointing day for the Italian squad that saw a three-stopping Kimi Raikkonen retire following a pitstop mix up.

The Finn left his pit bay with a loose right rear wheel and was told to stop at the end of the pitlane.

Ferrari was later fined €5000 ($7,100 AUD) for an unsafe release.

A late charge from Fernando Alonso saw the the double world championship finish fifth for McLaren.

However, Alonso was to be investigated by the stewards post-race for contact while passing Felipe Massa, which resulted in a puncture for the Williams driver.

Alonso was cleared of any wrongdoing following a visit to the stewards.

Carlos Sainz finished sixth after losing out in his battle with Alonso on the penultimate lap as Massa recovered to seventh after his late stop.

The top 10 was completed by Sergio Perez (Force India), Jenson Button (McLaren) and Romain Grosjean, who scored a point for Haas F1 on home soil.

Perez was turned into a spin on the opening lap by Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat, who received a 10 second penalty for his role in the clash, dropping him to 12th at the flag.

Esteban Gutierrez retired his Haas F1 after suffering a brake problem, while the list of non-finishers also featured Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, who clashed with Valtteri Bottas on the first lap.

Bottas managed to recover from a puncture to claim 16th although trackrod damage ruled Hulkenberg out of the race.

*Renault’s Kevin Magnussen has been demoted to 12th after being handed a five second post-race penalty for gaining a position by leaving the track.

Result: Formula 1 United States Grand Prix 

Position Driver Team Time/Gap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 56 Laps
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes +4.52s
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault +19.69
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari +43.13
5 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda +1:33.95
6 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Ferrari +1:36.12
7 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes +1 Lap
8 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes +1 Lap
9 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda +1 Lap
10 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari +1 Lap
11 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Ferrari +1 Lap
12 Kevin Magnussen Renault +1 Lap
13 Jolyon Palmer Renault +1 Lap
14 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari +1 Lap
15 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari +1 Lap
16 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes +1 Lap
17 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes +1 Lap
18 Esteban Ocon Manor/Mercedes +2 Laps
DNF Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari Retirement
DNF Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault Gearbox
DNF Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari Retirement
DNF Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes Collision

Championship Standings

Position Driver Points
1 Nico Rosberg 331
2 Lewis Hamilton 305
3 Daniel Ricciardo 227
4 Sebastian Vettel 177
5 Kimi Raikkonen 170
6 Max Verstappen 165
7 Sergio Perez 84
8 Valtteri Bottas 81
9 Nico Hulkenberg 54
10 Fernando Alonso 52
11 Felipe Massa 49
12 Carlos Sainz 38
13 Romain Grosjean 29
14 Daniil Kvyat 25
15 Jenson Button 21
16 Kevin Magnussen 7
17 Jolyon Palmer 1
18 Pascal Wehrlein 1
19 Stoffel Vandoorne 1
20 Esteban Gutierrez 0
21 Marcus Ericsson 0
22 Felipe Nasr 0
23 Rio Haryanto 0
24 Esteban Ocon 0

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