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Hamilton clinches 6th F1 title as Bottas wins U.S. Grand Prix

4 November 2019 - Autoblog

Hamilton clinches 6th F1 title as Bottas wins U.S. Grand Prix

There are still two F1 races on the 2019 calendar

Lewis Hamilton secured his sixth Formula One championship with a second-place finish Sunday at the U.S. Grand Prix, a race won by his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.

The British driver now ranks second in F1 history behind German Michael Schumacher's record seven titles. Hamilton has won the last three season championships and locked this one up with two races left.

He has been a dominant force at the Circuit of the Americas, with five wins here since it opened in 2012, but a poor qualifying set up a start from fifth.

Hamilton quickly bolted to third on the first lap as he passed the Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc. From there, Hamilton looked to be in the hunt for his sixth win at the track while knowing he could coast in for the championship, because a finish as low as eighth would clinch it.

He still fought hard for the victory before fading late in the final five laps to fall behind Bottas, who was on fresher tires.

"Still we rise!" Hamilton radioed to his garage on a lap after the checkered flag.

Sunday was the second time Hamilton secured the championship in Austin, matching his 2015 title, when he fought off Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in the final laps to get the victory. In 2017 and 2018, he clinched the title in Mexico City without reaching the podium either time.

Hamilton could have rolled through a lazy Sunday drive had he wanted to, but championship drivers seldom do. Not when in pursuit of history.

"It's an honor to be up here with these (past) greats," Hamilton said. "My dad taught me when I was like 6 or 7 years old to never give up. That's our family motto."

Bottas was the only driver still mathematically in the hunt for the title, but just barely. Bottas had to win and have Hamilton fade to ninth or lower in order to extend the championship to the Brazilian Grand Prix in two weeks.

Saturday's qualifying left Hamilton starting from the third row as the cars bolted uphill into the blind left turn that can make the field become a demolition derby. Hamilton stayed clear of the dangerous traffic, giving Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Ferrari's Leclerc plenty of room to maneuver to avoid a collision.

Hamilton wasn't content to stay there.

He quickly reeled in and zoomed past the Ferraris into third halfway through the first lap. From there it was a matter of settling in for a long race to see whether he could make a move for a championship victory.

Hamilton grabbed the lead when Bottas pitted for tires and he didn't let it go without a fight. He defended against a Bottas pass with six laps remaining before finally surrendering the spot on the next lap.

Verstappen was looking to pass Hamilton on the final lap, but a yellow flag caused by Haas driver Kevin Magnussen ended the threat and gave Mercedes the 1-2 finish.

The Circuit of the Americas had a special spot reserved for the championship car next to the podium winners for the post-race celebrations.

There was only one car that could be.

FORMULA 1 EMIRATES UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX 2019 - RACE RESULT

01-03 Nov 2019 Circuit of The Americas, Austin

177Valtteri BottasMERCEDES561:33:55.65325
244Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES56+4.148s18
333Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA56+5.002s15
416Charles LeclercFERRARI56+52.239s13
523Alexander AlbonRED BULL RACING HONDA56+78.038s10
63Daniel RicciardoRENAULT56+90.366s8
74Lando NorrisMCLAREN RENAULT56+90.764s6
855Carlos SainzMCLAREN RENAULT55+1 lap4
927Nico HulkenbergRENAULT55+1 lap2
1011Sergio PerezRACING POINT BWT MERCEDES55+1 lap1
117Kimi RäikkönenALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI55+1 lap0
1226Daniil KvyatSCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA55+1 lap0
1318Lance StrollRACING POINT BWT MERCEDES55+1 lap0
1499Antonio GiovinazziALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI55+1 lap0
158Romain GrosjeanHAAS FERRARI55+1 lap0
1610Pierre GaslySCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA54DNF0
1763George RussellWILLIAMS MERCEDES54+2 laps0
1820Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI52DNF0
NC88Robert KubicaWILLIAMS MERCEDES31DNF0
NC5Sebastian VettelFERRARI7DNF0

Note - Kvyat received a post-race, 5-second time penalty for causing a collision. Leclerc scored an additional point for setting the fastest lap of the race.

2019 Driver Standings

1Lewis HamiltonGBRMERCEDES381
2Valtteri BottasFINMERCEDES314
3Charles LeclercMONFERRARI249
4Max VerstappenNEDRED BULL RACING HONDA235
5Sebastian VettelGERFERRARI230
6Alexander AlbonTHARED BULL RACING HONDA84
7Carlos SainzESPMCLAREN RENAULT80
8Pierre GaslyFRASCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA77
9Daniel RicciardoAUSRENAULT46
10Sergio PerezMEXRACING POINT BWT MERCEDES44
11Lando NorrisGBRMCLAREN RENAULT41
12Nico HulkenbergGERRENAULT37
13Daniil KvyatRUSSCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA34
14Kimi RäikkönenFINALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI31
15Lance StrollCANRACING POINT BWT MERCEDES21
16Kevin MagnussenDENHAAS FERRARI20
17Romain GrosjeanFRAHAAS FERRARI8
18Antonio GiovinazziITAALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI4
19Robert KubicaPOLWILLIAMS MERCEDES1
20George RussellGBRWILLIAMS MERCEDES0

2019 Constructor Standings

1MERCEDES695
2FERRARI479
3RED BULL RACING HONDA366
4MCLAREN RENAULT121
5RENAULT83
6RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES65
7SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA64
8ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI35
9HAAS FERRARI28
10WILLIAMS MERCEDES1

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