Hamilton clinches 6th F1 title as Bottas wins U.S. Grand Prix
4 November 2019 - Autoblog
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
|3||33||Max Verstappen||RED BULL RACING HONDA||56||+5.002s||15|
|5||23||Alexander Albon||RED BULL RACING HONDA||56||+78.038s||10|
|7||4||Lando Norris||MCLAREN RENAULT||56||+90.764s||6|
|8||55||Carlos Sainz||MCLAREN RENAULT||55||+1 lap||4|
|9||27||Nico Hulkenberg||RENAULT||55||+1 lap||2|
|10||11||Sergio Perez||RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES||55||+1 lap||1|
|11||7||Kimi Räikkönen||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||55||+1 lap||0|
|12||26||Daniil Kvyat||SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA||55||+1 lap||0|
|13||18||Lance Stroll||RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES||55||+1 lap||0|
|14||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||55||+1 lap||0|
|15||8||Romain Grosjean||HAAS FERRARI||55||+1 lap||0|
|16||10||Pierre Gasly||SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA||54||DNF||0|
|17||63||George Russell||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||54||+2 laps||0|
|18||20||Kevin Magnussen||HAAS FERRARI||52||DNF||0|
|NC||88||Robert Kubica||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||31||DNF||0|
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
|4||Max Verstappen||NED||RED BULL RACING HONDA||235|
|6||Alexander Albon||THA||RED BULL RACING HONDA||84|
|7||Carlos Sainz||ESP||MCLAREN RENAULT||80|
|8||Pierre Gasly||FRA||SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA||77|
|10||Sergio Perez||MEX||RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES||44|
|11||Lando Norris||GBR||MCLAREN RENAULT||41|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||RUS||SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA||34|
|14||Kimi Räikkönen||FIN||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||31|
|15||Lance Stroll||CAN||RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES||21|
|16||Kevin Magnussen||DEN||HAAS FERRARI||20|
|17||Romain Grosjean||FRA||HAAS FERRARI||8|
|18||Antonio Giovinazzi||ITA||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||4|
|19||Robert Kubica||POL||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||1|
|20||George Russell||GBR||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||0|
2019 Constructor Standings
|3||RED BULL RACING HONDA||366|
|6||RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES||65|
|7||SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA||64|
|8||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||35|