Valtteri Bottas may have taken the chequered flag at the United States Grand Prix, but the glory went to Lewis Hamilton who finished second, scoring enough points to claim his sixth Driver's World Championship.
The Circuit Of The Americas was well prepared to see Lewis Hamilton crowned champion, reserving a parking spot for him underneath the podium that read as much. With just four points required from the Mercedes driver, it was all but in the bag, even though he only qualified fourth on the grid for Sunday's race.
The race itself proved to be tough for Hamilton who, on a one-stop strategy, struggled in the closing laps with his teammate, Valtteri Bottas, and the Red Bull of Max Verstappen chasing down the champion. Bottas eventually got past on lap 52 of 56 to claim first place, just his fourth win of the season, but Verstappen couldn't snatch second, settling for third – less than a second behind Hamilton.
It was a tough day out for Ferrari too. First with a poor start from both drivers, losing several positions early on. It was clear that Sebastian Vettel was struggling with his car after losing places to the McLaren of Lando Norris and the Renault of Daniel Ricciardo. Eventually, on Lap 8, his right rear suspension failed, ending his race.
Charles Leclerc eventually found his rhythm after a delayed pit stop and drove a lonely race to fourth, nearly a minute behind the podium finishers.
After a scare on the first lap following contact with the McLaren of Carlos Sainz, Alex Albon in his Red Bull made quick work of the field with a three-stop strategy. By Lap 38 had found himself in P5, where he would stay for the remainder of the race.
Daniel Ricciardo claimed sixth for Renault after another great drive, staying in front of the McLaren's of Lando Norris and Sainz, while his teammate, Nico Hulkenberg was ninth.
There was drama in the closing laps that saw the Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat receive a five-second penalty for a late collision with Racing Point's Sergio Perez. This saw Kvyat drop to 12th even though he crossed the line in 10th, handing the final point to the Mexican.
The day belonged to Hamilton though, who managed his tyres effectively to the one-stop strategy. His P2 on the day secured him his third consecutive drivers' crown and six in total. He has now surpassed Juan Manuel Fangio and sits just one Championship shy of the legendary Michael Schumacher.
Click here for highlights from the 2019 United States F1 Grand Prix at The Circuit Of The Americas.
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