The United States Grand Prix finished up at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas with a thrilling one-two victory for Mercedes drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton needed just 8 points to make it mathematically impossible for anyone else on the grid to take this year’s driver’s championship. With his second-place finish (and 18 points), Hamilton clinched his sixth World Championship, which moves him past the legendary Argentine driver Juan Manuel Fangio, to the No. 2 spot behind Michael Schumacher, the seven-time world champion and winningest Formula 1 driver of all time.
After qualifying in third position behind Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and pole sitter Bottas, Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen finished the race in the same position. Hamilton started the race in fifth position and passed Ferrari‘s Charles Leclerc, who started in fourth, by the end of Turn 1. Vettel lost four places on the opening lap and was giving chase to Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo on lap 8 when, suddenly, the right rear suspension of the scarlet Ferrari failed after contact with a bump in Turn 9 and resulted in Vettel’s second DNF of the year.
On lap 14, Hamilton took the lead and held it until Bottas passed him on lap 24. Bottas and most of the field used a two pit stop strategy, while Hamilton risked a one-stop strategy to maximize the hard-compound tires, not unlike the approach that earned him the win at the Mexican Grand Prix the prior weekend. It looked like it was going to work; Hamilton regained the lead on lap 35 and held it until lap 51. But Bottas would not be denied; after dicing with his teammate, the Fin passed Hamilton with five laps remaining. On degraded tires, Hamilton managed to keep the hard-charging, Honda-powered Verstappen in his mirrors until the checkered flag.
The next race on the F1 calendar is November 17: the Brazilian Grand Prix, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the 21st and final round of the 2019 FIA Formula 1 season, takes place in the United Arab Emirates on December 1.
Click through the gallery below to see highlights from the 2019 US Grand Prix.