F1: Hamilton triumphs in Texas as Verstappen is denied podium

via @MercedesAMGF1

Lewis Hamilton has won the United States Grand Prix ahead of the two Ferraris, clinching the Constructors’ Championship for Mercedes for the fourth consecutive season.

At the start, Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) managed to get along his title rival and take the lead into Turn 1. But it didn’t take too long for Hamilton to regain the lead either, lunging down the inside of Vettel at Turn 12 to take the lead.

Behind them Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) pushed hard to get ahead of Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) in third with a handful of attempts into Turn 1, but was unsuccessful.

Ricciardo was the first of the front runners to make a pit stop and did set the fastest lap on the super soft tyres before his car slowed suddenly with an engine failure.

Not too long after, Vettel made his first stop of the race, putting on a set of soft tyres to try and perform the undercut on Hamilton.

However, despite setting the fastest lap of the race at that stage, Hamilton just came out of the pits ahead of the Ferrari and built a gap to the chasing pack.

Towards the end of the race, Vettel and Max Verstappen (Red Bull) make a second stop for fresh tyre and went in pursuit of Bottas and Kimi Rӓikkӧnen (Ferrari) in second and third.

Rӓikkӧnen then got past his fellow countryman at Turn 12 on Lap 42, pulling a overtake resembling that of Hamilton’s to move into second place.

Vettel then executed an excellent move on Bottas for third, going around the outside at Turn 1 to claim the position whilst narrowly avoiding contact with the lapped car of Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren) on the exit.

Rӓikkӧnen then duly moved over at the same corner shortly after to let Vettel move into second and aide the German’s championship charge.

But in the end, Hamilton took the chequered flag at Circuit of the Americas for the fifth time and his sixth the US – more than any other driver in Formula One history.

Because of Vettel’s second place, Hamilton only needs to score ten points across the final three races to secure his fourth world championship.

The main talking point after the race though, centred around Verstappen and his last lap overtake on Rӓikkӧnen.

After getting a good exit out of Turn 16, the Dutchman forced his way past the former world champion at the following Turn 17 and initially capped off a stunning driver to finish third having started in sixteenth following an engine penalty.

Subsequently, the stewards investigated the manoeuvre and deemed Verstappen to have had all four wheels off the track and was given a five second penalty, and dropped to fourth; something that Red Bull team principal Christian Horner wasn’t too pleased about:

“They have been driving off track all weekend, Max made a fair move. It is an appalling decision. They have robbed all the fans here. It was a great grand prix and they have screwed it up”.

Bottas crossed the line in a lonely fifth, with Esteban Ocon (Force India) almost a minute behind in sixth.

Carlos Sainz Jr impressed on his debut outing for Renault, pulling off a just as impressive overtake on Sergio Perez (Force India) around the outside of Turn 17 en route to seventh place, with the Mexican in eighth.

Felipe Massa (Williams) took ninth having ended the race on fresher tyres compared to those around him, whilst Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) finished tenth to score his first championship point since the Spanish Grand Prix in May.

Fernando Alonso (McLaren) was running in seventh as the race approached its midpoint but retired for the ninth time this season with another engine failure.

Nico Hulkenberg (Renault) suffered his second non-finish in a row with an oil pressure issue whilst Pascal Wehrlein (Sauber) also failed finish followed a collision with Kevin Magnussen early on.

2017 United States Grand Prix Official Classification:   

Pos. Driver (Nationality), Team Laps Time/Reason for Retirement
1 Lewis Hamilton (GBR), Mercedes AMG Petronas 56 1:33:50.993
2 Sebastian Vettel (DEU), Scuderia Ferrari 56 +10.143
3 Kimi Rӓikkӧnen (FIN), Scuderia Ferrari 56 +15.779
4 Max Verstappen (NLD), Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 56 +16.768; 5-Second Penalty for Corner Cutting
5 Valtteri Bottas (FIN), Scuderia Ferrari 56 +34.967
6 Esteban Ocon (FRA), Force India-Mercedes 56 +1:30.980
7 Carlos Sainz Jr. (ESP), Renault 56 +1:32.944
8 Sergio Perez (MEX), Force India-Mercedes 55 +1 Lap
9 Felipe Massa (BRA), Williams-Mercedes 55 +1 Lap
10 Daniil Kvyat (RUS), Scuderia Toro Rosso-Renault 55 +1 Lap
11 Lance Stroll (CDN), Williams-Mercedes 55 +1 Lap
12 Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL), McLaren-Honda 55 +1 Lap
13 Brendon Hartley (NZL), Scuderia Toro Rosso-Renault 55 +1 Lap
14 Romain Grosjean (FRA), Haas-Ferrari 55 +1 Lap
15 Marcus Ericsson (SWE), Sauber Ferrari 55 +1 Lap; 5-Second Penalty for Collision with Magnussen
16 Kevin Magnussen (DEN), Haas-Ferrari 55 +1 Lap
Not Classified
Fernando Alonso (ESP), McLaren-Honda 24 Engine Failure
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS), Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 14 Engine Failure
Pascal Wehrlein (DEU), Sauber-Ferrari 5 Sustained Damage; Contact with Magnussen
Nico Hulkenberg (DEU), Renault 3 Oil Pressure Issue