- US GP - Race
Hamilton beats Rosberg in style at US Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton took another step towards his dream of a second world title after securing his fifth victory in a row at Sunday's US Grand Prix.
The Story of the Race
- Shock:Daniel Ricciardo not only battling with but beating both Williams drivers to the final spot on the podium, achieved with some typically thrilling racing from the Australian.
- Shocker: Sergio Perez's clumsy move on lap one, clouting Kimi Raikkonen and then swerving into Adrian Sutil - forcing himself and the Sauber driver out of the race.
- Best overtake: Daniel Ricciardo had a couple of doozies, while Jean-Eric Vergne showed some ballsy overtakes but, in the context of the championship, Hamilton's late-braking move to take the lead from Nico Rosberg was fantastic.
- Best lap: Sebastian Vettel took two seconds off Kevin Magnussen on the final lap as he completed a late charge through the field to pass the McLaren.
- Worst lap: But Vettel's afternoon was far from plain sailing, as he lost places to Romain Grosjean and Jean-Eric Vergne after a sloppy entry to Turn 1 on lap 26.
- Drive of the day: There were supreme drives up and down the grid, but Hamilton turned in one well worthy of a man who wants to call himself 2014 world champion.
- Nate Saunders
It was Hamilton's tenth win in total this season and he took it in style after passing title rival and Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg for the lead on lap 24. The win gives Hamilton a 24-point lead over title rival Nico Rosberg in the championship with 75 points still to play for, as well as cementing the on-track advantage he has held over his team-mate since the pair clashed at the Belgian Grand Prix in August. Rosberg, who has converted just two of his nine pole positions into victories this year, did at least ensure the title race will go down to the final round in Abu Dhabi by taking his tenth second-place finish of the season.
Daniel Ricciardo finished on the final spot on the podium despite a poor start that saw the field rush past him on the uphill run to Turn 1. He managed to fight back up to fifth before Red Bull manoeuvred him past the Williamses of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa in the pit stops to take third. Fernando Alonso finished a distant sixth ahead of Sebastian Vettel, who charged through the field after a pit lane start. Kevin Magnussen finished eighth ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne and Pastor Maldonado on the track. However, Vergne was penalised five seconds after the race for an over-ambitious move on Romain Grosjean towards the end of the race at Turn 1. As a result he dropped to 10th behind Maldonado, who scored his first points of the season in ninth.
At the start Rosberg made a good getaway from pole position and Hamilton dutifully followed him through Turn 1 as the pack scrapped for position behind. In Turn 16, Force India's Sergio Perez hit the rear of Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari and rebounded into the path of Adrian Sutil, causing a nasty collision that left the Sauber stranded on the exit. A safety car was called out to deal with the debris and wreckage, meaning the racing only really started on lap four.
In the first stint, Hamilton stayed within striking distance of Rosberg and waited until after the first pit stop on lap 16 before making his move. Between lap 20 and lap 23 Hamilton closed the gap before lining up his team-mate on the long straight down to Turn 12. As the two Mercedes flashed past the RVs lining the straight, Hamilton opened his DRS overtaking aid and dived up the inside. Rosberg squeezed him, but Hamilton held his ground and then used the inside line to inch his team-mate wide at the exit. Rosberg attempted to fight back but Hamilton's pace was too strong over the remaining 32 laps and the pair finished the race separated by 4.3s.
The drivers further down the order provided the entertainment for the rest of the race, with Vettel moving from 12th to seventh in the final four laps. Jenson Button was among the drivers who lost out as he dropped from eighth to 12th in five laps ahead of Kimi Raikkonen who had another disappointing race in his Ferrari.
The next round of the championship takes place in Sao Paulo next weekend, with Rosberg hoping to close the gap ahead of the double-points finale in Abu Dhabi.