F1: Lewis Hamilton Bags Sixth Formula 1 World Championship As Bottas Wins US GP

F1: Lewis Hamilton Bags Sixth Formula 1 World Championship As Bottas Wins US GP

11/04/2019

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton claimed his sixth Formula 1 world championship title as he finished the United States Grand Prix in second place, behind teammate Valtteri Bottas. The Mercedes drivers were in a title fight at the start of the US GP, and Hamilton would have to finish ninth or below to keep the title fight alive in the next round. However, a strong start from Hamilton coupled with a one-stop strategy put him in the top contention for the race win. But Bottas caught up in the final stages to take the win at the Circuit of the Americas. Coming in third was Max Verstappen in what was a dramatic race for the Red Bull driver.

Bottas qualified on pole position ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Verstappen, while Ferrari rookie Charles Leclerc started fourth ahead of Hamilton. The world champion had a good start and was able to pass both the Ferraris on the opening lap, slotting right behind Verstappen in third place. Hamilton then started building pressure on the Red Bull driver who had picked up minor front wing damage on the first corner after light contact with Vettel. Verstappen though was finding it hard to keep pace with Bottas and the latter had built a sizeable lead by Lap 13. That’s when Max decided to pit, warranting a two-stop strategy with Bottas followed suit on the next lap.

Hamilton continued on the original tyres until Lap 24 and allowed him to take the lead when Bottas and Verstappen decided to pit for the second time, only for the leaders to converge in the final laps. Bottas rejoined the race in second place and found himself within Hamilton’s reach on the 54th lap of 60. Within DRS range, the Mercedes driver found space to pass Hamilton when he ran wide into the hairpin, allowing Valtteri a better run onto the back straight.

Now at P2, Hamilton tried to regain the lead and succeeded briefly too, only for Bottas finding another opportunity on the next lap. With Bottas picking up pace over his teammate, Hamilton was now looking to defend his P2 position against Verstappen. It seemed there was a duel for P2 in the final laps, but the yellow flags were soon out after Kavin Magnussen ended up in the gravel, denying Max an overtaking opportunity.

Bottas had a comfortable lead to victory, 4.148s clear off his teammate, while Verstappen finished under a second later over the Mercedes. Leclerc was the faster of the Ferrari drivers, albeit in a distant fourth position 52s behind the race leader. Vettel, on the other hand, failed to finish after a left-rear suspension failure on Lap 8.

Coming in fifth was Alex Albon of Red Bull despite making contact with McLaren’s Carlos Sainz on the opening lap, while Daniel Ricciardo finished sixth in one of his better finishes this season. Lando Norris was placed seventh, ahead of Sainz and Nico Hulkenberg of Renault, while Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat managed to take the final point after passing Racing Point’s Sergio Perez on the final lap. However, the pass was placed under investigation by the stewards and Kvyat was penalised for the action, pushing him down to P12. Perez was promoted to P10 as a result, with Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen taking P11.

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