Motorsport

Hamilton wins sixth world title, closes in on Schumacher record

2019-11-04 00:07
Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton (PA)

Austin - Lewis Hamilton clinched his sixth world title, but not in the style he hoped for on Sunday when he finished second behind his triumphant Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas in an eventful United States Grand Prix.

The 34-year-old Briton fought with ferocious determination to win from fifth on the grid, but was unable to resist the Finn, who started from pole and, with a two-stop strategy, had fresher tyres in the critical final laps.

After leading twice, Hamilton was passed by Bottas with three laps remaining and then resisted Red Bull's Max Verstappen to take his 150th podium finish and his 31st successive finish in the points.

It sealed his sixth title, leaving him one adrift of Michael Schumacher on seven.

Hamilton added the 2019 title to previous triumphs in 2008, 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018.

"I can't believe it, thanks a lot," Hamilton said over the team radio as he moved out of a tie for five titles he held with Argentina's Juan-Manuel Fangio.

He added: "It's just overwhelming if I'm really honest. It was such a tough race today, Valtteri did a great job. As an athlete I feel as fresh as can be. We'll keep pushing for the rest of the season."

"I didn't know if it would be possible but I worked as hard as I could here with my team back at the factory. My mum, dad, step-mum and step-dad and my family are here and it's an honour to be here with six titles with those greats.

"My dad told me when I was like six or seven never to give up and that's kind of the family motto."

It was Bottas's fourth win of the season and the seventh of his career.

"It's a good win," said the Finn. "Personally, I failed on my target this year, but Lewis deserves it. He's had a good season."

Hamilton parked his Mercedes in a space "reserved for the champion" before leaping into the arms of his family and friends.

Verstappen finished third ahead of Charles Leclerc of Ferrari - some compensation to team boss Mattia Binotto on his 50th birthday following the early retirement, with broken suspension, of Sebastian Vettel - with Alex Albon fifth in the second Red Bull.

Daniel Ricciardo was sixth for Renault ahead of the two McLarens of Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz, Nico Hulkenberg in the second Renault and Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat.

On a perfect blue-skied day, the race began with an explosive rush uphill towards Turn One, Bottas taking full advantage of his pole position with a flawless start.

Behind him, Verstappen pulled alongside Vettel to take second while Hamilton followed and took advantage of both Ferraris.

"I must have damage," reported Vettel.

"I didn't hit anything, but I have under-steer like crazy."

By lap five, he had tumbled to seventh, but worse followed when his car's suspension failed, the right-rear collapsing as he went through Turn Nine.

Vettel's exit left Hamilton chasing Verstappen who pitted early, on lap 14, for a set of hard tyres.

One lap later, Bottas came in, also for hards, and Hamilton inherited the lead. The Finn was soon past Leclerc to claim second as the Silver Arrows led the field.

"Just be sensible," Red Bull warned Verstappen, who had a new rear wing fitted on the grid.

He was soon up to third in hot pursuit while Bottas, on fresh rubber, cut chunks of time from Hamilton's lead, reducing it from 15 seconds to 6.6 by lap 20.

Leclerc pitted from fourth on lap 21, but was held for 7.7 seconds as his crew struggled to fit his left rear wheel.

Like Hamilton, still nursing his original mediums, he was presumed to be on a one-stop strategy.

Hamilton was asked to pit on lap 24. "Box, box," said his engineer, but the driver said no.

"I want to go longer," he replied, ignoring a Mercedes team request.

A lap later, he was in and stationary for 2.4 seconds, re-joining third on hard tyres, 23 seconds behind Bottas and 15 in arrears to Verstappen.

Hamilton quickly clocked a fastest lap to his team's alarm, fearing tyre welfare.

Five laps later, Verstappen pitted again for mediums and re-joined third. Bottas followed one lap later, re-joining second ahead of the Dutchman as Hamilton led again, by ten seconds.

With 20 to go, it appeared to be all about tyre-wear for the leading trio.

With 12 laps to go, Bottas was 3.6 seconds behind Hamilton and six ahead of Verstappen.

Leclerc was a distant fourth, by 50 seconds. For Bottas, it was a tall order to catch the Englishman and even more to pass him without risking everything for Mercedes.

On lap 52, Bottas tried a pass, but Hamilton resisted and forced him wide.

A lap later and it was done, the Finn regaining his lead to leave Hamilton at the mercy of the rampant Verstappen - a threat he resisted.

United States Grand Prix results on Sunday:

1. Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Mercedes) 1 h 33:55.653, 2. Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes) at 4.148, 3. Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull-Honda) 5.002, 4. Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari) 52.239, 5. Alexander Albon (THA/Red Bull-Honda) 1:18.038, 6. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Renault) 1:30.366, 7. Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren-Renault) 1:30.764, 8. Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP/McLaren-Renault) 1 lap, 9. Nico Hülkenberg (GER/Renault) 1 lap, 10. Daniil Kvyat (RUS/Toro Rosso-Honda) 1 lap, 11. Sergio Pérez (MEX/Racing Point-Mercedes) 1 lap, 12. Kimi Räikkönen (FIN/Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari) 1 lap, 13. Lance Stroll (CAN/Racing Point-Mercedes) 1 lap, 14. Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA/Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari) 1 lap, 15. Romain Grosjean (FRA/Haas-Ferrari) 1 lap, 16. Pierre Gasly (FRA/Toro Rosso-Honda) 1 lap, 17. George Russell (GBR/Williams-Mercedes) 2 laps, 18. Kevin Magnussen (DEN/Haas-Ferrari) 4 laps

Best lap: Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari) 1:36.169 on 44th lap

Did not finish: Sebastian Vettel (GER/Ferrari), Robert Kubica (POL/Williams), Kevin Magnussen (DEN/Haas-Ferrari)

World championship standings:

Drivers

1. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) 381 pts (CHAMPION), 2. Valtteri Bottas (FIN) 314, 3. Charles Leclerc (MON) 249, 4. Max Verstappen (NED) 235, 5. Sebastian Vettel (GER) 230, 6. Alexander Albon (THA) 84, 7. Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) 80, 8. Pierre Gasly (FRA) 77, 9. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) 46, 10. Sergio Pérez (MEX) 43, 11. Lando Norris (GBR) 41, 12. Nico Hülkenberg (GER) 37, 13. Daniil Kvyat (RUS) 35, 14. Kimi Räikkönen (FIN) 31, 15. Lance Stroll (CAN) 21, 16. Kevin Magnussen (DEN) 20, 17. Romain Grosjean (FRA) 8, 18. Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA) 4, 19. Robert Kubica (POL) 1

Constructors

1. Mercedes 695 pts (CHAMPIONS), 2. Ferrari 479, 3. Red Bull-Honda 366, 4. McLaren-Renault 121, 5. Renault 83, 6. Toro Rosso-Honda 65, 7. Racing Point-Mercedes 64, 8. Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari 35, 9. Haas-Ferrari 28, 10. Williams 1

Leading Formula One world title winners after Lewis Hamilton won his sixth championship on Sunday:

7: Michael Schumacher (GER) - 1994 (Benetton-Ford), 1995 (Benetton-Renault), 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 (Ferrari)

6: Lewis Hamilton (GBR) - 2008 (McLaren-Mercedes), 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019 (Mercedes)

5: Juan Manuel Fangio (ARG, 1911–1995) - 1951 (Alfa Romeo), 1954 (Maserati/Mercedes-Benz), 1955 (Mercedes-Benz), 1956 (Ferrari), 1957 (Maserati)

4: Sebastian Vettel (GER) - 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 (Red Bull-Renault)

4: Alain Prost (FRA) - 1985, 1986 (McLaren-Tag Porsche), 1989 (McLaren-Honda), 1993 (Williams-Renault)

3: Ayrton Senna (BRA) - 1988, 1990, 1991 (McLaren-Honda)

3: Nelson Piquet (BRA) - 1981 (Brabham-Ford), 1983 (Brabham-BMW), 1987 (Williams-Honda)

3: Niki Lauda (AUT) - 1975, 1977 (Ferrari), 1984 (McLaren-Tag Porsche) 

3: Jackie Stewart (GBR) - 1969 (Matra-Ford), 1971, 1973 (Tyrrell-Ford)

3: Jack Brabham (AUS) - 1959, 1960 (Cooper-Climax), 1966 (Brabham)

Roll call of Formula One world champions after Lewis Hamilton secured his sixth title on Sunday (year, driver, nationality, team):

1950 Guiseppe Farina (ITA) Alfa Romeo

1951 Juan Manuel Fangio (ARG) Alfa Romeo

1952 Alberto Ascari (ITA) Ferrari

1953 Alberto Ascari (ITA) Ferrari

1954 Juan Manuel Fangio (ARG) Maserati, Mercedes

1955 Juan Manuel Fangio (ARG) Mercedes 

1956 Juan Manuel Fangio (ARG) Ferrari

1957 Juan Manuel Fangio (ARG) Maserati

1958 Mike Hawthorn (ENG) Ferrari

1959 Jack Brabham (AUS) Cooper

1960 Jack Brabham (AUS) Cooper

1961 Phil Hill (USA) Ferrari

1962 Graham Hill (ENG) BRM

1963 Jim Clark (SCO) Lotus

1964 John Surtees (ENG) Ferrari

1965 Jim Clark (SCO) Lotus

1966 Jack Brabham (AUS) Brabham

1967 Denis Hulme (NZL) Brabham

1968 Graham Hill (ENG) Lotus

1969 Jackie Stewart (SCO) Matra

1970 Jochen Rindt (AUS) Lotus

1971 Jackie Stewart (SCO) Tyrrell

1972 Emerson Fittipaldi (BRA) Lotus

1973 Jackie Stewart (SCO) Tyrrell

1974 Emerson Fittipaldi (BRA) McLaren

1975 Niki Lauda (AUT) Ferrari

1976 James Hunt (ENG) McLaren

1977 Niki Lauda (AUT) Ferrari

1978 Mario Andretti (USA) Lotus

1979 Jody Scheckter (RSA) Ferrari

1980 Alan Jones (AUS) Williams

1981 Nelson Piquet (BRA) Brabham

1982 Keke Rosberg (FIN) Williams

1983 Nelson Piquet (BRA) Brabham

1984 Niki Lauda (AUT) McLaren

1985 Alain Prost (FRA) McLaren

1986 Alain Prost (FRA) McLaren

1987 Nelson Piquet (BRA) Williams

1988 Ayrton Senna (BRA) McLaren

1989 Alain Prost (FRA) McLaren

1990 Ayrton Senna (BRA) McLaren

1991 Ayrton Senna (BRA) McLaren

1992 Nigel Mansell (ENG) Williams

1993 Alain Prost (FRA) Williams

1994 Michael Schumacher (GER) Benetton

1995 Michael Schumacher (GER) Benetton

1996 Damon Hill (ENG) Williams

1997 Jacques Villeneuve (CAN) Williams

1998 Mika Hakkinen (FIN) McLaren

1999 Mika Hakkinen (FIN) McLaren

2000 Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari

2001 Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari

2002 Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari

2003 Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari

2004 Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari

2005 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault

2006 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault

2007 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari

2008 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren

2009 Jenson Button (GBR) Brawn

2010 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull

2011 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull

2012 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull

2013 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull

2014 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes

2015 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes

2016 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes

2017 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes

2018 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes

2019 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes

Read more on:    lewis hamilton  |  f1

 

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