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Hamilton wins at COTA, closer to driver's title

Lewis Hamilton won his his fifth U.S. Grand Prix at the Circuit of The Americas and ninth of the 2017 Formula One season. Hamilton started the race from the pole and though beat at lights out by the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel during the start of the race, Hamilton gained the lead on lap six and with the exception of pit stop sequences never left the point.

"Firstly, I want to say big congratulations to everyone in the team – both back at the factory and here." said Hamilton "There has been an incredible push for this kind of performance this year. We really pulled together more than I have experienced and seen over the last five years to create something quite special. I’m really proud for everyone, especially going from one era of car to another which is something that has never been done before. It shows the strength of the team and I’m proud to be part of it. The race was great, it was probably one of the most fun races that I have had for a while – and there were quite a few fun ones this year. I didn’t get away to a great start, but I was kind of chilled about it, knowing from the past that I can overtake here. I had a lot of fun trying to get closer and overtaking. Today the wind changed 180 degrees and it made the track so special to drive; the car felt amazing going through the Esses. We have three more races left this season – and that’s three I want to win."

Vettel remained in touch with Hamilton in the Driver's Title race but continued to lose ground despite finishing second in the race. Vettel's Ferrari was clearly not match Hamilton's Mercedes.

“My start was good today." said Vettel "I think also in Japan the start had been that good, but we just didn’t have power, so it’s good we had it done here. It was good to get the rhythm, but after a couple of laps I was really struggling with the tires that were getting too hot. I am a bit disappointed, because we couldn’t win and I had wanted to. We are on the right track, but all the things that happened to us came out not because of bad luck or because of somebody else; I think it was all on our side and we need to admit that. Then there were races in which we were stronger and we just didn’t race, which is even worse. There are positive aspects, but this was not the result we were looking for and thus, of course, it was not the best day.”

Finishing third at the checkered flat was Max Verstappen who made a dramatic run through the field from his back-in-pack starting position after a pre-race penalty. As race laps ran out Verstappen closed on then third placed Kimi Raikkonen catching the Ferrari driver on the last lap of the race. As the two neared the final turns of the race Verstappen made a pass for the final podium spot crossing the finish line in third.

Unfortunately, while making that pass for the final podium step, Verstappen drove off the racing circuit earning himself a 5 second penalty, enough to change the finishing order and giving Raikkonen third.

“I am feeling good after the race but of course it is never nice to be about to step out onto the podium and then have it taken away." said Verstappen "They should at least let us talk it through in the stewards’ room first and voice our opinions. I had a great race and I am happy with fourth but it’s the way I got there that hurts. I got a five second penalty and one penalty point for what? I ran wide on a track with no limits that everyone is running wide on all weekend, why do I get punished? The rule is we cannot protest so all we can do is move on to Mexico, weird rule. We have an amazing race with loads of overtakes and action and then due to 5cm or 10cm of kerb the result is changed, people don’t like to watch that. At the end of the day I had a lot of fun and a great race. I feel I made some really good overtakes and had nice rhythm with really strong pace and balance in the car. Taking all these factors into account and no engine penalties I’ll hopefully start near the front and achieve a better result in Mexico.”

2017 United States Grand Prix – Race
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes -
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 10.143
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 15.779
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 11.768 *
5 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 34.967
6 Esteban Ocon Force India 90.980
7 Carlos Sainz Renault 92.944
8 Sergio Perez Force India 1 lap
9 Felipe Massa Williams 1 lap
10 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1 lap
11 Lance Stroll Williams 1 lap
12 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1 lap
13 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 1 lap
14 Romain Grosjean Haas 1 lap
15 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1 lap
16 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1 lap
Fernando Alonso McLaren
Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull
Pascal Wehrlein Sauber
Nico Hulkenberg Renault
* Five-second penalty

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