Sunday, October 25, 2015

Lewis Hamilton Wins 4th United States Grand Prix, Clinches 3rd World Championship

After a race that featured eight retirements, two virtual safety cars, two safety cars and a slew of on track passes, Lewis Hamilton won the 2015 United States Grand Prix and clinched his third World Drivers' Championship as his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg finished second and Sebastian Vettel finished third from 13th on the grid. Rosberg had been leading but slipped off circuit with less than ten laps to go, allowing Hamilton to pass him for the lead. Vettel made a late charge on Rosberg as the Ferrari driver would have kept his title hopes alive with a second place finish but he could not get by his fellow German. Rosberg scored fastest lap of the race.

Max Verstappen matched his career best finish with a fourth. This is the best finish ever for a Dutch driver in the United States Grand Prix besting Christijan Albers' fifth in 2005. Sergio Pérez finished fifth with Jenson Button. finishing in sixth position and scored points in consecutive races for the first time this season. Carlos Sainz, Jr. finished seventh . Pastor Maldonado finished eighth with Felipe Nasr over coming contact early in the race with his Sauber teammate Marcus Ericsson to finish ninth.

Daniel Ricciardo had to overcome contact from Nico Hülkenberg and a late pit stop to finish tenth and pick up one point. Fernando Alonso had been running in the points but had to nurse an ailing car home and finished 11th. American Alexander Rossi finished 12th and on the lead lap in his first ever United States Grand Prix start.

Daniil Kvyat was running in the front all race and was competing for a podium when he spun after running on damp surface and hit the barrier just before pit in. The Russian's accident did bring out a safety car but Kvyat was ok. Hülkenberg retired after his contact with Ricciardo. This is the German's third retirement in the last four races. Marcus Ericsson caused the first safety car when he stopped on circuit on exit of turn 11. Kimi Räikkönen went off circuit and collided with the barriers but kept running only to retire a few laps later. Romain Grosjean and Valtteri Bottas each retired after switching over to slick tires and falling a lap down. Will Stevens made contact with his Manor teammate in the first corner but made it make to the pit lane where he retired from the race.

This is Hamilton's fourth United States Grand Prix victory, second all-time to Michael Schumacher who won five United States Grands Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The now three-time world champion has ten races this year including the last three. Hamilton is the first driver to clinch the World Drivers' Championship on American soil since Keke Rosberg in 1982. It is the seventh overall time the World Drivers' Championship has been decided on American soil. This is the first time ever that a British driver has clinched the title on American soil.

Formula One will head to Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez next week for the first Mexican Grand Prix since 1992.