Stevenage-born Lewis Hamilton has won his sixth Formula 1 world championship, surpassing the great Juan Manuel Fangio and now one behind the all-time great of Michael Schumacher.
Valtteri Bottas had to win the American Grand Prix to keep his championship hopes alive, which he managed to do in spectacular fashion, however he also needed Hamilton to finish ninth or lower.
Hamilton crossed the line in second place, sealing his place in Formula 1 history as the first British six-time world champion, becoming the most successful British F1 driver of all time.
Despite only needing an eighth-place finish to win the championship, Hamilton fought tooth and nail to the bitter end. Determined to win the race as well as the championship, Hamilton found himself side by side with his teammate battling for the win in the final laps of the race.
Strategy proved to be pivotal in Austin, with the Mercedes drivers racing on alternate strategies and Hamilton on a one-stop compared to Bottas’ two stops. In the end, the hard tyres did not have the life span to keep Hamilton ahead of Bottas, who charged past his teammate on a fresher pair of mediums in the closing stages.
Verstappen rounded out the podium in third place, a respectable result from the Red Bull team who had expected a tougher challenge from the Ferraris. However, suspension failure on Vettel’s car and a slow pitstop for Leclerc put both cars out of contention for the podium.
Despite the championship being wrapped up, the season continues with the Brazilian Grand Prix in two weeks’ time. With second, third and fourth place in the standings still undetermined, the racing is far from over for Formula 1 fans.
Words: Ferris Shaw