Bottas clinches victory in United States; Hamilton the title

Circuit of the Americas, Texas

United States Grand Prix – Valtteri Bottas has won the US Grand Prix after a tense battle with his teammate, as Lewis Hamilton wrapped up the title for the sixth time.

Click here for the complete results – 2019 United States Grand Prix.

Valtteri Bottas has taken victory to lead a Mercedes 1-2 finish at the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas. The Finn utilised a two stop strategy from pole position to snatch victory in the closing stages of the race away from Hamilton, who had employed a single stop strategy.

Having held his lead off the starting grid, Bottas pitted on Lap 15 to cover off Max Verstappen – the Red Bull driver having just pitted and still a threat through the undercut. This gave the lead to Lewis Hamilton, who didn’t pit until Lap 25. With both Mercedes drivers having taken on the Hard tyre, Bottas’ strategy was to pit a second time after closing up and passing Hamilton on track.

This meant that, with twenty laps to go, Hamilton led by nine seconds over Bottas. Slowly but surely, the Finn reeled in his teammate and passed him on track with just four laps to go. Hamilton did his utter best to resist Bottas down the back straight but was powerless to stop the sister Mercedes from retaking the lead.

Despite Bottas’ win in the United States, it wasn’t enough to keep his championship alive as Lewis Hamilton finished P2. This means he has wrapped up his sixth world championship as his points lead is now insurmountable.

Max Verstappen finished in P3, having used a very similar strategy to Valtteri Bottas. The Dutch driver was coming back at Hamilton in the closing stages and briefly appeared as though he could have challenged to take second position away from the Mercedes. But, with double yellow flags being shown at the end of the back straight, he couldn’t attack as hard as he’d like at the crucial moment.

Fourth place went to Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, on what was a bizarre day for the Scuderia. Leclerc finished a minute off the lead, having shown very little pace throughout the race. Sebastian Vettel, in the second Ferrari, retired on Lap 7 with a dramatic suspension failure. He had been on the front row to start the race, but fell down the order on the first lap with chronic understeer.

Alex Albon finished in P5 for Red Bull Racing, a great recovery from him after suffering damage on the opening lap when he made contact with McLaren’s Carlos Sainz through Turn 1. Forced to pit at the end of Lap 1, he pitted three times in total during the race but fought his way back through the field to reclaim P5 at the end of the race.

Daniel Ricciardo claimed sixth position for Renault after a race-long battle between the two Renaults and the two McLarens. Lando Norris finished just 0.4 seconds behind Ricciardo, showing how close the battle was between the factory team and their customer team, while Carlos Sainz finished P8 ahead of Nico Hulkenberg in the second Renault.

Claiming the final point in the United States Grand Prix was Sergio Perez for Racing Point, having started from the pitlane. Daniil Kvyat has crossed the line in tenth place but was given a time penalty for a last lap transgression racing Perez, meaning he was shuffled back to P11.

Along with the stricken Sebastian Vettel, Williams’ Robert Kubica retired midway through the race with a hydraulic issue. Kevin Magnussen was also eliminated with two laps to go, retiring with a brake failure at the end of the back straight. This stoppage was the cause of the yellow flags that prevented Verstappen from attacking Hamilton on the closing lap.

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Thomas Maher

Co-owner, Chief Editor and a journalist for FormulaSpy.com - Ireland's only accredited F1 & Formula E website. Enjoy my work - https://www.buymeacoffee.com/MidcHN8

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