Hamilton beats Rosberg in Austin, Texas.

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Hamilton beats Rosberg in Austin to close title race

Hamilton beats Rosberg in Austin to close title race. Image Credit: FIA Formula One.

Lewis Hamilton beats Nico Rosberg in Texas.

The 2016 FIA Formula One World Championship at the Circuit of The Americas in Texas, to close title race.

Lewis Hamilton stylishly won his fifth United States Grand Prix on Sunday. He comfortably headed Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg all the way through. He let him home by 4.5s. It was also the 50th victory of Hamilton’s F1 career. This results is putting him one behind Alain Prost for second place in the all-time list. He wiped seven points off Rosberg’s 33-point title lead with three races to go.

Daniel Ricciardo took the final podium place for Red Bull. His team-mate Max Verstappen retired mid-race with suspected transmission issues. Sebastian Vettel finished fourth for Ferrari, whose second car also failed to make the flag as Kimi Raikkonen was the victim of a botched pit stop. Fernando Alonso was a fighting fifth for McLaren, ahead of Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz. Williams’ Felipe Massa, Force India’s Sergio Perez, McLaren’s Jenson Button and Haas’s Romain Grosjean completed the top ten.

This time Hamilton beats since the beginning of the race. He had no problems with his clutch at the start and headed Rosberg into Turn 1. The German had his hands full, however, and lost out to Ricciardo. He got the “friendly grip” he was looking for on his supersoft Pirelli tyres. So he jumped one of the Mercedes which had started on the soft compound. Behind them, Valtteri Bottas and Nico Hulkenberg had a bump in that first corner which hurt both their races. the German retired his damaged Force India at the end of the lap. The Finn pitted with a puncture and struggled home an eventual 16th for Williams.

Ricciardo kept Hamilton honest in the early laps on his softer tyres. But he stopped as early as the eighth lap for softs. Mercedes brought their drivers in, on their softs on the 10th (Rosberg) and 11th (Hamilton) laps. Rosberg took mediums, playing the “long game” according to his crew, Hamilton took more softs. Verstappen looked very racy against Rosberg for a while. He had come in by mistake, believing his team had told him to box. Then he discovered they weren’t ready. That put him down to seventh. He quickly passed Massa’s Williams and Raikkonen. The Virtual Safety Car (VSC) was then deployed as his Red Bull had to be craned away.

Mercedes immediately pitted both Hamilton and Rosberg for medium tyres. It was frustrating, for the Australian who had showed plenty of comparable pace to the Silver Arrows, as had Verstappen before his dramas. Now it was Hamilton leading Rosberg. Ricciardo backed off in the closing stages but was still way ahead of Vettel’s disappointing Ferrari. Besides Hulkenberg and Verstappen, Raikkonen was forced out when his Ferrari’s right-rear wheel was still loose as he rejoined after his pit stop on lap 38. He got a far as the rise towards Turn 1 before stopping, then rolled back down to the pit lane to retire. Ferrari picked up a fine for an unsafe release. Esteban Gutierrez battled strongly for points against Haas team mate Grosjean, before retiring with brake problems.

 

Information and Image from FIA Formula 1. Image Credit: FIA Formula 1.


 

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