Hamilton crowned champion as Bottas takes victory in Austin

Monday, Nov 4th 2019, 11:45 am | Category: Formula One

Lewis Hamilton was crowned Formula 1 World champion for the sixth time on Sunday after finishing behind victorious Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in the United States Grand Prix.

Hamilton earned enough points to clinch the Drivers’ title with two races remaining this Formula 1 season.

He is now the second most successful driver in the top flight’s history, moving one championship away from matching the all-time record of seven World titles held by Michael Schumacher.


 

“It's hard to explain what I'm feeling right now, to be honest,” said Hamilton after the race. “Cloud Nine doesn't even get close, it's somewhere far above that. It's been the hardest year I can remember; it's been so challenging, going through the ups and downs, so right now I'm just so full of emotion, it's overwhelming.

“It's such a privilege and honour to work for this team, to be able to go out there and have the platform to put in performances like today. And Niki, I miss him so much. Today, he'd have taken his cap off. I wouldn't have been able to do this without Niki, he's here with us in spirit.”

Hamilton’s runner-up finish was an improvement from his grid position in fifth to start the race.

 


Bottas was the pole-sitter, and he raced to his seventh victory in Formula One, his fourth of the 2019 season and first at the Circuit of the Americas

It was also the eighth podium for Hamilton in the US race, breaking Michael Schumacher's record for most podiums at the event.

Their one-two classification was their ninth for Mercedes this year.

 


Hamilton decided to run a single pit-stop in the Grand Prix, which helped him gain his final position but it was not enough to win the race. That mattered little, however, as he was still finally able to secure the season’s crown.

Bottas had a two-stop strategy and he did well to catch up with Hamilton in the final few laps. He won in a total race time of 1hr 33mins 55.653secs. Hamilton followed 4.148secs behind, while Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing completed the podium placers 5.002s back in third.

The top three were well ahead of the rest of the pack. Charles Leclerc of Ferrari claimed fourth 52.239s from Bottas, while Alexander Albon in the other Red Bull was fifth with a gap of 78.038s.

 


Rounding out the top 10 were Daniel Ricciardo of Renault in sixth, the McLaren duo of Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz in seventh and eighth, Nico Hulkenberg in the other Renault in ninth and Sergio Perez of Racing Point in 10th.

Leclerc scored an additional point after setting the fastest lap of the race of 1min 36.169secs.

Bottas commented: “First of all huge congratulations to Lewis – six championships is an impressive achievement! He had a strong season and he deserves the title, he was better overall.

 


“Lewis is a tough opponent, he has very few weaknesses, makes almost no mistakes and drives very consistently. But I've been gaining some good momentum, so I'm looking forward to another close fight with him next year.

“It's been a really good weekend for me and the team. I struggled at this track in previous years, so it was great to cross the line in first place. It was not an easy race; I had a strong start and a good first stint, but we had to switch to a two-stop to cover Max and I was a bit worried that Lewis on the one-stop might be on the better strategy.

“It was a proper fight and quite a bit of fun; I had to really push, but my pace was strong and I managed to catch Lewis towards the end. We had a good battle on track and I passed him to secure the win. It feels really good to win the race like that when you have to really fight for it.”

 


The Formula 1 season now heads to Sao Paulo for the Brazilian Grand Prix on November 17, the penultimate round of the championship.

Hamilton heads to Brazil with an unassailable 381 points, while Bottas follows with 314 and Leclerc is third on 249. Mercedes are on 695 points while Ferrari have 479 and Red Bull 366.

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