Hamilton Easily Wins In Texas; Closes In On Rosberg

Photo by Mark Thompson of Getty Images

Photo by Mark Thompson of Getty Images

Taking advantage of a well-practiced start and a virtual safety car period midway through the race, Lewis Hamilton kept the 2016 formula one championship alive by easily winning the United States Grand Prix Sunday afternoon at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Hamilton’s rival and teammate Nico Rosberg took second, and Daniel Ricciardo finished in third.

For Hamilton, he is one win away from becoming the second driver in history from tying Alain Prost in all-time wins with 51. It is his 4th victory at this circuit and now with three rounds left in the season, trails Rosberg by 26 points.

“It was O.K.” said Hamilton afterwards. “I love being in this place and it very much feels like home. We had some incredible support this weekend, so thankful for that, so a big thanks for the team who did a great job this weekend and I was happy to be part of it.”

Hamilton had absolutely no trouble in getting off to a good start, which was something that plagued him four times this season, including two weeks ago in Japan. But once Hamilton got off to a good start, he was impossible to catch, and led almost by 10 seconds by lap 46 and finished ahead of Rosberg by just over six.

Nico Hulkenberg was the first out of the race when his Force India struck the Williams of Valterri Bottas, damaging his front suspension and flattening Bottas tire. The American Haas F1 team had one retirement in this race when Esteban Gutierrez encountered brake issues and had to retire on lap 20. But two of the top drivers in the series had the most noticeable retirements of the four for the day as Max Verstappen encountered failed engine problems and Kimi Raikkonen left the race when a tire gun was stuck in the Ferrari’s front left tire after a pit stop.

The problem with Verstappen was his Red Bull entry slow down too much, which was enough to install the virtual safety car that gave both Hamilton and Rosberg the time to come into the pits for new tires. This ruined the chance of Ricciardo to at least get second in the race, as Rosberg assumed this position for the rest of the afternoon, with no chance to catch Hamilton.

For the rest of the grid, Sebastian took fourth in his Ferrari, while Fernando Alonso took an impressive fifth, which will be investigated after the race, when he overtook Felipe Massa too aggressively laps before the end of the race. Carlos Sainz Jr. was sixth, and Massa was seventh, who was lucky not too jump too far down the grid with a last minute puncture. Sergio Perez was eighth, Jenson Button ninth, and Romain Grosjean gave the other Haas F1 team car the final point of the race in 10th.

Although time is running out for Hamilton, the three-time world champion feels that he can do no more but keep on challenging his teammate for the title.

“All I can do is my best and continue to have a good drive like I did this weekend.” Continued Hamilton. “Nico (Rosberg) has been running well all season and I will have to continue.”

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