Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Circuit of the Americas, 2017

Hamilton on verge of clinching title after United States GP win

2017 United States Grand Prix summary

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Lewis Hamilton took another step closer to a fourth world championship by winning the Untied States Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver lost the lead from pole position to Sebastian Vettel but took the lead back from the Ferrari driver on lap six.

Hamilton then drew clear and only lost the lead again when he made his sole pit stop for soft tyres. Vettel, trying everything to get back in the fight, opted for a second stop for super-soft tyres, but could only reclaim second after passing Valtteri Bottas and being waved through by team mate Kimi Raikkonen.

Daniel Ricciardo retired with an engine failure which left Max Verstappen, who started 16th after a penalty, as their only representative in the points. He quickly worked his way through the midfield and, after making a second pit stop, took fourth place off Bottas.

Verstappen had Raikkonen in sights as the final lap began and squeezed past the Ferrari driver with two corners to go. But the stewards ruled he had gained an advantage by leaving the track and penalised him five seconds, putting Raikkonen back on the podium.

Esteban Ocon took sixth after holding off Carlos Sainz Jnr, who passed the other Force India of Sergio Perez on his way to seventh. Felipe Massa and Daniil Kvyat completed the points-scorers.

Brendon Hartley finished 13th on his debut behind Lance Stroll and Stoffel Vandoorne. Fernando Alonso retired the other McLaren with a suspected power unit failure.

The remaining finishers were Romain Grosjean, Marcus Ericsson – another recipient of a five-second penalty – and Kevin Magnussen. Pascael Wehrlein and Nico Hulkenberg were the race’s other retirements.

Hamilton win gives him a strong chance of clinching the championship at the next race and confirms Mercedes as 2017 constructors’ champions.

2017 United States Grand Prix reaction

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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57 comments on “Hamilton on verge of clinching title after United States GP win”

  1. In words of DC: Stewards and Whiting are idiots. No other words describe it better.

  2. Seeing Clinton present the trophy really got my hopes up, but in the end it was a real letdown not to have Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby present the other two trophies.

    Now seriously, blowing their horn all around about fighting the breast cancer, and then having the disgrace that is Clinton present the winning trophy. Talking about putting the foot in your mouth.

    1. +biggsy
      Hey, hey now…..take it easy buddy. Next you’ll be calling for Charles Manson to get parole to present trophies.

    2. Bill Clinton is a great American. He taught an entire generation that blowjobs don’t count. None of our presidents since then has done anything close to that important.

    3. Now now, we all know that F1 is not politically affiliated in any way…

  3. Look, that he knew it was probably already decided, fine. But he was just caught sleeping when Lewis re-took the lead.
    It was another abyssal milestone of Seb’s list of personal mistakes or/and race-craft this year.
    If you wanted to have a chance into Mexico to keep it more then just possible, and you actually get the lead, fight for it, get smart or dirty, damn it.

    I’ve often called Verstappen too wild and being kept out of the wind so as not a blind supporter, I can say this with full common sense: The whole weekend everyone get’s to carve their own track as if it was an Ikea think-thank office meeting, but suddenly last-lap excitement – the things Liberty wants – and suddenly someone poked Mika awake? Yes it was a penalty, but if you decide to make these tracks so wide, without any penalty whether digitally or physical, and let everything bar Austria slip through, then this inconsistency just makes F1 lose more viewers. Ludicrous.

    1. I don’t understand your reasoning. Lewis clearly had the faster car today and won on his merits. Vettel could do nothing to stop him. He wasn’t sleeping when got overtaken on Lap 6. His move on Bottas later on speaks for itself when one claims that he is a worse driver than HAM or VER or ALO.

      Verstappen also drove a fantastic race. I believe it wasn’t fair to be demoted from P3 specially because everyone was pushing off track limits for the whole weekend, even during qualifying, so there you go. Stewards being stewards and doing the best they can to ruin a perfectly fine end for this race.

      1. He left a gap Hamilton dived down. Had Vettel studied previous races, that’s how Hamilton passed Rosberg. I was fully expecting him to make precisely that kind of pass when Vettel took the lead after an excellent start but Hamilton kept pace. So why Vettel didn’t take action to prevent it, who knows, but yes, it was a mistake. Not that he could do much to prevent Hamilton from passing at some point, Vettel’s race set-up seemed to be down on Raikkonen’s, presumably down to the decision to swap the chassis and use up valuable practice time.

        1. It isn’t the first time VET moved out of the way this year – “like a train, like a train” his comments in SPA if I recall correctly. Because he knows well that tangling with him will only makes his chances worse for the championship. HAM was clearly much faster. He only lost his lead from pole because VET had a better start. VET fought with HAM, they even touched while he took the lead.

          Hence do not think your comment holds water.

        2. That was how Lewis passed Sebastian in 2012 as well. You’d think he’d remember it.

          1. In 2012 Hamilton was already ahead in the braking zone. Maybe you should remember it more clearly?

      2. believe it wasn’t fair to be demoted from P3 specially because everyone was pushing off track limits for the whole weekend

        @lancesuk the consistency is poor, they should have been penalising other drivers from the start of the weekend, then this decision wouldn’t have been an issue, but looking at the rules, the penalty was justified

        @lancesuk @xiasitlo forget Vettel’s racecraft, I was overwhelmingly disappointed with Bottas’ racecraft today, he didn’t look to even try to defend on any of his moves. He needs to work HARD on this otherwise he will always be number 2 in the leading teams

        1. Bottas let the team and Hamilton down today. Great one race, not so the next. Kimi same with Seb. Vettel has shown class during the bad stretch losing the lead in standings. Penalty on Max was horrible. Bet Grosjean wishes he never left Renault now.

  4. Lewis, Seb, Max, Ric, Alonso, Sainz: head & shoulders above the other guys today. Both on relative pace & race craft. It was almost like watching different classes of racing. I’m normally very supportive of Bottas, but I can’t find too many excuses for him today. I know Ric forced him into being defensive early on & that probably hurt his tires forcing him to pit when he did (I think he was on the worst tires of the top guys at the end), but I still feel like he’s not getting enough from the car on the difficult days. Ever since the since the summer break Lewis has made him look very ordinary.

    1. @aldoid agree with everything you say. All I can say is that I think that the change of regulations has been successful in that the cream is rising to the top and the teams are realising this, hence Renault’s pursuit of Sainz, money will only take you so far

      1. Looking forward to seeing Ric charge from the back end of the grid in Mexico thought the overtaking will be more difficult than what Max had today!!!

    2. I would add Ocon to that list and omit RIC and ALO because they retired early and cannot be compared to those who finished @aldoid

      1. They didn’t finish, but their retirements weren’t either of their faults & prior, both looked excellent on track. I was highly entertained by their racing while they were running. Ocon defended well when he needed to, ran as quick as was necessary & I take nothing from him. I rate him rather highly actually… I have since F3. But he didn’t look near as good as the other guys today… maybe it was pace management as his team hinted at on the radio to Perez. Either way, I was more impressed by those two guys even though they retired… just my opinion.

    3. Kimi did well too.

  5. Nice drive by Lewis, kept the pressure on after loosing out on the first corner but still managed to get the lead in a fashioned way on the track like a man, as for Bottas was he lacking the pace or just a Mercedes strategy letdown, I wish I could know but anyway what an utter dominance by Lewis in every way, great drive indeed.

    1. Another point to make. By staying out longer at the start, Lewis gave himself the best chance of making it a successful one stopper. Bottas by comparison, came in a lot earlier, which means his tires were really going off towards the end.

      1. I think Bottas was left out the cover Hamilton’s back. Optimizing his position was never important to Mercedes

        1. Bottas was more compromised by having to defend from Ricciardo than anything else, I think. The Mercedes struggles when it overheats its tires… it always has, but this year is definitely the most temperamental it’s been. Toto is always talking about the window of performance being narrow & I believe it. That car looks painfully ordinary whenever the tires aren’t exactly in the sweet spot. Lewis is just better at driving the “diva”, I think. All of Hamilton’s teammates, bosses, engineers literally sing his praises when it comes to dealing with an unruly car. Only Alonso gets similar praise that I can recall: Seb loves a planted, predictable rear; Kimi is super particular on front grip & steering feel; Button needs perfect balance; Rosberg can’t cope with oversteer at all… maybe the Red Bull guys are excellent at driving unruly cars, but Red Bull only ever acknowledges engine deficits & Newey’s car’s usually go well anyway & even their previous Toro Rossos were good cars, so the jury’s out…

  6. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    22nd October 2017, 22:25

    Regarding the Verstappen penalty. You can’t argue with the rules but when you’re in a wheel to wheel duel in a situation that’s such a tight squeeze your instincts are naturally going to take you as far inside as you can go when there’s a car outside. You’re not gonna think ‘Oh there’s the track limits line’ you’re gonna squeeze as far inside as possible. My point being; why on earth is there tarmac on the inside of the corner? That option to cut the corner shouldn’t even be there. On a circuit infamous for track limits abuse this was an inevitable own goal. The stewards did what they had to do but this felt like a real cold bucket of water poured over some great excitement. Something F1 frequently does well.

    1. @rdotquestionmark agreed but hopefully they react. Liberty have reacted well so far so hopefully the have words with COTA, and with the stewards so that we have consistency. If there were penalties for track limits from the get go then I don’t yhink there would have been a problem with Verstappen’s penalty today (or perhaps Verstappen would have tried harder to stay kntrack while attempting the pass)

    2. Don’t blame the track, blame the driver. Wit or without extra tarmac the limit is the line and going beyond that is not punishable. We discuss stewards consistency though…

  7. That Verstappen penalty was brutal, totally unnecessary, it´s as if somebody is really trying their best to make sure the Americans continue to be wary and uninterested in F1.

    Letting him go up to the drivers room and then letting him down on camera like that was a terrible way to handle it too, it should have been Horner that told him in privacy.

    Finally, some last lap action in a season that has not been the most exciting, in an important race for the new owners and its ruined by some idiotic bureaucracy

  8. VERS’s penalty reminds me of the Belgium GP in 2008. Guys race their hearts out and in the end- the stewards manufacture the result. Not very good projection of the F1 image.

    VERS driver of the day. IMO he had the pace to win today if he didn’t start at the back.

    Solid job by HAM and a sense of Dejavu on how he also defeated Vettel in 2012 in Austin as well. One hand on the championship and just needs to finish 5th to secure a 4th championship.

    Bottas….. Yeah. He’s not really shining is he. His team mate wins comfortably, with searing pace and tyre management. He finishes 5th with poor pace and no tyres. It’s weird; in fact- it reminds me of Button’s rot in 2012 when he was having setup issues and finishing at the back while Hamilton was winning. He needs to sort it out otherwise RIC will be in that Merc in 2019.

    1. It’s all good, Hamilton will win his fourth title to equal Vettel. Quite good by Hamilton, but he has been in the best car for 6 seasons so he really should have 6 titles!

      It doesn’t really matter though as the best driver in F1 is no longer either Hamilton or Vettel. It’s Max Verstappen, he’s showing that on a regular basis now.

      In a clearly inferior car he’s been the fastest driver for the last three races (since reliability arroved).
      What we are warching is a battle of the has-beens (Hamilton and Vettel). We were robbed of a showdown by unreability, but it’s all good. We are getting a new superstar that will attract lots of fans, F1 will grow.

      Red Bull has promised Max to break the bank to provide him with a Championship- winning car. No more other projects for Newey, his only task is Red Bulls F1 car. A formidable combination, the best driver in F1 and the best designer..

      1. +kimiwillbeback
        Kimiwontbeback

      2. Not really up to debate this “whataboutery” tonight- but let me just say one simple thing.

        Hamilton has always had tough team mates- apart from Heikki (and maybe now Bottas). Maybe if he had #1 status like Vettel did with Webber, or Michael what you are saying would ring true.

        You almost sound sour lol.

        “the best driver in F1 is no longer either Hamilton or Vettel”

        in your opinion…..

        I don’t think Max is anywhere near the finished article. He has the raw pace but he is not even the most complete driver on the grid. He’s a rough diamond. Until he matures a bit more (which will maybe come with age) try again. Otherwise getting himself into situations he need not be in like in Monza for eg he will not win championships that way, even if he was in the Merc.

        What we are warching is a battle of the has-beens (Hamilton and Vettel)

        Okay this is the point I stop taking you seriously.

        Good night :)

        1. @Blazzz lol

          Okay this is the point I stop taking you seriously

      3. I’ve heard Max is raising the dead as well….

        1. @ju88sy, it is also funny how, when Ricciardo managed to beat Verstappen despite Verstappen having the latest upgraded engine and Ricciardo’s engine, as we now know, being on the verge of failing, there is a curious silence about his performance.

          I do agree that, with some fans quite literally speaking with a religious reverence about Max, it almost feels like there is a cult like following about Max as people rush to proclaim him a “new messiah”. It does create a slightly uncomfortable feeling that, at this rate, we could start seeing some favouritism towards Max in order to engineer more success for him and to cash in on that obsessive following.

      4. LOL! Verstappen the best driver?!
        Not by far.
        He still has TONS to prove to be put on the same discussion with the likes of Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso, let alone to be the best.
        Yesterday he was outqualified by Ricciardo, just sayin.

        1. Lewis was outqualified quite a few times by a number 5 driver like Bottas.Bottas is a little better than Massa and far slower than Ricciardo.

      5. The has-been’s as you call them are your name sake Kimi and (the should have stayed retired) Fillipe, I find your comments about Ham and Seb a little insulting.
        Verstappen is a huge talent but a long way from being anywhere near the best, it will come but he ain’t there yet.

  9. Can you imagine if Ricardo had finished? According to Christianson, Ricardo ran out of oil, yet we didn’t see it on the track. So how did he run out of oil? Are the Red Bulls burning oil to supplement engine performance?

    And then there is Bottas, what happened? If only he had come in for new tires with 20 or so laps to go. There’s every chance the Ferraris might have stayed out for the remainder, giving Bottas a chance of catching them.

    As it is, the only team showing any lateral thinking was the red bulls, when they brought Max in to improve his chance of catching the Ferraris, until Vettel covered the move.

  10. Bottas has some explaining to do. This was his worst race so far in terms of pace. If Ricciardo didn’t retire, he would be the last of the top dogs today, as opposed to Hamilton being the first.

    Pressure is mounting.

    1. I don’t think it is that simple. First, we’ll agree Hamilton outpaced Bottas from P1.

      His position behind Hamilton in turn 1 fixed his role as number 2 driver the rest of the race. I think they pitted him early to help cover the undercut. So he was going to have trouble the last 10 laps.

      Then when the 2nd round of stops came they decided Hamilton would stay out. And Bottas HAD to stay out with him. He was Hamilton’s rear gunner. He could buy Hamilton a few laps, and, more importantly, help protect Hamilton for a few precious laps in event of a safety car at lap 48 or so. With no safety car Vettel was at risk of losing a position. But they knew Bottas tires were worn and there was no way Merc would pit him. So it was a solid bet Vettel could pass him.

      A safety car around lap 48 would have given Ferrari a solid chance. Hamilton was basically committed to a one stop by then. Bottas could have given some cover, but no more than a few laps.

      So Merc sacrificed some positions for Bottas to protect Hamilton. Which is kinda sad, because Hamilton has enough lead to let them race. But I don’t really blame Merc for responding in the most predictable way to Ferrari’ s 1 driver challenge.

      1. Actually, no. No one was going for a two stopper, Verstappen than did it and Vettel reacted to it.
        And by this point, Bottas was already behind both of them in a two stopper strategy and he didn’t ever had the pace to fight back, so why pit him again?
        They chose not to pit him as this was his best shot at a podium finish.

        I don’t think it has nothing to do with protecting Hamilton, who was far ahead and managed his tyres so much better than everyone else that on a matter of laps the gap to Raikkonen went from 9 to 12 seconds.

        1. Edd – you might as well argue that “Raikkonen has lost it” because he was passed by his team-mate, again. Bottas was in much the same position, he was brought in for tyres first after all. Strategically, it worked okay for Mercedes. The Ferrari strategy was a lot less subtle on track, but it worked really well for them.
          On the other hand, Bottas does seem to be struggling to switch his tyres on (and keep them there). I did not expect Ricciardo to be able to keep up with him so easily.

  11. Untied States? Feels like that sometimes.

  12. Amazing to think Vettel hasn’t finished ahead of Hamilton since Hungry.

  13. Fantastic race. Well done Lewis!

  14. Bottas and Kimi is what you get when you go for the conservative, instead of for the best choice.
    The best choice requires the guts, the conservative one requires the lack of ambition.
    We shouldn’t forget that it was Ross Brawn who paired Lewis and Nico, not Toto Wolff, who brought in his protegee Bottas, who is absolutely 2nd class to Hamilton.
    And then Toto had the audacity to call Alonso complicated or something, explaining the signing of Bottas. It had nothing to do with Alonso being difficult (certainly no more difficult than Lewis or Vettel), but with Toto being conservative. Only thing that saved Mercedes this year is the fact that Ferrari didn’t have any more courage then then either. Plus Vettel totally underachieving in the second half of the season. But both Ferrari and Mercedes opted for an easier option, but the one which is ultimately weaker. If Red Bull comes with a fast enough car next year, Ferrari and Mercedes might find the Constructors championship a much harder prospect.

    1. Sundar Srinivas Harish
      23rd October 2017, 3:44

      That is unnecessarily hard on Bottas. The team put him on the soft much earlier than most others, and then left him out once Verstappen pitted in the final stint, and Vettel reacted. A podium position was his until RBR mixed things up.

  15. Michael Brown (@)
    23rd October 2017, 0:02

    Sainz on Perez is the overtake of the season

  16. If evidence was still needed before, this race proved once again that Merc and Ferrari are quite on par.
    Hamilton made the difference with Vettel.
    The guy absolutely smashed the field when his team doesn’t let him down.
    A big shout to Rosberg, comfortably sitting in his sofa at home.

    1. More like that’s what you wish but that is a wilde speculation at best.
      It’s a track where Mercedes has always been strong whith a better lap in q by vettel and a better start.Than Bottas who is in clearly in bad shape after the summer…

      Anyway I’m not going to be biasd like you and say clearly Vettel was better today .

      Ham: i win because i’m like senna.can do miracles in a slow car.
      I loose sometimes because the team sabotages me.

      Brundle : hamilton won with a car that has 3 wheels and everybody else has 5.

      Lol.

      1. I don’t know whether to take you comments seriously, but if they are serious you are quite laughable.

  17. What a fantastic weekend by Sainz. Everything about it, from practice to qualifying to his great overtake on Perez and relentless attack on Ocon, was extremely assured and confident.

    1. @neutronstar Madrileño rising star!

  18. @neutronstar Indeed. Whether or not people felt Palmer’s dismissal was warranted, it would have been a stretch to suggest the Brit would have pulled out the same level of performance this weekend. Renault now has one of the more formidable driver pairings on the grid, and will surely push each other to the maximum. If Renault sort out their reliability next year expect to see them at least on par with Force India from start to finish.

  19. It’s kind of annoying that there was quite a lot happened in that race, some good moves and hard racing and it’s all been overshadowed by the Verstappen penalty, which was completely fair and normal. Twitter and the forums here are just fixated on that one event.

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