Hamilton beats Rosberg to win US GP

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F1 Grand Prix, GP United States, Circuit of The Americasus

Lewis Hamilton beat Nico Rosberg in a straight fight to win the United States Grand Prix at Austin. Rosberg saw Hamilton pass by halfway in the race to suffer another blow for his championship changes. Daniel Ricciardo completes the podium, a distant 20 seconds behind the Mercedes duo.

As the lights went out, Rosberg made a great start to dive into turn 1 in the lead, ahead of Hamilton. Both Williams cars fought each other for third and it was Massa who came out on top, ahead of Bottas. Alonso gained a place to Ricciardo to move up into 5th as Magnussen also got ahead of Ricciardo.

Half a lap later, despite a clean start, there's a coming together nonetheless as Perez failed to make it past Sutil. The Mexican attempted a very optimistic move but ended up in the back of Raikkonen, bumping Sutil off the track at the same time. The latter really had nothing to do with it, but saw his solid qualifying ruined before even completing a full lap of the Grand Prix. It was the end of the race for Perez as well as his front suspension broke. He limped back to the pits before receiving news the incident would be investigated after the race.

With debris all over the track, the safety car was brought out for 3 laps. Several drivers pitted, including Vettel who took on a new set of mediums. Button, Magnussen and Raikkonen switched from soft to medium.

At the re-start, Ricciardo made up for his sluggish start by getting ahead of Alonso through turn 1. Ahead of them, no changes, with Rosberg keeping the lead, 1 second ahead of Hamilton, Massa and Bottas. Raikkonen is 7th, followed by Maldonado, Vergne, Grosjean, Kvyat, Magnussen, Butotn, Hulkenberg, Vettel and Gutierrez.

3 laps later, Vergne, Gutierrez and Maldonado get penalised with a 5 second stop-and-go for speeding behind the safety car. Interestingly, Jenson Button was cleared from further action, despite similarly getting investigated for speeding.

By lap 13, Rosberg is still shadowed by Hamilton. Both are 6 seconds ahead of Massa who is closely followed by Bottas and Ricciardo. The latter reduced his disadvantage to the Williams cars in the most recent laps, likely suffering a bit less degradation on the tyres. Alonso is still 6th, 8 seconds behind Ricciardo. Raikkonen is another 3 securnds down the field, ahead of Maldonado, Vergne and Grosjean.

On lap 15, Massa pits for new soft tyres whereas Ricciardo changes to the medium compound.

One lap later, Rosberg pits and rejoins in second place. Hamilton pits another lap later after having lost 2.5 seconds to his team mate in the last 3 laps ahead of the stop. Bottas pitted for new softs and immediately got passed by Ricciardo.

By lap 21, Rosberg leads by 1.4 seconds, with the latter slowly reducing the gap since the pitstop. Massa is third, 7 secons behind, followed by Ricciardo and Bottas. Kvyat is 6th just before his first stop. Closely behind are Magnussen, Button, Alonso, Vettel, Raikkonen, Grosjean, Vergne, Maldonado and Gutierrez. Apart from the gaps ahead of Massa and Kvyat, all cars are still very close to one another, with relative gaps less than 3 seconds.

On lap 24, Hamilton got close enough to attempt a pass on Rosberg at the back straight. Helped by DRS, he swept past his team mate, making a clean pass before pushing to get Rosberg out of DRS range. That took just one lap, before the gap of 1.6 seconds somewhat stabilized.

Few laps later, Alonso emphasizes he's on the move, by pushing through the field with nice overtaking moves on Button and Magnussen. Both pitted a bit later, with Button first scheduled to pit, before being asked to complete another lap as Magnussen eventually got the pitstop first. The switched didn't exactly help Button who was already struggling with his tyres.

Following another series of stops, nothing really changed at the front. Immediately following the stop, Rosberg dropped to 4.6 seconds behind Hamilton, before recording the fastest lap. Hamilton soon responded, stabilising his advantage at around 2.6 to 3 seconds.

Ricciardo however made it into third place, keeping both Williams' at bay.

12 laps from the end, Alonso pitted for a new set of option tyres. His advantage to the cars behind was such that he only saw Magnussen get ahead due to the pitstop, a problem that was quickly solved thanks to using the brand new tyres.

3 laps later, Vettel also pits from 7th, dropping down to 12th after his stop. Vettel though proved 3 seconds a lap faster than a bunch of cars led by Magnussen, and soon found himself amidst the pack, easily passing one car after another. At the same time, cars in that pack were fiercely fighting for position as well, making for a spectacular series of events.

At the very front, nothing changed at all as Hamilton easily cruised to winning the United States Grand Prix. Rosberg was second, not far behind the winner, but a comfortable 21 seconds ahead of Daniel Ricciardo who completes the podium.

Results

Pos.No.DriverTeamLapsTimeGridPts
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG561:40:04.785225
26Nico RosbergMercedes AMG56+4.3 secs118
33Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing-Renault56+25.5 secs515
419Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes56+26.9 secs412
577Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes56+30.9 secs310
614Fernando AlonsoFerrari56+95.2 secs68
71Sebastian VettelRed Bull Racing-Renault56+95.7 secs186
820Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes56+100.68 secs74
913Pastor Maldonado *Lotus-Renault56+107.87 secs101
1025Jean-Eric Vergne *STR-Renault56+108.86 secs142
118Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault55+1 Lap16
1222Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes55+1 Lap12
137Kimi RäikkönenFerrari55+1 Lap8
1421Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari55+1 Lap15
1526Daniil KvyatSTR-Renault55+1 Lap17
Ret27Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes16Engine13
Ret11Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1Accident damage11
Ret99Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari0Accident9

* #25, Jean-Eric Vergne got 5s added to his finish time, a penalty for sliding into Grosjean
* #13, Pastor Maldonado was similarly added 5s to his race result for speeding in the pitlane