That was another satisfying weekend for the Mercedes AMG Motorsport team! The utterly dominant outfit in the hybrid era clinched another one-two finish in 2019 at a weekend when Lewis Hamilton could secure his sixth world title, erasing even the slim mathematical chances for his teammate Valtteri Bottas in the hunt for the championship crown.
Ending Ferrari’s impressive six-race run of pole positions, Valtteri Bottas narrowly beat Sebastian Vettel to secure his eleventh career pole position. In the 56-lap race, the Finn opted for a two-stop strategy while his teammate Lewis Hamilton went for an aggressive one-stopper. In the end, the Finn executed his strategy perfectly even if his two-stopper required him to pass the Briton on track in the closing stages of the grand prix.
Max Verstappen came home third while Ferrari endured a miserable round in Texas with Charles Leclerc finishing only in a distant fourth place and Sebastian Vettel retiring from a suspension failure.
The new benchmark – The Ferrari team left America with question marks regarding their pace, reliability and pit stop performance, although Charles Leclerc could salvage the Italians’ race by setting the fastest race lap to secure the additional championship point. Pitting for new soft tyres at the end of the race, the Monegasque clocked in a lap time of 1m36.169 to set a new all-time race lap record around the Circuit of the Americas.
Early birds – The United States Grand Prix saw two drivers retiring early from the action. Sebastian Vettel was forced to end his afternoon early due to a suspension failure. The German only completed seven laps when the suspension on his SF70 failed, prompting him to park his car next to the back straight of the track. Robert Kubica’s race also took a premature end when the Pole dived into the pits to retire his car on lap 31.
A successful weekend – With his win on Sunday, Valtteri Bottas secured his sixth Grand Prix victory. His first triumph in Texas came after a qualifying session when the Finn took his eleventh pole position in Formula One.
Utter dominance – When it comes to the United States Grands Prix at Austin, Mercedes continued their dominance on Sunday. Since the hybrid power units were introduced in 2014, the Anglo-German took victory in all races except last year. Lewis Hamilton was victorious in all races between 2014 and 2017 before he got beaten by Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen last year. That record leaves Mercedes with five victories in the last six races in Texas.
Wide variety of strategies – Although Pirelli recommended a one-stop strategy for yesterday’s United States Grand Prix, the winning driver refused to take that route. Valtteri Bottas covered the race distance of 308km with a medium-hard-medium two-stopper while his teammate Lewis Hamilton opted for a medium-hard one-stopper on his way to the second position. Third-placed Max Verstappen was on the same strategy as Bottas and he came very close to finish second. The Dutchman closed in on Hamilton for the last two laps of the race, but a yellow-flag period induced by Kevin Magnussen’ stricken Haas car deprived him of the chance to try an overtaking manoeuvre.
Six outfits – In the 41th United States Grand Prix, six different teams collected championship points. Mercedes, McLaren, Renault and Red Bull scored points with two cars while Ferrari and Racing Point were present in the top ten with only with one of their cars.
The leading outfits – The dominance of the three top teams continued in the United States Grand Prix. Valtteri Bottas lapped all drivers up to the eighth-placed Carlos Sainz. In fact, only Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris avoided being lapped, but they were also in danger by finishing the race over 90 seconds behind the winning Finnish driver.
That was close! – The differences in strategies led to several on-track duels in yesterday’s Texas race. The most intense battle was probably the one between Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian executed a one-stop strategy with pitting for new hards on lap 21 while the Briton visited the McLaren pit crew twice (on lap 19 and 42). Struggling from tyre wear in the dying minutes of the race, Ricciardo could only narrowly hold on to his sixth place finish after Norris crossed the finish line only 0.398 seconds behind his rival.
A sweet end – Following his penalty for failing to stop at the weighbridge in the second practice session, Sergio Perez was required to start the Austin race from the back end of the grid. Racing Point decided to install a list of fresh power unit components including a new internal combustion engine, turbocharger, MGU-H and MGU-K into the Mexican’s car. Using his fresh power unit, Perez climbed up the order in the race to come home in tenth place.
Almost secure – The Renault F1 Team has strengthened its position in the Constructors’ Standings thanks to it douple point-scoring finishes in the United States Grand Prix. The French manufacturer now leads by 18 points ahead of the Racing Point outfit while Toro Rosso is a further point behind the Silverstone-based team.