There was only one thing on everyone’s mind heading into the United States Grand Prix — crowning a world champion. Having completed 18 out of 21 races, Lewis Hamilton had already accumulated 10 victories, making him a front-runner for the title. In order to secure it in Texas, Hamilton needed to earn just 4 points.
LAP 1: Pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas pulled away with the lead while Carlos Sainz and Alex Albon made contact. Albon was forced into the runoff and over some intense bumps that caused him to pit imediately. Meanwhile, Sebastian Vettel who started 2nd had an issue right from the start, dropping back to 6th place and complaining of understeer.
LAP 4: After starting in P17, the Alfa Romeo of Kimi Raikkonen was already in the 11th spot and was challenging for a place in the Top 10.
LAP 8: Sebastian Vettel retired from the race with a strange suspension failure. He ran wide in Turn 10 and out of nowhere the suspension on his Ferrari snapped, lifting the left front tire in the air. With only 3 wheels on the ground, Vettel limped to a safe area on the track where his race came to an end.
LAP 14: Max Verstappen and the Red Bull team were the first to blink when it came to pitting, pulling the Dutchman into the pits in an effort to prevent Lewis Hamilton from attempting an undercut. Mercedes reacted right away by pitting Valtteri Bottas from the lead, leaving Hamilton out to inherit the top spot.
LAP 23: With Bottas quickly catching Hamilton, Mercedes told the latter to pit. However, Hamilton argued and drove past the pit lane, saying the tires still had more life in them. A minutes later, Hamilton was passed by Bottas.
LAP 33: After finally making his stop and coming out in 3rd place behind Bottas and Verstappen, Hamilton began chipping away at the distance between him and the two front runners, cutting an 18.1 second differential down to 7.2 in a matter of 8 laps.
Meanwhile, Robert Kubica retired from the race with a hydraulic issue. He was running P19 for the majority of the race.
LAP 36: Verstappen and Bottas pitted at the same time as they were both on a 2-stop strategy. Bottas had his work cut out for him has he began cutting down the 10+ second difference and catching Hamilton in P1 by half-a-second per lap.
LAP 52: Bottas finally retook the lead on the main straight, flying past Hamilton with the help of DRS.
LAP 55: Kevin Magnussen lost control in Turn 12 and slid into the gravel run off. The yellow flag came out in the 2nd sector for the incident
CHECKERED FLAG – LAP 56: After an incredible drive past his teammate, Valtteri Bottas took the checkered flag to win his 4th grand prix of the season. Despite the victory, Bottas was not able to keep his championship hopes alive as Hamilton finished 2nd, claiming his 6th F1 World Championship of his career. This puts Hamilton just 1 away from tying Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of 7 titles.
- Valtteri Bottas
- Lewis Hamilton
- Max Verstappen
- Charles Leclerc
- Alex Albon
- Daniel Ricciardo
- Lando Norris
- Carlos Sainz
- Nico Hulkenberg
- Sergio Perez
- Kimi Raikkonen
- Daniil Kvyat
- Lance Stroll
- Antonio Giovinazzi
- Romain Grosjean
- Pierre Gasly
- George Russell
- Kevin Magnussen
- Robert Kubica
- Sebastian Vettel