Lewis Hamilton seals sixth F1 title but Bottas denies him US GP win

Lewis Hamilton clinched his sixth Formula 1 title despite being passed for victory late on by Valtteri Bottas in the United States Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton seals sixth F1 title but Bottas denies him US GP win

Hamilton jumped both Ferrari drivers on the opening lap to run third and was then only one among the leaders to execute a one-stop strategy, which elevated him above Bottas and Max Verstappen.

But poleman Bottas caught and passed Hamilton with five laps remaining to take victory.

Hamilton's sixth world championship, his fifth with Mercedes, appeared a formality before the start of the grand prix as he only needed to finish eighth to wipe Bottas out of mathematical contention.

Race victory for Hamilton seemed less likely after a disappointing qualifying meant he started behind Bottas, Sebastian Vettel, Verstappen and Charles Leclerc.

Hamilton was ahead of both Ferraris halfway round the first lap, clearing Leclerc immediately then executing a bold move on Vettel around the outside of Turn 8 at the end of the sweeping esses sequence - which gave him the inside line into tighter left-hander of Turn 9.

Once in third, Hamilton slowly started to build pressure on Verstappen, who had picked up minor front wing damage at the first corner.

Verstappen passed Vettel around the outside of Turn 1 at the start and though he backed off as race leader Bottas moved wide on the exit, there was a tiny amount of contact.

That gave Verstappen a balance offset throughout the grand prix, and meant by the time he pitted first on lap 13 of 56 - committing to a two-stop strategy - Bottas was several seconds clear and Hamilton was on the Red Bull's tail.

Mercedes responded by stopping Bottas one lap later to retain track position against the threat of the undercut, which was successful, while Hamilton continued until lap 24.

That set up a split of strategies that handed Hamilton track position once Bottas and Verstappen stopped for a second time, and the leaders only converged again in the final few laps.

Bottas moved within DRS range of his team-mate with six laps remaining and the next time round Hamilton ran slightly wide into the hairpin, giving Bottas a better run onto the back straight.

Hamilton covered the inside line as Bottas drew alongside and briefly ahead on the outside, but Hamilton braked later and Bottas had to take to the run-off on the exit of the corner.

On the next lap Bottas was able to move inside Hamilton with DRS at the same place, and completed the pass without trouble.

With no chance of responding to Bottas, Hamilton's attentions turned to keeping Verstappen at bay for second.

Verstappen's front wing issue meant he never quite got back on terms with Bottas after dropping back early in his second stint, but he caught the ailing Hamilton with three laps to go and was granted "full power" in his bid to steal second.

But a yellow flag at the end of the back straight - caused by Kevin Magnussen having what looked like a brake failure and ending up in the gravel - removed a key overtaking opportunity for Verstappen, who had to settle for third.

Leclerc finished a distant fourth as Ferrari's strong run of form came crashing to a halt in a dismal race.

Leclerc had a slow first stop and wound up 52s behind Bottas in fourth, but team-mate Vettel failed to finish at all after a left-rear suspension failure early on.

Vettel had already slumped to seventh from his front-row start after struggling with massive understeer in the early laps, then his car broke on lap eight.

Alex Albon came through to finish fifth despite hefty contact with Carlos Sainz Jr on the opening lap, having been squeezed between Leclerc and the McLaren.

Albon had to pit at the end of the first lap because of the damage his Red Bull suffered but he charged back through with two strong stints.

Daniel Ricciardo finished sixth and best-of-the-rest for Renault after overhauling the two McLarens.

Lando Norris had a later second stop that allowed him to pick off his midfield rivals and clinch seventh, ahead of Sainz - who lost ground early on thanks to his first-lap clash.

Nico Hulkenberg enjoyed a late-race charge to nick ninth in the second Renault, while Daniil Kvyat passed Sergio Perez for the final point on the last lap but came under investigation for the move that won him the place and was later demoted to 12th by a penalty.

Race result

Pos Driver Car Laps Gap
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 56 1h33m55.653s
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 56 4.148s
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda 56 5.002s
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 56 52.239s
5 Alexander Albon Red Bull/Honda 56 1m18.038s
6 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 56 1m30.366s
7 Lando Norris McLaren/Renault 56 1m30.764s
8 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren/Renault 55 1 Lap
9 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 55 1 Lap
10 Sergio Perez Racing Point/Mercedes 55 1 Lap
11 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 55 1 Lap
12 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Honda 55 1 Lap
13 Lance Stroll Racing Point/Mercedes 55 1 Lap
14 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 55 1 Lap
15 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 55 1 Lap
16 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Honda 54 Accident damage
17 George Russell Williams/Mercedes 54 2 Laps
18 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 52 Brakes
- Robert Kubica Williams/Mercedes 31 Hydraulics
- Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 7 Suspension

Drivers' standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Lewis Hamilton 381
2 Valtteri Bottas 314
3 Charles Leclerc 249
4 Max Verstappen 235
5 Sebastian Vettel 230
6 Alexander Albon 84
7 Carlos Sainz Jr. 80
8 Pierre Gasly 77
9 Daniel Ricciardo 46
10 Sergio Perez 44
11 Lando Norris 41
12 Nico Hulkenberg 37
13 Daniil Kvyat 34
14 Kimi Raikkonen 31
15 Lance Stroll 21
16 Kevin Magnussen 20
17 Romain Grosjean 8
18 Antonio Giovinazzi 4
19 Robert Kubica 1
20 George Russell 0

Constructors' standings

Pos Constructor Points
1 Mercedes 695
2 Ferrari 479
3 Red Bull/Honda 366
4 McLaren/Renault 121
5 Renault 83
6 Racing Point/Mercedes 65
7 Toro Rosso/Honda 64
8 Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 35
9 Haas/Ferrari 28
10 Williams/Mercedes 1


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