United States Grand Prix: The finish line sight as Hamilton takes 62nd victory at Circuit of the Americas
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News October 22, 2017 Updated: 10:11 PM
AUSTIN, Texas -- Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton in front of a crowd of over 258,000 took his 62nd win and take one step closer to a fourth world title.
This year's United States Grand Prix in it's sixth year running at Circuit of the Americas saw this weekend's race under the new owners of F1 who promised to bring a much more entertaining show. Before the lights went the venerable Michael Buffer lit up the grid doing a special introduction of the Formula One drivers something that has never been seen in Formula One before.
Former President Bill Clinton presented the drivers trophy to Lewis Hamilton, and Olympic Gold Medalist Usain Bolt conducted the podium interviews with Hamilton, Vettel and Raikkonen. Then Bolt presented Lewis Hamilton with a special pair of running shoes from his Olympic win.
"First of all, I want to say a big congratulations to everyone in the team, all the partners, everyone back at the factory and everyone here. There has been an incredible push for this kind of performance this year. We’ve really pulled together more than I’ve experience or seen over the last five years this year to really pull together and create something quite special," said Hamilton.
Sunday's race saw championship points leader and, pole sitter Lewis Hamilton, next to number two in the drivers championship, Sebastian Vettel, for Ferrari. In order to keep his championship hopes alive Vettel had to make it onto the podium or not finish lower than sixth place.
But after having lead the opening laps of the race as the Ferrari driver was able to get the jump on the silver arrow of Hamilton. Despite his best efforts Vettel would lose out to Hamilton a few laps later coming down the back straight heading into Turn 12. At the end Vettel knew he had done all he could do, by finishing second. With three races remaining and 75 points up for grabs it would take an unbelievable miracle to beat Hamilton, in the drivers championship.
“My start was good today. I think also in Japan the start had been that good, but we just didn’t have power, so it’s good we had it done here. It was good to get the rhythm, but after a couple of laps I was really struggling with the tires that were getting too hot. I am a bit disappointed, because we couldn’t win and I had wanted to," said Vettel.
Hamilton took his 62nd career win and surpassing the great Micheal Schumacher for most United States Grand Prix wins having won four at COTA and his first at Indianapolis in 2007. Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel finished second with teammate Kimi Raikkonen in third.
A controversial fourth for Red Bull's Max Verstappepn, and Valtteri Bottas for Mercedes in fifth. During the closing laps Verstappen who had an impressive drive from 16th received a time penalty after he cut the apex at Turn 16 in the process of overtaking Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen for third.
“I am feeling good after the race but of course it is never nice to be about to step out onto the podium and then have it taken away. They should at least let us talk it through in the stewards’ room first and voice our opinions. I had a great race and I am happy with fourth but it’s the way I got there that hurts. I got a five second penalty and one penalty point for what? I ran wide on a track with no limits that everyone is running wide on all weekend, why do I get punished? The rule is we cannot protest so all we can do is move on to Mexico, weird rule," said Verstappen.
Sunday's also decided the Constructors' Championship, which once again, went to the unbeatable, Mercedes team who took their 75th Formula One victory along with . The Constructors' Championship means hundreds of millions in revenue to the winning team that Lewis Hamilton, lead them to three out of the four they have won.
Sahara Force India has shown consistency has been key for the team as they continue to hold fourth place in the Team Constructors' Championship after this weekend.
Esteban Ocon who has been consistent this year having only failed to score points in one race this season and Driver Sergio Perez is headed to his home race in Mexico next week.
He his teammate Esteban Ocon, spent weekend in support for Breast Cancer awareness month, meeting survivors and showing off their pink cars to help. Perez and Billionaire Carlos Slim Domit, have put together a relief fund for citizens of Mexico who are in need of assistance after the recent earthquake.
Another American favorite Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo who spends a great deal of time in the U.S.A. was hoping to make the podium for the team and for a possible "shoey," when his car ran into trouble halfway though the race and was clearly upset he did not finish.
McLaren's Fernando Alonso also ran into car trouble and could not finish the race and Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg, was forced to throw in the towel after experiencing an oil pressure drop, but teammate Carlos Sainz, came through for the team by finishing seventh.
Next week's Mexican Grand Prix could be could be the title decider as Lewis Hamilton only needs to finish fifth or better to take his fourth world championship.
Fans love the excitement of the U.S. Grand Prix, the entertainment, music, celebrities and Michael Buffer's introduction.