HAMILTON UNBEATABLE AT COTA
Ferrari 2-3 fails to prevent Mercedes’ team title
1st LEWIS HAMILTON Mercedes
2nd SEBASTIAN VETTEL Ferrari
3rd KIMI RAIKKONEN Ferrari
Fastest in every practice and qualifying session, Hamilton blew the start. From the front-row Vettel beat him into turn 1, but the Ferrari failed to pull away. By lap 6 Lewis was threatening to pass, doing so with ease at turn 11. Seb’s second opportunity to lead was lap 20. As Lewis exited the pits, the Ferrari so nearly executing an undercut having stopped three laps sooner. But Ferrari never really possessed winning race pace, Vettel at the flag 10s in arrears of Hamilton’s superbly driven machine. Behind these two, a last-lap humdinger for P3 saw Verstappen snatch the podium from Räikkönen. Controversially Max was then penalised 5s for exceeding track limits during his dazzling turn 17 (of 20) overtake. Relegation to P4 was a disagreeable outcome for a brilliant two-stopper from a penalised P16 start. Max’s first stint, going longer on harder tyres, brought him the lead by lap 21, one-stop Hamilton retaking P1 on lap 23. His scintillating second stint reeled-in Vettel by 13s over 12 laps on equivalent rubber. By lap 38 the threat to Vettel’s P2 forced Ferrari to switch to a two-stop. Now a mere 2s behind, Verstappen might well have done it had he not lost time passing one-stoppers Bottas and Räikkönen, Kimi inevitably letting Vettel by. With Ricciardo out early with engine trouble, best of the rest was Ocon followed by Sainz. Carlos’s sensational Renault debut put teammate Hülkenberg in the shade. Toro Rosso debuted Brendon Hartley.
A painful defeat for Ferrari, the SF70H simply not competitive with the W08… at least car 44. Lewis’s fifth win from the last six races was also his sixth for the US GP, surpassing Schumacher’s record. With three races to go, Mercedes secured their fourth successive team title, and with a 66-point lead over Vettel, Hamilton should clinch his fourth title in Mexico next week. According to the pundits, Lewis has reached a new level.
The Championship Chase
Hamilton 331, Vettel 265, Bottas 244, Ricciardo 192, Räikkönen 163
Mercedes 575, Ferrari 428, Red Bull 315, Force India 159, Williams 68
Formula 1 All the Races