At this point it’s fair to say that Lewis Hamilton is pretty good at the Circuit of the Americas. He’s now won five of the six grands prix held there, and although this win wasn’t quite enough for him to clinch the title as he did in 2015, he’s now pretty damn close. With Valtteri Bottas finishing fifth, Mercedes scored enough points to win it’s fourth constructors’ title. Has anyone noticed Mercedes have been quite good in the hybrid era?
Sebastian Vettel gave it his all and took the lead at the start, but it only took a few laps for Lewis to get back in front. Things closed up again a bit during the first round of pit stops, but otherwise Hamilton was left unchallenged at the front.
There was tons of action going on behind Hamilton, though. In the early stages Daniel Ricciardo put on a show as he tried to pull off some ridiculous lunges on Bottas, but shortly after his first pit stop his car ground to a halt with engine failure.
The other Red Bull was going pretty well, though. Max Verstappen charged through from 16th on the grid and quickly found himself running in the top six and catching up to Bottas and the Ferraris.
He decided to make a second stop, triggering Vettel to do the same. Vettel made it back up to second with a few laps to go, and on the last lap Verstappen was doing everything to try and prise third place from Kimi Raikkonen. With just a few corners to go he put an absolutely mega pass on Kimi at Turn 17.
Unfortunately for Max, it turned out he’d cut the circuit a bit and stewards gave him a five second penalty, even though drivers have been abusing track limits and getting away with it all weekend.
That dropped him back to fourth, leading to a super-awkward moment in the cooldown room before the podium.
One person who didn’t cut the circuit at Turn 17 was Carlos Sainz. Earlier in the race he somehow managed to pass Sergio Perez around the outside there on his way to a brilliant seventh place in his first race for Renault.
Dany Kvyat was pretty decent in his return for Toro Rosso and actually managed to score points for only the third time this year. Brendon Hartley had a low-key debut race but made it to the end in 13th, a lap down.
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 22, 2017
Hamilton’s win gains him another seven points on Vettel in the championship, increasing his lead to 66. That means that regardless of what Vettel does in Mexico next weekend, as long as Hamilton finishes fifth or better, he’ll be champion. Yeah, it’s all over, isn’t it?