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Hamilton wins US F1 GP over Vettel – Verstappen recovery dashed by penalty
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Posted By: Editor   |  22 Oct 2017   |  10:06 pm GMT  |  368 comments

Lewis Hamilton took victory at the United States Formula 1 Grand Prix over Sebastian Vettel.

Kimi Raikkonen took the final podium spot as Max Verstappen, who had seemingly pulled off a trademark recovery from 16th, was given a five-second penalty post-race for leaving the track and gaining an advantage over the Finn.

With Hamilton’s victory, Mercedes has now secured the constructors’ championship for the fourth year in a row.

Vettel snatched the lead from the inside of Hamilton at the start, resisting Hamilton’s efforts to squeeze him to the edge of the tarmac and fight back through the outside of Turn 2.

Hamilton retook the lead down the back straight on lap six with the help of DRS and built up a two second lead within two laps.

Vettel pitted from second place on lap 17 for soft tyres, while Hamilton pitted on lap 20, only to emerge a car’s length ahead of Vettel.

Though he was frustrated by the seemingly narrow gap, Hamilton once again built up a two-second lead within two laps over his championship rival.

Vettel pitted again for super-softs on lap 39 of 56, momentarily losing second place as he left the pits on new tyres in fourth place. With Bottas and Raikkonen in front, and both Finns slowing on worn soft tyres, Vettel swept past them with five laps remaining to take back the runner-up spot on the rostrum.

“At the start, it was looking good, but we had to realise we couldn’t go at his pace. We were in no man’s land,” said Vettel.

“It was no secret. It’s not down to strategy. They were just quicker than us.”

From 16th, super-soft shod Max Verstappen had completed his foray into the top 10 within five laps and was in the top six by lap 10.

As those in front of him pitted, Verstappen was thrust into the lead on lap 21 though Hamilton was bearing down on him by a second per lap. On new tyres, Hamilton had retaken the lead on lap 23 in sector three, though Verstappen remained stoic in defence.

From second, Verstappen pitted for softs on lap 25 to exit in fifth. He completed a two-stop strategy by returning to super-softs on lap 38 and then bore down on the final podium spot, overtaking Raikkonen for third place through the long sector three right-handers on the final lap.

However, Verstappen was deemed to have left the track in sector three in his efforts to overtake Raikkonen, and the stewards handed him a five-second penalty, stripping his podium finish away to Raikkonen’s benefit.

At the finish, Raikkonen slowed to a crawl, unaware of the penalty; he was given third place by just a second over Verstappen.

Bottas’ pace on soft tyres was sluggish, and he was forced to pit late on for ultra-softs to settle for fifth place, though he ran as high as second.

Esteban Ocon made a cameo in the top five but was duly dropped to seventh. He benefited from Daniel Ricciardo’s lap 16 engine failure and retirement to take sixth.

Renault’s Carloz Sainz Jr threatened Ocon through the closing stages of the race, having tailed the Force Indias for a lengthy period.

Sainz took seventh off Sergio Perez, the two side-by-side through sector three on lap 34 before Sainz made the move on the inside of the penultimate corner to cap off a successful debut for his new team.

Felipe Massa spent 30 laps on super-softs and pitted from sixth for ultra-softs to rejoin in 12th. On the fastest tyre compound, he gained three positions over 26 laps to finish ninth, ahead of Daniil Kvyat.

Toro Rosso team-mate Brendon Hartley finished 13th on his debut, ahead of Haas’ Romain Grosjean.

Nico Hulkenberg recorded a non-finish for the fourth year in a row at Austin as he brought his Renault to the pits on lap four. Sauber’s Pascal Wehrlein retired two laps later.

On course for a points finish, Fernando Alonso’s McLaren-Honda stopped with an engine failure – his ninth of the season – midway through the race.

Who was your driver of the day? Have your say in the comment section below.

Results:

POSITION

DRIVER

CAR

LAPS

GAP

1

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes

56

1h33m50.993s

2

Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari

56

10.143s

3

Kimi Raikkonen

Ferrari

56

15.779s

4

Max Verstappen

Red Bull

56

16.768s

5

Valtteri Bottas

Mercedes

56

34.967s

6

Esteban Ocon

Force India

56

1m30.980s

7

Carlos Sainz Jr

Renault

56

1m32.944s

8

Sergio Perez

Force India

55

1 Lap

9

Felipe Massa

Williams

55

1 Lap

10

Daniil Kvyat

Toro Rosso

55

1 Lap

11

Lance Stroll

Williams

55

1 Lap

12

Stoffel Vandoorne

McLaren

55

1 Lap

13

Brendon Hartley

Toro Rosso

55

1 Lap

14

Romain Grosjean

Haas

55

1 Lap

15

Marcus Ericsson

Sauber

55

1 Lap

16

Kevin Magnussen

Haas

55

1 Lap

Fernando Alonso

McLaren

24

Retirement

Daniel Ricciardo

Red Bull

14

Retirement

Pascal Wehrlein

Sauber

5

Retirement

Nico Hulkenberg

Renault

3

Retirement

 

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1

Mercedes deserves it

2

Strong weekend from Mercedes and Hamilton. There wasn’t really anything more Vettel could’ve done: Ferrari simply didn’t have the pace and Seb did well to keep Lewis bottled up as long as he did. Great pass for the lead, though.

I’d also take the opportunity to point out to those hysterical about Vettel’s supposedly over-aggressive start in Singapore that it was probably less aggressive than Hamilton’s defence into Turn 1 at Austin. Nothing wrong with either, but it’s irritating to see fanboys tearing into Vettel when his move was pretty typical of the way drivers on the front row defend into the first corner.

Elsewhere, Bottas’ failure to get the fastest car on the grind on to the podium might have Mercedes rueing their decision to renew him for 2018. Especially as his likely replacement, Esteban Ocon, enjoyed yet another strong race.

Driver of the day was a tough one. Verstappen’s recovery drive was pretty incredible regardless of his penalty, which was disappointing but I don’t think he can really have too many complaints about it. The drivers had been warned about track limits all weekend and it wasn’t even marginal. Had we been at a traditional circuit he’d have been in the gravel or the barriers and at the end of the day, the drivers are here to drive the circuit as laid down, not some imaginary as-the-crow-flies route between the corners.

The other contender for Driver of the Day was probably Carlos Sainz, who enjoyed a dream debut for Renault. Carlos has flattered to deceive in the past – he’s looked good without necessarily delivering. He looked the real deal this weekend, though, following up an outstanding qualifying performance with a cracking race drive, capped off by his gripping duel with Sergio Perez. If Renault’s progress continues, the battle between him and Hulkenberg will be electrifying.

Finally, it was a solid race for Brandon Hartley and I’m not surprised Red Bull have decided to see what he might be capable of in the remaining races, rather then put the mercurial Kvyat back in the car. I don’t think Kvyat’s quite toast yet, but the prevailing winds on this are clear, now: unless Hartley fails to impress, Dany has probably driven his last race in F1.

3

Georges Movz · Works at Movz Fitness Lounge
If i were the owner, i would sack all 3 of them, Marchionne, Arrivabene & and the arrogant Vettle,, I am so sure that Ferrari has the Fastest car on the grid in 2017,, one of the top 3 chassis and over all the very best car.
if the car was handed to Verstapen or Hamilton or Alonso they would put at least 1.5 seconds lead to the closest competitor (Mercedes).
If the DNF’s are due to a sparkplug, oil leak or any other technical breakdown that is due to quality control,, the top 2 managers must be fired for their lack of proper quality mangement.
I heard Alonso saying he doesnt want to be #2 or #3 for the rest of his life,, and he was sure Ferrari will not win the world championship and i guess he was right
Honda may have let him down,, but never as frustrating as losing out in the best car due to inefficient quality control.

4

Lewis Hamilton puts such a big pressure on Vettel, that’s the German simply explode and take Ferrari with him on his fall. This championship was for Vettel to grab but he has screwed it and let Ferrari down in key decisive moment.
At beginning of the season Vettel has clearly the momentum and the upper hand over Hamilton. Then there’s Baku.
The FIA(Ferra International Assistance) doesn’t punish him well but Motorsport did it. Vettel doesn’t deserve to be on the grid, a race ban was the solution.
Vettel is more Rosberg calibre than Alonso and Hamilton. He has a so poor racecraft that his overtakes manœuvre can lead to a collision if the other driver stick to his line as Verstappen does in Singapore. Ok that seems brilliant and aggressive but it’s just desperate overtake move. Look ath how he turn on Hamilton side at the start, and Bottas? And Vettel is 4 Times world champion…
We are seeing the true value of Vettel right now because in Red Bull days he was able to qualify on pole position then disappears at the race start without pressure from rivals and any battles.
Things has been changed, he must gain any track inches with Hamilton on his mirrors.
Vettel is just too soft for that level of competition.
He has the chance to be Ferrari number one driver; things could have been worst for him

5

James,

Do you think if Sainz continues at this level he will end up the de facto No.1 driver @ Renault in 2018?

6

I would think that after his race last week end that he already is.

7

Max got what he deserved,he’s pushed his look for a while now moving in the braking zones and not been punished. It was a clear overtake off track and worse than sebs on button in Germany 2012. Seb got a 20 second penalty for that and he went off track on the outside which makes max’s worse and a slam dunk. Is it me ,or dose max and his dad think they are entitled to succeed in f1

8

@whomever No I didn’t get to see all the camera angles.

After watching it over and over on the dvr I was wrong about his rear wheel. The front was part of the way on at some point. I guess that don’t count plus Kimi didn’t seem to force him off.

He’ll this has been going on for years. I think F1 ought to do what the NBA does. On calls that are hard to call all get fed to officials far off that are the same every time. Its better now but it will never be perfect.

You know KR gave up at the end and was 4.5 seconds back. I’m sure Max would have got 10 seconds then.

The heck with track limits except around the pits. Austin could use some more grass and gravel but then it wouldn’t be so fun to watch.

I live in the US and thought Austin blah but now that it’s broke in I like it almost as much as Suzuka. Not all HT tracks are that bad but when the first race was run I didn’t much like it.

Hey guys if you want another track in the US est. then I live next to some of the best roads around. Nothing is straight. In some places there are hairpin turns that an F1 car would maybe take at 30mph. Speed limit is 55mph. Ah build it and they will come…..They are dangerous. Wrecked on my birthday. A freak thing. The law says it’s my fault. I wouldn’t want 16 year old to get a ticket so I was in no mood to argue about blame. There is a law in Virginia that says you can go 55mph on roads that are paved but not posted. They are very fun to drive like that. He was having fun but should have did that at night because there are intersections with 30ft. sight distance. At night you can see headlights. Just Google Earth the very west part of the state of Virginia.

The point I’m trying to make is the young such as Max have quick reflexes can go fast but experience matters but even that can be an issue when both meet. I think Max is getting more experience. He is slowly winning me over but Hamilton may be as good as any driver on the track today.

9

Why don’t they have a GPS system on the cars and if they exceed the track limits then the car can be hit with a 200hp penalty for 15 seconds. Surely the technology is there. Also the system could be switched on or off for the opening laps when more leniency is allowed

10

Not sure GPS is accurate enough (anyone know for sure?) -it would have to be to the mm- but they could have some system that works locally.

11

Has Mika Salo as race steward been too kind to his country men?

Danny Ric goes to overtake Bottas brilliantly. What does Bottas do, go off the track and floors it, twice, gains advantage.

Verstappen attempts to overtake Bottas, who runs wide, same thing, floors it, gains advantage. No action nor warning.

Verstappen sticks the car up the inside at Kimi, and only for a fraction is 4 wheels , and immediately penalized without post race investigation.

And that drama in the podium room was totally unnecessary.

Better to announce winner and runner up, and announce that P3 is under investigation. Let Max spray some champagne (so his mom could at least enjoy) and then take it way from him.

F1 tried to put on a nice show and then shoots itself in the foot with this gaffe of inconsistency. We’ve seen before a podium being taken away from those on the podium. Why not stick to procedure?

And since when do stewards make decisions that fast?? Agree with Lauda and many others who called it the worst decision ever.

I am not against taking away the result from Max… but the way it happened, which just ends up looking like pure favoritism of steward Salo to his Finnish friends, and of Connely carrying on his vendetta against Max.

12
Tornillo Amarillo

It’s incredible I cannot get published here my critic opinion about the presentation of the American GP in that “American way”… and I tried several times, no bad words were used, obviously, there is a Moderator there and I am shocked.

13

Aside from the can of worms opened up by the inconsistency of the stewards – even if it went i favor of my team it still leaves a bad taste – my vote for driver of the day must go to Carlos Sainz.

He looks the real deal with that Renault under him and it literally looked like a different car to which Jolyon Palmer had been driving all season…the move around the Force India was the stuff we need to see more of for sure…

If Renault build a half decent car next year and get their engines to work more often than not, we could have a really good few battles next year behind Merc RB and Ferrari – what with Macca also having Renault power the upper middle order will be quite something to watch methinks…

as for the race itself. Brilliant! Hamilton has driven exceptionally well this year and thoroughly deserves the title; this from a Ferrari fan. Ferrari, thankfully, have given us something to watch at least, and “but for” a few issues, it could have gone the other way….reliability, mistakes etc have cost the the title this year…

Still, regardless of what happens or the foregone conclusion in Mexico, the next 3 races still promise to be entertaining…

As for steward decisions…consistency. track limits are track limits whether in FP 1 2 3 Qualifying and the race. years ago, the track itself would punish you for making a mistake….yes, long run-offs are part of the safety aspect but then it is the duty of the stewards to strictly enforce track limits so as to avoid the situation of yesterday…kerbs may help but that raises issues of its own…we don’t want cars being launched skywards or shattering suspensions ala Raikonen at the Nurburgring a decade or so back (although i am aware it was due to vibration from a flat spotted tyre)…

Yanks put up a good show eh? and just when the Gp finished those petrolheads among us who couldn’t sleep could watch Martin Truex Jnr win in Kansas…good day for motorheads it was!

14

To answer 2 questions Bottas slowed everyone behind him on new tires I dunno if it really helped Hamilton but 5th was enough for Mercedes to wrap up the WCC.

The second question was did I watch another race. I caught the rest of the NASCAR race in Kansas. That was good too.

I had a real car wreck before that for real. My fault legally as roads that are paved but not posted have a 55mph speed limit in places where it should be 25mph. These roads have no paint on them and are very narrow. I live out in the boonies with curvy roads. Nothing is straight. I guess that’s why I like F1.

15

On Max I think the question you have to ask is if this had been a qualifying lap, would the time have stood? In my view the answer would be no because he took all four wheels off the track to shorten the lap. There is a clear issue with stewarding consistency though, it seems harsh to on the one hand have punished Max but to let Bottas defending against Ric go unpunished earlier in the race.

16

Interesting if not classic race with some great close action throughout the field. As for all you people complaining about the overtly “American” pre-race razzmatazz, this was the US Grand Prix! The sport should be doing different cultural things in all the many countries it visits as it’s a World Championship!

17

I did get out of my seat a couple of times – I think it was a few years ago in Brazil with Hamilton in a McLaren that happened. Who would have predicted that result? The weakness of Ferrari revealed that they used too much fuel to get their performance. No hint that Mercedes were really under pressure – they knew they were a lot faster and Hamilton naturally miffed that he’d been told he could take it easy and dropped back into problems, though I think they hadn’t really grasped that the new tyre offset was going to be so great this race. Last stint I suspect Hamilton had a second or so extra in hand so wasn’t really 2 seconds a lap slower and sure enough Vettel got nowhere near him.

If the crash had brought out a safety car though…

Suspect lacklustre Bottas’ performance was made worse by his shotgun role, having decided not to pit Hamilton, they needed Bottas as shotgun and Raikkonen was covering him so both were stuffed by teammate tactics.

Most other track limit incidents during overtakes were drivers being forced off track – contrary to popular opinion deliberately running people wide on the outside of a corner is not allowed and has been penalised in the past. The other advantage that the stewards ignored inconsistently was that many drivers gained an advantage by running wide in free air to get a better line lap after lap, Vettel being a notable offender.

I think Verstappen has had his free ride and is now being brought back into line after his rookie year of being allowed to break the rules like moving under braking.

18

In a post race interview, Hamilton commented that Vettel was making a mistake by driving too fast through the corners and wrecking his tires. Didn’t Vettel need to build a lead going into the straights? Is Hamilton oversimplifying the situation or is he on to something?

Could you possibly explain this in your race recap? Many thanks.

19

I thought the new pre-race procedure with the iconic Michael Buffer introducing all the drivers as totally refreshing, and very classically American! One has to remember that F1 is not as big in the USA as it is in the rest of the world, so it’s great to have the drivers called out to the audience.
It was a real nice touch to have the 2 championship contender, Lewis and Vettel standing at the center either side of the trophy!
Also totally loved this – “Gentlemen, start your engines! Let’s get ready to rumbleeeeee!”

Way to go Liberty Media!!

20

Nothing left to argue. Vestappen can only be better. No argue.

21

Regarding the F1 Fan Forum that the drivers and team people got on stage for, I thought that was great, and the woman leading that massive crowd, did a very good job.

I would say though, if one of the audience says they are married or related to a former F1 driver, at least get the driver’s name, even if he is too shy to appear on camera!

22

its easy to pick Max as the driver of the day and Lewis was in another class in the Merc – great racing lines.
( too bad he forgot to mention that the team he races for won the constructors championship… to busy monkeying around on the podium to think )

But my vote goes to Carlos for basically proving Palmer had no business in F1. Now if someone at Williams can get the same idea about Stroll.

nevertheless one heck of a race and wow on the pit girls and their dresses…. simply fantastic.

23

It is easy to be in a different class when Bottas is your team mate. I will start calling him Jolyon.

24

Sigh! He did mention Mercedes winning the constructors championship. Many time yesterday. If you’d paid attention you’d have heard him on the team radio congratulating the team for their victory while on the cool down lap.

25

Bravo to Mercedes for staying on top despite new aerodynamic regulations. It is unusual to stay dominant, let alone competitive, when new rules are introduced. Especially after almost everyone was saying that “Newey and Redbull will benefit the most with these new rules” couple that with some preseason predictions favouring the Ferraris. Mercedes has done an incredible job this year.

Mercedes is a perfect match for Hamilton, a driver who has won a race in every year he has participated in the sport regardless of the regulations (which I just found out today courtesy of pre race MC, Michael Buffer). He is also the only WDC on the grid who has won a title with two different teams and now will have another title in a car conceived under different regulations.

One of the main criteria that folks like to use in determining how great a driver is, is adaptability. With a pole and a win every year and in different iterations, I think adaptability is Hamilton’s strongest suit. He will certainly be considered amongst the greats once his career is done and a fourth title in another type of car should strengthen his case.

26

Yes, yes but the argument can be made that he’s only used Merc engines his entire career. Now should he decide to man up and force a switch to Toro Rosso/Honda in 2018 and then go on to contest the WDC next year with at least six wins. I would be the first in line to call for his canonization. 🙂

27

Just what we need, more years of Merc domination and more Ham fans spewing fun facts.

28

But apparently any driver on the grid would win in that Mercedes.?
At least that what all the Hamilton’s critics would have us believe.
Seems that not quite the case.
Guess that’s why he’s paid the big bucks.

29

here here!

30

Well, what a race? Even 6hrs later and i am still trying to work out whether it was good or just so so! To start with, the appalling cringeworthy ‘froth and bubble’ pre start ceremony was simply tacky and hopefully never to ever be repeated again. It was trashy and I think the less said the better. The opening laps were really exciting and we saw some top action but then it seemed to lapse. I was really disappointed to see Ricciardo sidelined as he was on for something but once again Renault failed massively. Verstappen drove an excellent race and he was always on for a top five given that he had a brand new upgraded PU in place. His final penalty was a tough one but after having seen the multiple camera angles it was the correct decision. Whilst others went ‘all wheels’ off during the race i didn’t actually see any of them get a lasting benefit from there action whereas Verstappen did. Hard to swallow for the Dutchies et al but it was correct. DOD was Carlos Sainz..considering he was driving the Renault for the very first time in a race. I thought he was terrific. Likewise Ocon drove a top race also. We are going to see some great racers in the future. As predicted…Hamilton has it is the bag, like the WDC. That Mercedes is just too fast and the Ferrari’s had absolutely no answer. Seeing Hamilton power away after passing Vettel should convince any doubters that Mercedes is ‘head and shoulders’ in a different league. In summary, an interesting race with many incidents which maintained the interest but for the sake of the sport will someone please tell Liberty that the ‘Americanisation’ of F1 is a tragedy. A very cheap trick.

31

Nope, do not agre with you.
And yes Sainz drove a hell of a race but his starts are still very bad.

32

The Merc is definitely the best car out there. Had a shaky start, gave Ferrari some hope and then dropped the axe. Hamilton has been on his A-game this year as well– the combo is unbeatable over the course of a season.

33

Agreed. Americanisation will be the final nail in the F1 coffin.

34

Wesa, how many “final nails” can one coffin stand?!

35

Apparently a lot. At least in F1 case. It will be a final straw for some people but will also bring new audience.

36

Good post – I particularly agree with the embarrassing Americanization of the show, and the huge Mercedes pace advantage.

Great shame to see DR retire that way – I’m not a fanboy of his, but yesterday he was on fire!

37

“Seeing Hamilton power away after passing Vettel should convince any doubters that Mercedes is ‘head and shoulders’ in a different league.”
Yes, you could see that by the way Bottas powered his way to 5th place behind two Ferraris and a Red Bull.

38

@TimF – Bottas was either asleep, or “compromised” for strategy reasons. In any case it’s obvious that his performance did not reflect the pace advantage of the Mercedes. The acceleration out of the corners (traction? torque?) was visibly on a different level, and leaving the others for dead.

39

The Merc is fast in the hands of Hamilton. Why do you think Bottas was 5th? He shouldn’t have been pressured by Ricciardo if the Merc is so great – he should have easily pulled away. If the car is bad in dirty air then surely Ham would have struggled behind Vettel? So is Bottas really terrible or Hamilton really great or what? Just interested in your opinion.

40

Anyone else feel Bill Clinton’s presence stole the show on the podium? We’ve always heard he has tremendous presence and even in an understated suit it was obvious. Sorry drivers you either have it or you don’t.

41

@Cheesy….Is there any truth to the rumour that Harvey Weinstein was mentored by ‘Slick Willy’?

42

Amazing sequence of starting laps for the USGP. It has been a while since we had a grand prix with action all through the grid on the first 7 laps. Great hunt down by Lewis. Considering the Mercedes is normally a pig in bad air I thought Lewis had lost the race but he just loves this track and North America in general.

Am I the only one who thought today Daniel Ricciardo gave Toto a demonstration of why he should be in the other Mercedes. Bottas had a bad race today. Mercedes could have helped by matching the Red Bull and Ferrari tactics but he lost places to Kimi, Sebastian, and Verstappen. Bottas will need to really pull up his socks next year if he wants that seat cause Daniel is publicly n the record as campaigning for his job.

43

@ Frederick…good post. There was much pre race talk about how Bottas had found his ‘mojo; but when push came to shove he simply didn’t front up. He had the car most of the time but he lacked the ‘drive’ needed to get the job done. Watching him race with Ricciardo was a good example of just how much sheer grunt that Mercedes has. Renault has a long way to go…..

44

Well DR destroyed a PU today, driving style?
Just kidding, bad luck for DR and ending an awsome fight. VB clearly is just an average driver in a good car. Maybe needed as a second driver, but shame of the good car.

45

Congrats Merc for 4th WCC and 5th in advance. Lewis is on fire.

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