Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton cruised to his seventh win of the season on Sunday at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin. He now sits 26 points back of his teammate Nico Rosberg. This is his fourth win in five starts at CoTA and the 50th of his career.
The Brit started from pole position and beat Rosberg into the first corner. He never looked back.
Rosberg, meanwhile, had a more eventful race, as he lost second spot to Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo in Turn 1.
Rosberg wasn’t able to get the spot back until the middle of the race under a Virtual Safety Car period.
The Virtual Safety Car had been deployed after Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen had parked his car with a mechanical issue on track. This hurt Ricciardo as he had already pit ahead of the Virtual Safety Car period, while both Mercedes drivers had yet to make their second stop and so were able to pit without losing too much time.
Verstappen had already been having a race to forget, as he had came into the pits not too long before his retirement, mistakenly thinking the team had called him in. They hadn’t, and so were not prepared for his stop, costing the Dutch racing driver a lot of time.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen also hit trouble in the pits. The Finn was trying to make a three-stop strategy work, and it was going well. He was running fourth when he came into the pits for his final stop of the day, but was released when the right-rear wheel gun was still attached. His wheel was not bolted on correctly, and Raikkonen was forced to park the car on pit exit. Ferrari is being investigated for releasing Raikkonen’s car in an unsafe condition.
While Hamilton led Rosberg and Ricciardo over the line, it was Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel placing in fourth behind them. Behind him was the McLaren of Fernando Alonso, who muscled his way by Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz and Williams driver Felipe Massa, in which there was contact involved, in the closing laps of the race. Sainz placed sixth while Massa placed seventh. Sergio Perez placed eighth for Force India ahead of Jenson Button in ninth, meaning both McLarens scored points. Romain Grosjean rounded out the points in 10th, scoring a point in the team’s first race on home soil and in his 100th start. The collision between Alonso and Massa was investigated after the race, but no action was taken.
Meanwhile, Renault driver Kevin Magnussen was handed a five-second penalty post race for making a pass off-track on Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat. The penalty drops Magnussen back behind Kvyat in the race results.
Other retirements from the race included Haas F1 driver Esteban Gutierrez, who retired early with a mechanical issue, and Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg, who tangled with Williams driver Valtteri Bottas on Lap 1. Hulkenberg’s teammate Perez was also involved in an incident on Lap 1 after the Mexican was spun by Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat. Kvyat was handed a 10-second time penalty, which he served during a pit stop.
Formula 1 will be back in action next weekend for the Mexican Grand Prix.
Unofficial race results:
1. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes
2. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes
3. Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull
4. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari
5. Fernando Alonso – McLaren
6. Carlos Sainz – Toro Rosso
7. Felipe Massa – Williams
8. Sergi Perez – Force India
9. Jenson Button – McLaren
10. Romain Grosjean – Haas
11. Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso
12. Kevin Magnussen – Renault
13. Jolyon Palmer – Renault
14. Marcus Ericsson – Sauber
15. Felipe Nasr – Sauber
16. Valtteri Bottas – Williams
17. Pascal Wehrlein – Manor
18. Esteban Ocon – Manor
19. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari (DNF)
20. Max Verstappen – Red Bull (DNF)
21. Esteban Gutierrez – Haas (DNF)
22. Nico Hulkenberg – Force India (DNF)