AUSTIN, Texas – Report by Race Chaser Online Managing Editor Jacob Seelman — Mercedes photo —
Long live the king.
Lewis Hamilton donned the Formula One crown for the third time in his career — and second straight year — on Sunday afternoon at Circuit of the Americas, driving around his teammate Nico Rosberg on lap 49 of the United States Grand Prix and going on to record his 10th F1 victory of the 2015 season.
The 43rd grand prix victory of Hamilton’s career allowed him to clinch the championship after Rosberg held off Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel for the runner-up position — a position that Vettel needed in order to prolong the title tilt one more week — but ultimately, it was Hamilton’s day in the spotlight.
“It’s an overwhelming moment,” said Hamilton after the race. “Remembering my first British Championship, when my dad and me drove home singing ‘We Are the Champions.’ Thinking about how much my family sacrificed – my Mum, my Dad, my whole family. And also thinking about my fans. They give me so much energy and I hope I inspire them to never give up on their hopes and dreams. The race today was really amazing and anything could have happened. The last 10 to 15 laps were extraordinary – it was just a crazy, crazy race. I was in the lead, then I was fourth and the conditions were really tricky. Nico was driving really well, too.”
“All the way through, I was thinking; ‘The Championship is there somewhere… how can I get it?’ It was so close I could smell it and there was never a moment I didn’t believe I could do it.”
The title makes Hamilton only the second British driver to win three world titles, joining Sir Jackie Stewart as a triple World Champion.
Rosberg started from pole but was quickly dispatched by Hamilton in turn one on the opening lap, with the Red Bull pair of Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat also sliding through to shuffle Hamilton back to fourth on the opening stint. A well-timed series of pit stops allowed Rosberg to reemerge with the top spot on lap 19.
Multiple virtual and full safety car periods would allow Rosberg to hold the lead through lap 48, before he slid wide in turn 12 and gifted his teammate both the race win and the third title of his career — allowing Hamilton to match his boyhood hero Ayrton Senna.
Vettel’s charge from 13th after an engine change saw him round out the podium ahead of teenager Max Verstappen’s Toro Rosso and the Force India of Sergio Perez.
Jenson Button drove a brilliant race to claim sixth for McLaren-Honda, with Carlos Sainz, Pastor Maldonado, Felipe Nasr and Ricciardo rounding out the points scorers in the top 10.
American Alexander Rossi, driving for the beleaguered Manor Marussia F1 team, scored a career-best F1 result in 12th — just missing out on scoring the first points of his career in the World Championship on his home soil.
About the Writer
Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network. Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.
The 21-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for both the United Sprint Car Series and the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.
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