Hamilton cruises to 50th F1 victory

By on Sunday, October 23, 2016
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Lewis Hamilton kept his slim title hopes alive as he ended a five-race drought with victory in the US Grand Prix, with team-mate and championship leader Nico Rosberg finishing second.

Hamilton held off Rosberg and Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo on the ascent to Turn 1, and his feathers were unruffled thereafter, eventually coming home 4.5 seconds clear of his title rival as he coasted to the chequered flag.

The win was Hamilton's fifth on US soil, and fourth in Austin, equalling Michael Schumacher's record, though he still faces a monumental task to overhaul Rosberg's 26-point advantage in the remaining races.

The German was running third behind Ricciardo for the first half of the race, but he benefited from a virtual safety car period following Max Verstappen's retirement, diving into the pits and emerging in front of the Red Bull driver.

Ricciardo would go on to finish third, with Sebastian Vettel taking fourth at the end of a fairly uneventful afternoon, climbing ahead of retirees Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen in the drivers' championship.

Fernando Alonso claimed fifth place at the end of a thrilling three-way duel involving Carlos Sainz and Felipe Massa, barging his way past Massa in a manoeuvre which the stewards will investigate, before passing compatriot Sainz with a late lunge into Turn 12.

Sainz still managed to pick up an impressive P6 while Massa limped home in seventh after sustaining a puncture in his battle with Alonso.

Sergio Perez recovered a lap-one clash with Daniil Kvyat to take eighth ahead of Jenson Button and Romain Grosjean, who scored Haas' first points since Austria.

Renault

Renault

Kevin Magnussen finished 11th after opting for a three-stop strategy, with Kvyat 12th, hit with a ten-second penalty after his collision with Perez, and Jolyon Palmer 13th.

Sauber remain point-less in 2016 as Marcus Ericsson took P14 ahead of team-mate Felipe Nasr, and Valtteri Bottas could only manage 16th after he and Nico Hulkenberg came together at Turn 1.

Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Ocon were the last classified finishers.

Kimi Raikkonen's race came to a rather embarrassing end when the Finn left his pit-box without his right-rear tyre properly attached after Max Verstappen retired with suspected power unit issues.

Brake issues plagued Haas once again, this time sidelining Esteban Gutierrez, while first-lap damage brought Nico Hulkenberg's race to a premature end for the second time in four events.

The teams now turn their attention to the Mexican Grand Prix next weekend.

 


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