Nov 04, 2019 12:13 PM EST
Lewis Hamilton Claims Sixth F1 World Title
Lewis Hamilton became the second most successful Formula 1 driver of all time, just behind Michael Schumacher at the championship rankings. He secured his sixth title as one of the world's best F1 drivers in the U.S. Grand Prix after winning second place.
Before the race, Hamilton had said he is not thinking about sealing the Texas title, only about winning the race. He said he was just driving with the same competitive spirit that he's lived with during his entire season and career. This win, Hamilton's sixth title, also moved him ahead of the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio of Argentina.
Hamilton also tried a new strategy to hopefully win against Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, but his points advantage did not matter. For the second time, the Briton fought off Max Verstappen as Bottas prevailed in Austin.
He ran long laps, made just one stop at the pit, and tried to hold off his rivals with a new strategy that apparently did not work. In the end, Bottas passed by him with three laps to go, taking over the achievement that he wanted to secure at the end of the race.
"It's just overwhelming. It was such a tough race. Yesterday was a tough day," Hamilton had said. He also shared that he is trying to regain his strength because at this point, he was just "filled with emotions" because he did not think it's possible to last in the race with just one pit stop.
He also shared that even though his tires did not have what it takes to win, he was honored and hopeful as he tried to snag the gold from the great F1 racers he competed with.
He also shared that he won't give up just yet as an athlete. "I don't know about championships but as an athlete I feel fresh as can be," Hamilton replied when he was asked about what he still wants to achieve in his career. "We'll keep pushing," he added.
With 10 wins out of the 19 races already held this season, Hamilton snagged his sixth title. There are two more remaining titles at stake in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.
After a bad qualifying start at fifth on the grid, Hamilton passed Ferrari's Charles Leclerc for the fourth position in the first corner before making a brilliant overtaking attempt on Sebastian Vettel's other Ferrari outside of Turn Eight, eventually finishing third— just behind Bottas and Verstappen at the end of the first lap.
After another lap, Bottas used the DRS overtaking help and tried to ease past on the long back when Hamilton was delayed from lapping Toro Rosso of Pierre Gasly.
Hamilton's hopes of victory vanished but the championship remained intact. He had four laps left to defend against Verstappen, which he managed to do with the aid of a yellow flag that forced Verstappen to slow down as the Red Bull finished on his tail.
Charles Leclerc from Ferrari took a lonely fourth, the Italian car a long way off the pace, while Vettel retired from seventh place, after a sticky opening for the race, with a suspension failure after just eight laps.
After a collision with McLaren's Carlos Sainz at the first corner to take fifth, Red Bull's Alex Albon recovered from a first-lap pit stop, ahead of Renault's Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren's Lando Norris, and Sainz.
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