Hamilton becomes the second greatest driver of all time with podium in Austin


By Jamie Downes (@JamieDownes11)

Lewis Hamilton took second place in Texas to win his sixth world drivers’ title, moving to within one title of the legendary Michael Schumacher. 

Hamilton, who was passed teammate Valterri Bottas, who went on to win in Austin, drove a composed and measured race, knowing that just eighth or better would have guaranteed him enough points to seal the title, even if Bottas took the victory.

The points ensured that the Briton became statistically the second most successful driver in history, behind Schumacher. Hamilton is also just seven race wins away from becoming the most prolific F1 race winner in the history of the sport, also behind Schumacher.

Ferrari suffered yet another weekend to forget. Sebastian Vettel was forced to retire following suspension damage sustained after running over the unforgiving kerbs around the Austin circuit. Teammate Charles Leclerc was a distant fourth, more than fifty seconds behind third place finisher Max Verstappen.

Man and machine in perfect harmony

Like they have done all season, Hamilton and Mercedes combined to produce a unified performance that has made them the team to beat since 2014. Starting fifth after an uncharacteristically poor qualifying, Hamilton wasted no time to pass the slow starting Vettel, and set about chasing down polesitter Bottas.

After Verstappen stopped for tyres, Hamilton took a risk and stayed out much later, in an effort to retain the on track lead he shared with teammate Bottas. There was even the possibility that the Briton could have won the race, but was caught by Bottas with just five laps to go. However, when Kevin Magnussen crashed his Haas after suffering brake failure, yellow flags prevented Verstappen from overtaking Hamilton, ensuring him second place.

The best of the rest

Verstappen’s teammate Alex Albon finished fifth, despite being last after an opening lap collision with McLaren’s Carlos Sainz resulted in the London born Thai driver pitting on lap one.

Sainz and his teammate Lando Norris finished respectfully in seventh and eighth. However, the best of the rest went to the surprising Daniel Ricciardo of Renault. The Australian has not had a good season. However, the Renault driver passed McLaren and Norris early on, and stayed in contention throughout the race, finishing sixth.

Formula one returns on the seventeenth of November, with the paddock visiting Brazil for the penultimate race of the season. For a full written report of that race, and for all things F1, Nerve is the place to be.