Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit of the Americas, 2015

Hard-fighting Hamilton pounces on Rosberg error to seal third title

2015 United States Grand Prix review

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Lewis Hamilton displayed the qualities of a champion as he clinched his third title in the United States Grand Prix: he was fast, he was forceful, and he had a little bit of luck on his side.

After two days of almost uninterrupted rain, which led to a truncated qualifying session being held on the morning of the race, the weather finally cleared in time for the grand prix.

The result was a thrilling race of almost constant action and incident which provided a superb backdrop to the title decider.

Hamilton gets tough with Rosberg

Start, Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit of the Americas, 2015
Hamilton got tough with Rosberg at the start
Just four hours after taking pole position, Nico Rosberg lined up at the head of the field for the third race in succession. The track was damp, every car in the field was on the intermediate tyres, and Rosberg was determined to keep them all behind him – something he had failed to do from his previous two pole positions.

At the last race Rosberg had kept Hamilton tucked up smartly, only for his car to let him down a few laps later. At Suzuka Hamilton simply got away better and made the most of his advantage, batting Rosberg aside at the first corner as if he were a pesky fly.

Within a few seconds of the lights going out at the Circuit of the Americas, Rosberg must have known he was heading for a repeat of the latter, though he was probably surprised by how forceful Hamilton was at turn one. His team mate missed the apex of the corner by metres as he ran Rosberg completely off the road, which allowed both Red Bull and Sergio Perez’s Force India to separate the pair of them.

“That wasn’t intentional,” Hamilton claimed afterwards. “We both [braked] very deep into it and I understood he was on the outside and in the wet that’s where the grip is, so he was turning and I wasn’t turning so we touched.”

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Red Bull fly in the wet

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Circuit of the Americas, 2015
Ricciardo took the lead after passing Hamilton
The race was running to the usual script in one respect: Hamilton was through into the lead. But he wasn’t pulling away: Daniil Kvyat, who had nabbed second place off his team mate into turn three at the start, closed to within a few tenths of him, and only the Mercedes’ superior straight-line grunt kept Hamilton ahead.

Rosberg had taken fourth back from Perez further around the first lap but he wasn’t gaining on the Red Bulls either, until on lap five a Virtual Safety Car period was declared due to debris from a series of first-lap collisions. At this point Rosberg had been over three seconds the third-placed Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo, but under the VSC this fell to less than a third of what it had been.

As the VSC period came to an end Hamilton backed the Red Bull drivers up in order to get away more quickly, which inadvertently helped his team mate. Rosberg flew around Ricciardo at turn three and then dispatched Kvyat on the approach to turn 12 without even having the benefit of DRS.

The Red Bulls were struggling to reheat their tyres following Safety Car periods, but as the track dried out they were immediately back onto the tails of their rivals. The two Mercedes drivers had been concerned about front tyre degradation during their pre-race reconnaissance laps.

Kvyat and Ricciardo were especially strong coming out of the long turn 16/17/18, and at the end of lap 12 Kvyat used a run from there to make an ambitious dive down the inside of Rosberg at the final corner. It didn’t work out for him – Kvyat slithered onto the run-off and Rosberg regained the place – but it paid dividends for Ricciardo. Having also passed Kvyat he then passed the Mercedes when Rosberg went too deep into turn one.

Three laps later, Ricciardo took a tighter line than Hamilton on the way into turn 16, held it all the way around the subsequent corners and came out in the lead of the race. As he came past the pits he drove as close as he could get to the pit wall, seeking all the cooling water after pushing his tyres hard with that move.

Mercedes fight back

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Circuit of the Americas, 2015
The physical and virtual Safety Cars were kept busy
Hamilton’s tyres were giving up: Ricciardo was instantly over a second quicker than him, and Rosberg was filling his mirrors. It took just two laps for his team mate to find a way past, and b then Hamilton had already decided on making the switch to slick tyres.

Marcus Ericsson had acted as the bellwether, switching to slicks on lap 16 and posting a competitive middle sector time. Jenson Button did the same on lap 17 and the next time by Hamilton was one of five more drivers to do the same.

Being the first of the leaders onto slicks didn’t help Hamilton regain his lost places. Rosberg and both Red Bulls came in on the next lap, and despite being stacked behind Ricciardo, Kvyat emerged ahead of Hamilton.

But with the track having crossed over from wet to dry, Mercedes’ crushing superiority was restored. Hamilton got down the inside of Kvyat at turn 12 with DRS on lap 21 but ran onto the run-off and dropped behind again. The next time by in the same DRS zone both Mercedes passed their Red Bull rivals before they even reached the braking zone, and by lap 26 Hamilton had caught and passed Ricciardo in the same manner for second place.

Hamilton versus Rosberg

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit of the Americas, 2015
Rosberg threw the win away on lap 48
Approaching half-distance Rosberg was 12 seconds clear of Hamilton and seemingly on his way to a victory which would keep the championship open for at least one more race. But his lead was eradicated when Ericsson came to a stop with an electrical fault at the exit of turn 11.

Both the Mercedes drivers stayed out despite having further pit stops to make, and when the race began again after a lengthy delay they left the field for dead, lapping over two seconds quicker. Hamilton had a clear edge, regularly taking tenths out of Rosberg, and he was within DRS range as lap 37 began. But before he could strike there was another interruption.

Nico Hulkenberg had been shaping up to pass the struggling Ricciardo at turn 12 when the Force India’s front wing failed. Robbed of downforce, Hulkenberg clattered into the luckless Ricciardo. The Red Bull continued but Hulkenberg pulled to a stop with broken suspension, leading to a second VSC period.

Rosberg took the opportunity to make his final pit stop for fresh soft tyres – as everyone had started on intermediate tyres, no one was required to use the mediums as well as the softs. Despite the healthy margin they enjoyed Mercedes declined to bring both drivers in, leaving Hamilton out to take the lead.

Behind him were Vettel and Max Verstappen, who were trying to run to the end having pitted during the Ericsson Safety Car, and then Rosberg. But within three laps Rosberg was DRS-ing his way past Vettel for second place, and with Hamilton still needing to pit again the number six Mercedes was still on a victory course.

Hamilton eventually made his pit stop during the day’s fourth interruption and second Safety Car period. This one was caused by Kvyat, who spun into the turn 20 barrier with 15 laps to go. Ferrari also brought Vettel in to give him the benefit of a fresh set of soft tyres for the last dozen laps at a cost of just one position, to Verstappen, who he was easily able to pass once the race began again.

Rosberg’s tyres were five laps older than Hamilton’s but when the race restarted for the final time on lap 47 he immediately pulled one-and-a-half seconds clear. It looked like he had the job done and Hamilton would have to wait another week to secure the title.

But as he accelerated out of turn 15 for the 48th time his rear wheels spun and Rosberg slewed onto the run-off. “I’m assuming that it’s a mistake that I made,” he said afterwards, “just getting too much wheelspin, going away on the cold tyres, the tyres weren’t fully up to temperature yet.”

Hamilton flashed past and now the title was “so close that I could smell it”.

“I was just head down, everything that I’ve got from all these years,” he said. “Everything that I’ve built up, everything that I’ve learnt comes into this.” A race which had enough drama for an entire season had no more surprises for him in the final eight laps: he took the chequered flag, a third win at the Circuit of the Americas – and his third world title.

Angry Raikkonen crashes out

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Circuit of the Americas, 2015
Raikkonen complained about Verstappen’s driving
Vettel could have denied Hamilton the title had he risked a last-lap lunge at Rosberg: the pair began the final tour separated by just six-tenth of a second. But Vettel held back, perhaps mindful of the trouble such a move got his team mate into at the last race. Nor was Rosberg’s rancour over the turn one incident deep enough for him to hand over second to Vettel, postponing Hamilton’s title celebrations, and costing his team a one-two.

Verstappen came home fourth after a fine drive in which he briefly passed Vettel only to run wide at turn 12. Kimi Raikkonen took exception to Verstappen’s defending at one point, complaining the 18-year-old was “forcing me off the circuit”.

“If that is legal then I will do the same next time,” threatened Raikkonen. He never got the chance: after switching to slick tyres he spun into a barrier, and though he got going again rising brake temperatures forced him into the pits and retirement.

He was one of eight retirements during the race, which included both Williams drivers. Felipe Massa hit Fernando Alonso at turn one and later parked in the pits with a suspension problem. The the McLaren driver slipped out of the points when Honda’s latest engine developed a glitch. “Has he got a penalty for the start?” Alonso enquired of Massa late in the race. “No, he has retired,” came the replay. “Well I am not sad for that,” answered Alonso.

A frustrated Romain Grosjean also retired after being hit at the start. Jenson Button seized on the opportunity offered by the spate of retirements, taking sixth behind Perez. He finished seventh on the road but was promoted one place when Carlos Sainz Jnr was given a five-second penalty for pit lane speeding. The Toro Rosso driver was fortunate not to be censured further after causing contact with Ricciardo by changing direction in the braking zone for turn 12.

Ricciardo came home eighth behind Pastor Maldonado and Felipe Nasr, the latter incurring the wrath of his team by hitting Ericsson on lap one.

With Ricciardo’s wounded car struggling and Alonso also nursing problems, Alexander Rossi briefly looked set for a shock points finish in his home race, but the Manor driver came home 12th.

‘Standing on the same line as Senna’

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit of the Americas, 2015
Hamilton is the tenth driver to win three championships
Since he arrived in Formula One much has been written about Hamilton’s idolisation of Ayrton Senna. Having equalled Senna’s tally of 41 wins earlier this year, Hamilton’s latest success had special significance for him as he has now also won as many championships as his childhood hero.

Because of that, though Hamilton’s previous two championship successes came in the tension of a final-round showdown, according to him the third felt no less special for being secured earlier in the year.

“This one still feels just as special, if not more special,” he said. “I think this has to have topped last year for me, being as it’s equalling Ayrton.”

“Of course, I drive every year and I believe that I have the ability to win but with the way life goes, sometimes you have the luck with you, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes you have a good car, sometimes you don’t. I really didn’t think a few years ago that I would be sitting here.”

His triumph is also a further vindication of his decision to leave McLaren in 2012, a move which many doubted the wisdom of at the time.

“I thought that I would win championships at this team and as I said, that is why I moved here,” said Hamilton. “It was never ‘I’m just going to take a chance.’ I did my due diligence and I believed it was the right choice.”

“As a kid, I just wanted to be world champion and so it’s kind of crazy to think that me and Ayrton, in terms of championships, stand on the same line which is just the greatest.”

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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76 comments on “Hard-fighting Hamilton pounces on Rosberg error to seal third title”

  1. So from 2010 to 2013 RB domination ( which TBH I enjoyed) now we have (and because of the rules freeze, I guess next year will be the same) now we have 2014 to 2016 Merc domination (which I don’t enjoy hehehe).
    2017 is still so far… so LH will keep talking about Senna every race… for one more year.

    1. Pretty normal I guess. A Vettel fan will be annoyed with Hamilton’s dominance and his constant talk about Senna, just like Hamilton fans were annoyed with Vettel’s dominance and the infamous “finger”. We just need to respect each driver’s brilliance in achieving their respective feats.

      So from a Hamilton fan to a Vettel’s fan, best of luck next year and in 2017! Cheers.

      1. I agree @m-sakr I’m not sure why it has to be so strongly one or the other – I am admittedly more of a fan of Hamilton than Vettel but Vettel has won more championships, so at this moment in time he has had more championship success – regardless of machinery, that is a simple fact! Who is the better driver? – Very hard to say as they have never had the same car, we can argue one way or the other and blindly support our favorite driver and slate the other but I think we are in a great place in F1 at the moment, we have a 3 time and a 4 time world champion on the grid (not to mention a 2 time and 2 x 1 time) so let’s enjoy this rivalry for as long as it lasts – this will be looked back on as one of the greatest periods in F1 because it is written in the history (and will be written in the future history!!) books, that is what will really drive ours and our children’s memories.

        But @omarr-pepper – I do hope Lewis will stop talking about emulating Senna and focus purely on his own successes and on beating Vettel’s impressive tally – live in the now, be yourself and beat those around you – that is the point surely?!

        1. @ginja42:

          I’m not sure why it has to be so strongly one or the other

          Dante’s Inferno. Canto 3, 91-97:
          Rooted to the spot,
          I saw and knew for certain that this race
          Of never-living sprinters were the ones
          Who once believed fence-sitting no disgrace,
          But now they sit no more. The whole bunch runs
          Naked, with flies and wasps to stimulate
          Their actions at long last,

          There’s your answer! :)

          1. Ha ha, brilliant – thanks @charleski :)

    2. so LH will keep talking about Senna every race… for one more year.

      Yes, and we, here in Brazil, love every single time Lewis mention Senna. An english Champion with a Brazilian soul, as the press are saying around here…

      1. And he equalled Piquet.

    3. I don’t think you should expect Mercedes being this dominant for another year. At least Ferrari have been closing in on them (maybe with 2 drivers on top of their game they would be closer this year already, shame) @omarr-pepper and for next year I wouldn’t count them out already.

  2. Anyone know why there wasn’t an investigation into the turn one incident? I haven’t watched it back but I recall Massa dropped it all on his own and took a few drivers with him.

    1. @davef1 Innocent racing incident, happens on lap 1. Stewards took good action on collisions, also Hulkenberg his incident went unpunished. That is racing, it does not always work out.

      However, the way they went around using VSC and real ones is beyond me.

    2. Because there are no rules that dictate how much space you have to leave in a corner @davef1. What Hamilton did was legal, just not very friendly to his teammate. But he is in it to win the race and racing he does.

  3. At this point Rosberg had been over three seconds the third-placed Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo, but under the VSC this fell to less than a third of what it had been.

    I don’t understand this. I thought that wasn’t allowed. Also, I don’t get the reason behind deploying VSC instead of SC, during the race we had 2 similar incidents with 2 different reactions from Whiting and Co.

    1. @fer-no65

      I thought the same, but I guess it’s because Rosberg was allowed to drive at his pace while the Redbulls were blocked by Hamilton driving slower than he needed to. What I’m also confused about is Rosbergs pass on Ricciardo. It looked like he pulled alongside and almost in front before the VSC ended, he looked to lift slightly for a second before launching again as the VSC ended. Is it allowed to drive alongside under the VSC ?

      1. I was curious about the VSC restarts too. This article by Keith from last year sets out the regulations on VSC restarts:

        “41.7 When the clerk of the course decides it is safe to end the VSC procedure the message “VSC ENDING” will be displayed on the official messaging system and, at any time between 10 and 15 seconds later, “VSC” on the FIA light panels will change to green and drivers may continue racing immediately. After 30 seconds the green lights will be extinguished.”

        Is the “official messaging system” something the drivers see on their steering wheels? Is the FIA light panel inside the car? Just curious to know if the Red Bulls poor re-starts were due to their drivers missing something or their engineers!

        1. I’ve just thought about this a bit more and I guess the FIA light panels are the lights at the side of the track that display “SC”, “VSC” etc. I guess depending on where you are on the track, you could get caught out. If you’ve just passed a light panel and it then turns green, the driver behind could see that and immediately accelerate past.

          1. @bpacman, I believe that the light panels at the side of the track are also intended to link into the lighting panel within the cockpit itself – in other words, the driver should see a green light at the side of the track at the same time as he would see it inside his cockpit.

            In the case of Rosberg and Ricciardo, therefore, I think it was more of a case of Rosberg being much more aware of what was happening than Ricciardo. On screen, at least, it looks like the green flag had already been given when Rosberg checked his run – almost as if he wanted to double check before hitting the throttle a second time – and it looks like Hamilton also reacted at a similar time, suggesting that it was perhaps more a case of Ricciardo simply missing the message.

    2. Also Vettel in 3rd was some 12 seconds behind Hamilton initially during the second (??) VSC, I thought, but immediately seemed to be just 5-6 seconds behind on the restart (by when Rosberg had pitted). Maybe I missed something, the random FOM coverage didn’t help.

      1. Same here. I am still not able to know why the gap suddenly dropped.

      2. Yeah I noticed that one also. Perhaps Hamilton was going too slow again?

        Guess they are free to drive slower than the delta if they want.

    3. @fer-no65 Hamilton drives way above delta time, forcing Ricciardo to go slower too since no passing allowed. Rosberg drives near the delta just like everybody else, hence why he caught up with them.

      The difference between VSC and SC in the race that I noticed is if the work required disrupting the circuit or not.
      VSC 1: Debris from lap collision (scattered but light and not really in main racing line)
      SC 1: Ericsson Sauber parked on the wrong side where the tractor needs to cross the track from the other side.
      VSC 2: Hulkenberg parked out of the track and the tractor can reach him without crossing the track. However since Bianchi accident I think whenever a heavy machinery in the track we will see VSC deployed more often.
      SC 2: Kvyat has a big shunt and debris everywhere including the car stopped close to racing line.

      1. @sonicslv, @fer-no65 that seems about it indeed – also Kvyat was just about parked in the pitlane entry too – quite clear why that was a SC at least.

  4. I don’t understand this. I thought that wasn’t allowed.

    Maintaining gaps under VSC is not an obligation, the only thing that the drivers are required to do is not drive faster than a set lap time (which is the same for everybody). If any driver goes even slower than that (deliberately or not) the cars behind are allowed to close the gap. In this particular case, it’s Hamilton who drove particularly slowly under VSC (prompting Kvyat to wonder why on team radio), backing up the Red Bulls behind him and allowing Rosberg to catch up.

    1. It does show that the system as it is leaves room for manipulation. Maybe there should be a designated minimum speed to avoid cars unnecessarily slowing the competitors behind (to help their teammate for example).

      1. Or just use the system from the WEC and other endurance series: Code 60. Basically, everyone does 60km/h*. Gaps are maintained, and it’s 6328756478065478325647563420578468370.8× simpler than the VSC.

        *This may need to be higher for F1

      2. It is an interesting one. You can easily imagine a situation where a driver deliberately drives slower than the minimum speed to back up the rest of the field and allow his team mate to build a gap. I wonder if there’s anything in the rules against that?
        I agree with @raceprouk ‘s suggestion that code 60 makes a lot more sense (although in Monaco they’d have to be able to drive slower than that speed to get round the Fairmont hairpin!).

    2. Don’t know why they don’t juse use pit speed limiters and call it a day. So much simpler.

    3. I don’t see it as any different than driving behind a real Safety Car. The cars close up gaps when a real SC is out, why wouldn’t they under a VSC? They just need to drive below a certain speed for safety purposes. I don’t think there is any intent is to maintain gaps.

    4. Its a confusing system (unnecessarily), I believe it works by splitting the track into sections say 200m sections and then telling the driver when he can arrive at the next checkpoint. If you arrive early then you get penalized. The problem with that is if you get the VSC signal when you are already halfway there then you almost have to come to a complete standstill in order not to arrive early. I think what happens sometimes is that a driver who is ahead and already halfway through a section when he received the VSC might get caught up by a driver just entering the section and therefore could carry more speed through the section. Personally a pitlane type speed limit would be a lot easier and safer.

  5. One thing I didn’t hear anyone mention: the race really showed what the Red Bull can do when the engine power difference is removed. That chassis is still ahead of everyone else’s.

    1. Maybe, but its more likely that RBR set up for wet conditions only. As it dried, they were no where.

    2. Don’t know if I’m correct but red bull do have one of the best chassis. (I think it’s more the areo there ahead) The relative performance of the tr’s and the sheer pace change after it dried to me shows red bull entered parc ferme gambling on a full wet set up. On the evidence of this year and last year there is simply no way the aero and chassis is that much better than Mercedes that they are 1-2seconds a lap faster with 50hp down using the same set up.

    3. As above, the race showed what a difference using a wet setup can do for you rather than the quality of Red Bull’s chassis.

      Once it had dried the Bulls were no where, outpaced by their junior team. It’s fairly obvious they gambled on the race staying wet and had it done it looks like they would have easily had the pace to win it.

    4. We did :P, we mentioned it yesterday here http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2015/10/25/red-bull-could-have-won-in-the-rain-kvyat/

      And so did Bernie! http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2015/10/26/f1-fanatic-round-up-2610-2/

      Also I don’t think it was a matter of wet setup only. They dropped back later in the race because they were on worn slick tyres, having not pitted under the first SC. There’s precedent too: Monaco, Hungary and Singapore. Where the engine isn’t that important, that chassis shine.

      1. Ferrari came 2nd 1st & 1st on those races mentioned which show up great chassis, damn never realised Ferrari had a better chassis than Red Bull.

    5. According to the race commentators Red Bull were using much higher downforce than anyone else. That would have affected their top speed and their ability to accelerate, so they more or less guaranteed that if the track dried out, which is what the weather forecast predicted, then they wouldn’t be near the front at the end. Here is a quote from the article on Red Bull for this race:

      “Once we put the slicks on we just didn’t have the pace,” said Ricciardo, who lost 1.3 seconds to Nico Rosberg on his first lap on the soft tyres.

      That was entirely predictable.

  6. ColdFly F1 (@)
    26th October 2015, 12:51

    I must say that I’m more than a little over Raikkonen.
    Maybe Verstappen did force him off track (we didn’t see it), but I’d hope that Raikkonen is man enough to manage that himself in his Ferrari (otherwise review how Vettel managed that 3x).

    But in the end it was his own stupid mistake (again) that he messed up this race.
    He even struggled overtaking the Rolex sign ;-)

    1. @coldfly DC was adamant Kimi could not have much about the crash. Just a moment where the car snaps on you, same for Sainz in Q1.

    2. @coldfly I’m more curious about why his Ferrari rear end has mind of their own. This is the 3rd incident when the rear end just lost it on place without we seeing he cross a paint, kerb, or anything else. My theory is probably has a style that playing the throttle in some way that confuse the software and give unstable burst of torque.

      1. I’m also pretty amazed at the strength of Raikkonen’s front suspension, surviving the impact with the wall, and with Bottas in the last race.

      2. Was this again on 1st lap after a pitstop? There was something about this earlier in the year to do with a setting for the pits that can affect the throttle mapping and he ends up with a huge lump of power when just touching the throttle.

  7. Kviat ruined what could have been an epic continuation to the WDC (esp for a non-LH fan). “Sorry guys” just doesn’t cut it.

    And Rosberg’s fail under pressure is just sad. Not that he should have let SV through, but at least there would have been another opportunity next race.

    1. Kvyat’s crash brought the two Mercs closer, and allowed Hamilton to switch to fresh tyres; hard to see how that’s a bad thing…

      1. For a LH fan yes. Without Kviat’s crash we’d have a much different result and no crown today. Rest my case

        1. You mean Kvyat’s crash caused Rosberg to throw the win away?

          1. @raceprouk
            Kvyat’s crash allowed Hamilton to slot in right behind Rosberg on fresher tyres, while he (Lewis) was slower all race and got incredibly fortunate with both safety cars.

          2. Yes, good, thanks for telling me something I have already pointed out. Now how about you actually answer my question?

    2. So you’re basically saying that Kvyat, because of his crash and the subsequent SC, destroyed Nico’s chances for the championship? Or are you implying that Hamilton wrapping the title in Mexico would’ve been a lot more exciting?

      Hamilton had this title won since Russia. I don’t see how “keeping the champ alive” (on life support, that is) changed anything…

      1. So watching it go down to the wire (despite the odds) is a bad thing? Right.

        I actually glad the band-aid has been ripped off. Now I don’t have to prolong the agony of listening to LH go on about ’emulating Senna’ and ‘inspiring others’ anymore. There’s the silver lining.

        1. If Hamilton didn’t win the title in the US, he would have in Mexico. And there are two races after that still.

          Of course, you then go on to prove you’re not passing an honest judgement; you’re just bitter a driver you don’t like won something.

        2. No way in hell the title would’ve gone down to the wire. Not with Rosberg’s year-long mediocre performances nor Vettel’s Ferrari not being up to the job. Lewis was always going to win this, be it last sunday or in 4 days. Or maybe in 3 weeks, but it’d have not been interesting at all.

      2. No, Kvyat’s crash didn’t ruin Rosberg’s chances of winning, it just increased the chances that Hamilton might win. Prior to Kvyat’s crash Hamilton was running first, but had old tyres that would loose traction before the race ended, so he needed to change them. Without the crash Hamilton would have ended up about 5th after the tyres were changed, meaning both Vettel and Rosberg would have scored more points than he did, so the WDC title would have been resolved at a subsequent race. As it was, Kvyat crashed, so Hamilton took this fortuitous opportunity to change tyres under the safety car and just lost one place as a result, meaning he was, after the safety car, in second place. That still meant that if the race finished in that order the title would have had to wait for another race to be resolved.
        Then Rosberg gave Hamilton another fortuitous opportunity when he lost traction and momentarily ran off the track. Even though he was off for just a few seconds, with Hamilton just one second behind, the WDC was Hamilton’s.

    3. epic continuation to the WDC

      I don’t get this. Hamilton was going to win it yesterday or he was going to win it next weekend. That’s not “epic” in my book, that’s predictable.

      Besides which, Rosberg was still in position to win the title after the Safety Car, he blew it of his own accord.

      1. Am I the only one that thought Nico should of let Vettel past to prolong the WDC?… I know 2nd in the WDC is important as well but you just never know in this business, maybe Hamilton’s luck runs out and Nico catches him… Haha… I mean it’s highly unlikely but by letting Lewis win there is zero chance… 8)

        1. The commentators actually discussed this possibility at that time in the race. One of them said that if Nico had just let Vettel pass then he may as well hand in his resignation at the end of the race. After all, if it was the other way around, where Vettel would have been WDC unless Hamilton happened to pass Raikkonen just short of a finish line, you just know there is absolutely no way Raikkonen would even think about it.
          As it was, I was surprised Vettel didn’t pass him when he went off the track, but Vettel didn’t, so Lewis Hamilton became the 2015 WDC.

          1. I only was able to listen to the app and missed that discussion but really, the complication is that Vettel is ahead in the WDC but that’s the only option to prolong the WDC… And letting Vettel pass and ruining Hamilton’s party would of been better than throwing a hat at him… Hahaha

          2. One of them said that if Nico had just let Vettel pass then he may as well hand in his resignation at the end of the race.

  8. So students in this picture we have a real Mercedes on the left and a fake Mercedes on the right, as you can see the difference is in the helmet.

  9. Great season from him, well deserved that championship. If only would he shut up.

    1. If only would he shut up.

      Fans: “We want drivers with more personality!”
      Drivers show more personality.
      Fans: “The drivers should just shut up and drive!”

      1. Who knew LH’s personality would be so plastic/cringeworthy ;)

        Still, I’m all for drivers showing their personalities, even if I have to suffer LH’s.

  10. For me Nico has to get out of Mercedes asap, not only is Lewis beating him consistently also it is clear for the team he is worst than a second driver. I got sick of watching Lauda and Wolff smiling and joking when he screwed up.

    1. Yeah better to go to McLaren if you are sick of coming 2nd.

      1. @markp i was thinking more about a bold move to Ferrari for 2017.

        1. To come second there too?

    2. It’s like a clumsy kitten on ice. Who can resist laughing?

    3. I got sick of watching Lauda and Wolff smiling and joking when he screwed up.

      I suggest you look up the definition of ‘wry smile’.

    4. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      26th October 2015, 19:36

      @mijail I haven’t seen Lauda or Wolff show any sort of favoritism during the race certainly not off cameras.

      Nico’s best option is to stay and fight. He might be able to clinch a championship but even if he can’t pull it off, he can still win tons of races and poles if Mercedes continues to dominate.

      He’s already won 11 races and 19 pole positions. These are very high stats. Not to mention that he’s been part of a back-to-back WCC team.

      If he retires with 20 wins and 30 poles those are incredible stats even without winning a WDC. I think 15 of the 20 driving F1 drivers would love to be in Nico’s horrible situation. Let’s not even talk about the ones who are test drivers or not able to compete…

      In Nico’s defense and it’s ridiculous that I’m defending Nico, he’s trying to improve. He had some great overtakes lately but that error cost him the race. He’s not the only one to make a mistake while chased down as we’ve seen with Vettel (Canada 2011) and Hamilton (Hungary 2011).

    5. I saw Toto and Nikki smiling too. LH definitely No1. I would have let Vettel past lol

  11. I thought it was a great GP, but why wasn’t everyone else complaining, drivers, teams, Ecclestone? According to the way people are trying to change the rules for 2017, this was the complete opposite. We need faster cars, in Austin they were slower than usual. We need more downforce and wider tyres to increase cornering grip, in Austin grip was definitely in short supply. We need rule changes for Engine equality, in Austin all engines, even last years in the Manor cars performed well. We need louder engines, never heard any complaints about the sound at Austin. Surely for all the advocates of these and similar changes Austin must have been a terrible race! But I’ve not noticed them saying so…..

    What Austin did do is to show what has always been the case in the long time I’ve been watching, that when cars have lots more power than grip the racing is exciting, driver skill is more important, engine power is less significant and outright speed is almost irrelevant. But why oh why doesn’t anybody in power think that way?

  12. Trenthamfolk (@)
    26th October 2015, 21:11

    Can I just point out that HAM didn’t steal anything, he won the race and the championship on merit.

  13. If Monaco GP was not screwed up by a wrong pit call, this championship would have ended in Russia forget about taking it to the wire!

    Dont see any problem with HAM having Senna as his inspiration and how this helps him to be a better driver and drive with a target in mind for him to achieve. If this motivates him what is wrong with that ??

    He has a personality, not saying everybody would like him. But he is never boring, like some of the other drivers. He is not from a rich family background like Schumachers, Vettels, Rosbergs, Piquets, Hills, Brundles, Vestappans. Just stating the fact that he cannot progress through various sub categories because of his family background and funding. Being black would not given him an easy ride either, when all the stats show that all championships ever are all won by racers who are white (well some are silly to believe in these sort of brainwashing but I see these matter).

    He supports 4 charities and represents F1 in all the countries. Shows why he is so famous in so many countries.

    A mediocre driver will not get lucky and end up in the fastest car on the grid.

  14. Let’s face it folks. The difference between Hamilton and Rosberg was made very clear at turn 1 on the opening lap. As LH contemplated the start, he had 3 likely scenarios: he would get to turn 1 in the lead. He would get to turn 1 way behind. He would get there roughly when Nico did. In that last case, all he had to do was plant the car in the inside line and muff the turn- betting that Nico would be taking the normal line (on the right then cut the apex). Nico would be forced to go wide and the corner, and the lead, would be Hamilton’s.

    Nico & Lewis are both superb drivers. Lewis has that certain killer-instinct. Nico doesn’t. When he tries to put it on (think Spa), it doesn’t suit him well.

    Lewis took advantage of Nico so called (at least in LH’s mind) weakness.

  15. Lewis finally did it in style like other great drivers, 3 races to spare – completely annihilated his opponent.

  16. big slice of luck for hamilton …he got to change tyres under a safety car …..just like rosberg !
    or do you mean that rosberg made a mistake ? would he have done if he hadn’t felt the pressure from hamilton…no way ! shades of button catching vettel in canada

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