Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Circuit of the Americas, 2019

Bottas wins the US GP battle but loses the war as Hamilton clinches title

2019 United States Grand Prix summary

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Valtteri Bottas passed Lewis Hamilton to win the United States Grand Prix but it wasn’t enough to deny his team mate the world championship.

Bottas led the early stages of the race but fell behind his team mate as he pitted twice during the race, while Hamilton tried a one-stop strategy. It almost paid off for Hamilton, but on fading rubber he was unable to keep Bottas behind.

Victory for Bottas was exactly what he needed to keep his championship hopes alive. But only if Hamilton failed to score well, and second place was more than enough to secure his sixth world championship title.

It was a terrible race for Ferrari. From second on the grid Sebastian Vettel fell back quickly at the start, passed by Hamilton in the S-bends at the start of the lap, then mugged by Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. He was out after just eight laps when his right-rear suspension suddenly failed.

Leclerc never figured in the fight for the lead and dropped further out of contention with a very slow pit stop. He finished over 50 seconds behind after making an extra pit stop for soft tyres, which allowed him to claim the bonus point for fastest lap.

Alexander Albon recovered to fifth place, 25 seconds behind Leclerc, after being delayed by a first-lap collision with Carlos Sainz Jnr.

Daniel Ricciardo beat the McLaren pair to take sixth place, chased across the line by Lando Norris, who was within four-tenths of a second of him at the line. Sainz was lapped in eighth, followed by Nico Hulkenberg. Daniil Kvyat took the chequered flag in 10th place but he and 11th-placed Sergio Perez are under investigation by the stewards for a collision between the pair.

Update: The stewards have penalised Kvyat for the collision, dropping him to 12th place and promoting Perez to 10th.

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2019 United States Grand Prix reaction

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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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36 comments on “Bottas wins the US GP battle but loses the war as Hamilton clinches title”

  1. DOTD: Albon. What a comeback after dropping to dead last early on. He’s now finally surpassed both Sainz and Gasly in the points.

    1. Nah he was in the second fastest car. Driver of the Day for me either Ric or Bottas.

  2. He just wanted to win it in style. Mercedes set this up perfectly..

  3. Ferrari back to their pre Spa form. Almost a full minute behind. Sad. Seems the FIA directive really hampered them

    1. Looks like that clarifying ruling RB got out of the FIA clipped the Ferrari’s wings a bit @knightameer. Although, the other car might have done a tad better today?

    2. Thank God somebody brought up the case of an Elephant in this room!

      We do know 2 things:
      1) There was a TD from FIA
      2) Leclerc had to use pre-Monza engine

      Which means… mystery)
      From my chair around 9000km from Austin it looked intriguing, so I say – let’s give them a benefit of the doubt and see how things go at the net race.

    3. Those are my thought too. Its seems RedBull called out to the FIA on some issues to do with fuel flow monitoring, and coincidentally[?] Ferrari had to resort to a older engine configuration.

      Then we have this race where following qualification both Ferraris are slow off the line. Also just prior to the race Vettel had work done on his car. Sky footage showed his car on jacks with the rear of his car smoking away. Cue his suspension failure..

      The question now is will Ferarri have a legitimate engine to bring to the Championship next season. Their bodged engine solutions seems to show a lack of geniune engineering talent.

    4. Ferrari with such a big gap behind. Did they secretly remove some other tricks beside that kabel? Did they get nervous?

    5. And they will not only keep their results but they wont get any penalties for using illegal PU even if they are caught.

  4. Maybe. Who knows

  5. I must say I am really happy Bottas managed to pass Hamilton on track. Sure, the tyres were on his side here, and Hamilton wouldn’t be agressive enough in his defence to risk either one of them dropping out of the race. But still, passing Hamilton for the win and having to fight for it might help Bottas keep his eye on the ball and build onto that to be a real challenger next year.

    1. Very much agree @bascb, it’s great to see them fight, with Bottas ending up ahead, he was faster yesterday, and did it today too. Let’s hope we can see him continue from here.

      1. Bottas started on pole, Hamilton in 5th. If Hamilton had won, that would have been the ultimate ignominy.
        Given his start, a Bottas win was the least we should expect.

        Frankly a 3rd place by Hamilton would still have been respectable.

        1. The least? Ahm, so what was the goal then? To be able to get Hamilton off track?

          1. Obviously, the best for Bottas would have been for Hamilton to be punted off by Verstappen in the last lap. I don’t think it was an unrealistic possibility.

    2. Feel a little bit sorry for Bottas. That was one of his strongest wins. He really earnt that, but it felt like no one cared. No post race radio with him.
      I get Hamilton clinched the championship, but it was never in doubt. That special parking space was embarrassing. So Liberty.

      1. Actually there was some post race radio with Bottas, its just that it was underwhelming.
        Post race radio is just something else Hamilton does better ;)

        I think in years to come drivers will be picked for this other undefinable ability with the media. Its hard to promote a sport where its champions are so underwhelming. Vettel , Hamilton and Shumacher are the expections, and we should be thankful for that extra something they bring to the sport.

      2. Jose Lopes da Silva
        4th November 2019, 6:24

        It’s too late for anything. Hamilton could perfectly been cruising around and keeping a 10sec advantage over Leclerc. The championship was at stake, and it was decided a long time ago.

    3. @bascb Hamilton wouldn’t be aggressive enough to risk a collision with his teammate? Except he was, and if Bottas didn’t go off-track, they would have collided before Bottas finally passed him for the win

  6. The commentators all seemed to miss the contact between Albon and Vettel after the Albon/Sainz contact. Albon was at an angle to Vettel when they touched rear wheels, so giving Vettel’s rear wheel a push forward, possibly causing the suspension damage that lead to the failure.

    1. Albon hit LeClerc, not Vettel.

      1. OK, thanks for the correction. I only watched the race live so my mistake.

  7. This race showed how easy it is for Mercedes. Two strategies, still 1-2. Even if Hamilton decided for a second stop 15 laps to the end he would probably still be P2.

    Congratulations to them, they managed a big advantage in the beginning of the hybrid era and have been able to keep it in what is the longest domination of a team in the history of F1.
    Congratulations also for Hamilton that was able to beat all his teammates, making almost zero errors and saving the day with good results on the few times Mercedes wasn’t the best car.

    Great race for Albon, showing that although not much faster than Gasly in one lap is much faster and much better in race pace. In a race like this Gasly would end up outside the points, also, why the second stop? Without the crash in the first lap Albon would probably be P4.

    Another great race for Ricciardo. He’s dominating Hulk completely in the last few races, he is not dominating in more in the Championship because of two races where he lost points after the race

    1. You forgot a great race by verstappen.

  8. By far the best in race pace and tyre management levels above, remember the old days haha when he was bad on tyres which was an absoloute myth btw. Horrible strategy from Mercedes like in Suzuka when Ham is behind Bottas he is always having to lose a whole pitsstops worth of time. All he had to do was mirror Bottas i do not get why they done it, he would of got Max im sure. People would have moaned either way if Ham by some miracle had won with 1 stop people would have said he was favourd. Absoloute no way was Hamilton favourd today.

    Still i cannot complain just feel it would been a fairer fight that way if he finished 3rd so be it. I highly doubt Bottas or Max could of done the 1 stop today, Bottas is spot on Hamilton’s tyre wear is unreal. He is Button esque with way more raw speed and no track specific where he is just way off the boil one week. Also what about Vettel lol yet another mistake haha i feel sorry for him though, he is a great sportsman with alot of class, but his driving has let him down way too often 2 poles in Ferrari is embarassing and just the one win im sorry but that is awful

    1. Looking at an 66lap stint by verstappen in Mexico I know someone who is capable. Today he only had a set used hards.
      It was Magnussen who saved Lewis this time.

  9. I have said it for the past few yrs even in the Nico years, Hamilton’s race pace is on another level, along with his tyre management you can tell Bottas is not a mug.

  10. Very static race again.

  11. Good race, Valtteri earned his win with a mega stint early on, while the strategic gamble by Hamilton gave us a different ending, with on track action as well. Verstappen was kinda unlucky with the yellows, but thats how it goes sometimes. Ferrari was nowhere to be seen, reminding their dismal performance in Hungary. Great race by Ricciardo, while Norris was really solid but should have won the battle with Riccardo IMO. Albon is proving that he must stay at RBR, his steps from being signed as a Nissan driver in FE to today is immense. He still needs time adjusting in the big team, but he has earned a spot for 2020. As much as i like Giovinazzi, it would have been better for Alfa to sign Hulkenberg and have two experienced in 2020. It won’t happen since Hulk, as it seems, is heading to DTM with BMW, but Giovinazzi isn’t that harsh when fighting with other cars

  12. Best car this year in race pace still don’t change the fact Hamilton could have sat out the last 3 races of the season and been WC. Yet Ferrari could possibly have took it to last race with other drviers, people i do not think realise just how many wins, Ferrari chucked away this year, Bahrain and Canada straight away both Hamilton wins.

    So with that swing Ham probz would clinched it still today but they would be like a win behind Bottas. So im sure Merc are very happy they have Hamilton, this is not 2014-2016 F1 advanatge, the rate the race will prove how good this years been loads of classics this season.

  13. Valtteri has had a really solid season. Fantastic start of the season and hopefully the same ending of the season. He keeps Hamilton alert. And the best thing is that they respect each other. Mercedes team is so classy and Toto is a perfect leader.

    1. @bulgarian

      I think Bottas has been much better this year. In fact, he has improved more than I thought possible.

      For perspective, he had 2 wins (or what I’ll credit as wins) in each of the last two seasons. He has 4 now, so he has doubled his haul. Not only doubled it, but done it with a resurgent Ferrari and competitive Red Bull. Most importantly, he appears to have done it at Hamilton’s expense. He has also beaten Hamilton to 5 poles.

      At the beginning of this season I said it was essentially inconceivable he could triple his win rate to take the WDC from Hamilton. He has done better than i expected.

      It is at least conceivable now (stll extremely unlikely), he could do a Rosberg in 2019.

      It is also just as likely Hamilton will bounce back.

  14. I’m impressed how Hamilton has won the WDC without dominating from the front. He has harassed the front runner all season, and picked up wins when the race turrns his way. It takes real tenacity to keep chasing other cars all season.

  15. Yeah, lots of praise for BOT now that HAM won the title but, truth is (and someone has to say it) BOT was in no war with HAM in the WDC. His own team never supported him for such cause. I’m pretty sure he has some sort of No.2 Contract, then he’s a non-combat guy too, the result = he never made a fusss about having to play second to HAM, even hand over his win to HAM… a win which he never got back. Ferrari always took the flak for this no.1-no.2 scheme, but Mercedes took it to another level for sure.

    1. @mg1982 Aren’t you rejoicing? Hamilton 6 times world champion!

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