Austin, Texas’, Circuit of the Americas is a real drivers' track, with its mix of high-speed and technical curves sorting the men from the boys.

And Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton again proved he's the top man Stateside – romping home for his ninth win this year, his fifth in Austin, to all but end Sebastian Vettel's hopes of a maiden Ferrari world championship.

At lights out, Vettel got a brilliant start, and outdragged polesitter Hamilton with a light bump to take the lead into Turn 1 – followed by Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo.

Up-front, Vettel and Hamilton traded fastest laps, as Bottas kept Ricciardo behind – the Australian cleared by the stewards for an aggressive move at Turn 1 on Lap 4 that he couldn’t make stick.

But Vettel’s lead was not to be long term – with Hamilton breezing past the German on Lap 6, with a move down the back straight using DRS.

Lap 10, and Max Verstappen was up to seventh from 16th on the grid – but his teammate Ricciardo wasn’t having the same luck, retiring just six laps later with a undisclosed engine issue.

Ferrari had to go aggressive to match the one-stopping Hamilton, so with Vettel’s ultras blistered he switched to a two-stop – and softs on Lap 16.

Hamilton pitted from the lead three laps later for softs – losing 4-seconds from the 10 he had in hand before the stop due to Vettel’s undercut, the German right on his tail on exit, but couldn’t keep up.

Hamilton’s stop handed the lead to Verstappen, who hung onto the place until he was passed on Lap 23; the Dutchman pitting the following lap.

Lap 39 and Vettel stopped again for supersofts, while Räikkönen got past Bottas for second on Lap 40 – his teammate repeating the feat on Lap 51.

The Ferraris switched places on Lap 52, Vettel taking second; forcing Räikkönen to soak up the pressure from Verstappen – who passed the Finn into Turn 17 with all four wheels off the track, earning a 5-second time penalty that dropped him back to fourth.

But it was a tour de force from Hamilton, the Brit sealing Mercedes’ fourth- straight constructors’ championship with his 62nd career win.


As broadcast on  24/10/2017.