United States GP: Mercedes secure Constructors' title as Hamilton wins again in COTA

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Lewis Hamilton completed a perfect weekend at the United States Grand Prix finishing it off with a sixth win in America on Sunday, as Mercedes clinched their fourth straight Constructors’ Championship in Austin.

The battle looked to be on as Sebastian Vettel, starting alongside on the front row, sneaked ahead on the inside of Hamilton to take the lead at Turn 1 but the Briton soon regained control seven laps in, as he overtook the German into Turn 12 and from there on it was just race management for the triple world champion.

The Ferrari driver would be forced onto a two-stop strategy as Red Bull mixed up the race with Max Verstappen, but he would soon catch and pass Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen towards the end to secure second meaning he only lost seven points to championship leader.

In a race that saw crazy overtakes until the last corners, Verstappen, who started sixteenth, overtook Kimi Raikkonen into third place through Turn 17 on the final lap but would lose the podium place after a five-second post-race penalty for cutting the inside of the track dropped him to fourth with Ferrari grabbing a double podium.

Valtteri Bottas paid the choice of opting for a one-stopper after being passed by Raikkonen on the same strategy and then getting caught up and dropping from second to fifth in a disappointing race for the second Mercedes driver.

Esteban Ocon was 'best of the rest' in sixth, as he also surpassed Max Chilton's record of 25 consecutive finishes at the start of an F1 career. The Frenchman did just enough to keep the newly appointed Renault driver Carlos Sainz at bay on what was still an impressive first result with the team in seventh.

Sergio Perez was on the radio once again complaining about his teammate’s pace as the pair line astern and his concern was genuine as the Mexican lost a place to Sainz, slipping to eighth but would earn Force India a 14th double points result of the season.

Felipe Massa used a reverse one-stop strategy, using the Ultrasofts at the end to claim ninth for Williams after some well fought battles, as Daniil Kvyat completed the top 10 on his Toro Rosso return.

Lance Stroll fell short of snatching a point finishing 11th as Stoffel Vandoorne was the only finishing McLaren in 12th, as yet more engine trouble impacted Fernando Alonso forcing him to retire.

Brandon Hartley was able to finish a respectable 13th on his F1 debut but after the performance of Kvyat, it's uncertain if the Kiwi will get another chance in Mexico.

Romain Grosjean was the best finishing Haas at the team’s home Grand Prix, but 14th was a long way from where they had hoped to be. Late contact with Marcus Ericsson meant Kevin Magnussen dropped to sixteenth as both cars were split by the Swede’s Sauber.

Renault's reliability problems continued as two cars were forced to retire with engine problems. Nico Hulkenberg only able to complete one lap, while Daniel Ricciardo’s strong run and podium bid were cut short in Lap 16 as his engine gave up. First lap contact with Magnussen also forced Pascal Wehrlein to retire.

The Constructors' might be wrapped up but, despite Hamilton's win, the Drivers' Championship is not over yet. It may only be a case of delaying the inevitable, however, with a 66-point gap between the Mercedes driver and Vettel.

Indeed, Hamilton only needs a fifth place in Mexico in a week's time to claim his fourth crown and, based on his form since the summer break, that should be a very simple task.

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