After Lewis Hamilton secured his third drivers’ championship with a dramatic victory in Austin, F1i looks back at how the United States Grand Prix unfolded and revisits its podium prediction
The race in 100 words
Enthralling. Hamilton robustly nudged Rosberg wide on a wet track at Turn 1, but soon lost out to Ricciardo as the Red Bulls set the early pace. As the track dried, Red Bull faded but Rosberg and Hamilton fought over the lead as Vettel climbed through the field to challenge. Raikkonen crashed after putting on slicks, while Kvyat crashed out at the penultimate corner. Rosberg looked set to win from Hamilton but a late error handed his team-mate victory and the drivers' title. Verstappen’s strategy gave him fourth place from Perez whose team-mate Hulkenberg hit Ricciardo and retired.
Driver of the weekend
A few candidates, but Max Verstappen's fourth place was far less fortuitous than the same result he secured in Hungary. A faultless qualifying in tricky conditions saw Verstappen start from eighth place and he held position early on before making the call to pit for slicks a lap earlier than many of his close rivals. A second stop for new soft tyres under the Safety Car at the halfway mark left Verstappen with a lot to do in terms of strategy but he nursed his tyres brilliantly in the face of on-track battles to rise back up as high as third before eventually coming home a comfortable fourth. A mature drive in such testing conditions.
Move of the race
While there's a tip of the cap to Nico Rosberg for his move on Hamilton at Turn 13, it's Daniel Ricciardo who takes the honours for a move on the same driver earlier in the race. With Hamilton struggling on his intermediate tyres, Ricciardo had jumped both Rosberg and Daniil Kvyat and reeled in Hamilton, but struggled to make a move using DRS. However, Ricciardo held a tighter line through the high speed set of right-handers at turns 17 and 18, leaving Hamilton struggling for grip. Ricciardo's steering inputs and throttle control had to be spot on to avoid a moment of oversteer which would have ended in contact, and he dived ahead of the Mercedes on exit. Looked simple, it was anything but.
Podium: 1. Lewis Hamilton, 2. Nico Rosberg, 3. Sebastian Vettel
F1i’s pre-race prediction: 1. Lewis Hamilton, 2. Sebastian Vettel, 3. Nico Rosberg