AUSTIN (KXAN) — Valtteri Bottas earned his seventh Formula One victory and fourth win of the season by passing Lewis Hamilton with four laps to go to claim the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas Sunday.
Hamilton wins his sixth F1 season championship by finishing second. Max Verstappen finished in third.
Hamilton didn’t waste any time at the eighth U.S. Grand Prix from COTA moving with a purpose to earn the season championship.
In front of an announced sellout at COTA, Hamilton jumped from fifth to third during Sunday’s opening lap to keep chase with Bottas, the pole-sitter and Hamilton’s teammate.
While the race couldn’t have started better for the Mercedes-Benz teams, it couldn’t have been worse for Sebastian Vettel. Vettel, who started in second, quickly dropped down the board and was forced retired from the race in lap eight after claiming “something broke”.
Soon after, Hamilton, a five-time winner at Austin’s version of the US Grand Prix, was leading the race with pit stops from Verstappen and Bottas.
On lap 24, Bottas regained the lead back from his teammate. Hamilton subsequently pitted for fresh tires, dropping down to third behind Verstappen.
Hamilton appears to be planning for a one-stop race giving him a real chance for the victory with Bottas and Verstappen planning to pit again.
As expected, Verstappen pitted at lap 35. Bottas pitted with 20 laps remaining to put Hamilton back on top.
Hamilton stuck to his one-pit strategy and couldn’t keep Bottas at bay down the stretch.