Lewis Hamilton has won his sixth United States Grand Prix and his fifth at the Circuit of the Americas. The Briton didn't wrap up the driver's standings as title rival Sebastian Vettel finished the race in second place, which means the battle continues onto Mexico next weekend.
Vettel led the first five laps of the race after he got the better jump at the start. He overtook pole-sitter Hamilton into Turn 1 and stayed ahead for a handful of laps before the 32-year-old managed to close in and overtake at Turn 12.
Kimi Raikkonen claimed third position despite being overtaken by Max Verstappen on the final lap. However, it was deemed that the Dutchman had cut the corner making the move, and he received a 5-second time penalty after the chequered flag which demoted him to fourth. Valtteri Bottas came home in fifth.
With a first and fifth finish, Mercedes are officially the 2017 constructor's champions. It's the fourth consecutive year the Silver Arrows have won the championship, as they now hold an unreachable 143 points over Ferrari.
"I'm so happy," said boss Toto Wolff. "The gang in Brackley and Brixworth have done a fantastic job, 24/7 and so much sacrifice. I'm so happy. It's just a new reality. We had a few good years with a power unit advantage and now everybody has closed up. You can see that Red Bull is very much there at the end. This is the new reality and how it will go for the rest and probably next season."
Esteban Ocon was sixth and now holds the record for the most consecutive finishes from his debut appearance, which was previously held by Max Chilton. Carlos Sainz produced a stunning drive on his debut, including a fantastic overtake on Sergio Perez around the Turn 17 and 18 complex.
Perez himself finished in eighth place ahead of Felipe Massa. The Brazilian worked a two-stop strategy well and fitted a set of ultra softs on lap 30, which allowed him to overtake drivers ahead. On his return to F1, Daniil Kvyat took the final points paying position.
With Red Bull losing out on a podium finish in Verstappen's case, his teammate Daniel Ricciardo failed to finish the race altogether. Ricciardo pulled to the side of the track on lap 16 of the Grand Prix with an engine problem.
On the same lap that Ricciardo retired, Vettel came into the pitlane for his first stop of the day. He switched to the soft compound, and closed in on Hamilton's gap. Hamilton decided to pit three laps after Vettel and came out only marginally ahead, despite previously holding a 5-second advantage.
After both Mercedes' and Ferrari's made their pitstops, Verstappen was leading as he started the race on the super soft tyre. On lap 23, Hamilton closed up on the back of the Dutchman and got by, freeing himself from the danger of being held up.
Verstappen then made a pitstop for the soft compound, while Fernando Alonso rounded the circuit at a slow pace, making his way back to the garage to retire for the ninth time this season.
The two Force India's found themselves running in a short space of track once again, and Perez requested for him to be let by, as Sainz began to close in. However, Force India refused and soon Perez was behind the Spaniard.
On lap 38, Verstappen pitted for a set of super soft tyres, and Vettel followed suit on the very next lap. On much fresher tyres, the pair closed up to Bottas and Raikkonen ahead. They made easy work of Bottas, who was struggling massively on his worn soft tyres.
Raikkonen then let Vettel by for P2, and soon found himself under attack in the dying stages of the race. Verstappen's last lap overtake was deemed to be illegal and Raikkonen took the final step on the podium.
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing
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