Race Report: Bottas wins USGP, Hamilton wins 2019 championship

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Mercedes likes the Circuit of the Americas in Austin Texas. Lewis Hamilton likes the US Grand Prix and has won here six times. The weekend was simmering from Friday through pole on Saturday and the win and podium position that secured the FIA Formula 1 Driver’s Championship for Lewis Hamilton. His 6th just one behind Michael Schumacher.

AUSTIN, TEXAS – NOVEMBER 03: World Champion Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1, race winner Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1, and James Allison, Technical Director, Mercedes AMG celebrate on the podium with Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing during the 2019 Formula One United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas, on November 03, 2019 in Austin, Texas, USA. (Photo by Glenn Dunbar / LAT Images)

Intrigued unfolded during the weekend with an FIA clarification—prompted by a Red Bull inquiry—about fuel-flow sensors, interval measurement and Ferrari’s power advantage. Oddly this weekend, Ferrari ceased to have the straight line speed and both Toto Wolff and Lewis Hamilton stopped short of suggesting that it was the funny business of flouting the FIA fuel-flow measurement system that attributed to the pace.

Regardless, Ferrari didn’t have an answer or good race but for Mercedes and Valtteri Bottas, it was a brilliant weekend with a pole position and win in Austin.

Win

A big win for Lewis Hamilton who secured second place and in doing so, takes his 6th world championship. The team enjoyed the Constructor’s title a few weeks ago but today was Lewis’s day and he made a real fight out of it trying to make his slower 1-stopper actually work.

A win for Valtteri Bottas who has had two great races on the trot and looks to be a more steely-eyed competitor and let’s hope this continues in 2020. Valtteri didn’t put a foot wrong this weekend, nor last weekend, and excels at these driver circuits.

A win for Max Verstappen who managed the final spot on the podium. Max qualified well and raced well but ran out of laps in order to make a pass on Lewis for 2nd place. The Red Bull had the measure of the Ferrari’s and it does make you wonder if the inquiry played a role in the reversal of the Ferrari performance.

A big win for Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo who took the fight to McLaren and came home best-of-the-rest. It was a much-needed redemption for Renault who has been really struggling in 2019.

A win Lando Norris who bested his veteran teammate, Carlos Sainz and also a win for Sergio Perez who started from the pit lane but managed to secure a point in 10th.

Fail

A fail for Ferrari who suffered a broken suspension with Sebastian Vettel after an inexplicably slow start and poor first lap with massive understeer. The team also couldn’t find a way to move Charles Leclerc forward and settled for a 2-stopper. If tricking a sensor is actually true, then the power advantage isn’t superior engineering, it’s crafty thinking and not something to hang your hat on. Let’s hope this isn’t the case but if it isn’t, it is difficult to explain Ferrari’s lack of pace in Austin.

A fail for Haas F1 at their home grand prix with Kevin Magnussen out with what looked like a brake failure and Romain Grosjean relegated to 15th.

WTH

The national anthem…enough said.

 

 

 

  • Bottas started from pole but slipped behind his team mate after making an extra pit stop. The Finn subsequently took advantage of his fresher tires to claim the lead close to the end of the race.
  • Hamilton was one of five drivers in the top 10 of the grid to start on the medium tire, but he completed a longer opening stint than his rivals before switching to the hard for a one-stopper, which required perfect tire management.
  • Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was locked in a tactical battle with Bottas for most of the race on a similar medium-hard-medium two-stop strategy, but he could not get past Hamilton at the finish and ended up third.
  • Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who finished fourth, adopted a different two-stop strategy, using all three nominated compounds. During his final stint on the soft, he gained the extra point for fastest race lap.
  • Behind him, Red Bull’s Alex Albon finished fifth, having been last after his early pit stop on lap one following some contact. He completed a three-stopper in the end: the only driver to do so.
  • In total, there were five different strategies in the top six: underlining the multiplicity of approaches in evidence at the United States Grand Prix.
  • Weather conditions for the race were similarly warm to yesterday, which had an effect on tyre behaviour by favouring the harder compounds.

US Grand Prix Result:

POSDRIVERCARLAPSGAP
1Valtteri BottasMercedes561h33m55.653s
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes564.148s
3Max VerstappenRed Bull/Honda565.002s
4Charles LeclercFerrari5652.239s
5Alexander AlbonRed Bull/Honda561m18.038s
6Daniel RicciardoRenault561m30.366s
7Lando NorrisMcLaren/Renault561m30.764s
8Carlos Sainz Jr.McLaren/Renault551 Lap
9Nico HulkenbergRenault551 Lap
10Sergio PerezRacing Point/Mercedes551 Lap
11Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo/Ferrari551 Lap
12Daniil KvyatToro Rosso/Honda551 Lap
13Lance StrollRacing Point/Mercedes551 Lap
14Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo/Ferrari551 Lap
15Romain GrosjeanHaas/Ferrari551 Lap
16Pierre GaslyToro Rosso/Honda54Not running
17George RussellWilliams/Mercedes542 Laps
18Kevin MagnussenHaas/Ferrari52Brakes
Robert KubicaWilliams/Mercedes31Hydraulics
Sebastian VettelFerrari7Suspension

Driver’s Championship

POSDRIVERPOINTS
1Lewis Hamilton381
2Valtteri Bottas314
3Charles Leclerc249
4Max Verstappen235
5Sebastian Vettel230
6Alexander Albon84
7Carlos Sainz Jr.80
8Pierre Gasly77
9Daniel Ricciardo46
10Sergio Perez44
11Lando Norris41
12Nico Hulkenberg37
13Daniil Kvyat34
14Kimi Raikkonen31
15Lance Stroll21
16Kevin Magnussen20
17Romain Grosjean8
18Antonio Giovinazzi4
19Robert Kubica1
20George Russell0

Constructor’s Championship

POSCONSTRUCTORPOINTS
1Mercedes695
2Ferrari479
3Red Bull/Honda366
4McLaren/Renault121
5Renault83
6Racing Point/Mercedes65
7Toro Rosso/Honda64
8Alfa Romeo/Ferrari35
9Haas/Ferrari28
10Williams/Mercedes1
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Overall Race

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Rapierman
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All right, I give up. Lewis Hamilton can now be mentioned in the same sentence as Michael Schumacher.

Xean45
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So here’s what they should do. They should make the tires with multiple coloured layers, starting black, then wearing to green, amber, and red since the people watching obviously have no idea what ‘pit window’ means. Hamilton’s will go of course directly from black to red, and will stay at red for 50 laps so everyone will know his tires feel ‘really bad’. And all cars will be marked CAR in bold black letters, just so everyone knows what they’re watching. Problems solved.