F1 2016 United States Grand Prix result: Hamilton claims 50th career victory to keep title hopes alive

PUBLISHED: 09:15 24 October 2016 | UPDATED: 09:28 24 October 2016

Race winner celebrates winning the 2016 United States Grand Prix [Picture: Daimler AG/Mercedes-Benz]

Race winner celebrates winning the 2016 United States Grand Prix [Picture: Daimler AG/Mercedes-Benz]

Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton motored to his 50th career win with victory in the 2016 United States Grand Prix to keep his title hopes alive.

The 31-year-old Mercedes F1 driver from Hertfordshire claimed his third victory in a row at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, on Sunday.

Hamilton led from pole position to record his seventh win of the 2016 season so far.

Nico Rosberg completed a fifth Silver Arrows 1-2 of the season in P2, with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo third.

Speaking to Gerard Butler in the post-race interviews on the podium, Hamilton said: “This has always been a good hunting ground for me.

“I love being in the USA. I’m proud of the team’s effort this weekend.”

Stevenage-born Hamilton’s success in the United States trimmed Rosberg’s lead in the Drivers’ Championship to 26 points with three races to go, starting with next Sunday’s 2016 Mexican Grand Prix.

Hamilton said: “I’m delighted to claim my 50th career victory, it’s been a long time coming, but most importantly it was great to have a solid race weekend.

“This race has always gone extremely well for me, but still, it was a massive relief when I crossed the line given my reliability issues in recent rounds.”

After some poor starts of late, Hamilton made a smooth getaway from pole position to lead after the first corner and proceeded to control the race from the front.

He said: “I was 100 per cent clear on my start and I knew it was going to turn out that way.

“It was a nice feeling, especially after so many ups and downs, and I was able to control the race from there.

“It’s been great to be back here in Austin and the response from the fans has been incredible.

“The aim is to continue this form next week and I can’t wait to continue the Championship battle in Mexico.”

Rosberg, who started second on the grid, slipped back to third at the start but managed to retake second place and now leads the championship with 331 to Hamilton’s 305.

The German Mercedes driver said: “I had a good start and tried to overtake Lewis on the outside but ultimately it meant Daniel Ricciardo had a better line out of Turn One and was able to capitalise on this.

“From there it was hard to overtake the Red Bull but our altered strategy paid off.

“We ran the medium tyre and that gave us plenty of options, especially when the virtual safety car came into play.

“The medium tyre showed some really strong pace and the car felt great, which meant towards the end I was closing in on Lewis, but it was too late.

“He did a better job this weekend and deserved the win and I look forward to continuing our battle in Mexico.”

Having already clinched the Constructors’ Championship, the Mercedes AMP Petronas team now lead Red Bull by 236 points.

After the US GP, Toto Wolff, head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, said: “This race in Austin in becoming real Lewis Hamilton country: three wins in a row, and four in total, after a perfect and really controlled drive today.

“We have had some pretty dramatic races in recent weeks, including what happened in Malaysia of course, so it was good to have a drama-free afternoon today and see Lewis put in such a strong drive.

“As for Nico, he’s in a tricky situation right now because he knows he cannot afford to have a DNF.

“Probably that was part of why he lost position in Turn One, but then he was looking good to get back to P2 with an offset tyre strategy before the VSC meant we could pit and gain the position in that way.

“It was also great to see our pace today: things looked much closer with Red Bull in practice but our engineering team did some good work on Friday night and we had a nice advantage in qualifying and the race.

“We move on to Mexico now and our focus, like this weekend, will be on providing the boys with two reliable cars so that they can continue this championship battle in the right sportsmanlike way, between them out on track.”

Paddy Lowe, Mercedes’ executive director, called it a “terrific result” for both Hamilton and the team.

Lowe said: “It’s a terrific result at what’s becoming a really special race on the calendar and Lewis Hamilton is proving to be a popular winner here.

“It was a really well controlled race from Lewis, he didn’t put a single foot wrong and keeps the Drivers’ Championship battle alive going into the final three races.

“For Nico it was slightly more difficult, losing position to Daniel Riccardo at the start.

“We had strategic opportunities to move him back up to second but it was made a lot easier by the virtual safety car at a very convenient moment: good for us although it denied the fans an exciting battle.

“That’s another fantastic job from the team here in Austin and back in Brackley, Brixworth and Stuttgart and we look forward to Mexico in just a few days, where yet more great racing is to be expected.”

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