Grand prix of the USA: Victory at Bottas, a title at HamiltonNovember 4, 2019
The fate of the Cup of designers in 2019 was decided in Suzuk, the fate of the title in the individual competition for the second time in history was decided in Austin. Lewis Hamilton was enough to finish eighth to prematurely win the sixth league title.
On Friday, Verstappen and Hamilton led the training, on Saturday morning Max again headed the protocol, and Valtteri Bottas won the qualification, setting a new absolute track record.
Bottas and Vettel started the race from the first row of the starting field, Verstappen and Lecler from the second, and Hamilton and Elbon from the third. Daniil Kvyat in qualification lost to his partner and started 13th. Sergio Perez on Friday missed the weigh-in procedure and was punished by starting from the pit lane.
Tires brought to Austin the “middle” triple of compositions – C2, C3 and C4 tires were used as Hard, Medium and Soft. Racers Ferrari, Mercedes and Max Verstappen chose Medium in the second part of the qualification – and started on this composition. The rest in the top ten began the race for Soft. Behind them, Hulkenberg and Kvyat chose Hard, Raikkonen – Soft, other racers started on Medium.
On the starting field, the mechanics of Red Bull Racing worked with Max Verstappen’s car, having found a small crack in the rear wing, the team received permission from the FIA and quickly replaced it.
At the start, Bottas kept the lead. Verstappen ahead of the lost pace Vettel. Hamilton overtook the Ferrari riders.
Elbon’s car was taken out to Sainz’s car, there was contact – and Alexander turned into the boxes for changing tires. Stewards left the incident without consequences.
Riccardo was ahead of Vettel – the German complained of severe understeer. Starting 17th, Raikkonen in the first round climbed to 11th place.
The top ten on the 2nd circle: Bottas – Verstappen – Hamilton – Leclair – Norris – Riccardo – Vettel – Gasley – Sainz – Magnussen.
Quat overtook Grosjean, rising to 13th position.
On the 9th lap, Sebastian Vettel stopped the car on the side of the road due to a broken rear right wheel suspension. Leclair was warned about the need to avoid the curb in the eighth turn – established at night, where Vettel broke the suspension.
Riccardo was ahead of Norris in the fight for sixth place, Raikkonen – Magnussen and Hulkenberg, rising to seventh.
On the 10th lap, Quat overtook Magnussen, and Stroll changed tires.
Perez and Elbon are ahead of Giovinazzi.
Hamilton tried to pressure Verstappen, but on the 14th lap Max turned into the pits, changing tires.
On the 14th lap, Elbon beat Grosjean in the fight for 14th place. On the 15th lap Bottas held a pit stop, returning to the track in a second ahead of Max.
Perez and Elbon are ahead of Magnussen, who has lost tempo. On the 16th lap, Bottas and Verstappen overtook Leclair.
On the 18th lap, Giovinazzi changed tires, on the 19th – Sainz, Raikkonen and Magnussen, on the 20th – Norris and Gasli, on the 21st – Elbon and Lecler – when servicing Charles’s car, a hitch appeared in the Ferrari boxes with a rear mount left wheel.
On the 22nd lap Perez overtook Quata. Riccardo and Quat had a pit stop, Daniel also lost a few seconds when replacing tires.
Bottas on fresh tires caught up with Hamilton, Lewis was called into the pits, but he remained on the track and on the 24th lap Valtteri beat him.
On the 25th lap, Hamilton, Russell, Perez and Grosjean made a pit stop. Elbon ahead of Raikkonen in the fight for tenth place.
On the 29th lap Hulkenberg changed tires. On the 30th lap Perez ahead of Quat, Stroll held a pit stop.
The top ten on the 30th circle: Bottas – Verstappen – Hamilton – Leclair – Riccardo – Norris – Sainz – Elbon – Gasli – Raikkonen.
On lap 32, Elbon beat Sainz in the fight for seventh place.
On the 33rd lap, Kubica stopped the car in the pits and retired.
On the 35th lap Verstappen changed tires, returning to the track third, 15 seconds from Hamilton. Elbon ahead of Norris in the fight for the sixth position.
At the 36th lap Bottas held a pit stop, returning to the track second.
The top ten on the 36th circle: Hamilton – Bottas – Verstappen – Leclair – Riccardo – Elbon – Norris – Sainz – Gasli – Raikkonen.
On the 38th lap, Elbon beat Riccardo in the fight for sixth place.
On the 40th lap, Kvyat was mistaken – Hulkenberg overtook him, but both riders turned into boxes for fresh tires. Giovinazzi also changed tires.
At lap 41, Perez beat Raikkonen in the fight for tenth place. Elbon and Raikkonen change tires.
On the 43rd lap, Leclair and Norris had a pit stop. In the McLaren boxes there was a hitch with the front right wheel mount. Charles received a set of soft tires – and drove the best lap with a new track record in the race.
Elbon beat Gasley, and then Sainz, rising to sixth place.
The top ten on the 46th lap: Hamilton – Bottas – Verstappen – Leclair – Riccardo – Elbon – Saints – Gasli – Perez – Norris.
On the 48th lap, Hulkenberg was ahead of Raikkonen in the fight for 11th place, and Elbon – Riccardo. Norris was ahead of Peres, and Quat – Raikkonen, rising to 12th place.
On the 50th lap, Norris was ahead of Gasley in the fight for eighth place.
Bottas on fresh tires reduced the backlog from Hamilton and attacked on the 51st lap, but Lewis fought back, driving his partner off the track.
At lap 52, Valtteri attacked again and stepped forward, leading the race. Norris is ahead of Sainz in the fight for seventh position.
The top ten on the 52nd lap: Bottas – Hamilton – Verstappen – Leclair – Elbon – Riccardo – Norris – Sainz – Gasli – Perez.
On the 53rd lap Perez ahead of Gasley in the fight for ninth place.
On the 54th, Hulkenberg and Quat were ahead of Gasley, who had lost speed due to tire wear. Pierre turned into the pits for rubber.
Verstappen approached the distance of attack to Hamilton, which had lost its pace, but yellow flags appeared – Magnussen flew off the track in the 12th corner due to problems with the brakes.
On lap 56, Gasley stopped the car in the pits and retired – a clash in the fight against Perez led to a breakdown of the suspension. In the last turns, Kvyat also fought with Perez for tenth place and crashed into his car. The stewards found him guilty, adding five seconds to the result – Daniel received such a penalty in the second race in a row.
Valtteri Bottas won the race in Austin, gaining a fourth in a season and a seventh career victory. Lewis Hamilton finished second, prematurely winning the sixth league title. Sebastian Vettel came into the room in front of the podium to congratulate the Briton.
Max Verstappen climbed to the third step of the podium, ahead of Sebastian Vettel in the individual competition.
Two weeks later, the struggle will continue in Brazil.
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