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GP Week : Issue 231
There was a little bit of everything in the united states Grand Prix; drama, intrigue, controversy and more unpredictability than a toddler on a sugar high. It was about as close to the perfect made-for-television grand prix as one could hope for. Through it all Lewis Hamilton emerged victorious, after events in the latter stages fell his way, but it's better to be lucky than good. It was not Hamilton's finest performance of the season, in fact it was downright scrappy at times, but he did enough to grab the victory and with it his third world championship. His race looked done on lap 40 as the second virtual safety car of the day was withdrawn and he was the only front runner not to have stopped. In years gone by it would most definitely have cost him the race, but with the virtual safety car ensuring nobody made or lost ground he at least had a glimmer of hope by holding onto his advantage out front. But there was still the fact he needed to stop, his tyres not able to last the distance to the flag while those behind had fitted fresh boots. Without another safety car, Hamilton was a lame duck. Thankfully his prayers were answered when Daniil Kvyat, who'd pushed Hamilton so hard in the early laps, found the barrier at the penultimate corner with 13 laps remaining. It gave Mercedes the window it needed to stop Hamilton and ended Sebastian Vettel's hopes of not only the race victory but the world championship too. Vettel had started well, passing six cars on the opening lap to sit seventh. Stopping on lap 18, as the window to switch to slick tyres opened, he moved up to fourth before another stop on lap 27 as the safety car came out dropped him back to sixth. The decision to pit was a good one, putting Vettel on the medium compound tyres which should have been capable of lasting to the end 19 GPWEEK.com // 19 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> UNITED STATES PARTNERS: