The 2019 United States Grand Prix took place on Sunday, November 3rd for 56 exciting laps on the 5.513-kilometer track at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Valtteri Bottas took the Austin win and Lewis Hamilton finished 2nd as he clinched his sixth Formula 1 World Championship, an incredible achievement, followed by third-placed Max Verstappen.
Charles Leclerc finished fourth and picked up an extra point for setting the fastest race lap and that has helped to ensure Ferrari cannot be beaten to second place in the Constructors’ championship. However, the results did not match the team’s expectations going into this race.
Verstappen chased Hamilton down right to the very end, having closed on him with two laps to go, but when the Haas driver, Kevin Magnussen, went off the track the yellow flags meant the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing driver had to back off. One more lap and he might have done it, but there was cause for satisfaction as this was his first trip to the podium since the Singapore Grand Prix.
Unfortunately, Sebastian Vettel retired on lap 8 with a broken right rear suspension. He struggled right from the start of the race after starting from the front row possibly because the suspension problem was already making itself felt. In the first two laps, he had dropped down to seventh, before the failure on lap 8.
At the press conference, Valtteri Bottas talked about his win, “First of all huge congratulations to Lewis – six championships is an impressive achievement! He had a strong season and he deserves the title, he was better overall. Lewis is a tough opponent, he has very few weaknesses, makes almost no mistakes, and drives very consistently. But I’ve been gaining some good momentum, so I’m looking forward to another close fight with him next year. It’s been a really good weekend for me and the team. I struggled at this track in previous years, so it was great to cross the line in the first place. It was not an easy race; I had a strong start and a good first stint, but we had to switch to a two-stop to cover Max and I was a bit worried that Lewis on the one-stop might be on the better strategy. It was a proper fight and quite a bit of fun; I had to really push, but my pace was strong and I managed to catch Lewis towards the end. We had a good battle on the track and I passed him to secure the win. It feels really good to win the race like that when you have to fight for it….”
Lewis Hamilton then talked to the press and expressed, “It’s hard to explain what I’m feeling right now, to be honest. Cloud nine doesn’t even get close, it’s somewhere far above that. It’s been the hardest year I can remember; it’s been so challenging, going through the ups and downs, so right now I’m just so full of emotion, it’s overwhelming. I feel truly humbled, and grateful to everyone back at the factories, the entire Daimler family and everyone at PETRONAS – everyone who has worked so hard to enable us to do what we do and achieve this. It’s such a privilege and honor to work for this team, to be able to go out there and have the platform to put in performances like today. And Niki, I miss him so much. Today, he’d have taken his cap off. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without Niki, he’s here with us in spirit. I saw my parents right after the race and seeing my dad’s smile, it says it all. My family have supported me since day one, they worked so hard for me to be here today. I’m so glad they could all come out here, together. Yesterday was a difficult day and today I just wanted to recover and deliver a one-two for the team. Valtteri did a fantastic job, so huge congratulations to him…”
Max Verstappen who overcame unexpected difficulties to achieve 3rd place stated, “For us, it’s been a positive weekend and I’m very happy to finish third on a track like this. On the last few laps, the yellow flags hurt me and I couldn’t pass after the straight, otherwise I think we could have finished second. After the race, I realized I was missing quite a big piece of my floor which is a shame as I think we could have been even more competitive otherwise. I had a good start and then I tried to follow Valtteri but it seemed like they had a bit more pace than us so to finish roughly five seconds behind him is a good achievement, especially considering our car damage. I think the two-stop was the right way to go and I don’t think we could have done anything differently as it was the fastest strategy for us. I think we’ve taken a good step forward and we’re back in the fight. It’s still not going to be easy but we won’t give up. It is of course very impressive for Lewis to win his sixth title and you have to be very consistent to achieve that so he deserves it.”
Formula 1 will be back in action over the weekend of 15-17 November at Interlagos for the FORMULA 1 HEINEKEN GRANDE PREMIO DO BRASIL 2019.