Lewis Hamilton won the United States Grand Prix for the second time in three years and took another significant stride towards this season’s title tonight.
The gap between Hamilton and Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg is now 24 points after the 29-year-old claimed the chequered flag in front of a 100,000-strong crowd at the Circuit of the Americas.
It was the 32nd victory of Hamilton’s career, making him the most successful Briton in F1 in terms of race wins, edging him ahead of 1992 champion Nigel Mansell.
Hamilton also becomes the first non-German to win 10 races in a season, with Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher both having won 11 and 13 apiece in past years.
In addition, Hamilton is now only the seventh driver in F1 to win at least five in a row, with the others being Alberto Ascari, Vettel, Schumacher, Jack Brabham, Jim Clark and Mansell.
It is an historic season for Hamilton, although it will only count for anything if he goes on to add to the championship he won in 2008.
Over the radio, Hamilton said: “Thank you so much for all the hard work back at the factory and here. I'm so grateful for the all the effort you have put in.”
After the podium ceremony, Hamilton acknowledged his achievement, adding: “I’ve been so fortunate.
“This is an incredible team, I’ve an incredible car ,and I’m really grateful to be up front.
“I’m also so proud to be representing my country, and to be top of the driver wins is quite special.”
For Rosberg, he was again forced to settle for second best for the 10th time this year after failing to convert pole position into a race win for the seventh occasion in nine attempts.
But rather than facing the prospect of his challenge coming to an end in next weekend’s penultimate race of the year in Brazil, with double points on offer at the last event in Abu Dhabi in three weeks’ time, he could yet steal the crown from Hamilton.
With four seconds between them at the end of the 56 laps, the result was Mercedes’ 10th one-two this year, equalling McLaren’s 1988 mark set by Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.
It has been some year for the Brackley-based marque, and although Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was third, he is now mathematically out of the hunt and it is a straight fight between Hamilton and Rosberg.