5 things we learned from the United States Grand Prix

5 things we learned from the United States Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton was crowned champion of the world for a sixth time on Sunday.

The Mercedes driver finished second at the Circuit of the Americas to secure his fifth title in six seasons.

Here, the PA news agency looks at five things we learned from Hamilton’s triumphant United States Grand Prix.

1. Is Hamilton Formula One’s GOAT?

PA Graphic
PA Graphic

Lewis Hamilton moved to within just one world championship of Michael Schumacher’s record haul of seven after seeing out the title in Austin on Sunday. Having been stranded on one championship for six years, Hamilton has now claimed five of the last six titles to become, statistically at least, the second most successful driver in the sport’s history.

The Briton has 21 more poles (87) than any other driver, and is only eight victories adrift of Schumacher’s win record (91), too. It seems inconceivable that Hamilton will not surpass the German next season. Remarkably, Hamilton has four more titles than the great Jim Clark and Fernando Alonso, double the number achieved by both Sir Jackie Stewart and his idol Ayrton Senna, and one more than Juan Manuel Fangio, the driver Hamilton refers to as Formula One’s OG – ‘Original Gangster’.

Hamilton turns 35 in January and for as long as Mercedes continue to provide him with a world championship-winning machine, there is every chance he could reach at least eight titles and go down in history as the greatest driver to ever step foot in a Formula One car.

2. Can Hamilton be stopped from winning a seventh world title next year?

Could Charles Leclerc mount a serious title challenge next season? (Martin Rickett/PA)
Could Charles Leclerc mount a serious title challenge next season? (Martin Rickett/PA)

Hamilton said his drive to a sixth world championship marked the best year of his 13-season career. He also claimed, in an ominous warning to his rivals, that he hasn’t yet reached his peak. As he said on Sunday night, he is building a masterpiece, and he is unlikely to be satisfied with that work of art until the seventh title is his.

Despite Ferrari’s mid-season resurgence, and the threat from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, Hamilton will start next year as the favourite to win yet another crown. While they may not always boast the best machine, Mercedes have continued to deliver and in Hamilton they have the most complete driver on the grid. It is a deadly combination and it will be difficult for anyone else to stop in 2020.

3. Leclerc takes aim at Verstappen after “cheat” claim

Ferrari have been the dominant team since the summer break, but the Scuderia’s six-race pole streak came to an end in Austin. Sebastian Vettel retired following a rear suspension failure, while Charles Leclerc took the chequered flag a distant fourth, 52 seconds behind winner Valtteri Bottas. One theory to Ferrari’s underwhelming pace was the release of a new technical directive which outlawed Ferrari from using a loophole to gain an apparent power boost. ”

That is what happens when you stop cheating,” Verstappen, who finished third, told Dutch TV after the race. But, in response to Verstappen’s remarks, Leclerc said: “It is a joke. He has no clue. He is not in the team. He doesn’t know anything about us.”

4. Hulkenberg facing F1 exile after Giovinazzi stay

Nico Hulkenberg’s eight-season Formula One career looks to be all but over after Alfa Romeo announced they were retaining Italian Antonio Giovinazzi for another year. Hulkenberg, who finished ninth in America and is being replaced at Renault by Frenchman Esteban Ocon, has already ruled out a move to Williams – the British team where he began his career in 2010. The 32-year-old German holds the unwanted record of the most F1 starts (175) without a podium.

5. Albon fights back to continue impressive Red Bull start

Alexander Albon has impressed since promotion to Red Bull (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Alexander Albon has impressed since promotion to Red Bull (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Alex Albon was voted Driver of the Day following his charge through the field on Sunday. Caught up in a Leclerc-Carlos Sainz sandwich at the opening bend, Albon had to stop for repairs at the end of the first lap. The London-born Thai, 23, dropped to last but fought back to finish fifth and move up to sixth in the championship standings.

“You forget that he’s in his first year,” said an impressed Red Bull team principal Christian Horner. “We’ve been really encouraged with the development he’s been making. It was another positive day for him.”

More on this topic

Verstappen edges Vettel in Brazil to seal second career poleVerstappen edges Vettel in Brazil to seal second career pole

Hamilton fastest in final practice at Brazilian Grand PrixHamilton fastest in final practice at Brazilian Grand Prix

Hamilton only fifth fastest as Ferrari set pace in BrazilHamilton only fifth fastest as Ferrari set pace in Brazil

World champion Lewis Hamilton taken aback by Ron Dennis’ congratulatory messageWorld champion Lewis Hamilton taken aback by Ron Dennis’ congratulatory message

More in this Section

Robbie Keane challenges new generation to ‘be a hero’ for Republic of IrelandRobbie Keane challenges new generation to ‘be a hero’ for Republic of Ireland

Henderson and Gomez withdraw from England squad for Kosovo gameHenderson and Gomez withdraw from England squad for Kosovo game

Oxlade-Chamberlain looking forward to Euro 2020 after return to England foldOxlade-Chamberlain looking forward to Euro 2020 after return to England fold

McClean eyes qualification after difficult monthMcClean eyes qualification after difficult month


Lifestyle

Eclectic as ever, Esther N McCarthy eyes up a Cocteau collectible, fab craft items, and a luxury gift that keeps on giving.Wish List: Eclectric as ever

My children are now at an age where they are beginning to forge friendships outside of the parameters of their school.Lindsay Woods: 'My daughter has a friend... She’s the C C to her Hillary'

More From The Irish Examiner