A round-up of all the action at the 2016 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin.
Hamilton got off the line cleanly and from there was never troubled in winning his seventh race of the season. Rosberg had a tougher time – overtaken by Ricciardo at Turn One and under pressure from Verstappen behind, he had to work hard for his second place. He benefitted from pitting under the Virtual Safety Car after Ricciardo had come in a few laps before to remain in front of the Red Bull and limit his championship losses to just seven points.
Lewis Hamilton, 1st: “I’m delighted to claim my 50th career victory today, it’s been a long time coming, but most importantly it was great to have a solid race weekend. This race has always gone extremely well for me, but still, it was a massive relief when I crossed the line given my reliability issues in recent rounds. I was 100% clear on my start and I knew it was going to turn out that way. It was a nice feeling, especially after so many ups and downs, and I was able to control the race from there. It’s been great to be back here in Austin and the response from the fans has been incredible. The aim is to continue this form next week and I can’t wait to continue the Championship battle in Mexico.”
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) October 23, 2016
Nico Rosberg, 2nd: “I had a good start and tried to overtake Lewis on the outside but ultimately it meant Daniel Ricciardo had a better line out of turn 1 and was able to capitalise on this. From there it was hard to overtake the Red Bull but our altered strategy paid off. We ran the medium tyre and that gave us plenty of options, especially when the virtual safety car came into play. The medium tyre showed some really strong pace and the car felt great which meant towards the end I was closing in on Lewis, but it was too late. He did a better job this weekend and deserved the win and I look forward to continuing our battle in Mexico.”
— Nico Rosberg (@nico_rosberg) October 23, 2016
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “This race in Austin in becoming real Lewis Hamilton country: three wins in a row, and four in total, after a perfect and really controlled drive today. We have had some pretty dramatic races in recent weeks, including what happened in Malaysia of course, so it was good to have a drama-free afternoon today and see Lewis put in such a strong drive. As for Nico, he’s in a tricky situation right now because he knows he cannot afford to have a DNF. Probably that was part of why he lost position in Turn One, but then he was looking good to get back to P2 with an offset tyre strategy before the VSC meant we could pit and gain the position in that way. It was also great to see our pace today: things looked much closer with Red Bull in practice but our engineering team did some good work on Friday night and we had a nice advantage in qualifying and the race. We move on to Mexico now and our focus, like this weekend, will be on providing the boys with two reliable cars so that they can continue this championship battle in the right sportsmanlike way, between them out on track.”
Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical): “It’s a terrific result at what’s becoming a really special race on the calendar and Lewis Hamilton is proving to be a popular winner here. It was a really well controlled race from Lewis, he didn’t put a single foot wrong and keeps the drivers’ championship battle alive going into the final three races. For Nico it was slightly more difficult, losing position to Daniel Riccardo at the start. We had strategic opportunities to move him back up to second but it was made a lot easier by the virtual safety car at a very convenient moment: good for us although it denied the fans an exciting battle. That’s another fantastic job from the team here in Austin and back in Brackley, Brixworth and Stuttgart and we look forward to Mexico in just a few days, where yet more great racing is to be expected.”
Raikkonen had an unlucky race – on an aggressive three-stopper he was released from a pit stop with a rear tyre not correctly fitted, and was told to pull over just as he was about to rejoin the track. After a perilous maneuver where he reversed down the hill back into the pit lane, he had to retire the car which had overheated. Vettel had a relatively quiet afternoon – too quick for those behind but not quick enough to catch those in front, he trailed home fourth.
Kimi Raikkonen, DNF: “Obviously the end result of this race is far from ideal. It’s a pity because the performance of the car today was good. When we changed for Soft tyres, for whatever reason I seemed to struggle. The balance was ok but I never really had the grip I was expecting. Once we went back to Supersofts the car was good again. When I left the pits after the third pit stop I slowed down a bit and asked if everything was ok because I saw some sparks coming out. At the end of the pitlane the team told me to stop. Now we have to understand what happened, the rear wheel nut had not fitted properly.”
Sebastian Vettel, 4th: “Overall today was a better day than yesterday, it was a good race. The start was not so good and into turn 1 I was quite lucky, given that somebody was hitting me, I think it was Nico Hülkenberg. Luckily nothing was broken so I could carry on. Then the pace was good, we were looking after the tyres, so we could go longer than other people. The race was a bit different than we expected, we got a present from Max today but unfortunately also Kimi had some problems and had to retire. It could have been a good performance for the team with both cars in the points.”
Maurizio Arrivabene, Team Principal: “Obviously, we had hoped for a better result this weekend. Once again, though, we paid a heavy price for our qualifying position. In the race, our pace was definitely better than yesterday, and we could have fought for a podium finish. Now we move to Mexico straight away, and we will put our maximum effort and concentration into the next racing weekend.”