October 24, 2016 - 09:42 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Defending champion Lewis Hamilton kept alive his bid for a fourth world title on Sunday, October 23 when he claimed his first victory in six races at the United States Grand Prix and a 50th career win, AFP reports.
The Briton produced a flawless drive from pole position to finish almost five seconds ahead of his Mercedes team-mate and championship leader Nico Rosberg.
"This has always been a good hunting ground for me. I love being in the USA. I'm proud of the team's effort this weekend," said Hamilton.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo finished third for Red Bull and four-time champion Sebastian Vettel came home fourth for Ferrari after team-mate Kimi Raikkonen had been forced into a bizarre retirement when he left the pits with a loose rear wheel.
But it was again all about the Mercedes rivals and Hamilton trimmed Rosberg's championship lead from 33 points to 26 with three races remaining, but he knows that even if he wins them all the German can take his crown by finishing second in each one.
Rosberg said: "I lost out a bit at the start, but I gave everything to come back and I was going flat out all the way right to the end."
It was Hamilton's seventh win this season, but his first since the German Grand Prix back in July, since when Rosberg has grabbed the momentum.
Ricciardo's feisty Red Bull team-mate, the Dutch teenager Max Verstappen, also retired after a mechanical failure, leaving the way open for Fernando Alonso to seize fifth for McLaren after a late attack on fellow Spaniard Carlos Sainz.
Hamilton had revealed concerns before the race about his engine -– fitted overnight Friday with a new fuel injection system –- but on a near-perfect warm autumn afternoon in Texas he made a clean getaway when the lights went out.
He led off the grid from the 58th pole of his career as Ricciardo, from third, accelerated up the hill behind him into Turn One, where he found a way past Rosberg to take second.
Behind the leaders there was contact between Nico Hulkenberg's Force India and Valtteri Bottas's Williams, the former losing his front wing and, after limping to the pits, retiring at the end of the first lap.