Lewis Hamilton won the 2015 Drivers championship in Austin today. That’s because he won the US Grand Prix in Austin. Probably not too many bars on Austin’s famed 6th Street turned down the honky-tonk music to make the announcement.
But Lewis was sure dancing on the podium….
US Grand Prix 2015 – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas: Lewis Hamilton happy as a clam to have captured race and championship. Photographic Credit: Action Images / Hoch Zwei Livepic
It took Lewis until lap 49 of the total 56 to gain the lead that sealed the deal. This is where he clamped the victory, and with it, his third world championship. It was his 10th win in 16 starts this season.
That’s the lap he passed 2nd place Nico. In 3rd place was the gasping Sebastian Vettel. Legendary Car Guy had picked Vettel to hold-off Lewis based on a careful analytical mapping of F1 racers to NFL quarterbacks. By finding similarities between drivers and quarterbacks, the Car Guy thought his prognostications would improve.
Vettel reminded him of perennial winner Tom Brady, who has no problem playing in inclement weather. Alas, the Car Guy was wrong.
Lewis Hamilton in Mercedes AMG F1 qualifying at United States Grand Prix on Sunday before the race. © Sutton Motorsport Images
Remember how appalling the weather had been for all the previous days of practicing and qualifying? By the time of the race, rain had tapered off, but winds still howled up to 35 mph.
The race came down to some fortuitous twists and turns of fate. Nico and Lewis had exchanged leads like a badminton tournament. Rosberg had repeatedly grabbed the lead, back everyone up, and then speed away. With 15 laps to go, Hamilton looked like a sitting duck for Rosberg who had fresher tires and was steadily closing in.
FATEFUL TURN: Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat lost grip and crashed heavily in turn 19. So when the safety car came out, Lewis got a 2nd chance at new tires. He re-entered the fray right behind Rosberg, but “now who had the freshest tires?”
10 laps left and Hamilton grabbed the lead back when Rosberg lost traction out of the haripin at Turn 12. His car flicked side to side and then ran wide off the track. That’s all Hamilton needed.
Photo Credit: REUTERS/Mike Stone – Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton races ahead of team mate Nico Rosberg during the U.S. Grand Prix at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin.