It was celebrations all-round for Mercedes at the United States Grand Prix as Valtteri Bottas took the race win ahead of Lewis Hamilton, whose second place finish secured a sixth world drivers’ title.
Hamilton only needed to finish eighth at the Circuit of the Americas, but was determined to be crowned in style, as he pushed Bottas all the way.
There were plenty of other impressive performances on the grid, although it was a race to forget for Ferrari, as their recent resurgence came crashing to an end.
Vettel’s race was short, but not at all sweet as he dropped to seventh in a wretched start and then suffered a very sudden rear suspension failure after running over the kerbs at Turn 9 on just the eighth lap.
Robert Kubica (Qual: 20th – Race: DNF) 4/10
A hydraulic leak ended Kubica’s race around mid-distance, having initially out-launched George Russell, only to be re-passed by his team-mate.
Kevin Magnussen (Qual: 12th – Race: 18th) 5/10
Was running just ahead of team-mate Romain Grosjean in the latter stages, having gone backwards after a promising start, until brake failure two laps from the end left him stuck in the gravel trap and last of the classified drivers.
George Russell (Qual: 18th – Race: 17th) 4/10
Last on-track for Russell, who was forced into an extra stop amid tyre-life issues.
Pierre Gasly (Qual: 10th – Race: 16th) 6/10
Gasly enjoyed a good race and went toe to toe with Perez for a late-race spot in the points, but picked up suspension damage after contact was made and had to retire the car.
Romain Grosjean (Qual: 15th – Race: 15th) 4/10
Like Magnussen, Grosjean made gains at the start, but struggled from thereon in as Haas endured a miserable home race as a similarly morose season winds to its conclusion.
The Italian went largely nowhere on a two-stop strategy, but rumours around the COTA weekend suggest he has done enough to earn another year in the Alfa Romeo.
Lance Stroll (Qual 14th – Race: 13th) 4/10
Stroll was unable to dig out one of his mega opening laps, and in fact dropped places off the line, while picking up damage that would hamper his efforts over the course of the race.
Daniil Kvyat (Qual: 13th – Race: 12th) 4/10
Kvyat was taken out of the points by a post-race penalty for the second time in a week as stewards took a dim view of contact between him and Sergio Perez in the closing stages that left the Racing Point with a damaged rear wing.
Kimi Raikkonen (Qual: 17th – Race: 11th) 6/10
Last year’s COTA race-winner opted for essentially the same strategy that had worked for him 12 months ago, starting on the soft tyre and drawing out a long one-stop strategy. While it helped the Finn gain numerous places off the line, he fell just short of a points finish, extending his scoreless run to seven races.