The 30-year-old’s 10th victory of 2015 was enough to confirm a second straight Championship triumph, and his third of his already memorable career.
Hamilton is only the second British driver to win three world titles, the other being Jackie Stewart. He also matched his idol Ayrton Senna by becoming a Triple Crown champion.
How did Hamilton describe this moment?
“Amazing.” He told Elton John on the podium, as reported by BBC Sport. I can’t find the right words to tell you how amazing this feels. I love you guys and everything you do for me. For all my family, I love you all.”
Victory in Austin came down to one fatal error made by team-mate and rival Nico Rosberg. After a frantic back and forth race, it looked like the German was going to over-take Hamilton with 15 laps to go.
But Daniel Kvyat’s crash brought on the virtual safety car, allowing the Brit to pit for fresh tires. Re-joining in second, we were set for a fierce fight to the finish with only ten laps to go.
The fresher of the two, Hamilton applied pressure on Rosberg, forcing a mistake from his team-mate who lost traction out of the Turn 12 hairpin at the end of the long back straight. As a result, Rosberg ran wide and Hamilton took the lead. The Brits who stayed up to watch rejoiced.
But the fight was not over. The Englishman needed to fend off Rosberg for the remaining laps as the Mercedes number two came back strong. Hamilton, as throughout the year, was up to the task, fending off Rosberg and crowning himself champion after yet another victory.
Sebastian Vettel could have kept the title race alive with a second place finish, but he could only manage his Ferrari to third. Rosberg congratulated Hamilton after the race, but was clearly left frustrated by the result. The Brit tossed the second place cap to his team mate, but Rosberg threw it right back at him.
Rosberg said: “It has never happened to me ever something like that [the error], I can’t explain it. I just need to look into it afterwards. It was really tough at the time to lose the lead like that and the win.
“Turn one for sure was very aggressive [by Hamilton]. I haven’t seen it so I can’t comment until I have seen it. Extremely aggressive and we hit each other. Or I should say Lewis came into me, so that’s not good. I can’t say more than that.” (Source: BBC Sport)
The incident happened around the first corner, as the Mercedes drivers battled for an early lead. The two appeared to make contact around the bend, forcing Rosberg off the track. Mercedes have said they will investigate the collision.
But it will not distract Hamilton from a moment he has described as ‘unbelievable’.
“I just can’t find the right words to express the feeling. It is the greatest feeling I have ever had in my life. I won the championship last year, and now this year, it is just unbelievable,” Hamilton told Sky Sports.
“Today was such a fun race, so many ups and downs, Nico was ahead by 10 seconds at one point. I was behind, struggling with the car, but then came back with strength.”
Formula One will return in six days for the Mexican Grand Prix
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