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Lewis Hamilton wins US Grand Prix.....


Lewis Hamilton made British Formula One History as he won the United States Grand Prix for the second time in three years and took another significant stride towards this season's title.

The gap between Hamilton and Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg is now 24 points after the 29-year-old claimed the chequered flag in front of a 100,000-strong crowd at the Circuit of the Americas.

It was the 32nd victory of Hamilton's career, making him the most successful Briton in F1 in terms of race wins, edging ahead of 1992 champion Nigel Mansell.

Hamilton also becomes the first non-German to win 10 races in a season, with Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher both having won 11 and 13 apiece in past years.

In addition, Hamilton is now only the seventh driver in F1 to win at least five in a row, with the others being Alberto Ascari, Vettel, Schumacher, Jack Brabham, Jim Clark and Mansell.

It is an historic season for Hamilton, although it will only count for anything if he goes on to add to the championship he won in 2008.

Over the radio, Hamilton said: "Thank you so much for all the hard work back at the factory and here. I'm so grateful for the all the effort you have put in."

After the podium ceremony, Hamilton acknowledged his achievement, adding: "I've been so fortunate.

"This is an incredible team, I've an incredible car, and I'm really grateful to be up front.

"I'm also so proud to be representing my country, and to be top of the driver wins is quite special."

For Rosberg, he was again forced to settle for second best for the 10th time this year after failing to convert pole position into a race win for the seventh occasion in nine attempts.

But rather than facing the prospect of his challenge coming to an end in next weekend's penultimate race of the year in Brazil, with double points on offer at the last event in Abu Dhabi in three weeks' time, he could yet steal the crown from Hamilton.

With four seconds between them at the end of the 56 laps, the result was Mercedes' 10th one-two this year, equalling McLaren's 1988 mark set by Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.

It has been some year for the Brackley-based marque, and although Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo was third, he is now mathematically out of the hunt and it is a straight fight between Hamilton and Rosberg.

As far as non-executive chairman Niki Lauda was concerned, Hamilton "was outstanding".

Lauda added: "Lewis and Nico did a perfect job and we can't say any more, but Lewis was the better one. Lewis is a very tough cookie."

With only 18 cars in the field - Caterham and Marussia were allowed to miss the race after entering into administration - it was the lowest number to start an event since the 2005 Monaco Grand Prix.

Threats from Lotus, Sauber and Force India of a potential boycott over the financial disparity between the big and small teams came to nothing when they took their place on the grid at the end of the formation lap.

Within the space of the first few minutes, however, there were just 16 cars left standing following an incident between Sergio Perez in his Force India and Adrian Sutil in his Sauber.

It was a cruel blow for the pointless Sauber team as Sutil started from ninth on the grid, the first time the Swiss marque had managed to get a car into the top 10 in qualifying.

The accident was unquestionably the fault of Perez as he initially clipped Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen at the sharp left-hander of turn 15.

With his car askew, Perez then ran into Sutil, immediately sending the German across the track and out of the race, and with debris on the track it resulted in the immediate introduction of the safety car.

Although Perez managed to return to the pits, the damage to his car was too severe for him to continue, to the dismay of the thousands of Mexicans in the crowd who had been cheering him on.

It immediately prompted five drivers to take on fresh tyres, however, upon returning to the track, a trio were caught out by the stewards for speeding behind the safety car in Lotus' Pastor Maldonado, Jean-Eric Vergne in his Toro Rosso and Esteban Gutierrez for Sauber.

After the first flurry of pit stops around laps 14-16, with Rosberg retaining a slender advantage over Hamilton after comfortably holding on to pole at the start, a wretched afternoon for Force India culminated with Nico Hulkenberg retiring on lap 18 with a technical issue.

Over the following laps Hamilton then proceeded to reel in Rosberg who had opened up a 2.5secs cushion following their first stop.

Come lap 24, and hurtling into the sharp left-hander at turn 12, Hamilton conjured a defining overtake down the inside to claim the lead.

The Mercedes duo, though, were not running away with it at that stage as Williams' Felipe Massa and Ricciardo were both in touch at under 10 seconds.

When that duo pitted just over 30 laps in, with Ricciardo managing to undercut Massa to claim third, Mercedes were forced to react.

Hamilton, with a 2.7secs advantage as leader, was able to pit first after 33 laps, followed a lap later by Rosberg.

But there was to be no response from Rosberg as Hamilton did all he needed to keep the German at bay, with Ricciardo and Massa 25.5secs and 26.9secs adrift come the conclusion.

Williams' Valtteri Bottas was fifth, followed by Fernando Alonso in his Ferrari, with outgoing four-times champion Sebastian Vettel next up after a late stop propelled from him from 14th to seventh in the space of seven laps.

McLaren duo Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button were eighth and ninth, with Pastor Maldonado in the points for the first time this season by claiming 10th for Lotus.

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