Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes’ reigning world champion, won a thrilling United States Grand Prix Sunday to seal his third Formula One World Championship.
The Briton has joined Niki Lauda, Jack Brabham, Sir Jackie Stewart, Nelson Piquet and Ayrton Senna as the only three-time world champions in Formula One history.
Hamilton, who qualified second on Saturday behind Nico Rosberg, was tailing his teammate with eight laps remaining until a significant error from the German gave Hamilton the lead. Had Rosberg retained his lead, the title race would have continued into Mexico City for the next Grand Prix. The turning point came when Rosberg slithered into the off-run area after losing the rear of his car on entry to Turn 13. Hamilton seized his opportunity, drove past Rosberg, and led the rest of the race to take a historic victory at the Circuit of the Americas in Elroy, Texas.
“Amazing,” Hamilton told legendary musician Elton John during the podium interviews. “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,” said Hamilton.
Hamilton credited his Mercedes team for trusting in him. “This is a dream come true. It is a platform for me to inspire young people: never give up on your dreams and desires, just keep working on it,” an elated Hamilton said in the press conference. “I never for one second believed that I couldn’t do it. We pushed and we pushed and we pushed. It’s a very humbling experience…I feel very, very blessed today,” added the 30-year-old British driver.
A furious Rosberg, who appeared furious when Hamilton threw a second place cap at him in the locker room area (see tweet below), 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.”
The final three races of the 2015 F1 championship are now irrelevant since Hamilton and Mercedes have already won the drivers and constructors championships respectively.
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) October 25, 2015