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Lewis Hamilton reigns in rain to take F1 world crown in America

By Philip Duncan

Published 26/10/2015

Cup of cheer: Lewis Hamilton enjoys the moment after winning his third Formula One title
following victory in the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas
Cup of cheer: Lewis Hamilton enjoys the moment after winning his third Formula One title following victory in the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas

Lewis Hamilton has been crowned Formula One World champion for the third time after winning the United States Grand Prix in dramatic circumstances.

Hamilton needed to outscore Sebastian Vettel and team-mate Nico Rosberg by nine and two points respectively to win the title here in Austin - but the Briton appeared to have his work cut out after Rosberg secured pole in yesterday morning's rearranged qualifying session.

Hamilton started alongside his team-mate but after a blistering start in the damp conditions, he muscled his way past the German on the long uphill run to turn one.

After struggling later in the race, and being passed by Rosberg, Hamilton dived into the pits and was the first to opt for the dry tyres - a move that paid off.

It got him back into contention and although Rosberg appeared on course to postpone his team-mate's title celebrations, the German made an unforced error with just seven laps remaining to allow Hamilton to take the lead.

Vettel fought his way back from 13th to finish third in one of the best races in recent memory but it was not enough to prevent Hamilton from amounting an unassailable lead in the championship with three races to spare.

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Hamilton now joins his idol Ayrton Senna and Sir Jackie Stewart with three titles to his name. He also becomes the first British driver to successfully defend his Formula One crown.

An emotional Hamilton struggled for words inside his crash helmet after he was informed he had seen off Vettel and Rosberg to win this year's crown.

"This is the greatest moment of my life," he said over the team radio. "To my family, I love you all."

On his return to the pits, Hamilton leapt out of his Mercedes before running to his team. He then made his way up to the green room - the area before the podium celebrations - where the emotion of his incredible achievement reduced him to tears.

A dejected Rosberg sat slumped in a chair with Hamilton attempting to regain his composure. Hamilton then threw a sponsors' cap for the podium in the direction of Rosberg, who responded by launching it straight back at his rival without so much as a hint of a smile.

Final Positions: 1 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1hr 50mins 52.703secs, 2 Nico Rosberg (Ger) Mercedes GP 1:50:55.553, 3 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 1:50:56.084, 4 Max Verstappen (Ned) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:51:15.062, 5 Sergio Perez (Mex) Force India 1:51:17.116, 6 Jenson Button (Gbr) McLaren 1:51:20.761, 7 Carlos Sainz (Spa) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:51:23.322, 8 Pastor Maldonado (Ven) Lotus F1 Team 1:51:24.976, 9 Felipe Nasr (Bra) Sauber-Ferrari 1:51:32.960, 10 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Red Bull 1:51:46.074.

Drivers' Championship: 1 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 327pts, 2 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 251, 3 Nico Rosberg (Ger) Mercedes GP 247, 4 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari 123, 5 Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Williams 111, 6 Felipe Massa (Bra) Williams 109, 7 Daniil Kvyat (Rus) Red Bull 76, 8 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Red Bull 74, 9 Sergio Perez (Mex) Force India 64, 10 Max Verstappen (Ned) Scuderia Toro Rosso 45.

Manufacturers Championship: 1 Mercedes GP 574pts, 2 Ferrari 374, 3 Williams 220, 4 Red Bull 150, 5 Force India 102, 6 Lotus F1 Team 70, 7 Scuderia Toro Rosso 63, 8 Sauber-Ferrari 36, 9 McLaren 27, 10 Manor Marussia F1 0.

Belfast Telegraph

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