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U.S. Grand Prix strategy guide

U.S. Grand Prix strategy guide

Lewis Hamilton said his team's performance at the U.S. Grand Prix was a long way off its usual standard after he started on pole position and finished third.

If Hamilton wins, Vettel must finish no longer than second to keep the championship alive next week into the Mexican Grand Prix.

The passing years have not mellowed the outspoken Canadian's views on Schumacher, the man he beat to the 1997 world championship in controversial circumstances, and he has pulled no punches in claiming Hamilton is already a greater world champion.

Esteban Ocon was an impressive sixth for Force India ahead of Nico Hulkenberg of Renault, Romain Grosjean of Haas, Charles Leclerc of Sauber and Sergio Perez in the second Force India.

"I'm actually really happy to go there, it's roughly 40 minutes from my home, for sure my family will be happy and I'm happy to be with my family".

"I actually thought we would have been able to do better but this is the best we were able to do in the end", said Hamilton. "And being a great champion is more than just winning races", said the 47-year-old, who won his title with Williams.

"I'm very happy where I'm going".

As Hamilton battled his way back from his second visit to the pits, the frustration began to grow in the cockpit, the Briton coming across the team radio to question the timing of the stop. "It should have been a better day", said Vettel.




"It is the first time we have had this ruling in the wet and you literally have to stop 30 or 40 kilometres per hour which I should do next time".

Vettel was under pressure from the beginning.

At that stage, second would have been enough for Hamilton to take the championship, but a recovering Vettel fought his way past Bottas, meaning Hamilton would have then required to get past race victor, Raikkonen, too.

As it happened, even doing that would not have been enough to clinch the title for Hamilton, as Vettel passed the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas for fourth place on the penultimate lap.

For much of the year, Ferrari was believed to have the stronger race auto.

The championship leader trimmed his time while, behind him, Max Verstappen's session was ended when his right rear suspension appeared to fail after he ran across the "sausage" kerbs at Turn 17.

Fernando Alonso did his utmost, but wound up 16th after being outpaced by Brendon Hartley's Toro Rosso in the final seconds. But he'll start fifth because of a three-spot grid penalty for driving too fast under a red flag during a Friday practice.

The key was the start, the Finn using his softer tyres to leap ahead of championship leader Lewis Hamilton.

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