Lewis Hamilton increased his lead in the drivers world championship to 24 points on Sunday when he swept to his fifth consecutive victory and 10th of the season by winning the United States Grand Prix.
The 29-year-old Briton, who started second behind his pole sitting Mercedes team-mate and nearest rival Nico Rosberg, took the lead with a bold move after 24 laps on his way to a perfectly-measured triumph ahead of the German by 4.314 seconds.
It was the 32nd win of Hamilton’s career, a landmark statistic that lifted him one victory clear of Nigel Mansell as the British driver with most career successes in Formula One.
Hamilton now has 316 points to Rosberg’s 292 following the Englishman’s dominant success earned by clever tyre preservation tactics with two races remaining, including the final race in Abu Dhabi where double points are scored.
After thanking his team on the radio, Hamilton was equally generous and effusive from the victors’ podium.
“I have an incredible team and an incredible car and I had a great opponent today,” he said.
“It is such a privilege to represent my country and to be top of the drivers’ standings. The car was great today.”
The result left the two Mercedes men as the only drivers now capable of winning the title contest which will go down to the wire in Abu Dhabi on November 23, no matter the result in Brazil next weekend.
Sunday’s triumph was also the Mercedes team’s 10th one-two triumph of the year.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo finished third to deliver his eighth podium for Red Bull this year ahead of the two Williams of fourth-placed Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas.
“We are doing what we can,” said Ricciardo. “I’m really happy with third place. You can overtake here. I got Magnussen and then Alonso on the restart so it wasn’t too boring out there for me.”
Two time champion Fernando Alonso of Ferrari was sixth for Ferrari after a series of battles to finish ahead of four-time champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull, Kevin Magnussen of McLaren and Jean-Eric Vergne of Toro Rosso.