Hamilton beaming with pride after clinching third world title

Lewis Hamilton atop the podium in Texas
Lewis Hamilton atop the podium in Texas

Lewis Hamilton has been crowned F1 world champion for the second successive year after another superb display in his Brackley-based Mercedes in America on Sunday.

Sweeping to victory at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas, the British driver secured enough points to wrap up the F1 championship with three rounds still remaining.

Lewis Hamilton (right) and Nico Rosberg go wheel-to-wheel through the first corner during last weekend's USA Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton (right) and Nico Rosberg go wheel-to-wheel through the first corner during last weekend's USA Grand Prix

Hamilton becomes the first British driver to win three world titles since Jackie Stewart accomplished the feat back in 1973.

Speaking after his victory, the 30-year-old said: “This is the proudest moment of my career.

“Winning the first title was really special and getting my first title with Mercedes-Benz last year was amazing.”

“To win my third title, and equal the career world titles won by Ayrton Senna, is an amazing feeling and I am very proud.

“I feel like I have lots more to give to the sport and I will be very keen to go for a fourth title victory next season.

“The guys at the team are doing an amazing job and give me a great car for every race. This title was made possible by everyone working for the team.”

After winning the Manufacturers’ title at the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi, the Mercedes-Benz team have now added the Drivers’ title to their growing trophy cabinet courtesy of Hamilton.

The team’s boss, Toto Wolff, said: “Congratulations to Lewis on winning the world championship. He has done an amazing job for the team all season, and it is great to see our Silver Arrows on top of the world again.”

The American Grand Prix almost didn’t take place after torrential rain nearly washed out the entire event.

With practice and qualifying delayed, Hamilton was made to wait to race for his title but after profiting from a mistake by his team-mate Nico Rosberg near the end of the race, the Briton did what was required to take that title.

Despite finishing second, Rosberg was visibly frustrated after the race having missed out on the world title to his team-mate for the second successive year.

He said: “The first lap made this race for Lewis and he was able to take the lead.

“I hoped I could win but I still have races left this season to show that I can win for the team and challenge Lewis. I am already looking ahead to the 2016 season.”

Sebastian Vettel finished third for Ferrari.

But arguably the most impressive performance of the weekend came from teeanager Max Verstappen for the Bicester-based Toro Rosso team with the youngster claiming fourth.

“I am really pleased with my drive,” the Dutchman said post race. “The track was not easy but I just made sure I made no mistakes and chased hard for as many points as possible.”

His Spanish team-mate, Carlos Sainz, finished seventh.

Sergio Perez was the only Sahara Force India to reach the chequered flag. The Mexican racer took fifth, while Nico Hulkenberg was a retirement following a mid-race clash with the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo.

Perez said: “This was another good race for me and I am now really looking forward to racing in my home country next weekend. It is great that F1 is heading back to Mexico.”

Standings after round 16: 1) Hamilton, 327pts; 2) Vettel, 251; 3) Rosberg, 247; 4) Raikkonen, 123; 5) Bottas, 111. Next round: November 1 - Mexico.