Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton hails sixth World Championship win as best year of his career

Hamilton started from fifth on the grid in Austin, but that didn’t stop him. His fine start and one-stop strategy came within just four laps of securing the championship in style by winning his 11th race of the year.

The British driver is now within one triumph of Michael Schumacher‘s all-time record. Hamilton has at least one more year to run on his £40million-a-year Mercedes deal, and has already committed to remaining in the sport beyond next season.

“I definitely feel like this has been my best season,” said Hamilton. “But it takes a long time to master a craft and while I feel like I am mastering it, there is still more to master, there is more to add and more pieces of the puzzle to complete.

“There are going to be ups and downs along the way but I feel like I have the best tools to deal with those. I am working on a masterpiece and I haven’t quite finished it yet.”

Bottas, who started from pole won for the fourth time this season, hitting the front for the final time with three laps to go to complete a fine victory, the seventh of his career.

“It’s a good win,” said the Finn. “Personally, I failed on my target this year, but Lewis deserves it. He’s had a good season.”

Mercedes gambled on a one-stop pit strategy for Hamilton, but with fading tires he was unable to hold off the charging Bottas and was hanging on for second spot from Verstappen at the finish.

Hamilton has two more races this season in Brazil and Abu Dhabi to add to his career tally of 83 wins and to close on the all-time record of 91, held by ex-Ferrari ace Schumacher.

But with the remarkable consistency of his team, which has seen him finish in the points for 31 successive races and to take his tally of podium finishes to 150, few would back against Hamilton from surpassing all the records in a career that started in 2007 with McLaren, taking his first world title with them a year later.