Hamilton denied title party as Raikkonen wins in Austin

Lewis Hamilton loses out on fifth F1 world title in United States GP

Lewis Hamilton was forced to wait for a fifth world title when he finished third at the US Grand Prix on Sunday as Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen took a first victory in over five years.

Hamilton reckoned after the race that his initial pitstop on lap 11 came as "A little bit of a surprise" as Mercedes tried to take advantage of a virtual safety auto period.

He said: "I thought we would have been able to do better, but yeah we just have to keep working, keep pushing for the next race".

He quickly caught the Finn again but struggled to overtake the Ferrari, only taking the lead when Raikkonen eventually pitted - all the while, Max Verstappen moved up from 18th on the grid to third.

Vettel said he is at least happy for his teammate Kimi Raikkonen, who ended a long winning drought. With eight laps to go, the top three were covered by a little more than two seconds.

"He obviously tried to go around the outside, we touched wheels, and I lost the vehicle and spun". "They were quicker today and ultimately just did a better job". "We were on pole position, same straightforward approach going throughout the weekend but in strategy they were talking about different scenarios as we do every weekend but there's a different feeling, for sure, with the performance and decisions that were taken today as opposed to previous races but I don't think we needed to make any changes". "I am not sure about the reasoning for the early stop. It's been a great weekend and the auto has been pretty good all the time", said the 39-year-old Finn.

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But despite a last ditch effort in the closing laps to pass Verstappen, it was Vettel who made progress, passing Bottas on the penultimate lap to finish in fourth place, behind Raikkonen, Verstappen and Hamilton, to deny the Brit his title - for now.

"Once we had done the stop on [lap] 11, I knew we would be doing two".

Vettel must now win all three remaining races in the season - and even if he does, just seventh place or better in Mexico will be enough for Hamilton to secure his fifth title.

"I think it already started from Q2, that tyre was the wrong tyre to start on", explained Hamilton.

Despite failing to clinch the title this weekend, Hamilton has still extended his lead in the championship to 70 points.

"The way these cars are designed, although they're great on their own we should be able to follow closer than we are and be in a train and be dicing with each other but you don't see that in this series", he told Sky Sports F1.

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