October 22, 2018 / 3:36 AM / 2 months ago

Team by team analysis of U.S. Grand Prix

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Team by team analysis of Sunday’s U.S. Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas (listed in current championship order):

Oct 21, 2018; Austin, TX, USA; A view of the Formula One drivers during the nation anthem before the start of the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

MERCEDES (Lewis Hamilton 3, Valtteri Bottas 5)

Hamilton started on pole position but lost the lead to Raikkonen at the start and then fell further behind after pitting twice to his rivals’ sole pitstop. He still set the fastest lap and increased his lead over Vettel to 70 points and should secure his fifth title in Mexico next weekend. Bottas struggled with worn tyres at the end and dropped to fourth overall in the standings, behind the Ferrari drivers. Mercedes lead Ferrari by 66 in the constructors’ standings.

FERRARI (Kimi Raikkonen 1, Sebastian Vettel 4)

Raikkonen’s first win since he was at Lotus in 2013, 113 races ago. The 39-year-old also became the oldest winner since Nigel Mansell in 1994. The Finn started on the front row, helped by Vettel’s three-place grid drop for a red flag infringement on Friday. Vettel spun on the opening lap after a collision with Ricciardo but fought back from 15th. He remains mathematically in the title hunt but Hamilton need only finish seventh in Mexico now, even if Vettel wins the race.

RED BULL (Max Verstappen 2, Daniel Ricciardo retired)

Verstappen produced the drive of the day from 18th on the starting grid, after a five-place gearbox penalty, and also held off an attacking Hamilton two laps from the end. Ricciardo got the better of Vettel in their opening skirmish but retired after eight laps with an engine failure.

RENAULT (Nico Hulkenberg 6, Carlos Sainz 7)

Sainz was handed a five-second time penalty for exceeding track limits and gaining an advantage. Otherwise it was Renault’s best combined result of the season and they moved 22 points clear of Haas.

HAAS (Kevin Magnussen disqualified, Romain Grosjean retired)

Magnussen took the chequered flag in ninth place but was disqualified for using too much fuel. Grosjean collided with Leclerc and retired, an incident that brought the Frenchman a three-place grid drop for Mexico and a penalty point.

MCLAREN (Stoffel Vandoorne 11, Fernando Alonso retired)

Alonso went out after a first-lap collision with Stroll, for which he blamed the Canadian. Vandoorne started 16th and was also hit on the opening lap, without serious damage. He finished 13th on the track, moving up after the disqualifications.

FORCE INDIA (Sergio Perez 8, Esteban Ocon disqualified)

Perez finished 10th but moved up after Ocon and Magnussen were excluded. Ocon had been eighth at the chequered flag. Force India still moved closer to McLaren, who are now 11 points ahead.

TORO ROSSO (Brendon Hartley 9, Pierre Gasly 12)

Hartley inherited his best result in Formula One thanks to the disqualifications. He and Gasly had both started on the back row after power unit changes. Gasly collected some debris on the opening lap that damaged his car’s floor.

SAUBER (Marcus Ericsson 10, Charles Leclerc retired)

Slideshow (3 Images)

Leclerc started ninth but the impact with Grosjean damaged his car and forced an immediate pitstop for a new front wing, eventually leading to his retirement. Ericsson was 12th on the road, moving up into the points after the finish.

WILLIAMS (Sergey Sirotkin 13, Lance Stroll 14)

Stroll was handed a drive-through penalty for the collision with Alonso. The Canadian had to pit for a new front wing at the end of the first lap. Sirotkin made contact with Vandoorne at the start.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Peter Rutherford

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