Lewis Hamilton won his 10th race of the season on Sunday at the US Grand Prix to secure his third World Drivers’ Championship.
In a race weekend dogged by heavy rain in Austin, Texas, qualification was cancelled on Saturday and moved to Sunday morning where Lewis’s team mate and championship rival Nico Rosberg took pole, with Lewis lining up second, in a shortened session.
The race saw several safety cars, the lead changed repeatedly and there were moments when it looked like deciding the drivers’ championship would wait until another weekend.
Lewis finished first, but he and the Brackley-based team had to wait a few moments to see where the other title contenders finished. But it all came good for the British driver and he secured the championship with three races to go.
The celebrations broke out at the circuit, back at base in Brackley and at Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains in Brixworth.
Lewis becomes only the second Brit to win three World Drivers’ Championship, equalling Jackie Stewart, and is the first to successfully defend a title.
Lewis said: “It’s an overwhelming moment. Remembering my first British Championship, when my dad and me drove home singing ‘We Are the Champions’. Thinking about how much my family sacrificed – my Mum, my Dad, my whole family. And also thinking about my fans. They give me so much energy and I hope I inspire them to never give up on their hopes and dreams.
“It’s just incredible to equal Ayrton, too. My target was always three titles as he was the one who inspired me. There is no one I want to equal now – I just want to carry on as far and long as I can.
“For any driver, you want to win in anything you compete in – but this is the ultimate goal. Championships mean greatness – yours and your team’s! This eam has been so amazing. I feel incredibly thankful. I thought I would win with this team, so that’s why I moved… and I did!”
Mercedes AMG have already won the Constructors’ Championship, and now take the double this year as they did last year.