Hamilton moves closer to F1 title with U.S. GP win

Austin, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Lewis Hamilton from Mercedes won his fifth consecutive grand prix and widened his points lead over teammate Nico Rosberg in the Formula One world championship standings by winning Sunday's United States Grand Prix.

Starting second, Hamilton passed Rosberg, the pole sitter, for the lead on lap 24 of this 56-lap race at Circuit of the Americas. He took command from there, beating Rosberg at the finish by 4.3 seconds. Hamilton, the 2008 world champion, scored his 10th victory this season and the 32nd of his career, which placed him in a tie with Fernando Alonso for fifth on F1's all-time race winners list.

"I've been so fortunate to have an incredible team and an incredible car," Hamilton said. "I had a great competitor (Rosberg) today. I'm really grateful to be up front."

Prior to the U.S. GP, Hamilton won at Italy, Singapore, Japan and Russia. He now holds a 24-point advantage over Rosberg (316-292). Just two races remain with 75 points available. The race winner in next weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix will receive 25 points, while the winner of the Nov. 23 season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will collect 50.

Hamilton now has more F1 grand prix wins than any other British driver. Three weeks ago, Hamilton's victory in the inaugural Russian GP in Sochi had moved him into a tie his fellow British compatriot Nigel Mansell.

"It's such a privilege to be representing my country, and to be at the top of the drivers' wins is quite special," Hamilton added.

It's the third time Hamilton has won the U.S. GP. His first victory in this event occurred in 2007 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway's road course. He also won the inaugural race at COTA two years ago when he drove for McLaren.

Rosberg has finished second to Hamilton in three straight grand prix.

"Once Lewis got by me (for the lead), I found my rhythm, but it was too late, so that kind of sucked," Rosberg said.

Daniel Ricciardo from Red Bull finished third, while the Williams duo of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas placed fourth and fifth, respectively. Alonso from Ferrari was sixth.

Sebastian Vettel, the four-time world champion and winner of last year's U.S. GP here, finished seventh after he had to start this race from pit lane due to a penalty he received for using his sixth power unit (engine) this season.

This event featured just an 18-car field since Caterham and Marussia both missed it due to their current financial issues.