• Hamilton stretches lead to 24 points
• Briton only third to win 10 in a row
• Title chase on to the end
AUSTIN, Texas - Lewis Hamilton took a big step towards a second Formula 1 championship on Sunday with his 10th win of the season in a US Grand Prix that saw Mercedes equal the record for 1-2 finishes.
The Briton stretched his lead over team mate Nico Rosberg to 24 points with two races and a maximum of 75 points remaining, a gap that guarantees the title chase will go down to the final round in Abu Dhabi no matter what happens in Brazil.
Hamilton said after his fifth win in a row: "It's been an incredible run. This whole season has been incredible really.”
‘I FELT VERY CONFIDENT’
Rosberg led from pole but Hamilton saw his chance and grabbed it when the German went wide into Turn 12 on the 24th of 56 laps. Hamilton went through on the inside, forcing his team mate on to the runoff on the exit in an emphatic move that left no room for reply and summed up the confidence and momentum he carried into the race.
"I was quite a bit back but I felt very confident,” Hamilton said. “There was a big headwind into Turn 12 and I just felt like I was waiting for the moment really, to be just close enough to throw it up the inside – and that's what I did."
A dejected Rosberg told former champion Mario Andretti in a podium interview, with a sea of fans spilling over the track below in the Texas sunshine, that losing again to his team mate "kind of sucks". "It took too long for me to find my rhythm. Once Lewis got by I found my rhythm but it was too late.”
The two finished 4.3sec apart to equal McLaren's 1988 record, set by Alain Prost and the late Ayrton Senna, of 10 1-2 finishes in a season -- even if there were fewer races back in those days.
'SUCH A PRIVILEGE'
Hamilton is only the third driver and first non-German after Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel to have won 10 races in a season. He is the third Briton, after Jim Clark and Nigel Mansell, to have won five in a row and is now also his country's most successful in terms of wins with 32.
He added: "It is such a privilege to represent my country and to be top of the Drivers' standings. The car was great today.”
Hamilton's second victory in Austin came six years to the day since he won his first F1 title in Brazil in 2008 but he will have to wait until November 23 now to know if he will be champion again, thanks to the novelty of double points for the final race in Abu Dhabi.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo was third for Red Bull in a result that mathematically ruled him out of a title battle that is now a straight duel between the Mercedes drivers and guarantees their team both titles.
Hamilton has 316 points to Rosberg's 292.
PIT-STOP END FOR MASSA
Behind the top three, Williams pulled further away from Ferrari in the Constructors' championship already won by Mercedes with fourth and fifth places for Brazilian Felipe Massa and Finland's Valtteri Bottas respectively.
Without a slow pit-stop that allowed Ricciardo to get ahead, Massa might have been on the podium.
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was sixth and Red Bull's Vettel, four-times F1 champion and the previous year's winner who started from the pits lane due to an engine penalty, took seventh after making up seven places in the last seven laps.
McLaren's Kevin Magnussen was eighth.
Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne finished ninth for Toro Rosso but was demoted to 10th after a five-second penalty was applied for forcing Lotus's Romain Grosjean off the track. That elevated Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado to ninth for Lotus, his first points of the season.
IRONIC OUTCOME FOR BOTH
Sauber's hopes of a first point from a nightmare season, after Adrian Sutil had qualified 10th, disappeared when the German was shunted out on the first lap by Force India's Sergio Perez, who also hit Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari.
The incident, with the wrecked Sauber left stranded and thousands of Mexican fans disappointed to see Perez retire, brought out the pace car for two laps as marshals cleared debris strewn across the track.
It was also an ironic outcome for both, given that much of the build-up had been overshadowed by talk of a possible boycott by Sauber and Force India as a protest against the unequal division of revenues and lack of support.
Only nine teams took part in the race, the fewest since 2005, due to Caterham and Marussia going under administration.
Result of the 2014 US Formula 1 GP (with Maldonado ninth and Vergne 10th after penalties)
1 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1hr40min04.785
2 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes +4.314
3 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull - Renault +25.560
4 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes +26.924
5 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams-Mercedes +30.992
6 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari +1min35.231
7 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull - Renault +1min35.734
8 Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) McLaren +1min40.68
9 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus - Renault +1min47.870
10 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso - Renault +1min43.863
11 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus - Renault +1 lap
12 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren +1 lap
13 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari +1 lap
14 Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber - Ferrari +1 lap
15 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Toro Rosso - Renault +1 lap
Retired: Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Force India - Mercedes - 40 laps
Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India - Mercedes - 55 laps
Adrian Sutil (Germany) Sauber - Ferrari - 56 laps
Fastest Lap: Sebastian Vettel, Lap 50, 1min41.379
Drivers’ and Constructors’ standings after the US Formula 1 GP on November 2 (with Lotus and Toro Rosso penalties applied):
1 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes - 316
2 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes - 292
3 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull - 214
4 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams - 155
5 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull - 149
6 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari - 149
7 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren - 94
8 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams - 83
9 Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Force India - 76
10 Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) McLaren - 53
11 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India - 47
12 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari - 47
13 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso - 22
14 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus - 8
15 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Toro Rosso - 8
16 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus - 2
17 Jules Bianchi (France) Marussia - 2
18 Adrian Sutil (Germany) Sauber - 0
19 Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Caterham - 0
20 Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber - 0
21 Max Chilton (Britain) Marussia - 0
22 Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Caterham - 0
1 Mercedes - 608
2 Red Bull - Renault - 363
3 Williams-Mercedes - 238
4 Ferrari - 196
5 McLaren - 147
6 Force India - Mercedes - 123
7 Toro Rosso - Renault - 30
8 Lotus - Renault - 10
9 Marussia - Ferrari - 2
10 Sauber - Ferrari - 0
11 Caterham - Renault - 0