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Formula 1: Hamilton clinches drivers' title with US win

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. A wet and wild win at the United States Grand Prix meant that Lewis successfully defended his Formula 1 drivers' championship. The Briton benefited from a teammate's mistake.

With rain sleeting down from Hurricane Patricia, qualifying for the US Grand Prix was delayed until Sunday morning local time. Stewards in Austin, Texas decided to forgo a third qualifying session, which meant that Nico Rosberg started in pole position ahead of his Mercedes teammate, Lewis Hamilton.

But the German failed to hold that advantage for long. Hamilton made a beeline for the first turn and squeezed past Rosberg, who dropped back to fourth. The two teammates and best enemies appeared to touch wheels, but as has been the case so often this season, Hamilton came out on top.

But it wasn't long until Hamilton lost his line and was passed by Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo. With the race underway in earnest, the track was drying out, and when Rosberg overtook Hamilton, the defending champ and overall standings' leader pitted for a change to soft tires. By lap 22, Hamilton was all the way down in fourth.

But the Englishman launched a counter-attack, re-passing Ricciardo to move up to second. Rosberg was unlucky that his considerable advantage was wiped out by a safety-car phase. In a season that has been dismissed as boring, Formula 1 fans finally got to experience an open, unpredictable race.

At the midway point, many drivers - including former champ Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari - opted for medium tires, while Mercedes and Red Bull stayed with softs. With 20 laps to go, the race had developed into a three-way contest between Rosberg, Hamilton and Vettel in that order.

After a crash on lap 37 and a virtual safety car, Rosberg pitted while Hamilton and Vettel elected to stay out. Hamilton regained the lead but faced deteriorating tires. Six laps later, Daniil Kvyat skidded and crashed. That meant another safety car and a chance for Hamilton and Vettel to pit.

Rosberg resumed the lead ahead of Hamilton. When the safety car phase was lifted with nine laps to go, it sent the stage for a tight finish. A finish that was decided on lap 48, when Rosberg miscalculated and skidded off the track, allowing Hamilton to pass in what would be the final change of the lead. It wasn't the first time this season that the Englishman profited from a blunder by his teammate.

Hamilton took the checkered flag ahead of Rosberg. Vettel came in third.

The win was Hamilton's 10th in 16 races in 2015 and gave him an insurmountable lead over Vettel and Rosberg with three events left in the season. It's the Englishman's third Formula 1 drivers' title after 2008 and 2014.

The Formula 1 season continues with at the Mexican Grand Prix on November 1.

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