Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit of the Americas, 2015

Hamilton clinches third F1 drivers’ title

2015 United States Grand Prix

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F1 drivers' championship reigns
F1 drivers’ championship reigns – see full chart
Lewis Hamilton has won the 2015 Formula One drivers’ championship with his victory in the United States Grand Prix

Hamilton clinched the title with three races to spare after leading home team mate Nico Rosberg in a Mercedes one-two at the Circuit of the Americas.

The 30-year-old has become the tenth driver in the history of the sport to win at least three drivers’ titles, joining the likes of his hero Ayrton Senna.

Hamilton said his career goal “was always to get the three that Ayrton had”.

“Of course, he wasn’t from the same country as me but he was the guy that inspired me as a youngster. Now I’m like… I don’t know where it’s going next. There is no-one else I look to, that I want to equal or emulate now.”

“As I said one race ago or something like that, I feel like I’ve got the baton now for myself and Ayrton and I’m going to carry it as far as I can, as strong as I can and keep building and see where I take it.”

Hamilton is also the first British driver to successfully retain the title. He first won the championship in 2008 with McLaren and regained it last year after joining Mercedes.

List of Formula One drivers’ champions

Rank Driver Championships
1 Michael Schumacher 7
2 Juan Manuel Fangio 5
=3 Alain Prost 4
=3 Sebastian Vettel 4
=5 Jack Brabham 3
=5 Jackie Stewart 3
=5 Niki Lauda 3
=5 Nelson Piquet 3
=5 Ayrton Senna 3
=5 Lewis Hamilton 3
=11 Alberto Ascari 2
=11 Jim Clark 2
=11 Graham Hill 2
=11 Emerson Fittipaldi 2
=11 Mika Hakkinen 2
=11 Fernando Alonso 2
=17 Giuseppe Farina 1
=17 Mike Hawthorn 1
=17 Phil Hill 1
=17 John Surtees 1
=17 Denny Hulme 1
=17 Jochen Rindt 1
=17 James Hunt 1
=17 Mario Andretti 1
=17 Jody Scheckter 1
=17 Alan Jones 1
=17 Keke Rosberg 1
=17 Nigel Mansell 1
=17 Damon Hill 1
=17 Jacques Villeneuve 1
=17 Kimi Raikkonen 1
=17 Jenson Button 1

2015 United States Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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124 comments on “Hamilton clinches third F1 drivers’ title”

  1. Congratulations, a superb race, and Hamilton’s been fantastic all year.

    1. He was dire in Hungary.

      1. Dire is exaggerating. It was his weakest round in a fantastic season. Well done Hamilton. :-D

      2. Michael Brown
        25th October 2015, 22:16

        If that was dire, I wonder what makes Rosberg?

  2. Congratulations to the engineers at Mercedes for building such a good car and engine.

    1. A car and engines that in Nico’s hands would be struggling to compete against Vettel.

      Hamilton, like it or not, has done a fastastic job all year. Remember last year Rosberg was neck and neck with Lewis, yet this year he was simply destroyed everywhere.

      This W06 is superb, one of the greatest cars ever raced, but it’s the man behind the wheel that makes that little bit of difference.

      1. You are deteriorating Nico´s performance by a mile..

        1. Yup. If you remove Hamilton of the equation, Rosberg would have won a lot of races this year and would have a pretty decent margin over Vettel.

          The same cannot be said about Webber.

          1. thats a complete inflamatory comment..

            Webber has nothing to do with it lol..

          2. That’s because Webber used to start 2nd and by the first corner he was 7th or so.
            Much more than half of his races were to recover the ground he lost at the start.

            Can’t say he’s reference. He could be runner up at least 3 times out of 4 on the years Vettel won.
            He hit the wall and destroyed his race on Abu Dhabi 2010, he was rubbish for pretty much the entire 2011 and on his last year his car caught fire at least 3 times.

            Not to mention his kers which was NEVER working.

          3. @paeschli – absolutely right about Webber, he definitely couldn’t have won any F1 races this year. Mostly as he isn’t currently driving an F1 car of course…

      2. Pascal will put Nico under pressure if fares well in Manor next year.

  3. Go on Lewis!! Go on!! Lewis….Legend!! Congrats. Well deserved, well earned. Historic. Magnificent!!!

  4. Congratulations Lewis.

    But seriously if Mercedes are going to boss next season, can Nico please vacate his seat for a more reliable foe for Lewis. This domination by one driver has been going on since 2010 and is really starting wear me out. Nico should join Manor/Mercedes, he really should.

    Again congratulations, Champ. Let’s hope 2016 isn’t so easy.

    1. geoffgroom44 (@)
      25th October 2015, 22:03

      It is the mark of champions to make some appear easy. Lewis is not the first to dominate for a period – and he won’t be the last. Congrats Lewis and Mercedes….with 3 races to spare.

    2. Not sure anyone apart from Alonso would get close to him. I think Rosberg deserves to be his teammate. they make a good team

      1. @johns23 – if you want a real show, pair Hamilton with Vettel. That would get nasty really fast.

        1. Yeah he was grumpy already when Ricciardo was running circles around him. Would be even funnier to see what Hamilton would do to him.

          1. Everybody has a off year from Messi to Woods. Vettel for me has been the driver off the season. He’s currently beating one of the most dominant cars in F1 history.

          2. Remember Button beat Lewis in that horrible season for McLaren? Does that make Button a better driver than Lewis? In my eyes, nope.

          3. @patrickl Wow, what are you three?

  5. And now journalists will finally shut up about the drivers championship, I’m happy :)

  6. Vettel is probably the Driver of the Season but Hamilton was the faster of the two Mercs and that’s enough for winning the title.

    1. Exactly. though I will give DotW to Verstappen this race, Vettel a close second.

      Glad Sainz got a decent result this race after hitting the cone in Japan, crashing in Russia, crashing during quali this morning and speeding in the pit-lane this race… Has the bad streak ended?

    2. And Vettel was the faster of the two drivers at RBR for 4 years because that was enough for winning the championship. The best drivers 2 or even 3 of those years were Alonso and Lewis.

      Hmmmm….funny how it works when you make statements like that.

      1. @daved
        You can debate “2”, but you can’t debate “or even 3”. 2011/13 were Vettel, hands down.

        1. 2010 Vettel had the reliability problem or he’d have clsed the shop easily..
          2011 Lol he blew everyone away.
          2012 Hard to tell, Alonso beasted some, but I always thought it weird that in these discussion no one remembers that Massa actually kind of outdrove him towards the end of the season – when it really mattered.
          2013 – Vettel was leading the Championship even before tyregate and then going on to win 9 in a row -beastmode.

          It’s fair to say in 10 and 12 another driver was as good as him and regarding the fact that that driver was driving an inferior car (across the season as a whole) one might even argue that driver was therefore “better”.
          However if you argue this way you’d also have to concede that Vettel was the driver of the 2015 season, especially as he made less mistakes than Lewis.

  7. Are you referring to the grinning of Wolff and Lauda after Rosberg’s error?

    It looked eh … unprofessional? But maybe there’s an explanation: at Abu Dhabi last year we saw Lotus mechanics laughing after Maldonado had retired, but we learned afterwards one of the mechanics made a joke about the Renault engine (“they should let it burn”).

    1. Perhaps they had a bet on whether Rosberg would choke again when being chased for a few laps. Wonder who won that bet.

    2. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      26th October 2015, 12:47

      It was because they were sponsored by ‘Burn’ energy drinks as I recall

  8. Congratulations to Lewis! He has been the man of the season, hasn’t he? There have been other impressive performances this season like Sebastian Vettel and the two Toro Rosso drivers but Lewis has been the class of the season!

    On his way to the legendary status in the future alongside Vettel and Alonso!

    Enjoy the moment!

    1. Vettel has been better. Performances like Silverstone and Hungary would have been a catastrophe if he wasn’t on such a car.

      1. Vettel has his moments also this season. Bahrain is an example. Your reasoning does not prove anything.

        1. Nothing proves anything. Opinion-based stuff. Bahrain is one race. Silverstone and Hungary are two. Besides both were worse than Vettel’s Bahrain.

          1. And Senna won a world title by blatantly cheating. Yet he’s still considered a legend.

          2. Why are you talking about Silverstone? Are you saying that a race he won with 10s ahead was a bad one? Really? REALLY?

          3. Bahrain is an example only. Vettel was good and consistent this year but still has less than perfect weekends. I also find it hard to understand how winning by more than 10 seconds in addition to having pole position is considered a bad weekend. Vettel only got lucky at pitstops that race or else this gp would have been one to forget.

          4. @hzh00

            Vettel only got lucky at pitstops that race or else this gp would have been one to forget.

            Vettel made the same call to pit as the racewinner.

          5. @david-a
            He made the same call as the winner; however, the winner was not out of form all of the weekend, or else he wouldn’t have won. He was more than a second off the pole time and finished the race almost half a minute behind the leader and did not show any sign of fighting for positions all race long. I do not consider this as a very good weekend; it was only the Williams’ mistakes which handed the podium to Vettel. Also, losing p1 at the start due to the amazing start of the Williams does not mean Hamilton had a bad weekend.

          6. @hzh00
            I wasn’t so much debating that Hamilton had a bad weekend in Britain, more that Vettel making time in the stops was “lucky”. Hamilton was a deserving DOTW for that race. Silverstone wasn’t a great weekend for Vettel but he did fight for positions when mid-pack, including passing his teammate on track. Plus Williams’ mistakes (both strategical and driver) were beneficial for the 2 Mercedes as well.

      2. @magoo you do understand that HAM just won his 3rd world title by winning 10/16 races, topping nearly all Qualy sessions and 1 grand chillum. VET has been better this season compared with the 2014 season – but HAM is having a much better season this year than he had in 2014 too.

        1. Vettel made a mistake in Bahrain and it cost him a podium (no idea which spot). He kept his head down rscued as many points as he could and moved on.
          But what Lewis produced at Hungary was nothing short of laughable. Loosing the start can happen, no problem with that. The problems really started when he thought he needed to get back to first on the first lap ( or at least clear Nico), turned on the red mist and put himself in the gravel. Going on the radio and blaming his teammate perfectly frames his mindset there IMO. Then he got caught napping at the restart and again, he tried to crazily outbrake Ric into T1 instead of conceeding the place and countering at a later point.
          Is that realy comparable?
          In silverstone VET seemed to be having real trouble all weekend and might well have ended up as 6th behind Kimi. But as long as it was dry MER and WIL were way better cars so he was one place behind the cars potential. This changed as soon as the rain started and VET drove a stonking second half of that race, nicking his teammate on track and going as fast as anyone on track. He cleared the WIL because he made up like 20 seconds on them ON THE TRACK and pitted at exactly the right moment(Drivers decision). He got the max out of that weekend albeit it not being perfect.
          Louis lost the start- again in itself no big deal, especially as Nico had the same slow getaway. However he tried a bonkes move on Bottas that would have ended his race if there wasn’t so much tarmac around. WIL bottled the strategy and MER took full advantage. Louis decided to pit at the right time when it got wet, like Vettel did. He stemed off into the distance and salvaged the best possible result.
          Well done to both of them I’d say there.

          But do any of you remember Austria? Nico and Louis SPUN on their respective final Q3 laps! They only started 1-2 because the MER was so superior that the banker laps sufficed.
          Imagine Vettel spinning of on the final Q3 run somewhere in 2012 for example. He’d have lost pole (or front row or whatever) and all hell would have broken loose.
          I think HAM is the deserved WC of course, he picked his team and really is unstoppable when he’s on it. I just find myself thinking that in spite of all his experience and success he loses the plot sometimes, when he doesn’t take a moment to think about the overall situation and just goes for it. He could be even better.

    2. @neelv27 I’d also say Vettel had a better season. Working his way into a new team and apart from Bahrein hasn’t made a single mistake all year. Finishing this race in third once more is a testimony to the talent he is. Lewis had a brilliant season too and is a well deserved champion nonetheless.

      1. vettel has made mistakes this season.the last one was in quali earlier,when he nearly never made it into q2.

        1. I wouldn’t call aquaplaning a “mistake”…

        2. HAM spun out on his final Q3 lap in Austria on a dry track. He SPUN OUT ON HIS FINAL Q3 LAP!
          But yeah, Vettel nearly didn’t make it to Q2 once in terrible conditions..

    3. Lewis has indeed been impeccable…nary a wheel put wrong all year long. Fantastic.

  9. Congratulations to Hamilton.

    Has surely now cemented his place as one of the all time greats of the sport.

    We can only wonder how many titles he could achieve before he stops racing.

  10. Nico has to be gutted….Lewis threw the hat at him and Nico rightly took offense. But much like the multi 21 incident between Sebastian and Webber, instances like that just show the ruthlessness of the world champion caliber drivers….the lot of them would gut their own mothers for a win, never you mind a championship.

    1. The media is already spinnin’ this so that Rosberg looks like the bad guy. Videos being shown of Rosberg throwing the hat at Lewis, but the moments before where Lewis threw the hat at him have been cut …

      1. Lewis was being playful, rosberg was being a sook. Paddy Lowe’s angry stare at rosberg after he threw the hat back said it all.

        1. Paddy Lowe’s angry stare at rosberg after he threw the hat back said it all

          Exactly. Before this incident, Nico went to Lewis to congratulate with a hug, but the hug was so cold that it was painful to watch. When Lewis threw the cap to Nico’s legs I thought the gesture was not necessarily offensive but completely out of place. If he wanted to make a joke, it was the wrong moment, and the wrong joke to throw a hat/cap like that. And no, Lewis didn’t pass the cap to Nico: he threw it to Nico.
          But Nico threw the cap back to Lewis’ face. It was an unnecessary gesture.
          I don´t see who can benefit of making a storm out of this, but honestly one can expect better from two professionals.

      2. @paeschli Hamilton was passing him the hat. You can made a deal out of it if you really want to, but there’s still the fact that he was passing him the cap.

        Rosberg had no reason to throw it back other than pure spite. It was very lame.

        1. Taking 2 steps to pass the cap and throwing it are entirely different things. More than %60 of communication is nonverbal. It was a subtle insult, “here is your SECOND PLACE cap. Very tasteless by Hamilton.

          This coming from a long time Hamilton fan.

          1. Lewis did nothing wrong. Nico was upset and reacted accordingly, nothing special there.

      3. I have looked at that incident, and it appears to me each of the people on the podium had a designated hat to wear, because Hamilton’s hat had “1st” on it. It looks like the hats the drivers have to wear on the podium are on the table by the door. I think Hamilton passed the hat with “2nd” on it to Rosberg, but I can see some would say he threw it, but it looks very much like a pass with his left hand. Rosberg then threw it back with his right hand, and Hamilton ignored it. Should he have walked over and given the hat to him? Should he have said something to Rosberg to try and pacify him? I don’t know either Rosberg or Hamilton well enough to say.
        I think Rosberg was expressing his frustration at some of the things had come his way from Hamilton, such as being forced off the track at the start of the race, which, if deliberate, was silly and pointless, and then he had to fight his way up to first from being something like 5th, but the fact is he was leading the race and Hamilton was 1.153 seconds behind him (according to the video) just before he ran off the track, and that wasn’t Hamilton’s fault, it was his own.
        At one time it looked like Hamilton might end up with about 5th place in the race because he was going to have to get new tyres before the end of the race, and that was about where he would end up in the field after the tyre change, but then there was one final safety car, and that gave Hamilton the opportunity to change his tyres without loosing a place.
        It wasn’t Hamilton’s fault that he was able to change his tyres under safety car without loosing a place, it wasn’t Hamilton’s fault that Rosberg ran off the track when he did. Hamilton is a World Champion Driver, and World Champion Drivers get to there because they seize whatever opportunities that are presented to them, and two unforeseen opportunities came his way, so he did what a World Champion Driver is supposed to do: he seized them, and that is why he is now the 2015 World Champion Driver. He seized the opportunities presented to him. If he hadn’t seized those opportunities, then that would have been because he hadn’t have seized other far more important opportunities that came his way in life, and he wouldn’t be an F1 driver.
        One other point is Hamilton got a 6th place in Hungary, and I think that was his own fault, and as far as I know he never got angry with anyone else about that, only himself. He said that it was his own fault and didn’t blame anyone else for it. If he had won at that race, and not Rosberg, then the World Champion Drivers’ title would have been over before this race. So yes, one could say it was Hamilton’s fault that the title race was decided in the USA, if he had played his cards correctly then it would have been over sooner.
        One of the realities of being a professional driver (which I am, but not a racing car driver) is often things don’t go the way you want them to, you have to deal with lots of people who have different pr