F1 comes to Austin

Joe Capraro

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton of the Mercedes Team have dominated Formula 1 racing this season, and Sunday’s US Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas was no exception.

Rosberg started on the pole, but Hamilton passed him on lap 24 and crossed the finish line 4.3 seconds ahead of his teammate, giving Hamilton his fifth straight victory and 10th of the year. Daniel Ricciardo of Infiniti Red Bull Racing took third, 25.5 seconds back, and the Williams-Mercedes team of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas finished fourth and fifth.

Hamilton’s 32nd career win also put him ahead of Nigel Mansell as the most successful British Formula 1 driver in history. 

“My family worked so very hard for many years to get me here and to be amongst the greats,” Hamilton said. “I could die and go to heaven right now, and I’d be good.”  

The Grand Prix was the third annual Formula 1 tilt at COTA and is the only U.S. stop on the circuit. Mercedes, Infiniti Red Bull, Ferrari and Williams-Mercedes have eaten up more than 80 percent of the total points this season. 

Three teams — Lotus Racing, Force India and Sauber Ferrari — were rumored to be considering a boycott of this race to call attention to the widening economic disparity between the larger sponsored teams and the smaller independent ones. Two other teams, Marussia and Caterham, went bankrupt earlier in the week, limiting the field to 18 cars.

In recent seasons, the most successful teams have been those with the largest budgets. Precise financial figures are a closely held industry secret, but each car costs more than $7 million to build and teams spend a minimum of $100 million per year to compete. 

The weekend also featured a post-race concert by Kid Rock and two smaller series races featuring Ferraris and Porsches.