Mercedes clinches fourth straight F1 constructors’ title at USGP

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Mercedes clinched its fourth straight Formula 1 constructors’ championship in Sunday’s United States Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton took his ninth victory of the season at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas.

Hamilton produced a controlled display at the front to lead Mercedes to victory, while teammate Valtteri Bottas struggled to manage his tires late on, dropping to fifth place at the checkered flag.

The result was nevertheless enough to secure Mercedes the title as it outscored the rival Ferrari team by two points on Sunday.

Mercedes has spent much of the season neck-and-neck with Ferrari for pace, but the gap in the constructors’ championship has gradually swelled through the year, with the gap standing at 145 points heading to Austin.

Ferrari had to outscore Mercedes by 17 points in the USGP just to keep the title race alive to Mexico, but fell short in Austin as the Silver Arrows wrapped up a fourth successive teams’ title with three races to spare.

Mercedes returned to F1 with a works team in 2010, and clinched its first pair of titles four years later upon the introduction of the new V6 turbo power units.

An overhaul of the technical regulations for 2017 saw Ferrari draw much closer to Mercedes at the front of the pack, but the German marque has dug deep to lead the constructors’ standings since Canada, taking 11 wins and 13 poles so far this season.

The result sees Mercedes become just the fourth team in history to win four straight constructors’ titles, following in the footsteps of Red Bull (2010 to 2013), Ferrari (1999 to 2004) and McLaren (1988 to 1991).

It is also the sixth constructors’ title to have been won by Mercedes power, with the works team’s quartet of crowns being joined by Brawn and McLaren’s titles in 2009 and 1998 respectively.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”