22 October, 2018
Lewis Hamilton came up short in his mission to win the Formula One world championship for a fifth time after he finished third at a thrilling US Grand Prix.
If Hamilton takes the chequered flag, and Vettel fails to finish runner-up, the Briton will wrap up the title with three rounds remaining.
"Hamilton - who has won the last four races - revelled in his performance as the four-time world champion stands on the verge of back-to-back F1 crowns with three Global Positioning System remaining".
Renault's Nico Hulkenberg finished sixth, ahead of Spanish team mate Carlos Sainz, with Force India's Esteban Ocon eighth. "I was really hanging on".
Lewis Hamilton finished third at the US GP.
"I was adamant that I was going to do a better second lap so I am very happy with that". "And being a great champion is more than just winning races", said the 47-year-old, who won his title with Williams. "It should have been a better day", said Vettel.
"It was tricky to get it all together, but given the last few weeks that we have had, I am pretty happy that we are back in range".
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"That's great to see us so close and still I'm hopeful for the future to have more teams, more qualifyings like that, that are closer, but with more cars involved".
When qualifying began, the two Ferrari men were swiftly setting the pace with Vettel on top early in Q1.
As it happened, even doing that would not have been enough to clinch the title for Hamilton, as Vettel passed the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas for fourth place on the penultimate lap.
The stewards' decision, made in wet conditions, had reduced Vettel's slim title chances according to Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene and means that he can not start on the front row of the grid for a race in which he knows another Mercedes one-two will give Hamilton his fifth drivers' title.
For the seventh time this season, Fernando Alonso was forced to retire.
They shadowboxed until Lap 54, when Hamilton attempted to launch a move for second place in the final sector.
Vettel, starting fifth after he was penalised for failing to slow under red flags in practice, was out of contention for the win after just 13 corners.
Sebastian Vettel's punishment of a three-place grid drop for the United States Grand Prix and licence penalty points is "quite harsh", Toro Rosso Formula 1 driver Pierre Gasly believes.