Hamilton cuts Rosberg's F1 lead with 50th win
By Alan Baldwin
AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton celebrated his 50th Formula One victory on Sunday with a pole-to-flag U.S. Grand Prix drive that kept his title hopes alive and trimmed Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg's lead to 26 points with three races remaining.
Rosberg, who had been chasing his 10th triumph of the season, finished second on a sunny Texan afternoon with a big crowd but little drama -- even if Hamilton spent much of it worrying about reliability.
The straightforward victory was Hamilton's fourth in Texas in five seasons and ended a barren stretch for the triple world champion dating back to his last win in Germany in July.
"This has always been a good hunting ground for me," said the Briton, the third driver after Michael Schumacher and Alain Prost to win 50 races, in a podium interview conducted by British actor Gerard Butler.
"I love being here in the States, it very much feels like home," he added, with tennis player Venus Williams and skier Lindsey Vonn watching on.
"All I can do is do my best and continue to drive as I have this weekend," said Hamilton, who confessed he had completely forgotten that it would be his 50th win. "Nico has been driving fantastically well all year so the battle will continue."
Rosberg, finished 4.5 seconds behind and had dropped back to third at the start before events lent the German a helping hand.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo, who had seized second at the start, was third for Red Bull but his Dutch team mate Max Verstappen failed to finish due to a gearbox failure. Continued...