Austin: Two sporting legends met on the podium as 8-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt interviewed three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, who did a `Bolt’ on the top-step, after receiving the trophy from former American president Bill Clinton.
Earlier, Hamilton let out his now familiar, `wohoo’ as he took the chequered flag and helped the Mercedes AMG Petronas team win their fourth World constructors’ title.
Hamilton extended his lead at the top to 66 points over Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari and will clinch his fourth world title next Sunday in Mexico if he can finish at least fifth or above, irrespective of where Vettel would finish.
Just before doing the famous `lightening bolt’ jig
together, Lewis was in playful mood, pouring champagne behind Bolt’s back while the latter was talking to third-placed Kimi Raikkonen, who found a last-minute podium after Max Verstappen was handed over a five-second penalty for taking undue advantage after going wide before overtaking Kimi in a splendid last-lap manouvre. Before the race started, Hamilton took Bolt for spin across the track in the green Mercedes (in photo). After the hot lap, Hamilton also entertained the crowd with some donuts and the spectators loved it.
“A really humbling experience… it is the greatest feeling in the world,” was how Hamilton reacted after praising the Circuit of the Americas as his favourite. It is his fourth victory in a row at Austin and the ninth in the season as he moves closer towards his fourth F1 Drivers World Championship. “I had a lot of fun trying to get closer (to Vettel) and overtaking. Today the wind changed 180 degrees and it made the track so special to drive; the car felt amazing going through the Esses. We have three more races left this season – and that’s three I want to win,” quipped Hamilton after the race.
Meanwhile, all the three drivers on the podium wore pink caps in solidarity with breast cancer victims, supporting the Susan Komen charity.
After Mexico next Sunday, the F1 bandwagon moves to Brazil and to the last GP in Abu Dhabi.
eom/disclaimer: The commentary is based on telecast and team releases and the writer did not travel to Austin.