I think the best way to sum up the COTA GP was tense. The trio of Bottas, Hamilton and Verstappen were duelling for the win, but it was Hamilton who was battling for a much bigger win; the world championship. However whilst the cameras remained mostly on the battle for the win, there were some awesome scraps that weren't picked up, not to mention Daniel Ricciardo finishing P6 for Renault, or Lando Norris ending his pointless streak, or Nico Hulkenberg gaining four positions in the space of the same amount of laps in the final stages of the race.
Here are the eight best performances from the US GP.
1: VALTTERI BOTTAS (10/10)
It couldn’t have been a better weekend, right? First off, Valtteri Bottas ended Ferrari’s pole position streak that started at Spa spanning seven races, and then despite receiving pressure from his team-mate Lewis Hamilton throughout the race, the Finn was able to deliver a masterclass in racing, overtaking his team-mate with just four laps to go with that trademark Finnish coolness. It was the Finn’s fourth win of the season, and seventh of his career, securing second place in the drivers championship, and whilst he admitted that he didn’t enjoy the fact that he was second-best, he will be giving Hamilton a worry for his title defence in 2020 if Bottas continues performing like this.
2: ALEXANDER ALBON (9.5/10)
Starting P6, Albon hoped to spice things up at the front with an alternative strategy, but he collided with Carlos Sainz on the first lap, dropping him to the back of the field, but the Red Bull driver mastered a three-stop strategy that led him to taking P5 and continuing his now seven-race streak of finishing in the top six. Impressive to say the very least, with the rookie not finishing outside of the top five since Singapore now.
3: DANIEL RICCIARDO (9/10)
After having a solid enough qualifying with a P9 start, the fast starting Honey-badger was able to quickly get ahead of the McLaren pairing, running in P5 for a majority of the race, but always was able to keep the McLaren’s at bay throughout the race, taking P6, his second best result of the year behind his P4 at Monza. Thanks to his strong result, the Australian is now ninth in the drivers championship and has taken the pressure of Renault in the battle for fifth place in the constructors.
4: LEWIS HAMILTON (9/10)
Starting P5, if you told Lewis Hamilton he’d finish P2 behind his team-mate he would have probably been remotely pleased, but as we saw in the race, he really wanted to win his championship on a high, but in the end his one stop strategy couldn’t quite enable him to keep his team-mate at bay, but nevertheless a P2 is a strong result, especially with the fast-approaching Verstappen at the end of the race.
5: MAX VERSTAPPEN (8.5/10)
You couldn’t have really asked much more from Verstappen, could you? The Dutchman started P3 and finished there, but was the only driver to be able to keep with the Mercedes, in the end losing time in traffic, costing him a gambit at Hamilton, only furthered by the fact that due to Magnussen crashing, the yellow flags meant he had to lift. He knows one or two things about the consequences if he doesn’t! Still though, his first podium since Singapore will give him confidence heading into the penultimate race of the year in Brazil.
6: LANDO NORRIS (8/10)
Norris has had some rotten luck in his first season in F1, including a hydraulics problem at Spa on the final lap costing him what would have been a career-best P5 finish, but credit to the Brit, he started P8 and finished P7, ahead of his team-mate Sainz, who has been on somewhat of a roll recently. Nice stuff from the meme lord.
7: NICO HULKENBERG (8/10)
Hulkenberg was involved in an intenese scrap with Raikkonen for the large proportion of the race, but gambled with a third pitstop at the end of the race, and in the final laps whilst the cameras were all pointed to the front, the German was able to overtake Kvyat, Raikkonen, Perez and Gasly. If we exclude the DSQ from Suzuka, the German has not finished outside the top ten since Hungary. Quite a way to exit the sport.
8: KIMI RAIKKONEN (7.5/10)
After having the worst streak of his career (no seriously), Raikkonen finally got some confidence back in the Alfa Romeo. The Finn started P17, but had a monster start, being placed P11 at the end of the first lap, and whilst the former World Champion finished there, he was able to keep up with the likes of the Renault’s, McLaren’s, Perez and the Toro Rosso’s. Let’s hope he can snag a few points before we head into 2020.
So what do you think? Was it the race winner Valtteri Bottas for performed the best at last weekend's Austin Grand Prix, or was it one of the midfield runners such as Daniel Ricciardo or Lando Norris? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.