The fact it was also his first win for three months, since the German Grand Prix at the end of July, lent an extra zest to the podium champagne. The result cut Rosberg’s lead in the drivers’ world championship from 33 to 26 points with three races now remaining. It was Hamilton’s fourth victory in the five races that have been held here and his fifth in the US following his success in Indianapolis in 2007. Overall only Michael Schumacher (91) and Alain Prost (51) have won more races.
It was here, of course, that Hamilton clinched his third world title a year ago, a race followed by cap-throwing scenes between the two Mercedes drivers. Since then, though, Rosberg had won 12 of the following 20 races, before this one, and he remains favourite to win his first world championship.
He only has to finish at least second in Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi to take the title. That is why he did not look too disconsolate in defeat here. But he knows he is up against a team-mate who appears restored to his finest form following his bad eight days in Malaysia and Japan in which he suffered an engine failure, made a dreadful start and also fell out with the media after some strange behaviour in a couple of press conferences.
1 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1hr 38mins 12.618secs
2 Nico Rosberg (Ger) Mercedes GP 1:38:17.138
3 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Red Bull 1:38:32.310
4 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 1:38:55.752
5 Fernando Alonso (Spa) McLaren 1:39:46.571
6 Carlos Sainz (Spa) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:39:48.742
7 Felipe Massa (Bra) Williams at 1 Lap
8 Sergio Perez (Mex) Force India at 1 Lap
9 Jenson Button (Gbr) McLaren at 1 Lap
10 Romain Grosjean (Fra) Haas F1 at 1 Lap