Hamilton wins but Rosberg remains on course for title

It was Hamilton though, who got into his groove and pulled out ahead. He could make the opposite move to Ricciardo and plump for the medium compound.

"Yeehaw!" Hamilton roared over his vehicle radio as he rounded the final turn for the checkered flag on his 50th career victory. "I'll be going for it".

The defending champion kept alive his bid for a fourth world title on Sunday when he claimed his first victory in six races. Rosberg still holds a relatively comfortable lead heading to next week's race in Mexico City where he won previous year.

In finishing second, Rosberg lost seven points to Hamilton rather than 10 if he was third, with his championship lead now 26 points with three races remaining. "I want to say a big thank you to all the crowd", said Hamilton.

The Mexican GP is the next race of the season, which will take shape on October 30.

"I really wanted to win the US Grand Prix and it didn't work out, so I'm obviously not excited". He made a late charge over the final 10 laps to shave almost five seconds off Hamilton's lead, but never threatened to overtake him for the win. He finally got the jump he needed with a burst off the line he'd been missing. It's been great work by the guys and it worked flawless today.

Hamilton has endured arguably his most unreliable season in terms of vehicle performance since joining Mercedes in 2013 and the issues have set the Brit behind in his pursuit of a fourth world title.

Hamilton controlled the race well from the front after a solid start, leaving the battle behind him as Rosberg fought with both Red Bulls. Ricciardo was third while Sebastian Vettel came fourth.

"All I can do is my best and continue to drive as I have this weekend", he said in his podium interview. "It came at the right moment for me, for sure".

"But I was going for it flat out until the end [to try and catch Hamilton]". When asked whether Hamilton or Rosberg had the more hard task in the remaining races of the season, he replied: "I think both - one needs to make sure he doesn't DNF [Did Not Finish] and the other needs to score and win".

Rosberg can take the title with a victory in Mexico if the Briton fails to score by increasing his lead to 51 points with two races to go - a scenario that was impossible if he finished third. But Hamilton had the advantage over the chasing Red Bull, managing to control the pace of the race. Remaining behind Ricciardo after the first stops, the only difference was to tyre compounds: Ricciardo having switched to Softs, Rosberg to Mediums.

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