Date:Tuesday October 27 2015
The 2015 USA Grand Prix was one of the highlights of the season so far.
The weather caused havoc across the weekend with limited running and a qualifying/race double header on the Sunday to make up for lost time.
The wet track also threw in a number of variables, with both Red Bull Racing cars seemingly very good during those conditions and at times were even faster than Mercedes.
But as the track dried and a number of virtual and full safety car periods forced the direction of the race to take dramatic turns.
In the end, the final safety car period turned the race in Lewis Hamilton's favour and as the Brit hunted down Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg on fresher tyres, the German made a mistake, gifting the race to Hamilton and in turn the early celebrations of a back-to-back championship.
The disappointment of losing another championship should have been easier to take than the first, Rosberg's hopes in 2014 were eventually curtailed in the final race of the season due to mechanical issues, but in 2015 Hamilton's dominance has meant the outcome was known for some time.
So why did Rosberg struggle to not show his disappointment in Austin?
Initially he stood up and congratulated Hamilton on his championship, but once Hamilton handed out the podium hats to both Rosberg and Vettel, Nico turned.
Whilst Hamilton handed Vettel his third place hat, Hamilton threw Rosberg's hat into his lap. Rosberg in turn tossed it back towards Hamilton, almost hitting him in the face as a clearly angered Paddy Lowe starred at Rosberg as he slumped in his chair.
'It was nothing, just our typical games,' Rosberg told Sky Sports, after it had been suggested that Hamilton chucking his second place cap at Rosberg was rubbing salt into a wound after Rosberg had chucked away the race win.
It was the second point of the day that Hamilton had literally rubbed Rosberg up the wrong way.
In the post-race press conference his frustration was pointed towards Hamilton and Rosberg attacked Hamilton for the first corner incident.
Hamilton got a better start than his team-mate and headed towards the first corner side-by-side, with Hamilton holding the inside line he was leading, breaking slightly earlier than Rosberg.
Rosberg could have backed out of the corner, knowing full well that Hamilton was likely to take the line and lean him towards the outside of the corner as any driver on the first corner normally would.
Unfortunately with a slippery track at the top of the hill, the two cars rubbed wheels.
Rosberg said the move was: 'extremely aggressive.' Adding: 'We hit each other, or I would say Lewis came into me, so obviously that's not good. I can't say more than that.'
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said: 'I think he [Rosberg] has reason to be upset for that particular incident. It was too hard and we need to pick it up and discuss it.'
Paddy Lowe added: 'It was certainly a tough manoeuvre to put on a team-mate and even Lewis recognised that during the race.'
Hamilton told the media after the race that it wasn't intentional: 'I didn't try and push him hard, it wasn't intentional, I've watched a replay, we were both on wets and the outside is always the grippier side, so Nico had the grippier line, but I was ahead so it was my line.
'We went in, I started to turn, but I understeered into him. He steered round and we touched.
'I don't feel like I was aggressive. At the end of the day I was on the inside so it was my line.
'Of course, there are always those comments [from Rosberg] that come up, but I would never intentionally do something like that to my team-mate.'
Rosberg however did admit that the first corner incident had little barring on the race result itself, Rosberg had dropped down to fifth on the first lap, but had raced his way back into contention and was leading the race towards the end.
The safety car period, brought Hamilton back into contention as without it he would have been left on the wrong tyres for the final stint of the race and under pressure, Rosberg made a mistake.
On that point, Rosberg was particularly harsh on himself, describing the mistake as 'not luck' adding: 'It's a lack of talent in that moment.'
When he had cooled down a bit he added: 'I just got wheelspin, It's never happened to me, ever, not even in testing or racing.
'I'm assuming that it's a mistake that I made, just getting too much wheelspin, going away on the cold tyres, the tyres weren't fully up to temperature yet, but it felt very, very strange.
'That was really, really tough at the time, to lose the lead like that and to lose the win, because I was feeling really good at that point and it just went wrong.'
Rosberg did not celebrate on the podium, instead handing his champaign to Paddy Lowe to celebrate with Hamilton, Rosberg instead stood by the side leaning on the fence.
The German was then late for the celebratory photographs with the Mercedes team in the paddock.
Date:Tuesday October 27 2015
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