Lewis Hamilton wins US Grand Prix, Kiwi Brendon Hartley impresses with 13th place on F1 debut

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton claimed victory at the US Grand Prix in Austin, while Kiwi driver Brendon Hartley gave a good account of himself with a 13th placed finish.

Driving for Toro Rosso, the Palmerston North native started 19th on the grid after a penalty during the first practice session, before working his way up the standings for an impressive end to his Formula 1 debut.

Standings:

1. Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes
2. Sebastian Vettel - Ferrari
3. Kimi Raikkonen - Ferrari
4. Max Verstappen - Red Bull
5. Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes
13. Brendon Hartley - Toro Rosso

9:39am

Hamilton strong on his final lap, this is in the bag for him now. Verstappen overtakes Raikonnen into third spot, but Hamilton's crossed the line and wins. Hartley up to 13th on his final lap. Vettel comes in second place. Verstappen is penalised though, he'll take fourth spot, Raikkonen third.

9:35am: Lap 55 of 56

Hartley's teammate Daniil Kvyat sitting in 10th, remember the pair are essentially racing to see who'll take the second driver's spot in Mexico next week. Elsewhere, Verstappen overtakes Bottas into fourth spot. One lap to go. Hamilton still ahead of Vettel.

9:31am: Lap 53 of 56

Raikkonen allows Vettel to pass and get back into second place, he'll shoout out with Hamilton for the win going into the final stages.

9:28am: Lap 51 of 56

Hartley does move into 14th now! Elsewhere, Bottas drops down to fourth after some slick work from Vettel. Hamilton comfortably in front though. Five laps left.

9:22am: Lap 48 of 56

Kevin Magnussen of Haas is clipped by Ericsson and drops down to 15th, Hartley now hot on his tail and passes Magnussen! Eight laps left in Austin. Ericssen now being investigated after the incident, Hartley could move to 14th as a result.

9:16am: Lap 44 of 56

Raikonnen overtakes Bottas to move into second place and put some pressure on Hamilton, Hartley still 16th.

9:09am: Lap 39 of 56

Vettel pits and drops to fourth. The Mercedes duo of Hamilton and Bottas now in first and second, while the Ferrari pair of Raikkonen and Vettel in third and fourth. Max Verstappen holds onto fifth spot. Brendon Hartley back of the grid in 16th.

9:04am: Lap 37 of 56

Hartley drops back to 16th - last among the active drivers - with a pit stop, 22 laps to go in Austin.

8:59am: Lap 34 of 56

Hamilton and Vettel still going at it at the front, Hartley holding off Ericsson for now to keep his 15th spot. A good debut effort from the Kiwi after starting at the back of the grid.

8:53: Lap 29 of 56

Just past the halfway point, and Hartley is down in 15th now. Vandoore passes the Kiwi again. 

8:46am: Lap 26 of 56

Hartley climbs to 15th now! Fernando Alonso looks to be out of the race with car troubles now too. Hartley now 14th after Stoffel Vandoore of McLaren pits.

8:42am: Lap 23 of 56

Hartley of to 16th, Kevin Magnussen of Haas drops to 17th. Hamilton now back into the lead over Verstappen, who takes his first pit stop.

8:37am: Lap 21 of 56

Raikkonen in the pits now, Verstappen in the lead having started in 16th position.

8:35am: Lap 20 of 56

Bottas pits to drop from second to fifth, Vettel climbs back one place in his hunt of Hamilton. Brendon Hartley currently last among the active drivers in 17th. Hamilton in the pits now to drop to third. Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari the new leader, Verstappen in second.

8:31am: Lap 17 of 56

Trouble with his left wheel sees Vettel in the pits, he drops to fifth place. The Mercedes duo now hold first and second spots.

8:29am: Lap 16 of 56

A big problem for Daniel Ricciardo and he's out of the race! What's happened there?! It looks like engine trouble, he's replaced in the top five by Red Bull teammate Verstappen.

8:21am: Lap 11 of 56

Meanwhile, Max Verstappen of Red Bull has jumped up into sixth position, having started down in 16th on the grid. Hartley now back to 17th, after a pit-stop for Lance Stroll of Williams.

8:19am: Lap 10 of 56

Hartley drops to 18th, forced into his first pit-stop of the race.

8:15am: Lap 8 of 56

Another driver drops out of the race, with Pascal Wehrlein of Sauber the latest to have car troubles.

8:12am: Lap 6 of 56

Renault's Nico Hulkenburg is forced into the pits and is now out of the race! That means Brendon Hartley jumps into 17th position. Meanwhile, Hamilton snatches the lead from Vettel! 

8:06am: Lap 2 of 56

A good start from Brendon Hartley! The Kiwi driver has jumped up into 18th position, Vettel still in the lead after two laps.

8:03am: Lap 1 of 56

Vettel gets into first place straight away! What a start from Vettel!

8:00am

The drivers take off on their warm-up lap.

7:58am

The call is made to the drivers: start your engines! Usain Bolt waving the flag to get the race going.

7:55am

Just some quick news before the start, Brendon Hartley has moved up into 19th on the grid, a penalty to McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne sees the Kiwi off the bottom.

7:47am

Time for the US anthem, before the drivers get their final race preparation underway.

7:45am

Just a quick rundown of the top five from qualifying:

1. Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes
2. Sebastian Vettel - Ferrari
3. Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes
4. Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull
5. Kimi Raikonnen - Ferrari
20. Brendon Hartley - Toro Rosso

7:41am

Hartley and Toro Rosso teammate Daniil Kvyat are announced to the spectators. The Kiwi lets out a big wave, he looks very relaxed ahead of what's easily the biggest race of his career. Racing to begin at 8:00am NZT.

7:38am

The drivers are now coming out onto the track ahead of the start of the race. 

7:16am

The cars are making their way out onto the grid. Remember, Kiwi driver Brendon Hartley will start at the back, after an engine penalty against his team Toro Rosso in the first practice session on Saturday morning.

6:47am

Good morning! A massive day for Kiwi motorsport, as Palmerston North's Brendon Hartley lines up for his first taste of Formula 1. All the talk trackside however, revolves around Lewis Hamilton, who needs to beat Sebastian Vettel by 16 points today to seal another F1 crown. 

PRE-RACING

Having impressed in qualification - where Hartley recorded the 15th fastest time - an engine penalty will see the Kiwi start at the back of the grid in today's race.

Driving for Italian team Toro Rosso, Hartley will become the first New Zealander since 1984 to race in Formula 1, with Mike Thackwell the last Kiwi to have the honour.

A good performance from Hartley today will do his chances of securing a full-time F1 contract for next season, with Toro Rosso looking for a new driver to partner Pierre Gasly in 2018.

Speaking after yesterday's qualification round, Hartley said he was looking forward to the experience.

"The approach I have taken from when I got the word (debut) I knew it was going to happen was to keep a low key profile and just focus on doing the job and focus on enjoying it."

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton will start on pole position, as he looks to lock away another Formula 1 title.


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Exclusive: Auckland edging closer to hosting Formula E championship - as early as next year

Formula E is the future of motor-racing and now it looks like Auckland could host a round of the championship from as early as next year.

As Formula E prepares for a fifth season, Kiwis should prepare for a chance to get a first-hand look at the technology that will power our future.

Kiwi driver Mitch Evans let the secret slip as his team unveiled their new car for this season.

"There could be some good news coming in the next few months," he said.

"Hopefully a race in NZ, in Auckland, my home city, in season six. That would be amazing."

1 NEWS understands local organisers have made great progress in the area after previously expressing interest in hosting a round and discussions with Formula E have been positive.

Auckland Council's events arm ATEED says they’re aware of the bid but have yet to receive a proposal.

Evans says it’s great just knowing there’s an effort being made.

"I know there's a big team working to try and make it happen and get it down to the City of Sails."

The event has been held on the inner city streets of Hong Kong, Paris and New York.

Although the ongoing city rail link development in Auckland creates a major problem, it's understood a central location has been identified that would cause minimal disruption to public streets.

Such a solution exists because Formula E circuits are usually only a couple of kilometres long.

Kiwi driver Mitch Evans said there could be some "good news" coming in the next few months. Source: 1 NEWS


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Four-time IndyCar champ in awe of former teammate Scott Dixon's dominance

One of Indycar's most successful drivers has described his former teammate Scott Dixon as "a chameleon" with "exceptional desire" after surpassing him for career driver's championship wins.

Dixon won his fifth IndyCar title on Monday to sit second only to American great AJ Foyt who won seven championships.

With the achievement, the 38-year-old Kiwi broke away from the four-time winners group of Dario Franchitti, Mario Andretti and Sebastien Bourdais.

Franchitti drove alongside Dixon before becoming an adviser to Chip Ganassi Racing - the team Dixon races for - and said the Kiwi's ability to adapt was phenomenal.

"He's like a chameleon. He adapts to different styles of cars and different styles of tyres," Franchitti told IndyCar.com.

"He learns from every teammate he's got. He uses every resource he can get, and he'll ask questions of them. You see the results.

"Talent only gets you so far. He's got lots of it, maybe more than I've ever raced against. That's saying a lot with some of the people I've raced against. He just keeps working at it. That desire is exceptional."

But Dixon said after yesterday's triumph it was more than just him.

"It’s all about the people, I’m the lucky one that gets to take it across the line," he said.

"I can’t thank my wife, Emma, enough, she’s been so amazing through the whole season, it’s actually the anniversary of her father’s passing today so it’s an emotional time."

The Kiwi driver notched up the milestone at Sonoma Raceway in California. Source: Seven Sharp


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'It's been a while!' Hayden Paddon claims seventh career podium finish at Rally Turkey

Kiwi rally driver Hayden Paddon has earned his first podium finish of the 2018 World Rally Championship season after a clean final day in Turkey.

Paddon and British co-driver Seb Marshall stuck to their game plan of racing a consistent race in the final four stages of Rally Turkey, allowing them to finish in third.

The pair went into the final day with a firm grip on third place - they were nearly a minute behind second-placed Jari-Matti Latvala but ahead of fourth-placed Teemu Suninen by a safe margin of over two minutes.

Paddon said racing with the concept of preserving third place instead of chasing those ahead of him felt like being in no man's land.

"It's a about playing the long game in this rally. When you're in 'no man's land' it can be really hard because you have to look after the car. It can be really painful but it's what you have to do."

The finish is Paddon's seventh on a WRC podium.

"I am really happy to take our first podium of the season. It has been a very tough rally. We have adopted a particular strategy this weekend that has required us to hold back and be patient," he said.

"Thankfully that approach has paid off and we have been rewarded with third place - it's been a while since we've been on the podium."

Paddon is coming to New Zealand for the Ashley Forest Rallysprint in Canterbury next weekend before he returns to Europe for the Wales Rally GB next month.


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Scott Dixon in rarefied air after winning fifth IndyCar title - 'I’m the lucky one'

Scott Dixon has won his fifth IndyCar championship with a second-place finish at Sonoma Raceway.

The Kiwi needed only a steady race to hold off challenger Alexander Rossi in the championship fight. Rossi broke his front wing on the opening lap when he ran into teammate Marco Andretti and it effectively ended his chances.

The Kiwi driver notched up the milestone at Sonoma Raceway in California. Source: Seven Sharp

Dixon from there didn't take any chances and coasted to the title. His five championships trail only the seven won by A.J. Foyt.

He was in disbelief at securing a historic fifth title.

“Man, this is so awesome, I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it’s actually happened,” he said.

“I don’t know, you always doubt these situations so much that it’s never going to happen.”

Dixon was also full of praise for his wife, Emma.

"It’s all about the people, I’m the lucky one that gets to take it across the line," he said.

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For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS

"I can’t thank my wife, Emma, enough, she’s been so amazing through the whole season, it’s actually the anniversary of her father’s passing today so it’s an emotional time."

Ryan Hunter-Reay won the race from the pole.