Sebastian Vettel achieved his eighth consecutive victory in Formula 1 with a dominant drive at the Circuit of the Americas.
The Red Bull driver has now passed Michael Schumacher’s 2004 achievement with eight wins in a single season.
While Vettel quickly established a comfortable lead and kept it between six and ten seconds for most of the race, Romain Grosjean denied Red Bull a one-two by keeping his Lotus ahead of Mark Webber with second place.
Webber’s start was arguably slightly better than Vettel’s, but he ran out of space trying to pass his team-mate into the uphill Turn 1 and was overtaken around the outside by both Grosjean and Lewis Hamilton.
The Red Bull dismissed the Mercedes down the outside into the hairpin at the end of the back straight on lap 13, then began a race-long chase after Grosjean.
A change of position seemed inevitable as Webber rapidly caught the Lotus, but the Australian’s tyres faded in the final laps and he had to settle for third.
Hamilton retained fourth position despite a challenge from Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari.
Alonso had jumped Sergio Perez’s McLaren at their sole pitstops, then hunted down and passed Nico Hulkenberg.
The Ferrari and Sauber both gained on Hamilton in the final laps before Alonso began to run out of tyre grip.
Hulkenberg dived back ahead of him into Turn 1 starting the final lap, but Alonso cut back inside and reclaimed the position.
Behind Perez, Valtteri Bottas scored the first points of his Formula 1 career with an excellent drive to eighth for Williams.
The Finn stayed safely ahead of Nico Rosberg as the Mercedes put on a series of mid-race overtaking moves to grab ninth after Rosberg’s poor qualifying result.
Jenson Button grabbed the final championship point from Daniel Ricciardo late on. Jean-Eric Vergne and Esteban Gutierrez clashed on the last lap, while Felipe Massa had to make an extra pitstop and finished only P13.
Heikki Kovalainen’s first appearance as a substitute for Kimi Raikkonen proved very disappointing. He lost ground at the start, had to make an extra pitstop for a new front wing, then struggled with KERS issues on the way to P15 for Lotus.
The only retirement was Adrian Sutil, who clashed with Pastor Maldonado’s Williams on the back straight on the opening lap. The Force India slammed into the barriers, prompting a safety car.
Race results after 56 laps at the Circuit of the Americas:
1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1h39;17.148
2. Grosjean Lotus-Renault +6.2
3. Webber Red Bull-Renault +8.3
4. Hamilton Mercedes +27.3
5. Alonso Ferrari +29.5
6. Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari +30.4
7. Perez McLaren-Mercedes +46.6
8. Bottas Williams-Renault +54.5
9. Rosberg Mercedes +59.1
10. Button McLaren-Mercedes +1:17.2
11. Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1:21.0
12. Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1:24.5
13. Massa Ferrari +1:26.9
14. Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari +1:31.7
15. Kovalainen Lotus-Renault +1:35.0
16. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes +1:36.8
17. Maldonado Williams-Renault +1 lap
18. Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth +1 lap
19. van der Garde Caterham-Renault +1 lap
20. Pic Caterham-Renault +1 lap
21. Chilton Marussia-Cosworth +1 lap
Fastest lap: Vettel, 1:39.856
Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1 lap
World Championship standings, round 18:
1. Vettel 372
2. Alonso 227
3. Hamilton 187
4. Raikkonen 183
5. Webber 171
6. Rosberg 161
7. Grosjean 132
8. Massa 106
9. Button 61
10. Di Resta 48
11. Hulkenberg 47
12. Perez 41
13. Sutil 29
14. Ricciardo 19
15. Vergne 13
16. Gutierrez 6
17. Bottas 4
18. Maldonado 1
1. Red Bull-Renault 553
2. Mercedes 348
3. Ferrari 333
4. Lotus-Renault 315
5. McLaren-Mercedes 102
6. Force India-Mercedes 77
7. Sauber-Ferrari 53
8. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 32
9. Williams-Renault 5
Next race: Brazilian Grand Prix, Interlagos. November 22-24.