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Lewis Hamilton gate crashes Vettel's title party

Published on Nov 19, 2012 5:44 AM
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrates on the podium after winning the United States Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas on Nov 18, 2012 in Austin, Texas. -- PHOTO: AFP

AUSTIN, Texas (AFP) - Lewis Hamilton gate-crashed Sebastian Vettel's title party on Sunday when he produced a dazzling drive for McLaren to win a thrilling United States (US) Grand Prix.

The 27-year-old Briton, who started second on the grid alongside the defending champion, made the most of his superior outright speed to pass Vettel on lap 42 and claim the 21st victory of his career.

For Vettel, it was a personal disappointment, but not enough to prevent his Red Bull team from winning the constructors title for the third successive season.

Fernando Alonso of Ferrari finished third after starting seventh on the grid - thanks to his team's pragmatic decision to break the gearbox seal on Felipe Massa's car - and his podium finish ensured that the title battle will go down to the wire at next weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo.

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