Lewis Hamilton edged closer to securing his fourth Formula 1 title with a dominant victory in the US Grand Prix.
The 32-year-old Brit could have took the title on Sunday in Texas had rival Sebastian Vettel finished lower than fifth.
But Ferrari driver Vettel made late progress in the race to finish second, meaning Hamilton will likely be crowned the 2017 champion in Mexico next weekend.
Hamilton’s win also ensured Mercedes won the Constructors Championship for the fourth consecutive year.
‘That was so much fun today, you guys have worked so hard and I’m so proud to be a part of it,’ Hamilton said.
‘I feel amazing, these guys have been amazing, since 2012 this crowd has been growing. I love this track, I think it’s now my favourite track.
‘I love the swing of the corners. Big congratulations to the whole team back at the factory, they’ve truly been the best team this year.’
Despite his strong victory, Hamilton made a poor start to the race, conceding his advantage on pole position to be passed by Vettel.
The Briton quickly regained the lead and Vettel admitted his team could not live with Hamilton’s pace.
‘At the start it was looking goof, we passed Lewis but we couldn’t go his pace today so congratulations to him,’ he said. ‘They were quicker than us and we have to accept that.’
There was drama for the final podium position – Max Verstappen, who started in 16th position after a heft grid penalty, initially finished in third.
But the 20-year-old was handed a five-second time penalty for cutting the track and gaining an advantage, meaning he dropped to third below Kimi Raikkonen.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said of his driver’s penalty: ‘They have been driving off the track all weekend, Max made a fair move.
‘It is an appalling decision. They have robbed all of the fans here. It was a great grand prix and they have screwed it up.’
Hamilton will win his fourth F1 championship if he finishes fifth or better in Mexico.